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Anime Review: "Durarara!!" (2010)

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

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Quick Info

Directed by: Takahiro Omori
Studio: Aniplex America
Runtime: 624 minutes
Availability: Only available online, it’s on Amazon, but RightStuf has the best price for the Blu-Rays, streaming on FunimationNow and Hulu

Story Summary

In Japan in the district of Ikebukuro, a young high school freshman named Mikado Ryūgamine meets his best friend Masaomi Kida. He learns about a bartender named Shizuo Heiwajima and an info broker named Izaya Orihara and a mysterious headless transporter known as the Headless Rider.

Celty Sterluson is a Dullahan living in Japan searching for her missing head. This is her story. It’s a story about the good, the bad, and the downright weird.

This may not be a heartwarming story. But sometimes a bunch of weirdos fall n love, at least that’s what the summary of the light novel said on the back cover. And why did I mention the light novel, because this adaptation is one of the closest I’ve seen to a 1 for 1 adaptation in a while.

I Enjoy the Story a Lot

I really like the story of Durarara!!, it’s something that’s very different than other stories. It is a very weird love story, one that you don’t really see as a love story.

I also love that all the characters, especially Mikado, Anri and Masaomi all have their own secrets, and it’s their lack of communication with each other that drives the plot along and I really enjoyed that because it’s a different way to move the plot forward than just good and evil, although we do have a villain in the story, and a troll stirring things up for kicks.

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Brain’s Base Made This Look So Good!

The animation is by Brain Base and it looks fantastic. I love the character designs and how everything looks, the atmosphere is very realistic and the fight scenes are awesome in this anime. It’s definitely a nice one to look at.

While this isn’t really an action-heavy anime, the fights that do occur look really cool, especially since Celty uses a scythe and that’s not usually a weapon that is used in fights, it’s not a normal scythe because it’s made from Celty’s shadow body, but it’s still neat anyway.

Brain’s Base Made This Look So Good!

The animation is by Brain Base and it looks fantastic. I love the character designs and how everything looks, the atmosphere is very realistic and the fight scenes are awesome in this anime. It’s definitely a nice one to look at.

While this isn’t really an action-heavy anime, the fights that do occur look really cool, especially since Celty uses a scythe and that’s not usually a weapon that is used in fights, it’s not a normal scythe because it’s made from Celty’s shadow body, but it’s still neat anyway.

Audio and Subtitles

Audio:Subtitles:

English (Reviewed) (Netflix, Funimation, Hulu)

English (Hulu, Netflix, Funimation)

The English Dub Is Fantastic!

The voice acting is excellent and top notch. I love the entire English dub cast of Durarara!! Darrel Guilbeau is very good as Mikado Ryugamine and I enjoyed him a lot. I haven’t heard him in many roles outside of Durarara!!, but I enjoy his work a lot.

Kari Wahlgren is wonderful as Celty Sturluson. I love her work; she’s one of my favorite voice actresses for anime. She’s terrific and it really showed in this anime.

Crispin Freeman is excellent as the hair-trigger tempered Shizuo Heiwajima. He is one of my favorite voice actors and he did great in his role. I’m always impressed at how loud he can scream.

Johnny Yong Bosch is devious as Izaya Orihara, the info broker. He is perfectly evil and does an excellent job of playing up Izaya’s trolling abilities.

Yuri Lowenthal is excellent as Shinra Kishitani. He did a brilliant job, and his performance is nice. He’s playing a different role here as a non-action guy and I liked that aspect a lot.

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Mela Lee is fantastic as Erika Karisawa. She brings a lot of life to the character and makes her sound outgoing and likable, and gloriously nerdy in that Japanese Otaku fashion that anime fans understand.

Brian Beacock was great as Walker Yumasaki. He is a voice actor that I’ve enjoyed ever since I heard him Digimon Tamers as Takato Matsuki/Matsuda. He’s always been a great voice actor and I’m always happy when he shows up in anime that I really enjoy. I love how he embraces the whole anime Otaku culture in the role and he just sounds like he’s having way too much fun.

The English dub cast is fantastic and they’re the reason I blind bought this anime without seeing it on legal streaming in Japanese.

Now the Japanese dub isn’t bad either, but because there is so much on-screen text it can be challenging to read through it all. If you can read quickly through both you can watch it subbed, but I prefer dubbing and since I am visually impaired it does help to have the dub on so I don’t have to read so much on-screen text.

You can choose either language track and you’ll enjoy the anime!

Reader Poll

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Durarara!! Opening 1

The Music Is Great!

Makoto Yoshimori composed the music and he was the composer for Baccano!, and he is an awesome composer and this anime is no exception.

The music is excellent and it fits the show perfectly. I love the soundtrack and it’s a very memorable one when it comes to anime. The opening theme is “Uragiri no Yūyake” by Theatre Brook and the first ending theme "Trust Me" by Yūya Matsushita. The second opening is “Complication" (コンプリケイション) by ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D (episodes 13-24). The second ending is "Butterfly" by ON/OFF (episodes 13-23).

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The Non-Linear Storytelling Can Confuse the Audience

The way the story is told isn’t exactly linear. It does switch between characters and even though many storylines converge, they will split off again before they converge for the end of the first season. You need to pay attention to keep track of everything that’s going on because it can be very confusing.

I do enjoy this aspect of the storytelling because it keeps things interesting and you want to see how it’s all going to turn out, but it can be confusing if you’ve never read or watched this style of storytelling before.

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

Great story, world-building, characters

Non-linear storytelling my confuse viewers

Great animation

six degrees of separation might bother viewers

Great voice acting

 

Final Grade: A

I love Durarara!! It’s one of my favorite anime. It’s very well done and everything about it is fun and enjoyable. The characters are well written, the animation is excellent and the soundtrack is great too.

It has everything I like about storytelling and it’s a lot of fun to watch. The story is something I really liked, it was interesting because of the quirky and memorable characters. It’s also the weirdest love story I’ve ever watched because it doesn’t feel like a love story at all.

It is a little on the expensive side if you want to hear the English dub on DVD or Blu-Ray. But if you want to see it legally, you can see it on Netflix, Hulu, Funimation, and Crunchyroll. It’s a must buy if you love Baccano and I don’t regret the high price tag I had to pay to get the DVDs or this anime. I would recommend importing from the United Kingdom if you’re willing to buy a region free blu-ray or DVD player. It’s not as expensive to own if you are willing to jump through hoops to get it.

I bought my DVDs back when Aniplex USA wasn’t as expensive and it only cost me $120 for the entire series. For me, it was worth the money, but the blu-ray box set is really expensive. It’s definitely worth a watch, but that price tag is ridiculous.

I will be reviewing Durarara!! X2 once I finish watching it.

My Rating;

© 2018 ReViewMeMedia

Comments

ChunLiNa on March 15, 2018:

I watched Drrr! when it first came out (both seasons and movies) and I feel in love with many of the characters and the plot, I love that the plot wasn't linear and needed some thought to figure out. it gives it a modern twist on gangs and shows what life has really in store for you, and the consequences of making bad decisions. the eng dub for the first season was amazing I really enjoyed, but for the 2nd season I watched it in Japanese and in my opinion I prefer that version, because I could recognize many of the VA right away. this anime is definitely worth checking out!

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