Durarara!! has been a challenging series at times, but one that I started off with by having a huge amount of affection for because it had a sense of style and showed an intriguing approach to telling a layered story, especially in those first couple of episodes. While it hit a few mild lulls here and there, the first half of the show culminated in one of the best surprise moments of any series that I can think of and it closed out that chapter on an incredibly high note. Unfortunately, the second half never seemed to capture the same kind of cohesion as the story went forward and it seemed kind of listless as it told the other half of the tale about the two young men who ended up taking control of massive gangs in Ikebukuro for very different reasons.
The dual focus on Kida and Anri worked well at times, but it lacked something compelling since it shifted out the main characters of the first half in favor of them. Anri's story worked well as we started to understand who she is and the connection to the Slasher past, but it felt a little too disjointed at times to be really enjoyable. Kida's story felt contrived from the start when it became obvious he was dealing in the Yellow Scarves. Having that follow Mikado's revelation about the Dollars did not help it in the slightest and really trivialized it. If it had been done in parallel for a revelation, it might have worked better. What hamstrung it even more was that the supporting cast in the Yellow Scarves are largely unmemorable. That was acceptable with the Dollars since nobody knew anybody. But here, where they pushed a stronger sense of camaraderie in order to remove Kida from his position, it's very important but none of them leave any significant memory.
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