Recaps for Durarara!!

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Durarara!! Episode #12.5 Anime Review

Following through on a promise made when Durarara!! really got going, Crunchyroll is back with the first OVA from the series which takes place in the middle and essentially serves as a good bit of extra material that's simply about the fun. Looking for some sort of key episode here is kind of pointless because all the material we really needed was in the series proper. These kinds of OVAs are meant to take us back to the characters after the fact, have a spot of fun with them again and remind us why we enjoyed the show as much as we did. And Durarara!! does that easily because it has such a fun and interesting diverse cast of characters. Because of that cast, and the nature of the show, there are a lot of little interconnected stories going on about a bag that's gone missing, aliens and Celty's amusing fear of them which makes sense considering her origins. The bag is being sought after by a group of men in black which talks in standard very stilted English as they hunt it down and find themselves being tricked along the way, not all that intentionally at times. It's a comedy of errors involving an element of danger you don't often get in these kinds of shows because the English speaking folks are all bringing out their guns and shooting to get their goods back. It's only when you have a sequence like that that you remember that the show avoided guns throughout it. Read More Click Me!

Durarara!! - Season 1 - Episode 24 - Review: "One with Heaven, Out with the Self "

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. Read More Click Me!

Durarara!! - Season 1 - Episode 23 - Review: "Complications and Confusions"

The struggle between the various forces in Ikebukuro has taken some odd turns, but even more so now that Mikado has done his best to try and end things in the way that fits with the beliefs of the Dollars. The fallout from that is starting to hit though as Kida grapples with the issues involved with it, such as what Mikado and Anri were really up to, but also the fact that someone in the Yellow Scarves figured it out and has managed to oust him from the leadership position of it. A definite advantage that Mikado has over the Dollars in being essentially a leaderless and formless group of people that set out to do good things. The other interesting bit of fallout from everything is when Shizuo arrives at Celty's place all bloodied up and wounded. He's had a rough time in dealing with people and he's intent on getting a whole lot of revenge on the Yellow Scarves and on Kida in particular for his apparent role in the kidnapping of Anri. He's doing his best to get back on track while Celty herself is off with Mikado trying to get him to understand what it is he really has to do. Mikado has become so wrapped up in dealing with the troubles between the Yellow Scarves and the Dollars that he's lost his real focus, which is to make sure that he himself is doing alright and his problems are as taken care of as they can be. Read More Click Me!

Durarara - Season 1 - Episode 21 - Review: "At a Total Loss"

The build-up of forces and tension between the Yellow Scarves and the Dollars continues and it's only getting worse as some members of the Yellow Scarves can only seem to find trouble. While Kida has told them to knock of the small fights and tussles that were escalating things, some of them can't seem to do it so they keep getting into trouble. That only serves to completely annoy Kida and he's making waves in the rank and file because he's showing weakness, something that certain members really don't like. Kida's control over them is definitely weakening as there are now many itching for a fight and feeling confident. For Mikado, he's back to questioning the very existence of the Dollars and what it's all become as more and more violence is now seeping out there. His whole point of "taking over" the group before was to try and change the perception of what it's about and making it a force for good instead of the negative. But now that it's increasingly mired in this and he's feeling more and more isolated from everything, the pressure is building. Even worse is that while the group was founded to be fairly leaderless in his takeover of it, a lot of members are now looking to him for answers and for a plan, but he doesn't have one. It's an interesting fork in the road for Mikado to face as the future of the Dollars is at stake as many members are close to quitting now. Read More Click Me!

Durarara!! - Season 1 - Episode 20 - Review: "The Yellow Sky Rises"

With the first half of the series slowly focusing and bringing together what the Dollars is all about, the second half is definitely all about the Yellow Scarves and its origins and revival. Watching the two sides having somewhat similar parallel experiences has been amusing to see when you figure in who is actively leading each of them, as much as two large organizations of this nature can be led. With the way things have been going though as Celty has helped out the Dollars by circumstance, there's a belief that the Slasher may be involved with the Dollars as well as the reputation of that group is now very different from what it used to be. The focus also turns back toward the Blue Square gang as there's some resurfacing of that group in ways that really does concern Kida. With what happened to him in the past and how it's still having ramifications, it is little surprise that he's viewing it as intently and seriously as he is. Of course, when you figure in how Izaya is manipulating things and the birds-eye view he has of so much going on, watching how these various groups are being played against each other becomes even more amusing. But Izaya's overall goal, outside of doing it just because he can, still seems to be missing. A good chunk of this episode revolves around this kind of basic dialogue, minus the Izaya aspect, as Kida and others talk about what's going on in a way to try and draw the pieces together and whether he should actively meet with the leader of the Dollars. Read More Click Me!

Durarara!! - Season 1 - Episode 19 - Review: "The Blue Sky Perishes"

This part of the series has seen a lot of things going on since we understood what the Dollars are all about. As we've understood more about Celty, seen the rise of the Yellow Scarves and understood their origins and then dealt with the Slasher and a whole lot of background with Anri, Durarara!! has covered a whole lot of ground. I still feel that this half of the series has lots some of its energy and focus, but there's still a lot of fun to be had as we see various ties slowly coming together that weren't all that apparent at first, such as what we got about Izaya recently and some of the things he's been up to over the years. Kida's past was certainly unexpected, even after all the things we learned about Mikado at the halfway mark of the show. Since learning about that, his mood is continuing to change little bit little as you can see him acting more boldly and loudly than he was before, which is a surefire sign that something's wrong. Even Anri, who hasn't been all that aware of other people for so long because of her own issues has noticed this and is concerned about him. It's a difficult thing for her to grapple with since she's been so self involved for so long and has let her problems and issues dominate her that she's uncertain of how to help him, especially since Kida is someone who has such a problem himself. The narration for it gets a bit heavy handed at times, but it's a decent approach to getting it out there without hearing her inner monologue and it come across as too self pitying. Read More Click Me!

Durarara! - Season 1 - Episode 18 - Review: "Life and Death are Up to Fate"

Anri's storyline has closed out a little bit and she's in recovery mode now, which means its time to shift the story a little bit. Her arc provided a lot of revelations, about herself and the Slasher, and how that may figure into events going forward as she has to decide whether to be a force for good or just a force of chaos. This episode starts to focus on Kida with a trip to the past at a time a year ago when a girl named Saki ended up in the hospital, a girl that's still in the hospital even all this time later. What's surprising about this little trip down memory lane is that Izaya is there with Kida and he's spending his time seriously taunting the young man, egging him into anger very easily. And it's an anger that hasn't abated as even the mention of his name in the present causes him to grind his teeth. Kida's time as one of the Yellow Scarves is interesting to watch, as is the sheer amount of Yellow Scarves that we see roaming about Ikebukuro. Kida's meeting of Saki occurs just moments before his meeting with Izaya and it's there that we learn that Izaya is something of a guardian for her, making it easier to understand how Izaya will manipulate things as time goes on. With Kida running things for the Yellow Scarves, much as we saw how Mikado handled things with the Dollars, it's intriguing to see the differences and similarities between the two. But it's also apparent that Izaya is manipulating things and even though Kida is aware of it, it's hrd to go against Izaya's suggestions and ideas because they tend to work well. And even harder for Kida since he's so interested in Saki. Read More Click Me!

Durarara!! - Season 1 - Episode 17 - Review: "Episode 17"

With an episode title of 'Everything Changes', you really have to hope that there's something significant in it. The show does have a lot of fun to it and we get some good background material as well. The simple joy of watching Shizuo fight with abandon against the various controlled slashers that are out there is worth the price of admission alone. He's been so controlled in a way for so long with his abilities, enough so that he feels like he's a coward in some ways, that when he gets the chance to truly cut loose he does so. It's completely different from how he is with Izaya as well which I think says a whole lot. It's a brutal series of events as it plays out, but you can't help but to smile throughout it much like Shizuo. A good chunk of the episode focuses on the encounter between Haruna and Anri as Haruna is leading her charge to take out Anri. That Anri is something more than she expected has really thrown her, but it's what we learn about Anri that really does seemingly change things. Her cool and introverted nature has kept her apart and we've seen how she is with Mikado and others, but the real truth of the matter is something else. With her sword in hand, touching it to Haruna reveals exactly what Anri's real past is all about with her parents that died and why she is the way she is. The power within her is fascinating and curious, enough so that even Celty is uncertain about how to interact with her and shy's away from getting into a fight with her, so far as to suggest that the problems are all related to Saika and are not how Anri really feels. It's an intriguing conversation the two have and helps to potentially cement Anri in the mindset of doing good with what she has in her hands. Read More Click Me!

Durarara!! - Season 1 - Episode 16 - Review: "Mutual Love "

Unsurprisingly, the events of the previous episode get spun out in a more connected form with this episode. A lot of the last episode was mildly dull at best because it felt like a recap of sorts as we followed the reporter, Niekawa, as he went about town exposing himself to various dangers and personalities. It served fairly well to acquaint newer viewers with what's going on and touch on the town itself a bit after all the changes in the last several months since Celty revealed herself. Overall though, it wasn't until the end that we saw Niekawa take on the role of the Slasher, possessed as he was, as he went aft Anri. It was pretty much a given that we'd see his daughter at some point since he chose to mention her, but after Niekawa was taken care of by those who came to Anri's defense, it's certainly a surprise to see Niekawa's daughter arrive so soon. She pretty much followed Anri home and knocked on her door, allowing herself in. What makes it all a concern is that Haruna has the same look as her father, but not in quite the same Slasher possessed way. She's intense though, angry and intent on using that to gain her revenge on Anri so that she can love all of humanity. Saika's possession of Haruna, or Haruna's nature that allowed herself to be taken over, has put Anri in quite a lot of trouble. Read More Click Me

Durarara!! - Season 1 - Episode 15 - Review: "A Fool May Give Good Counsel "

Episodes like this frustrate me, even when done well like it is here in Durarara!! With the second half of the season slowly picking up steam again as it deals with this Slasher storyline while mixing in more online elements, we essentially take a detour to deal with a new character who spends his time wandering around Ikebukuro trying to interview people. We get him hitting up all the usual folks such as Izaya and Simon in order to get a feel for what people see out there when it comes to the story he's working on for the magazine where he's following up on who the strongest people of the city are. Naturally, he's had a run in with Shizuo. Niekawa fits the mold as your pretty standard magazine hack with his hat and overcoat, the way his life has fallen to pieces and how much is riding on this one last story he needs to get right. His wife left him some time ago and he's got his teenage daughter, in her second year of high school, who pretty much views him as a joke, though we never see her. Taking his tour of Ikebukuro, he can't believe some of what he sees, such as how Simon approaches all of his customers or the kind of cold calculation that Izaya has with his business and how he knows oh so much about Niekawa. His arc is fairly uninteresting until his life takes more of a downturn and the Slasher gets involved, but admittedly by then it was feeling like an episode that you'd want to fast forward through anyway. Read More Click Me!