As the 3rd arc of Durarara!! x2 began airing earlier this month, my excitement level has gone another notch. But I wasn’t always a fan of this series. My first experience watching it didn’t go well. I dropped it just after 5 episodes. After a few months, I took it up again and was surprised to find myself not only loving it but also praising its storytelling. I’ve been converted into a fan and I almost wish that I’m a Dollars member!
My Rating: 😀 😀 😀 😀 (4 out of 5 grins)
Durarara!! (デュラララ!!) or just DRRR!! is an anime series based on the light novels written by Narita Ryōgo (成田 良悟) and illustrated by Yasuda Suzuhito (ヤスダ スズヒト). It’s a smorgasbord of characters, sub-plots, and genres all interwoven ingeniously together that they appear to be bunches of confusing nonsense at the beginning but are actually parts of an amazing greater picture.
As my first experience watching this didn’t go so well, I’ll be the first to admit that it takes a certain special mood to become interested and ultimately to become absorbed by this series. To those planning on watching this for the first time, I’m going to say this to you now: It’s NOT going to make a damn sense at the beginning. You need to watch at least more than 5 episodes, or better yet watch the entire first season, to appreciate the story, in my opinion—at least that’s how long it took for me.
I think that it’s more difficult for DRRR!! to suspend viewers’ disbelief compared to other obvious fantasy series like ONE PIECE or Fairy Tail. With its type of “realistic” setting such as modern Ikebukuro, it has to work harder to make the fairy tale and other fantastical elements believable. But I think that it successfully did just that.
Despite its outrageous elements that are deceptively made normal because of the setting’s nature, it’s quite a dark and deep series. It’s like Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei and Death Note combined. And because it has such a “realistic” location such as Ikebukuro as we know it, it has this eerie sense that “this can happen”, although we know that it cannot.
If you just stop a moment and look beyond Celty’s missing head, Shizuo’s monstrous strength, and Izaya’s sexiness (wink wink), this series is packed with a lot of meaningful themes.
The theme that struck me the most is that the concept of “normal” is relative, and that if you spend enough time in an abnormal situation, it will become your new normal. This theme isn’t only true within the series itself but also for its viewers. At first you find everything so weird, but as you watch more episodes, all the weird stuff becomes normal.
Now I can say that DRRR!! is one of the best anime that I’ve ever watched. It’s not very flashy compared to battle series like Dragon Ball or Naruto-–no visible aura or chakra, only bartenders throwing vending machines and a sexy headless lady riding a motorcycle. The premise is not as intriguing nor as clear either, unlike the genius premise of Death Note. Compared to Death Note, DRRR!!‘s plot seems all over the place. You get the feeling that the story elements were randomly picked and thrown together without any regards to logic.
Despite all of these, I think that what DRRR!! excels at is neither the flash of action scenes nor an amazing story, but in its masterful storytelling. Now I know that many disagree with me on this, but this is my opinion. I also want to let you know that before I’m an anime otaku, I’m a literary reader and writer first. DRRR!! demonstrates many literary devices effectively such as flashback, foreshadowing, point of view, verisimilitude and so much more. Blah blah blah. I know you’re getting bored with my academic babble, but I just want to say that I was so impressed that it almost tempted me to write an academic essay about it. Almost.
Now you know that Durarara!! is one of my favourite series. How about you? What do you think about this series? Do you like it? Do you hate it? Have you watched it yet?
That’s all for today, folks! Have a great day. Cheers!
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