February 26, 2012

Anime Review: Durarara!!

An interesting typical shounen style anime with some serious action sequences and mysteries surrounding the city that the characters inhabit. This is one of those anime that gets better as you watch.

In Tokyo's downtown district of Ikebukuro, amidst many strange rumors and warnings of anonymous gangs and dangerous occupants, one urban legend stands out above the rest – the existence of a headless “Black Rider” who is said to be seen driving a jet-black motorcycle through the city streets.

Ryuugamine Mikado has always longed for the excitement of the city life, and an invitation from a childhood friend convinces him to move to Tokyo. Witnessing the Black Rider on his first day in the city, his wishes already seem to have been granted. But as supernatural events begin to occur, ordinary citizens like himself, along with Ikebukuro's most colorful inhabitants, are mixed up in the commotion breaking out in their city.
Ok so the story was pretty confusing and boring with the first few episodes. You don't actually know what is going on until much later in the anime. You will discover many mysteries and interesting plot twists as the story unfolds. The story is quite deep to comprehend, you may have to do some pre-reading to understand what is going on. In the end, the story developed interestingly towards the end that will keep you engaged and wanting more.

The art style was uniquely different for this shounen anime. As expected, nothing about this anime is realistic art-wise. The over-toned environment with the use of special effects really stood out from this anime. The characters had over-exaggerated expressions and complete inhuman abilities. This is not a bad thing, but for a shounen anime, it's excellent.

Theme songs were catchy and well tuned for this anime. I liked how they integrated the "what happened previously" anime bits into the opening song, which reminds you what happened previously whilst you enjoy the opening song. Time not wasted in my opinion. I usually just skip the theme songs after listening to them a few times. Voice acting was accurate and of high quality. Really well done for this anime.

The characters were varied and mysterious all the same. You will not find out the character's true background until you have watched much later into the anime. You will also find out hidden truths and the complete story as you progress with the story. There is no clear protagonist or antagonist in this anime, it really depends how you view each and every character. It seems that this anime is trying to portray a more realistic view on society where good people can be bad and bad people can be good.

Overall, this anime is completely full of red herrings, surprises and emotions. It will get you thinking and in the end, it will make you shout, "Oh! I get it now!". It packs full of mysteries that you will not understand till the very end. The character are not what they seem, and there are many hidden truths hinted throughout the anime. This anime is suited more for shounen-type fans and people who love a bit of mystery and action.

A bit confusing at the start but you will understand a lot more once you have progressed through the anime. Good mysteries and red herrings thrown in.

ART: 9
Excellent artwork and animation. Character expressions and interactions are priceless.

Catchy theme songs and high quality voice acting.

It is hard to find a character you will like since each character has his/hers strong and weak points.

Confusing and boring at the start, but gets better as you watch.

Not bad for a complex anime. The story was well told and most questions were answered.