Posted by psgels on 20 May 2010 with categories: Durarara

The second half of this series turns out to be disjointed in a completely different way than the first half. The first half threw random scenes together and kept jumping back and forth to make a fun little story. The second half on the other hand is much more linear, but instead it likes to pull twists that it’ll only explain later, without any hint beforehand whether it’s going to do so or not. It was indeed a bit weird for Anri to suddenly show up at the end of the previous episode, this episode explains what she was doing there.

Now it’s time for this series to deliver. I’m not going to tolerate any more boring episodes after this, because overall my expectations for this series might have been a bit too high. I really tried not to compare this show to Baccano, but in the end the lack of energy of this series compared to Baccano unfortunately did bother me during the second half when the pacing suddenly turned down, instead of up.

Another thing is that Baccano just did have a huge cast of incredibly charismatic characters. Durarara on the other hand doesn’t: it’s about a bunch of angsty teenagers, a bunch of psychopaths, a headlesss rider and a bunch of characters whose quirks could have been great, but were underdeveloped. Sorry, Simon. I really liked him when this series started, but this guy never really got further than his episode in which he was the narrator. There are more of these minor characters who degenerated into caricatures due to lack of airtime in the second half, and I think that that’s something that I’ve been missing with this series.

Having said that though, I’m very interested in the plot here. It’s the kind of plot that I dislike, but in a good way. The way in which everything is based on misunderstandings and everything would be solved if people would just stop listening to Izaya and instead talk to each other. It’s been well built up however, and the creators can actually get an interesting climax out of it if they go out all the way with this, remain true to their characters and let everything spiral out of control.

The characters are acting with a kind of stupidity that is incredibly annoying with underdeveloped characters. However, now that Kida’s background has also been shown, they’re actually turning into rounded characters here, and that’s something that I appreciate a lot. However, character-development is one thing, now they also have to use it. I did cringe at the point in which Anri in this episode refused to show her face to Kida, however when the creators back it up well enough this can do interesting things for the plot.
Rating: * (Good)

18 Responses

  1. rebel2010 says:

    I think your being a little bit to ctrical with the charatcers. They are based in different time frames and there different ages from the characters of Baccano. The minor characters didnt really need development since there just people the main characters know in town and randomly talk to, they dont have a big effect on what goes on. With Kida’s background pretty much explained i can see the pace of the show picking up. On a side note Anri is in dollars now i guess

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Yeah, I know that I’m indeed a bit harsh on it, but something just feels to be missing for this series for me. I still can’t put my finger exactly to what it is, but something about this show has disappointed a bit.

  3. chounokoe says:

    I think psgel’s critique is quite appropriate, it’s just that it’s not really the material’s, but more the anime’s fault how many things come across in the anime.
    Until the point where we are now, basically only Mikado, Anri, Kida, Celty, Shinra, Shizuo and Izaya (and maybe Namie, Seiji and Mika to a certain degree) were actually developed in the novel.
    The Otaku gang had their entrance in each book, but they were among the minor cast with one bigger event in each volume dedicated to them.
    Simon for example had no actual scene until later in volume 3 (as far as I remember) and even then it was minor compared to the rest.

    The anime tried too early to give an impression of a huge array of characters…possibly really to reel all the fans of the Baccano anime in…when honestly the cast of each volume is rather small.
    This creates a feeling in the anime, that many characters are introduced for no reason and you end up waiting for more on them and miss the chance to enjoy what’s there.

    I would have probably enjoyed the anime adaption more, if they had spend less time on getting the (not so) huge cast across and just went for the plot and mystery centred events of each volume.

  4. Keito says:

    I wouldn’t give up on the series yet. A lot can happen in 5 episodes, and I’m not 100% sure on this, but I heard there are 6 specials which may give us something more to look forward to.

  5. Vallen Chaos Valiant says:

    About Simon… The Russian Arc is WAY later. His existence doesn’t have any effect this season. As others said, the original novels were in small arcs with limited number of characters per book. The anime literally squeeze events spanning several months, if not years, together. Hence even though there are a lot of characters, they often do their own thing instead of moving towards some grand unifying final plot.

  6. BigFire says:

    The Russian really doesn’t come into play until volume 5 with the introduction of a regular characters Vorona and Igor. Albeit, Simon and Denis have already been introduced by the 3rd novel, but they’re for the most part, background characters.

  7. Joojoobees says:

    Interesting. I had been disappointed by the lack of development with Simon as well, but from the comments here, I can understand why.

    This reminds me of the problem the animators had with adapting 12 Kingdoms. Yoko Nakajima was not the protagonist in all novels, so after her arcs were complete, they used her in a framing device for the other stories (that is the other stories in the anime were presented as being told to Yoko, so that the character they had spent so much effort developing, didn’t completely disappear. Notice that 12 Kingdoms got canceled before completion. I have always suspected the lack of unity character-wise was a factor in that decision.

    From comments here, it sounds like Brains base tried to avoid that problem by taking an alternate tactic of pushing up the introduction of characters that wouldn’t be needed until much later, in hopes that, when the story turned to their arc, it wouldn’t seem so disruptive.

  8. Michael says:

    My problem with it was the narration. At points didn’t it seem completely unnecessary? “There was standing the black headless rider” Ok great, but you are showing us Celty on the screen, you don’t need narration for that. I feel like the episode would have actually been a lot better without any narrator. The narrator broke the flow of the plot and made it hard to build up a tone of tension in the episode. Making it, what psgels described, boring.

  9. Pi says:

    I’m getting extremely disappointed with this series. I probably should save my time and find something else to watch (which isn’t that hard, really) but I will postpone that for now. I’m still hoping for a good episode… anytime soon!

    I have been following the novels and such, and Siwon won’t get a lot of screening anytime soon. I also noticed that the quality of the animation has continuously dropping. And THAT is quite aggravating too.

    Indeed, I had high hopes for this anime too since I loved Baccano! Drrr!!! has lost its’ charm; either that or there’s something missing in the anime right now because everything in the anime seems so dull and bland.

    Speaking of which, what happened to Shinra? I feel like I haven’t seen him in a real long time.

  10. theone says:

    wow negative nancies in here

    whatever, I still love the show a LOT better than *pussy edo samurai does Osaka*

    the only thing that I agree with psgels is the whole thing of Anri not showing her face, but of course that was the whole point for the yellow scarves to go to war against the dollars…

    so meh. it had to be done for what they’ve built up so far.

  11. ves says:

    I find it a little disappointing too. It somehow just didn’t invoke enough excitement after each episode in this arc.

    As for Anri not wanting to show her face, I thought it was because she didn’t want Kida to discover her identity as the Slasher yet. How exactly do you explain to your good friend that you are, in her own words, a monster? I guess at this moment, she didn’t want to be shunned by Kida and lose her peaceful world.

  12. brianwuzhere says:

    I wouldn’t push it to the point of boring, but it has been going downhill ever since Mikado was revealed to be the leader of the Dollars. Anyways, I read a little on The Verbose Playground and found it kinda weird that there seems to be no overarching plot.

    “So point is, despite having read 7 volumes, I don’t know where Narita plans to go with Durarara.”

  13. c160 says:

    I think most people are disappointed because they expect Durarara to be the 2nd Baccano,with exciting action paced climaxes and lots of blood and gore,but Durarara is so slow that they’re disappointed with it.I think Durarara is supposed to be a more quiet and urban series so we shouldn’t hope for the explosive action from Baccano,so the criticism of “a lack of energy” shouldn’t really be a point.

  14. chounokoe says:

    @c160: While DRRR is a bit quieter and more mystery centred than Baccano I wouldn’t call it less exciting.
    The problem is, what you already described, that it is more based on atmosphere and the feeling of an urban legend.
    What gave the individual arcs speed and worked as a counterweight against those factors was that it centered on a very limited cast of characters each volume and made events happen in a very tight frame…

    The anime took that ‘tightness’ away and make the events even more interconnected on a bigger scale, which makes the story appear even slower…at least to me.

  15. c160 says:

    @chounokoe I think I get what you’re saying.The anime introduced too much stuff too early and by trying to connect everything,the story telling becomes slower thus losing the excitement of the original writing,am I right?

    Another question(if you don’t mind),have the anime stray too much(at any point) from the light novels?I’m asking because I hope they don’t change too much from the light novels that a 2nd season won’t be possible(ala Claymore or the 1st FMA).

  16. chounokoe says:

    @c160: They didn’t exactly stray at any point so far, so a direct continuation is still possible.

    They did change some things. So the plot-continuity is slightly altered, like the plot of volume 2 and 3 happening at the same time in the anime.
    It’s now just a question of how they pull of the finale, if they want to squeeze something in which gives the anime closure or if they leave space for a continuation.

    Don’t worry though, the end of volume 3 is a bit less open than 1 or 2, at least I thought so.

  17. c160 says:

    @chounokoe I see,thanks for the reply!Hopefully we’ll get a 2nd season cause I really wanna see how the story ends but I can’t read Japanese :)

  18. BigFire says:

    If they do a 2nd season of 24 episodes (and there’s more than enough material in novel 4-6 for this), it’ll take place on Mikado’s 2nd year in high school. So along with the newer students (like Izaya’s adorable insane twin sisters and one other main character), you’ll get other supernatural creature, Russian mobs, more Yakuza, etc. It’ll be a blast.

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  • Masky
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 08:03 AM)
    @Bam: Yeah, but simulating reality applies to certain types of games. Judging EVERY game by how realistic it is is silly xD
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:37 PM)
    Did he actually play the game though? I mean, did he actually discover it himself or did he just heard the spoilers?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:35 PM)
    I had a talk with a friend about undertale and he wasn’t a fan, he prefers other types of rpgs, the choice element also made him uncomfortable and that he felt the game was too punishing.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:34 PM)
    @Kaiser: Puzzle elements, outside of sparing everyone, seem to be mainly just parodying video game puzzles. Like, only place where you actually have to solve actual puzzles is in Hotland, before that pretty much every puzzle is automatically solved, really easy or has some silly twist to it. Like the puzzle you can skip by pressing a switch in tree trunk. Can’t say I’m too fond of puzzles either, but I liked how game was making fun of them
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    Speaking of awful sense of humor and things that dorks like, just wanted to say that turns out I was right about Jitsu wa watashi wa in that main couple does get together before chapter 100(forgot what exactly, some where in 80-90 range I think). But they are such huge dorks that they do everything ridiculously slowly because they are that embarrassed, so they have had like just one date(in chapter 100). Not that I expect anyone to remember what the heck I’m talking about xD

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