|Original Light Novels||Ryohgo Narita|
|Made By||Brain's Base|
|Episode Length||25 minutes|
|# of Episodes||24 (plus two OVAs)|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
A bunch of different groups share conflict and mystery in the social underground of modern Ikebukuro.
Mikado Ryuugamine is a high school student who moves to Ikebukuro to escape his life of boredom in rural Japan. He meets up with his old friend Masaomi Kida and makes another friend in Anri Sonohara, as they try to live their lives as best they can while staying away from the shadier aspects of city life. Meanwhile, a mysterious black-clad motorcycle rider is seen in snippets throughout the city. Rumor has it that this rider is a modern-day Headless Horseman, terrorizing the city. Three others, adults who were once in a situation similar to Mikado and his friends, now are heavily involved in the city's underground. Shinra Kishitani is a surgeon-for-hire, Izaya Orihara is a background information dealer, and Shizuo Heiwajima is a bodyguard whose fierce strength is known throughout the city. All of these unrelated existences will eventually come together in a clash that will rock the foundations of Ikebukuro.
And to top it all off, various gangs in the city are now becoming more active. The two most powerful "color gangs", the Yellow Scarves and the Blue Squares, have been relatively quiet since the Scarves routed the Squares a while back. But now their activity has begun to increase, amid rumors of a new "colorless" gang, the Dollars, who may just be the city's new biggest threat.
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An absolutely worthy successor to Baccano!. The characters in this show are all extraordinarily compelling, each with their own unique strengths and faults which strongly define them as individuals. The conspiracy and trickery are all very well-done, and the plot reveals are very strong. The show turns usual mystery tropes on their heads, quickly explaining what most would think would take the entire series to resolve, and then following up from these explanations. People seem to think that the plot weakens in the second half, but I felt it was strong the entire way through.
A very contemporary story that mixes the supernatural with urban sprawl and modern themes like social networking and gang violence and examines their impact on the many denizens of Ikebukuro. The characterization of it's massive cast is extremely well done, leaving even minor characters unique and memorable. Like Baccano!, the story follows the day-to-day adventures of several groups of characters weaving them together for a complete narrative. The biggest problem with Durarara!! is that many of these subplots are largely unresolved in the conclusion. The plot threads left hanging are obvious hooks for a second season, but as of now has never been made.
Here's how I would differentiate Baccano! and Durarara!!: At the very beginning of Baccano!, my jaw hit the floor and I never had a chance to pick it up. It was awe inspiring to watch that massive cast of psychos duke it out in an unrestrained potpourri of madness. Durarara!! had me grinning the whole way through. The character where a whole lot more fun than insane and their interactions only magnified the hilarity of the situation. On top of that, the various Baccano! references, from the various scenes playing on advertisement TVs throughout the show to the cameo of the best Baccano! character duo, always got a chuckle out of me.
Durarara!! was just a whole lot more fun to watch, even though it didn't hit the high notes that Baccano! did. It's absolutely worth a watch after Baccano!.
One of the characters falls 'in love' with their torturer and the show plays it straight, which I found fairly disturbing. And the second half is such a slow slog to its lackluster conclusion it's hard to recommend. Just stick with Baccano!.