Sunday, June 26, 2011

Durarara!! Ep. 1 - impressions

While I've read a lot about Durarara!! in the past few months, I hadn't seen a single episode until last night.  I wanted to make sure I supported Adult Swim by watching their premiere of the series last night.  I think showing our support for Adult Swim's anime Saturdays is a big deal, and I want them to know that we appreciate what they do!  That's a discussion for another time, but for now I'll be focusing in on the first episode of Durarara!!.

As most of you guys and gals know, the first episode of an anime can really be the make or break point.  If a show doesn't catch you with its first half hour, you may never come back to view it again.  Luckily I found Durarara!! quite enjoyable, even if it didn't blow me away.  There was enough of a hook to keep me interested for the second episode, which I'll definitely be checking out next week on Adult Swim.

The biggest draw for me had to the be the mysterious biker character.  I really want to know what he/she/it was all about.  Seeing the biker hunt down a group of kidnappers and take them out one by one lead me to believe that perhaps this urban legend isn't actually all that bad.  Dishing out justice to the seedy underbelly of the city sounds like a good deed to me!  I'm sure there's a lot more to it than that, but for now that's where my feelings sit.

As for the cast of characters, I can't say that I really love anyone just yet.  I'm pretty indifferent towards everyone that was introduced, but that most likely has a lot to do with this being the first episode.  There are a few very strong anime features out there that had me loving a character after episode one, but you can't expect that to happen with all features.  I'm willing to let the characters grow on me as the series continues on.  I'm sure a few people will end up evolving into something that I can latch onto.

As for the show's visuals, I really was impressed with some of the choices.  In particular, I really like how main characters in a scene are fully colored, while the background crowd (people passing by on the street) were various shades of gray.  It really helped you focus in on what was important in the scene, and also gave you the feeling that you were peering in on just one story in a massive sea of people.  A pretty unique design choice that definitely got my attention.

Also worth noting is the music, as the anime's soundtrack seems to be extremely eclectic.  I can't remember the last anime I saw that crammed so many styles of music into one episode.  There's all kinds of jazz, rock and fusion stuff going on here, and it's definitely not your typical anime fodder.  I believe the show's soundtrack was probably the most bold decision put forth in this least with what I've seen thus far.

Am I in love with Durarara!!?  Not yet, but I'm willing to stick with the show.  As I said, the show has some hooks in me already, and those are pulling me through to the next episode.  I don't know if the show is going to be a slow boil or an explosion of big plots out of nowhere, but I'm ready to find out.

7 out of 10


  1. It's a slow burn in the beginning. Lots of exposition and jumping from one character to the other within episodes, or from episode to episode. Mind though that there are many questions left unanswered by the end of the series since this only covers roughly the first 3 books when there are 8 already. It does have some interesting stories and climaxes midpoint and at the end, but it's mostly set up for more. It's better if you don't fall for the characters at the beginning since almost everyone has a secret agenda that is revealed little by little, so expect some cool surprises.

  2. D'you think we'll be getting a second season anytime down the road?

  3. The show sold pretty well, and franchise is pretty strong. With that said, it's very unpredictable. The animation studio that does it ever seldom if ever does sequels, but the chance is higher than none with the way it performed at sells. Some shows get sequels with less, so there's that. There was also an OVA episode released that takes place after the end, but it wasn't an adaptation as it was fanservice with a nice original story. So my prediction is that if we get a second season, it's no sooner than summer of 2012. [Also, there's 9 books, not 8 as I said earlier]

  4. You can watch Durarara as two halves, the first 12 episodes, (random OVA), the last 12 episodes, (Final OVA). I enjoyed the first half much more than the second half, but even so I really mainly enjoyed every other episode overall. The odd numbered ones just seem to be better for some odd reason overall. My favorites would probably be 7, 10-12, and the last few. The climaxes of the series are definitely the highlights so stick with it and you will not be disappointed.

  5. Yeah the first episode wasn't that bad.

    Though, when I was reading around, I found out they cut out most of the intro, and ending which has the previews. Oh well... I guess they do that since we need commercials :P

    Hopefully I'm able to watch Ep. 2 with you guys. I may or may not since it's 4th of July weekend.

  6. Just watched the first episode, interesting stuff.