So at first when I picked up Durarara I had no idea wtf was going on, there were too many characters to keep up with and nothing made any sense. I was only watching it for the Ikebukuro nostalgia factor. But yea no computer, I figured I’d finish watching it and around episode 8 or so is when things really got interesting.
There’s a huge problem though: There’s a lot of interesting things, but hardly any of these things resolve themselves. In fact they use all these opened up plot twists to conclude only 1 story. For example they use Anri’s Saika thing just so she can control some guys in the yellow scarves. They use Celty’s headless horseman thing just so she can scare a few bad guys away. They introduce characters like the doctor’s dad and the crazy policeman who are then in the opening scene but you don’t see them for more than 1-2 episodes.
Then they make ridiculous things like having Shizuo throw a freaking HIGHWAY SIGN. I mean why didn’t he just pick up the car of the yakuza and throw that instead. NO that’s too easy, let’s have these Yakuza who beat up multiple people get arrested for…speeding. I mean the interesting arcs like Celty and her head, the deal with Izaya (wtf is the deal with Izaya?!), Shizuo and his brother, Anri’s awesome sword skills, and hell even Kida’s and his girlfriend…NOTHING RESOLVED. The only interesting arc that was resolved (kind of) was stalker girl and the brother of that lady. I also love the inconsistency. In one episode she’s like “I LOVE MY BROTHER I WILL GIVE HIM TO NO ONE” and in the next episode “yea I let the stalker girl pretend to be the headless woman thing and now they can all go screw each other in the bushes during lunch time at school.” Like yea way to make the previous plot line completely insignificant.
So basically what I’m saying is – this show needs a second season. Shit like Nogizaka Haruka and Sekirei don’t need 2nd seasons, but this show desperately needs it. There are way too many plot holes and unresolved things. Yea I know it’s based on a novel but last time I attempted to follow a novel it went into limbo. Maybe if I can find the novels online somewhere I can attempt to read, even though my kanji knowledge is terrible and I’d probably miss half the plot lol.
This series felt to me like a perfect example of how not to adapt a light novel series. The source material is fine. The characters are interesting and there’s some really great world building with Ikebukuro. The problem is that the anime adaptation is going to need to pick and choose what to include because the novel series is both too long to fully include and still ongoing so there is no canon conclusion in the first place. I almost want to compare it to the Hollywood superhero movies, which have to deal with the same sort of issues involving backstory and never-ending stories, but are generally able to create self-contained works out of pieces of the storyline while still allowing for the possibility of constant sequels.
With Durarara, there’s first the problem of too many characters with too much backstory. The first half of the show sets up so many characters that it should be obvious that the show isn’t going to be able to do them all justice. But that could still be ok; just marginalize the more boring characters. Unfortunately, the show does the opposite and focuses on characters like Mootkado and Masaomi instead of characters like Shizuou or Celty. Then, once they decide on this, the marginalized characters are used at best awkwardly and at worst break character constantly. If Shizuo was handled more like Simon, I wouldn’t have been annoyed when he shows up to throw a car or something rather than showing up so we can find out what the deal is with him and his brother.
Furthermore, the story that the show then settled on wasn’t even really that interesting of a story. I had been really hoping that the big story would have been about Anri and her zombies (once it was clear that it wasn’t going to be about Celty and her head). And I mean seriously, that guy is the bad guy? All I could think about was Dave Cabrera’s joke about Fist of the North Star every time I saw him.