Durarara Season 1 Review
So I'm a little behind on the anime bandwagon--as such, my reviews are probably not very current. BUT they are still something to share (maybe you didn't know that Durarara was on Netflix?). As this is a season review - SPOILERS AHEAD, TURN BACK NOW DO NOT PASS GO DO NOT COLLECT ANY DOLLARS (haha)
Also - prefacing this with the warning that I watched the English Dub.
First of all - the name. It was fun to say, and I would always add a few ra-ra-ra's when I talked about it, which turned out to be accurate since it's an onimonopia for the sound a motorcycle makes. As such, the anime is aptly named after Celty's horse. Celty was probably my favorite character, I felt like she grew the most over the course of the anime whereas the other characters more so had secrets that we slowly discovered.
For instance, I had no idea about Anri. I really should pay more attention, but they threw me off because she was around during the slasher attacks. I noticed that the blade Celty took said "Made in Japan" on it -- but then I was confused and didn't quite follow the link that it was a copycat (it had red eyes still). Once it came out that the slasher was creating a small army and infecting people, everything clicked. Although why they all went after Shizuo, the toughest guy around, I'm not sure. What is up with his strength? If he broke his bones so much when he was younger did he just become basically indestructible? (Before you ask, yes, I'm that person that waits for Morgan Freeman to explain every plot to me ever--or my boyfriend, whichever speaks up first).
When Anri turned out to be the mother, I was surprised because she gave off such a weak vibe. Once we got to see her using her powers, I was way more impressed with her.
I love that Celty and the doctor fell in love! Their relationship was definitely my favorite. I felt that it made sense in a way, because they are both kind of crazy inside from their past, and the way he understood her was like nobody else in the show. Celty grew from someone obsessed with her past and trying to run toward it, only to find she was moving nowhere. I loved the mid-season climax where she threw off the shackles of the past and didn't care anymore, and moved forward. That allowed her to be open with Shinra and acknowledge that she can actually be pretty human for a non-human creature.
I saw the foreshadowing very early on that Masaomi was involved with the yellow scarves. Was it even foreshadowing or did they basically tell us? I didn't necessarily guess that he was the leader, and I was pretty disappointed with his leadership skills when he returned, but I wasn't shocked. I was way more shocked when it was revealed that Mikado was the leader of the dollars. I think my mouth visibly dropped (only slightly, I wasn't that dramatic). I found the entire premise of gang wars very interesting, especially since I grew up in a rural town and have only spent time in a city that's like a bubble, so I don't have much personal experience with them. When the blue squares broke Saki's legs, the seriousness of the situation really hit me. I kept forgetting that these were young high schoolers -- I'm pretty sure I was more concerned with my acne and how to actually make friends at that age than I was about anything else (can you say sheltered? not that it's necessarily a bad thing.).
What is Izaya? He refers to humans as separate from himself and wants a Valkyrie to take him to the beyond through a war, but he didn't demonstrate any powers except that of manipulation (which he is very good at). I wanted something to go wrong for him, but that didn't seem to happen. He kind of reminded me of Envy from FullMetal. He pretty much remains a total mystery to me -- I'm hoping to see more of him in Durarara x 2, especially since the relationship between he and Saki was not explained.
Overall I thought the two arcs were very good. The episodes kept my attention, and there were twists that made sense after they happened, but weren't too predictable. Sometimes I wanted to reach through my screen and shake Masaomi, Anri, or Mikado, but I had to remind myself they are the young, naiive characters. Did anyone else love the van gang as much as me? Every so often it was like they were almost breaking the fourth wall, something I'm a big fan of.