Durarara Actually Lives Up to the Hype, Because it Copies Guy Ritchie

Durarara_Rider_Mask

In an effort to find something new to watch out of my backlog, I’ve watched Durarara!!. And honestly, I knew little about the series going into this. Yes, I know there is hype surrounding it. Fortunately, I have not been spoiled on anything yet. I’ve managed to avoid any media that would tell me how it all ends. That being said, I dug into the first third of the episodes not knowing what to expect but expecting much. And, boy did I get it.

Durarara spends a lot of time talking. Lots of philosophical questions about who we are, what defines friendships and love abound throughout this show. And many blogs have rehashed this. But let me walk through some things that stood out for me.

Character History

The show opens in it’s first episode by introducing nearly every major character. This is just a bit overwhelming. But, it follows that up with backstories. And they’re great. It’s enough information for you to understand the character, but not so much that you bore from it. I love how each character has such an abnormal history. And these stories tie into the main plot line, which brings me to my next point.

Durarara_four_students

Interconnection of the Characters

Two of my favorite movies are Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. If you have ever watched these two shows, what makes the story telling so great, is the unknowing interconnection of the characters. Each individual story lines weaves in and out, and in the end, all the the individual plot lines come together in one great finale. These story lines are “like forces of nature that bounce of each other”. All of this gives you that “oh shit” moment that I love. Very few movies or shows can pull it off, but these two do it. And Durarara!!, does this as well. As you progress through the different plot lines, You see how they tie together. You begin to feel a sense of how each person in this community begins to fit in with each other. It definitely keeps things interesting, wanting to see how these threads tie together.

Twisted Philosophy

Another favorite movie of mine is Fight Club. This late 90’s thriller messes with your head and turns your perception of what you thought was happening upside down. If you’ve never watched it, your loss. Great movie. One scene in particular always stood out. Tyler Durden goes into a convenience store and forcibly removes him from behind the counter at gun point. Episode 2 of Durarara!! brings this same type of scenario to life. In this case, a character faces death, of her own choice. And when saved from it, will have to continue on with their life. What changes are going to occur in her life? What will she do different? This show loves these moments. And with them, it keeps you on your edge as you move through the story.


Overall, I’m really enjoyed this anime. No panty shots, no beach episode, no moe-blob garbage. Just well written plot, interesting characters, and enough twists and turns to keep me interested. I’m glad I took the time to clear it from my backlog!

Durarara_Rider_Profile

About JoeAnimated

-Growing Older, but never growing up. Father, engineer, and all around nerd. Grew up watching the great american cartoons of the 80's, now a casual watcher of Japanese Anime.
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20 Responses to Durarara Actually Lives Up to the Hype, Because it Copies Guy Ritchie

  1. Vucub Caquix says:

    “like forces of nature that bounce off each other”.

    Nice line! ;)

  2. Karry says:

    “it Copies Guy Ritchie”

    It’s opening copies openings of Guy Ritchie, you mean.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      If that’s what you think, then you’ve never seen Snatch for LSaTSB. The next comment down from Digibro did a great job of summing up what I’m thinking: “interconnectivity, ensemble cast, amazing names, brilliant black comedy”. Guy Ritchie does a spectacular job of taking different characters with different story lines and mixing them, intersecting, and putting them all together in the end. He’s pretty much a one trick pony, but he does it so well that no one complains. I for one find that kind of story telling fascinating, and will always enjoy it.

  3. Digibro says:

    Now to go watch its even better predecessor, Baccano! Durarara is indeed the shit, and it does borrow the best things from Guy Ritchie, as does Baccano (interconnectivity, ensemble cast, amazing names, brilliant black comedy). (You might say that, like Guy Ritchie, Narita Ryougou only does one kind of story.)

    What impressed me more than just the characters having “backstories” is what those backstories consisted of. Durarara starts off creating the illusion that there’s this town full of incredibly badass characters, and throws three normal-seeming high school kids at us as if to say “here’s the relatable, normal ones.” Then it pulls the rug out by revealing that all along the three of them have been their own badasses, and grow to be even moreso. I hope they adapt even more of this show so we can watch those kids inevitably become their own giant legends of Ikebukuro.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      The last OVA for the show that takes place after the initial story made me want another story from this show so bad. Baccano is on my list to watch the next time I get a break with little to watch. It probably wont be this spring with all the great shows that have come out, but hopefully soon.

      • Digibro says:

        Both series of novels are incredibly long. Baccano has something like 16 novels, with the anime having covered 4, and Durarara!! has some 10 or so, having covered only three, with the OVAs containing bits of others. I had really thought Durarara would get another full season since it did pretty well both in Japan and in the US as far as I know (much better than Baccano did in any case), but it’s already been more than 2 years so who knows. Some of the novels for both have been fan-translated, but those translations tend to suck. If nothing else I hope maybe the novels for either series might get professionally translated.

  4. ToastCrust says:

    Yeah, Narita adaptations borrow heavily from Guy Ritchie. It’s very noticeable in Baccano too.

    I’m not sure he does it better than the original though.

  5. Cholisose says:

    I’m about a third of the way through this, and will probably get back to it soon… (Wanted to finish up a couple other shows, and now I’m trying out stuff for spring season…) But definitely agree on how fascinating it is, with the inerconnecting subplots. I rather like how there isn’t really a “main” character, and instead jumps from character to character and manages to keep all of them ineresting enough for the audience to care about them. That is not easy to pull off at all.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      I think the best way to finish this is to marathon through it, or if you have to stop, pick points where you wont interrupt one of the key story lines. The splitting of the story among different characters, while still maintaining their connections, is great story telling that your right, is not easy to pull off.

  6. Cely_belly says:

    I just recently saw the series too. I enjoyed the cast of characters. It was the first anime I see with interconnecting stories. I’ve heard baccono! is very similar, but I haven’t seen it yet.

  7. JoeAnimated says:

    Yeah, after watching this, everyone has bugged me to watch Baccono. Hopefully before year’s end I’ll get to it.

  8. megaroad1 says:

    Have not watched Durara, but if it’s anything like Baccano I must put it on my must-check-out list. Loved Lock, Stock BTW. The “Zorba the Greek” sequence is one of my favourite movie scenes.

  9. GoodbyeNavi says:

    I watched this while it was running and truly enjoyed it to the point where I went fangirl at a con with the cosplay artists. I love anime with interconnecting stories that actually tie together smoothly and don’t leave you confuse. I was left satisfied with Durarara!!!

  10. Hey Joe, you should check out my post on Baccano! from a few years back. The show isn’t my thing at all, but it was a hoot.

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