I’m starting with this because it’s fresh in my mind.
Recently someone asked me what Durarara!! was about. I opened my mouth excitedly to tell them about it, but found myself at a loss for words. It’s not that the anime is just too epic to talk about, or that there wasn’t anything to say. It’s just one of those stories that really can’t be summed up. It’s not as easy as just stating, “It’s about a kid and a butler.” There is no about.
Durarara!! takes place in Ikebukuro. You could say it’s about the city, or it’s about gangs, or school kids, or a headless woman who rides a motorcycle. But none of those things really captures it. It follows the stories of many different characters. I’ll go over just the main ones.
He seems genuinely harmless. At first, I thought he would be the main character. He definitely gives off a main-character vibe. Of course, like every other character in the series, he has some big secrets up his sleeves. Mikado comes to Ikebukuro as a transfer student, looking for something interesting to spice up his life. When he arrives, he meets his old and best friend:
He’s jovial and a terrible flirt, but generally a likeable character. He kept me watching to the second episode. Masaomi is a pretty minor character for the first half of the anime. Mainly, he plays the best-friend role, and we get important information from him as he shows Mikado around, since he knows the city and its inhabitants well. He tells Mikado about the urban legend of the black rider.
In a way, Celty is the heart of the show. She is the “Headless Rider” of the Ikebukuro urban legend. She’s a dulahan, which was a mythical creature in Irish folklore. In the first episode she’s shown as a mysterious figure on a giant black motorcycle, and later we all become very fond of her. Celty has lost her head, and her goal is to find it. She lives with a young doctor named Shinra, who’s actually one of my favorite characters, but is not important enough to discuss here.
Formerly a bartender, Shizuo now works as a debt collector. He’s the handsome blonde that is most commonly pictured with the title “Durarara!!” A fan favorite, you could say. And my favorite, too. Honestly, I had a hard time finding a picture of him because the internet is so filled with fan art. Friends with Celty, he’s actually rather kind-hearted, deep down, and he adores his little brother. Nonetheless, he’s extremely successful at his job because he’s super scary! That is, you wouldn’t want to get him mad. Shizuo has super-human strength and likes to make his victims fly, or squash them with vending machines, lamp posts, etc. This is at its worst when he comes into contact with his nemesis:
He met Shizuo in high school and they’ve been fighting ever since. Izaya is one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever encountered. He has a brilliant mind that could probably come close to Lelouch or Light Yagami, if he chose to use it that way. But he’s a bit of an eccentric, and really just wants to stir things up and see how much static electricity he can create. Everything he does is for entertainment purposes. He works as an information broker.
There really isn’t a set antagonist to this story. Izaya is the closest it comes. It seems that every character is a neutral force and they come into conflict with each other. There are two main gangs, the Dollars and the Yellow Scarves. The Dollars was started online, and is highly secretive. There are no requirements and anyone can join. They’re more like a gang for good, but since there aren’t any rules, that isn’t always the case. It’s actually possible to join the Dollars in real life.
This anime was highly addicting, with lots of action, elements of supernatural and fantasy, plenty of humor, and lovable characters. I’d definitely recommend it.
Here is a very good Durarara!! amv: