Tuesday, 4 Aug 2020

DURARARA!!x2 #1 — Special Review

We’re sampling all the new pilots this Winter. Check out our thoughts on…

  • JOJO’S – BATTLE IN EGYPT ** ASSASSINATION CLASSROOM ** DEATH PARADE
  • MARIA THE VIRGIN WITCH ** YATTERMAN NIGHT

For those of you who somehow missed season one of this smashhit when it came out back in 2010, Durarara!! Is a series which deservesspecial distinction as it somehow manages to be a calm, laid-back slice of lifeanime series and an excitingsupernatural action-adventure anime series at the same time.

The show revolves around a…colorful cast of main charactersliving in Ikebukuro, Japan who, on the surface, appear to be normal people thatspend their days going to school, going to work, spending time with friends,and doing any number of countless other average ordinary hum-drum activitiesthat normal people engage in on a regular basis.

What sets these main characters apart from nearly all theother citizens of Ikebukuro, however, is that while our protagonists may appearto be ordinary human-beings on the surface, in reality they are anythingbut. Nearly all the main characters inDurarara are, in one way or another, “Clark Kent-ing.” Pretending to be ordinary human beings byday, while secretly leading unbelievably extraordinary (and in many casessupernatural) double lives by night.

And unlike other shows involving characters who live doublelives, when I say the characters in Durarara keep their double lives secret, Imean they really keep them secret,even from one another. In season one,this led to several interesting (or frustrating, depending on your point ofview) situations where each of the main characters believed themselves to bethe only one out of their group of friends blessed (or cursed, as the case maybe) with secret abilities. And so, whensupernatural threats would occasionally endanger the city (and it really onlydid happen occasionally. Season onetended to spend more time on slice of life antics and character developmentthan on supernatural action) the heroes would, instead of coordinating, joiningforces and working together, often try to handle their trials and tribulationsalone.

Despite their lack of organized cooperation, over the courseof season one the heroes managed to defeat a mad scientist who was stealingpeople’s organs, and stop a supernatural slasher (who enjoyed cutting peoplewith enchanted blades that turned them into brainwashed slaves) and avert agang war.

This first episode of season two picks up a few months afterseason one left off and spends most of its time demonstrating that, now thatthe action-packed events of season one are behind them, the characters havemostly returned to their usual routines, and are living their normal lives (theterm “normal” is relative here of course) in calm laid-back slice-of-life-animepeace.

However, a new danger may be lurking on the horizon. It seems that a serial killer (whom newsreporters have nicknamed “Hollywood) has been breaking into innocent people’shomes and murdering them in unfathomably brutal and bloody ways.

Will this new menace in Ikebukuro eventually cross pathswith our heroes? (The answer is almostcertainly yes.) If so, what are hismotives? What are his goals? What, if any, strange abilities does hepossess? And will our heroes be able towork together to defeat him? The answersto these questions are less certain. AndI’m just curious enough that I think I’ll continue watching this show.

Watch this pilot and decide for yourself.

(Special thanks to Hyper-User Takashichea for the screencaps)

Kaita Mpambara works everyday to try and create shows, stories, and characters that are as exciting,energizing, and entertaining as the very best works that have been given to theworld by both the western and eastern animation industries. Keep up withhis musings on life, the universe and everything by following him on Facebook.

2 thoughts on “DURARARA!!x2 #1 — Special Review

  1. It is an odd series but it is the few that can juggle multiple characters around a story.

  2. completely agree… and it seems the manga is still ongoing… so i’m not sure if i should expect another unfinished story or not at this point

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *