Durarara! First Impressions--Anime

Durarara! is a little strange, but I'm already looking forward to the next episodes. My first impression is that the series is made up of fragmented, multiple plot lines that overlap to create some larger more cohesive story arc as the disparate plot lines interweave. This makes sense as the anime is based on a series of nine "light" novels (an english-derived japanese word that defines shorter novels that are roughly equivalent to what we call novellas, although they are often released serially in magazines and journals). The characters all live/work/study in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. And as their lives intersect with the Ikebukuro underworld, turf-wars between rival gangs and even Irish folklore, the characters meet and interact with one another.

The series begins with, high-school student, Mikado Ryūgamine moving to Ikebukuro. Unbeknownst to most of the characters around him, shy-seeming class-representative Mikado has a very dark side. He is actually the only remaining founding member of the infamous "Dollars," a mysterious and highly-feared gang in the area. Rumors fly online in chatrooms about the mysterious Dollars who, unlike other gangs who wear "colors" to denote membership, prefer to remain incognito. Even members of the Dollars may not be aware of one another's true identities.

One mysterious member of the Dollars worth note is Celty Sturluson, a Dullahan who has "lost" her head. A Dullahan is an unseelie fairy in Irish folklore who manifests carrying its head in its arms. Dullahans ride through the night to call people to their deaths, and may at times coach the cóiste bodhar, or death coach that takes the deceased into the afterlife (the headless horseman was inspired by this myth). Celty has actually lost her head. Yes, it wasn't attached to start with, but it is currently AWOL. She tracked it to Japan and has been searching ever sense. Her current (headless) manifestation is called "the headless/black rider" by locals. She rides a black motorcycle (her horse in disguise) and works as an underground courier (keeping her helmet on and her visor down to avoid detection).

Below: the very odd group of people who make up the characters in Durarara!

Other strange characters also populate the Dollars. They count among their members a parkour/knife master, a black, Russian sushi chef with ridiculous strength, a big-boobed swordmaster who lacks the ability to love, an obsessed underground doctor, and a bartender with a serious agression problem.

I know these stories add up to something, so I plan on sticking with it. I just want that lady to find her head.

1 comment:

Mr. Empty said...

the first big reveal in this series is literally mind-blowing. It comes at the end of book three, so Idk what that would be in the anime. But oh man. Oh man.