If you want a gritty, yet intriguing, title dabbling into the supernatural, gang wars and Internet anonymity while exploring coming-of-age dilemmas involving three teens, then look no further than Durarara. The series as a whole is about accepting one self and others despite one's insecurities over parts of yourself you may find negative or not believing you can be around others. Many of the major characters that are seen throughout Durarara, for whatever kind of personality or unique abilities they have, have some form of self-doubt or problem that affects their confidence in their self or being too close to others. And the cast of the series is quite the colorful bunch. Consisting of down-to-earth people like Mikado and Kida as well as the not-so-normal people like Dullahan Celty and superhumanly strong Shizuo, the presence of not-so-normal characters makes Durarara not quite down-to-earth in its focus on character backgrounds and developments. The series is mainly focused on teens Mikado, Anri and Kida who are given their own arcs over the dilemmas and groups which they lead with all three using them as an escape from the insecurities they face in their lives. In the case of the two former characters, their arcs are a bit on the grand side blending into Ikebukuro's rep of urban legends while Kida's arc is more down to earth involving gangs, another area Ikebukuro is notorious for in the world of Durarara. In the exploration of these major characters, subjects such as parental abuse, Internet anonymity and the generation gap between young and old get addressed that help shape the character mentalities and conflicts faced throughout the show.
Setting aside focus on characters, Durarara is littered with multiple plot threads delved into throughout the show which involve the gang wars in Ikebukuro, the whereabouts of Celty's stolen head, Izaya's manipulations and the pharmaceutical company's human experimentation. This aspect of the series is a bit of a mixed bag as there are hints to a bigger picture than what had been shown yet the series fails to cover or resolve these plot threads. Then there's also the issue of certain characters, despite being around to contribute to the grittiness of Durarara, lacking any background or depth to their characters. In particular, I'm talking about Simon, the crazy traffic cop who chased Celty and the group of former Blue Squares gang members who joined up with the Dollars. Despite their frequent appearances throughout the show and their spots in the show's opening sequences, there wasn't really much told about their characters.
Getting beyond issues with the lack of complete resolution with plot threads and depth on some characters, Durarara was a worthwhile title for its gritty environment in Ikebukuro and the emphasis on accepting one self and others. From what I hear, Aniplex of America has licensing rights to the series. So definitely plan to buy the show in the near future whenever it's available on video.