|One of the best series of this year||2 out of 2 users found this review helpful.|
I like shows that try something a little different. Whether it's in terms of the story and its setting, how they tell the story, doing something a little different then other shows scores points for me.
This brings me to Durarara. The show uses a narrative approach that I'm going to call, for lack of knowledge of a better term, Traffic -lite. The show follows several different narrative in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo. These include Celty, a Dullahan from Ireland who came to Tokyo to seek her head; a Shizuo Heiwajima, a bodyguard who can demonstrate superhuman strength when angered; Simon, a Russian immigrant who works for his friend's Russian Sushi restaurant, who is similarly strong, but a pacifist; Mikado Ryuugamine, a high school student who came to Ikebukuro to attend high school with his old friend, Masaomi Kida. Together, they will face a series of strange challenges, like mysterious kidnappings, a serial slasher (but not killer), and a gang war engineered by a sociopathic information broker – who is an old enemy of Shizuo.
The way all these various plot threads interact is very well written. We see an event happen in one episode, and then get different views of that event in later episodes. While it's a narrative trick I've seen before in other mediums, I'd never seen it used in anime before, and Durarara executes this trick well. This narrative take on the series also does a great job of making this more of an ensemble show than most other anime series. While we're introduced as Mikado as the audience perspective character at first, it becomes clear very early on that there is no one real main protagonist, and instead it has uses a sort of roaming spotlight effect, changing the character who is the center of the episode almost every episode, though they return to some characters.
My main complaint with the series is a relatively minor one. The series leaves several plot threads un-tied. Fortunately, the series of light novels that the anime is based on is still ongoing, so this plot may get resolved at some point in the future.
Still, the show's on Crunchyroll. You can watch it for free – legally. You just have to put up with some ads and you want to pay if you want to watch it in HD. But it's worth it. Oh boy is it worth it.