Durarara!!x2: Episode 1 — Let’s Set Something Up

I’m not sure how popular Durarara is now, but back when it first came out, it was the hottest thing in the blogosphere. I actually discovered the existence of blogs like Unmei Kaihen, Caraniel’s Ramblings, Mecha Guignol, Moe SucksThe Cart Driver, and such through that show and got hooked to them because they were actually saying something beyond the generic praise on Random Curiosity (well actually, I got turned off from E. Minor when he said he didn’t like it and went back to his blog a year later, but let’s not bore you with specifics). Additionally, I loved following the show myself and even though it was kind of disappointing how it ended, I was still a huge fan. Hell, I bought Aniplex’s expensive-ass DVDs (which I still own) and rewatched the show around 4-5 times whilst assuring myself that one day, a sequel would come to wash the bad taste of the Yellow Scarves arc out of my mouth.

Of course, that was back when I was no different than your typical MAL sycophant. Present-day me is a lot more pessimistic about anime now, and as such, I kinda found the first episode of Durarara’s long-awaited sequel kinda dull. But it was a big part of my “anime career” and it’s reasonably popular, so I’ll try my hand at blogging this show. I won’t promise to blog every episode, but hey, you never know.

– For the record, during my fanboy phase, I did read the Durarara LNs and remember them pretty well. However, I’m going to pretend I didn’t for these posts because this is an “adaptation” and thus I might as well have no read them.

So why did I find Durarara’s return kind of dull? Same reason I’ve been finding practically every other anime I checked out this season boring as shit: no plot and their attempt at humor didn’t make me laugh once.

I understand that it’s been a while since the first season and thus you need to reintroduce all the new characters to us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get some plot going on whilst we’re at it. For example, whilst it’s not the most accurate comparison due to lengths between arcs and being part of the same season, Garo’s latest episode reintroduced all the important characters and set things up for the future whilst having a stand-alone story that whilst simple on the surface, is jam-packed with complex themes regarding loss and redemption. You don’t have to be at the same level of quality as Garo or anything, but having the basics would be nice. Not only were way too many characters introduced to us this week, but the show (surprise surprise) has them do nothing but live their daily lives, talking about the city and trying to be funny.

Which would be fine if it was actually funny. But aside from Shingen’s antics making me chuckle a few times, I was more confused at the attempts at humor the show threw at me. Oh, the otaku gang read Mahouka and Index. Oh, Shinra’s new mother is a blond American who gropes her new children at first look. Oh, Izaya is teasing Namie about her brother. I’m sorry, but how is any of this funny? I get it’s character-based humor, but you can’t base an entire show on that sort of “chuckle-worthy at best” stuff. And last I checked, Durarara’s main genre isn’t comedy to begin with.

I know I’ve referenced it several times by now, but what Durarara is, and always has been, is no different from the majority of those movies from the Marvel universe. Hell, it’s no different from what Jojo is doing now, and I refuse to watch the latest season. No, I don’t care if the dog got introduced this week. Besides, the new OP and ED suck.

With all that said, my previous long-lasting love for Durarara (and Ryogho Narita-like stories in general) demands that I like these characters despite them being cartoonish personalities without much depth, just like the Marvel films, I find the characters and their wacky personalities entertaining despite knowing there isn’t too much to them. So whilst I was bored with the fact that the only thing that really happened was Celty getting chased by cops, losing her money, and getting some sort of bounty placed on her head this week, I don’t mind wasting my time by looking at this second season. Certainly more entertaining than watching other character-driven anime I find dull like Monogatari and, well, Jojo. And let’s be honest, present-day fans of the first season won’t mind either. So what the hell? I’m game. Let’s blog this thing.

2 responses to “Durarara!!x2: Episode 1 — Let’s Set Something Up

  1. I still have to get around too watching the first season of this. As long the cast of characters are likeable,and it has that Baccano style I’ll enjoy it.Wasn’t like the characters in Baccano had that much depth,I thought the VA performances(dubbed) helped a lot in making that cast likable.

    • Durarara’s cast is better than Baccano’s in terms of personality and complexity. Just not by enough to actually be real complex characters. They come off more like stereotypes with one twist to them.