Thursday, October 14, 2010


So I just finished up watching Durarara!!, the show about crazy adventures in Ikebukuro. I put off work to do it, but that's not really anything worth noting, as I'd have probably put it off anyways.

So, I felt like writing about it 1. because I haven't posted on here in...forever, and 2. because that was something I haven't done often enough.

Complete and Total Spoilers Below! You HAVE been warned!

So, Durarara!! is a show about Ikebukuro. Ultimately, it's not about the people in Ikebukuro, or what happens in Ikebukuro, it's about the place itself. Of course, this version of Ikebukuro is home to a headless woman who drives a bitchin' motorcycle and commands the power of shadow, as well as a crazy freak who can use a highway sign as an axe to cleave the top of a car off, plus a crazy schoolgirl who controls people she's stabbed with a cursed sword.

Did I mention crazy? Because this series is chock-full of the crazy. The only person in the cast who isn't nuts in some way is Simon, the ...wait for it...giant black Russian man who advertises and delivers for a sushi joint and kicks the ass of anyone who causes trouble, including the aforementioned crazy freak with the highway sign.

Yeah, it's a weird show.

So, plot. Here's what you find out ultimately ended up happening in the series.

A kid from the country, Mikado, moves to Ikebukuro to go to high school with his best friend, Masaomi Kida, who moved there a while back. Kida's a veteran of the town, and he introduces Mikado to a few friends and warns him about some unsavory sorts. Seems like a relatively normal start, right?

Then the Dullahan shows up. I had never heard of a Dullahan before, but what they are is apparently a Celtic spirit that rides around headless, with a headless horse, acting like a grim reaper. Celty, the one in Ikebukuro (and it's unfair to say "shows up", she's been there 20 years), has lost her head, and drives a motorcycle instead of a horse. She does awesome stunts with it.

Anyways, there's this guy, Izaya. He's a total troll. But he also knows everything about Ikebukuro.

Oh, and there are these gangs- the Dollars, some new group, and the Yellow Scarves, leftovers from the old "Color Gangs" of yesterday. And there's a sword-wielding maniac going around slashing people.

Alright, that's the setup. So here's how it all goes down.

Celty, living with this dude Shinra, is out looking for her head. As it turns out, this head is in the posession of a crazy lady who runs some pharmaceutical company. Or, alternately, attached to a girl. This girl is the friend of Anri Sonohara, a girl whom Mikado and Kida start hanging out with. Also, people are being kidnapped by this company.

The first batch of episodes are a bunch of scene-setting, introducing just what the characters were and their relationships. Then, Celty finds out about the girl, and starts chasing her. Shit happens, one particular element of which knocked my socks off:

Mikado, a while back, created The Dollars as a sort of social engineering thing, which took off in Ikebukuro. They started getting out of control, and he eventually wrangled them together into a modicum of decency, just by suggesting things. So, when things come to a head, he declares the first meeting of the Dollars and weaponizes 4Chan. Seriously. He went to confront the crazy lady (what she did is next), who had bodyguards ready to take the kid. He says "you've got brawn, I've got numbers." He sends a text message. And the entire public square they're in erupts as everyone's cellphone goes off. The entire square was made up of Dollars members. It was epic.

I can't be bothered to summarize the rest of the series, as it is so completely and utterly crazy, on the part of absolutely everyone. Suffice to say that it is wonderful, and I have never been as truly surprised watching something as I have been watching Durarara!!.

The series is wonderfully paced, has a great, diverse cast, and is so crazy in plotting that it's just a ton of fun to watch. It also makes me miss Tokyo like crazy. The show's about Ikebukuro, and even though I was on the opposite side of Tokyo, it's still about Tokyo, and...I WANNA GO BACK!

I also need to stop spoiling myself, because being surprised by Durarara!! was wonderful, and I haven't had that chance in a while now.