Durarara!!: An urban fantasy about secret organizations, an Irish legend and the power of social media. Life in the city has never been this exciting!
In A Nutshell
Ryuugamine Mikado has always longed for the excitement of the city life. An invitation from a childhood friend convinces him to move to Tokyo. However, in Tokyo’s downtown district of Ikebukuro, there are strange rumors warning of anonymous dangerous gangs as well as one urban legend known as “the headless Black Rider”.
Meet the Characters
Mikado is the main protagonist of the series. He’s a 15 year old student who moves to Tokyo looking forward to meeting his childhood friend and searching for adventure. Due to his small town upbringing, he is a quiet and a bit naïve boy. Despite being timid at first, he has a strong will and sense of morality and he gets stronger and more confident as the series goes on.
Masaomi is Mikado’s childhood friend. Opposite to Mikado, Masaomi is a very hyper kid who tends to get excited about everything, especially about picking up girls. He is very friendly and acts as guide for Mikado, who’s often confused about everything that’s going on in the city. However, Masaomi’s life is not as perfect as it seems as he has many fears and insecurities.
Shizuo is a young man who is known as the strongest man in Ikebukuro, often destroying urban environment. Despite having a good personality, Shizuo tends to have raging fits whenever he gets angry at something or someone. He currently works as a bodyguard and has an eternal rival in Izaya Orihara, going all out everytime he sees him.
Izaya is a young man skilled with underground information and devious and manipulative techniques. He usually gives secret information to others for his own enjoyment. However, he claims to love the entire human race except for Shizuo. As a matter of fact, he enjoys teasing him and picking up fights with him whenever he sees him.
A Brief History of Durarara!!: The When, Where and How
Durarara!! is a Japanese light novel series written by Ryohgo Narita with illustrations by Suzuhito Yasuda. The series was later adapted into a manga by Akiyo Satorigi and began serialization in the Monthly GFantasy in 2009. An anime adaptation began airing in January 2010. The first season contains 24 episodes. Its sequel has been separated into three different series consisting of 12 episodes each: Durarara!!x2 Shou (January 2015), Durarara!!x2 Ten (July 2015) and Durarara!!x2 Ketsu (to air in January 2016).
The novel series ran for 13 volumes and a sequel titled Durarara!! SH has been confirmed.
Why It’s Awesome
We have already explained that Durarara!! is a story that takes place in the big city of Tokyo. However, contrary to other urban fantasy animes, this series actually puts a lot of importance to Ikebukuro, its streets, its people and the things that happen in that place. The city is not just a setting, but it’s the thing that ties all the characters and plot lines together.
Despite only having listed four, this anime has many characters. Each character has its own relationships and ties to other parties of the city, making it an even richer world for just one city. From the secret anonymous organization (Dollars), to the rumour of the headless motorcycle rider, the high school setting or the relationships between the characters, this series doesn’t really feel like it’s got one main focus of attention.
In that sense, Durarara’s main goal is not to hook the viewers with the (main) characters, but rather with the atmosphere and the on-going subplots in the city. On top of that, the series is really immersive. If you like big cities, you will definitely want to check this one out.