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Annotated Anime: Durarara!!x2 Ten episodes 6-8

Nov 17 // Anthony Redgrave
Episode 6: Roses has ThornsFrom last we left the city, celebrities Ruri and Kasuka crash Shinra's apartment hoping to get some protection and advice from Kasuka's brother Shizuo. They also bring along a stray cat named Yuigadokusonmaru. It's a name that's frighteningly intimidating to pronounce so I commend the dub cast for pulling it off so confidently. I'm surprised also that a Scottish fold cat was actually left on the street too considering it's high value amongst domestic cat lovers. The story goes on to explore Ruri's backstory and her rise to fame as an idol starting with her monster complex and her obsession with the complex that drove to become Hollywood. We don't learn much about her Hollywood persona and that side of her isn't brought up much this episode. Hollywood had a key role last cour but I felt it was glanced over and underdeveloped due to competing with the other happenings in Ikebukuro. Episode 7: A Cat has Nine LivesTelling the story from Masaomi's perspective was a good change of pace since he has been absent from Ikebukuro since the start of Durararax2. The bulk of the action and drama of these last two episodes is from Ruri's stalker, a crazy martial artist with a serial sociopathic complex wanting to choke the hell out of the idol. We only see the results of months of planning for the stalker as he targets Ruri herself, Shinra as it was his apartment she is seen entering, and Anri who is also entering the apartment at the same time. Fortunately, Mikado was able to rally his new gang the blue squares to their aid and prevent the simultaneous attacks on Ruri and Anri. Shinra however, wasn't as lucky as the stalker was able to beat him down for Celty was informed. This episode shows that Mikado is able to pull the strings like master manipulators Izaya and Jinnai, but unlike the other two isn't afraid of getting his hands dirty too. He saves Masaomi from a similar beat down and asks his friend to leave the city until he has finished masterminding his plan. Mikado's dark side is slowly becoming more apparent as we start to see less of him socializing with Anri and other dollars members and more with the Blue Squares.  Episode 8: Mouth of Honey, A Needle in the HeartEven though a lot of Durarara's story is framed around the exploits of high school students, there are also happening in the adult underworld. And it's all orchestrated by Izaya Orihara. This episode focuses on Izaya's job for the Awakusu group on taking down a gambling ring run by Amphisbaena. Amphisbaena are the rivals of the drug-toting group Heaven's Smile, the gang Akabayashi took out in the bathroom of a club earlier this season. In classic Durarara fashion, the story is told disjointedly with flashes to past events that clear up the actions in the present. The ending and reveal at the end of the episode aren't a game changer but shows us the added manipulative power Orihara has with his new gang he had acquired in the last episode.  Durarara!! continues to not translate the on-screen Japanese text meaning there are some parts of the episodes in complete silence. Although not a large problem it can cause some confusion with the message board politics and identities. It's made worse now that we know Orihara has taken upon multiple message board personalities in hopes of hiding his actions amongst the dollars.  [Watch Durarara!!x2 Ten on Crunchy Roll] [Watch Durarara!!x2 Ten on Crunchy Roll]
Durarara photo
Scottish Folds are my favorite too
Apologies reader, this weekly column has somehow become a monthly one. It has been due to my review work for the site the majority of which went live last week. I have been looking forward to getting back into Durarara!!x2 Te...

First Impressions: Durarara!!x2 Ten

Oct 12 // Anthony Redgrave
Durarara!!x2 Ten picks up immediately after the last episode left off. The Toramaru-Dollars conflict had been quelled and with Shizuo's intervention the two Russian assassins had been apprehended. The previous cour had ended on a cliffhanger with Izaya being stabbed in the back (literally not figuratively) by the mysterious Jinnai Yodogiri. Fortunately, eager watchers don't have to wait long to see the aftermath as the first episode is dedicated to how people are reacting to this news.  Getting back into this series can be a daunting task. There are so many different characters, plot threads that are interlaced within one another it feels like you would need to rewatch the first half of this season. I've never been a fan of rewatching the openings of anime every week since the opening only needs to be watched once to see the new visuals and hear the new song. But, Durarara!! retains the tradition of incorporating small flashbacks and reminders of events gone by into the opening and it is often related to the same episode allowing viewers to caught up with the plot. It's extremely abridged, but the cherry-picked sound bites and clips shown do an adequate job in keeping me up to date on the happening's in Ikebukuro even if they were referencing events from the first season.  So far x2 Ten has been fairly mellow and slow in terms of the plot. It comes hot off the heels of a massive gang war so characters are taking it easy before the next big event. These first few episodes focus on some of the secondary characters like Mizuki Akabayashi and the Seiji/ Mika storyline. Like all Durarara!! protagonists newcomer Mizuki is a very charming and likable goon of the Awakusu largely in part to the incredibly strong voice acting. I was surprised by how much I grew to like Mizuki from that one episode seeing him only as an unimportant Lieutenant for the Awakusu in the previous cour. The big break out of these first few episodes was Mika. I had mentioned before that I don't have any interest in Seiji/Mika/Namie love triangle thing in Durarara!! as their actions rarely affect the overarching plot of each series. The Mika episode helped demonstrate the importance of her presence in the story as she is a lot stronger and smarter than we had anticipated. When we consider Ikebukuro's internal political manipulation that goes on behind the scenes, Mika is another person we need to be looking out for.  A more interesting love triangle has emerged this series between badass Shizuo, Verona the Russian Hit girl, and Akane the mob boss daughter. Shizuo is as aloof as any other harem protagonist, but his lack of social skills make sense due to his history. Shizuo isn't lumped in with the spineless harem protagonists because he doesn't display the pathetic horniness combined with ignorance towards overtly romantic cues. His job is a violent one so he keeps people at a distance wanting to keep his friends and family safe but isn't heartless enough to brush them off when they want to say 'Hey' or come to him for help. This new love triangle has a great dynamic between the girls and Shizuo; Shizuo acts as a mentor for both of them but at the same time the girls' primary motive is to kill Shizuo.  The look and feel of Durarara!! are part of its core appeal and it has not changed one bit. I've always liked how everything was extremely colorful and dynamic. The animation and art direction have been very good up to now, both staying consistent and smooth. At the start Mizuki's episode during an encounter in the bathroom, there is a very large drop in quality with crappy looking characters but this is an isolated incidence. In the audio department; the voice acting is still amazing helping to engross you in the charming delights and dangers of Ikebukuro and the heightened emotion in each scene is backed with strong melodic choruses from a familiar soundtrack.  After taking a whole season respite from the city, it's good to be back. [Watch Durarara!!x2 Ten on Crunchy Roll] internal political manipulation that goes on behind the scenes
Durarara photo
Never mess with Shizuo Heiwajima
The release of Durarara!!'s second cours dubbed started broadcasting last month and it went completely under my radar. 5 episodes in and I've become reacquainted with the denizens of Ikebukuro and the thin line called destiny that intertwines all of their actions together. 

Dengeki Bunko photo
Dengeki Bunko

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax releases Oct 6 in the west

Limited edition exclusive to US
Jul 30
// Anthony Redgrave
If you have ever wanted to beat up an anime character in locked one on one combat then maybe Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax is the game for you. Dengeki Bunko is a publishing company in Japan that helps release light novels li...

JapanaTen: The Golden Rules of Durarara!!

Jul 16 // Anthony Redgrave
10. Nothing will top the first opening of Durarara!!   Baccano had one of the greatest openings in modern anime. The theme of changing points of views and how it all their stories intertwined was prominent in the opening and it did it to one of the jazziest beats this side of Cowboy Bebop's "Tank!". Then Durarara!!'s opening happened and it got you psyched for the show ahead. Maybe not the most fitting of songs since a lot of Durarara!! is walking around and talking especially during Mikado's parts but damn is this song good. The latest openings have a more muted style to match the darker stories going on at the time so it never got me excited to see the show as Theatre Brook's opening. I loved the bright colors, the frenzied rapid cuts between each character, and that incredibly strong drum beat that crescendoed with the guitars and vocals. All of these make for a fantastic opening that still hasn't been topped.  9. There will be an explanation episode Like Baccano before it, Durarara!! likes telling its story in media res. Mikado might be a proxy for the viewer since he's experiencing all this for the first time too, but Ikebukuro is a city with an expansive history that's itching to let out its secrets. You may be confused about why a character is acting oddly or who the hell this new character is but it won't be for long as an exposition episode is right around the corner. It can feel like an exposition dump at times so it would be nice to see more hint dropping in the main story rather than just in Izaya's story. 8. You will always be confused with who's who in the Dollars chat room A lot of Durarara!! is based in the Dollars forum with the main characters talking amongst themselves but using alias's. It gets very Death Note-y when you have to decipher not only who's who but who knows who's who and what they think of them. My personal confusion stems from Izaya having a girl icon and his icon color his not matching his outfits color scheme despite all the other's displaying this trait*, and the dubbing. The dubbing opts for vocalizing the wrong voice actor to read the on-screen text of another person. x2 Sho does it better by finally having the right voice actor chime in at the appropriate time but to add dramatic effect, the point of view character will sometimes read the chat logs out loud making you extremely confused on who's saying what. Fortunately, some nice Redditors directed me to this diagram explaining the whole thing but without it I'll still be lost on who the fuck Kanra is. (*Apart from Anri also who wears blue like Mikado due to their school uniform but we do find out explicitly that she is the red icon so it's fairly easy to remember that) 7. The Japanese text and Russian script won't be translated I'm thinking this is a dubbing problem more than a subbed one. Most of the on-screen text is never translated, not even the Japanese subtitles for when Simon is conversing in his native tongue. This is extremely frustrating during the finale of Durarara!! when Simon and Izaya talk entirely in Russian and the dub audience has no idea what they are saying. Celty also gets a shaft in this regard considering that some of her phone texts aren't spoken prompting the viewer to read it to add drama or it's arbitrarily not translated. Again x2 Sho improves on this by translating a lot more kanji including the title screens but mid-way through they decided to stop only to pick it up again for the final few episodes. Is this Funimation's subtle hint for the audience to learn Japanese? 6. Seiji and Mika will do something totally irrelevant So far there have been three arcs in Durarara!! and only once have they had an active role. And yet they still get top billing along with the rest of the cast in the Durarara!! openings. They should've been replaced by Horada at least in the second opening considering he was quite obviously the villain of that arc. You could argue that Mika teaching Anri and Erika to cook in x2 Sho is important as it leads to one of Izaya's more human and childish moments, but ultimately this couple serves no purpose at all outside the first arc. 5. An enemy will become an ally Or in the case of Masaomi, friend becomes enemy becomes friend again through redemption. Durarara!! has some of the most charming characters in anime thanks to their voice actors, writing, and character design so it's really hard to dislike anyone in the series. This makes their change of heart even sweeter as we can root for them despite their misdemeanors in the past. Anri takes responsibility of her Slasher powers, Rokujo mellows out after his brawl with Kyohei, all we need now is for Izaya to stop being a dick and the circle will be complete.  4. Retconning the first episode The first episode was a brilliant introduction to the crazy world of Durarara!!. But Masaomi's relationship and knowledge seem to precede himself, most glaringly his interaction with Kyohei's gang. In the first episode, they are relatively friendly to one another except we know now that they once rival gang members that had shakily reconciled over the kidnapping Masaomi's ex-girlfriend. Something like that would not manifest itself as a friendly wave upon meeting on the street. Another would be the dissolution of many color gangs when they clashed at Saitama. We only know of two color gangs; Yellow Scarves and Blue Squares and they dissolved after Masaomi quit due to said kidnapping. Either we still haven't seen this clash in a flashback or Masaomi needs to keep his mouth shut before he retcons anything else in Durarara!!. 3. Simon's sushi will flip-flop between really good to horrendously bad I'm willing to put a lot of stock in Simon. He's a really friendly guy, strong, dependable, and is very passionate about his sushi. Even Mikado, Anri, and Masaomi look genuinely excited to go in every time the first opening ends. Except we learn that their cuisine is very hit and miss. In the OVA Kasuka passionately compliments the dishes but when Kyohei and Masaomi congregate there to air out some dirty laundry they're practically sick after the first bite. Russia Sushi, you will be one of Ikebukuro's many, many mysteries. 2. There Will Be Blood Baccano References Isaac and Miria appear as part of the Dollars in the first arc so does that mean the billboards showing clips of Baccano actually just showing a documentary of the past? Another one of Ikebukuro's many mysteries. 1. Shizuo Heiwajima will always save the day If anime has taught me anything it's that 90% of life's problems can be solved by simply beating the hell out of it. That's Shizuo's bread and butter and he's damn good at it. Durarara!!'s modern world setting makes you think that; silent takedowns, bureaucratic paper cuts, and blackmail would be the biggest dangers in Ikebukuro, but apparently it's running into Shizuo on a bad day that tops the shit list. So it's a good thing that Shizuo is always on the right/ good side of the story. He was introduced as a person not to fraternize with but if you stick with this guy there's a good chance you won't be slashed, beaten up, or kidnaped. No Durarara!! arc is complete without Shizuo kicking ass and destroying public property.   And that's my ten. What other golden rules do you have for Ikebukuro's Strongest Anime?
The Rules of DRRR!! photo
Living For The City (of Ikebukuro)
I picked Durarara!! back up last month and it became a fast favourite amongst my weekly lineup. The colors, the violence, the fantastic English voice direction, and the air of supernatural elements mixed in with the heavy urb...

Durarara!! x2 Shou photo
Durarara!! x2 Shou

Durarara!! x2 Shou English dub announced by Shizuo and Izaya

Bullying people is lame. It's pathetic, really.
Mar 07
// Anthony Redgrave
Headless riders? Gangs based off internet chat rooms and geometric clothing items? An urban fantasy anime set in the dangerous streets of fictional Ikebukuro? This can only mean one thing. Durarara!! Be prepared to re-e...
Yen Press photo
Yen Press

Licensing GET: Yen Press grabs Durarara!! light novels and more

It's time to rejoice to the max!
Jan 10
// Salvador GRodiles
Alright, people! I might need someone to wake me up from my eternal slumber, because Yen Press' latest announcement is too freaking good to be true. In other words, the company has licensed the original Durarara!! light novel...
Durarara!!x2 photo

Preview Durarara!!x2's opening song

Only a few more months
Nov 11
// Hiroko Yamamura
We only have to wait until January until we return to the mean street of Ikebukero, but for those who can't wait there's a new version of the Durarara!!x2 trailer. This version features the new song HEADHUNT, by Japanese gar...
Durarara!! photo

Durarara!! x 2 returns this January

Can not wait!
Oct 06
// Hiroko Yamamura
Yes, the wait is almost over. Fans of the ultra-popular series Durarara!! only have a few more months left, until they can return to the wild streets of Ikebukero. Durarara!! x 2 will be split in three parts, kicking off Jan...
Video games photo
Video games

New videos of Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax!

AKA, my 'Misaka v.s. Shana' simulator.
Mar 18
// Dae Lee
Arcade fighting game Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax has released in Japan, and we have a ton of videos to look at!  Developed by Ecole Software and French Bread, known for their work on the Melty Blood franchise, Dengeki...
Anime photo

Rejoice! New Durarara!! TV anime announced

And we all lived happily ever after
Mar 15
// Elliot Gay
[Edit: According to the Official Durarara!! Twitter, Studio Shuka was formed by a producer on the previous Durarara!! series, which explains why so many familiar faces are present.] A brand new Durarara!! TV anime was announc...
Video games photo
Video games

Shizuo joins Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax's 2nd trailer

Watch out for random flying vending machines
Oct 15
// Salvador GRodiles
It was only a matter of time until we get to see Shizuo in action. Unfortunately, the game's staff took the lazy route by compiling  his gameplay video with the first official trailer that went up during the beginning o...
Dengeki Bunko trailer photo
Dengeki Bunko trailer

First Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax trailer hits the net

Watch Asuna take on Shana!
Oct 06
// Elliot Gay
If you ever wanted to watch Shakugan no Shana's heroine and Sword Art Online's Asuna go at it in 2D, now's your chance. Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is a brand new 2D arcade fighting game featuring characters from Dengeki'...

Friday Night Fights: Saya vs Anri

Feb 08 // Salvador GRodiles
Friday Night Fights photo
Two cute red eyed girls face off.
*ding, ding, ding* It's over! Oh wow, both Ryu and Yuri got too carried away with their battle. Countless lives were taken by the hands of the Kaiser Dragon and the Dark Seraphim, which almost resulted in the battle getting p...

Two huge Russians collide.
*ding, ding, ding* It's over! Urabe got caught in a mind game of titanic proportions by the master of psychological warfare, but Hitagi did not realize that Urabe has planned out a hidden agenda. While Hitagi was busy with th...


US Durarara!! BD set gets the... lunch box treatment

Aug 03
// Elliot Gay
Huh. That's certainly one way of putting together a deluxe box set I guess.  Aniplex of America will be releasing the fan favorite anime Durarara!! in America on October 30. Fortunately for all of you, this BD ...

Rejoice: Durarara!! on Adult Swim in June

May 28
// Josh Tolentino
Don't be sad, Celty! You may not have a head, but you'll soon have a Saturday timeslot on Adult Swim, a premier television place for American viewers to watch Japanese cartoons. And you're in one of the best Japanese cartoons...

English dub blooper fun from Durarara!!

Jan 27
// Kristina Pino
Durarara!! Part One is out on DVD and you've already gotten Ben's take on the matter (hint: he recommends it). Aniplex provided some lovely subs and delivered some great new box art for local fans, and even a Celty keychain f...

Japanator Recommends: Durarara!! Part 1

Jan 23 // Ben Huber
Durarara!! Part 1 - DVDStudio: Brain's BaseLicensed by: AniplexRelease Date: January 25th, 2011MSRP: $49.98 ($39.98 at RightStuf) The first DVD set contains episodes 1 through 9, along with a set of postcards (which were the cover illustrations for the many DVD releases in Japan). New art was done for the box as well, which is a nice touch. If you were one of the many people who pre-ordered, you'll be getting a Celty keychain as well. It seems like much of the same care Aniplex put into its other Stateside releases, like the Gurren Lagann movies, is present in the DRRR!! release as well.If you're not up on Durarara!!, I'll give you a little background. The anime is based off of a light novel series of the same name by Ryohgo Narita, the author of other popular series like Vamp! and Baccano!. Brain's Base produced the affair and it was directed by Takahiro Omori (who has since directed the excellent Kuragehime). The story follows a huge mass of characters. No single one could really be called the "main character" really, but at the very least much of the story revolves around a mysterious woman named Celty. In the city of Ikebukuro, Celty is merely a legend: The Black Bike. Racing around the streets at night on her motorcycle, she seems to appear and disappear as she pleases. In actuality, she's a headless Irish fairy who has lost her head and her search so far has brought her to Japan.She resides with an underground doctor named Shinra (who has the hots for her) and takes jobs from the criminal underbelly transporting goods. Some of other folks who populate the city and often cross paths with her are Izaya, the devious information broker, Shizuo, the strongest man in the city wearing a bartender's suit, Kadota and his gang (Walker, Erika, and Togusa) and the trio of students that introduce us to them all: Mikado, Masaomi, and Anri.If that sounds like way too many characters, get ready, because even more show up as the story goes on. And while it might seem like a tough ordeal to watch a story with that many characters, quite the opposite is true. Brain's Base did a great job keeping everything orderly within the chaos. In this city, everyone has their own agenda, and the fun is watching each person's goals clashing, unifying, or perhaps dropped altogether. This DVD release of DRRR!! is notable in that it's Aniplex's first dub for American audiences. Initially (if you listen to Japanator AM) you might have heard me complain a bit about the dub. I felt like the characters were very wooden and stiff in their lines, especially the trio of students (Mikado, Masaomi, and Anri). While this is true for the first episode, they begin to loosen up a bit and do better as the show progresses – but never get near the other actors in the show. They're the weakest link here, sadly. Patrick Seitz as Simon steals the show, though, in the first episode. While everyone else seems to still be in "high school play" mode, Simon bursts in with an abundance of flavor and fun. Crispin Freeman, while still sounding the same as ever, does a good job as Shizuo – you can tell he was enjoying himself in this role. Johnny Yong Bosch as Izaya turned me off at first, but his monologue in episode two turned out pretty well, so I can't fault him too much. Still, he doesn't come off as devious and smug as he should, so instead of being an insufferable troll he simply sounds like a slimy salesman. Steve Blum is Steve Blum as Kadota. Nothing really new there, but I feel perhaps a different role would have better suited him.Another great choice is Kari Wahlgren as Celty – subdued but solid. She's given more room to flex than the other voice actors, given that all her lines are voiceovers to her typing, thus letting her do a much better job in general since worrying about mouth flaps isn't a problem. Sometimes she drops into a monotonous state that makes me wonder what happened in the recording booth, but for the most part she does a good job. The rest of the cast does adequately, but nothing I would put at the level of "good." You can see a sampler of many of the voices in a recently released video from Aniplex. And if you're still a dub hater, the original Japanese dialogue is always there as well, which was an excellent cast in the first place.Durarara!! is one of my favorite shows in a while. Heck, most of us here at Japanator liked it – enough for us to put it at number one for our top shows of 2010. I'm not going to get into the somewhat luckluster second half right now (I'll save that for when part 3 shows up), but I still feel perfectly fine in recommending Durarara!! Part 1. It's a very strong show driven by fantastic characters and deserves the money of fans. Plus, why not make that second season a "very definite" thing instead of a "fairly likely" thing?Durarara!! has a great start in this first set, so be sure to check it out. Or I'll beat you up, Izaaaayyaaa-kuuuunnn.

In January 2010, when Durarara!! first began airing, I was both excited and worried. After the rough time Brain's Base's previous Narita adaption, Baccano!, had, I was concerned the same fate would befall DRRR!!. Luckily, I h...


New reel for Durarara!! English dub, Freeman still badass

Jan 21
// OxKing
Well, we've been watching the promotion videos for a while now, and some of us have finally pre-ordered it online, but how does the English dub hold up in Aniplex USA's new Durarara!!, released on January 25th? Well, thanks t...

NYAF '10: Durarara!!, R.O.D get dates from Aniplex

Oct 09
// Bob Muir
Those who love headless motorcyclists and manly bartenders should get excited, as Aniplex has finally given us a release date for Durarara!! at their panel on Friday. Part one is shipping through Bandai Entertainmen...

Catch the secret episode of Durarara!! on Crunchyroll

Sep 28
// Josh Tolentino
It's not a secret that many of us at Japanator like headless Irishman anime Durarara!!. You know what else isn't a secret? The new episode of Durarara!! that's airing on CrunchyRoll right now.Now that I think about it, it's k...

Mash-ups are awesome: Highschool of the DRRR!!

Sep 21
// Mike LeChevallier
Durarara!! is arguably one of the stronger anime series of the new decade. Highschool of the Dead is one of the most buzzworthy shows in recent memory. What happens when you take the already much-parodied indie-rock vibe of D...

Weekly Wallpaper: DRR!! Bonus Edition!

Jul 14
// Ben Huber
As many of you may have noticed, in the Cblogs I've been doing a weekly blog called Weekly Wallpaper (how original and inspired, I know). I take votes from the community and make a wallpaper base on those, with new subjects a...

Yotsuba & Durarara!!

Jul 14 // Ben Huber


Confessions: GARtender AGAIN

Jul 14
// Karen Mead
As you may recall, I first confessed my feelings for Heiwajima Shizuo on historic Man Day. However, that was the first blush of an impulsive, immature love; Only five episodes of Durarara!! had aired at that time, meaning tha...

Welcome to Durarara!! Day

Jul 14
// Karen Mead
It's time to take a motorcycle ride with your favorite headless Irish chick, dodge some flying vending machines, and capriciously start an internet gang based on an ideology you won't understand until an acquaintance of yours...

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