Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Hobo Corner: Durarara Review

Durarara!! Review

Story:   8.5/10

Episode one:
 It starts off with our main character Mikado going to be big city for the first time having never went any field trips there during school. while he freaking out in the subway station after touching a filthy bum hoping not to get fleas. Hey maybe it Chester A. Bum "begging for change" but really stealing their wallets.  After he is done freaking out we find out that he has moved there transferring to a big city high school instead of going to school in a barn. When suddenly Ellen DeGeneres pops out of nowhere but really it being his friend from grade school he is meet up with who died his hair blonde.

We find it to be Mikado's best friend Masaomi who is either full of himself or very drunk maybe both. they head outside when Mikado being a tourist asks him to Masaomi to a make out  place. well I didn't know he swung that way. not really he is just very very ignorant about the world. Also it being mostly Masaomi's idea that Mikado run away from home and go to the same high school as him. Mikado starts getting all paranoid that everyone is going to shoot and stab him it getting dark.

Masaomi reassures there not going gang beat up there are worse spooky things in the city. they run into some of Masaomi's acquaintances  that seem a bit odd.  two of them being die hard comic fans their names being Erika and Walker. the other two being very mysterious as well one named Saburo looking to be a car junkie. while the last one looking all cool or trying to be is named Kyohei. Mikado notices the obscenely huge amount of they have all of the same issue and asks Erika and Walker about it but instead gets a very cryptic answer.

As they continue to stroll along Mikado begins to question if Masaomi really who appears to be. maybe he's a magician or two midgets in an overcoat. ( err I mean little people)

The point of view shifts to a bunch of shady men talking and one meeting a young teenage girl having discussed on how they're getting paid extra for young girls. oh my god there working for pedo bear!   we find out that these two are meeting from an online suicide pact site. well at least the girl is when the man lures her to an alleyway where a white van waits, they knock her out and throw her into the van driving off. But there not alone in the alleyway a mysterious figure watches the whole scene unfold.

The point of view shifts back to Mikado and Masaomi still walking around. when Mikado puzzle at seeing a very big black Russian guy dressed as a sushi chef handing out flyers. Oh I know this joke it's the one where there in the hot air balloon and well I forgot the rest. Mikado asks him who that was when they leave. Masaomi explains that his name is Simon and that's his part time job. but he warns him that Simon is freakishly strong. Masaomi also continues to warn Mikado about which crazies to avoid.  when they see a vending machine go flying across the street. It being followed by a man psychotic screaming in which Mikado is smiling telling Masaomi to stay away from the Japanese incredible hulk like person Shizuo.

The point of view switches back to our thugs who had kidnapped a girl. When the mysterious black rider appears in front of the thugs. When a fight breaks and the thugs getting beating up by this mysterious figure. while one gets away and a chase begins to finish off that last thug who has the girl in unconscious in the back seat. When a demonic looking sea bisect horse thing comes out of the shadows of the black rider. When the thug accidently hits the black rider there is no head there but the body is moving. quick run across a bridge they can't get you there! oh wait wrong show. The now headless right manipulates the shadows cutting in the thug.

The point of view shifts again where Masaomi tells Mikado to at all costs avoid a guy named Izaya and this mysterious gang called the dollars. When Mikado bumps into some crazy screaming girl who has a bizarre scar on her neck. Masaomi drags Mikado to see the mysterious black rider. When the black rider goes by quickly.

In which that is how Episode one ends and this is a little preview of what you're getting into.

The Story is very unique and revolves around several different points of view. it has great action and hilarious moments you'll be in hysterics.  the first half of the series I couldn't stop watching it I had to finish the series.
The second half starts to revolve around some of the less interesting characters. it also goes from high speed action to episodic type feelings. it as if suddenly the anime is on horse tranquilizers and I think there trying too hard and it doesn't seem natural like in the beginning.  there is only one other downside is that you have to pay attention very closely or you'll be completely lost. it not being like some episodic anime's where you can go to the bathroom and you won't miss a thing but that isn't the case.

Characters:  9/10

the best thing that this anime does is a colorful cast of characters. it makes me wonder if they were based off real people? that is how well developed they are and not being a one line joke. or  typical stereotyped  character.

But the only sad thing is they end up picking up some of the normal characters to focus on the second half which has me bummed. Then again it could be a ploy for the manga to sell or the light novel this based off of.  If you're tired of the typical anime characters you'll find this anime a breath of fresh air.

Animation:  8.5/10

The animation is a unique style all of its own. the attention to detail is amazing even on the background characters.

but it does that grey color tone on the background characters I can get past it. the main reason being this is set in a huge city unlike XXXHolic plus there is notable details that you can tell them apart from just a copy and paste design. If they did color in all the background characters it would be like a  drunk demented Japanese version of Where's Waldo?

This anime is a must see in high definition if you can find it. if not you lose a lot of the great effect and it makes sadly look some what generic.

Voices:  9.5/ 10

The dub and sub both use a colorful cast of voice actors from newbies to seasoned veterans. also there is some minor cursing and I recommend to find a version where they aren't cutting them out like in the current airing version in the U.S.

Dub vs. Sub: 
the main sell point is that the sub in my opinion does a better job with the main characters but not so good with the supporting cast.

The dub on the other hand goes over and beyond for supporting cast while there are times where the main characters voices drive me up the wall. then again maybe it's just me but all and all either version is great to watch.

Music:  8/10

the music has a rich library from jazz to piano and other various genres.  The opening and endings are great but personal preference goes to the first opening and ending.

Overall: 9/10

this has high re-watch value and I recommend going out to buy it. I have a feeling this will end up one day being a classic along with Cowboy Bebop.  if you can get past the annoying cutting out curse words and the opening and endings being shorten due to time restraints then you have no problem.
I hope there is a season two one day. it will leave you satisfied and yet wanting more to find out what will happen to the rest of the group.

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