Anime Breakdown: Sword Art Online Extra Edition (2013) Recap Movie Review

If you have never seen Sword Art Online I recommend you stop reading at the second paragraph (discounting this passage) since I go into spoiler territory past that. Using specific examples of important events in the series to prove a point on how badly this recap movie present the material. By the second paragraph I generalize the main issues without spoiling anything specific. I might not think the series is great, but I wouldn’t dare ruin the element of surprise for anyone seeing it for the first time if they choose to do so.

The anime Sword Art Online is a fluctuating experience. The story was stupid breaking its own logic, not understanding how video game programming worked and filled with some idiotic characters, yet it was for those exact reasons I kept watching it. Part of the appeal of watching Sword Art Online is that it was always entertaining no matter what happened. Whether it was good or bad there was something to go back to. Something this recap film fails to emulate in the same way and serves to further highlights season one weaknesses while barely displaying of the strengths it had in the series.

So in order to save both fans and newcomers time this film is basically a bad recap of the first season of Sword Art Online that lasts an hour and forty minutes. In the first hour and twenty minutes there is some new footage mostly of characters sitting and talking, but pale in comparison to the usage of clips from the series first season. The remaining twenty-minute is spent on a subplot involving Kirito and the gang exploring an underwater dungeon in Alfheim Online. For fans of the series I wouldn’t recommend seeing this film for the new material since like a character said in a scene before this movie ended it is unimportant.

The way more than of half of the film is set up is like an interview. A government official, Kikuoka Seijirou, wants some dangling questions regarding the Sword Art Online and Alfheim Online incidents cleared up. Despite Kitiro expressing that he told them (the government) like a million time what happened. Within the first couple of minutes this simple exchange of dialogue expresses how pointless it is for both Kirito and anyone who seen the series to go over what happened. While Kirto talks to Kikuoka Seijirou there’s a subplot involving Asuna, Keiko, and Rika teaching Suguha how to swim. This framing device among the girls provides some character moments with them commenting on each other story on how they met Kirito. It’s not a bad framing device even if the girls remain in swimsuits for most of the non-recap clips. Compare to Kirito narrative framing which adds nothing. The girls framing device provides the rare interaction between characters in the real world.

One thing that is fixed in the movie are certain plot holes aren’t made as noticeable in the film. In the first season of Sword Art Online it was established in episode two that beta testers were passing out guide books so non-experience players can learn how to play the game. Including clearly stating a couple of months has passed and people will in real life die if they die in the game. Apparently death is not a good motivation for some players to learn how to play the game. With that bit of information left out it managed to make the whole scenario come across grimer and make the players look less idiotic in comparison to the anime series. This is later counteracted when the film has Kikuoka Seijirou asking how Kirito he survived in Sword in Art Online despite it going against the video game programming. Kirito ignores giving any sort of logical answer. Simply put, he survived death by sheer willpower.

It does this on another important occasion including the cardinal sin of not showing what happened when Kirito faces Sugou Nobuyuki in the Alfheim Online arc. Before giving a flimsy explanation one of the last thing seen is Sugou about to seemingly rape Asuna in front of Kirito. After Kayaba appears to give Kirito a motivation speech, it cuts back to Kirito talking to Kikuoka. The only explanation that’s given regarding what happened to Sogou is he self destructed. Not exactly satisfactory when it’s casually resolved like that. I could only imagine how fed up non-viewers of the series might feel when seeing that.

For some reason Shigeru Nishiyama (the film and anime series editor) thought it was a good idea to cut out certain things for no reason. Near the end of episode ten when Kirito goes over to Asuna house there’s a misunderstanding. In the scene, Asuna finishes undressing after diner mistaking Kirito intentions, thinking he wanted to have sex with her when actually he just wanted to stay the night at her place. Kirito clears up the misunderstanding which intentional or not was a hilarious moment in the anime. In the movie, once Asuna finishes undressing and tells Kirito to take off his clothes it cuts to black. Fading into the two of them sleeping together in bed. So according to this movie both Kirito and Asuna had sex.

Another mishaps by editor Shigeru Nishiyama is how he presented Yui story in the film. This piece in the movie is terribly edited together with noticeable abrupt cuts that even non viewers of the series would be able tell had content cut out. Instead of showing at least a single scene of Kirito and Asuna bonding with Yui it just immediately goes to Yui telling the viewer what she is and then possibly dying. Not even the anime was as rush in the same way when presenting this storyline. Unless you have seen the anime this moment will leave viewers confused and with so many questions that won’t get answered.

There’s also a random cut where Yui is around the same size as Kirito in Alfheim when Kirito enters Alfheim Online for the first time. Later in that moment the next cut shows Yui in pixie size. There was no point in cutting out Yui shrinking herself within the same scene which by doing so also cut out the explanation Yui gives for still being alive in the video game. Why this was cut makes no sense.

A shared element of both the film and anime series is Asuna getting the short end of characterization. Like in the anime, Asuna personality is no different from a thin piece of paper with boobs drawn on. However, it’s not presented in the same manner. The film doesn’t introduce Asuna as a capable player which in turn makes her role in the story less of an issue. Her role does not receive a downgrade in the film, which is a slight improvement to how she’s presented in the anime. Unfortunately the movie does not make a good case for Asuna being the center of Kirito affection. In the movie she’s just presented as an another girl who fallen in love with Kirito on a whim.

Suguha on the other hand is presented as having an actual relationship with Kirito. Unlike the other girls, Suguha is the only one who is shown having a conflict with Kirito and solving it with him. Suguha side of the story paints her in a better light showing the rough side of her relationship not just the good moments. Just like in the anime, Suguha is the only female character who gets any good characterization in the movie. She’s the only character in the movie who has a conflict to overcome from the beginning of the movie all the way to the end. It’s not much characterization that gets added to her, but it is far more significant than what the rest of the cast gets. Nothing.

Music while good gets replaced or amped up version from the anime series. The most noticeable is when it splices both of Kirito attempts to conquer the world tree in Alfheim Online it uses “Innocence” by Aoi Eir for those scenes. This specific track is not as effective as the original track use in the series. For the most part, the soundtrack is thankfully untouched. While not good enough to stand on its own without the help of the anime visual it works just fine in the movie as it did the series. There were times I will admit the music did get me to forget the issues I had and got me to enjoy what I was watching. Also, there were times where the editing would use a track to unintentional comedic effect. Simply cutting or fading out at a bad time. The voice work for both the Japanese and English cast is similar to the anime series. If you want more emotional performances watch it with English subtitles or if you want subtlety (and no stuttering) albeit with some underplayed characters go with the English dub. Unfortunately for both cast, it feels like rehash performances.

The last twenty minutes contains all new footage and stills without splicing any footage from the anime. It’s a simple subplot of Kirito and the gang exploring an underwater dungeon. If it wasn’t included in the film the material would have been just fine released as an OVA. The new material in the last twenty-minute is decent as a whole. As usual, despite playing an MMO and how they are actually design Kirito is able to handle any situation virtually by himself. What the new material does get right is capturing the fun experience from the series. The humor is intact and the interaction between the characters prevent things from being boring. Where it stumbles is the new material is not entirely animated. There’s some action oriented stills which would have made up for the disappointing climax at the end of the movie. Setting up what seems like would be a cool action scene, only to have an outside force and one-shot character fix everything. I can’t forget how easy it was to figure out the identity of the NPC giving the quest. Surely a better name than Nerakk for an NPC could have been more clever to hide the true identity for English speakers. Just change around a couple of letters and you can solve what the NPC actually is.

This movie is pointless offering only twenty minutes of new material, but even with that new material it is pointless. Aside from Suguha getting a small bit of new characterization nothing significant is added. Failing to condense the material of the first season of Sword Art Online and getting it to work in a movie format. The one to blame for this terrible piece of a film is not the source material since in the anime it does have good scenes that work in favor of the story, but the editing and the way the film presents them is to blame. It was sloppy, rushed, forgetting about the tiniest details like showing what happened to Sugou for a resolution. Instead of at least being a pleasant walk down memory lane it come across as a waste of time. There isn’t enough new footage to recommend to fans and it’s not a good presentation of the series for newcomers. You’re simply better off just watching the anime series or reading the light novels. No matter how they turned out, they at least will offer a complete experience unlike this film.

3/10

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Anime-Breakdown: Durarara!! (2010) Series Review

Durarara!! or as I like to call it for fun DRRR!! is an interesting anime series. Putting a lot of emphasis into creating its characters and world were losing tons of time becomes a habit when watching the series. Capturing the chaos and mystery of the city in it’s version of Ikebukuro with soaring success. While the story being told is decent as a whole what makes it memorable and a great way to spend time are the characters themselves. No matter what flaws present themselves, the characters always manage to make it seem like those flaws don’t matter in the long run.

Mixed: Interesting story filled with questionable decisions

Durarara!! has a headless horseman, a girl with a demon sword that can possess people, a puppet master bent on creating chaos, gang leaders wanting gang warfare, and a person with superhuman strengths among its cast. You would think one of those characters would be the protagonist. Except that position is given to an average teen, Mikado Ryugamine, whose relevance and backstory is not given until episode eleven. Giving the other characters more than enough time to overshadow him. Despite that specific pitfall the story manages to fit in elements of teen drama without feeling inappropriate with everything else in the story. The focus on presenting Ikebukuro and Japanese youth culture through internet chat rooms, text messages, and technology in general lends itself to making the city more lively. Seeing characters talk about rumors, folklore, and their experiences make it feel like a real chaotic city. While Mikado is a weak point of interest compared to the other characters, him being in the central of the story makes sense. He is experiencing life in Ikebukuro for the first time interacting with a host of interesting characters and sometimes unknowingly being part of a bigger ordeal beyond his control. What also justifies Mikado as the lead is he’s experiencing and learning everything about Durarara!! version of Ikebukuro just like the viewer.

In every episode the narrative will rotate onto a different focused character. Shining the spotlight on the cast members when the opportunity presents itself. After the primary introduction in episode one the rest of series spends time exploring it cast. In a semi-non linear fashion it spends times on various characters each having their own conflict in a single episode like finding a kidnap friend for a single episode or looking for a missing head for the entire series. Eventually having the large cast interact with each other in various ways and form an engrossing narrative with a mystery at its heart. In the first half, the main draw is a mystery centering around the headless rider. The headless rider search of her head spans several decades trusting the viewing to piece together the information themselves. This headless rider storyline takes some unexpected directions that will keep viewers guessing on where it’ll go next.

It’s biggest strength is in telling a series of smaller stories weaving them together into a larger story. All the events shown correlate with one another in some way expertly building up to a climax. Without action, it build up is very exciting, thanks in large to wanting to see how it’ll played out once all the elements are together. The smartest choice the series made regarding its writing was being more serious than splitting half of tone balancing comedy. While it filled with fun personalities to lighten up from the darker aspects of the anime. When it times to take something seriously there’s no need to worry about transitioning between tones. Handling it expertly by having jokes every now and then, but by not at making it an equal focus like its drama.

For an anime that has a cool cast of characters how it uses them is disappointing. At times dropping characters completely from the series, though even those characters manage to have a good moment. The only time this is ever a consistent problem is with police officer Kinnosuke Kuzuhara in the second half. He’s featured in the second opening of the anime misleading viewers he has a decent size role in the second half. The fact he doesn’t do much or receive much characterization is made more noticeable because of it.

From episode thirteen and onwards it builds up is allot more rewarding than the actual resolution to the storylines. The second half of Durarara!! spends lots of time jumping back and forth between timelines where it becomes unnecessary. A linear narrative framing device would have better suited the second half. It’s constantly jumping back to earlier episodes that instead of moving the story forward take steps backwards. Halting progress in certain episodes as literally nothing has happened to progress forward. The reason it does this is because the series is bad at foreshadowing. With the exception of Masaomi Kida past, revelations on characters come out of left fields. For example, there’s a large gang called the Dollars in that no one within it knows who started the gang. Once it gets revealed who started the gang it’s seem to be there to justified following a character for long as it has. It also is a disservice to the character when he’s given a just because motivation of sorts.

Another drawback in the second half is the mystery aspect is gone when the focus is put on the three leads. What exactly is keeping Mikado, Anri, and Masaomi separated is shown to the audience as a series of misunderstanding and indecisiveness. Also, laziness on the writer part for not having the characters talk to each other because of if they did the whole ordeal would have been dealt with quickly. Having them act on assumptions throughout the second half. Compare to earlier storylines, one of which deals with a character looking for her head. Misunderstandings as a source of conflict is less interesting in comparison and executed badly when the audience is show the source before the characters discover it. Making the halt in progress more obvious when waiting patiently for it to move forward.

The ending of the series doesn’t feel conclusive leaving dangling plot threads and fate of certain characters left in the open. In no way is the ending sequel bait as some character arcs (Celty arc being the best example) have satisfying growth by the end of the series. Where it feels inconclusive are with the lead characters. Just when the viewers learn about their past there’s a desire to see how the three will interact with one another once those kept secrets are revealed to everyone. Instead of showing that it simply tidy everything up as if the secrets the lead characters kept from each other wasn’t that big of a deal. It’s a thrilling ride that ends with a whimper instead of a bang.

Good: A layered cast

The story might have a weaker second half, but the cast of characters are able to escape the same pitfall of the story. For starter, not all characters presented will have a major role or even a recurring minor role in the long run. This is made up with the writing that manages to weave together an unlikely cast of character with all sorts of different background together to compliment each other nicely. There are personalities of all types of the love-to-hate jerk Izaya Orihara, the short fuse bartender Shizuo Heiwajima, passionate Otaku Walker and Erika, and many more.

The three leads are high school students and for the duration of the first half they are overshadowed by the supporting cast. Mikado Ryugamine is the new kid with average characteristics, Masaomi Kida the best friend with a hidden past, and Anri Sonohara the bespectacled timid girl. They receive partial characterization in the series that make them good character. When the series finally goes into their past, they become more interesting than how they presented at first sight. In Durarara!! there’s always allot more to the characters than what we initially know. This partial development does backfire when they are the focus in the second half and due lazy writing it creates a force conflict between them. These characters are compelling, but how their story was told brings down what could have been another good arc.

Celty Sturluson, the Headless Rider, is a stand out in the large cast. She goes to Japan in search of her head communicating with the locals through a PDA. Throughout the series she lives with scientist Shinra Kishitani whom she shares an interesting relationship with. It develops into something romantic that, crazy as it sound, but actually sweet in execution. Both characters are playful together as well as being show being able to talk through any issue like a real couple. Whenever Celty and Shinra are on screen the writing is at it’s best.

Another memorable character is Shizuo Heiwajima. The shortfuse bartender with superhuman strength who hates to fight. His characteristic are a bit ironic since he does fight allot in the series leading being in the center of the most over the top moments in the anime. Usually tossing around any large object connected to the ground like a streetlight or vending machines like it weighs nothing. He has a rivalry with Izaya Orihara who’s also another memorable character. Leading to the two clashing heads with Shizuo using his fists and Izaya using his head in their confrontations. This leads to more great moments.

There’s also a group of four friends who are always together consisting of Kyohei, Walker, Erika, and Kyohei. Kyohei is the leader of the group, especially after all four quitting the Blue Squares. Walker and Erika are passionate Otaku and manga reader and if you’ve a large chunk of anime you will know the references all which aren’t subtle. Like in the second opening one of the manga that’s shown in their collection is Sword Art Online, there’s also a poster for the short film Cencoroll hanging outside the theater, or two characters from Baccano making cameos which are only a few references. Lastly there is Saburo, who is the driver of the group and gets mad whenever his van is wrecked. The chemistry between these characters is gold acting like actual friends acting like goofballs even in serious situations.

Good: A catchy soundtrack and a voice cast to die for make up for inconsistent animation

Animation is done by studio Brain’s Base and it’s decent. Coloring in several episodes will have large crowds of people just painted gray or black and white. This makes no sense from a production standpoint given the insane amount of time it must have taken to create Ikebukuro. The backgrounds have to take into account all the effect for neon street signs, lighting of the city at night or day time, the different material of buildings, streets have to seemingly connect to one another, and other tiny details to sell the idea of its being a living, breathing city. With that much hard work put into connecting all the backgrounds to make Ikebukuro come to life, leaving background characters gray comes across as laziness. Whenever it does anything over the top it delivers those moments spectacularly. Though, in motion some character movements (like the first fight between Izaya facial expressions when he first fights Shizuo) will have some unintentionally hilarious awkward facial expressions.

Characters design varies; if it’s an important character they are stylized though not memorable. If they are part of the background than details are spared like fully coloring them to missing some line detail on limbs. Some animation in the second half will take a noticeable dip in quality when they matter the most. In episode 17 titled “Everything Changes”, Shizuo fights a large crowd of people scraping some details like not coloring the large crowds, or rawing a giant blob instead of individuals’ bodies for a crowd. In general Durarara!! has this recurring problem with background characters lacking the same details as important character sparing details through its run. At first it comes across a neat stylistic choice and later feels like laziness.

Director Takahiro Omori makes handling a large cast seem natural. Despite some characters being under utilized Omori direction makes sure it’s never overwhelming to keep track off. While the story being told isn’t linear what events unfold in the episodes are. Omori uses a character to transit into another character to show their perspective in that specific moment or episode. No matter who he rotates the attention to he manages to have far greater success than failures in his direction.

Regardless what format you hear the audio in both cast offer a great list of voice actors. The Japanese voice cast offers Miyano Mamoru, Jun Fukuya, Miyuki Sawashiro, Hiroshi Kamiya, Daisuke Ono, Yuichi Nakamura, and the list goes on. This same rule applies to the English dub, which was produced by Bang Zoom! Entertainment and they basically gathered some of the most recognizable voice actors in anime dubbing. The English dub has a dream cast come true for anyone who watches English dubs regularly. It has the likes of Johnny Bosch Yong, Michelle Ruff, Bryce Papenbrook, Kari Wahlgren, Yuri Lowenthal, Crispin Freeman, Steve Blum, and Patrick Seitz to name a few. Quite a cast, regardless what version is heard.

Both cast have a similar issue of giving talented voice actors little material in the anime. Almost as if just gathering them up for name recognition. In the English dub, Stephanie Sheh plays Rio Kamichika who in only one episode has an important role. Her character fades away quickly after episode two. Another awesome voice actor who gets limited screen time is David Vincent who plays Seji Yagari. His performance is fine, but not varied in how to portray the character. Always having to sound concerned about his girlfriend. Cassandra Lee Morris, who plays Saki Mikajima gets to speak in very little in the anime. In the Japanese cast Keiju Fujiwara, Hochu Ostuka, Toru Okawa, Yuji Ueda, and you get the point.

The weakest link in the English dub is Darrel Guilbeau as Mikado Ryugamine. His performance is uneven and for a leading role. He easily gets overshadowed by his cast members whom deliver better performances. Darrel Guilbeau performance will take time to get used to before sounding natural in it. Toshiyuki Toyonaga who provides the Japanese voice for Mikado Ryugamine is good from the first episode. Bringing personality into an average character without sounding wooden in his portrayal of the everyguy lead. It’s a good performance that unlike Guilbeau, does not get overshadowed by his co-stars.

Kari Wahlgren has more line to deliver than Miyuki Sawashiro in the role of Celty. The way Celty talks to another character is through text on her PDA. Depending how and where you see the anime English subtitles might not appear (even on DVDs this happens) when Japanese text is displayed. This is remedied in the English dub by Kari Wahlgren reading those lines of Japanese text on her phone to the audience, though it will feel like something is missing without knowing that bit of information. Miyuki Sawashiro does equally well in portraying Celty giving her a mysterious aloof charm, warmth, and sisterly undercurrents of her character.

Bryce Papenbrook for the English dub and Mamoru Miyano in the Japanese cast both play Masaomi Kida. Aside from a couple word changes for Papenbrook dialogue (like saying boobilicous) both actors have unfettered energy and enthusiasm down. When it comes to performing the more dramatic scenes Miyano delivery is superior, though Papenbrook is not bad either.His comedic delivery is better than his dramatic voice work. Kana Kanzawa and Michelle Ruff, both play Anri with a timid low voice. Both actresses play the character similarly which, unlike the rest of the cast is difficult to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses. They both do a good job in the role. Crispin Freeman and Daisuke Ono both play Shizuo Heiwajima. Freeman goes more for a perpetually rougher, grittier feel, in his portrayal contrasting Daisuke Ono’s is suave calmness into maniacal madman transitions is entertaining. Both performances portray the character differently, but both interpretations fit the character.

Johnny Yong Bosch and Hiroshi Kamiya play Izaya Orihara. Johnny Yong Bosch performance of Izaya is the definitive portrayal of Izaya. Hiroshi Kamiya is fine in the role, but Johnny Yong Bosch excessive smugness and hammy voice work serve Izaya far better. Unlike Kamiya, Johnny Yong Bosch is able to come across as a comical menace who can make you laugh and take him as a serious threat. Yuri Lowenthal and Jun Fukuyama both played Shinra Kishitani. Lowenthal performance is subtle and compose. It’s an unexpected performance with the contrast Fukuyama goes for the mad scientist route in his portrayal. Fukuyama performance is very fun in the over the top nature he acts, though Lowenthal comes across as a more likable Shinra because when he says something romantic towards Celty it sounds romantic instead of sounding insane.

There’s no wrong way to see Durarara!! since both English sub and English dub deliver the material in virtually the same way. Just a minor word or phrase changes to sound natural in their respective languages. However, the Japanese cast just barely etches out a victory as the superior audio track thanks to Toshiyuki Toyonaga in the leading role as Mikado Ryugamine. Darrel Guilbeau takes time to improve his performance before sounding natural in the role and taking a lot longer to become accustomed to hearing in a cast filled with great voice actors. Toshiyuki Toyonaga is strong from the beginning standing on his own. He provides Mikado a personality adding to the everyguy trait of Mikado. Unlike Darrel Guilbeau who starts out bland, Toshiyuki Toyonaga gets it right from episode one and is a smoother viewing experience. Whatever your preferences for viewing anime is both cast are good.

The first opening theme song, “Uragai no Yuuyake” (Sunset of Betrayal in English) by Theatre Brook is used in episode 1 – 12 is forgettable. It’s fit fine with the opening animation with light rock beats, though it’s nowhere near as memorable as it closing theme. Once the catchy R&B song with J-Pop lyrics, “Trust Me”, by Yuya Matsushita start playing in the outro it’ll be able to put anyone in good mood. The closing animation is a single image that’s pan down with color altering effects to show all the characters. Simple as it might be the track and the closing animation are oddly memorable. The fact there’s dozen of parodies of it first closing animation is a testament how memorable it is.

The second half of the anime has the opposite effect on the second opening (episode 13 – 24) and second closing tracks (episode 13 – 23). In the second half the opening track, “Complication”, by Rookiez is Punk’d is a far more memorable track building up excitement before the anime starts. It’s edgy sound combine with some vocals makes a good rock song that’s able to stand on its own even without having to see the anime. “Butterfly” by On/Off is an okay track that’s not as memorable as “Trust Me” by Yuya Matsushita. The most memorable thing about the track are it’s guitar chords at the end of the track which closes off things nicely. It’s unfortunately accompanied by an animated outro that tries to copy the closing animation of the first half, which is uncreative as it is forgettable.

The OST is composed by Makoto Yoshimori and it’s a fine soundtrack. Heavy in Jazz music it perfectly captures the mood of Ikebukuro from it thuggery environment to its more mysterious side giving off a cool and mysterious vibe. Combining Jazz with piano and violin melodies, industrial instrumental, orchestral, folklore music, and even random noises. Like inserting laughter in the middle of the track “Ikebukuro nishiguchi go mata-ro kostaten”. It’s diverse in genre and risking in composition culminating in a unique soundtrack with plenty of music of all types to offer.

Personal Enjoyment: Despite a lackluster second half I had a good time

It started out weak with it first episode doing nothing, but introducing many characters. Leading to mix feelings to how it might turn out in the long run. Episode two got rid off any and all concerns I might have had with the series. Showing it true strengths in providing an engrossing world and fantastic character moments. Another bonus for me was recognizing the character designer of the Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor series, Suzuhito Yasuda, also did the character designs for the anime in my second viewing of the series. For me personally, that added it a bit more charm to the series in being able to see more of Yasuda creations. Granted the series wasn’t smooth sailing for the entire run. Before reaching its final arc, it was starting to lose some steam which it never overcame. The ending did leave something to be desired on the story front by leaving dangling plot threads, but as a viewing experience I am completely satisfied. While the quality of the story takes a dip towards the end. The true draw of the series for me were the characters that kept me coming back episode after episode. No matter what character took focus I was more than happy to see the events unfold. Watching the series was enjoyable on so many level. Writing (and you possibly reading) this review, which turned out as long as it did not as fun.

Story: 2/3

Characters: 3/3

Production Values (animation, sound, etc.): 2/3

Personal Enjoyment: 1/1

Final Thoughts:

Durarara!! is an entertaining anime where the apparent flaws don’t ever seem to matter when viewing the anime. It’s so easy to get engrossed into the large cast of realize characters and the city of Ikebukuro that losing track of time becomes common in Durarara!!. In every area it has a strong point that stands out from the story that developed layered characters down to the memorable soundtrack that will be stuck in the viewer’s head. It’s an anime that creates a world successfully that you will want to revisit it time and time again to see a different side of what makes Ikebukuro so special.

8/10