Monday, June 6, 2011

Durarara!! Part 3 DVD Impression

With gobs of style and substance, what’s not to love about Dorarara!!

Durarara!! volume 3 on DVD from Aniplex has all the style and craziness of Baccano! but set in a modern day Japan, Ikebukuro region, where a Headless Rider, a Slasher and rival gangs roam the streets and the best sushi comes from a Russian. Sound a bit out there? It is but this is the rare anime that hits on every aspect and makes the viewer want more, hooks them from intro to closing. What’s it all about, let’s take a look at volume 3 beginning with episode 18.

Story – As Masaomi recalls his past the issue of the present come into focus. The Ikebukuro gang wars kick into high gear as Masaomi’s Yellow Scarves begin hunting the Dollars without any real focus on who they are drawing in others. One such person is Anri who is revealed in her past involvement with the scarves and a certain headless rider which puts her in hot water resulting in Shizuo stepping in and getting a nasty attack due to this. Things are really escalating as Izaya sits back and enjoys the chaos while avoiding direct involvement. Meanwhile Mikado is caught in the middle seeing so many in his life caught up in this war. Very soon he, Masaomi and Anri all learn who each other really are as Masaomi moves to face his past by taking on his present Yellow Scarves issue. All issues come to a head and present events work their way out with some friendly Russian advice.

Beautiful thing about this third volume is that it can be enjoyed without the earlier volumes but not recommended as viewers will miss on the sheer awesomeness of Durarara!! The story works itself out nicely with dips into the past, character development and explanation wrapped around an evolving plot that feels well paced. The story has enough out there moments that will delight viewers and its basis in a modern Japan just adds to the craziness and coolness of the series. The story is fairly simple and has a ton of characters, many not even mentioned here, and it’s this episodic angle that is easy to get into and keeps the focus on a region and group of characters rather than just 1-2 main. Solid story, solid and very much fun to watch.

Animation and Art Style – The comparison to Baccano! totally makes sense as it’s the same development team. The character design is spot on similar and the intro sequence featuring stylish music and action along with character names is there also. The style is detailed and characters look outstanding with realistic settings that are well detailed and characters sporting clothing styles and looks that don’t lack in detail. The emotion each character feels is excellently relayed and certain moments (bonus episode 25, looking your way) will leave viewers laughing at how outrageous they are. An outstanding and unique look and feel only seen in titles such as Baccano! and Fooley Cooley.

Voice work and Music – Awesome, nuff said. The background music serves its purpose but it’s the intro and ending sequences that are just a delight to hear and really get viewers jacked for what’s to come. The mixing in of events from the prior episode works really well in the intro and the voice work, English track, is perfecto! Durarara!! shows how far voice actors in the states have come as this is a true art form now, real actors putting real emotion into animated characters. LOVED how well every character sounds and anime fans will be able to pick out the voice acting vets.

Miscellaneous – As companies like Tokyopop shutdown it’s still great to see studios such as Aniplex getting into the publishing act on their own, in conjunction with Bandai and FUNimation, to give fans the fresh, new content from Japan. The anime industry has hit a nice point with better prices on more recent releases, collections that offer more episodes for a slightly higher price point and better packaging. Rock solid seeing new titles to keep the industry going strong.

Overall it’s very easy to recommend Durarara!! volume 3 on DVD. The excellent voice work, music and style mix with a well paced story that utilizes extraordinary characters and an everyday setting in a package that is complete. Durarara!! is a complete anime and if that doesn’t sum it up for fans then, well you sadden us.

1 comment:

  1. Durarara!! was great. Though I found the first half of the anime a lot more enjoyable than the second.

    Comparison to Baccano is inevitable and with that, I found it pale in comparison to Baccano, which was imo a masterpiece.