Durarara!! is one of my favourite anime ever. The intricate plotting that mixes the adventures of an immense ensemble cast into a tapestry of weird happenings and chaotic feuds between numerous factions and colourful wildcards is immensely rewarding one you get past the non-linear storytelling and the weird initial focus on a trio of highschoolers who don’t seem to have much involvement with anything else.
So of course I welcomed the surprise announcement of Durarara!!x2, more than four years later, with some trepidation. Especially as it would be animated by a brand new studio who could easily get in over its head. (Remember Attack on Titan and its embarrassing still frames once Wit got crushed by delays ? Yup, happened here too.) But the more pressing question was, could it recapture the magic of the first season ?
Its first part in Winter was a bit underwhelming. Lots of good bits, but a focus on youth gang wars that didn’t really come together as a cohesive whole and reminded me of the weakest parts of the Yellow Scarves arc. The Summer part got off to a much better start, with a series of one-episode portraits that did a lot to flesh out some of the numerous new characters and explain how they fit into the grander scheme.
But the true moment that made me fall in love with the show again happened at the end. New big villain Yodogiri had been a background presence ever for a while, establishing his credentials by knifing Izaya out of nowhere as a cliffhanger. The long-coming retaliation was a joy to behold ; not only because it showed Izaya being as petty as ever as he got him run over… but also for the true nature of Yodogiri, which makes perfect sense from the few contradictory glimpses we’d had of him so far, and makes him fit right in with the bizarre bozo populating the show’s Ikebukuro.
Also, the new series deserves an award for finally making Mikado compelling to watch.