Posts Tagged ‘Durarara!!’

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Durarara!!: The Dub

January 13, 2011

hisuiconIf anyone reads the blog regularly you will know our general opinion on Durarara!! We both thought that the series was great overall but the first half was certainly stronger than the second half. That said it was a fun ride and I think it has a distinct appeal with a hip vibe and some wonderful characters. So when Aniplex sent us a screener for the first 5 episodes I figured it would be somewhat redundant to  say what we have already said about the show on the blog. What we could comment on was the one major addition to the show that they have added since it was streaming on Crunchyroll, the dub. In an age where dubs are becoming increasingly rare it is a good time to examine one of the few shows popular enough to get a dub that is not coming from Funimation.

Despite how I felt about the second half of Durarara!!, I would still recommend it. And rewatching these first episodes really hits it home how much I liked the characters, the setting, and parts of the show that I did really enjoy (i.e. all the Celty stuff which encompasses the first half, anything involving Shizuo, and these two made up the best parts of the second half as well). And since Durarara!! is full of little hints of its mysteries and characters, it was fun catching little things that explain pieces of the puzzle when you know the answers.

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Narutaki & Hisui VS. 2010

December 27, 2010

It is time for the most anticipated and respected anime awards show of the year! (De gustibus non est disputandum.) On the Speakeasy we looked back at the trends that defined anime and manga in 2010. This is an examination of the individual titles and characters that made the biggest impact on us this year. We discuss what made us laugh and cry (for the better and the worse.) Feel free to chime in with your picks as well. If you have a suggested category you would like us to use next year just leave us a comment and we will try to work it in next year.

I really enjoy doing this post. Yeah, everyone does one, but that is because they are fun! For good or ill I know what kind of year I’ve had when I do this post.

Best Anime of 2010 or the Junmai Daiginjo-shu of Anime

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn by Sunrise I know it seems impossible but Gundam Unicorn might actually be the one modern series that a majority of Gundam fans can get behind without their normal bickering. It incorporates the newest and flashiest technology while keeping true to the strength and spirit of the original Universal Century series. If you did not know better you would assume that Yoshiyuki Tomino played a part in the creation of this series for who seamlessly it works itself into the universe. The characters for the series harken back to the former archetypes set by its predecessors while not seeming like clones. Obviously a good deal of money and love was poured into this series because it consistently looks amazing. I look forward to learning the secrets of the Laplace Box and the RX-0.

Runner up: House of Five Leaves by Manglobe An absorbing and atmospheric character based historical drama. Based on seinen manga it is an adult work for both sexes that continues the tradition of great noitaminA anime.

Giant Killing by Studio DEEN When thinking this over, I had to ask myself what was I most anxious to watch each week? What did I want another season of (and thought it could sustain it)? I arrived at my answer pretty quickly. It was Giant Killing’s approach to characters that impressed me throughout the season. Never did the show bang you over the head with who these people were, instead we were shown through small actions, bits of conversations, and of course their approach to soccer. And best of all we got to see everyone involved when it comes to sports from the players to the fans, from the press to the managing staff. Everyone had a role but our main character was not a star or up and coming player, but rather the coach. Tatsumi makes this show and gives a new perspective for a sports anime. Perhaps Giant Killing isn’t the most thought-provoking showing of the year, but it did things just a little bit differently and it never faltered.

Runner up: Kuragehime by Brain’s Base (second mostly because I haven’t seen how it ends yet) This is a very absorbing comedy about a house full of girl geeks whose lives get turned upside down when cross-dressing Kurnosuke takes an interest in them. This is the most genuine depiction of geeky girls I’ve seen to date without being pandering. And it is also turning into a tender romance as well.

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2010: A Year of Great Openings

December 20, 2010

When looking back at this year, I was struck by how many great openings came to mind so I thought,”hey, let’s call that out in a post!” And the way I see, to have a good opening you need a good song, good animation, and both of them need to fit together distinctly. When watching an opening, I’m looking for a feeling, it should set a tone and a pace for what I’m about to watch. I think openings can have a lot of power so I have to give props when they are done well.

A good opening draws you and sets a tone for the anime. It can be the vanguard and frontman for a series giving you your first impression of what the show is about and what mood you should be feeling when you watch. Plus the animation on the opening usually at least one level higher quality than anything in the show itself so most openings are a joy to watch. There are some exceptions to this rule but we are not here to talk about them today. Today we will discuss some of the best openings of 2010 and why they stand out.

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Ongoing Investigations: Case #094

August 13, 2010

From the first episode Durarara!! seemed to say “watch me” and watch I did, even when I wasn’t sure how I felt about the show. And I ended up enjoying it at the beginning, but a weak second half marred Durarara!! making me wish it had ended on its 12th episode. Eventhough the story of Celty’s head and the gang wars in Ikebukuro are connected through the characters, the characters whose stories come to light in the later half can’t stand up to the ones highlighted in the first. They just plain aren’t as interesting. I’m sorry if this is coming off rather vague, but without throwing out spoilers it’s the best I can do. In fact, what Durarara!! did best was surprise me with many of the reveals throughout. It had a good sense of timing and suspense and, of course, the atmosphere was thoroughly brought to life. But I felt the atmosphere and story were leading and not the characters. But if they decide to spin-off Celty and Shizuo into a crime-fighting team anime, I’d be down.

hisuiconDurarara!! finished and it seemed to have the audience divided on their reaction. While I do not think the second half was a strong as the first I did not take to it as poorly as other people did. I think the main problem with the series is the first light novel hooks you into this supernatural world mixed with the everyday life in Ikebukuro. The second light novel is content to deal with some of the more mundane characters which took out some of the flair that the first half had.  While I felt we had to start dealing with the high school trio they could have had some stronger B plots along side that to liven things up. The other main problem was they introduced characters that were the light novel but do little to nothing in the anime. Shinra’s dad and the motorcycle cop don’t really do much especially considering how much screen time they got. I assume they were in the light novels and introduced at the time in as setup for later novels. But unless they make another season they come off as extremely superfluous. I would rather they cut their scenes and work more on what they had already. Despite all of that I enjoyed the series. I am curious to know what happens in the later books. Izaya clearly has more up his sleeves, we never really learned anything solid about Simon, and of course more Celty and Shizuo is always welcome. Considering how horrible the light novel market has been the only hope of seeing later novels is if the make a sequel.

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