Posts Tagged ‘Durarara!!’

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DRRR!! It’s All Connected

June 1, 2015

SPOILER WARNING FOR DURARARA!! S1-S2

narutaki_icon_4040 Durarara!! vividly depicts the area known as Ikebukuro. We see it teeming with all kinda of people (and those not quite so human) who hurry down its streets. As with any metropolitan area, it seems like a place that swallows one up, where one can look around and only see strangers. And yet . . .

hisui_icon_4040 Durarara!! always reminds me of the Guy Ritchie movies Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. These hyperlink cinema stories don’t use a typical linear narrative but instead weave together a single tale by viewing the story from several perspectives that ebb and flow together in a way in which the full picture can only be seen by adding up the incomplete perspectives of all the characters involved. These stories almost always also jump around in the story’s timelines as often as they switch the perspective character. While at times this makes the story a bit confusing this lets the author hide pieces of the narrative so that they can be very rewarding when the audience discovers the whole picture at the end.

I know that form of storytelling is not for everyone. I have even head a few accusations that Durarara!! weaves its narrative this way more to make itself look fancier than it really is or hide flaws in the work. If you don’t like the series because of how it unveils its secrets that is a valid response. It is legitimately not everyone’s cup of tea. The criticism I can’t approve of is the idea that there is no reason for this style at all. Ryohgo Narita clearly structures his books (and by extension the anime turns out this way) for a mechanical reasons in which this method of storytelling reinforces the themes of Durarara!! as opposed to obscuring them. That synergy of theme and form is worth examining for how it enhances the potency of Durarara!!’s overall impact.

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Case Closed Reviews: Winter 2015 (Some Fantastic)

April 6, 2015

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First impressions are great but what about our thoughts after we’ve watched an entire series week to week? We figured our listeners might want to hear our final impressions as well so we’ve created the Case Closed Review podcast. Just like the S.W.A.T. Reviews, these will be mini-podcasts and completely off the cuff.

Here are the shows we finished which ended this winter:

Listen – Final impressions of GARO the Animation from MAPPA. It is streaming on Hulu and Funimation.

Listen – Final impressions of Death Parade from MADHOUSE. It is streaming on Hulu and Funimation.

Listen – Final impressions of Yurikuma Arashi from Silver Link. It is streaming on Hulu and Funimation.

Listen – Final impressions of SHIROBAKO from P.A. Works. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Final impressions of Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road from TMS/8PAN. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Final impressions of Your Lie in April from A-1 Pictures. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Final impressions of Durarara!!x2 Shou from Shuka. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Final impressions of Aldnoah.Zero S2 from A-1 Pictures. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Final impressions of Gundam Build Fighters Try from Sunrise. It is streaming on Gundam.info.

Listen – Final impressions of Gundam Reconguista in G from Sunrise. It is streaming on Gundam.info.

Listen – Final impressions of Magic Kaito 1412 from A-1 Pictures. It is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Listen – Final impressions of Rolling Girls from Wit Studio. It is streaming on Hulu and Funimation.

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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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