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.
Durarara!! 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.