Ongoing Investigations: Case #094

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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Spring Roll: Spring 2010 Anime Guide

And so the clouds parted and the moe besieged anime fans wept when the darkness cleared and they saw written on the sky: Not that much moe anime this season. The spring season as always has a whole slew of new shows but this year also has a wide variety. Moe is still around but it is equal partners with other types of shows. We easily picked out 13 shows to give a chance this season and did not break a sweat in choosing what we did. We only reviewed 11 shows in time for the preview but we will look at the remaining 2 shows in the Ongoing Investigations. I am not sure how many of the shows will live up to their first episodes but I was impressed how many started off very strong. Maybe just maybe anime will not die or stagnate into nothing but K-ON season 24: The Reunion Tour and The Retirement Plans of Haruhi Suzumiya.

To me each season means a new chance for anime to surprise me, though it does that all the time anyway, and a chance to grab things while they are hot. It also means that a few of the shows I had been watching wrapped up making some perfectly timed space for new goodies. It can’t be denied that it’s just plain fun to check out all the new stuff and in a way have to pare down what I’ll have time to watch on a weekly basis. I am happy to say that anime is back ladies and gentleman, and the spring is looking impressive indeed. As a reminder, we don’t review ongoing series or anything that we are more than likely not going to like.

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