Durarara – 24 (end) and Series Review

Well, I suppose that counts as a happy ending…

I don’t see too much point in plot summaries, since if anyone is reading this they’ve probably seen the final episode. As always with this show, a lot happened – Horada was betrayed by the Otaku Gang, Shizuo kicked ass, Izaya got punched by Simon (the best scene of the episode) Masaomi finally apologized to Saki and then the two of them left town, Mikado and Anri talked a lot and may or may not now be a couple, and Celty finally decided to seduce Shinra.

This has certainly been one of the most ambitious shows of 2010, and at times in the first arc approached the level of greatness. Several of these characters came alive in a big way – Mikado, Shizuo, and Celty especially proved to be great characters for me. Each of them surprised in their own way, soaring above the cliches that might have defined them in a lesser writer’s hands and becoming unique individuals. There was always an awful lot going on here, but compared to Baccano the plot was much less indecipherable, especially in the second half. Indeed, the second half reminded my much less of Baccano than the first did – the plot became much more linear and the action easier to follow. It was almost like a different series, a good one, but I don’t think it was a change for the better on the whole.

In the end, an awful lot was left unresolved – a natural opening to a second season I suppose, with so much more novel material still out there. Celty still hasn’t resolved her head issues, though I did admire the way that became almost irrelevant after a while, as we got more and more wrapped in her problems as a normal person. It’s something of a creative miracle to make a headless Celtic demon believable as an insecure young woman, but Ryohgo Narita accomplishes it here. Mikado still seems unsettled about what his existence means and who he wants to be, though that’s perfectly normal for a 16 year-old. And his relationship with Anri remains unclear – is she truly incapable of love, as Izaya tells her and she apparently believes? Or did she like Kida in that way, leaving Mikado frozen out of her romantic feelings? They’re clearly best of friends now, with Kida gone (at least for the time being) and the look they shared at the end had something of the Romeo & Juliet to it. But that may just be the romantic in me.

All in all, an outstanding series that seemed to lose it’s way just a bit after halftime. If there’s a S2 I’ll eagerly sign up – I always admire series that aim high and sometimes miss over those that aim low and never do.

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