12 Days of Anime – Moment #12 – Connecting to the World via Durarara!! / “I am Not a Violent Man.”

For those of you who don’t know, the 12 days of anime is an event anibloggers engage in, where they relate 12 moments that are related to anime from the past year – moments which made them smile or angered them, from current shows or older, moments where they went to conventions, made dramatic poses, sung the Poke’Mon song at work, etc. Though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I’ve decided to join once more this year. You can read all the of the category’s posts (including last year’s) here. This year I dropped the ball on getting reddit participation, so you’ll have to do with me.

Orihara Izaya loves people - Durarara!! anime

That’s how Durarara!! makes me feel, which makes it worth noting for that fact alone.

My so-called 12th moment isn’t actually my least favourite, but the one I came back to the most times during the year. I’ve watched Durarara!! back in March. I’m fond of revisiting moments in media I enjoy, especially in the couple of months after I finish it – a favourite half episode, a favourite 20-40 pages sequence of a book, etc. But every so often there comes a work where “revisiting moments” from it quickly turns into revisiting the entire series. It’s happened to me with series such as Code Geass, and with books such as Stephen King’s The Drawing of the Three (2nd book in The Dark Tower series), but it’s happened to me even more with Durarara!!

This is my post about Durarara!! which talks about how the setting truly feels alive, more than alive, more than real, even. The music played a large part of it, and the social network – all the relationships woven about, all the small secrets, the intersecting lives, the intersecting stories, amidst Ikebukuro’s hustle and bustle. After watching each episode of Durarara!! I felt like hugging the world, it made me want to move about and do, it made me feel large inside. The only other piece of media in recent times that made me feel anything of the sort is To The Ends of the Earth, a song from Kyousougiga’s soundtrack, which I’ll include below, because sharing is caring.

So, the above is sort of cheating, and there is one moment that stands out to me in the series above all others, an episode I’ve watched about once a month if not more since watching the series, and that is episode 7. Ono Daisuke gives a stellar performance as Heiwajima Shizuo, strongest person in Ikebukuro, who narrates to you how he hates violence, after we’ve seen him punch a man clear out of his clothes (a very popular gif), and as we see him lay havoc to everyone around him.

Heiwajima Shizuo - Durarara!! anime

Heiwajima Shizuo, who /hates/ violence.

Heiwajima Shizuo is a person. He hates violence, yet resorts to caricature-like hyper-violence. He’s greater than life, as everything in Durarara!! feels. He’s a quiet and introspective man, and then he snaps. And yes, he speaks to my love of teen action fantasy fiction and determinators. Heiwajima Shizuo is too cool for school, and I like him, and I like everything about Durarara!! and the way it made me feel. I’m eagerly awaiting the second season, coming in January 2015.

So, readers, do you have a moment related anime from the past year you kept coming back to, or that made you feel connected to the world at large?

11 comments on “12 Days of Anime – Moment #12 – Connecting to the World via Durarara!! / “I am Not a Violent Man.”

  1. iblessall says:

    Heh, I figured you would end up writing about DRRR!! again eventually.

    Episode 7 really is a sublime work of art.

    • Guy says:

      But episode 7 only works because of what came prior. It’s the music and how every scene and episode interrelate that’s the true work of art here.

      Honestly, I’m just sad I don’t have more reasons and ways to speak of Durarara!!. I wish I could make myself not follow the second season and only watch it after it finishes airing, preferably as a marathon, but I know it won’t happen.

  2. Artemis says:

    Oh how I adore Shizuo – definitely my favoruite character of the Durarara!! series, and I also love that one of my favourite voice actors of all time was cast for the role. Match made in heaven right there.

    • Guy says:

      I like the voice actor, but aside from this role, it’s hard for me to think where he really impressed me. Then again, I didn’t like Kuroshitsuji all that much, though it had a great cast of voice actors, it’s true.

      And yes, he was very good in this role. Is he my favourite character of the show? Probably, but I like almost everyone in this show, as characters.

      • Artemis says:

        I think Durarara!! is probably his best role to date (or at least my favourite one), but I also really liked him in Working!!, Barakamon, and Noragami (and yes, also in Kuroshitsuji). Then again, I like the sound of his voice just in general, so no doubt I’m terribly biased.

        Like you though, I like nearly every character in Durarara!! a whole lot. It’s a wonderfully vibrant and entertaining cast overall.

        • Guy says:

          Oh yeah, loved him in Barakamon, but watched that after, so I didn’t think of it in that context :)

          Soon we’ll have more Durarara!!, the few LN spoilers I’ve seen made me go O.O

        • Artemis says:

          I don’t usually read light novels and haven’t stumbled upon any spoilers yet, and I’d like to keep it that way. Durarara!! is one of those few anime shows that can genuinely surprise me, and I value that quite highly. Regardless, super excited for the next season – the annoucement a while back was entirely unexpected and I’m still squeeing like the unabashed fangirl I am.

  3. Sejin says:

    Man, I really need to re-watch Durarara!! (among many other shows). I remember I re-watched it about two or three times in short order after I first saw it. My favorite character at the time was Izaya, primarily because I thought he was the most fun to watch, because no matter what he was doing he was always having fun.

    It’s not really a specific moment, but as I’ve watched (and re-watched a few) various parts of the Monogatari series and have been slowly digesting and mulling over various aspects of it (the characters, the presentation—both the visual presentation and how it presents the characters and their interactions, some of the themes and ideas, and the heavily psychosocial nature of it all) for the better part of a year now, it’s made me feel more connected to the world at large in a human and humane way.

    • Guy says:

      :)

      Izaya is definitely the most interesting character, the most vibrant, and flamboyant. In some ways, he’s also one of the most relatable and least interesting character – because he’s actually easy to understand. You may not always agree with him, but we all have our Izaya moments, at least in that we’re intensely curious and just want to see how humans react to different things, is that not why we consume media about people, to a degree?

      This is a great time to rewatch Durarara!!, with the second season coming in less than a month.

  4. Nozomi says:

    Aw man, no I’m going to have to re-watch Durarara!! I was trying to resist the urge until it was a little closer to the second season, but now I’m not going to be able to wait. Looks like I won’t be catching up on the current shows I’ve been behind on anytime soon…

    As for moments I keep returning to, this isn’t strictly anime-related, but rather on the manga side of things: Tokyo Ghoul (and I say the manga because seriously, the anime is nothing compared to the manga) particularly chapter 75, aka the infamous “bones” scene. I also reread the entirety of Tokyo Ghoul:re, the sequel manga about a week ago. I keep getting the urge to reread the whole manga, but I keep holding off because I know before long :re will reveal something new and I’ll just want to reread again to see things with a new perspective. And I really can’t afford to do that every week, haha. Beyond just revisiting via rereading/rewatching it though, I’ve continually been reading analyses, theories, interpretation and speculation about it. It pretty much takes the cake for a series I’ve revisited the most.

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