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!!

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Durarara!! – The Sound and Fury of Life

Durarara!! AnimeShortly before Winter’s season was ending, I was feeling a bit meh over all the anime I was watching, and didn’t feel like tackling all the shows I already started, so picked a new show to watch, with the intention of marathoning it. In short? I loved Durarara!! It made my heart swell, it made my thoughts race, as I’m filled with an inexplicable joy and feelings of overwhelming love for the whole world. That show invigorated me and made me want to run, and act.

Durarara!! (DRRR for short) had been written by Narita Ryogo, the author behind fan-favourite Baccano! (meaning “ruckus”), and their anime adaptations also share a director. I hadn’t watched Baccano! yet, but they both are light novel adaptations displaying a very varied cast, and both deal with noise, if only thematically. DRRR is a very loud anime, not in decibels, but there’s music that is somewhat ill-belonging present in almost every scene. The music disarms you, the music forces you to enter the world, to weather the fury, to embrace it. Repeating sounds are what draws you into a ritualistic mindset, and it’s very present here.

While they are Light Novel adaptations, I think these are exactly the stories that benefit from being adapted into a visual medium, as the intersecting story-lines and characters can be seen in the background, as we see this breathing world, without attention being drawn to it by the author. It’s a word which different characters share, and we get to see things from various angles. As much as it is a story of the characters, Durarara!! is very much the story of Ikebukuro, a district within Tokyo. It’s the story of the world inhabited and created by the cast.

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. There will be premise spoilers, but while I might spoil what some of the situations are, I won’t spoil how they are resolved.)

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