Birds in the air.
I went into Durarara!! not knowing anything about it or its premise or anything. And, even after two episodes, it isn’t exactly clear what the story is or where it is going. Which is fine, really, I just mention it to give you an idea of my own personal context in approaching it.
Durarara!! at the very least seems to be building into something intriguing, even if it isn’t entirely clear of what that is. Essentially, the mystery here seems to be – what the hell is up with the headless motorcyclist? If anything, her existence and the way she has kind of operated in the story so far – as someone who is inherently mysterious by her very identity and who shows up and throws wrenches into people’s lives in some way – makes me think of Shounen Bat/Lil’ Slugger from Paranoia Agent to an extent.
Actually, I got vibes from a lot of different shows here, although a lot of it had to do with art-style, which made me think of Natsume Yuujin-chou first, and then of Persona Trinity Soul and Baccano! However, unlike the former, the latter two I also thought of in other ways as well. You’ve got the multiple-perspective story-telling like in Baccano!, and there’s also this feeling that bad things are going to happen like you get with Persona (Rio getting knocked out and kidnapped made me think of Megumi getting attacked while unconscious in the second episode of that show, specifically). Granted, if it hadn’t been for the art-style, I probably wouldn’t’ve thought of either of these two, but, there you have it.
I have to admit, though, that watching the second episode was really hard. A good friend of mine committed suicide just a few months ago, so I was feeling a little traumatized when Rio dropped off the roof and when Orihara was essentially goading her into doing so. So, I think I’d probably advise people who would feel similarly about such a scene to steer clear of this. I’m also not entirely sure of how they handled it – that after “cheating” death twice, Rio is suddenly all better… I just haven’t made my mind up about how they did that. I suppose I’ll have to re-examine it a few times before settling on anything.
Sooo… yeah. Durarara!! looks interesting, and is a nice respite (like Hanamaru Kindergarten and Ookami Kakushi) from mindless fanservice and stupidity this season.