The HoundBlog: Durarara!! – Ep 01 – First Words

Posted on Jan 16 2010

Hi kids, I’m Hounddog and I’ll be your tour guide for this season of Durarara!!!

My expectations for this one are pretty high, given the not one but two exclamation points in the title (that last ! was a bonus from me – you’re welcome). Join me, won’t you, and we’ll see if the series really is as freakin’ sweet as it thinks it is!!

This is only episode one and as we all know, first episodes are really just a show shaking its viewer’s hand and introducing itself, its characters and hopefully tossing a few interesting tidbits in the conversation to keep you coming back for more. First episodes can be a little boring or they can be so action-packed and ridiculous that they confuse a viewer into needing to watch more. Which side will Durarara!! fall on? Only time will tell!!

Before we go on, I should say that I’m aware there are manga predecessors to this series, but I’m going in cold turkey. This is all I know about Durarara!! (from – Durarara!!):

The story takes place in Ikebukuro, a district of Tokyo. Teenage punks gang up and fight against each other. The gangsters are afraid of an urban legend called “Dullahan”, a headless rider, who rides a black motorcycle without head lights or engine sounds. Ryuugamine Mikado is a normal high school boy who seeks peculiar beings. When he moves in to Ikebukuro, a mad scramble for Dullahan’s missing head breaks out.

Also, I should point out that “Dullalala!!” is another translation of the title that you may have heard. I’ve chosen to go with “Durarara!!” because the other way makes me feel like I’m singing, and I don’t know if this series is worth breaking into song about just yet. It’s only episode one, after all.

Ready? OK, let’s go!!

The OP is catchy, the animation is pretty nice. I’m torn on the mini-introductions to the characters. I guess the point is just that: to introduce. At this point, though, all those names and actions mean nothing to me and later, when I do learn all the characters’ names and stories, why do I need the reminder in the OP?

Prediction: I will have this song stuck in my head all day.

The episode opens with Mikado Ryugamine, a 15-year-old homebody who now finds himself thrust into the Big City (Ikebukuro) for high school, in the train station. Poor kid. After some reflection and backstory blahblahblah, his buddy, Kida Masaomi, from elementary school shows up. Kida cracks some dumb jokes and gives Mikado a lesson in Big City 101 – gangs, lingo, etc.

Prediction: They’re totally gonna do it.

They leave the train station to wander about and see the city. Conveniently, Kida knows everyone who’s not colored in grey. (Prediction: Zombies.) After about ten steps they run into Erika and Walker, who have just bought 30 copies of a new novel (for apparently nefarious purposes?) and a cut-out of that chick from that other series. Erika and Walker are joined by Kadoka and Togusa in a big van (weird) and after nagging Mikado about his name a bit, they all leave.

Prediction: There’s a stone-cold killer hidden under Walker’s goofy exterior.

Cut to a new storyline in which two dudes in a furry van (nothing good can come from a furry van) speak vaguely about kidnapping a girl. She’s lured to the furry van by another dude and then, surprise, they drug her and kidnap her.

Prediction: They’re organ harvesters? Also, they don’t have long to live.

The dudes think their little plot went undetected, but – wait!! Someone saw!! Oh, they’re totally gonna get it now!!

Prediction: Ass kicking.

Back with Kida and Mikado, a black guy tries to lure them into his “restaurant” to have some “sushi.” They don’t fall for it. Also: vending machines are taking flight. Kida says it’s no big deal.

Prediction: Vending machine serial killer on the loose?!

Back with the furry van dudes who don’t have long to live, a shadowy figure approaches on a motorcycle. Despite his/her kitty cat helmet, I sense danger.

Prediction: Dun dun DUNNNNNNNNN!!

OK, the dark figure is clearly a lady. Or a man wearing a padded bra to throw off anyone who gets a good look at him, which is sort of genius, but doubtful. My money is on lady. Ass kicking, headless, scythe-wielding, scary lady. I love it.

Prediction: She will play a huge role in this series. PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE.

Back on the street, Mikado almost runs over a scared girl. Nice job, Mikado. Kida sees an opportunity to flirt and takes it, but the girl gets freaked out and runs off. Also: she has a huge scar around her neck.

Prediction: Love interest with a tortured past. Given the OP, though, I doubt Mikado has a chance with her. Sorry kid.

Then Kida and Mikado have a touching moment and I’m pretty sure they’re about to start kissing, but then in the distance…the sound of a motorcycle!! They run to investigate!! Is it…could it be…IT IS!! Mikado is in awe. Me too, man. Me too.

The internet chats we’ve been seeing all episode (that I’ve chosen to ignore until now) give us a little bit of intrigue. Someone mentions “Dotachin” and then refuses to say who/what he/she/it is. Now I must know.

Prediction: The chat format will get really old really fast.

The ED is sort of silly and cute, which usually would make me want to throw up in my mouth, but for some reason I don’t mind it so much. Again, we have the whole cast of characters passing through, but without names. I guess that’s OK.

This episode was a little boring, but we’re left with some questions: who’s the lady on the bike? Who’s the girl with the scar? How will Mikado do in school? How long until Mikado and Kida start making out? Who the heck is Dotachin?

I suppose I’ll keep watching. Will you?

Next week: Highly Unpredictable

Prediction: Uh…?

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  • Llian January 16, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    I really like the first two episodes of this anime so far. Maybe it’s just because I’m a huge fan of Narita’s work but I thought it was pretty well done. Not super fantastic but okay xD

  • Sandgolem January 16, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    Man, this sounds like its gunna be so awesome! I expect nothing less from the people that brought me Baccano! Also Hilarious Post Houndy!! :3

  • kagra280 January 16, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    lol love it hound 😛 im sorta new here and im glad i founnd this site all cause of LK but great review i might actually watch this anime

  • EagleEyes January 16, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    The Biker person in the frog helmet looks like a random from Air Gear.

  • moonhawk81 January 16, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    Sounds great! It’ll have to be to live up to that play-by-play. . .

  • hounddog January 17, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    @Sandy – I meant to point this out but of course forgot, Baccano! is actually playing in the background in one scene. Be still my fluttery fangirl heart!

  • kagra280 February 13, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    its a kitty helmet not a frog btw Selty is friggin awesome

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