12 Days III: Peaceful island, serene man

「静雄無双」/「巖本英利/旧PNス・タンリー」

I’d planned to write about Durarara!! during the whole twelve days of anime thing, but I dropped it at the last minute to make room for Utena and Star Driver. But now, you’re going, wait a second, there was no Durarararararara!! this year, how can it be a special moment in anime for this year?

Well, you see, it turns out a chunk of the light novels was decently far along. I went through books four through six, which, if we allow ourselves to dream a bit, would correspond to the second season. I liked the anime, but I think everyone is in agreement that the second half is weaker, although whether it was still good or terrible is up for debate. The nice thing about the three books immediately after is that the focus is not on Anri or Kida, so you won’t have to worry about them being a downer in your anime about crazy and exciting things in the big city.

So it should please everyone that a second season of the anime focuses much, much more heavily on everyone’s favourite really angry guy, Heiwajima Shizuo. The fourth book goes back to the Durarara/Baccano standard of telling a story with about a thousand different threads somehow coming together at the end. The fifth and sixth books form one story in which Shizuo is the focus in the same way that Mikado, Anri, and Kida were the main characters of their respective arcs. We’ll also see some familiar faces. An interesting thing about the fourth book is the return of some characters that you may or may not remember and the introduction of several new ones.

Shizuo was a really great side character before. He shows up, gets trolled by Izaya, and proceeds to destroy things, usually with other things. The focus that books 5 and 6 puts on him is great because it develops him from the guy that can be described by the previous sentence into a legitimate badass. I feel like he’s always been thoughtful and that his only real problem is getting pissed off really easily, so I enjoyed watching him put his talents to use in a more focused way.

The thing that I enjoy about Ryohgo Narita’s stuff is his ability to launch a million seemingly unrelated characters and plot threads and be able to tie them together. The one-volume version of that is very neat to read through, but I have a feeling that there’s some longer term stuff that he’s set up in the early books that will come back in a big way and there are already hints of that at the end of the sixth book. This isn’t unlike the Haruhi series, where seemingly inconsequential details come back later in an earthshattering way, although, here the pieces are bigger, I guess.

Really looking forward to that second season.

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