The anime adaptation of Ryohgo Narita’s Baccano! impressed me with its comparatively unconventional story style: how many unrelated characters are linked, and how this further causes a ripple of other events. The title of this post is thus my feeble attempt at referencing the Butterfly Effect, the metaphor based in the Chaos Theory. Durarara! being also by the same author, certainly shares some of Baccano!’s various elements and the production studio went as far as to have the opening theme’s animation done in the fashion of the former.
Impression: (based on 2 eps)
Naturally, and understandably, an author wouldn’t want to produce a work that would just be a mere rip-off of his previous works. Based on 2 episodes, Durarara! manages to create something different, while retaining – or revealing – some of its quirks that are prevalent in Baccano! (aside from the weird titles, that is). As many are quick to point out, Durarara! is also going for an event-based sort of story: one event, multiple perspectives, thus many protagonists. Izaya Orihara shares a personality similar to Claire Stanfield and both shows share the similar concept of urban legends in the form of the Rail Tracer and Selty Struluson (commonly called the Black Biker with Cat-ears helmet who wields a humongous scythe that materializes from and vanishes into a black puff of smoke from her neck because she’s headless).
Baccano! chose to throw all the main events to the audience at once, requiring us to slowly dig out the finer details as the story progress in order to piece together all the occurrences. Durarara! appears to (somewhat) choose the reverse. Instead of spending the first episode giving the various characters minute screen time to establish the general overview, this show directly narrows the focus on several characters, offering us the smaller print to imperceptibly work out the overarching plot. The pacing of this show is thus also much more gradual and much slower, unlike Baccano!, which just plunges right into all the seemingly unrelated chaos. In terms of its setting, Durarara! is also considerably rather mundane.
On a random note, I disliked the narrator. The existentialistic exposition felt rather clichéd. What’s more, I felt that the narration became rather redundant – and ‘empty’ -when we are introduced to Izaya Orihara, whose philosophy resembles that of Tyler Durden. While I didn’t have any qualm with the narrator stepping in with a bit of exposition during the scene where they met on the rooftop, the other parts felt unnecessary. Personally, I’d prefer the way the narration is done in Baccano!; Gustave St. Germain doesn’t speak much but it delivers the sufficient dose (not sure if Norio Wakamoto being the voice actor is a pertinent factor to consider). So yeah, I thought it’ll be nicer if the narrator spoke lesser.
Aside the arts, the music is quite good too. Especially the addictive opening theme. Which is kickass. The casting isn’t too shabby either, featuring Jun Fukuyama as Shinra Kishitani and Daisuke Ono as Shizuo Heiwajima. Fabulous show is fabulous.
Priority on Watch list: High