One of the most recommendable shows I was able to watch this month is Durarara!! Often romanized in Japan as DRRR!!, it’s pretty reminiscent to the awesome and mind-blowing plot execution of Baccano!! where you’ll be immediately presented with a number of facts to the point where you won’t remember them all right away, and all the main characters are given the chance to play the protagonist role. But come the time the story arc climaxes and the plot twists are revealed, you’ll definitely be left with a huge grin on your face subconsciously saying a loud “WTF” and “Oh shi…!!!!” on your mind.
Plot: The story starts with the shy and gullible Ryugamine Mikado transferring from the mundane province life to the hustle and bustle city of Tokyo, as per request of his childhood friend Kida Masaomi whom he hasn’t seen for years. Kida gives him the grand tour of the infamous town of Ikebukuro where he will stay, and meets a couple of significant people along the way.
The scene sometimes cuts to this 4-chan-ish online chatroom view where three people Tanaka Taro (blue), Kanra (orange) and Setton (grey) gossip about the hottest rumors going around Ikebukuro, and is used most of the time as a pre-text for the plot progression that will follow. At the middle of the series, you’ll know who among the characters these chatroom users are. Finding out who they are is part of the fun.
Now let’s have a quick tour of the characters.
After the chatters gossip about how kidnappings are becoming rampant in town, the scene cuts to this unknown girl meeting another unknown guy. And as she willingly accompanies him to a dark alley, she gets kidnapped by him and his accomplices. It is later revealed in episode 2 (spoiler alert!) that the one responsible for her kidnap, and ironically, her dramatic rescue, was none other than the twisted Orihara Izaya- an information dealer bent on using his resources to play with people’s emotions and putting them in life or death situations just to see how they’ll react. He’s crazy enough to play a triangular chess board with mahjong, Chinese checkers and chess pieces in them.