Durarara is probably one of the most overrated shows this season. While it is certainly the best (And is by all means fantastic!), I find that while it may have an engrossing plot and a very interesting cast of characters, a few big things could have been done to make it perfect (Like Baccano!)!
The story follows Mikado Ryugamine, a teenager who recently moved to Ikebukuro after being invited by a friend of his named Masaomi Kida. He is then introduced to rumors of invisible gangs, and a mysterious "Black Rider" who rides a jet black motorcycle around the city. After actually getting a chance to see the rider with his own two eyes, we then see Mikado beginning to actually like his life in the city. Unfortunately, supernatural events occur, resulting in quite a few conflicts among the various gangs in Ikebukuro that lead to Mikado getting involved himself.
Durarara's story is engrossing, continuing to get more complex and chaotic as it goes on, a trait that is also in Baccano's plot. The benefit of this trait is that it usually leads to a satisfying conclusion, the flaw being that the plot can get very confusing at times. This is a bit of a problem, as while the beginning isn't as confusing as Baccano's introduction, the middle has some really confusing moments that will require some viewers to rewatch episodes, something that really wasn't a problem in Baccano! (As the plot got easier to understand with each passing episode.). The first half of Durarara! moves in a non-linear structure, each episode seemingly focusing on a specific character, sometimes giving a different perspective of past events, leading to more depth being giving to each of those events and characters. This style of storytelling is brilliant, but is sadly non-existent in the second half, as the structure in the final arc is very linear and straightforward.
This may not seem like a problem, as the story is still engrossing, and the last arc still gives startling developments that will keep you hooked to the series. Unfortunately, this leads to my second problem with Durarara!, in that some characters are given lots of complexity and development. The reason I say some, is that about 60% of the characters in the second opening are given a substantial amount of screen time or depth. The other 40% are simply not in the show enough(Some actually appearing briefly in one episode), are given very little depth, or appear in the show a lot, but we are still given little to no back story about them. A perfect example of the latter being Semyon, as while he does the role as the voice of reason and wisdom in the show, he is given no back story what-so-ever. Another example would also be the motorcycle cop Kinnosuke, a character who only appears twice in the show, both appearances not being significant enough to warrant an appearance in the opening in the first place! The only major flaw with Durarara! is that while it does know how to create interesting characters, deliver a captivating plot and execute a complex plot, it has no friggin' idea how to balance out all the characters! Unlike Baccano, which was able to give depth and equal screen time to more than 80% of its cast in its opening with only 16 episodes (OVAs included), it still doesn't develop as much characters than Baccano does, something that is inexcusable due to Durarar having 24 episodes, eight more than Baccano had!
Thankfully, the show does everything excellently, as it (As I said earlier.) delivers a story that is very engrossing and interesting, has much better artistry than Baccano had, and even delivers quite a few captivating characters; the best one being Shizuo Heiwajima due to his badassery, unrealistic strength and invincibility. (Even though he probably wouldn't be able to take down Ladd Russo from Baccano!)
Overall, Durarara is the best show of the Spring season. It clearly has its moments where its quality even over shines Baccano and will be a favorite among many fans out their, making it an experience that should be watched. Unfortunately, that does not mean its perfect. For something that has a clear advantage over Baccano, it isn't actually better than it, as huge character development flaws stop from achieving perfection, thus making it inferior to its predecessor. If Durarara had kept utilizing its non-linear structure of storytelling, than perfection may have been achieved. Unfortunately we are introduced to a still fantastic product that could have been much better if it stuck with its original structure. Thankfully, it's still a show worth watching by all means! WATCH IT!
Opening 1: Great! Love the music, also very energetic. Sorta pisses me off that the character names are in Japanese though... (STILL AWESOME THOUGH!)
Ending 1: While it's basically a slide show, the visuals still look nice, with a great song to accompany it.
Opening 2: AMAZING! PERFECT! Absolutely love the song! Definitely one of my favorite openings!
Ending 2: Nice song, but lacking visuals! Definitely not as good as the first ending!