Anime half-season review: Durarara X2 Shou – chapter 1

durarara x2 shou
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As of watching season 1 of Durarara I became a huge fan of the franchise and I could not wait to see a new series to emerge, but it was never exactly guaranteed, which alone had me periodically checking for news on a season 2 every four months or so xD. So anyway, when I finally heard about the announcement on X2 Shou I was excstatic but this feeling was closely followed by apprehension. What if it didn’t live up to the first season? What if it lost its original charm? There was so much that I had to love season 1 for, including the unique and quirky characters, good characterisation Shizuo and Izaya’s epic fights and just the truly satisfying moments where karma finally acts on certain characters (if you know what I mean) that really made the franchise stand out from the rest. So, with all that said, how has X2 Shou measured up so far?

Since it’s a half season review, it’s more of a ‘thoughts’ so far segment, so it won’t be in the usual structure. I’ll be using a more ‘pros and cons’ based approach for this one.

Firstly, I just want to point out that – for me – so far Durarara X2 Shou chapter 1has given me a very similar experience to that of the first season, and after having finished it I was 100% satisfied with the watch. That isn’t to say that the chapter 1 (as it will hereby be refered to as) isn’t without its flaws. I’ll get these out of the way first.

Just like the first season of durarara, the first seven or so episodes are all used to introduce the characters and set up the story. In season one I didn’t find this too much of a chore to watch, but I have to say X2 Shou really tested my patience this time. This review’s a little late because I actually grew a little tired of it by episode 5 and forgot about it. Of course, like I said, it was absolutely worth the wait as the series to picked up the pace by roughly episode 8, after which it got great. And yes, chapter one was only twelve episodes and you’re probably telling yourself that this eight-epsiode investment probably doesn’t add up, but hey – this is only chapter 1 of a two-chapter series – so in other words, it’s only just getting started.

Second, there were two characters in particular that really weren’t necessary in my eyes and got on my nerves to be honest. These characters were Izaya’s two younger twin sisters. Whilst they made for two kinda cool characters in some parts, their relationship was just plain weird at points. There were moments where they flirted and even kissed each other (and no, not in the way that siblings do), which honestly felt uncomfortable to watch and was something that I felt was put there as needless fan service. Not only this but they weren’t even needed for the plot to progress even thought they were used in this way.

Finally, this is just a small issue, but I found that even though a lot of the time it was nice and smooth, the animation to be pretty noticeably rugged and ‘gappy’ (if you get what I mean) at times. It took away from the experience and stopped me from getting as absorbed in it as I wanted to be.

Despite all these flaws,  when the series picks up it picks the hell up and doesn’t disappoint. The new characters are mostly pretty cool and likeable and characters from the original series, particularly members of the awakusu group, reappear and are nicely fleshed out.

The soundtrack is cool and funky as usual and I’m glad to say they mostly stuck to the OST of the first series. This was nice, but I would have liked to perhaps see a couple of new stand-out songs like there were in the old soundtrack.

Finally, the fight scenes in this were great. There isn’t much more to say. Refering back to my earlier comment, this is one of the scenes where it was animated well, and the fight between Rokujo and Kadota themselves was choreographed really nicely.

All in all, it’s been great so far, and I definitely think that it was worth watching. Watch it if you feel like you can get through the first chunk, but if you don’t feel like you have the patience for that, then it’s your loss 😛 but that’s fair enough.

Hope you enjoyed this review. I own none of the above pictures. All rights go to the respective owners. Please support the official release 🙂 . Love ya!

PS You can watch it for free on Chrunchyroll 🙂 .

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