So what do you do when you are finishing off the first edit of your book and your editor rings you up wanting to know the title of the book you’re working on and you have yet to name it? A) You tell your editor the truth: Dude I 'm not even finished writing the damn thing. I'll get back to you in a week or three. B) Say the first thing that pops into your head because you're a week over due handing the first draft in and you don't want to piss your editor off further.
Durarara!! started out in 2004 as a light novel by Ryohgo Narita (he is also responsible for creating gems like Baccano! and Bow Wow! Two Dog Night) there are currently 12 volumes out and it is ongoing. In 2009 Durarara!! was adapted into manga and is illustrated by Akiyo Satorigi. Finally in 2010 it was adapted into anime, it ran for 26 episodes: well 24 episodes and 2 OAV to be precise.
Durarara!! is set in Tokyo in the district of Ikebukaro or Bukuro for short. Mikado Ryugamine longs to spice up his dull life in the country and decides to go to high school in the urban jungle that is Ikebukuro. There he meets up with his elementary school friend Masaomi Kida;who has been living in Bukuro for the past 4 years.
On their way to Mikado's flat Masaomi tells Mikado about the people he should never piss off while in Bukuro.
1) Shizuo Heiwajima: to an outsider he is an ultra-violent man with super human strength. In reality he is a nice guy with a big heart who gets pissed off easily and has rage control issues. 2) Izaya Orihara: he looks like a harmless NEET but he is a mischievous ass, who is deadly with a knife and gets bored easily. Oh and he loves to piss Shizuo off. He is the type of person that loves to bring situations and people to boiling point and watch things boil over from the side lines, just for kicks. 3) The Dollars, a mysterious gang. 4) The Black Rider, a headless biker chick. Inevitably Mikado's life gets tangled up in each of these people’s lives pretty much from the start.
With every character in Durarara!! looks can be deceiving and they all have a secret side that they don't show to others and secrets they are keeping to themselves for one reason or another.
This is one of those anime that just works and I would put it the same league as Samuri Champloo and Cowboy Bebop. This is another anime that has a main plot line running thought it, but it is loose. Instead of feeling like you’re watching events proceed in order towards an ending, Durarara!! takes you on a kick ass pub crawl though the crazy city of Bukro with your even crazier friends (you know the ones I'm talking about) in tow. You just know you are going to end up with your head shaved and a wild tattoo on your rear when you wake up in the morning, but it will be one of the best nights you have ever had. I love this anime. For a super otaku like me I totally flipped out when they started referencing other anime and they even had a life size cardboard cut out of Holo from Spice and Wolf. This is one have me pissing myself with laughter the whole way though. I even have the opening song as my ring tone.
Tip though: I did try to watch this in Japanese but the talking was crazy fast so I had a hard time understanding it and an even harder time with the subtitles. If you want to enjoy this anime to its fullest I would recommend watching it in your native language.
Because I am a nerdlit I thought I would add a little trivia... I love the play on words in Japanese language. I also love the meaning of Japanese names and the way a name is said and the kanji used to write it can make it mean something complete different. When you watch Durarara!! you will note how everyone comments on how odd Mikado Ryugamine's name is. The short version is it sounds like a name from feudal Japan. If you want the long version follow the link on his name. Shizuo Heiwajima name means: serene man or peaceful island. Izaya's name is the combo of Isaiah from the bible and the Japanese meaning for: the one who looks over the crowd, which is very fitting. Then there is the exit signs in the subway, “around the station are the Seibu and Tōbu department stores. Seibu, written with the characters for "West" and "Musashi (province)" 西武, is on the east end of the station and Tōbu, written with the characters for "East" and "Musashi" 東武, is on the west end” (wikipedia.org). If you want to know more insights to the other names and quirky things then fallow these links: without-spoilers and with-spoilers.
Subway info via wikipedia video clips via youtube