If you are contemplating whether or not to watch Durarara!! or not, go ahead and watch it. Even if you don't like shounen, and even if you are a filthy 3D loving person. Durarara is about this kid called Mikado who is invited over by his friend Masaomi over to Ikebukuro to join him at his school, why Mikado will travel across the country for this is unknown, but Mikado is obviously shocked to see the city life in full swing and that's when the story breaks away into multiple facets and all of them move towards a single conclusion (like how Game of Thrones would be, if that 3D bastard would just write the two damn books already). Durarara is quite entertaining, no matter how you look at it, its got wholesome fun for whatever thing you like (unless you like loli, you won't find any here). Don't like Mikado and his constant whining? well, he isn't the main character anyways, just root for someone else. There is quite a bit of realism at the start, but its quickly dispelled by a vending machine getting thrown, this is a fantasy world and a world of true urban legends, just because it doesn't have big-breasted girls fighting with swords doesn't make it non-fantasy. That said, let's move onto the proper review.
The artwork is definitely quite good and the animation is also out of the world quality (or atleast it was, way back when in 2010), you will occasionally be surprised by the fluid animation on vehicles or particle effects, and it just makes it even better, the city of Ikebukuro is definitely a beauty, and you won't be disappointed.
There _ is _ one small problem though. The crowd. Its usually greyed out, but I guess its a small price to pay for quality artwork overall, eh?
The fights are usually very well done.
Music and Sound (18/20)
The music is quite something, both OP01 (Uragiri no Yuuyake) and OP02 (Complicated) are very good. The ED is somewhat lacking, but music during scenes makes up for it. The sound effects on the other hand are not all that good. The sound is never really able to give that feeling of 'busy city' as it should, but I guess I can't have everything.
The story is presented in arcs, which usually follow the life/history of one out of the myriad of characters and tells us a little more about them. Every arc usually has tremendous character development which really brings a life of its own to some characters.
The story starts out very slow at the start, but it picks up after it reaches around episode 9 and then hits full swing by episode 18 to bring a somewhat satisfactory end. "Why just a somewhat satisfactory end?" you ask. Because the end removes all hopes of a second season, that's why. And I would be lying if I said I didn't want another season of this awesomeness. The story does start getting a little stale as it approaches the end, there is definite tension in the air, and the tension just keeps up for too long, which could have been avoided, but hey, atleast it was all fun and no filler. The plot also has some holes, but I won't discuss them here due to spoiler issues. Durarara's rewatchability is also very low because the plot relies too much on keeping things hidden from the viewer. Once you already know the story once, it loses all its charm.
I can't help but say that the character development was the best I have ever seen. Most characters end up being nowhere near what they used to be at the start of the series. That is not to say I liked them. I didn't. I guess I liked Izaya a bit, but other than him, I could never really get along with anyone, I never could cheer for one of them. As far as I was concerned, they were all a bunch of two-faced bitches (which is what made Durarara so entertaining in the first place, guess I am a hypocrite). Of course, other people's outlook may differ from mine.
Durarara! is definitely enjoyable, you will find yourself at your wits end by the mystery in it and you will scratch your head about it, and you will love it. That's the sort of series that durarara is. Admittedly, you might be bored by some parts, but you will grow fond of it over time.
Final score - 18 + 18 +16 +17 +17 = 86/100
Durarara is a masterpiece which somehow end up short due to some very silly mistakes, but believe it, you will be glad you picked it up. Do not think of my rating as a 86, but as 4 short of 90, and you will see how good Durarara really is. Its a must watch for everyone even if you do not like its genre.
So, what the hell are you waiting for? Go watch it now.