DuRaRaRa!! x2 Vol. 4 (A J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
May 30, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“Durarara!! x2” is becoming more intense at the series progresses as characters are now starting to see the change in Mikado’s demeanor. With the return of Masaomi, in order to help his friend, he must unite the former Yellow Scarves members and destroy the Dollars. If you love action-driven anime series, “Durarara!! x2” is recommended!
Images courtesy of © 2015 ANIPLEX INC. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Durarara!! x 2 Volume 4
YEAR OF SERIES RELEASE: 2015
DURATION: 19-24 + OVA 13.5 (175 Minutes)
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Japanese and English Linear PCM Stereo 2.0, English Subtitles
COMPANY: Aniplex Inc.
RATED: Suggested 13 and Up
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Originally created by Ryohgo Narita
Directed by Takahiro Omori
Series Composition by Noboru Takagi
Music by Makoto Yoshimori
Original Creator: Ryohgo Narita
Character Design by Takahiro Kishida
Art Director: Akira Ito
Chief Animation Director: Akira Takata
Anime Production: Shuka
Featuring the voices of:
Miyuki Sawashiro/Kari Wahlgren as Celty Sturluson
Toshiyuki Toyonaga/Darrel Guilbeau as Mikado Ryūgamine
Akio Ohtsuka/Doug Stone as Shingen Kishitani
Atsumi Tanezaki/Karen Strassman as Emilia
Ayahi Takagaki/Mela Lee as Erika Karisawa
Daisuke Ono/Crispin Freeman as Shizuo Heiwajima
Hiroshi Kamiya/Johnny Yong Bosch as Izaya Orihara
Jun Fukuyama/Yuri Lowenthal as Shinra Kishitani
Kana Hanazawa/Michelle Ruff as Anri Sonohara
Kazuma Horie/David Earnest as Seiji Yagiri
Mamoru Miyano/Bryce Papenbrook as Masaomi Kida
Mariya Ise/Kira Buckland as Mika Harima
Sanae Kobayashi/Bridget Hoffman as Namie Yagiri
Takaya Kuroda/Patrick Seitz as Simon Brezhnev
Takuma Terashima/Spike Spencer as Saburou Togusa
Yuuichi Nakamura/Steven Blum as Kyōhei Kadota
Yuuki Kaji/Brian Beacock as Walker Yumasaki
Izaya quietly returns to Ikebukuro and schemes a plot pulling strings of various people from the shadows. Worried that Mikado may be manipulated by Izaya, Masaomi comes back to Ikebukuro as well. But he finds out that his best friend is a different person from what he remembers… In order to save Mikado, who has gotten stuck in the darkness, Masaomi determines to gather the ex-Yellow Scarf members to crush the Dollars. Meanwhile, Izaya, while searching for “Jinnai Yodogiri” who stabbed him, incidentally finds a secret of this mysterious man and finds himself in grave danger!
Masaomi Kida, the founder of the Yellow Scarves. And a person who left the gang he founded, vowing to never be consumed by the darkness.
But now Masaomi is back in Ikebukuro and when he sees Mikado Ryuugamine (leader of the Dollars) once again, he realizes that his good friend is no longer the same and may have been consumed by the darkness.
Masaomi tries to gather ex-Yellow Scarves members in order to crush the Dollars.
Meanwhile, Izaya Orihara searches for “Jinnai Yodogiri”, the person who stabbed him.
Find out what happens in “Durarara!! x2 vol. 4” now available on Blu-ray courtesy of Aniplex!
What is “Durarara!!” all about?
Back in 2004, light novelist Ryohgo Narita, who won a Gold Prize in the 9th Dengeki Novel Prize for “Baccano!” returned with “Durarara!!” and teaming up with illustrator Suzuhito Yasuda (known for his video game work “Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor”).
With a total of eight volumes published in Japan by ASCII Media Works (ala their Dengeki Bunko imprint), a manga adaptation would be created by Akiyo Satorigi and published in the shonen magazine “Monthly GFantasy” in 2009. The popularity of Narita’s works, especially with “Baccano!” would lead to an 26-episode animate adaptation of “Durarara!!” in January 2010 and an ongoing series in 2015 titled “Durarara!! x2”.
The anime production for “Durarara!! x2” is now by Shuka (first series was by Brains Base) and the series is directed by Takahiro Omori (“Aruna”, “Gakuen Alice”, “Kuragehime”, “Zoku Natsume Yujin-Cho”) with series composition/script by Noboru Takagi (“Baccano!”, “C”, “Koi Kaze”). Character design is by Takahiro Kishida (“Cheburashka Arere”, “Dragon Half”, “Ninja Cadets”) and art direction by Akira Ito (“Elfen Lied”, “Shadow Star Narutaru”, “Street Fighter Alpha”).
The series features an ensemble cast and their experience living in Ikebukuro, Tokyo but how their storylines are somewhat connected to each other.
Mikado Ryugamine is a young man who transfers to school from a small country town to the big city in Tokyo and his childhood friend Masaomi tries to show him the ropes of Ikebukuro, which can be dangerous as color gangs have corrupted the city.
Before the yellow scarves were the dominant gang and now on top of the gangs are a mysterious group known as the Dollars, with a leader that no one knows about, all that is known is that members are chosen and are hooked up through the Internet. But recently, there have been several deaths causes by a murderer dubbed “The Slasher” and also rumors of a headless woman riding a motorcycle.
In “Durarara!! x 2” Volume 3 (episodes 19-24), chaos continues in Ikebukuro. But it is revealed that Mikado Ryugamine has changed completely and with the return of Masaomi (who was responsible for enticing Mikado to move to Ikebukuro), he can’t believe how his friend has changed for the worse.
Meanwhile, Izaya is now back on the scene and wanting to get more information on the person who is responsible for stabbing him.
Also, will Celty arrive in time to save Shinra who was brutally attacked?
The main characters of “Durarara!! x2” are:
- Mikado Ryugamine – A first year high schooler who moves to Ikebukuro, Tokyo after his childhood friend Masaomi had invited him. A shy guy, Mikado is trying to learn the ropes and restart his life. He becomes a class rep and starts to follow for the female class rep, Anri and because his friend Masaomi also likes her, it becomes a bit of an interesting love triangle. Mikado just wants to change and not be normal.
- Masaomi Kida – Mikado’s childhood friend. He seems very over-confident with girls, when actually he is not good at it. Also, he has a mysterious backgrounds and something happened to a girl he knew… Like Mikado, he also likes Anri.
- Anri Sonohara – A girl who wears glasses and is a class rep. She is shy and timid and hangs out with Mikado and Masaomi.
- Celty Sturluson – A headless rider who is looking for her lost head. Celty is a Dullahan from Ireland (a headless woman) who has black smoke coming out of her body. Despite being depicted as monster and killer during the old days, she has been taken in by doctor Shinra Kishitani and carries out missions. Despite not having true emotions, she feels love towards Shinra but unable to understand the feelings that she has due to not having any living DNA.
- Shinra Kishitani – A underground doctor who lives with Celty. His father was the first to operate on Celty (in exchange of giving her a place to stay) and even was given a chance to learn how to do surgery at the age of 4. He works for corporations underground in trying to help them remove memories from people. He is also in love with Celty and is able to understand her emotions despite her not having a head. He also a childhood friend of Shizuo and Kasuka.
- Izaya Orihara – Known as the information broker. He sells information and likes to start trouble or loves to examine human’s when they are conflicted. He is a master of using a knife and causes problems for Shizuo Heiwajima.
- Shizuo Heiwajima – A blonde guy with a very short temper who wears a bartender suit and has enormous power. He can take a lot of pain and it is not known how he is able to have enormous strength and to heal from major injuries. He is friends with Celty, his brother Kasuka (who goes by Yuuhei Hanejima) is a popular actor in Japan and if there is anything he hates more than anything, it is Izaya Orihara. Izaya’s presence makes his blood boil so much that he ends up destroying property around him.
- Simon Brezhnev – A Black Russian who works outside a Russian sushi restaurant. He is known for his great strength.
- Kyohei Kadota – Also, known as “Dotachin” (a nickname that he hates), he is a member of the Dollars and leader of his group of friends which include Walker, Eri and Saburo.
- Walker Yumasaki – A carefree otaku and manga fan who hangs out with Eri. A member of the Dollars and hangs out with Dotachin.
- Eri Karisawa – An otaku and close friend of Walker, a member of the Dollars and Kadota’s group.
- Saburo Togusa – A member of the Dollars and Kyohei’s driver.
- Seiji Yagiri – A classmate of Mikado’s. He quit school to be with Mika but in truth, he is obsessed with the severed head of Celty’s that was put on Mika.
- Namie Yagiri -The older sister of Seiji. A chief of Yagiri Pharmaceuticals and regrets introducing her younger brother to Celty’s head and for his obsession with it. She appears to also have feelings for her younger brother. She is also responsible for the human experimentation going on in the city.
- Mika Harima – Anri’s good friend who, for some reason, has Celty’s head. She was Seiji’s stalker and now lover. Namie wants to get her revenge on Mika because Seiji just wants to be with her fulltime. Meanwhile, Celty is looking for her (because she has her head).
- Kasuka Heiwajima – Shizuo Heiajima’s younger brother.
- Ruri Hijiribe – An idol singer with a mysterious past.
- Aoba Kuronuma – A mysterious 1st year student at Raira Academy and what is his connection to the Blue Square gang?
- Shingen Kishitani – Shingen is the father of Shinra who wears a gas mask.
- Mairu Orihara – Youngest sister of Izaya and twin sister of Kururi. Wears glasses.
- Kururi Orihara – Youngest sister of Izaya and twin ster of Mairu.
- Akane Awakusu – Daughter of Mikiya and granddaughter of Dougen. Not aware her family is a powerful yakuza group.
- Mizuki Akabayashi – A.k.a. “Red Demon”, a high-ranking member of the Awakusu Family.
“Durarara!! x 2” is presented in 1080p High Definition. I praised the first season’s animation and character design as Brain’s Base really put everything they had into the series. With Shuka now in charge, there is not much divergence because nearly the same crew behind the first series, is back for the second. Vibrant animation can be seen throughout the series thus far.
“Durara!! x 2” continues to feature great character design and wonderful art backgrounds. Art director Akira Ito and crew continues to do a magnificent job in capturing the look and feel of Ikebukuro, Tokyo. There is a slight difference in quality but Shuka did a good job.
“Durarara!! x 2” is presented only with a Japanese and English Linear PCM Stereo 2.0 soundtrack. Both Japanese and English soundtracks are well-acted and with that being said, dialogue and music is crystal clear through the front channels.
“Durarara!! x 2” vol. 4 comes with the following special feature:
- OVA #13.5 – Love-Dove Clip-Clop – Featuring a date between Shinra and Celty (and various cosplay).
“Durarara!! x 2” comes with a slipcase with an illustration Takahiro Kishida (Character Design), six collectible postcards, a 16-page deluxe booklet.
With the latest episodes of “Durarara!! x2”, the chaos in Ikebukuro continues. But most importantly, we finally get to see the characters starting to see the changes that are taking place with Mikado.
As Masaomi has returned to Ikebukuro, he discovers that Mikado was in the bad place that he was once in. Consumed by the darkness, Masaomi has vowed to never let that happen again. But now, seeing the corruption of Mikado, he knows that he must destroy the dollars and unite his former ex-Yellow Scarves members to make it happen and somehow help Mikado.
There is also another storyline that involves Izaya searching for “Jinnai Yodogiri”, the person who stabbed him. Also, a storyline plus an extra OAV for those who are fans of Celty and Shinra.
As for the Blu-ray release, the original crew is back but while produced by Shuka, overall quality for the series is still good. Colors are vibrant in HD and you get an LPCM 2.0 Japanese and English soundtrack. Once again, the English dub for “Durarara!!” is awesome and very well-done. I was enjoying the Japanese soundtrack but after watching the English dub track, everything fits and each voice actor that was cast is perfect for the role they play.
As mentioned, you do get an episode 13.5 OVA but you also get the Aniplex swag of six postcards and a deluxe 16-page booklet as well.
Overall, “Durarara!! x2” is becoming more interesting as the series continues. Some may find the large cast of characters to be a bit much, but similar to other series with large casts (ie. “Bleach”, “Naruto”), these characters do tie-in to the storyline and you really can’t miss an episode because of that.
But it’s a series that you need to stick with it, watch the storyline gradually reveal itself from episode to episode and you’ll start to realize how awesome “Durarara!! x2” really is!
With the fourth volume of “Durarara!! x2”, this ends the second chapter, while the next volume will kick off the third chapter.
If you love action, “Durarara!! x2” is recommended!
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