Let's Watch: Durarara!!

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Let's Watch: Durarara!!

Postby blkmage » Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:44 am

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[SIZE="6"]Durarara!! (デュラララ!!)[/SIZE]


What the crap is a Durararararararararararara!!?
Durarara!! is an anime based on a series of light novels of the same name. It begins airing in Japan in the Winter 2010 season. I'll let Wikipedia tell you about the premise.
Ryuugamine Mikado is a young man who longs for the exciting life of the big city. At the invitation of his childhood friend Masaomi, he transfers to a school in Ikebukuro. Masaomi warns him about people he doesn't want to cross in the city: a violent man dressed like a bartender, an information merchant, and a mysterious gang called "Dollars". And to top it off, Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first day in the city: the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle.


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Wait, you can't even read Japanese. Why are you all so excited for this show?
The author of the original light novels is one Ryohgo Narita, who also wrote a light novel series called Baccano!. Baccano was later adapted into an anime by the studio Brains Base, who has produced such fine works as Baccano!, Spice and Wolf II, and Kure-nai. And whaddya know, the same team that worked on Baccano! will be producing Durarara!! for us. We are all excited because people tend to produce stuff that is like stuff they have made before, so we are hoping that Durarara!! will be in the same vein as Baccano!. In this case, we are looking at atypical premise, a billion characters, very nice production, and action and hilarity.

Other people involved in this thing are Suzuhito Yasuda (Yozakura Quartet), who did the character designs and illustration, and an entirely stacked cast including:

Kana Hanazawa: Sengoku Nadeko (Bakemonogatari), Suou Pavlichenko (Darker than BLACK: Gemini of the Meteor)
Ono Daisuke: Koizumi Itsuki (The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi), Hosaka (Minami-ke), Kunisaki Yukito (Air)
Mamoru Miyano: Setsuna F. Seiei (Mobile Suit Gundam 00), Yagami Light (Death Note), Suoh Tamaki (Ouran High School Host Club)
Fukuyama Jun: Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion), Kraft Lawrence (Spice and Wolf)
Kamiya Hiroshi: Koyomi Araragi (Bakemonogatari), Takemoto Yuuta (Honey and Clover), Itoshiki Nozomu (Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei)
Nakamura Yuuichi: Okazaki Tomoya (CLANNAD), Alto Saotome (Macross Frontier), Graham Aker (Mobile Suit Gundam 00)
Keiji Fujiwara: Ladd Russo (Baccano!), Maes Hughes (FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST), Holland Novak (Psalms of Planets: Eureka seveN)
Katsuyuki Konishi: Kamina (Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Ozma Lee (Macross Frontier), America (Axis Powers Hetalia)

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Why does this thread title have Let's Watch prefixed to it?
Because we are going to watch it, drrrrrrrrrrr. Well, okay, more specifically, we're going to watch it together. Durarara!! is a currently airing show, which means that the entire thing isn't out yet. This means that episodes will be aired weekly. This is the perfect opportunity to have us all watch the show together and have a lively discussion, talking about dullahans and vending machines.

"But wait!", you say, "Isn't unauthorized reproduction of this show illegal?!" To which we'd normally respond, "Yes, well, there's no other way to get it here outside of Japan," and you'd say "That doesn't matter! It's still illegal since our countries are probably signatories of the Berne Convention and thus are bound by international law, which still makes this illegal!" For Durarara!!, we can go back two steps in our conversation and respond instead with, "Oho, but there is a legal way to watch Durarara!!" Crunchyroll will be streaming Durarara!!. If you are unfamiliar with Crunchyroll, they are pretty much the biggest provider of legal streams of currently airing animu. They have paid subscriptions, but one week after the initial airing, the episodes are available for free to the public.

So this is what we will do. Be sure to read this part carefully if you will be participating.

I really want as many people as possible to participate in this, so to make it as accessible as possible, this thread will house Durarara!! discussion current as of the latest freely available episode on Crunchyroll. Spoilers up to the currently freely available episode on Crunchyroll will be unmarked. What this means is that if episode 4 is watchable for free on Crunchyroll, we will be talking about everything up to episode 4 without spoiler tags. This is because discussion is a lot nicer without having to worry about grey boxes everywhere.

What if you are impatient and can't wait one week for the free stream? Go ahead and watch it, I don't care. Just don't tell anyone, don't mention it, don't talk about it, pretend you are watching it with everyone else, and stick to the discussion based on the latest freely available episode.

To let everyone know that the next episode is up, if you are the first one who wants to talk about a new freely available episode, please provide a link to the episode. Something that mentions which episode will be fine like yay! Durarara!! 01!, preferably before you start talking about it.

Episodes are released for free on Fridays at 11:00am PST beginning January 15, 2010. So let's buzz with excitement for a week, and hopefully, we'll see what we all think of it when it starts in a week's time.
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Postby Cognitive Gear » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:33 am

You had me at Baccano!
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Postby Fish and Chips » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:09 pm

Concerning the title of the light novels, the following author's excerpt...doesn't really shed much light on it.[Quote=Narita Ryohgo]It's an extremely bizarre title, but once you read the entire book... you probably won't get the meaning. I was close to finishing writing this book, and when the chief editor told me, "it's almost about time you gave an official title to the PR department", I said automatically,

"Du... Durarara?"

In response to this string of syllables came the chief editor's response.

"Ho, I love titles like these with unclear meaings. Let's go with this... but how to you spell it in English?"

I didn't think it'd get approved, and while I was still dazed by it all, the chief editor asked,

"...Will you add on a '!' like in 'Baccano!' and 'BoWWow!'?"

Never expecting it to get approved and my thoughts in utter disarray, I said without thinking,

"It's rare we get the chance to, so let's add two exclaimation marks while we're at it."

After a moment's silence, I heard what I thought was the sound of rustling paper, then came the explosive laughter from the chief editor.

"Wahahahahahaha! It looks extremely stupid written down on paper! It's rare we get the chance so let's go with this!"

And so the name "デュラララ!!" was born--- but I'm still not quite sure what it means. [/Quote]General consensus however is that Dulalala refers to the dullahan, a headless faerie from Celtic mythology, usually seen riding an (occasionally also headless) horse. Ah, but where's the horse you may very well ask. Excellent question. Watch and find out.

And of course you know how Asian languages tend to be about their Ls and Rs. So yeah, Durarara!! Technically both Durarara and Dulalala are "Acceptable," and the show is usually billed as Durarara, but Dulalala is probably the more accurate of the two.

And here's a little more info concerning our cast. I guess to be convenient, I'll constrict it to the guys Blkmage has already posted, in order:

Mikado Ryuugamine

Hapless everydude with a very regal sounding name that doesn't really suit him. Small fish in the big city for the first time, probably audience surrogate but who can tell with Narita.

Masaomi Kido

Mikado's friend and loudmouth, they kept in touch over the Internet and it was Masaomi who convinced him to make the trip. He's already pretty knowledgeable about who to avoid in a place like this, like-

Shizuo Heiwajima

Shizuo is everything his character portrait suggests. Sharply dressed, short fused, and inhumanly strong. Those vending machines in the promo and other places are his calling card, people. And he really hates Izaya for some reason.

Anri Sonohara

A shy female student, apparently close friend to Masaomi and probably to Mikado soon as well. I'm not sure what else.

Izaya Orihara

Black market information operative numero uno, and bad news for your average unsuspecting citizen that happens to cross his path. Apparently he's trying to incite something big in the underworld, but who knows these days. Stomps cell phones with a vengeance.

Shinra Kishitani

Black market doctor, apparently well connected with Nebula, an organization I seem to remember popping up once or twice in Baccano!, suggesting that maybe both stories happen in the same universe, which would be pretty sweet.

This isn't even half the cast.
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Postby Radical Dreamer » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:29 pm

Count me in. Work from the creator(s, including the animation company) of Baccano! with a cast like that? What could possibly go wrong? XD
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Postby Wyntre Rose » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:43 pm

Oh my goodness, yes! This sounds fantastic!! I'm in. :)

http://hashihime.atspace.com/etc/dhurarara/charsei.html

Just in case anyone else wanted to see who is voicing who. Miyano Mamoru, Daisuke Ono and Jun Fukuyama are obvious voices to squee over, but I'm also very excited about Kuroda Takaya (Darcia from Wolf's Rain) whose voice I adore, and very rarely hear.
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Postby goldenspines » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:27 pm

The art makes me happy. 8)

Definitely going to be following this series~

Also, I like the fact that Durarara!! has two exclamation points after the title (as apposed to Baccano!'s one) XD
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Postby ShiroiHikari » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:37 pm

I might join the fun as well. I've been a curmudgeon for long enough.
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Postby Fantasy Dreamer » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:46 pm

I'm in! I'm so excited for this... I have been since I first heard about it a few months back. ^_^
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Postby EricTheFred » Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:46 pm

Fine. Everyone else is piling on, anyway. I'm in.

[EDIT: Since I'm back soon enough to make one instead of a new post...]

Will somebody watching the free airing kindly jump on once it's up and say so? For the benefit of those who will see it 'ahead of time'? (Not because I support piracy by watching illegal fansubs...ehem... at least not in this case, but because I happen to be a paying Crunchyroll subscriber. For subscribers, the episodes will be available simultaneous to Tokyo air times. And can you believe it? Apparently the episodes are airing two days earlier in Osaka, and subscribers are posting on CR complaining about the two day wait before they can see it!)

Also, for any fellow students of the Japanese language. The 'De yu' construction being used in the logo in order to form the foreign-to-Japanese sound 'Du'. Anyone else seen that before? I'm sure it's the first time I've seen it. I even checked in my Oxford 'Pocket Kenkyusha' dictionary and didn't find it, although it had several other similar constructions, like 'fa' and 'di'. I'm curious if the author made it up himself or if it's actually standard.
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Postby LadyRushia » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:08 pm

*joins the bandwagon*

You guys were right about Baccano and the OP is pretty awesome.
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Postby mechana2015 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:27 am

In! I'll be watching it next week on the Roll.
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Postby Mr. Hat'n'Clogs » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:29 pm

Count me in! I can't wait to watch this!
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Postby blkmage » Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:12 pm

EricTheFred (post: 1364763) wrote:Fine. Everyone else is piling on, anyway. I'm in.

[EDIT: Since I'm back soon enough to make one instead of a new post...]

Will somebody watching the free airing kindly jump on once it's up and say so? For the benefit of those who will see it 'ahead of time'? (Not because I support piracy by watching illegal fansubs...ehem... at least not in this case, but because I happen to be a paying Crunchyroll subscriber. For subscribers, the episodes will be available simultaneous to Tokyo air times. And can you believe it? Apparently the episodes are airing two days earlier in Osaka, and subscribers are posting on CR complaining about the two day wait before they can see it!)

Also, for any fellow students of the Japanese language. The 'De yu' construction being used in the logo in order to form the foreign-to-Japanese sound 'Du'. Anyone else seen that before? I'm sure it's the first time I've seen it. I even checked in my Oxford 'Pocket Kenkyusha' dictionary and didn't find it, although it had several other similar constructions, like 'fa' and 'di'. I'm curious if the author made it up himself or if it's actually standard.


Yep, I mentioned in the OP that the first person to watch the latest free episode should throw a link up.

From what I understand, the assumption is that anything airing on TV Tokyo is probably going to end up on CR and obviously based on their airing. It's funny, because the time between that and the MBS airing is probably the time it'd take to fansub it anyway.

And デュ is one of the entries on the katakana page on Wikipedia, listed as "dyu" (although my IME takes "dhu").

Also, that link to hashihime's seiyuu chart is very helpful. You should all take a look at it if you're interested at all in seiyuu stuff.
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Postby MasterDias » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:15 pm

Sure, I'm in as well.

Also, a somewhat tangentially-related question: Anyone know how well the Baccano! anime did in Japan? I don't ever remember hearing sales figures for it or anything and most of the buzz I heard was from Western anime fans.
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Postby Maokun » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:49 am

If it turns to be half as awesome as Baccano! it's going to be an essential watch. I'm in.
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Postby EricTheFred » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:57 am

[quote="blkmage (post: 1365020)"]
And デ]
"Dyu" makes a lot more sense, although whether it could be told apart from "Ryu" would be an open question. Small "ュ" is usually used for 'yu' dipthongs. For 'Du", "デゥ" would make a lot more sense, actually, but I don't find that in my Kenkyusha either.

Well, far be it from me to argue with native Japanese speakers. My recent visit to Japan (and fumbling conversations with my wife's cousin's husband and son) was more than enough to convince me of how much I have left to learn!

BTW, having finally watched the episode, I have high expectations for the rest of the series. It isn't a "Wow! You gotta watch the rest of this series!" episode, but instead a very well-done hook. I hope that's vague enough to not violate the no-discussion rule.

Meanwhile the series I had high hopes for "Omamori Himari", is looking like just another cliche harem anime after one ep. I had thought it was going to be more like "Wagaya no Oinari-Sama". Good thing I now have a replacement!
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Postby Fish and Chips » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:12 am

EricTheFred (post: 1365094) wrote:BTW, having finally watched the episode, I have high expectations for the rest of the series. It isn't a "Wow! You gotta watch the rest of this series!" episode, but instead a very well-done hook. I hope that's vague enough to not violate the no-discussion rule.
The basic appeal behind Durarara!! is a very simple one. Paraphrasing a blog I occasionally subscribe to, it's the idea that your life is normal, safe even, and possibly nothing ever happens in it]Meanwhile the series I had high hopes for "Omamori Himari", is looking like just another cliche harem anime after one ep. I had thought it was going to be more like "Wagaya no Oinari-Sama". Good thing I now have a replacement![/QUOTE]Omamori Himari, really? I would have assumed even a little homework would have told you everything you needed to know about it.
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Postby EricTheFred » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:04 am

[quote="Fish and Chips (post: 1365114)"]The basic appeal behind Durarara!! is a very simple one. Paraphrasing a blog I occasionally subscribe to, it's the idea that your life is normal, safe even, and possibly nothing ever happens in it]

Yes. Homework I haven't had time to do recently. I got taken in by one lousy blurb about it. I need to get back to spending time researching these things.
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Postby blkmage » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:28 pm

MasterDias (post: 1365065) wrote:Sure, I'm in as well.

Also, a somewhat tangentially-related question: Anyone know how well the Baccano! anime did in Japan? I don't ever remember hearing sales figures for it or anything and most of the buzz I heard was from Western anime fans.

Baccano!
vol.01 3,263
vol.02 3,137
vol.03 3,557
vol.04 3,177
vol.05 3,613
vol.06 3,267
vol.07 3,299
vol.08 3,796

So yeah, not too hot. It's definitely something that appeals a lot more to a Western audience. I have no idea how well the light novels are doing, but they're still getting serialized.

Re: no early discussion rule. Like I said, please don't talk about it at all if you're watching early. For example, I've already watched the first episode so I would have an idea of how to write the opening post for this thread. I should not have mentioned that.

This is for a number of reasons: I don't want to have to get into defining how vague is vague enough, I don't want the discussion in the thread to be split into two with some sort of early-watching bourgeoisie and free stream proletariat, and I don't want to make it so that people feel like they have to download fansubs or pay for CR or they're missing out or something. I'm sorry if this seems overly stringent, but it's just easier that way.

So if you are watching early, thanks in advance for containing your excitement for an entire week. Not that you would be because you are not supposed to exist.
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Postby LadyRushia » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:45 am

Durarara!! episode 1~!
I liked it a lot. Yeah, nothing much really happened, but I felt that enough of the surface was scratched to make me want to know more about the characters. Lots of things were somewhat subtly emphasized but were hardly touched on, so I'm expecting them to be fleshed out in the coming episodes. The characters we've met so far are quirky, interesting, etc. The music is also pretty cool.
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Postby Fantasy Dreamer » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:57 am

Ok, so I watched the episode and I'm looking forward to seeing the others! It seems like its going to be another fun series with a wild and wacky cast, and the plot (or what we've seen of it so far) really gets my interest. It was vague, but not confusing like the first episode of Baccano! was. And, yeah, there are a lot of questions raised from watching this episode, you aren't left completely unsure of what's going on.

I really like it so far! \o.o/
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Postby ShiroiHikari » Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:05 pm

Gonna watch it later this afternoon. I'll be honest though: I'm mostly just intrigued by the seiyuu roster XD;
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Postby Cloud500 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:46 pm

So far so good. :thumb:
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Disjointed Durarara thoughts...

Postby TheSubtleDoctor » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:19 pm

Just finished watching a second ago. The production values are sky high. I love the art! Not only the character art, but the vibrant Tokyo backgrounds are really appealing. The soundtrack is also quality; I particularly enjoy the ending.

I gotta say, when the Headless Rider's shadow appeared on the side of a building, I was like, "Oh snap. I'm so down!" :lol: That moment was fantastic. The cuts from the world to the chat room add a layer of depth to the world and assist the viewer by providing important details.

I kind of agree with Fish n Chips take on the gray crowd. I think he's right in the description of what is going on, but I came away with a different interpretation of what the show is saying about human beings. I believe that the idea here isn't "Isn't life mysterious? Just turn down a street you don't normally do, or talk to a stranger and look at the wonderful possibilities," but rather, "Human beings are too insular or apathetic. We don't really see the world around us." For goodness sake, a vending machine flew through the air, and there wasn't much of a reaction.

I think the chat room and the gray crowd provide a nice contrast. People are connected at the technological level, but so disconnected at the fundamental level. The criminals had no remorse for what they were trying to do to the girl, even experience contentment while smoking. They are totally disconnected from the emotions/suffering of others and are only looking into themselves and their own feelings for fulfillment.

The Headless Rider appears to be the figure who will attempt to rouse and reconnect the people. Everyone takes notice of him/her/it. The Rider initially seems to want to restore balance in an otherwise imbalanced/unjust community.

Great first episode! Can't wait till next Friday for more.
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Postby EricTheFred » Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:59 pm

Story: nothing really popped out as unique about it. The flashforwards to IM conversations reminded me a little of the online conversations in Chaos Head, the rest of it was fairly standard cast introduction episode material.

However, the final product ended up wonderfully intriguing, like the first ep of Ghost Hunt or Bakemonogatari. Plenty of questions lined up for answering, but nowhere near as much as the first ep of Baccano! (which had the highest ratio of what-the-heck-was-that -to-self-explanatory since the first episode of Tokyo Majin.)

Cast: The main character and his buddy look like a good team, but are fairly common stuff (everyman and his street-wise friend.) I have a feeling the strengths of this one are going to be in the supporting characters, who look like a very intriguing bunch (and I'm really curious what all those extra copies the one guy was buying are about.)

Production:
My personal favorite is the scenery inside the train station. It kept triggering memories. I kept thinking, "Hey I've been there!" It looks like for a reference they walked around the station with a camcorder and then worked out their backgrounds from that, because the overhead signs looked perfect, and I'm very certain I've walked up the exact same stairway as they did in the 'entry into the world' moment as he got his first street-level view of Tokyo.


EDITTED TO ADD SOMETHING I MEANT TO SAY BEFORE:
Character designs:
I absolutely love the character designs. You can really see the Yozakura Quartet connection. Specifically the connection to the YQ manga. Those who've only seen the anime may not know that the animators somewhat distorted the character designs. I haven't seen any of the artwork from the Durarara!! rainobe series, but these guys look a lot more faithful to Suzuhito Yasuda sensei's wonderful drawing style.

And durn it, now I have to keep my mouth shut for an entire week about the next episode. I hope this doesn't make me start regretting subscribing to Crunchyroll.
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Postby ShiroiHikari » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:04 pm

Just finished watching episode 1. Pretty interesting stuff!
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Postby EricTheFred » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:05 pm

[quote="Fish and Chips (post: 1365114)"]The basic appeal behind Durarara!! is a very simple one. Paraphrasing a blog I occasionally subscribe to, it's the idea that your life is normal, safe even, and possibly nothing ever happens in it]

I meant to respond to this before. This description could very easily also describe Neverwhere. If you've never read it (or never seen the very well-made BBC miniseries) I heartily recommend it.
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Postby blkmage » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:15 pm

Watching this was a lot like watching Bakemonogatari. Both shows were ones that I'd heard about for a while and were backed by excellent studios, staff, and source material, but I wasn't really anticipating either of them. And both first made me really, really excited for the rest of the show.

I love the music for this show. It's great. And this is definitely the best looking show that Brains Base has produced, and they've got some pretty impressive works under their belt. And even though it was a lot of introduction and setup, it was pretty neat.

I posted before that Baccano didn't really do that well in Japan, but I expect that this will be much more successful. I've been told that the light novels are more of the same sort of stuff, except now, it's set in modern-day Tokyo, a much more familiar place than a train in America in the 1930s.

I am looking forward to whenever Izaya and Shizuo show up and cause a ruckus.

Now for some interesting bits of information! Hidden in these two pictures are some stuff that Brains Base has worked on before.

Image

Image

Also, Dengeki Bunko is the magazine that Durarara!! is serialized in.

Finally,
"Ryuugamine Mikado" basically translates as "Dragon's Peak Emperor", so he gets some funny looks whenever people hear his name.
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Postby Mr. Hat'n'Clogs » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:11 pm

Ohhhhhh myyyyy goshhhhhhh!!!! That was pretty cool, and from here it will only get better!

Ryuugamine and Kida are all kinds of cool, in their own way, and the supporting cast looks cool! I haven't read the novels, but I am suprised we haven't seen the girl with the glasses yet.
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Postby Maokun » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:21 pm

What a great time for my Internet connection to randomly die and stay dead for almost a week now -__-
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