Recently had the time to make my way through the 1st season of Durarara!! and I have a few ideas as to how to make the new seasons an improvement over it. The list starts with the most important of matters and grows more inconsequential as it goes.
1. Give the 3 High School Chuckleheads less focus
The most obvious issue with the 1st season of course! Now seems like the best time to do so given how the second half of the 1st season threw them into the center of the stage. I mean, it was impossible to get the whole love-triangle best friends conflict which seemed very uncharacteristic of the show. Especially when following the as-of-now incomplete arc about Celty’s head search. It seems to turn into an entirely different anime series, and frankly, I didn’t find anything in the last third in particular. The story was lacking, the characters (both protagonists and antagonists) were underdeveloped and dull/cliche (compared to the first arc), and they practically ignored existing story threads just to give time to these dullards, so it stands to reason that they are the root of the show’s problems. Thankfully Kida and his girlfriend (whose means the love triangle has effectively been broken up) seem to have run off into the sunset, and Anri still has her “Slasher” schtick, which is an amusing idea. This leaves Mikado. I’m not against the whole “normal dude in a cast of weirdos” setup, but it doesn’t work as well when the “normal” guy is a static, and aggressively passive individual that sucks the fun out of everything and does nothing until the last minute. Unfortunately, the dude seems to be at the forefront of most Durarara!!’s promotional material as if he was the protagonist, so I doubt he’ll be going anywhere. Hopefully, we’ll get some impressive development out of him before the story actually ends.
2. Don’t half-ass climaxes
So far Durarara!! has only had one decent climax out of three (the Slasher arc’s being the best). The mid-season finale was impressive in how anti-climactic it was. Really, all it took was a single phone call from Mikado to deflate pretty much the entire conflict? Meh. The 3 Way Gang War arc was never going to end satisfactorily because the setup itself was hard to care for due to reasons expressed above, but the attempt to make Horada into a big deal was weak. Dude wasn’t even important enough to make the OP, how could anyone take the guy seriously? The actual conflict itself ended up being an afterthought too, so much for that.
3. Deal out more karma
Durarara!! Did a good job of setting up a number of amusing characters ranging from the insanely likable and charming (Celty) to some real certifiable jerkasses. The problem here is that the 1st season left us without much resolution to what had been set up, thus making it seem like said jerkasses got off easy. Of course referring mainly to Izaya, Yagiri, and Shinra. The latter of which seems unlikely to receive any sort of punishment at this point because his dearest Waifu Celty is to loyal to walk out on him despite aiding in the hiding of her head. The only form of punishment the writers gave Yagiri was in the form of having her brother NTR’d away from her. As for Izaya, well let’s just say that I’m not even sure if having him thrown into a trash compactor would be satisfying enough if he gets to have three more seasons of uninterrupted smugness.
4. Do something else with Shizuo
I like Shizuo, he’s cool and shit. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking he served much of a purpose beyond conveniently appearing whenever there’s a bad guy(s) that needs to be pummeled, only to go on about how much he dislikes violence. Could do without his angry Hulk schtick throughout the rest of the story if it only leads to more plot convenience.
5. Have an awesome upbeat OP like the 1st one instead of something dour like the second
A reasonable request considering how the Durarara!! seems to have gotten all of it’s teenage angst out of the way (I hope) which is why I assume the song for the second opening was picked.
6. Have more of this guy
Because seriously, he was pretty funny.
7. Make references to newer anime
Wouldn’t it be weird if they were still throwing in Baccano! and Spice and Wolf Easter eggs in 2015?