Review: Durarara!

Review: Durarara!

This is the show I am almost finished watching, and though I don’t have the conclusion yet, I’ve decided to talk a bit about it.  (I’m 2 episodes away from finishing it, don’t yell at me)

Now, I’ve heard about this show.  A LOT.  Mainly just from the fandom, so I saw pictures of characters and such.  I didn’t think too much of the show because I had literally no idea what it was about.  Then my friend watched some of it, explained a bit to me, and I was intrigued.  But it wasn’t until a year later that I started watching it.  And I have to say, I’m impressed.

This is really a “Don’t judge a book by its cover” kind of show.  The title tells you nothing, and even the description doesn’t do it justice.  Let me show you what Netflix says about it, “A young man looking for excitement moves to Ikebukuro, a district in Tokyo, where he finds a world of mystery in which the past and present mesh.”  That’s directly from Netflix, I DID NOT write that.

celty-shizuo

Celty Sturluson and Shizuo Heiwajima

So, yes, all that’s said is true, but it only focuses on one character, Mikado Ryugamine, and I don’t even consider him to be the true main character.  In fact, I don’t think any one character is the main character.  All of the characters in the show have some tie to all of the other characters, which is impressive to achieve.  In my head, I’ve counted 35 characters with names that all have some kind of relation to the main plot.  Some aren’t introduced until the second season (which is split into 3 parts), though.  I won’t focus on season 2 at all so that’s about 15 people I won’t be talking about.

There are 4 stories going on at once, roughly.  Some stories intertwine and separate through the show, so I can’t have a permanent group of people for each.

Basically you have the three high schoolers: Mikado, Masaomi, and Anri.  And then there’s Celty, Shinra, his dad (who kind of jumps in and out), and Shizuo (who’s also part of another story).  Then, I call them the “van group” because they travel in a van: Erika, Walter, Kyohei, and Saburo.  And the last group is Seiji, Namie, Mika, and Izaya, and Shizuo jumps in sometimes.  This isn’t really all of it, since it jumps around so much, but if I were to group them, this would be it for season one.  Season two has probably like 8 groups at least, but it still stays organized enough where I can understand what is going on.

drrr-ending

First ending scrolling picture

The whole thing is so impressive since it started as a light novel series, written by Ryohgo Narita and illustrated by Suzuhito Yasuda.  Two people made this happen.  That’s insane.  Of course, they have to go through publishers who critique their work, but it’s just crazy that they could keep a story like this all organized.  I know there are many popular manga/anime that also have a ton of characters in them, but for how complex the plot is and to remember what each character has to do with it pretty nuts.  I have a hard time remembering the full names of just a few characters and what they have to do.  And some of them I don’t even give them full names.  In this, all 35 or so characters have a first and last name, and I’d say at least 10-15 of them have an online alias, first and last name.  I look up to these people.

Well, enough of my impressed ranting.  I’m sure those of you who don’t know the show would like a little bit of knowledge on what exactly is going on.

Alright.  So, like the Netflix overview said, this is somewhat of a mystery show.  With demons and faeries and gangs.  Which makes it like 10 times cooler.  So, in Ikabukuro, there’s this reputation of something called “color gangs.”  Examples of these are called the “Blue Squares” and “Yellow Scarves.”  Basically, they all wear something of that color so civilians can identify them.  But, Ikabukuro also has a notorious colorless gang called “The Dollars.”  People in the district constantly have to look out for suspicious people in case one of the normal civilians turns out to be a part of The Dollars.

That’s the gang part of it.  Now, for the faeries part.  Well, there’s really only one faery.  Named Celty Sturluson, who is a dullahan.  A dulluhan is an Irish faery who carries around its head and rides a shadow-type horse.  They are all female, and value their horses and heads.  Unfortunately for Celty, her head has been stolen and taken to Ikabukuro.  She rides around the district on a black motorcycle, which neighs like a horse.  She’s known as the “Black Rider” and people don’t know whether to be scared of her or not.

And, for the demons.  This doesn’t come until about halfway through season one, so if you want to skip this part to not spoil it, go on ahead.  I won’t be too specific with anything.

This isn’t like your normal “monster” type of demon.  This one is in the form of a sword, and possesses others into following it.  This becomes a very big problem near the end of the show, but isn’t really the main idea until season two.  This part of the show was really interesting to me, and might’ve been the reason I watched all the way to the end (well, almost the end).

And there you have it.  That’s what I think about Durarara!  Oh, you want to know what my favorite character is and who my least favorite is?

I know you probably weren’t asking, but I do have an answer for both.  One may be a bit shocking to those who like this show.

I’d have to say Celty is my favorite, but it took me a while to decide this.  She just made me laugh, and cry, and I felt deeply for her.  She is pretty lost without that major part of her, and she constantly is attacked while out doing deliveries ( I forgot to mention she delivers things).  Also, I’ve never heard of a dullahan, so I was interested when I heard of it.  I’m very into mythology and fantasy things, so that makes a lot of sense.

And, as for who my least favorite is, it’s actually Izaya.  I know a lot of people like him, but I just never got attached to him.  I never felt sorry for him, and he confused me.  I never knew his intentions and he flip-flops with whose side he’s on, so I could never tell if he was a villain or not.  So, don’t hate me, but I don’t like everyone’s favorite character.

Alright, so that’s the end of my review.  I’m having a bit of a hard time coming up with ideas, so if you have any tweet me or leave a comment.  My twitter is @letstalkanime1.  Oh, and not this upcoming weekend, but the weekend after, I’m going to an anime convention.  I’ll probably make a post about my experiences and maybe have some cool cosplay pictures.  And I’ll be seeing Vic Mignogna with my brother and possibly J. Michael Tatum and Monica Rial, so maybe pictures with them will be here too (all are FUNimation dub voice actors for those subbed fans out there).  But I have no promises.

Bye!

**As of 10/25 I finished this show, and let me tell you, it was quite an ending.**

**If anybody is curious, I generally don’t edit my posts so if you see run-on sentences and things like that, it’s because I like to leave it written how I think.  If that bothers anyone, let me know.  Thanks!**

Featured picture: http://ib.huluim.com/

Celty and Shizuo: http://release-date.info/

Ending picture: http://pre07.deviantart.net/

Top 5 Underrated Anime

Top 5 Underrated Anime

 

We all have a show or movie we love that has almost no recognition.  We want others to know how much we love that show, despite it being so unrecognized.  I know I’ve talked about some animes you’ve never heard of, and here are a few more that I really enjoy but have little to no recognition.

These are five animes that I really enjoy, but not many people know of.  Three of them I heard of from other people, but the other two I found on my own.

  1. Snow White with the Red Hair
  2. Death Parade
  3. Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions!
  4. Fruits Basket
  5. Hyouka

 

  1. Snow White with the Red Hair (Japanese title: Akagami no Shirayuki-hime)

(The picture of this one is the banner)

To start off: I love this show.  I’m a big fan of fairy tales, and Medieval times, so when I heard of this show, I immediately was drawn to it.  And, I’m not a HUGE fan of the Snow White story, so I was excited what this show would come up with.

The basis of the show is that a girl named Shirayuki (Japanese name for Snow White) works in her town as an herbalist with her grandparents (I think).  She is known for having bright red hair, like an apple.  When the prince of her kingdom hears of this girl’s strange hair, he wants it for himself, and requests that she becomes his concubine.  Upon hearing this, she cuts her hair and flees to the neighboring kingdom.  While in the forest, she meets a stranger, named Zen, who becomes injured.  She offers to heal him, and they team up.  Later, he protects her from the poisoned apple that the prince tried to feed her, and they gain each other’s trust.  She begins living in this new kingdom to escape the prince after her hair.

So, it hardly has aspects of Snow White.  Yeah, the poison apple, but beside that, she’s very different from the traditional princess.  Honestly, seeing as she continuously is wanted for her hair, it reminds me more of Rapunzel from the Disney movie, Tangled.

But, the story has quite a bit of swordfighting, there are many emotional scenes, and a lot of comedic moments.  I watched most of it in two days, and I watched it dubbed, which has an amazing voice cast, by the way.  I compared it to the subbed and I think they picked the actors very well based on that.  Brina Palencia plays Shirayuki, and Josh Grelle plays Zen, along with some other well-known dubbing actors such as Todd Haberkorn and Jamie Marchi.  So, if you’re into dubbed anime, I suggest watching it this way.

2. Death Parade

death-parade

This is a pretty short anime, and again has a pretty decent dubbing cast, and Jamie Marchi plays one of the main characters (the girl on the right).

Though, I don’t want to talk about the dub cast as much this time.

This show has the concept of all dead people going to a judgement place before going to either Heaven or Hell.  In this show, they are forced to play one of a variety of torturous games.  The idea is to bring out the true character of the players and determine which will go where.  They can’t both go to one, and they can’t remain in the judgement area.

Each episode focuses on a game, and in some, it’s pretty clear as to where each person will go.  But with others, it’s difficult to decide, if both have awful characters or have a true heart.  So, some episodes are a bit painful to watch.  You get to learn little bits about many people’s lives, but they don’t stay for more than one episode, usually.

As for characters: the main character is Decim (the guy in the middle), the arbitrator who decides each person’s fate and runs the games.  He has no emotions, so he can’t be biased against one person.  The other main character, she doesn’t have a name, but she is actually a human who has died and is stuck in the world between Earth and beyond (girl on the right).  Decim couldn’t determine which place she should go, so she stays with him and watches over the games as well, helping him with the decisions.

I like both characters, and for having no emotions, Decim is pretty cool.

On to the next show!

3. Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions!

lcod

This is a romance, somewhat.  But it’s also an interesting concept.  When I first watched it, I fell in love with it pretty quickly.

The story focuses around Yuuta Togashi, as he meets a strange girl named Rikka Takanashi (pictured above).  She is someone who believes in having a “magic eye” and imagines fighting sequences in her head as she “battles” other people.  This would seem strange to him, but he happens to be someone who used to practice this as well.  They call this hobby “Eighth-grade syndrome” or “Chunibyo.”  Though he knows about this, he grew out of it as he entered high school, while Rikka did not.

Think of this a little bit like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, except with a lot more romance.  Rikka creates a club, which Yuuta ends up joining, along with a couple of other people at her high school.  Like in Haruhi Suzumiya, they run into different scenarios and have to work through them.  But, the love story is kind of cute, and there are some great characters as well as development.

4. Fruits Basket

fb

I know, I know, I did a review of this already.  But I got almost no feedback on that, so I feel I need to talk about it again.  Even though I’ll explain some of it here, please read my review on it here:Review: Fruits Basket.

So here are the characters from left to right: Kyo Sohma, Tohru Honda, Yuki Sohma, Shigure Sohma, Saki Hanajima, and Arisa Uotani.

The main characters are Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki.  I didn’t talk about Kyo at all in my review, which is strange since he’s my favorite character.  But I like Tohru and Yuki as well, don’t get me wrong.

Anyway, the reason I really like this show is because of the characters.  They are diverse in their personalities and their character design, which I entirely respect.  There are so many characters that are introduced, and to have them all be so different is very impressive.

And, for being an old show, the art is pretty decent.  I had a feeling it was older when I watched it, but I didn’t expect it to be as old as it is.  I think it’s that way with a lot of older anime (as in 10 years old+).  The only way you can really tell if an anime is old is by the water color, hair, and the way the girls’ mouths look when they laugh.

Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Here are your examples:

And that’s about all I have for Fruits Basket, so on to the final anime!

5. Hyouka

hyouka

You see that guy in the middle there?  That’s Oreki Houtarou, and he is the essence of every lazy person out there.  But yet, he’s incredibly smart and can solve problems very quickly.

This show is categorized as a school-life mystery anime.  Though I had trouble following the main mystery that takes up the first seven or so episodes, I still enjoyed the show.  (The subtitles went too fast and I didn’t feel like backtracking to keep up)  The other mysteries vary from finding earrings at a pool to identifying the guilty one in a film some classmates made.  And some episodes barely have a mystery in them at all.

It’s a casual watch unless you want to be quicker than the characters at figuring their problem out.  It has a pretty decent soundtrack and interesting characters to keep you engaged.  The ending was a bit disappointing, but nothing I got truly angry at, so you can rest easy.

The relationships built up in this sweet little mystery show are pretty complex.  There’s one episode that’s quite dramatic dealing with two of the characters, and I remember getting really into it.  And, Oreki, at the start of the show, wants nothing to do with anything.  By the end, he’s happy to be a part of his group of friends and seems to enjoy himself a lot more.

So, bottomline, if you like quick mysteries and school-life animes, you’d probably like this.  Or even if you’re not really into one of those, you should still give it a shot.

 

Ah, so I finally posted, huh?  I know it’s been a while, but I’ve been busy, as I’ve stated several times before.  Fridays will be my goal update day, but if it’s late all that means is I had other stuff going on, so there’s no need to worry.

I hope you enjoyed this, bye!

Oh, and I’d greatly appreciate if you’d follow my new Twitter : @letstalkanime1

*I’ve discovered that there are at least three other inactive blogs with the same name as me, so I can’t change my website name to my blog name, so I need some suggestions.  Feel free to leave a comment down below.  letstalkanime.wordpress, letstalkanimeweb.wordpress, and letstalkanimeblog.wordpress are both taken.*

Pictures:

Banner: behindthevoiceactors.com

Death Parade: millennialeye.files.wordpress.com

Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions!: http://img1.ak.crunchyroll.com/

Fruits Basket:static.hummingbird.me

Hyouka: a2ua.com

Water gif: 66.media.tumblr.com

Anime laugh: http://static.tvtropes.org/

Anime hair change: MyAnimeList.net

Maka Cosplay

Maka Cosplay

On Saturday, October 1st, I went to the comic con in my city.  It’s a pretty small convention but my dad has a table at it every year, so I help him out.  And every year, it grows quite a lot.  I decided that I would wear my Maka Albarn cosplay to it so I could practice wearing it for the anime convention I attend.

I began working on it in July, and I finished it on September 30th, the day before I needed it.  (I’m a bit of a procrastinator, so it was difficult to make myself complete it.)

In all, it came together pretty well, and I got a TON of comments on it, my scythe especially. (thank you Soul for being awesome)maka-reference

Before you get to see the finished piece, I’ll show my beginnings and some of the process on completing it.  As well as the materials I used.  This is kind of like a simplified tutorial, since I got a lot of ideas from other tutorials.

I have a reference photo of Maka here so you can compare if you want to or if you’re not familiar with her.

Clothing Materials

  • White vest (thin sweater material)
  • Red plaid school skirt
  • White button-up long sleeved dress shirt
  • Green & white striped tie
  • Clunky heeled ankle boots
  • Button-up black dress

Craft Materials

  • White craft foam
  • Thick poster board
  • Air-dry clay
  • PVC piping (1/2″ and 1 1/2″)
  • Black leather dye
  • Yellow RIT fabric dye
  • Silver acrylic paint
  • Red acrylic paint
  • Black acrylic paint
  • White acrylic paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Velcro
  • Silver spray paint
  • Sealant spray
  • Masking tape
  • Hot glue
  • Super glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Straight-edge
  • Red permanent marker
  • Black permanent marker
  • Staples
  • Clear elastic hair ties (not really craft material)

Gathering the Materials

Here are the boots I used and the vest I used, neither looked like this when I bought them.

20160724_224239

20160724_224304

The vest was white when I bought it, and it had strings coming out of the sleeves.  To fix this, I pulled the strings out as far as I could and cut them, and then I used yellow fabric dye to make the vest look pale yellow.  This isn’t a good picture, but my room lighting sucks, so we’ll have to make due.  As for the boots, they were brown when I bought them.  I got black leather shoe dye and brushed that over them, let them dry, and rubbed them with a soft cloth.

20160823_194910

Here’s the rest of the clothing for her basic school uniform.  The white shirt I got from my previous Haruhi Fujioka cosplay, and was a little difficult to work with since it is a men’s shirt.  But hey, I didn’t need to buy a new one.  The skirt and tie I found on Ebay, since it’s apparently impossible to find a plaid school skirt and green and white striped tie around where I live.  Again, this isn’t the best picture, but it was either this or an awful selfie in the middle of my disaster of a room.


**I’m sorry this middle part is awkwardly here.  It was the only way to fit both pictures here.**

 

 

 

20160823_195605

These are the pieces I used for the scythe, which was a piece of thick poster board cut into the blade shape. (I don’t have recommendations on how to cut it, since my dad cut it at work for me.) And two sizes of PVC piping, one 1/2″ in diameter and the other 1 1/2″ in diameter.  The thinner pipe was cut where I hold it and a coupling was put in between to make a small handle.  The other was cut to be about 6″ long for the top by the blade.  Each were spray painted silver and soon I will be sealing them to prevent the paint from chipping off while I’m holding it.

The Scythe-making Process

20160929_13122220160929_22221920160930_203939

After the blade was cut, the next step was to paint it.  I used masking tape, a pencil, scissors, and a straight-edge (also known as a hardcover book) to outline the zigzags.  I started with painting the bottom, so the masking tape is lined up for painting the bottom

 

I used red first, so I didn’t accidentally paint black on the bottom.  But, once the red was done, I couldn’t exactly tape the red without peeling the red paint, so I carefully outlined the black lines with a thin brush, and then filled everything else in with a larger brush.

 

Here’s the scythe almost fully assembled.  All that’s left is to make Soul’s lovely eye.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the process before I finished it and put it on the scythe.  Basically, I used the air-dry clay to make ovals, and used the top pipe to mold it to fit around.  Then I waited for them to dry, and my dad sanded them down before I filled in the iris and pupil.  I used black and red Sharpie to make the designs, since it gave me more control of the circular edges.  Then they were attached using super glue and I traced them with more black Sharpie for the little lines at the top and bottom.

Oh, and for the little thing on the back, I used the left-over poster board from the blade and drew the shape with a pencil, and my dad cut it out, and I sprayed it down with silver spray paint.

The screw at the top is another type of piping thing, I think it’s a cap for 1 1/2″ piping.  And the way I attached the top to the bottom pipe is by more piping stuff that I honestly don’t know the name for.  The way we put the blade together is by cutting slots in the blade, back piece, and the pipe at the top.  All were slid in and the screw put on top to hold it all together.  I’m supposed to spray the silver parts down again to make them stick better, but the pipes are held together with some super glue.

The Boot-making Process

Next, the boots.  I actually finished these in August, and the scythe in September, but this is just how I put the pictures in.
20160801_20142920160810_212648

This is a picture of the giant straps she has on the top of each boot.  I made these using craft foam, silver acrylic paint, scissors, a pencil, a paintbrush, and glue.  I cut the long strips, and then used a pencil to poke the holes, and then grabbed a paintbrush to make the holes cleaner.  Then I cut small rectangles, cut the inside into a buckle shape, and then painted them silver.  I pushed them through the strips and secured them using glue.

I then secured Velcro to the ends of the strips so I could take the straps on and off without ripping them off of the boots.  The top ones, I glued the backs of them to the boots.

For the bottom of the boots, I used white acrylic paint and Mod Podge.  I mixed the paint and Mod Podge, put three layers down, and then a layer of just Mod Podge.

For the other white strips, I did the fronts one first, and secured them with hot glue.  Then I did the ones behind those, the ones in front of the ankle.  I took the next ones and used something circular to mark where the black dots would go.  Then I used black acrylic paint to fill them in.

Though, I wouldn’t suggest the hot glue for securing anything.  Before I even made it through the convention doors, the front strips were falling off, so I used duct tape for a temporary fix.

Final Product

20161001_133153

me

 

 

And here are some pictures taken at the convention by my amazing aunt.  And yes, I am posing with a Kaneki cosplayer.  They really liked my cosplay and theirs was so cool, that I decided why not take a picture with them.  I don’t know their name or anything, so they don’t know they’re on my website, but oh well, it’s my favorite picture I’ve had of my cosplay.

And woo!  Face reveal!  I know you didn’t ask for one, but I really don’t care anyway, so there you go.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, it turned out a little more in-depth than I thought it would be, but I hope it wasn’t too boring.

Also, I didn’t include the coat instructions since it isn’t done yet.  But what I did here was take a button-down dress and add some staples to the bottom to make it come out naturally.  I’ll be sewing it soon, adding silver buttons, and white cuffs to make it complete.  And then I’ll get some white gloves.

Tell me how you liked this in the comments, and I’ll post next Friday hopefully.

Bye!

Also, I made a Twitter account just for  my blog, follow me there for more content!

@letstalkanime1