It’s taken me some time, but I finally finished Durarara this past week.
I really enjoy this style of opening, where they cycle through all the different characters. The studio Brains Base has done this style before, and I absolutely love it. At no point in the series did I feel the need to skip past this thing.
Heavy amounts of dialogue done in non standard ways. One of the things I think anime does extremely well is handling face to face dialogues. Instead of actually showing the people talking, the camera pans across random static images like a table, doorway, sign, etc. Although the original purpose was to save money by minimizing the number of animated scenes, it’s become somewhat of a trademark and something I really enjoy. In Durara, there is a lot of online/anonymous interaction, and so you get a significant amount of plot and dialogue through forums and chatrooms.
The whole story revolves around having an enormous cast of characters living in the same city, and all their separate storylines somehow get intertwined. There’s a lot of flashbacks, hidden pasts, secret identity crap that goes on, and most of the time it works out pretty well. A few characters you see in the openings get very little attention (Shinra’s dad shows up for maybe half an episode, the policeman is there for like 5 minutes, etc) and other main character’s stories seemed a bit rushed.
The ending was a bit anti-climactic, in that nothing really happened. Everyone just sort of went home and lived happily ever after, so to speak. Not to say the ending didn’t make sense, it was just a little bit tame given all the buildup they had.
Overall, I’d put the anime near the top of my 2010 list, and is definitely worth a watch.