Saturday, November 27, 2010

Which is Better: Durarara!! or Baccano!

Misinterpreting a friend just isn't as funny as when you do it as a child. As we grow, the belief that we have all mastered the concept of speaking becomes an everyday standard. If we mess up, it's the 5 second glare and then a nonchalant "What?” However, if you error in a foreign tongue, the result is amazing comity.

Does this mean that or minds have the capability to revert to that childlike ignorance by simply learning another language?

That is a question that is not answered by either of these series, created by ASCII Media Works, but if I had to say which one could be better used to answer it, I would have to say Durarara!! would be the winner.

Simon Brezhnev, a character from Durarara!!, is a Russian sushi chef that often confuses his Japanese resulting in a wholesomely convincing and humorous character , although he is usually very serious. This uniqueness in character is much more distinct in Durarara!! than it is in Baccano!

The plot in Durarara!! seemed to flow much more naturally than Baccano!'s, which seemed almost rushed to me. It almost feels as if the producers just wanted to get Baccono! out, specifically, to have this comparison between series become a grand event. Many of the characters are very similar to the ones in Baccano! and in many ways were not as enjoyable. For example, many of the characters in the show, that were supposed to be viewed as the protagonists (of which there are several of in both series), had overly violent and self-destructive tenancies.

One such character is Chane Laforet, who had her own voice removed by her father just to keep his secrets. Although noble of Chane, what kind of relationship is this trying to portray. It's simply scary and deranged.

While it did have some greatly fleshed out characters, such as Ennis and Jacuzzi Splot, many of them appeared to come to unrealized ends, as if they had simply been thrown in for no reason. The cast in Durarara!!, however, seemed to all serve a greater purpose that just felt more cohesive and relevant.

I understand that the plot of Baccano! is set in the era of prohibition and that the modern era that Durarara!! is staged in is more relevant to life today, but that's not what I mean. The characters in Durarara!! had a much more cohesive feeling and felt like family, where as in Baccano! some of them are so deranged that it was hard to relate.

The plot in Baccano! is a fantastic mystery aboard the rail train, the Flying Pussyfoot, and I am not saying that the story is bad, but at times it becomes overly confusing. it is alost impossible to understand half of the story without looking up character bio's or reading the Manga beforehand. From the perspective of and avid anime watcher, I have to say the Durarara!! entered their characters in a much bolder way that really stood out.

I have to site The Headless Rider, Celty, and Simon Brezhnev specifically on this aspect. Celty had one of the greatest entrances around in the very first episode. It was mysterious and ominous, just the way it was intended and it instantly gives the show a very fleshed-out appearance that goes well with its suspension of disbelief. She goes beyond all badassary, as she blazes in on her dark motorcycle.

Simon Brezhnev has a great presence from the very start as a monolith in the story, as well. His authority is uniquely softened with his occasional mishap in the Japanese language, which makes him lovable, an aspect that’s hard to come by in Baccano! because almost all the immortals are too mischievous.

It is also important to note that Baccano! only has one exclamation point, were as Durarara!! has two.

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