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Durarara!! X2 Ketsu UK Anime DVD Review

9 min read

The final battles begin…and end.

What They Say:
Ikebukuro is primed to explode, as pockets of chaos flare up all over the city. In Shinra s apartment, a group of people with different agendas has gathered. Out on the streets, the Dollars, Yellow Scarves and Saika s Army are getting ready for a showdown. Once Celty s head is finally exposed to the public, the stage will be set for an ending no one will see coming!

The Review:
Audio:
Set up in 2.0 Stereo and Mono English and Japanese language, whilst disappointing there isn’t a 5.1 release the general quality of the audio isn’t diminished in terms of set up, as I required no changes to my audio settings and the quality in both languages is very good, with no issues of poor synching with the subtitles, or any cuts with the video. The quality is overall very good, and with a show like Durarara where the music changes on a whim with the scenes from comic to dark, there is a good range of music to act with the voice acting, whether it is the sound of telephone poles crashing down towards Izaya or the swing of Celtys’ scythe, the atmosphere is always there and audible.

Video:
Set on a 16×9 anamorphic format, the video quality I set full screen with no slow down or transition issues, no crossed animation when pausing and with the show being mostly dark and gritty, it is coming out very clear. The subtitles sync with no issues (with two choices of full subtitles with songs, or just for the signs if you are watching the English dub or are confident about your verbal Japanese) on either language, though at times because of the dark backgrounds and characters like Celty, there are rare moments when I had to adjust the brightness though this wasn’t very often – as otherwise a quality release.

Packaging:
There was no packaging for this test release; however, the Blu-Ray release has collector’s packaging.

Menu:
The menu is pretty basic – they are all done on grey diamond-like backgrounds with the title of the show and graffiti-like insignia. Your selections are Play All, Subtitles and Chapters (with extras on disc 2) and the subtitles menu as mentioned allows you to have them fully on, just songs/signs or off completely. Accessible and easy to navigate from the menus and in-show, but nothing really interesting (there isn’t even any music in the background) which is disappointing considering this is the climax of the show.

Extras:
The only extras are the clean opening and closing on disc 2.

Content:
Ketsu is the 3rd cour and final ‘season’ of the Durarara anime and whilst there is more in terms of manga and light novels, for anime watchers for the time being, this is it. Durarara is quite a show with a lot of mind games, characters and subplots all linking into one and this is where everything finally comes together. Does it succeed? Let’s find out…

We finished the previous season with a lot of people at Shinra and Celty’s apartment, whilst the potential true antagonist Kasane is working behind the scenes, both knocking out Namie and captured Izaya. Of course, things don’t turn out as well and Izaya is soon back on the loose but now the clashes of Celty’s head, Shizuo, the Dollars, etc – they will all be focused on as the stories all begin to intertwine. Izaya, of course, gets involved everything with his meddling ‘I love humans’ mentality, with Anri being his first ‘victim’ – with Erika being a support (combined with Kyohei her driver and badass friend being a target of a hit and run), Kasane becomes more a focus as she was controlled by Saika but seems to be free of her and able to do what she wants despite being part of another organisation (which becomes important later one) – we get other characters like Haruna, the girl who tried to kill Anri back in the 1st season as also being controlled by Saika, (and obsessed with the creepy teacher Takashi) but it feels like all the Saika users are going to work together as something is about to get real…

So first we get a video of Celty’s head being showcased on the internet – and then we get Mikado back in the fray to the point that he even clashes with Izaya, but he definitely has a plan, especially with his friendships with Masaomi and Anri (with Anri still managing to contain Saika) which leads to Kasane stopping Haruna from trying to attack Anri and reveals herself to be the original Saika, leading to a strange relationship between the two (Kasane’s lack of emotion is actually quite comical at times, the cat ears segment being a classic). Masaomi also returns as the Yellow Scarves are still in action, but the Toramaru leader Chikage, the badass ladies man also begins to get involved and challenges Masaomi to a fight…and considering this is a guy who actually took blows from Shizuo…

Speaking of Shizuo, he had been charged with assault but it was cleared that a certain someone was pulling the strings and he learned about Celty’s head whilst in jail. When he’s released, probably my favourite of the 2nd season characters in Vorona continues her ‘I want to kill Shizuo but I want to be friends/learn from him’ mentality as she steals the head – whilst Haruna is kidnapped as she is being used as a catalyst to infect everyone with Saika…in a rather creepy way to be honest…

Speaking of Saika infection, Kasane also visits Celty and Shinra and kisses him and kidnaps him (and infecting him with Saika, which becomes important for the end) which of course Celty snaps at – whilst things with Shizuo (looking for Vorona), Masaomi (dealing with the fight and also Ran, Aoba’s brother) and Celty (who realises Vorona has the head) – with Anri also having heart to heart with Masaomi’s girlfriend Saki (which of course also brings Mikado into the mix) – considering the shortness of each arc it actually does a masterful job in bringing all the storylines together without feeling rushed and with Mikado’s manipulation and intelligence bringing forth as he realises the Dollars need to be purged (with Namie of all people trying to expose him as she blames him for everything that has happened…of course specifically with Seiji) – confrontations are abound when Shizuo first finds Kasane, with Vorona conflicted to kill him or be with him, it leads to Kasane saying that she doesn’t need to follow the orders of the guy who hired her and in a rather big scene, Izaya tries to kill Shizuo by sending doing some beams which injured Vorona as Shizuo saves her, and Shizuo is clearly angry…and you know this when Izaya calls him and he’s NOT screaming his name…instead he is calm and simply says ‘goodbye’ before going to search for him to pretty much try and kill him.

The other big thing is that Shingen, Shinra’s father has tracked the head down and gets him and asks Igor to throw it into the pit of shadows above which has become Celty – which reunites the two but also makes her forget all her memories of being with Shinra and the rest of her friends. With Nasujima, Haruna and Hiroto causing a plague of Saika zombies, the streets are a crowd of disaster – whilst Chikage contacts Mikado to meet with him and Masaomi…

So Izaya tries to kill Shizuo but does fail, Russia Sushi is being swarmed by Saika zombies, Anri revealing her Saika to try and stop them, and Mikado and Masaomi reuniting. There is a lot that is going on as you can guess – some big things like Shinra being able to control Saika but also resisting, Mikado getting a gun from Ran and leading to an interesting confrontation with Masaomi, Kyohei and the gang reunited to help out the crowds, Shizuo and Izaya continuing their fight (which leads to the final moment where Vorona helping out) and Celty snapping out of her state thanks to a fun combination between Shinra and Shizuo. It even ties up a lot of loose ends like Ruri and Kyohei getting revenge against Nasujima (and Haruna looking forward to ‘loving’ him) with the three of Masaomi, Mikado, and Anri eventually reunited…

There is a lot to take in as you can get and with so many characters it can be hard to keep up, but as mentioned, the main thing is that all the plots do get enough time to conclude. First we have Mikado and Masaomi with Anri in the middle – this intermixes with the Saika zombie plot with Anri a catalyst in stopping it but it all falls back right at the very start of the series with Mikado being introduced to friends of Masaomi before his true nature was revealed – Mikado is very manipulative but also very honest and the way he deals with the Dollars and his friendship with Masaomi is terrifying but also very fitting with the character and it’s fun to see how his character has changed so much because a lot of everything that happens will take you back to how the characters were introduced back at the start.

The Shizuo/Izaya rivalry kind of took a backfoot when storylines became more developed but it concludes with full force as we get some flashbacks to Shinra and Izaya talking about Shizuo back when they were in school and it seems to stem with the fact that Izaya doesn’t consider Shizuo human…yet contrary things that prove it (like him suffocating on carbon dioxide) he conveniently ignores to the point that it is open if he actually survives at the end of the series. Shizuo actually gets some good moments throughout both in his sempai relationship to Vorona (who is immensely interesting in her dilemma and by the end of the series it is clear when she leaves she wants to return, yet you don’t know whether it is to fight him or to learn from him) as well as reminding us that yeah, he’s the strongest character in the show (when he terrifies some kids who are being dicks to him) – his way to help Shinra reconnect with Celty is one part proves he still is good friends with him and one part hilarious.

And the third main storyline – Celty’s head – goes through all the washes. It is one that has had a slow build but finally is showcased and even it seems like they finally reunite – one thing that is mentioned throughout this arc with Celty’s torment is that she actually is more human than most humans around – indeed, she is considering the big good for most of the show as despite being a Calluthan she is pretty much friends with pretty much everyone of the main cast (Shizuo considering her his best friend, Anri, Mikado and of course Shinra all have their moments too) – it’s actually quite sweet considering the relationship between her and Shinra and how it all concludes, with other little factors by the end (Seiji’s obsession with the head for example) that she is helped to remain ‘human’ in her mind. Celty’s development throughout the series has been a great mix of serious moments, comic moments, and story development.

This, combined with several other characters also getting their moments (Kasane being the big one, she’s more manipulative than even Izaya and her revelations of Saika and her general involvement to her seriously comic moments make her the breakout character in this arc outside the leads) means that the conclusion whilst frantic, doesn’t feel rushed and ties in everything with strength. The series in general is one that deserves its high reputation as it is a great story driven show with interesting and dark visuals and likable (albeit a lot of) characters which all have their fandoms. There are of course a few questions unanswered (mostly due to pairings – Anri/Mikado being the big one) it manages to wrap I’d say 95% of everything they could together and am definitely happy with how it did.

In Summary:
Durarara x2 Ketsu concludes the long-running series and manages to tie all the loose ends whilst focusing on the primary characters we’ve grown to know and love. The story can be quite hectic but it manages to get there with almost everything answered, and still bring us the characters we know and love whether despicable (Izaya), misunderstood (Shizuo/Celty), intelligent (Mikado) or just plain lovable (Anri/Masaomi and let’s be honest Celty fits here too)- it’s definitely got high marks from fans for a reason and it concludes nearly perfectly. Hope the follow-up novels get a translation…

Features:
Clean Ending/Opening

>Content Grade: A-
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: N/A
Menu Grade: B-
Extras Grade: N/A

Released By: Anime Limited
Release Date: March 19th, 2018
MSRP: £19.99 (£44.99 for Blu-Ray set)
Running Time: 275 minutes
Video Encoding: PAL
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 – 1.78:1

Review Equipment:
Playstation 4, Sony Bravia 32 Inc EX4 Television, Aiwa 2 Way Twin Duct Bass Reflex Speaker System.

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