Thursday, May 26, 2016

Unpopular Durarara Opinions, Vol. 1: Durarara SH (デュラララ!!SH) is Bad, and You Should Feel Bad.

One night, whilst lounging carelessly dazed in a boiling cauldron of my own filth combined with artificially natural colors and glitter shit, I sighed and realized that I'd hardly come to terms with how Durarara had ended, nor the fact that the continuation was completely and utterly pathetic, so much so that I wanted to slam my head against my computer after I read it. What a crap novel

In the first place, let me just say that aside from being bored by it I'm not reading SH anymore due to personal reasons. Unless Nasujima reappears, that'll be the only exception to the rule of quitting while i'm ahead or have barely even started.

 Things I don't have time for 101....

I find myself detesting Durarara SH for numerous reasons, mainly because, evidently, it's not Durarara, nor does it venture close to the original Durarara, that meant it would actually capture a speck of my interest. Durarara SH is about as existent as the individuality of its characters, and it shows in comparison to its predecessor. It really fucking shows.

The premise of SH involves the introduction of two fuccbois, and one fuckgrl, i suppose, you could call her, all of which are at least partial replications of their previous incarnations; Anri, Kida, and Mikado. Call Kuon the "Mikado", Himeka the "Anri", and Yahiro the "Kida". Only one of them is even the slightest bit interesting, yet he's still boring enough to bring the novel to its knees begging to be taken seriously. The others are bores that evoke the emotional reaction of the crowd during a dry, dated "comedic" film.

In contrast to the original series, SH severely lacks an ensemble of interesting characters and all the characters are conversely in a similar age range, the only recurring cast being the relatively unfocused characters; twins, Aoba, etc. And of course, one of the most yawn inducing offerings of the series that I never could understand the appeal of in the first place; Shizuo.

Call me an elitist, but I was never particularly enthralled by Shizuo. For he was just there. While my hatred for Izaya's uninteresting villainy and trash backstory (not in an entertaining manner of trash, literal stinking garbage is an accurate descriptor, he's a poorly executed and written excuse for a 'villain', call me someone more rooted in antaognist tradition, but by goood, what a boooring execution, not even one tragedy? and this is seriously the guy Narita chose to write a novel about. Choke me with a fucking fork, gouge my throat with it, until my vocal cords are gushing and I'm no longer capable of screaming) burns with the intensity of many hot suns, my attitude towards Shizuo is "meh", he's just there, but he's even more of a disinteresting character than Izaya, and considering they're often complementary in fandom pairing and canon itself, it makes sense that those would be the two characters I either despise or hardly understand the appeal of in the first place. That being said, of course, clearly Narita's pandering ways would allow Shizuo to return unscathed despite almost dying by hand of Ewwzaya in the last novel, because it's catering to fan favoritsim at its finest, despite the fact that Shizuo is hardly always instrumental to the plot. though his involvement certainly was in a lot of arcs, the story would've been as if not more beneficial with the removal of, or maybe, just maybe, less fixation on him and Izaya.

So therein lies the first problem. Much of the main cast has wandered astray and those who're left lack the charm and diversity of the originals, though the originals that remain are disinteresting on their own accord without backing from the original cast in its entirety. This is an unfortunate problem with the skimming I did of SH 1 throughout. Yashiro's one "interesting" factoid seems to be that he's able to beat Shizuo, yawn, next. Kuon is the post-crazy Mikado clone. Yawn, next. Himeka's searching for Onii-chan. Yawn, next. It's even more of a bore than some slice of life show, at least that can evoke the feels factor. Narita's writing style has seemingly also become more stale, but that's mainly reflected by the fact that he's writing such an uneventful story that'd make K-ON! look masterful in comparison. It's an unfortuante little diddy that feels forced upon us all, or rather, forced upon Narita by his publisher that desperately pleaded for him to churn another series from his bowels that'd merit an equally large following.

Well, the anime could hardly do such things. as far as adaptations go, it was one of the worst I'd seen in awhile, right next to Bokumachi from the same season. For those who stuck it out through the five years late, disappointingly executed continuation that was Durarara x2, Ketsu namely, I am with you always in agreement that it was complete and utter manure. So Narita probably saw his work butchered by Shuka and thought "well, why even continually try to sell to cognitively trained, smart, clever people? Every other show that has two guys and a girl is hot, and if I can recycle the premise from the first novel, add that garbage bartender that everyone seems to like in spite of him not being anything but canned blandness, and imply that Ewwzaya is still alive, BAM, PROFIT!"

Perhaps I am just a nostalgic, a dreamer awaiting the revival of a character that'll likely never appear again or in recent time on account of purposely unexplicit, pathetic, lowbrow pandering that appeals to the lowest common denominator fujos, nostalgics, and shounenfags who think that this can somehow outmatch its predecessor. Durarara the original series is by no means perfect, there are numerous undeveloped characters and plotholes that have yet to be filled, poor explanation and sloppy writing towards the end, not to mention the fact that the conclusion to the series itself is safely picked to avoid offenses or shock, traditionally the bad guys must lose, good guys must victor route, despite there being so many shifts and so many conflicts, the victors all seem to be Face characters while the Heels unfortunately are dealt the cruelest of fates. Predictability aside, it's a boring ending with no ambigousness. Shouldering complaint about the original series definitely being flawed, it's still an amazing concept that has characters of potential interest who were subject to great misfortune far too early on, never given their designated spotlight time when overshadowed by everyone's favorite, and not mine, EwwIzaya and EughShizuo. The execution was imperfect, however, as is with ensemble casts in fiction, DRRR suffers a syndrome that led to pilings of shounen leftovers and disatisfactory explanations. Nonetheless, it's still a sturdy series that shines in its concept, and that unfortunately warranted an underwhelming sequel series that the author likely wanted not to write in the first place.

In finality, Durarara SH is a solid 5 at best and a 3 at worst. The only accolades I can give to such a safely written, boorishly planned, yawnfest of a "novel", is that it is technically a novel that probably took some time to write, containing words that were drafted to paper and revised, so at least it is a novel. Good for you, Narita, gold star.

On second thought, let my favored critic, Doug Walker / The Nostalgic Critic really summarize the extent of my frustration with this excuse for a "continuity"

Deep Inside, She Still Pinpricks

They're small fires to my skin
Sharply slight,
warmly cold
hurtfully relieving
That girl, who claims no longer to be
who she was once
still gnaws at me
with her past fragments
that burst forth so occasionally in my mind
telling me i'm borderline insane
telling me i'm nothingness
that life maybe doesn't exist
I hate her, she left me,
I hate her refusal to stay
there is not just one her, there are many hers
familiarly blending into one mass of regretted feeling

why did i care about you, why did i fucking care about you
And why does it still hurt to think about you
a changing name, a changing face, a changing voice and a changing heart
and you always thought i stayed the same
and maybe to you always i'll be a juvenile seventeen

what you can't see, the improvements beyond our former boundary
will never be known to you
but tears swell in my eyes pettily
as i cried on a shower floor, as i've choked on my own excess, and bashed skull against a wall

why did you leave me so inoppertunely?
did you think it wouldn't affect me?
any feeling besides your own,
and do you still occasionally think of me?