As I am presently bogged down with obligations outside the internet, I cannot write a write-up like this very often; however, it is my intention to write up something about one of these shows as often as I can. This installment, I intend to look at a show I first encountered in I think the Fall of 2010, and which will be premiering on Adult Swim in the States tomorrow. Durarara!! (Sometimes abbreviated as DRRR!!) is a 26-episode series that aired on the Japanese stations CBC, MBS, and TBS from January 7 to August 25, 2010. Animated by Brain's Base and directed by Takahiro Omori (perhaps best well-known as the director of Haibane Renmei), this show is based on what had originally been a series of light novels --- still being written --- but were later serialized as a manga --- also presently ongoing; the story was written by Ryogo Narita in both cases and published in Monthly GFantasy in the case of the manga by Square Enix. The author, for the record, also wrote another series that influenced a great anime; however, that's going to get its separate review. A young boy from the Japanese boonies, Ryugamine Mikado, has been accepted to Raira Academy, an exclusive high school in the heart of Ikebukuro, Tokyo, after being spurned to apply by a childhood friend, Masaomi Kida, who moved to the city when they were young. Longing for a more exciting life, Mikado makes the move himself, Kida guiding him through the more intimate parts of the city along the way. He warns him of two individuals to avoid --- Heiwajima Shizuo and Orihara Izaya --- and further tells him of a secretive gang, known only as the Dollars, that he should additionally be wary of. Of course, nothing in the big city is what it seems. Word on the street is that the black man marketing sushi on the corner is a native Russian on the run from the KGB; the teacher with an obvious concern for a young female student was caught in a relationship with another, who ended up being brutally murdered; and, of course, there's the urban legend of the Black Biker who doesn't have a head. But these are all just stories, right? And who really knows for certain? With information a high-priced commodity, only those in positions of power within the underground could have any inkling. I was truly surprised by everything about this anime. The style, while not terribly unique in its up-front character design, is quite beautiful as you get into the show. On that note, I do feel the need to state that every piece of scenery, from the Sunshine 60 building to the vending machines Shizuo tosses around like Frisbees, all actually exist in the very real city of Ikebukuro, and all were drawn with painstaking attention to detail as they genuinely appear. The story is beautifully twisted; I found myself laughing more often than not at not only the rather absurd situations, but also the wonderful twists that make the series something you'll almost certainly have to watch multiple times through. If you get the chance, I would definitely recommend this series to anyone, especially if you have an affinity for deep character development, a driven plot, supernatural phenomena, and truly devious twists. This one is actually a show you might be able to find on store shelves, the series having been licensed for release in the States by Aniplex and Funimation --- not to mention, of course, its airing on Cartoon Network.