Durarara doesn’t understand Japanese

I recently wrote about Durarara’s Japanese being too complicated for me to understand. Turns out it wasn’t entirely my fault. Durarara doesn’t understand Japanese either.

Durarara’s 2nd–4th seasons were subtitled shou, ten, and ketsu. These terms come from the phrase kishoutenketsu, which represents the traditional dramatic structure of introduction (ki), exposition (shou), climax (ten), and conclusion (ketsu). It’s commonly represented as a vertically symmetrical pyramid, though I’d say it’s much more accurate to skew it to the upper-right.

You start from scratch, build up to a climax, and tail off into a resolution.

Durarara followed a slightly different pattern.

Durarara’s second, third, and first half of the fourth season were pure exposition. I was tempted at times to use the dreaded s-word.

Durarara S1: ++

Durarara S2: ++

Durarara S3: +

Durarara S4: +

Final Series Grade: +

I’m glad Durarara got a continuation. It just wasn’t as good as the first season. While the characters and power balance were one-of-a-kind, the cast size ultimately didn’t pay off for the amount of development it got. The smaller yet better-managed cast of the first season put together a more satisfying story. There was also that annoying plot device of a character going so mad with power that he forgot why he sought power in the first place. Idiots like that need a good beating. (Yeah, he got one, but it was too little too late, as is so often the case.)

2 Replies to “Durarara doesn’t understand Japanese”

    • Well, not really (although they could be thought of like that). They made a first season (Durarara!!) and then a second season. However, the second is split into three parts (12 episodes each), the first titled “shou” (“Understanding”), the second “ten” (“Motion”), and the third “ketsu” (“Conclusion”). Hope this was helpful!

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