Occam’s Razor. When you have two or more possibilities, the more obvious one is usually the most likely.
I start my first impressions post on the second of season of Durarara because it is one of the biggest cases of what you see is what you get I can remember in an anime sequel. The first season of the show followed a host of different characters in district of Ikebukuro, Tokyo, with stories that rarely crossed over the course of 25 episodes, only to all come together fairly well in the final few episodes. When I was wondering what I was going to get from this second season, I shouldn’t have thought quite so hard – it’s by far the most obvious possibility: much more of the same.
The first four episodes see the return of the original cast and picks up pretty much where season one left off. While season one had a pretty slow build into the more fantastical, supernatural elements of the story, season two throws us in at the deep end from the very beginning.
Hitting the ground running in this way is just one of the ways this season tries to do more of everything this time around. The most notable is more characters: there are too many names for me to have picked them all up yet (which in itself could be seen as a bit of an issue), but we get another gang, another supernatural monster, another know it all clever guy and twins. And all of that is before any plot has really happened.
I was lukewarm on the first season precisely because the show didn’t manage all of it’s many characters as well as I thought it could have done and with the introduction of even more in these opening four episodes I remain cautious. That said, there is much to like here and I’m looking forward to watching the remaining eight episodes.