Durarara!! LE Blu-ray Box Set Review

?-Tier, Fansub Review — By on January 4, 2015 3:48 am

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.

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In preparation for the new season of Drrr that’s airing this season, I thought I’d break open my blu-rays and have myself an enjoyable marathon. Aniplex had other ideas.

Since I billed this as an LE review, guess I’m obligated to bring up what comes in the collection.

Drrr Box Set

Well, here’s my analysis:

  • Lunch box – Shitty, who the fuck would want this?
  • Chipboard blu-ray case – Good, makes my BD collection look cardboardier.
  • Mini poster – Awful, unless you want to ruin it with tape/tack.
  • Staff interviews – I’m sure you could find this shit on ANN.
  • Congratulations coupon – Stupid, just lets you know you bought the set. Seriously.
  • Plastic – Tears away nicely, easily disposable, probably the best part of the collection.

MSRP: $190, but I waited till it hit $130 cuz I only make smart purchasing decisions.


Now that I covered the contents like a proper reviewer, let’s get into what I really wanna bitch about…



The subbing for the dubbing

If you’re just another subtitle peasant, you can watch the subbed version of Durarara on Hulu or Crunchyroll (well, when it’s not being DDoS’d, that is). But for those of us in the dub master race, the only official method of avoiding literacy is by buying the blus.

Unfortunately, it's difficult to enjoy Aniplex's release.

Which I did, and now regret.


See, there are actually only three subtitle options for the blus:

  1. No subs
  2. Japanese subs (because those are useful)
  3. English subs (typesetting and script; independent translation from the dub)

While that normally might not be an issue, Drrr relies heavily on non-spoken and non-Japanese/English communication to relay important plot points and character interactions. Meaning if you want to enjoy the dub without constantly turning subtitles on/off, or without having an English subtitle track that doesn’t match the English dialogue, you are fucking boned.

Take, for example, this scene in the second episode: Right after Rio attempts (and fails) suicide, she asks Celty why the bodysuited biker babe saved her life. Celty turns around and shows her this:

Durarara - Unsubbed Celty

Then Celty drives away and we get moved on to the next scene. Since there’s no voiced reaction to the cell phone screen, a dub viewer is left to imagine that it wasn’t important enough to bother with.

Except it really fucking is.

Durarara - Subbed Celty

This shit ain’t deep but it’s critical to gain a basic understanding of Celty’s character.

The only way to get this in the dub is to break your immersion by fucking around with subs, which is probably the worst thing you can do in a show where enjoyment is heavily dependent on how deeply you’re absorbed in the show’s universe.

Fuck, am I mad right now. Luckily I have my own livejournal tumblr anime blog to vent on, or I’d be charged for domestic abuse against my blu-ray player.



How to remedy this fucking situation

You could make your own blu-ray rips from your blu-rays and manually tailor the subs to each episode…



…or you could just download the Exiled-Destiny/Coalgirls rips, which already have that done for you.



Why the fuck do I even bother with you, Aniplex?



Hold on a second…

If you guessed there was another plot twist in this night of my wasted time, you’d be right! And I’d be wrong, cuz I fully intended to end the review at the previous paragraph and get back to the marathon.

But that was assuming Coalgirls and Exiled-Destiny were competent fansub groups.

And as you probably know by now, they aren't.

And as you probably know by now, they aren’t.



Let’s compare

Since they both fucked up (as you’ll see), I figured I oughta do a mini-comparison so y’all can see which is better.

Note that I only checked a few different spots in episodes 2/3, so I’m sure they ruined the show elsewhere. But I think this is a good enough look to come to a conclusion as to which of the shit releases is least shit.





Coalgirls - Celty Coalgirls - OP

Eh, I’ll take it.



Coalgirls - Typesetting 01 Coalgirls - Typesetting 02 Coalgirls - Typesetting 03

Not exactly going above and beyond.


Dub Subs

While Coalgirls understood that typesetting should appear in the dub…

Coalgirls - Celty Cell

…they didn’t quite know what to do when the language switched to fucking Russian with Japanese subs…

Coalgirls - Russian

…leaving this scene entirely unintelligible to anyone who doesn’t drink vodka like it’s water.

Good thing this is the last scene Simon ever appears in, huh Coalgirls?





Exiled-Destiny - Celty Exiled-Destiny - OP

Look at all that effort put into the kara. Good thing the OP isn’t good, or this would be insulting.



Exiled-Destiny - Typesetting 01 Exiled-Destiny - Typesetting 02 Exiled-Destiny - Typesetting 03

Rip and release; QC is for suckers.


Dub Subs

Exiled-Destiny - Celty Cell

Exiled-Destiny - Russian

Both checks result in hideous subs, but it’s much better than constantly toggling subtitles like you have to do with the official release.




You know, just for shits and giggles.


Aniplex - Celty Aniplex - OP

Gotta give credit to Aniplex — they actually took care in positioning their karaoke.



Aniplex - Typesetting 01 Aniplex - Typesetting 02 Aniplex - Typesetting 03

With styling and positioning, Aniplex beats out Exiled-Destiny again.


Dub Subs

We’ve been over this. Fuck Aniplex.



All the releases sucked, but if we’re gonna rank ’em, it’s: Coalgirls > Exiled-Destiny > Aniplex

Oh, and the blu-rays skip/stall randomly, which is apparently a common issue with this blu-ray set. So again, fuck Aniplex. I want my $130 back.


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Anonymous says:

D_S, why in God’s name would you pay money for this shit?

Dark_Sage says:

Sobriety rarely factors in to my anime purchasing decisions.

Foolish Consumerists says:

You got what you rightly deserved.
Based on your previous spending of 10’s of thousands of dollars on this hobby, you will continue to make these inadvisable decisions and be unhappy with them, yet continue nonetheless.

You list everything in the limited edition as pretty terrible, but then call it a smart purchasing decisions. Ostensibly, this is meant to come off as self-deprecating humor, but that would require sincerity. Sincerity certainly isn’t part of Dark_Sageā„  brand, except in cases such as “what I really wanna bitch about” when you are accidentally sincere.

No, the common tact is making statements like “Now that I covered the contents like a proper reviewer” which is to express disdain, contempt, and condescension for what you yourself do, but having it only be applicable for others.

The purpose of your “humor” in your “articles” is create a sense of intimacy where you assure your audience that they are in on the joke as well. Those people you mock? You, dear reader, aren’t one of them. Even if you engage in the activities I mention, we are sensible individuals who know better and as such, these concerns are not applicable to use. I’m not mocking and laughing, we’re mocking and laughing together!

The pictures serve a similar purpose. The text alone can’t stand by itself, so the pictures break it up and allow for an illusion.

In the end, your conclusion is that downloading coalgirls is a better decision than the decision you yourself made. So, rather than it being a matter of “I make decisions I believe to be objectively irrational and lacking in relative value” it becomes “I’m so mad they are so terrible”.

From the logs posted by Duplex
Feb 26 01:35:54 rhe is comparing himself to steve jobs
Feb 26 01:36:15 Feb 26 01:35:54
the only two people i’ve seen on the internet with such an overblown sense of their own self-importance are rhe and dark_sage

and that ends my review of your review.

PP says:

This is pretty good.

Cezar says:


LotusGG says:

So Dark_Sage is RHE?!

Abunja says:

No, D_S is herkz.

LotusGG says:


Justinnnnnn says:

You should see his collection, he’s got all sorts of stuff…Some people just want to buy these things man.

Dark_Sage says:

It’s okay to just admit you’re jealous, you know.

teclas says:

I think I have a new pasta. Thanks for the OC.

Apeiron says:

I personally went with Enigma Collective (which seems to have gone tits up) for Durarara years ago. They used the broadcast 720p feed, though.

dannphou says:

> $190, but I waited till it hit $130 cuz I only make smart purchasing decisions

After reading this review, it didn’t look like a smart purchase lol

flipr says:

I seem to remember from the couple of times that I got bored and watched drr on adult swim that the dub just gives Celty a voice reading the text on the screen and leaves it as an exercise to the watcher to figure out that she isn’t actually talking. I mean obviously this isn’t ideal, but it’s better than you make it out to be.

Dark_Sage says:

If you read the review, you’d see that isn’t the case all the time. So for whenever they don’t decide to dub her, like say the suicide scene, you’re fucked.

I only watched through episode 4 yesterday, so I can pull up more examples when I get to them.

Edit: There are a couple of scenes in episode 5 where a bunch of chat logs appear. They’re completely unvoiced in the English dub, but the Coalgirls “subtitles for the dub” script includes translations. Your normal dub viewer would miss out on this as well.

flipr says:

ah, my bad. When I first read it, I thought you were saying that all of her lines were untranslated, and then later I remembered her voiceovers. It never occurred to me that the dub might leave a character’s lines untranslated only sometimes because what the fuck?

Dark_Sage says:

Yeah, it’s pretty stupid. Happens again in episode 7, so I take it to be a recurring theme.

Qrius says:

Say what you want about Celty’s phone messages, but the chat logs in DRRR are pretty damn important…

Tired says:

B-but how was the the ENG dub? The most important part left out…

Dark_Sage says:

All’s I care about in regards to dubs is their passability, and Drrr’s dub definitely functions.

The question comes down to do you want your Ikebukurian cast to sound like Japanese high school students or American high school students? I prefer the latter, though it wouldn’t annoy me to watch the subbed version.

Tired says:

American HS kids are fine but I’m a bit tired of 30+ year olds pretending to be teens. Sometimes.

Xpert says:


Anoyimous says:

Are AnimeCouncilĀ² releases of Durarara!! watchable?

Dark_Sage says:

It’s a TV release from a dead group. I assume it’s watchable, but I’d question why you’d waste your time.

inso says:

I’d guess he’s asking because Coalgirls used their subs.

Dark_Sage says:

No fucking idea, then.

Anoyimous says:

Actually i had no idea, thank you for clarifying that to me.

Dark_Sage says:

Well, inso learned us both something today then. \o/

James says:

Not sure if Coalgirls swapped out their release or you did something wrong when playing the video, but the russian scene you cite is translated.

Checked because I’m reorganizing all my anime and I wanted to know whether or not it was really that flawed a release and needed to be swapped for something without missing dialogue.

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