Secret Duraracanno! Wars
Despite everything that happened in episode 11 of Durarara!, only one thing stuck in my mind:
Is this taking place in the same universe as Baccano!?
Is the Isaac and Miria cameo something from the novel, or is this some more silly Baccano fanservice like the Dollars website password and all of the movie posters and shit like that in the backgrounds? I really, really hope it’s the former rather than the latter, because I really dig this sort of crossover stuff.
Something that I always liked in super hero comics, and which I sorely miss in anime, is the crossover. They almost inevitably sucked ass, since they played out as little more than excuses to throw characters into the same issue and bump up sales, but I love the concept of seeing Wolverine and Captain America fighting along side each other in a WWII flashback, Beast hanging out with his buddy Wonder Man in an Avengers storyline, or Rocket Raccoon and Rom appearing in the latest issue of Terror Inc (I’m pretty sure I made up that last one.). The way manga and anime function, we don’t see that sort of thing. Even though they appear in the same magazine, we never see Naruto appearing in a chapter of One Piece or anything like that since they don’t exist in the same world. That makes sense, since both are created by different artists and the only common factor between them is Shounen Jump. The only time we see Luffy and Sasuke in the same picture is when there’s some promotional art or silly gashapon figure released. There isn’t a central universe like there is with Marvel Comics or DC comics, and there’s no attempt to create “multiple universes” the way DC has Earth-2 and stuff to explain why certain characters never interact. That sort of storytelling wouldn’t work between Bleach and Death Note or anything else published in Shounen Jump, so it makes sense, but it’s something that I miss.
What doesn’t make sense to me is the fact that individual creators rarely link their works together. All of Rumiko Takahashi’s stuff feels like it could fit into the same universe (Save maybe One Pound Gospel and Maison Ikkoku, and they’d easily fit into their own shared universe.), but outside of joke-like cameos in backgrounds you never see Lum popping up in a chapter of Inu Yasha or anything like that. There’s certain examples of crossovers, like how Bubblegum Crisis and AD Police are in the same universe or how Galaxy Express and all the Captain Harlock stuff comes together, but that sort of thing seems to be the exception to the rule. CLAMP tried it recently with Tsubasa, but Tsubasa sucked, so let’s pretend that series didn’t exist.
So I’m really hoping that the Isaac/Miria cameo isn’t some crappy fanservice inserted by the animators. I really want Durarara! and Baccano! to exist in the same share universe. It really makes perfect sense. Baccano! was all about crazy Highlander-like stuff mixed in with non-crappy-Full-Metal alchemy, while Durarara! is all about urban mythology and folklore clashing with modern day mundaneness. Those two shticks blend together perfectly and start to paint a better picture of how, exactly, this world functions. It definitely doesn’t function by our rules, but combining those two concepts together creates a somewhat cohesive new set of rules. This is a world where medieval and ancient myths mingle with modern ideas. Baccano! was about dark ages mysticism coming to a head in the progressive jazz/depression era while Durarara! is about mythology clashing with modern existentialism. If this is a shared universe, there’s a very fascinating world afoot, and it makes both series far more interesting.
If this isn’t the case and those two are just there as cheap pandering, I want to throw a vending machine at people in Japan. And step on their cell phones. And feed them to the Rail Tracer.