Durarara!! – 12
In an episode with twists and turns, epic and/or ironic speeches and screwed-up relationships, this is the best part — Izaya plainly and simply tells Seiji that his pure love for Selty is purely bullshit because he couldn’t even tell the difference between Selty’s head, and a human whose head was modified to look like Selty’s. It’s just great that Izaya could not resist getting that dig in, and then hopping back outside the craziness of this Dollars meeting.
In fact, even with everything going on everywhere, Izaya seems very much the star of the episode because he is at the center of the chaos, even though nobody recognizes this aside from Namie, and of course it is in her best interests to keep her mouth shut. What makes Izaya’s machinations particularly fun is that the very nature of Durarara!! makes it difficult to predict whether he is being literal with his speech to Namie, whether he is being metaphorical or whether he is just spinning a bunch of crap to amuse himself (or perhaps a mix of a couple of items). But we’ve got a mythological creature roaming the streets of Ikebukuro, so who is to say there is not a Valhalla in this world as well? And if there is a Valhalla, well, I’d hate to see Izaya’s idea of Ragnarök. Yeesh.
For now, though, he is just laying out some more pieces and delighting that there is more to come. As crazy as Namie is, surely she has long since realized how utterly dangerous Izaya is — and how much it thrills him to play all sides against each other, mixing and matching the pieces until nobody knows who is where anymore. (Is it any surprise that he actually suggests Namie join Dollars?) The revelation that he has his hand in everything is not surprising; however, it is fun that we have all these pieces to the puzzle, and yet cannot see clearly what he is thinking. And he is probably quite eager to carry Selty’s head around with him, just to see how long he can keep it under everyone’s noses; it’s easy to imagine Izaya passing the time by holding some strange conversations with the head as well. Maybe act out “Hamlet” every so often.
A few people had already thrown out the theory that Mika Harima was actually alive and well and given a different face after a severe beating from Seiji, so I was not too shocked at this revelation at the beginning of the episode, although it is a fairly big twist. But the aftermath of this is absolutely hilarious. Mikado’s speech is so totally awkward and corny, and yet in an ironic way it is perfectly truthful — they really do deserve each other, this motormouth stalker who has no qualms with breaking into someone’s home (and who is perfectly willing to suffer abuse, which is, er, a good deal less funny), and this obsessive, creepy man who fully admits that he will string Mika along for now but intends to dump her when he finally earns the love of the dullahan’s head. And Mika is quite pleasant about the whole ordeal, not hesitating for even a moment to claim a space right next to her man in class.
A bit less amusing is the Shinra x Selty relationship, which I still don’t care for in the least — can’t get past how creepy Shinra is, and I definitely can’t get past him dicking Selty around so much and then writing it off as his love. Fuck that. Nice that he admits he is being selfish and manipulative, and nice that he is not planning on doing the “If you love her, let her go” deal, but that doesn’t make anything he does decent or worthy of love by any means. 20 years is a long time for a friendship to build, yes, but if I were stabbed in the back like that . . . well, I don’t know that I would have stopped at a single punch. Maybe dullahans just have a different standard for this sort of thing.
The end of the episode before Izaya’s speech is a bit uneventful, but I actually like that. The normality emphasizes the divide that still exists, for now, between the normal side of the world and the underground, and it emphasizes how special a night Mikado had. Much of Durarara!! has been concerned with urban legends, and Mikado is essentially involved in the creation of his own urban legend — the story of Dollars’ first meeting has spread far as quickly as the next morning (Kida’s breathless retelling of the story, which, amusingly enough, is missing some key parts likely left out by Izaya, is hilarious). Good stuff.
Looking forward to seeing what the next arc of the series brings, but unfortunately it will be a while before we get that, since there is no new Durarara!! next week.