Durarara!! – 14
This episode is interesting, and not so interesting at the same time — slowly paced, reveals quite a bit of information and is actually rather funny, mostly due to what a (purposefully) goofy character Shingen is. Normally, Info Dumping Episodes are incredibly irritating because despite a wealth of information being revealed, the episodes themselves are usually rather lazy; however, though this episode toes the line between interesting and lazy, it at least has enough going for it to not be too horrible.
The intertwining of the plot involving Celty’s head and the plot involving the Slasher is the biggest revelation from this episode — and it is started by Shingen “accidentally” telling Celty that he is the one who stole her head all those years ago. I don’t believe for a minute that this is anything but a calculated act, however; Shingen may look outwardly pathetic, but he shows in this episode that he knows exactly what is going on, and his leaking of information seems to be something to keep Izaya’s plan in motion.
Look at what it does: Early in the episode, Celty (barf) admits that she returns Shinra’s feelings for her, and she even wanes a bit in her desire to retrieve her head . . . that is, until Shingen forces her to focus upon the head again. Celty doesn’t focus on it completely, however, until after her visit with Izaya, where he reveals the information about Saika, the demon sword carried by the Slasher. While it is unlikely that Izaya knew about what Shingen told Celty earlier (unless he is running his own Patriot Act operation in Ikebukuro), Shingen’s actions end up playing into Izaya’s plans, because a rift forms between Celty and Shinra when Celty correctly deduces that Shinra is hiding something from her regarding Saika, and then Shinra reveals that Shingen used Saika to sever the soul link between Celty’s head and her body, and that Shinra knew about it all these years.
Izaya’s plan is to awaken Celty’s head by introducing an element of strife to it. Shingen knows this; thus, he introduces some strife into the area where Celty is most comfortable at the moment: Her relationship with Shinra (ugh). More and more Izaya will likely target the people around Celty so that she will be isolated, which means there will probably be some more of Izaya ticking off Shizuo relatively soon. Shizuo has been quiet for a while, so he definitely needs to jump back into the plot.
As for the Saika, the information we’re privy to in this episode obviously jives with a lot of what we have been shown in the past — the red eyes, the otherworldly control and so on. If the Saika is an actual long blade, then it seems reasonable to believe that the Slasher who squared off with Celty way back when is the actual person wielding the Saika, while the Slasher who ambled into the alley afterward is one of the Saika Wielder’s zombie followers, which would mean that a person would not have to actually physically hold the Saika to be under its command (since the Slashers have been shown to use knives as well).
I have to wonder why Shingen sold that sword (and who he sold it to), but weapon use probably isn’t something he cares for very much. He seems more into manipulating people (sound familiar, Shinra??) and creepy surgery, so once the sword allowed him to take Celty’s head, he had no real use for it. Plus, if there’s anything anime has taught me, it’s that demon swords do not allow themselves to be subjugated to anyone, so Shingen probably got out while the getting was good with the Saika.
As a random aside, the music playing during the final scene of this episode (starting at about 22:00) reminded me a lot of this track from RahXephon, which had a pretty kickass OST along with being a good series (I’d say a “great” series, but I don’t know how many would agree with me :p). Makes me want to watch the series again, actually …