Durarara!! 19 – Trollin’

A troll’s work never stops.

It’s funny how brazen Izaya can be when he’s doing his job. I believe only Mikado knows that Izaya lurks behind the online persona of “Kanra”, but even in front of Mikado, Izaya plants suggestions about the Slasher, Dollars and the Yellow Scarves . . . and Mikado still chats privately with Izaya for information, just because he has made himself so darn useful throughout the course of the series. That’s the power Izaya has — what he says is ugly, meant to undermine and is often full of outright lies, but nobody (save Shizuo) can bear to completely dissociate themselves with him because he is so good at mixing in the occasional truth with his lies and making them indistinguishable.

I shudder to think what would happen if Izaya were to engage in a full-on assault with all sorts of social networking — imagine Izaya on Facebook or Twitter or Digg or wherever the hell else. I suppose, though, that the genius in Izaya’s plotting is that it is so focused, his concentration so narrow. He doesn’t do the heavy lifting; he simply implants suggestions in the people who matter, and lets the fear and confusion trickle down from there. It’s like Reaganomics for paranoia. Ironically, one thing that keeps Izaya on top is his ability to cut through the bullshit and manipulate only those who give him the greatest advantage.

The chat room interactions are interesting because only Izaya knows the identities of everyone in there. Mikado knows Izaya, and Celty knows Anri, but everyone else, I believe, has no clue who the others are. (Side note: I’m not entirely certain whether it was Haruna Niekawa who originally had the Saika account (sounds like the name of a white-collar thriller from the 1970s), or if Anri just went nuts in there periodically when she was drunk on under the influence of Saika, but for whatever reason, I think it would be unbelievably funny if that chat room account were one of the things Anri inherited from Haruna, along with all the Slashers she controlled. What if Haruna uses the same password for all of her Internet accounts? She’s in trouble!)

I like that the chats are like a microcosm of Izaya’s larger plot — a few people are in on some things, but nobody save Izaya can see the full picture, so they act on their own in ways that might not have any sort of effect on anything, or would at least have greater impact if everyone’s cards were on the table, so to speak. Secrecy only benefits those who are expert in dealing under the cover of secrecy. (Another side note: I lol’d at Celty becoming increasingly fearful while chatting with Anri about how she should be careful of the police.)

Now, even though someone like Kida is operating with a secrecy handicap, he seems to be making many good moves. He has learned a lot from his prior experiences and failings as the leader of the Yellow Scarves; there’s a lot of information he does know, such as the mixing of the gangs, Anri being the Slasher, etc. With so many unknown elements, Kida thankfully knows he has to act in a cautious way and not give in to pure emotion. Just one bad move could inflame things beyond Kida’s control (which he already senses he is losing) and unleash a rash of violence he will regret just as much — and probably even more — than what happened during his first run as the Yellow Scarves’ leader.

Kida knows how events appear on the surface: The Slasher (or a Slasher) infiltrated the headquarters of the Yellow Scarves; Celty showed up not long after the Yellow Scarves began chasing the intruder; Celty helped the Slasher escape; Celty is a known member of Dollars; thus, the Slasher must also be a member of Dollars. But in his gut, he knows something is not right, so he goes to Dotachin, someone who was able to give Kida solid advice and set him straight a few years prior.

This episode actually makes me feel a lot more sympathetic toward Kida because it’s clear how much he has grown from his original days as the Yellow Scarves’ leader, and how much he wants to continue growing. He doesn’t want to be isolated, to feel as if he is not a part of that Ikebukuro he extolled to Mikado way back when. Kida wants to form a solid identity in his own way, without having to rely on some faceless group to make him believe he belongs somewhere. He doesn’t want events to escalate and go beyond control; he wants to stand on his own and move forward the right way.

Anri is the same way: She seems a bit happier and more connected now. On the other hand, Mikado seems as if he is stalling a bit, but maybe that is because the focus has been off him for a while now. But where Kida is trying to prevent a disaster and grow up a bit, Mikado is playing more into Izaya’s hands by relying on him ever more — making the same mistakes Kida made once upon a time. Who knows how that will turn out for him.

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9 Responses to “Durarara!! 19 – Trollin’”

  1. jacob Says:

    i noticed that the really important people are in the chats i mean there’s mikado,anri,kida,celty and izaya. but the thing that i didn’t like was that there was to much narrating well i guess its not that there was to much just that it wasn’t the cast but some random person i don’t remember hearing before

  2. clinton Says:

    wonder if Izaya’s troublemaking younger sisters Mairu and Kururi are going to show up

  3. I’ve been trying to figure out why I haven’t found the last few episodes of Durarara all that entertaining, and I think it boils down to a surplus of Izaya and a distinct lack of Celty. Sure, this time around we got some cool horse action and all, but I need my Celty in larger doses. Kida, Mikado, and Anri are okay, but I think they were more interesting before all the big revelations. I’m just not really expecting anything surprising out of them anymore when the biggest hurdle they have to overcome is talking to one another.

    What if Haruna uses the same password for all of her Internet accounts? She’s in trouble!

    This made me LOL – I sure hope that Haruna is signed up with some sort of credit alert agency, otherwise she’s going to end up paying for that ball gag Anri just ordered for Mikado….

    • You make a good point. Certain parts are still keeping my interest, but as far as driving the plot forward, there isn’t quite enough of that, at least in the wake of the Slasher arc. I imagine there will be some unknown twist coming to shake things up soon, though.

  4. The toughest idea I still can’t get over is that Mikado and Kida both started, developed, and still currently lead these massively influential real life gangs. Besides their young ages, I haven’t been convinced they have either the personality for leadership or the organizational ability to maintain control for as long as they have. Surely they’d have to have more Izaya-like savvy to fend off the power struggles to get where they are?

    It’d be one thing if these gangs were conducted online where one’s appearance is only the words one chooses to type, but seeing Kida, lightweight with a playful and angsty personality, command many older and physically intimidating dudes is tough for me to swallow.

    • That’s a good point. I’d imagine he must have done something in middle school to command the respect of his peers. Kids at that age will fall in line behind an influential peer, but they have to be pretty far out of the ordinary to command the kind of respect Kida has. I do wish there were more indications about what kind of leader Kida is, because there is a certain level of blind faith Durarara!! is asking for from the audience in accepting that someone like Kida is the leader of a rough gang.

      I’m not sure if the Yellow Scarves were made up entirely of middle schoolers, or if there were high schoolers in the group as well . . . if all the gang members were in middle school, then it was probably a good deal easier for Kida to maintain control. Plus, there’s obviously some exaggeration in the depiction of the Yellow Scarves and Dollars.

      If we accept that Kida had the chops to lead this group in the past, however, then I don’t really have a problem with the current direction of the gang, because it is clear that Kida’s control is eroding, even with the advent of the age cap. (I think the cutoff is 18, right?) He’s been away for a while, so there’s probably a natural fading of respect (plus, new members wouldn’t respect him as much), there’s cross-pollination (the guys who are in both Dollars and the Yellow Scarves, the former Blue Squares who have joined the group and Anri’s plants within the gang) and emotions are running high from the perceived attack on the group by the Slashers.

      Even Kida admits he doesn’t have a tight grip on the group right now, even though he still commands a good portion of respect. The elements are fostering a lot of independence within the Yellow Scarves, so unless Kida acts quickly, there will probably be some power struggles.

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