Durarara!! – 4
There’s a certain magic and romance to the world on the other side.
Shinra Kishitani has known and lived with Celty Sturluson, the Dullahan, for 20 years. Yet in all that time, his sense of fascination with her — physical, philosophical, spiritual and whatever else — has not diminished at all. He’s interested in her in a scientific sense, but there’s another level to his questions such as his query about how she sees the world: Shinra wants to know not only how Celty sees the world (as in, how she is physically capable of seeing things without eyes, optic nerves, a brain, etc.), but also how she sees the world (as in, how does the way she — a Dullahan, a mythical creature — takes in and evaluates the world differ from the way he — a human — takes in and evaluates the world).
I love that Durarara!! takes the time for its characters to be fascinated by these questions — I mean, I sure as hell am, so why would Shinra also not be curious? The contrast between Celty’s role as a Dullahan (a rider of death and a creature that, if I am understanding correctly, can actively seek out those who will die if it wishes), and the way she acts now (a more noble figure who actually saves people and admonishes people like Izaya, who acts in a more Dullahan-like way than Celty) is interesting to me. This didn’t hit me at first, but thinking about it a bit more, that may add another level to Shinra’s observation that Celty is better without her head.
We know Shinra likes her, although not to what extent. (Love? Lust? Curiosity? It’s not every day you get a chance to screw a mythical creature, after all, although apparently Celty hasn’t gone for it yet.) They’re not married, or anything, but when you know and live with someone for 20 years, you get pretty comfortable with the situation if you like the person. So maybe there’s a bit of selfishness to his sentiment — once Celty gets her head back, in all likelihood she is gone.
But could there be a grain of truth to his statement, too? Celty loses many of her memories along with her head. She knows she is a Dullahan, she knows her name and she also knows how to employ her abilities. But as to why she does what she does, or even her lifetime up to a certain point, Celty is clueless. Since then, though, she seems to have abandoned the role of marking people’s deaths, and acts more as an otherworldly freedom fighter (judging from her saving Rio twice in one night). I don’t think any human would argue that this is better; however, I suppose we don’t know if this is better for her, personally. What kind of function did her killing serve? Did Celty losing her head cause a shift in personality, or has she always been the way she is? A potentially interesting wrinkle: Did Celty save Rio because of some sort of (human) moral obligation, or did she simply sense that it was not Rio’s time to die?
I’m normally not one to theorize about the future events of a show’s plot, mainly because I suck at it, but right now I think there is a decent possibility Shinra’s father somehow got to Celty’s head first. Think about it: A popular theory right now is that Mika Harima is currently “wearing” Celty’s head. From what little we have seen of the head, it seems to match the look of Mika’s head. And Shinra says his father is not like normal people; he takes a willing interest in the supernatural and gleefully examines Celty to see what makes her tick. The wrinkle in this is how the hell Shinra’s dad could possibly find the head before Celty (not to mention keeping the head away from her), but supposing he did, don’t you think he would be the type of person to wonder how well that head could function on a human body?
Does Shinra know more than he is letting on? He is in all likelihood too young to have found Celty’s head and experimented with it himself, but from what he says, he has long been privy to his father’s experiments. If his father performed a particularly nasty experiment with Mika, there’s a good chance Shinra knows about it. This theory does make me wonder about the limits of Celty’s ability to “feel” where her head is, though. Can she just trace it to a certain area? If so, would that mean it was recently taken from her when she “felt” it? Or does the distance not matter?