Durarara!! – 10

The twists and turns continue even though this episode comes off like a set-up to the big first-half climax.

While it is not 100 percent confirmed within the episode (although it is if you read spoilers), it is heavily implied at the end that Mikado is the leader of Dollars . . . which, while initially blindsiding, actually makes a lot of sense. For instance, the whole organization of the group comes off like someone dipping his toe into an entirely new life. Mikado wants something more than what he has, so he cobbles together this gang online, but he still has the safety of anonymity because he’s leading this group behind the shadow of his computer. It’s like the split some people develop between the persona they forge online and how they act in “reality”.

But eventually Mikado decides that he really wants to grab this new life with his own hands; I’d guess that a good portion of his Dollars contacts reside in Ikebukuro, which was probably a good motivator for him to move there and get to see his crew in person whenever he can. Mikado also had an immediate contact in Kida, who could show him the ropes and get him used to the city. And everything goes better than Mikado could have dreamed — he runs into an urban legend, meets larger than life crazy dudes, whisks away with a girl whose head was grafted onto her body and is even — slowly, Kazehaya-style — making the moves on his fellow class rep. That’s a far cry from building his e-peen and surfing Nico Nico Douga all day.

With this new facet of Mikado’s personality revealed, I wondered how much of his appearance is an act and how much is a contrivance . . . but after thinking about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that he has been genuine pretty much the whole time. He doesn’t seem to me to be playing the fool when he lives his normal life — he’s really a sheltered, nervous guy branching out for the first time in his life. Maybe it’ll be revealed in the next episode that he is secretly an ass-kicking super ninja, or something, and this paragraph will be rendered moot, but with Mikado, I don’t get the feeling he is deliberately hiding aspects of his personality and life. He just doesn’t show everything all the time.

In any case, Mikado is ready to leap into action with his self-made gang of Ikebukuro’s craziest. I wonder if he’ll continue to lead Dollars from behind the screen, or if he’ll make the plunge and actually make himself known as the leader of Dollars. The latter has obvious risks — how the hell would he prove he is the leader of Dollars? Would they accept him even if they did eventually believe him? Would they take well to suddenly having a clear leader, when the M.O. of Dollars so far has been to let the groups determine their own fates? If he is actually taking this step, however, it should probably be assumed that Mikado is confident enough to handle whatever comes his way.

We know what Celty’s business with Mikado was, but Izaya’s plans are still mysterious as ever. He did not seem particularly surprised to learn that Mikado is the leader of Dollars — did Izaya’s planned meeting with Mikado have anything to do with that? And Izaya is of course playing all sides at the moment, meeting with Namie Yagiri about her messy situation, conducting business with Mikado and apparently communicating with Mika!Celty. Life in Ikebukuro seems to be a massive game where the alignment and mixture of the pieces makes no sense, which is how he likes it. Izaya is the kind of guy who is helpful in a pinch but who could also be dangerous at the worst possible time, since he would not mind stabbing you in the back when it would be most hilarious.

(Side note: I love the continued irony of each character realizing how they are connected in a very direct way when most of them have been speaking with each other online without knowing each other’s true identities. I especially like Izaya’s line about not knowing Celty’s name before, and not knowing she was a foreigner. They know each other, but at the same time there are layers of identity to sift through with even the most basic facts of a person’s being.)

As many things as the ending provides to write about, I don’t think this episode really kicked up until the halfway point — the first half seems important in retrospect, but while going through it, it is sort of dull. I also wonder how Dotachin and his crew will factor into the plot from here; their scene, as random as it is, is clearly not pointless considering the revelation of Mikado’s connection with Dollars. They’ll be crashing onto the scene pretty soon.


17 Responses to “Durarara!! – 10”

  1. jacob Says:

    the thing i really want to know is who’s gonna find out that Mikados the leader of dollars like if kida finds out hows he gonna react and this would also explain Mikados curiosity of the dollars

  2. It never crossed my mind that Mikado could be putting on an act but I’m with you in that he is probably being genuine for the most part. Izaya though, he’s an interesting one indeed. Is there any pie he does not currently have his finger in?

    • “Is there any pie he does not currently have his finger in?”

      . . . So many filthy jokes I could make with that comment. So many.

  3. Wow, I did not get that Mikado was the leader. He obviously is a member, and that implies that the chat room is a Dollars chat room. I think him holding the phone in the last scene is interesting, because they show him holding a phone in the ED. Why type on the computer while holding a phone?

    I really like this show. I was surprised to see Mikado was a Dollars member, if he turns out to be the freakin’ LEADER that will blow my mind.

    Regarding Izaya and Celty’s name: he says that, and then she says he’s lying.

    There are definitely some loose ends. I’m not sure why they introduced the classmate on the roof, for example. Also, why show Togusa and the Dollars members in the van, if they are just gonna disappear like that? Were they staking out Yagiri Pharmacy? That scene must be a setup for something. Also what’s going on with Kida? I expected to find out something about his investigation of Anri’s bullying. And why is Kida a disciplinary officer? LOL. That’s like putting Shizuo in charge of anger management, or Izaya in charge of acting like a normal person.

    A very interesting show. I like something that keeps me guessing.

    • The classmate on the roof will probably come back at some point, but I think he also highlights a general sense of friendliness and camaraderie inherent in Dollars members, which makes them more than generic thugs.

      • I bet he won’t really be important, and just served to show how Mikado would react to hearing a member’s opinion of the Dollars.

  4. I actually called this one though not with a lot of conviction and my only evidence is a comment on psgels blog:

    “As for why Mikado was looking for connections…I’ve always fancied this strange theory that Mikado was actually the head of the dollars. you just go on the website and sign up and bam you get to be a member of dollars. It seems to me something a lonely kid would create. I have absolutely no evidence supporting that theory. It’s just a gut feeling that’s probably wrong.”

    Despite the lack of conviction I desire to make a Colbert-sized
    “Called It!” I hope that’s not premature >.<

    I'm thinking Mikado has been genuine for the most part. Maybe his persona as head of dollars (i'm stickin to it) helps give him a little more confidence when dealing with matters within his realm of influence. But if it really is a dramatic personality coverup I welcome that too. Mikado up till now has always been the dullest of characters and I'm glad to see some color.

    The dollars network reminds me of the Eden of the East network minus the fancy technology. I wonder if the network is mostly citywide and if not how many people from outside Ikebukuro have signed up as Dollars.

    • Even if you weren’t completely convicted, you at least brought up the possibility and backed it up with solid conjecture, so I say you earned the “Called it!” Use it with pride.

    • Pretty impressive little bro’. That bit about connections is plausible given his comment for the “what are you looking for” girl. Regardless, I’m impressed that he is even a MEMBER. That completely took me unawares.

  5. Yeah, Mikado in Dollars. Mind = blown. I’m curious as to how the series will be able to explain this though, seeing as Mikado couldn’t even tell a Dollar from a euro in the beginning. Even in his monologues he sounded confused about the colorless gang’s existence; I would’ve betted my fortune against him being the leader of it.

    And about the online vs real life thing, I think I’ve read somewhere that one of the messages Durarara is trying to put across is the influence of the Internet, and how much it’s affecting lives. Pretty nifty.

    • “. . . seeing as Mikado couldn’t even tell a Dollar from a euro in the beginning.”

      Haha. If Mikado is indeed the leader — or just a member, or even an outsider — the confusion could maybe be tied to surprise that the gang’s influence is spread in areas he did not expect. Or it could be an act, though as I wrote in this post, I doubt that.

  6. Wow, interesting. I’d been thinking that it was Izaya that had set up the Dollars (I also thought there was no real “leader” per se). Quite a twist to see Mikado seemingly be the leader of the Dollars. I wonder how Kida would feel though… betrayed?

    • I played around with the idea of Izaya as the leader of Dollars for a while, mostly because it would be funny, but I never really took it that seriously since it was brought up directly by one of the characters.

  7. […] this alludes to the possibility that Mikado may actually be the leader of the Dollars, as Shinmaru points out that Mikado might’ve started the group behind the safety of the Internet in an attempt to […]

  8. I’m not so convinced he’s the leader of the Dollars. That never crossed my mind from watching this episode.

    I thought it was more implied that he’d figured out something crucial about the Dollars and the connections started making sense in his mind.

    • From a dramatic standpoint, I think Mikado being the leader of Dollars makes the most sense — it’s what I believe Izaya would be most impressed with. But that’s of course just speculation on my part, since the ending doesn’t out and out say “MIKADO IS THE LEADER” or even that he is a member of Dollars in the first place.

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