Durarara!! – 13

Oh, man, is it ever a relief to have Durarara!! back!

First off, new OP/ED of course. The OP doesn’t really jump out at me — in fact, it is kind of weird how Serious Business it is compared to the OPs for Baccano! and Durarara‘s first half. Maybe it hints at even darker times than were seen in the first half of the series. Who knows? The new ED tries for a similar feel to the first ED, but it’s not quite as good. Oh well. They could always grow on me; wouldn’t be the first time that has happened.

So this episode takes place roughly six months after the events of ep12. It is actually a pleasant surprise to see that the events of the Dollars meeting have become so widely known — it seemed unlikely to me that in this age of rapidly spreading digital information, that hearsay would be the only way people would have a clue as to what exactly went on. Although certain elements of the episode still turn my stomach (I aim all anti-shipping torpedoes at Celty x Shinra), for the most part Celty’s development is pretty interesting, because she is still dealing with things that are a foreign concept for her, even though she has spent 20 years in this city.

Think about it: 20 years is a relatively long time for a human, but for a mythical creature like Celty? A drop in the bucket. Celty has lost a good portion of her memories, but doubtless she has been alive far longer than any one of us can conceive — and after a while, even mythical creatures probably become set in their ways. Celty has done a solid job of assimilation; she communicates via text messaging (although she uses it more like a portable white board), hops into chat rooms every so often and rides a sweet motorcycle. But just because she dips her toe into the waters of the technological revolution doesn’t mean she will always keep the potential of technology in mind when she goes about her daily life (kind of like when people recklessly go to shady Web sites and are shocked when they get viruses).

The Celty in this episode is the opposite of the Celty who felt such an intense rush of freedom upon unleashing her power in the previous episode. She was on top of the world, then; however, now that her secret is out — ready to be viewed by anyone with a television or Internet connection — she feels more trapped than ever. The above scene is frightening for Celty, but I found it funny in a dark sort of way. I’m not sure how traffic cops are looked at in Japan, in terms of perceived authority, but even though this officer — Kinnosuke Kuzuhara, voiced by a favorite seiyuu of mine, Keiji Fujiwara — is supposed to be a hotshot, he comes off more like your average Dunkin’ Donuts cop flagging down a speeder while swigging down that last gulp of coffee.

Kuzuhara’s declaration of, “Don’t underestimate the Traffic Police Force, monster!” and the way he despises how weak policemen are portrayed to be in various forms of fiction is hilarious. What really sells that scene, though, is the way Celty bows her head in shame while she is being lectured by this wannabe tough guy, who, I’ll admit, at least has the guts to not back down when Celty resorts to intimidation via shadow.

Everything about this is foreign to Celty: Before, she could ride through the city at her pleasure, and people backed the fuck down when they were supposed to. Now? She has people not giving her the proper respect she deserves as an ass-kicking creature, and she doesn’t like it. The way she handles the thugs when picking up Shinra’s pops is a great way to show her like, “Yeah, I’ve still got it.” I don’t care for Celty throwing herself into Shinra’s arms (so repulsive), but everything else about this characterization works for me.

The other major part of the episode concerns Anri and her increasingly fractured view of herself (or, more like, the audience is finally getting a look at how Anri views herself). If there is one thing Durarara!! has made clear, it is to not take what is shown at face value, so I’m quite skeptical of Anri’s point of view as she is bullied by who are apparently the only three female bullies in town, and then the Slasher swoops in to take care of business. The theory that Anri is the Slasher is fairly common, from what I’ve read, and there is really nothing in this episode — even in the final scene — that disproves this theory.

One only has to notice how Anri continually refers to herself in the third-person to get the feeling that something is not right with her (although if you didn’t think something was up with her before this episode, then you’re just not paying attention :p). She believes there is something about herself that prevents her from fitting in neatly with others, and she has tried in the past to latch onto Mika Harima (with whom Anri is hinted to be in love, although that love could of course be intense friendship; either way, it contradicts how Anri described her relationship with Mika to Kida and Mikado in a previous episode), and now Anri is trying to fit in with Kida and Mikado. But something is keeping her from doing so. Commenters familiar with the light novels have, on a number of blogs, committed to a familiar refrain — that the more normal a character seems, the crazier that person actually is. I don’t doubt this is true with Anri.

Then there is the matter of the troll in the Dollars chat room — this troll is heavily hinted to be the Slasher, at least if the close proximity with the Slasher attack scene is any indication. But if Crazy Anri Slasher is slashing away under the spell of a delusion out in some alley, then how can she be in the chat (if we are to assume this is all taking place at the same time)? Well, I have written in the past — and continue to assert — that there are at least two Slashers. We have not seen Haruna Niekawa for a while, and she has been a Slasher suspect ever since we saw her. She also loves her computer. Could Anri be the teacher, and Haruna the disciple? Or the other way around?

This post is getting a bit lengthy now, and there’s still so much of note in this episode! We’ve got confirmation that Kida was in the Yellow Scarves (and they appear to be in some trouble and are trying to recruit Kida — something to do with Izaya, perhaps?), the reappearance of Shinra’s father (and him being a way bigger goofball than expected), a bit more plotting by Izaya (and Simon surprisingly having some idea of what Izaya is doing), Kida being a great wingman, Mika and Seiji continuing their creepy relationship, a random Nogizaka Haruka reference, etc.

Once again, it’s good to have you back, Durarara!!

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18 Responses to “Durarara!! – 13”

  1. I don’t know what to think about that whole slasher deal. Particularly I want to know why the chatroom troll just says “Mom” the entire time. That shits creepy. Speculating here: I thought maybe the slasher could be Anri taking on her mother’s persona ala Norman Bates in Psycho. Or maybe there is something more supernatural goin on and her mother is some crazed slasher that only appears when Anri has a breakdown.

    The way thee “Mom” scene makes me feel like it’s a red herring deterring us from totally acknowledging Anri as the slasher.

    Another thing of note. How is sleazeball teacher associated with Anri? He acts like he knows a secret about her.

    • one last thing.
      Why won’t they show Shinra’s dad’s face?
      They haven’t shown it once even in flashback.
      Maybe it’s SZILARD QUATES!!

    • vucubcaquix Says:

      Mom is also pronounced “haha” in Japanese. It could be a some onomatopoeia play on words, like the troll is “laughing” in the chat room.

    • Even though I sound relatively confident in this post, I’m still not 100 percent certain about Anri as the Slasher, if only because it seems like the obvious leap to take for the viewer who is paying attention . . . then again, would I even think that Anri is the Slasher if I didn’t read the opinions of other people? :p

      The way sleazeball teacher comes off around Anri, it seems as if he has made advances on her in the past. As for Shinra’s dad, I think it’s just a weird way to complete the “mad scientist” look he has going on. I don’t feel any particular inclination to see his face, unless it adds something to the story (i.e. he is someone we have seen before without realizing it, although I doubt this is the case).

  2. The slasher is…projected feelings of anxiety of people like Anri? That’s just a vague thought I had going through my head. It explains why it has several different forms and why the girl in the bed in an earlier episode (I’ve forgotten who it was now…) also seemed to be connected to the Slasher. Basically there is more than one.

    Meh, I’ve been wrong in the past but just throwing that one out there

    • So, it’s turning into Satoshi Kon’s Durarara, then? :p The idea doesn’t have any less merit than what I’ve thrown out, although I do wonder if the series will travel that far into the supernatural.

    • Oh god, that is like Paranoia Agent’s Shounen Bat. I think it actually is Anri, although the other Slashers aren’t. I fully subscribe to the idea that the normal characters are the craziest, at least in terms of those who get the most screen time. Just wait till a few more episodes when Mika just seems like a normal chick compared to everyone else.

  3. Normally I would be right there with you on the anti-ShinraXCelty brigade, but this week I was much more creeped out by SeijiXMika. I love this scar? I was expecting him to follow this by describing the body part he wants her to disfigure the next time.

    I was disappointed by both the OP & ED. Hard to live up to the first pair, especially, OP #1.

    • lol I thought the same thing “I love this scar”. man Seiji is a lady killer

    • Seiji x Mika creeped me out a bit less because it doesn’t come off this week like we’re supposed to “awww” and support the couple. The students at the school seem to regard them like a weird sideshow, and while Kida remarks on how jealous he is of their relationship, he also does not know the foundation of their relationship, haha.

      Whereas with Shinra x Celty, it comes off more like a straightforward relationship scene where the man helps the woman with advice and calms her down. No thanks. Don’t want any of that.

      • Good points. Most people viewing SeijiXMika looked like they were gonna have a hard time finishing their lunch.

      • BadgerHunter Says:

        Whats with the Shinra x Celty hate?

        • aradjha Says:

          It’s sort-of out of character. I hadn’t read Celty as openly vulnerable before, at least not to the extent of flinging herself into Shinra’s arms for reassurance. It was interesting to see the bad-ass vulnerable, but I she was giving off a “too human” vibe then, and it was suprising. Not in a terribly bad way, but I was still dissapointed that she acknowledged him that much. I keep thinking that he’ll betray her at some point.

          • Selty totally wimped out when her shadow animal show didn’t frighten the po po. So disappointing, and yet so moe.

        • Also, the relationship sucks.

  4. aradjha Says:

    I wish Celty’d just reaped that shithead in the previous episode. Or that Shizuo would have destroyed him. I’ll never understand how one could say “I love her and that’s enough.” And then, a total asshole, albeit a funny one, “I love you” “I love… that scar”

  5. jacob Says:

    as soon as i finish the last episode of durarara im going straight to the light novle

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