Durarara!! 21 – Bit Late for the Hard Knocks Approach, Eh?
Seems appropriate that the first time we see Kida exercise any sort of physical control over his group, the mutiny against him is starting to reach its fever pitch. :p
In a way, doesn’t that represent everything we have seen from Kida so far? People have been wondering just how in the hell Kida keeps a large group of big, tough dudes in check, and it isn’t until the gang is coming apart at the seams do we see him back up his commands with action. Presumably Kida has been running the show this way for quite a while, but for the audience, it is too little, too late . . . just like his realization that he was in too deep with Izaya came too little, too late, and how his realization of his friends’ true identities threatens to be too little, too late. If someone’s going to hold all the cards right now, sure Izaya would want it to be Kida, right? He comes off as the most adult, but he is also the most under Izaya’s control.
Eventually the Yellow Scarves will go off the deep end (if they have not already with the capture of Anri), and once they do, Kida will cease to be useful to Izaya, which means Kida will probably play the hero soon and help protect Anri. He’d claim it is because he is such a gentleman, and he understands that Anri is in pain, but really, the reason for his eventual turn can be found in Young Frankenstein.
Anri, meanwhile, is actually taking some action, unlike the dudes in this episode, although her plan is fairly risky and not really built to fool the Yellow Scarves for an extended amount of time. It’s also a risk to do all of her operating in the open,. Can’t Saika have some more convenient powers? You telling me an ancient sword with mind-control powers hasn’t taught itself to do some long-range shit with that yet? What a lazy sword. How did it ever get to be so legendary?
But, again, it’s good to see someone with some initiative, at least. Kida is less being cautious and more being totally confused right now; really, he’s trying to be the complete opposite of how he was when everything with Saki went down. (And yet he still goes to Izaya for help in the previous episode, which makes him even more confused and unwilling to act. Kida, Kida, Kida . . .) Anri may be confused about what is going on (not sure what to think about Kida, and totally unknowing of Mikado’s identity), but hey, at least she does something that can help things briefly and not strain her relationship with her buds.
Mikado, meanwhile, is just a whiny doof. Beats himself up about not noticing Anri has been concerned recently even though someone who hasn’t been in the series for, what, seven or right episodes now notices (how does he not notice?? Guess he’s just used to people ditching him at random times), and then he wonders whether Dollars should even exist due to all the violence that has been rising lately. (Which of course would not disappear even if Dollars were to go away, but, you know.)
And then Mikado’s solution is to type some goody-goody gumdrops idealism into the chat and hope Dollars morphs into a funtime group that cleans graffiti off walls . . . and it works! But you know why it works? Because of the presence of Dollars’ unofficial leader — Kadota!
Wouldn’t he be a great leader? He’s already got experience leading a group, he’s honorable, and he’s also tough enough to command respect. Kadota wouldn’t dominate the actions of everyone in Dollars, but if someone got out of line and tried to needlessly stir up shit, he would definitely step in and put the hammer down. And you’ll notice that he was in the chat helping the positive feelings flow. Dollars doesn’t rise back from being more than a band of well-intentioned ruffians without Dotachin.
This episode isn’t too exciting. Mikado’s moping is more annoying than anything, and it’s tough to care about what Kida is doing because his control of the Yellow Scarves is crumbling ever quicker. But at least there are plenty of jokes about Anri’s knockers! Woo!