Shinra ignores the fourth wall and takes us back to the first day of a new semester at Raira Academy, where Izaya’s younger sisters Mairu and Kururi make a dynamic entry and Mikado meets a new kid who seems to know a lot more than he lets on. Meanwhile, things go from bad to worse for Celty, as she learns a 10 million yen bounty has been issued for revealing her true identity.
Wait, wasn’t this season going to be about a serial killer? So I thought, but then Celty lost some money, got a bounty on her head a thousand times its worth, Anri ran into Shingen doing some kind of shady deal, some new guy named Aoba pretended to know Mikado, and Izaya’s sisters are entrusted to bring a letter to Simon by a guy bleeding out in a shady alleyway. Oh, and Shizuo beat up a thief disguised as a zombie, which is then never brought up again. Oh, Durarara!!, how I have missed you.
It’s Mairu and Kururi who take up the majority of the screen time, though, and fans who’ve seen their formal introduction in the DVD-exclusive twenty-fifth episode of the original series will know what to expect. The twins are a textbook case of easy pandering with their incestuous bisexual schtick, eccentric personalities and casual psychopathy catering to at least one fetish that’ll get the average otaku hot and bothered, but it’s the sheer excess of outrageous behaviour the two pull off that makes them strangely appealing. There isn’t anyone in Ikebukero who doesn’t have a few screws loose, making Durarara!!‘s universe a perfect fit for the kinds of characters that usually get your eyes rolling.
It’s a show that simply knows how to write even the biggest degenerates well — which is why, more than laughing at their antics, I’m interested to see what role the Orihara twins will play in the bigger overall story. Their decision to build their personalities entirely around the results of a random dice roll at least implies that their brother’s sociopathy seems to run in the family. It makes me wonder if their eccentric behaviour is just their way of trying to protect themselves from Izaya’s manipulation, lest they end up like Masaomi’s girlfriend Saki. Mairu and Kururi may only work as characters because their show being Durarara!! lets them get away with it, but then again, trying to criticize a character outside of its context would be a very unwise thing to do.
Speaking of Izaya and Masaomi, the series’ trademark chat box sessions are back in full fledge, as Celty goes online to mourn the loss of her precious 10,000 yen. Turns out she just lost it. Mairu and Kururi are the lucky finders, though they quickly end up in a lot more trouble when a mysterious mobster who struck a deal with Shingen and got beaten up by Shizuo sends them out to fulfil his last wish. Why exactly the man had to steal a briefcase from Shizuo’s buddy to beat up a guy in a zombie mask I don’t know, but given his dealings with Shingen, I’m getting the feeling the nebulous Nebula Corporation might be behind it all. In case you don’t remember, Nebula is the pharmaceutical mega-corporation that mysteriously bought up Namie’s company after her little debacle with Celty’s head. Shingen works for them, as we learn from the business card he gives to Anri, so it’s possible he might be needing Saika again for some highly shady business.
That leaves our new faux main character, Aoba, a guy who couldn’t be more obviously hiding some skeletons in the closet if he tried. Based on the fact that he knows that Mikado is the leader of the Dollars and his standing up for Kururi in class, I’m getting the feeling Aoba wants to use the Dollars’ impressive numbers and resources for a goal more befitting of his seemingly noble causes. From his perfectly generic looks and personality to his predictable ‘ally of justice’ leanings and almost hilariously banal tendency to get girls to kiss him, there’s a lot of evidence to see Aoba as some kind of main character caricature planning to take over Mikado’s show. Suffice to say, if Mikado wanted to keep being the center of Durarara!!‘s attention, he should’ve taken action ages ago. With tons of bizarre events and lunatics to love, the show is moving further and further away from the teenage ‘tree amigos’ setup it originally started out with. It remains to be seen if the amigos in question can still catch up.