Masaomi’s feeling lonely because there’s nobody’s in the chatroom: Mikado’s too distracted by Aoba and his cronies, Anri is busy watching over Akane, and Izaya is in the thick of trying to frame Shizuo for murder. Again.
In spite of the long wait, the dedicated staff returning and the promise of three cours, the inevitable has happened: Durarara!!‘s production seems to have crashed and burned with no recovery in sight. Thanks, Hiraoka. This week’s episode will probably serve as an indicator of what the rest of the cour — or worse: the entire season — will look like, and in all honesty, it could be worse. It’s by no means particularly pretty to look at, and some faces look like they come straight out of the sketchbook of an eight-year-old, but at the very least the in-between animators seem to have risen from last week’s slumber and the choppy art does not distract from the strong content Durarara!! continues to deliver. While most episodes this season have been either backstory episodes or focused on buildup, this episode finally provides some answers — though an actual confrontation remains postponed.
It’s not entirely surprising Izaya turned out to be behind it all again. He made use of the runaway Akane’s naiveté, probably not because he actually thought she’d be able to kill Shizuo, but likely because he’d know lots of different people would be coming after her, and by extension, Shizuo, making sicking the entire mob plus Varona and Sloan onto his arch-nemesis a piece of cake. Meanwhile, Aoba confirms what many of us have been suspecting for a while now: He’s the leader of the reformed Blue Squares, and also the one responsible for luring Rokujo’s zebra gang to Ikebukero. Aoba obviously fancies himself some kind of evil corruptor mastermind, hoping to awaken Mikado’s ‘dark side’ and get him to take command of the Dollars. At least towards Mikado, Aoba seems to want little more than a reason to go punch people in the face, and not unlike a certain informant in a fur coat, he’s more than willing to go to ridiculous ends if it’s to trigger an open war. After all, wasn’t it Izaya who wanted to drown Ikebukero in an epic gang war that would ‘awaken’ Celty’s head?
Speaking of Celty, she seems to be the one tying both current arcs together, albeit only because she’s being targeted by both Varona and Rokujo’s gang of fashion victims. With the mob coming after Shizuo, it’s only a matter of time before two two-ways turn to a three-way, and I for one have no real problem waiting. I’ve seen a lot of people express their disappointment at the sweet time this season of Durarara!! has been taking, but I think there’s little to complain about when every single scene still matters. There’s nothing in this episode, from Rokujo’s snark-off with Kadota to Shizuo’s desperate attempts to save face in front of an innocent little girl, I’d suspect of being padding, but then again, I’m one of those people who, unlike many, found the first season’s second half to be just as good as the first. Even with a severely, tragically crippled budget, Durarara!! easily survives on quirkiness alone, aided by the fact that there’s really nothing quite like it out there. Clamoring for all the pieces to fall into place and the inevitable grand finale to arrive already would devalue just how entertaining the journey up to now has been.
- No matter how much of a temper problem Shizuo might have, at least he’s polite enough not to break down Izaya’s door. A real gentleman never attacks someone in their own home, after all.
- This might just be a translation error on Crunchyroll’s part because I have no idea how Japanese pronouns work, but you’d have to be blind not to see that Celty is rather obviously female. Sloan and Varona manage.
- Mad props to the art saleswoman for scamming the heck out of Rokujo. Makes me wonder how the guy even managed to become a gang leader in the first place, let alone seduce at least four girls.
- To be honest, I’d much rather we never find out why Walker is blacklisted from a fancy art gallery.
- By all means, do tell me if you’ve figured out whether Masaomi is coming back from Tohoku, going there, or has been living there all this time. I’m drawing a blank here.