I think this is the first time in an episode of Durarara that I felt parts of it didn’t work. Pretty much every negative review of something about Durarara I’ve seen have been using the phrase “I’d prefer if…” rather than “X didn’t work”, which isn’t a fault as much as personal preference. For example, while I originally felt Celty’s past was revealed too early, looking back I can see why they revealed it so early. Not that this was a bad episode, but it’s the first time I’ve been watching a scene and thinking “hmm…this isn’t really working”.
But first, the part that worked better than I could have imagined. Where as Eden of the East had an epic group phone scene that succeeded through fantastic imagery and music, Durarara trumped it through sheer intelligence. I’d always assumed the grey background characters were just a way for keeping the animation budget down, and I still say that’s a factor. But the scene just before Mikado sent the message something clicked in my mind. You know how any scene showing Yellow Scarves or Blue squares just show a grey figure with a coloured clothing? Now you know how they keep saying that the Dollars are essentially ‘colourless’? When that all clicked together in my mind I felt like standing up and applauding.
It’s the hive mind mentality thing that the internet has brought about. It’s the same idea as the 4chan ‘we are anonymous’ tirades. The grey people who act as background are part of Dollars and are joined together via this site. Best of all, it was all set up by a kid who had some spare time and a new computer and just wanted to make friends. It’s just like a flash mob and the powers Dollars holds is immense and this episode proved what they can do when the admin sends out an order. Thankfully it’s not in the hands of someone as dangerous as Izaya. Also, spare a thought for the poor tourist who might have passed through this street when the message went off and was thought to be an enemy.
However there were parts in this episode that didn’t work. Mikado’s speech with the crazy Yagiri docter was about a generic a good guy speech as they come, something she even pointed out in the episode itself. However, pointing out your flaws does not then make it ok. It makes you self-aware, which is a plus point in most cases, but doesn’t forgive it. If an episode jokes how you’re doing nothing but flashbacks then it doesn’t make these flashbacks anymore interesting (unless you name is Gintama, who can miracoulosuly pull these episodes off). If an episode of Lucky Star points out that they spend the last 10 minutes talking about jack shit, that doesn’t then make the past 10 minutes of painfully boring dialogue funny. I guess it boils down to the fact that when Mikado is having a monologue, he isn’t the most interesting of characters.
But the scene I found it harder to wrap my head around was Celty’s flip out. So she finds out that her head is living a normal life away from her. This causes her to embrace her inner monster? So she flips out, drives down the side of a building and randomly takes on a bunch of thugs. I’m guessing the thugs were instructed to attack her by Yagiri but after seeing her driving down the side of a block of flats with a crazy looking scythe in her hand, I have to wonder why they still all did the classic ‘attack her one at a time’ scenario. It wasn’t like the guys who attacked Shizuo, who did so through fear and stupidity. These guys looked angry more than anything. And why did Celty attack them so willingly? Was it simply taking out her frustration in the most violent manner possible?
Durarara is 24 episodes long but I believe the first novel of the series is reaching it’s conclusion in the series now, with the next episode probably being the last one in this arc. The reveal of the Dollars, Celty’s freakout and Seiji attacking Mikado are the end result of lots of plotting and planning over the past 11 episodes, the result of which we’ll probably see in the next episode. Which theoretically means the next arc will focus more on Shizuo and Izaya and their storyline, maybe along with some of the Blue Scarves, gangland wars and the story of the Slasher. That’s assuming we see the end of this plotline in the next episode, which is far from being guaranteed. I hope the next episode totally wipes out the little things bugging me about Celty in this episode because until now I haven’t had a single problem with Durarara.
You have to be a pretty obsessed otaku to get all the references these guys make and I’m pretty sure I’m missing some (how many people got the Hell Girl text message ringtone?). However if you were one of the few people who didn’t get this reference