18 CommentsDurarara / By Scamp /

Durarara!! episode 11

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

WATCH BACCANO!!

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18 Comments

  1. Posted March 20, 2010 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    I loved the story of the Dollars’ formation. I do not like Mikdao though. He’s one of the most painfully boring main characters I’ve ever had to endure in a show I actually like.

    As for Celty’s flipout…I kind of thought that was engineered. Maybe I missed something.

  2. Posted March 20, 2010 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Yeah, I think that Celty’s flipout was all part of the plan. Mikado said that if Celty wanted to meet with Mika, she had to do something for him as well. Since she hadn’t yet done anything resembling her end of the bargain, I figured that that must be it.

    As far as Mikado goes, I can see that where some have a problem with his little speech. However, I think its purpose is to cement who he is as a character. Mikado is a simple kid who comes from a simple town and has simple ideas. He has found himself holding a massive amount of power through a small bit of subterfuge and a social experiment. Despite that, it hasn’t corrupted him, nor has it made his life increasingly complex. He’s still the same simple kid, and it shows.

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    That Baccano reference.

    I should have seen it coming.

  4. Posted March 20, 2010 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    You make some good points, especially about Mikado’s speech. I also am unclear on some of what is happening with Celty (esp. w.r.t. the head), but on this, I disagree:
    “And why did Celty attack them so will­ingly? Was it simply tak­ing out her frus­tra­tion in the most viol­ent man­ner possible?”
    This actually made sense to me. First, I assume Celty got the Dollars message that those guys were their enemies. Second, from this she can assume they were involved with stitching her head on someone’s corpse. Third, it’s clobberin’ time.
    Heck, if I were a reaper who could ride motorcycles down walls, and I finally caught up with the guys who stole my head, I would probably do the same thing.

  5. Posted March 20, 2010 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    That Baccano reference would have been so amazing if it hadn’t been spoiled for me. Because I knew about it ahead of time it just seemed annoying and dragged out… I’m rather depressed now.

    As for Celty’s flip out… I wonder if Shinra predicted this?

    And I also wonder if that’s the first time Shizuo and Izaya have seen her without her helmet. I think Izaya had a theory that she was a Dullahan but wasn’t sure yet, judging by his previous dialogue. She also didn’t just take off her helmet when she showed Mikado that she didn’t have a head so Izaya couldn’t see from there.

    Shizuo also seemed a bit surprised to see it, but that could also have been something else.

  6. Taka
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    I agree with Rakuen’s assessment of Mikado. He’s not cunningly manipulative. He’s an idealistic and naive kid. I supported his speech as It’s along the lines of things I’ve wondered in my youth as well.

    I didn’t really understand Selty’s freakout in terms of what we already know about her character, but I accepted it as being a transitional period for her. Also the possibility of it being Mikado’s request.

    Also what does her scythe actually do? It doesn’t actually cut people in half. Knocks them out? Cuts out something else?

    I hate cliffhangers.

  7. Iron Maw
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    I thought Mikado had a lot balls to do what he did in this episode. Most people who avoided situation entirely and skipped town. But he pooled together his resources and came up clever plan using what he once considered his mistake. It’s almost hard to believe that this was the same person back in episode one.

    I thought his speech was fine, idealistic yes, but his not a “dark” character. Just one who will do what he needs to do and not shy away from danger with I can say for most wimpy male leads. He does recognize the harsh reality of people like Namie, but it doesn’t mean he’ll let go of his own values in fact he becomes stronger for it.

  8. karry
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    “the powers Dol­lars holds is immense”

    What power ?

  9. Posted March 20, 2010 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    I think Joojoobees nailed it with Celty. And to his comment, I would add that she’s just tired of not being herself. She’s tired of fretting about where her head is, and she’s tired of feeling as if she isn’t whole. So she sees her head, and even though it is right there, she decides that she won’t define herself just by the existence of that head — she’s a monster, and everyone is going to know it whether they want to or not.

    To go in a completely different direction, the Col. Sanders expy in the first screenshot made me laugh a lot. The colonel must be the unofficial mascot of anime.

  10. Iron Maw
    Posted March 20, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    @ Karry, what do mean what power? Mikado’s got the strongest people of Ikebukuro in his group along people from all sorts places and social classes. In terms of influence he’s got one of biggest in the city despite being unknown.

  11. Riku
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    haha, that colourless thing clicked in just before it happened for me too, and all that was reverberating through my head was “… no goddamn way.”

    And Celty’s mood swing threw me off too… although it was sorta awe-inspiring. Not so much her words, but the command she had as she came down.

  12. Scamp
    Posted March 21, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    @mefloraine

    Methinks you being overly harsh on Mikado. He has his moments but most of his best time onscreen comes when he’s being compared to one of the many other nutters this show has

    @Rakuen

    Really? Part of a plan? You and your crazy theories…

    Actually you might be onto something again…

    @Joojoobees

    Nah, Celty wouldn’t need to get the Dollars message because remember, she was there at the time of the formulation of the plan in Mikado’s room

    @Siri

    Nah, they all defo know that because remember, they’ve been ‘friends’ (using the word loosely) with Shinra since school and have known Celty all that time too, even being to her house. Celty doesn’t wear that helmet of hers around the house

    @Taka

    Idealistic and naive he is indeed. That doesn’t really make the speech anymore interesting though. It’s sort of ‘yeah yeah, I knew this is what he’d say’. Compare it to the speeches by Shizuo and Izaya and then, even when they are entirely in character and what you expect, they’re still fantastic to watch

    @Iron Maw

    I’m not sure if I’d be so praising of Mikado. After finding out the power of Dollars had, I bet he was hoping for something from which he could use their powers for good beyond the occasional grafiti cleanup. When this came up I doubt he was even thinking that he shouldn’t do it

    @Shinmaru

    I bet Celty was reading Internet forums at how moe she was and decided in the next episode she would toss aside that conception and become a true monster!

    @Riku

    The wheelie on the top of the building was pretty awe-inspiring indeed. It was one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments

  13. Posted March 22, 2010 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Well, when you think about it, the one time we see them in the house with Celty she’s actually wearing her helmet.

  14. Posted March 23, 2010 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    First time commenter, long time reader (never thought I’d actually say that).

    Anyways loved the review and I absolutely agree on the whole Mikado monologue thing. It seemed really forced and unnatural, and those are two of the things I really dislike in anime. Then again, I like his character, even though he is quite bland and boring.

    The fact that he created Dollars was a shock to me, but after remembering how incessant he was about knowing more about them, I should have sorta figured it out. Still, it adds more to his character and explained his little actions at the end of the last ep.

    As for Celty, that flip-out was so OOC for me. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that she’s all catty or nutty the rest of the way. I loved how calm she usually is.

    As for the reference, HELL YEA BACCANO!

  15. Posted March 23, 2010 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I think Celty truly lost it – I don’t think it was part of anyone’s plan. She’s been without her head for too long, and then to see it on someone else’s body was too much for her.

    More Shizuo and Izaya would be great. Hope that really is what’s coming in the next arc. ;)

  16. Scamp
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    @Bass

    I used to get a lot of those ‘long time reader, first time commenter’ on Hetalia posts but this is the first DRRR related one, which is awesome!

    I guess it is kinda obvious. It’s the same as ‘returning to the scene of the crime’. You want to know more about what you created so you ask people anonymously. It’s just IRL logic doesn’y always apply to anime and when it does, like here, it throws you off balance slightly

    @Jan Suzukawa

    That certainly didn’t look planned to me either. You don’t inner monologue in an ‘exactly as planned’ situation

  17. Hetynne
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    So I’m about two years late, but here’s a question: was there really anything more to the plan than just FLASH MOB: QUIET STARES?

    Maybe it’s because I feel the main high school trio are the least interesting characters that still get the most screentime and opportunities for development, but I cannot see how a passive flash mob is supposed to bring about justifiable results.

    The way the episode framed the public demo act as something groundbreaking simply flew in my face, unless I missed where Mikado recorded the conversation and sent it en masse, or at the very least pointed out who was responsible for the kidnappings around town. Not even the colouring of the Dollars wowed me enough to wrap my head around why the revelation of mootkado was such a big deal.

    I ask this now before going on to the next episodes, because I am at the point where I end my series marathon for the night/early morning, and will only go back to the series if I can rationalize good reasons to do so. If the series can go back to Kida’s hospitalized ladyfriend, Celty and Shinra, some satisfying comeuppance for the body trafficking siblings, or more interesting bildungsroman flashbacks for the characters, then I can go and finish the series.

    Otherwise, I will stop here and leave the rest of the series forgotten, much like this post for another two years or so. If I can plug something kind of important: youtube “lftr thorium remix.”

  18. Gjcyvjv
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    I think Celty flipped out because she was angry about what they did with her head. It might be because she hadnt done something for Mikado too by that’s why I think she did it.

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