Before I get into the post, let me update you on the results of the Irish Blog Awards, which I’m sure you were all waiting in baited breath for. I…didn’t win. There were 5 finalists in the Youth Bloggers category. 2 had given up the internet so I could rule them out. One didn’t use capital letters and I’ll be damned if I lost to someone who doesn’t use capital letters (although she’s probably thinking “I’ll be damned if I lose to someone who writes about fucking cartoons”). So there was only one guy who I considered a serious rival so I just sat back and hoped that he would do something stupid, like express greater interest in going to a movie screening than the award ceremony, but that wasn’t to be and the award was cruelly given to someone other than me. I’m probably too old to enter the Youth Category next year so I’ll have to be in the specialist category where I’ll be up against cycling artists who drink tea.
So yeah, back to DRRR!!
Now I may just be the biggest DRRR-fag on the blogsphere but I’m looking at these last two episodes of the first arc and thinking ‘yeah, these didn’t quite live up to the rest of the series’. It just never really clicked the same way most of the rest of the series did and I’m struggling to figure out why. Part of the reason may simply have been because the characters involved were not the most exciting. Mikado just stands around looking confused. Seiji, when he realises the big plot twist of the episode, just stands around looking confused. Celty looked pretty confused for the part in the street. In fact, there was a lot of characters mucking about looking confused.
Well first the part of the episode that worked was, oddly enough, our crazy stalker flashback Mika Harima. All those who predicted that Mika wasn’t wearing Celty’s head after all can give themselves a pat on the back now. Mika’s stalking was portrayed fantastically. It was right on that perfect edge of clearly appearing like normal behaviour inside her mind but being creepy as fuck to anyone watching it. It was far cry from the typical ‘hiding behind a street lamp’ that stalkers usually get portrayed as. Mikado’s comment about those two being perfect for each other was spot on I guess. One nutter for another. It must have been quite the blow to Seiji discovering his perfect love was a farce but my sympathy stretches about as far influence in the world of Irish Blogging.
Shinra and Celty’s romance scene though I didn’t really like. From a purely objective point of view, they never built up much in the way of romantic tension between the two. Shinra’s love for Celty yeah, but it always felt selfish. I know Shinra admitted this himself but as I said in the last episode about Namie calling out Mikado’s speech as being generic, being self-aware doesn’t forgive the mistakes you a self-aware about. Also they never got the atmosphere in the final scene right either. For what was meant to be a confirmation of marriage(!?!) of all things, there was little to no romantic tension in the scene. My main problem comes from Celty though. Never once was I convinced she actually loved Shinra back. She made a half-hearted ‘maybe I like him’ in an earlier episode but there was little in the way of conviction in her voice when she said that. It still feels like she’s simply latching onto someone who accepts her. That’s probably more the Celty fanboy and Shinra hater speaking than actual removed critique.
And so the first arc of Durarara ends in slightly anti-climactic fashion, finishing up the storyline for Seji Yagiri and his mystery stalker. It also clears up the creation and scope of the Dollars. It also appears to wrap up the relationship between Shinra and Celty for the time being, but that’s by no means a done deal (I hope) when Celty’s real head is still on the playing field and I’d be interested as to how she’d react when she sees the head for real next time. Would she really be able to ignore the chance of getting her head back if it was presented? From a storytelling perspective, she will obviously meet the head again and chances are whatever she does with it, she will remain with Shinra. However from my fanboy perspective she will find the head again, take it and jump out of my laptop screen (because it’s the quickest way back to Ireland obviously) and take that massive sythe of hers and take out the judging staff of the Irish Blog Awards.
So, according to our grand meddler Izaya, the next arc will involve a grand war so he can be taken to Vallhalla, or something equally mystical. According to Izaya, Dullahans, when not tossing buckets on passerbys, are chilling out up in Vallhala with those fat Valkyrie Viking women, chilling out with people like the Techno Viking. Now whatever that’s supposed to mean in the grand scheme of things it totally beyond me but I can certainly guess where this war is coming from: Gangland wars. They’ve been building up the dangers of these colour gangs for a while now through the likes of Kida, and their dodgy activities as told by Simon. There’s also the case of the Slasher, who I’ve got a sneaking feeling is Anri based off nothing other than the fact she’s done nothing yet. But Izaya is going to be central to the story from now on. What I’m really interested in is how this guy is going to feature in his plans.
New arc begins next week and along with it will be a new opening and closing, so I’ve heard. The opening was fantastic simply for being a great song and visuals but the ending, thanks to it’s one image scrolling picture, has spawned so many parodies it also deserves a mention. I mean really, name an anime that generally gets parodied and there’s a DRRR ending version of it. Since this blog is named after Geass I have to point you towards a very good Geass one but the best of the lot has to be this: Durarara X Gurren Lagann, enjoy~