Welcome to Durarara season 2!
Conclusive ending to the last arc. New opening and closing songs. A time skip. Introduction of new characters. Setting the Ikebukero scene once again. Yup, this is as good as a new season without the tedious business of a several month wait between episodes 12 and 13 and without the need to add yet another show to your MAL account that instantly gets overrated because anyone who didn’t like the show has dropped it during the first season. Actually, out of curiosity I checked the MAL stats for this. We have 17,963 watching and only 293 dropped and ranked 38 overall. Bloody fanboys…
So after a 6 month time-skip, what has changed? Well, we have the bizarre relationship between Mika Harima and Seiji continuing, which is only considered romantic by the type of people who think Mayoi Neko Overrun is a good anime. I doubt they’re going to have much to do with the plot anymore. At least, not until the inevitable scene where Celty is reunited with her head. Not that she will actually take the head and put it back on again, but chances are she will at least come face to…err…neck stump with it before the end. Maybe then we might see Seiji getting involved once again but for now he’s just going to have his Public Displays of Affection (using the word Affection rather loosely here) with Mika Harima (thank god I no longer have to call her Melty). However I do think Namie Yagiri will be more prominent than her brother in this arc, if only as foil to Izaya.
Grrr, I don’t like this. I don’t like this couple at all. Girls all seem to love Shinra because he’s so nice and happy and voiced by Jun Fukuyama. Guys think he’s a prick because he’s a creep and dishonest to Celty. Which sums it all up really. Guys don’t like him because they don’t think he’s right for Celty. Typical case of guys falling for a moe anime character and disliking it when someone else takes them who isn’t perfect (the latest manga chapter for K-ON apparently revealed that Ritsu has *gasp* a boyfriend). Celty continues to be as lovable as ever, what with her scared reactions to the police, her punching Shinra in the stomoch (yay!) and her “I’ve still got it” scene where she scares away the wannabe gangsters picking on Shinra’s dad.
Ah yes, Shinra’s dad. Never ever underestimate the character creating abilities of Narita. The two new additions to the Durarara cast of Shinra’s dad and the hotshot policeman are both fantastic in their own ways. There will never be a half-hearted Narita character. Each of them are larger than life, overplaying personality traits so that they become characters rather than people. You will never find yourself connecting with a Narita character. What you will find yourself doing is seeing parts of your own personality in each of these characters. There’s a bit of Kida’s personality in all of us.
What strengthened the feel that this was a new season of Durarara was the lack of continuation of previous plot threads. All the main plotlines of the previous arc were cleared up and are now getting on with their lives, such as MikaXSeiji and *urgh* ShinraXCelty. All that’s left were the little snippets given out last season, such as Kida and the Yellow Scarves and Anri and the pervy teacher. In fact, the main line they left us with, the Izaya and his Valhalla aspirations, was given little more than a cryptic discussion in Russian. It’s hard to say what will become part of the main plot and what’s covered only in later books that won’t be animated (way to early to be calling for another season Scamp) but I think it’s safe to say that the Yellow Scarves and the pervy teacher will be dealt with in this arc. Izaya and Valhalla? I’m less convinced.
What they will deal with in this arc is the Slasher, which I’ve conveniently left aside until now because of how easy it would be to jump to conclusions with this particular story element. I was duped like the fool I was with Celty’s head and I don’t want to make the same mistake again. Just because Anri saw the slasher doesn’t therefore mean she’s counted out of the equation as actually being the slasher. One theory put forward by Caraniel was that it’s sort of a projected personality, like something out of a Satoshi Kon production (although the only Kon I’ve seen is Paranoia Agent. I’m such a failure as an elitist) which was precisely what I was thinking. It also goes well together with Shinmaru‘s theory of there being two or more slashers because any girl who talks in the third person could theoretically summon a Slasher. The other Slasher could, for example, come from Izaya’s sister in the hospital. It’s tough to know if Durarara would really go down that path but the Slashers clearly don’t act like humans.
Durarara returns and is back on form, albeit with a less impressive opening. When I watched it the first time while watching the episode I really didn’t like it but since then I’ve listened to it a few times and it’s already grown on me. It won’t beat ROAR OUT LOUDER (although according to the band it’s meant to be BLOW OUT LOUDER but they were singing in Engrish anyway so we’ll pretend we didn’t hear them) but hey, it’s pretty good. As for the ending, well…I’m just waiting for the mountains of parodies~
Back in episode 1 I took screenshots of all the characters names and kept going back to it for reference (even for this episode post where I totally forgot Namie’s name). So to assist myself and you lot further here’s the screencaps of the new character names.