I know that I, like almost everyone else, felt rather let down by the new opening to Durarara but the inevitable has happened. After only two episodes it’s already grown on me. OK, when I say 2 episodes that doesn’t mean I’ve listened to it twice. The real number is more like 10, but that’s beside the point. It’s won’t beat ‘ROAR OUT LOUDER’ (we shall conveniently ignore the band’s name they’ve given to the song) and this new opening suffers from comparison, but it’s still a damn fine song. Well, apart from the lyrics but what with all the nonsensical engrish lyrics anime have I’ve long since stopped paying attention to them.
Lets get this out of the way first: Shinra’s dad steals this episode in its entirety. He’s only appeared halfway through but he’s already shone brighter than most of the characters in this show. Never, ever underestimate Narita’s ability to create fantastically nonsensical characters. Remember the Baccano OVAs when we were randomly introduced to an entirely new character, the spanner-wielding nutter Graham? I would say he stole the show if it wasn’t for my love of seeing the Rail Tracer in a different environment, but he did his damn best to steal the show away from my favourite trapeze artist turned serial killer. Shinra’s dad has already shaken things up in Ikebukero, half of it through his history but the other half is through sheer force of personality.
Well, when I say ‘force of personality’ I mean it in an entirely different way compared to how I’d describe, say, Kamina. He’s a total wimp, best summed up by his escape from Celty, but he has aims and his presence has already affected several characters. Many people have already suggested that in no way was it a mistake that he revealed he took Celty’s head. He knew Celty would go to Izaya and he knew that would result in Shinra having to reveal more info he’d kept from Celty. All in the aim to help Izaya with his scientific study based off mythological nonsense. From what we know of him, Shinra’s dad definitely would place scientific progress ahead of his son….or would he? Now that I’ve written that the doubts have started to come into my mind. It takes a really heartless basterd to just use his son for scientific gain at the expense of his son’s happiness. There’s no way he’s as heartless as Gendo Ikari.
So from what I could understand, the gist of Izaya’s plan is to irritate Celty to the point that she ‘awakens’ or something along those lines. At the same time he’s also trying to set off gang wars in Ikebukero between the Yellow Scarves and Dollars. He will almost certainly continue his lifelong goal of tormenting Shizuo, who’s a side by himself. In fact, Izaya is capable of setting off a chain reaction in Ikebukero entirely by himself; such is the level of influence he holds. Bare with me on this one, I’m going to do some wild theorizing.
While Mikado owns the Dollars, Izaya is the puppet master behind it. Notice the last two episodes both had Izaya chatting with Mikado in a private chat in the Dollars chatroom. Control Mikado and you control Dollars. Plus he’s had the perfect chance to see the Dollars in action at the end of the first arc so he knows their capabilities. Second, the Yellow Scarves. If you go down the Kida route, Izaya has a route to him via his sister, who Kida visited at the end of the episode. Now let’s say Kida goes back to the Yellow Scarves, who clearly hold him in high regard. Izaya is then able to control that gang too. You might wonder why Kida would listen to Izaya, even with the sister angle, but remember the one person Kida doesn’t act himself around is Izaya.
Back to Celty, his aim to unnerve Celty by attacking the people around her and making her lose her human side. To do this he needs to stop her trusting these people. I personally believe Shinra still has plenty of skeletons in the closet he hasn’t told Celty because if Izaya really wanted so shake up their relationship this isn’t big enough a deal. After all the stuff Shinra didn’t tell her last arc and she still leapt into his arms and blows black hearts all over the place in his presence, I doubt this will be much more than a slightly rocky period in their bizarre relationship. Anywho, let’s say he does break them apart, Celty’s other person she can talk to is Shizuo and Izaya’s intentions with Shizuo have been pretty obvious from the beginning. Toss in some determined police chasing her down and you have a recipe for a frightened Celty. Celty is a wimp and she needs someone to reassure herself. Take that away and Izaya might just have his mythical monster he wants.
Izaya is dangerous. He’s fascinating to watch and try figure out. Better yet, I can’t think of a time he’s outright lied to anyone in the series. Only told part of the truth, that’s for certain, but I can’t think of a time where what he said wasn’t true. It’s frightening to think back to episode 2, the only time we’ve really seen the evil side to Izaya. He’s the villain of this series, the one driving everything in the shadows. I don’t doubt he was being genuine when he said he did the suicide stunt with that girl in episode 2 that he was doing all this just because he was fascinated in humans. He had no reason to lie there. Did he want to have his finger in every pie in Ikebukero just in case something like Celty’s head showed up? How long has he been planning this?
There’s so many stories going on at once, just like the last arc, but yet again we can see Izaya’s influence in all of them. Izaya was the one directing Mika Harima on her phone. Izaya was the one who helped form the Dollars plan. And now he’s the one directing Celty’s breakdown. No matter what new playing pieces get placed in Ikebukero, you can be guaranteed that he will try his best to place them under his control, whether through friendship, deception or threats. And they all know it. Kida knows is, Celty knows it, Shinra knows it, Shizuo knows it and yet the only one who will stand up to him is Shizuo, and that’s because that is exactly what Izaya wants him to do.
Which makes me wonder: Will his plan succeed? And if not, how will it fail? Who will be the deciding factor to upset his plans? Who, amongst this massive cast of characters, is capable of beating Izaya?