18 CommentsDurarara / By Scamp /

Durarara!! episode 17

I originally thought that, with three novels and the pace the story was moving at, we would not see the entire story with just 24 episodes of Durarara. I haven’t read the novels nor the manga but when it takes 12 episodes to finish the first arc it’s only natural to think that the second arc would take the same amount of time as well. Well, I guess I was wrong on that point. The last two arcs were just setting up for Izaya’s master plan in the last few episodes. We have 6 episodes to watch this plan of his unfold to see if he truly becomes one of the greatest manipulators of anime history.

OK, this whole slasher and Saika thing. I didn’t do a whole lot of talking about it in the last post because I was pretty baffled by the whole thing and wanted to see the next episode to wrap my head around the whole thing. Saika loves humans and wants to show that love by cutting them, that’s easy enough to understand. Anri has Saika under her control because she’s drawn inside herself so much that she’s incapable of loving others, hence Saika can’t actually control her. That’s easy enough to understand too. Crazy Yandere girl has soooo much love inside her thanks to her stalkerish ways that she becomes ‘The Slasher’ and attacks and infects the many people across Ikebukero to form this odd Slasher family, which is now under the control of Anri. Not sure if I have that part entirely right but it makes sense in my head. What I don’t get is why they were attacking Shizuo.

Best moment of the episode: Spinshizuo!

This part did confuse me though. Why does Saika love Shizuo? Saika just sorta loves humans as a generic mass and only through humans does Saika attack specific people. At first I thought it was because the reporter dad was so obsessed with Shizuo but that doesn’t seem the case. It’s simply because Shizuo is so freaking strong. Again though, why does this draw the Saika gang towards him? It’s still not making sense in my head. I should probably go read some other blogs on the subject (god knows there’s enough blogs covering this anime. At least there was, many of them have predictably dropped off by now) but I hate reading posts about an anime I’m blogging before I write about it myself. It’s just one of those hang ups I have.

Little Anri looks a lot like Nadeko from Bakemonogatari dontcha think?

Leaving aside my Shizuo confusion, there’s also the issue of why Anri now controls over 1000 people in Ikebukero, including the undoubtedly dangerous Ganguro Angels and their army of cliched gang member stereotyped boyfriends. So first of all Crazy Yandere girl controls them. Then through all that stabby stabby that went through with herself and Anri somehow Anri came to inherit this army. Again, this all isn’t quite making sense in my head but I’ll go along with it because it has set up for a pretty epic finale. We have the three friends controlling the three biggest factions in Ikebukero.

Anri controls the Slasher group. Probably the weakest of three in terms strength of the fighters it has, second in terms of numbers but highest in terms of commitment seeing as they are practically mind-controlled. Easy to control if she wanted to and seemingly indestructible to anything other than van doors, their weak point is probably their lack of ingenuity. It’s a whole load of mindless slashing from the Saika gang. Taking them on in a straight up fight would result in disaster (unless you’re Shizuo, who’s practically a side by himself) but it shouldn’t be too hard to outwit them.

Mikado controls the Dollars, who definitely have the largest forces, although the problem would be getting them to actually participate in the war. Take any random internet forum and honestly consider how many of the people actually regularly contribute anything. Twitter, for example, only has 10% of its users who are deemed ‘ative’ in that they follow 10 people, have 10 people that follow them and have written 10 tweets. Dollars are obviously more loyal to their internet gang but getting them to agree to fight would be a difficult task. However if you can get them to fight then they clearly have the upper hand on everyone else. Strongest and  the most intelligent fighters out of the three armies, they could wield enormous power if they actually got around to it.

Kida and the Yellow Scarves are still a bit of an enigma. They’ve been building up slowly in the background and very little in the way of actual fighting appears to have broken out with them. However it’s clear that they’re extremely loyal to Kida and clearly aren’t as mindless as the Saika gang. They’re the most organised of the lot now that they have their leader at the helm once again. Really, the group relies on how forceful and confident in his own abilities Kida will be in any upcoming battle. Whether there will actually be any fighting between the three groups is questionable but it’s fun to theorize about anyway.

And at the centre of it all is Izaya. I did most of my theorizing about him back in episode 14 where he controls a breakout in fighting between Dollars and the Yellow Scarves. Obviously Anri’s group weren’t in the picture back then but the whole story still fits into place pretty well for him. How much of this can he control and what is he still trying to do with this city dangerously balanced that he’s created? Most importantly is who, if anyone, can stop him? Shizuo? Simon? Celty herself mans up and doesn’t let Izaya get to her? ‘Tis going to be an interesting final 6 episodes~

::Edit:: Hey cool, this is my 300th post!

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18 Comments

  1. Posted May 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Amusingly enough, the seiyuu who voices Nadeko — Kana Hanazawa — also provides Anri’s voice. (She’s also Tenshi/Angel/Kanade in Angel Beats!)

    As for Anri taking control of the Slashers, I figure it’s Saika itself taking control of the group. They’re presumably already connected with Saika by proxy (since Haruna had Saika powers), so it wouldn’t be too difficult for the real Saika to usurp command.

    What I’m still wondering about is when Haruna first fell under Saika’s command (before she used her crazy love to gain some semblance of control over herself). Anri makes it pretty clear in the previous episode that she doesn’t know who Haruna is, and yet this episode strongly suggests that Anri did originally cut Haruna. Guess she must have done it while everything went all gray and weird, which would explain why she doesn’t remember it; she was disconnected from herself at the time.

  2. smallish
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Super excited for the next episode! Looks like we’ll finally get to see what the Saki/Kida/Izaya deal is. Also? Kida throwing a punch at Izaya? Uhm. It would be brave if it wasn’t so stupid.

  3. Ellyion
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    In the novels, it mentions that Saika is in love with Shizuo because of his “carnage”. He has the strength and capacity to “love” humans in the same way that Saika wants to. My theory is that her love stems from a desperate want to possess him. It’s still rather weak and fuzzy, but I appreciate the opportunity to watch Shizuo mow over hundreds of Saika-zombies.

    I have to agree with Shinmaru on how Anri inherited the army. I suppose she took it from her “daughter”, Haruna. It makes sense, and Anri seemed to explain it a little in the episode, between the “It’s horrible to do this to you; I’m so sorry”.

    I’m beginning to dislike Izaya immensely. I mean, trying to start Ragnarok through manipulating others? Why? And to what end? Of course, I’ve read the novels and know to what end. But it still makes little sense to me. But I like his pseudo-friendship with Namie and I’ll admit that the scenario he set up certainly is fun. I just don’t approve of his motives.

  4. Posted May 8, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s really getting fun now. I think the set-up here is that Izaya will attempt to control the situation, but will lose control; and Shizuo and Celty are the two unrelated wild cards whose individual actions will swing the result one way or the other.

    Though we haven’t seen what Kida and the Yellow Scarves are really like yet, I would think they’re the strongest gang of the three, since they’re not mind-controlled or Internet-based but actually a gang that has meetings in person, lol. It’s setting up to be a great finale here.

  5. Posted May 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Hmm… I don’t know if we’ll get a definite conclusion which worries me a lot. You see, the novels are still going, with the most recent one having come out this January… It’s possible we’ll get an ending like Baccano! that wraps up a few arcs, or the anime will have a different conclusion or they may have no real ending at all. (I think I would die of frustration.) Judging by Ellyion’s comment it’ll be like Baccano! so that whole rant is completely unjustified. It’s too bad we won’t get the whole story though. I want someone to translate these novels…

    Either way, this was a wonderful episode and I can’t wait to see where this is going.

  6. Posted May 9, 2010 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    I think the idea with Shizuo was that Saika wanted to expand to take on the whole human race, and Shizuo, being the strongest man in Ikebukuro, would be a powerful tool to use towards that objective. Of course, it didn’t work out that way. When Anri hears one voice who neither loves nor hates her, I wonder if that is Shizuo.

    I think your analysis of the three factions is a good one. Anri can get absolute subservience, but probably not intelligent planning — a big blunt weapon. Mikado might get thoughtful action, and there are a lot of potentials to draw on, but how committed are they when the going gets tough (e.g. when they have to fight against hordes of zombies)? Masaomi’s yellow scarves may be the smallest group, but they are more committed than the Dollars. Though they are less committed than mindless zombies, they retain the capacity to think intelligently (and note they follow a “general”, implying they might be the most strategically organized).

    A very interesting set-up without even considering wild cards like Izaya.

  7. luffyluffy
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAO4M5_Gf00

    I thought of you the second I saw it Scampy

  8. BigFire
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Kida’s Yellow Scarves is in many ways a bit different from the gang he founded and lead. After the war between Blue Square and Yellow Scarves, he quit that life. Many of the Blue Square leadership were arrested. Some of the others dabbles in drug dealing which ran afoul of the real organize criminals, Yakuza. And still some of them pick fight with Ikebukuro’s own Godzilla Shizuo. So Blue Square that went to war with Yellow Scarves disintergrated. Yellow Scarves end up absorbing quit a few of their former enemies, and lay low after the war.

    Dollars’ strength is in its ability of Crowd Sourcing information gathering. There’s just so many of them, that someone somewhere is bound to know the truth (in this case, as soon as Celty received Mikado’s commend, she already know the truth, but is reluctant to reveal it to him just yet).

    Saika’s children under Haruna’s control is a bit like night of the living dead. Conversely, Saika’s children under Anri’s control is for the most part unaware. However, when she issues her commend, they’re not the mindless zombies that we saw in this episode. You’ll see more of that in the future episodes.

  9. vucubcaquix
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    @luffyluffy

    I thought this blog would’ve been a sanctuary against that video. Lord knows I’ve seen it enough on that image board that shall not be named.

  10. Scamp
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    @Shinmaru

    Ah so that’s who she is. I’m terrible with seiyuu because I rarely bother to check out whose voicing who. I recognised the voice but I’d never bothered looking her up.

    Yeah most of what Saika does baffles me. It’s so fuzzy and magical that it’s hard to pinpoint down any concrete rules it follows

    @smallish

    And it’s not like Izaya is a bad fighter either. We’ve seen what he can do with a simple flick knife

    @Ellyion

    I agree, that’s rather a fuzzy logic used there Mr.Narita. He’s good at many things but internal world logic might not be his strongest suit.

    Izaya has actually become my favourite character by now, but whenever I start wondering how evil he might be I’m forced the think back to episode 2 where he did that suicide stunt with the girl. This guy is pretty darn evi if he’s able to pull that off without an ounce of remorse

    @Jan Suzukawa

    It’s tough to gauge the strength of the yellow scarves because we just haven’t seen them in action yet beyond getting jumped on or scalped by Izaya. Also I have my doubts that Kida will keep his wits about him as a leader. He’s charismatic but I think he’s the kind of guy to lose his cool under pressure

    @Siri

    The Baccano ending was fantastically done though so an ending like that wouldn’t bother me in the slightest. Plus if they’re still ongoing then a second season could be on the cards. Judging by the dvd sales this has certainly been a money maker for Brains Base. However I would prefer a second season of Baccano myself..

    @luffyluffy

    I remember seeing that when it first hit the interwebs and thinking ‘thousands upon thousands of fangirls have simultaniously creamed their pants watching this’

    @BigFire

    Yeah the crowd sourcing struck me as the main strength of Dollars, much like Eden of the East, and it surprised me that it took this long for someone to use it for that purpose. Then again if Dollars existed in real life the questions people asked would be stuff like ‘whur can i watch durarrara episde 18 online plz’

  11. CrazyRay
    Posted May 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    This episode has revealed a lot more stuff about Kida, and Anri which we need to know before we enter this all out war in the city. I wonder will they still be friends when this is all over.

    Izaya in the preview though made Kida look like a joke when he dodge him, am so doubtfully that he can actually league anything which may be the reason these guys will create chaos in the city when their leader is being so easily manipulated. =/

    Though the same could be said about Mikado but a it would be a little indirectly given Izaya hasn’t done much to control him.

    Am very exciting to see how Kida past reveal in the next episode and how he possibly got so many of them to join him.

  12. Xyopq
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I guess izaya will try to defeat the three leaders in order to prove to the head that he is ‘worthy’.

  13. Scamp
    Posted May 10, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    @CrazyRay

    Actually Izaya has done his bit to control Mikado. Remember the Dollars chatroom and how he keeps engaging him in private conversations? Yup, don’t underestimate Izaya. The only one he seems to have no control over is Anri

  14. dirty weeabro
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    after extensively reading your blog, i’ve come to realize we have almost identical tastes in anime, haha.

  15. Posted May 12, 2010 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    This whole setup is definitely gonna lead to some pretty epic battles in the future. I just wonder if they’re gonna stop once they figure out who the leaders of the other factions are. I’m guessing that when they do figure that out, they’ll realize that they’ve been toyed by Izaya.

    I also wonder though, how can Anri be so sure of her army? Maybe people stabbed were already part of the yellow scarves or the dollars. I guess I’m just thinking too much into it at this point. It’ll be interesting if there’s some backstabbing in the works.

    With the others factors in the mix, like Simon, Celty, Shinra, Shizuo etc. the future is still up in the air at this point. I just hope that they can neatly wrap this all up in the next 6 episodes cos judging by the scope of all this, it will take a crapload of good writing to have it all make sense without having the story compromised and some ends left untied.

    Also, can we now chalk it off that Celty won’t be getting her head back? Or is her head hunt still part of the agenda?

  16. CrazyRay
    Posted May 12, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    @Scamp

    Your right he has done his part in controlling Mikado every since he noticed him when he came to the city, but the next episode he is directly influencing Kida to do something crazy with in his plans of course. Though that my thought on the whole Izaya manipulating everybody in the cast with the exception of a few other characters.

    @Bass

    I can see this whole thing resolving itself when Celty get here head with either Izaya descending to heaven, or his plan flopping in his face when high order of people chose to disrupt his plans. Who knows where this story is actually headed? Whether the ending is happy or sad depend on the other character influence and impact.

  17. Posted May 13, 2010 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Wait till Izaya finds out that Selty’s head is technically in the Dollars since Selty’s body is. Oops!

    Although all three groups have numbers, their leaders are a bit iffy as generals. Masaomi has some promise, but he clearly failed in the past. I find Mikado to be kind of a joke, and Anri is capable but usually apathetic about the whole thing.

  18. Scamp
    Posted May 13, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    @dirty weeabro

    Yay, someone who’s neither an oldfag nor a moefag. Welcome to the Cart Driver~

    @Bass

    They had put the CeltyXShinra stuff aside to deal with the Saika story but I bet it will take centre stage once again soon. Last we saw of her Celty was pretty pissed at Shinra for not telling her stuff (again) about Saika and how Shingen took her head. I personally would love to see Celty get her head back again simply so I know what she looks like with it back on herself but I don’t think we’ll ever see that

    @CrazyRay

    I wonder who he’s not manipulating. I don’t think he has any control over Simon and try as he might, but his influence over Shizuo is limited to just royally pissing him off, something pretty much anyone can do.

    Also, you’ve now put the picture of Izaya rising up to heaven in a beam of light descending from the sky. That’s….such a bizarre image

    @Kabitzin

    That’s what Izaya is there for. On their own they won’t do a whole lot other than maybe organise a flash mob. With Izaya working the strings in the shadows he can easilly set them against each other

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