The second last episode of Durarara. You would hope that it was going to end on a high but good endings to anime are few and far between. A good ending is enough to raise your opinion of a series by several degrees and, as the very name of this blog should tell you, I love it when a series can end well. Unless Durarara can pull something amazing in the last episode, which I seriously doubt it can, then this is also going down in the anime annals of poor closing runs to anime series. Second season where?
Getting pissed off at characters is not my forte. When the rest of the world was raging at these bunch of angsty teenagers, it never particularly bothered me. Sure Mikado wasn’t exactly the most riveting character to watch but his actions all worked in the grand scheme of the story. What annoyed me about this episode was how dumb several of the scenes felt. Yes, Shizuo thinking he slipped when in fact he got shot was badass and everything, but it made a mockery of the cliffhanger at the end of the last episode. Its relevance on the story was minimal and now makes that twist at the end of the episode a lazy attempt to ramp up the tension. I bet he’ll return to the Yellow Scarves headquarters next episode for an ‘oh shit’ moment for Horada, but now it just feels stupid.
Speaking of Horada, since when did he become a main character? Why wasn’t he given a spot in the opening when Shizuo’s brother was? And what about that awesome policeman? Then what about Shingen? Why introduce all these characters when you weren’t going to do anything with them? I suppose these all could be answered in a potential second season but surely the director could have planned this series out better.
In the world of pointless characters though, Simon has to be the most frustrating. When he confronted Kida in the rain I was excited. Finally we were going to understand Simon’s relevance to the plot. But no, instead he had some stupid silly foreigners speech about why he liked Ikebukero. That seriously pissed me off. In the end he was nothing more than silly foreigner guy. That whole speech with Kida changed nothing. He might as well spent that entire time trying to sell him some of his umai-yo sushi-yo and it would have had as much relevance to the plot. The only effect he had on this episode was to point Celty in the right direction.
But this was the dumbest part of all. Can someone please tell me when 16 year old Kida suddenly learned street-smart kung-fu skills? Since when was he able to take on 6 armed Yellow Scarves members by himself? Why is this fight scene suddenly being thrown in in episode 23? There hasn’t been a single other instance over the course of the show where Kida has shown his fighting prowess. We know how strong Shizuo, Celty, Simon and Izaya are and we also know how weak Shingen and Mikado are. But for Kida to suddenly dispatch this lot was dumb. Dumb dumb dumb.
So what characters came out of this episode with their reputation intact? Well, Celty was awesome. When Mikado is trying to justify his reason for shutting down Dollars, she’s all like ‘cool story bro. Now come with me so we can finish this fecking arc’ (she’s Irish so she would obviously saw ‘fecking’). Then there was Namie, who has also got sick of what little development is happening in this arc with Izaya and has also taken it into her own hands to get this plotline finished.
A lot of the complaints I’m levelling at this episode can be answered with ‘it comes later in the books’ but it’s the duty of the anime director to make sure the anime itself remains relatively self-contained. The series has sold phenomenally well so a second season seems likely and maybe then my complaints will start to look irrational whining. But this was not a good episode by any stretch of the imagination. bleargh