10 CommentsDurarara / By Scamp /

Durarara!! episode 23

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

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10 Comments

  1. Posted June 22, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Agreed with a lot of your complaints, especially regarding the characters. Baccano! handled just as many characters a LOT better and did it in roughly half the time Durarara!! has. It’s really disappointing how Durarara!! has sputtered to a close . . . hopefully the finale at least ends on a cool note.

  2. luffyluffy
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Hi. I got shot.

  3. smallish
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t crazy about this episode either. I think Durarara!! will still rank as one of my more loved anime, but it’s been struggling a little. I didn’t mind the slower episodes because unlike this episode they weren’t… bad. A little boring, but tolerably so, especially with the hope that the last few episodes would be epic.

    I liked the idea of Kida becoming so desperate to protect his friends that he resolves to go to his death, but it wasn’t handled well. But I really appreciated Celty getting back in the game and I liked that Namie actually did something.

    Also, I want to agree with the above comment about the opening credits. Shingen and (what’s his name?) Kinnosuke were interesting and I was happy to have them join the show, but Kinnosuke only had, like, one episode with him in it and Shingen only had two or three. Kasuka hasn’t turned up at all, to my memory, and I was kind of excited to see more of him. It would have made more sense to drop those three for all their relevance and add in Horada and focus on him a little more. He had a lot of potential for being a truly sadistic villain that could have inadvertently helped Izaya by seriously messing with Kida.

    Hmph. I’m not critic, but I know that something’s wrong with the show when I haven’t been jumping up and down to see an episode ever since the teaser for episode 18.

    Ah well. Here’s holding out hope that the last episode pulls it together and that on the off chance that the show gets a second season, it gets its shit together so we can all come back to the show we fell in love with.

  4. akani
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    We saw a bit of Kida’s fighting skills when he kicked/punched Horada and that other thug in an earlier episode. They got air time.

    Actually, Kida’s badass fighting skills were seriously downplayed in this episode. He took down at least 30-50 in the original light novel.

    The main reason people stayed around Kida and became the Yellow Scarves was because he was a strong fighter. There wasn’t any reason to fight beforehand since he wanted a normal life, so we didn’t get to see his skills.

    At least something happened in this episode instead of tension like before. However, the scene where Mikado, Anri, and Kida find each other had its impact lost. It was supposed to be a moment where they shockingly find out what each of them were hiding and then they mutually decide that the only thing that matters was that they were safe. Various things added like Kida finding about Anri’s connection to the Slashers beforehand made this part lose its intensity.

    If you want to read the better original, it’s here:

    http://anni-fiesta.livejournal.com/15925.html

  5. Roger
    Posted June 22, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    If there is any novel part he should be rereading it’s this

    http://anni-fiesta.livejournal.com/31303.html

    The anime cut out the part where the Yellow Scarves are formed and instead have the okatu’s narrate some bull about him watching to many animes or someting.

    Now, episode 18 was still a great episode in my mind but it does make Kida’s fighting here come out of leftfield. In episode 21 we got the idea that he’s strong, because of how Horoda and everyone was afraid of him but because it’s Horoda being surprised by this, yeah WTF. In addition we got no real narration this episode, just Kida thinking. If we had someone like Kadota narrating this episode going “Horada had dismissed Masaomi as an opportunist leader. But even if that was the case, the Yellow Turbans would still have had gathered around Masaomi for a reason – he was a strong fighter. He had probably taken on several gangs single-handedly by now.” that would’ve been fine.

  6. Lemi
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    So the point is novel>anime, right?

  7. Philip
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    agree with LEMI

    light novel > anime adaptation had very varied quality
    sometime wildly success, sometime fail even in one series

    some book in one series could make good anime
    other book in same series will make bad anime

    DRRR ep 1-12 was a lot better than this last arc
    this also appear in To Aru Index / Railgun
    sometime they have good arc
    sometime just irrelevant side stories
    character also appear and dissappear wildly

  8. Scamp
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Just going to do a general reply

    Time after time I hear that the novel/VN/manga is better and almost every single time I’ve gone back to that version of the story and still preferred the anime. It comes down whichever you watch first, along with a general attitude of fans that the more writing that takes place, the less room there is for faults. So forgive me for being just a little bit sceptical.

    Secondly, the idea that Kida is capable of taking on 40 men just doesn’t sit right with me. It doesn’t feel like it fits his character one bit and just Narita wanting to make his characters overpowered. The idea that he started the gang because he read manga and the gang grew in size due to his charisma just feels more likely. Now I could believe that he is capable of taking on 4-5 men with the addition of adreneline he got, but only if they had alluded to some form of his fighting prowess beforehand. The anime here had the oppertunity to improve on the novel but, judging by what people are saying, they only managed to make it worse.

    @Shinmaru’s comment is very true. Durarara, in this arc, hasn’t kept a good control of its characters. The problem is preiphary characters were introduced like they were going to have significant effect on the plot when they never had. If these plot lines were going on simultaniously, like they did in Baccano, it might have worked better.

    • Roger
      Posted June 23, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      “Secondly, the idea that Kida is cap­able of tak­ing on 40 men just doesn’t sit right with me. It doesn’t feel like it fits his char­ac­ter one bit and just Nar­ita want­ing to make his char­ac­ters over­powered.”

      Though 40 is reaching it I don’t see the novelition putting the count above 20, I dunno how it would make Kida overpowered. Izaya can shave a mans head so fast you can’t visibly see his hand leaving his pocket, Simon can jump down 10 stories with easy and stop punches from a man that can lift a car and throw it. Even taking Shizuo, Dullahans and demon blades for granted which you really really shouldn’t, Durarara establishes to be well beyond the realm of what is physically possible as early as episode 3. The shogun of the Yellow Scarves not being able to beat even a bunch of guys would be unfitting of his character not the other way around. Kida being a manga enthusiast is even worse. As for the charisma thing, that your knowledge of the novels talking Scamp, the anime cut that part out.

  9. Roger
    Posted June 23, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Anyway, if Kida was just a brainless kid that got decided to make gang because he liked how the pictures of stuff looked in a manga then the last six episodes have been completely pointless, wtf was Horoda waiting for, just getting pissed Kida can floor 3, 4 guys, Yellow Scarves were in the hundreds. And Kida was an idiot this episode and lucked out big time for even getting as far as he did.

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