Up until this episode, Durarara has gotten by through its potential. It’s flaunting its quality but spending most of its time introducing characters and revealing this mad world of Ikebukero to you in bit and pieces. But it hadn’t been truly enjoyable, at least to the extent that it was promising us. With episode 3 we finally see the change from potentially awesome to truly awesome. Normally I’d try to demonstrate why this episode was so amazing with one screencap but it appears that all the awesomeness never managed to appear at the same time. So I’m afraid you’ll just have to click that ‘read more’ button. Oh poor you~
So why was this episode so awesome. I hate to be the guy who constantly compares this to Baccano, but it used the same tactics that made Baccano so enjoyable. You had a bunch of total psycho wacko characters interacting and fighting. One thing that’s different between the two is Mikado. The idea of having a normal guy as the main character in a show full other nutters would be frustrating but it’s been hugely entertaining to see his reactions to everything. Baccano never had the ‘straight man’ character. I originally thought that Mikado would just be a bystander in all this chaos but it appears he might have something to do with the overall story. Is there any other way to explain why Izaya (phone-stomping guy, in case you forgot the names. I certainly do) looked at him when saying ‘I was searching for someone’.
Argh, if I was to try go through this episode in my usual way I’d end up typing a string of endless praises and desperately trying to think of synonyms for ‘awesome’. Instead, I’m going to go through this by how awesome each character was. Number 1: Masaomi
It’s easy to forget, what with that fight in the second half of the episode, that he even did anything in the episode. The guy’s a nutter, like practically every other character in this show. His enthusiasm is infectious but he manages to toe the line that most hyperactive characters in that he never gets on your nerves. With other hyper characters like Tomo from Azumanga Daoih, their hyperactive nature stops being infectious and just gets annoying. What makes Masaomi different from the rest is he’s clearly not an idiot. He spotted the worried look on Mikado’s face and interpreted it correctly, albeit with his usual added flowers and fabulousness. Plus, it was a bit of a shock to see him act so reserved around Izaya. Even if we hadn’t seen him semi-convince a girl to commit suicide you’d still know there was something seriously dangerous about this guy.
Last episode I wasn’t quite convinced by Izaya. He was more of those all-knowing villains he plod around and spout monologues on how there is no good or evil and so on and so forth. That’s why I loved watching the guy getting clobbered by the bin. It took the guy down several rungs and it showed that he’s not quite the invincible the last episode portrayed him as. Yep, his best scene of the episode was not the epic phone stamping laugh (which, btw, is absolutely hilarious to listen to fast-forwarded), nor was it his instant scalping technique. His best scene was being flattened by a projectile bin.
But the real star of the show, the guy who stole the episode even though he only appeared for about 5 minutes, was Shizuo. Described rather accurately as violence in human form, what makes him different from the other bunch of nutters both in this show and Baccano is that there’s nothing in the way of flair in his actions. While there’s an odd beauty to Izaya pirouetting around random thugs, brandishing his flick knife, Shizuo is unrefined. In that scene where he systematically flattens that gang of fake dollars, he knocks out one of the guys with a sort of lazy headbutt. This actually makes his trendy bartender clothes all the more ironic. Heck, want something even more ironic? Nicked this off a random forum:
‘Shizuo’ = ‘quiet man’
‘Heiwajima’ = ‘peaceful island’
Let’s not forget our narrator for the episode. Simon (thank you Gurren Lagann. Now I will always pronounce it as ‘sih-monn’ instead of ‘sigh-mun’ in my mind) was hilarious to watch, with his amazing advertising. Why, doesn’t the urge to go eat sushi just skyrocket when a giant black Russian tells you that you won’t die from it. Shinmaru theorized that the guy would eventually show eventually show off some sort of phenomenal power and be yet another psycho in a show already packed full of them. I was of the opinion that he would be more of a gentle giant type character. What we got was a hybrid of the two. While he only jumps into fights to stop them, anyone who can take a punch from Shizuo and keep his clothes on is worthy of respect.
And that’s just those characters, there was just so much packed into this episode that I loved. Did anyone else notice that thug doing some sort of pocket masturbation behind those girls? I know gang members quite often walk around with the hand cupping their groinal regions but his hand was moving far too vigorously for it to be anything else. That might explain why the guy’s trousers were a bit wet afterwards. It had nothing to do with being scared of Izuya. He had just…ok, I’m going to stop that train of thought before I go too far.
From left to right: Durarara; Cencoroll; Not entirely sure, could be Kuroshitsuji or Baccano again;this time with Maiza and Csez. don’t know; don’t know; Hell Girl. They even tossed a Yozakura Quartet book in later for the hell of things.
OK, theorizing time! Props to Extrange for pointing this out to me; in the opening just at the end we see a head in a jar. Does that belong to our favourite headless horsewomen? Does it look that similar to the head of the girl with the scar on her neck? There hasn’t been any talk of the whereabouts of Celty’s head thus far so it’s kinda hard to theorize something that hasn’t been alluded to in the show itself. Just for a quick comparison, does the head look any similar to that girls?
Hmm, it’s kinda difficult to tell but there’s nothing blatantly obvious to say they are different. Same hair colour, same length. Ah who cares, let’s just now bask in what was a glorious piece of madness. Brains Base, you’ve done it again. I swear, if wasn’t for Akikan, I’d say they were one of the most consistently awesome studios. With an awful lot of people touting Shaft as the great new studio, I’m sticking my neck out for Brains Base. Let us just compare the two for a second. This season, Brains Base released Durarara. Shaft have gone with that travesty that is Vampire Bund. Brains Base > Shaft.
I couldn’t find a place to put this picture in so far so I thought I’d toss it in at the end. Crowning Moment of Random?