Ryohgo Narita, the author of Baccano and Durarara, actually has 5 different series written but only one other book looks like it has a chance of being adapted into an anime is Vamp!, which you can tell was written by him thanks to his love of exclamation marks. The synopsis of the book sounds awfully generic if you didn’t know it was Narita. “A comedic dark fantasy about vampire clans, a vampire princess, and the man who hunts them!”. You could just see people going ‘bleargh, more Twilight spawned vampire anime’, until they see the name attached. Ah, one can only dream of an anime adaption I guess.
Up until now the ‘plot twists’ or general plot developments in Durarara have been things that have already happened. Celty was already living with Shinra. Shizuo already hated Izaya. The way this anime set up the first 8 episodes was by bringing Mikado to ‘Bukero and set the scene around him. What was different here was this was the first time we’ve seen some real plot developments happen in real time. Celty finding her head is a huge change to the set up of this anime and from here on in everything is happening in real time. All the characters have had their current stories thus far explained well enough to move the story on from here. The scene has been set, although it did take 8 episodes to do so. It all felt very well done IMO but at the same time I can see why someone might’ve been annoyed that it took this long to reach the actual plot.
So this scene was the big twist of the episode. I certainly did not expect Celty to find her head so quickly. I suppose after they revealed that the head was Celty’s head in the last episode (and I use the term ‘revealed’ loosely because most of us had that figured out by ourselves anyway) there wasn’t much need to keep the lid on things anymore. What the entire scene did prove was that Mika/Celty (we need a fan-name for her, and no I’m not calling her Melty) really doesn’t want to be re-united with catsuit Celty. In fact, I couldn’t tell who she was afraid of more. Celty or this creepy siscon character.
When Celty/Mika/Scarneck says she doesn’t want her ‘getting in the way of her love’, part of me thought she was talking about catsuit Celty (this is getting frustrating to differentiate) but it’s more logical to assume she’s talking about Namie Yagiri. While Celty is getting in the way of her love, it’s more of a byproduct for having to be carted around and throwing buckets of blood at people. Namie is getting directly in the way of her love. That is a really weird love-triangle to be caught in. The daughter is in love with the son who is in love with a head in a jar which has been attached to the head of his stalker by his incestuous sister after he murdered her. Yup, the Yagiri family is slightly dysfunctional to say the least.
Falling in love with a head in a jar. I can understand why maybe it might be peaceful to sit with the jar and talk to it, or maybe just be with it. I can imagine sitting there with the head on my desk, imagining what they’re thinking and telling it your troubles. But falling in love with it, at first sight none-the-less, is a bit crazy. I’d say it’s a combination of auld Celtic Magic and the inherent unusual sexual preferences of the Yagiri family. What I want to know is how it came into their possession. I had a hunch that maybe the uncle was actually Shinra’s dad but I didn’t spot any of his signature pen-twirling so that’s probably out.
I’m now starting to doubt that Shinra knows anything about Celty’s head. If he did know something then he was a pretty good actor when Celty told him about it. The head was in the Yagiri family possession for a long time, at least around the same time that Shinra met Celty for the first time so I really doubt that he knows anything about it. Maybe this is just another part of my dislike for Shinra dropping and I still think there’s things he’s hiding from Celty but in regards to the head I think he’s clean. Also, he delivered the most telling line of the episode. Will Celty really try to take back her head when it’s attached to another body? This takes an extra layer when said by Shinra because of his totally undisguised desire to keep his headless crush headless.
And then Mr.Ordinary, Mikado, gets dropped into this story in the most dangerous way possible. The poor guy has no idea what a big clusterfuck he’s worked his way into, although the next episode preview showed him talking to Celty. Again, this is proof that it is Celty who ties all these characters together in some form or another, albeit through two different bodies. I doubt Mika/Celty is going to stay at his house for that much longer, although that depends on what’s happened to Seiji. Last we saw of him he had been just headbutted by Shizuo and the police were closing in on him (first time we’ve seen them all show).
It was weird seeing Shizuo not once lose his temper over the course of this fight, bar maybe one little twitch where he hurled Seiji into a lorry. Considering he considers someone stealing his pudding a fridgeable offence, getting stabbed in the leg with pens seems worthy of at least a golf buggy to the face. It must’ve been the calming effect Celty has on him or something. If he had just met Seiji after a meeting with Izaya then Seiji could kiss his worst-eloper-ever life goodbye.
Gotta wrap up this post now but a little mention to Izaya, doing his version of the Gendo Ikari. The guy has that same infectious delight for carnage that his Baccano counterparts had, except in a far more manipulative way. On the whole I still think I prefer Baccano but if there’s one part that I think Durarara outclasses it, it would be how many great characters it has. There’s so many great personalities in this anime and they’re worked into the story a lot better than the multi-story Baccano managed, especially when you know that any character in Durarara could meet any of the others and frequently do cross paths. They’re all connected in this present storyline, unlike the Baccano connected-over-time storyline. And that person they are all connected by?