15 CommentsDurarara / By Scamp /

Durarara!! episode 9

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).

Mid-action shot. I love the level of panic on his face. Actually, knowing the Yagiri family, he’s probably turned on by all this.

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?

Well, both versions of her.

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15 Comments

  1. Posted March 5, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I don’t think we can completely conclude that Mika’s head belongs to Celty anymore. They introduced evidence to the contrary here as well. First, Seiji only says he thinks he killed her, it’s never confirmed. Second, a rival company apparently wants the head, so putting it out into the public would be pretty reckless on Namie’s part. Third, Mika talks to Izaya and trusts his judgment, which is something she likely wouldn’t develop quickly, considering how untrusting she seems to be of everyone else.

    We know that Namie’s company can alter memories and that performing plastic surgery is infinitely easier than attaching a new head. Thus, I believe a reasonable case can still be made that Celty’s head is locked away somewhere. Whether or not that’s the case, though, we’ll have to wait and see.

  2. Taka
    Posted March 5, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Just to throw in, that scene with the cops wasn’t the last of Seiji. The next scene is with him and his sister in a room remarkably similar to the flashback minus the ramen. Where Namie says “I’ll get her back for sure” and “what a cheeky doll”.

    As far as I know Seiji looks like he’s bordering on a nervous breakdown.

  3. Posted March 6, 2010 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    @Scamp said: “So this scene was the big twist of the epis­ode.”

    Yeah, a chill actually ran down my spine when Celty gasped at seeing her. The music right before that was creepy, too … like a shrieking theramin or something.

    @Rakuen: I agree. There is still room for alternate explanations. In some ways the best explanation is that Mika didn’t die, and Namie (possibly with Shinra’s help) does plastic surgery and a mind wipe. Does that mean he knows that Yagiri has Celty’s head? Still unproven, like so much in this show.

  4. Posted March 6, 2010 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    I think Shizuo lets Seiji off relatively easy partly because while Seiji is an idiot, he is also at least straightforward and honest with his idiocy. Manipulative people who mask their true intentions, or who pick away at people to piss them off — such as Mr. Izaya — piss off Shizuo most, so he’s probably just glad to have someone who is easy to understand to deal with for a change.

    lol Scarneck. Hopefully Al Pacino doesn’t play her in the live-action remake.

  5. Scamp
    Posted March 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    @Rakuen

    I would be utterly shocked if that wasn’t Celty’s head. First, Mika Harima is definately dead. That’s beyond doubt in my book. Also, when asked to make the kid forget stuff, Shinra said that was impossible. Even then it’s a big step from forgetting stuff to altering memories. That also doesn’t explain why Celty instantly knew that head was hers. If that was really the case, then that means that Namie put a fake head for Seiji to run off with. Now I know Seiji is a bit weird and all but I think he’d notice that part.

    However, that theory would explain why NeckScar is so protective of Seiji: because she is still the stalker and is willing to accept that new identity to be with Seiji. That again doesn’t explain why she knew the Dullahan existed. I still think it’s highly unlikely

    @Taka

    Ah yeah, he did appear again. Boy do the cops suck in ‘bukero

    @Joojoobees

    I don’t think I mentioned it in the post but oh boy was the music fantastic in this episode. My favourite parts were at the end with Shinra and Celty, that music gave me goosebumps

    @Shinmaru

    Izaya is a fascinating character isn’t he? Shizuo can’t handle characters with depth it seems. He’s a moefag, judging by his actions around Celty

  6. Posted March 7, 2010 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    @5camp
    Rule #1 of any fiction, if the kill isn’t confirmed, then the person probably isn’t dead. It’s such a pervasive trope that I find myself hard pressed to to sell her off as dead. They could have just flat out said he killed her, or shown the head being sewn on or something, but they specifically went well out of their way to block it out. I guess we’ll see though.

    Shinra didn’t actually say it was impossible, he said it was difficult. There’s a difference. A mechanism exists in our brains to suppress memories, there has to be a method to trigger that manually. But a suppressed memory can come back given enough time.

    Celty knew it by its appearance because she dreamed about it.

    I think Seiji really is far enough out there that he wouldn’t notice. Shizuo himself dragged it out of him that he didn’t CARE about Mika, just that they were in love. Love has an amazing blinding effect, especially when you have what you think you want.

  7. Posted March 7, 2010 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    I don’t know what to think about the head, except that I still feel like I’m being played with. But if I had to guess, I would say Seiji’s sister had Mika’s face altered to make him happy, so I’m with Rakuen on this.

  8. EurydiceQ
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    “we need a fan-name for her, and no I’m not call­ing her Melty”

    haha I’ll take your “Melty,” and raise you “Celka.”

    I say Mika’s definitely dead. Celty said she can sense her head, and I thought her recognition was more of the feeling than the face; Celka was just some random girl on the street running by and Celty didn’t have time to get a very careful look. Having only seen her head once in a dream, would she be that sure if she just glanced at Celka as she ran past? Celty also didn’t expect to find her head attached to a body, so the fact that she is so sure despite her surprise convinces me that Celka is the real deal.

  9. Scamp
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    @Rakuen

    That death struck me as very ‘confirmed’ indeed. Her body was covered in blood and dragged out of the room by her feet while not moving. Who did he kill then?

    @EurydiceQ

    Celka it is then! Unless there’s some other decided fan-name for the series comes through

  10. Posted March 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    @5camp
    If I strike you in the face with a suitable object, you’re going to bleed pretty profusely and you’re not going to have a chance to protest your method of transportation. That’s not even to mention blood loss from other injuries. Do note that you can still live even after losing a surprising amount of blood. There are studies that show, with proper care, you can survive with hemoglobin counts of sub-3 g/mL, and one case study where the patient survived a count of 1.4 with no transfusion. Ergo, you can’t use blood loss as a suitable measuring stick for a kill.

  11. Posted March 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, the unit of measure is g/dL, not g/mL.

  12. Posted March 9, 2010 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why I always procrastinate about watching Durarara, but for some reason I only got to ep 09 today. Anyway…

    I think the death of Mika could have been done by Mika herself. It’s never explicit that Seiji killed her, and when Namie was doing the voiceover of her memories of the incident she said that Mika was stalking him and when she went into the room and saw the head Seiji [something]. If she was a particularly crazy stalker, she might have killed herself when Seiji told her that he’s in love with the head. Since it wasn’t explicit, I’m guessing that the straightforward conclusion of Seiji killing her is not what actually happened.

    Namie and Seiji do have a creepy relationship, a very Akiha and Shiki from Tsukihime vibe.

  13. Posted March 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    @Rakuen: “you can still live even after los­ing a sur­pris­ing amount of blood.”

    Okay, its kind of creepy that you know that. o_O

  14. Scheniziel Lackward
    Posted March 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I think the next episode will discovered the mystery!
    But what about the dollars? Also about Kida and all that otaku?
    And I got curious at Izaya, he said he still have many interest at Ikebukuro.
    Hmm, I smell many mystery will be discovered on next episode~

  15. Posted March 9, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    @Joojoobees
    Haha, that’s understandable. I saw a video on transfusion-free surgery once, and they highlighted that fact. I did a little searching around, and sure enough, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence to support surviving severe blood loss, plus a few studies.

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