Durarara!! – 04
Well that was an informative episode! Lots and lots of information about Selty was revealed – much faster than I thought it would be! Guess Selty’s nature isn’t going to be the main focus of the mystery element of this series.
This week our Narrator is Shinra Kishitani who turns out to be an underground doctor and not a scientist as I originally thought – he’s also Selty’s flatmate and not her handler…..this episode was like Selty’s biography as told by Shinra – tons of information and not a lot of action, but I was fascinated.
Seems Shinra and Selty have been living together for quite a while and have a fairly normal home life all things considered. As Selty can not talk they communicate through IM and text – but that would be boring to watch so they have Miyuki Sawashiro back to voice Selty’s dialogue which really makes her character much less mysterious and gives her a lot more personality.
Shinra reveals that Selty is a Dullahan, a faerie from Celtic mythology – the wiki description of this being is:
The Irish Dullahan (also Durahan, Gan Ceann) is a type of unseelie fairie. It is headless, usually seen riding a headless black horse and carrying his head under one arm. The head’s eyes are massive and constantly dart about like flies, while the mouth is constantly in a hideous grin that touches both sides of the head. The flesh of the head is said to have the color and consistency of moldy cheese. The dullahan’s whip is actually a human corpse’s spine, and the wagons they sometimes use are made of similarly funereal objects (e.g. candles in skulls to light the way, the spokes of the wheels made from thigh bones, the wagon’s covering made from a worm-chewn pall). When the dullahan stops riding, it is where a person is due to die. The dullahan calls out their name, at which point they immediately perish. There is no way to bar the road against a dullahan–all locks and gates open on their own when it approaches. Also, they do not appreciate being watched while on their errands, throwing a basin of blood on those who dare to do so (often a mark that they’re among the next to die), or even lashing out the watchers’ eyes with their whips. Nonetheless, they are frightened of gold, and even a single gold pin can drive a dullahan away.
So Selty is a romantised version of the traditional Irish dullahan legend that I’m familiar with, being female and not grotesque (probably why I didn’t really make the connection before Shinra reveals this information).
There is a wealth of information that may be used in relation the dullahan legends, however since Selty has lost her head and thus her memories they may not use the more gruesome aspects of the dullahans nature……..Selty certainly doesn’t act like the macabre being I know from childhood fairy tales. While we’re on the topic – what the hell kind of name is Selty Sturluson for an Irish faerie!? Sounds more Scandinavian than anything else if you ask me!
Anyway, seems Selty is searching for her lost head and her search has led her to Japan where she has been living for the past 20 years. Selty can change her clothing at will it seems as part of her ability to manipulate that shadowy gas stuff pouring out of her neck. She was also able to transform her headless horse familiar into a motorcycle (which explains the fact it makes weird horse noises!) in order to blend in with modern society a bit better.
Selty met Shinra when he was four years old when she was stowed away on a liner to Japan. Shinra’s father seems to be a rather eccentric doctor – he offered to shelter Selty if she let him perform an autopsy on her! Selty consented and has been under the care of Shinra’s family ever since.
Meanwhile Selty is acting on a tipoff from Izaya regarding an old street artist who claims to have seen a dullahan, resulting in much searching and lots of scenery porn. Shizuo offers to accompany her when she eventually locates the old man to ease communication. The old artist recounts his encounter with the dullahan during his youth when visiting Ireland and shows them drawings he’s made of her. Strangely the artist can not seem to draw the dullahans head no matter how hard he tries. He remembers that the dullahan was exceptionally beautiful though.
Back home with Shinra, Selty conveys her frustration that she is no closer to finding out the location of her head and her memories. Shinra tells her that she is fine as she is, but should try acting a bit more like a woman……she doesnt take that too well though 😛
Shinra seems a bit obsessed with Selty – an obsession thats spanned twenty years. He’s collecting information regarding the headless motorcyclist urban legend and seems keen on keeping Selty all to himself just as she is. Shinra is a cheerful individual and very chatty ( there are a lot of very talkative characters in this series – the script is fantastic though) so its hard not to like him even though he is clearly a touch off kelter due to his less than normal upbringing.
Thoughts: A lot of stuff to chew on in this episode – I really wasnt expecting so much to be revealed about Selty so soon! Now that a lot of her mystique has been dispensed with the main focus of the plot is up for grabs again. Clearly the location of Selty’s head will be a key plot point – I’m expecting that to pop up quite often. Also it appears that Shinra is one of the people in the chatrooms fueling the urban legend of the headless motorcyclist, his reasons for doing this are unclear – it may be as simple as him liking to talk about his obsession, or perhaps its to protect her from casual inquirers, afterall urban legends are to be avoided.
The character development Selty gets in this one episode was remarkable – with the addition of a voice actress and a full back story she becomes a multi-faceted character with real motivations, rather than a mysterious being lurking on the edges of the story. Very much looking forward to more from her and Shinra in the future.
Next week we’re back with Mikado, Masaomi and Anri.