Durarara!! – 05
This week our narrator is Masaomi Kida and with it we get to see a whole new side of him. If there is one thing Durarara!! is great at its character development – it would have been so easy to just leave these characters as standard archetypes, but it’s so much more interesting to see them develop beyond their pigeon-holes. This episode also fires in a few new characters (as if the cast wasnt big enough as it was!)
The episode starts with a flash forward of Selty being attacked by a girl with a sword and Mikado & Masaomi escaping from a trio of gang members; and then goes back to show us how we got there.
During his narration Masaomi reveals that he is interested in Anri and has been since their first encounter, he’s even rescued her from the slimy advances of the pervy teacher.
Unfortunately for Masaomi, Mikado arrives on the scene and the three of them end up spending the afternoon in the park.
Masaomi warns Anri about the pervy teacher – he apparently has a history of preying on students. Conversation soon turns to Anri’s missing friend Harima Mika – who turns out to have been a bit of a stalker – the object of her obsessive affection being Seiji. Mika left messages with her family and Anri before disappearing saying she was going to go on a trip to heal her heart after Seiji rejected her. Anri shows Masaomi and Mikado pictures of her and Mika together and talks about their strange friendship (which is more like them using each other). Mikado makes a few very straightforward and astute comments – Masaomi remarks that this part of Mikado’s personality is one of the things he likes most about his best friend. I’m glad Mikado is getting a little bit of development – however he’s still the dullest character in the series thus far.
Mikado is bothered by Mika’s disappearance and thinks that perhaps she and Seiji are together afterall, but that they would need the help of a larger organisation such as the ‘Dollars’ gang to find out, although he also says he has no desire to join the Dollars. This has Masaomi worried though – he expresses the desire to protect Mikado from the darker elements of the city, also saying that he himself will ‘not go back to that side again’. The ‘again’ part interests me – I assume this has something to do with Masaomi’s shared past with Izaya.
Masaomi is concerned enough about Mikado’s interest in Dollars that he goes to see the Otaku group to ask for information on them, but they can’t tell him anything meaningful really.
Elsewhere we are shown shots of a man in a hat, who is interviewing residents of the city about various characters – his name isn’t given and its unclear what his deal is.
We’re also shown a girl in a hospital room who has some sort of connection to Masaomi as she has a picture of the two of them together on her phone. Masaomi has apparently stopped visiting her, although he does make it to the outside of the building below her window. This girl has another visitor though – Izaya Orihara, and she greets him without any sense of fear and they seem to be friends. I’m now even more curious about how these three are connected and what happened in Masaomi’s past – Izaya doesn’t seem scary at all in this scene, I wonder why Masaomi now seems extremely wary of him?
While Masaomi is wandering about town soul-searching, Mikado spots Seiji and the girl with the scar round her neck when he’s coming out of a shop. Mikado follows them and calls out to Seiji who tells him not to interrupt his elopement……Seiji is a bit strange. Upon getting a closer look at the scarred girl he realises that she isn’t Anri’s friend Mika.
At about the same time Masaomi spots Mikado and makes to follow him, but accidently bumps into the trio of Yellow Scarf gang members we’ve seen floating about the place all episode. They drag Masaomi off down an alley and threaten him, but Mikado spots Masaomi and attempts to help him – luckily a commotion at the end of the alley provides a distraction to allow Mikado and Masaomi to escape.
The handy distraction was provided by Selty who was on another of her jobs – retrieving a briefcase from a fugitive. However she is stabbed through the arm and has her helmet cut off by a long-haired girl with a sword – as Selty’s wound on her arm heals she hears voices calling her a monster……which freaks her out a bit. The sword girl seems to have been responsible for a number of slasher attacks in the area. This slasher girl encounters the Yellow Scarf trio Mikado and Masaomi escaped from and attacks them…….its unclear who this girl is, we don’t get to see her face.
Back home with Shinra, Selty seems worried about this mysterious slasher girl – she seems particularly concerned about the fact she could be an alien! I found this adorable and hilarious – an Unseelie Court faerie worried about an alien! 😀 Shinra doesn’t seem all that concerned though 😛
At the end of the episode we see Mr Brown Hat Guy coming home and calling out to a girl called Haruna, who appears to be some sort of Hikkomori – she’s shown to be on a laptop, could she be one of the people in the chat rooms? Her long tangled hair also seems similar to the Slasher girl……will be interesting to see who she actually is and what her role in the story is.
Thoughts: So this was a really interesting episode – not a lot actually happened on the whole, but there was plenty of character development. I was also impressed by the way the episode was put together, with the flash forward at the beginning and so many things all happening at once – lots of information is thrown out, but its difficult to figure out whats important. The girl with a scar round her neck makes me think she’s got Selty’s head and Mika’s body……but that seems a bit obvious so wonder if there is something more going on there. The addition of another seemingly superpowered character (that slasher girl) is interesting, but I can’t help but feel that it was unnecessary as the cast is bloated enough as it is. Selty’s reaction to that whole incident was nice though, she’s now a really accessable character – amazing how Miyuki Sawashiro’s voicing of her really changed her character.
Masaomi was the star of this episode though – I am so glad he’s more than just the standard bubbly best-friend character; he’s got his own back story which I’m extremely curious about. Masaomi’s narration also revealed a lot of insecurities and shows that a lot of his bravado is a front he puts up. The fact he mentions a period of deep depression and a stint on the dark side of society raises questions about how he pulled himself out of that, his protective instincts towards Mikado is also touching – I’m definitely looking forward to finding out more about Masaomi.
Next week the focus seems to be on the Otaku quartet – should be amusing.