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Durarara!! – 11

March 20, 2010

This week sees all of Durarara’s subtly laid plot-threads come together and Mikado really emerge as a character capable of shouldering the title ‘main character’.

It’s a fairly normal evening in Ikebukuro – the usual gray masses are wandering about, street artists going about their business and Shizuo is trying to flatten Simon with a motorbike – you know, perfectly normal.

Namie is busy laying into her lackey for his inability to retrieve Scar-ty, when she’s interrupted by a phone call……from Mikado.  Mikado dangles the fact he has Scar-ty in front of her, and proposes a meeting – very bold move for someone like Mikado really.

Namie of course heads to the meeting point completely confident she has the upper hand over a simple high-school student.  After she’s gone an increasingly unstable Seiji threatens the lackey for information about Scar-ty – seriously Seiji has more than a few screws loose.  It’s like he’s only placid and controllable when he has Scar-ty by his side, maybe that’s why Namie had her created?

Namie arrives at the designated meeting point with her suited bodyguards (yeah watch them ‘blend’ into the crowd :lol:) and talks with Mikado.

The conversation is pretty standard fare.  Mikado is an unabashed idealist, even when Namie calls him on his naivety he sticks by his beliefs – claiming that there’s nothing wrong with wanting a happy ending for everyone.  Now on one hand I’m annoyed that Mikado doesn’t have anything other than his straightforward and pure-hearted beliefs, and on the other I admire his unwavering belief in himself and others.  Mikado isn’t a weak character, he’s strong enough to stick up for what he believes in and confident enough to believe in others – this is what makes the next scene so satisfying and had me grinning.

When negotiations fall through and Mikado sends that mass email to the members of Dollars, it’s a great moment.  As phones start going off and the grey masses start taking on colour I couldn’t help but cheer.  Suddenly it all makes sense why the creators chose to depict the background characters as grey masses – it wasnt to save on budget, but to really bring home that the Dollars are a truly colourless group.  Their members are drawn from every demographic and all walks of life – the internet is a marvel that brings people together that wouldn’t ordinarily meet.  We get confirmation of the members of Dollars – an eclectic group which counts some of the most powerful people in Ikebukuro among its ranks.

Familiar faces in the ranks of Dollars

Sugoi-Sugoi!!

I had to laugh when this appeared on my screen!  I love Baccano! and having Miria and Isaac be members of Dollars was just priceless……although they really milked this cameo a bit too long, and if you havent seen Baccano! it would be completely wasted on you.

So just what is Mikado’s role in Dollars – we finally get the truth through a character building flashback.  Mikado really is one of the founders of Dollars.

A very ordinary boy, living a very ordinary life; Mikado craved something more.  Upon discovering the internet he decided to start a ‘Team’ with a group of on-line friends.  They spread rumours throughout the web, building up the image of the Dollars – building a mystique around the name and slowly acquiring members; all in the name of fun to begin with.  However the Dollars became larger and larger, its influence grew beyond Mikado’s expectations and spread into the ‘Real World’.  His fellow founders got scared and jumped ship, but Mikado alone tried to guide the organisation in the direction his idealist nature wanted – suggesting the Dollars use their power to do good……..and much to his surprise the members listened.

The Dollars show how the internet can have unbelievable power – although we know that anyway from looking at the occasional actions of 4Chan……Dollars is a bit like an idealised version of 4Chan’s anonymous masses.  If Mikado wasn’t in charge and if he wasnt such a pure character, the Dollars could have been a very different group…….just image what would have happened if Izaya was in charge!  Speaking of Izaya I suspect that he was the one that started to spread Dollars influence resulting in its explosion in membership.

Anyway back to Namie – she’s being stared down by the Dollars members and is throughly freaked out – Mikado takes the opportunity to slip out of her eye line.  Again Mikado doesnt abuse his influence, he could have asked the mob to attack Namie and her lackey’s, but rather he simply requested that they stare those who weren’t looking at their mobiles down…..very simple, but quite effective.

Up on a building top we find Selty, who is waiting for her promised meeting with Scar-ty. Selty is still very confused about everything that’s going on around her – especially concerning her head which seems to living out its own life.  During an extended version of the scene were Shinra and Selty were talking about her head, it seems Shinra suggested that Selty marry him 😯

Kyaaa~! Yeap decided that I really like Shinra's character

Scar-ty it seems, was nearly run over by the Otaku Quartet when she was running from Mikado’s apartment.  Mikado’s messages on the Dollars site meant that Dota-chin & Co held on to her and negotiated a meeting with Selty on Mikado’s behalf.

Dota-chin takes Scar-ty to the roof where Selty is waiting.  The meeting is really brief – Selty asks Scar-ty her name, to which she replies ‘Selty’…….this seems to be the straw that broke the camels back concerning Selty’s stress levels  as she kind of flies into a rage and embraces her identity as a monster rather than a human.

Now since this meeting is going on while Mikado and Namie are chatting, and Selty then rides down the side of the building waving her scythe about and attacking Namie’s lackeys; I can’t help but wonder if this whole scene was the favor Mikado requested in return for arranging her meeting with Scar-ty.

Of course part of it seems to be Selty’s own feelings of frustration and an attempt to vent her anger – but it did seem a touch out of character for her to make such a show of herself like that.  Shizuo is completely stunned by her actions, and he’s the character in the immediate vicinity that knows her best.  Although that may also be a reaction to the fact that somehow Selty is broadcasting her thoughts – hearing her voice after so many years must have been a shock in itself.

Selty’s arrival and fight throws the assembled crowd into chaos when one of the lackey’s knocks her helmet off.   Mikado is still on site observing everything though and doesn’t seem to be too surprised by anything that’s happening.  He is thrown by the arrival of Seiji though – well Seiji does look like a nutjob and is waving a pretty sharp-looking knife about.  Unfortunately we’re left with a cliffhanger and will have to wait till next week to see how Mikado avoids Crazy!Seiji.

Thoughts: What a great episode!  (I seem to say this every week 😮 ).  So the suspicion that Mikado was the founder of Dollars was correct and we get a much better idea of what kind of person Mikado actually is.  I’m so glad he’s a pretty normal and grounded fella (if overly idealistic) or his massive influence over a huge group like Dollars could have really corrupted him – I can now accept that he has a right to be the main character of the series.

Now Selty is a whole different matter.  She seemed a bit out of character this week, but that may have been the whole plan……..although do think that her outburst really was her true feelings.  I feel sorry for her, she’s spent so much time searching and obsessing over her head that she really is lost now that she thinks its living its own life attached to Mika’s body.

I say ‘thinks’ because I’m still not convinced that’s the case.  Next weeks preview has some tantalising glimpses of what looks like Selty’s head (with Izaya no less!) and also seems to have a bit of back story on Mika herself…….will we finally get the full story behind Scar-ty as the series hits its midway point?  I can’t wait to see what this arc’s finale has in store for us!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 21, 2010 5:14 am

    This show really stood the test, and is ending as the best of the season. At this point I can’t imagine them screwing up this arc, as the next episode merely needs to bring this to a conclusion. As a result, sure, I’m looking forward to next episode, but I’m really smiling because I expect that after that we are going to be treated to another great story over the final dozen episodes.

  2. March 21, 2010 11:59 am

    Yeah I think at this point its safe to relax and assume that Durarara!! is in safe hands – the 2nd half would have to be an absolute disaster to shake my opinion of the show now!

    There’s plenty left to cover in the 2nd half – the Slashers that have been hinted at, Kida’s whole backstory, Izaya’s plans for Mikado and Dollars and probablysome completely new story elements – very much looking forward to the rest of the series!

  3. March 21, 2010 10:01 pm

    amazing ep. good thing it’s gonna b a 24-ep series.

  4. March 22, 2010 12:19 am

    I found the stuff with …that kid I cant remember his name, starting the dollars to be anticlimactic 😦 he seems to dull for it really, though I guess theres clearly more to him :beard:

    The Issac and Miria thing was just a bit too forced, most the other references have been quite subtle so far and worked quite well by comparison. The sugoi part was pretty funny though. 🙂

    Needs more silly grinning Izaya though. :p

  5. March 23, 2010 8:40 pm

    Cara, what makes you think that I’m a guy?
    I just wanted to be your lesbian lover, Cara onee sama!

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