Durarara!! – 15
I’ve been reading some of the feedback from the AniBlog Tourney, and the general consensus seems to be that I go on a bit too much with recaps in my episodic posts; and upon rereading some of my posts with a more critical eye I’m inclined to agree. So I’m going to try a new format this week – a rundown of key events and then more of my own wild theorising and general thoughts. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep the posts a touch shorter, although no promises – I am naturally inclined to ramble when writing about something that interests me (hence the name of the blog :P).
Anyway, this week see’s the return of the journalist Shuuji Neikawa (last seen getting thrashed by Shizuo), and we get a slightly different look at previous event – lots of food for thought in this episode!
Neikawa is still trying to compile an article about the strongest person in Ikebukuro – his previous draft got dropped from the magazine when the whole Dollars meeting and appearance of Celty happened, so he’s trying again. Neikawa has settled on Shizuo as the person he wants to write about and during his search for information, he ends up talking with Simon at Russian Sushi, a yakuza boss, Izaya and Celty.
Neikawa’s motivation for producing the best article he can is that he wants to win his wife back. Apparently she left him at some point, and his daughter Haruna is shutting herself in after being forced to tranfer schools after her run-in with the pervy-teacher. Neikawa is a perfectly normal, mild-mannered individual who only wants his family to get back together…..well until he gets attacked by the Slasher that is.
Upon arriving home determined to speak with Haruna, Neikawa is stabbed in the back by a long-haired Slasher who bears a striking resemblance to his daughter. Upon waking up in hospital, Neikawa is struck by a determination to seek out the girl who had survived the previous Slasher attack – Anri. Neikawa now sports the tell-tale red eyes of those possessed by the Slasher and starts following Anri about town.
Its also about this time that the ‘Saika’ troll spamming the Dollar’s chatroom develops an unhealthy interest in Shizuo, startling Izaya, Mikado and Celty.
As for Anri herself, we find out that she’s an orphan and now living alone after her parents were killed. Anri longs for her normal family life back as depicted in a recurring dream of an idealised Sonohara family reunited for her birthday. To escape the aching loneliness she feels Anri takes to wandering about the streets for hours – which the Otaku Quartet note makes her a prime target for the Slasher.
The Otaku Quartet themselves are busy looking for the Slasher as part of their duty as Dollar’s members. Celty and Shizuo are also on the lookout (although thats mainly because Shizuo wants to kill whoever tried to hurt Celty, and Celty herself is mainly looking for the actual Saika sword).
In the final scene of this episode all the characters come together at the scene of last weeks Slasher attack. Neikawa, possessed by the Slasher, makes a run at Anri with a kitchen knife; only to be mown down by Togusa’s van. However the possessed Neikawa isnt kept down by that and gets up once again trying to get to Anri and swinging the knife about wildly. Celty and Shizuo make their grand entrance (they’ve got style!) and take down Neikawa again with a motorbike to the head. Shockingly he gets up again upon spotting Shizuo – Newikawa’s lucid consciousness still expresses the wish to interview Shizuo, but his possessed actions make to kill him. This prompts Shizou into action, vowing to kill Neikawa.
Thoughts: I love the way Durarara!! goes back over past events from a different angle. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much from this episode as Shuuji Neikawa didn’t really strike me as an interesting character…..and he isn’t really, but its his interactions with the other characters that really made this episode fascinating and threw more wood on the flames of discussion about the true identity of the Slasher.
At this point it’s quite clear that there are a number of different Slasher’s and it doesn’t seem like Anri is one of them (so there goes that theory……I can’t be right all the time!). Anri is definitely connected somehow given the fact she was spared when attacked at first and the fact Neikawa when possessed by the Slasher immediately went after her. I found it interesting that the ‘Slasher-vision’ Neikawa is shown to have in the final scene, is exactly the same as Anri’s POV when she was watching the ganguro trio being taken down by the Slasher……maybe Anri was a Slasher at some stage but is no longer possessed?
I’m now thinking that perhaps Neikawa’s daughter Haruna has the Saika blade and is responsible for the spate of Slasher attacks. That figure stabbing Neikawa certainly looks like Haruna, and she has every reason to be pissed off at her mother given the fact she abandoned Haruna and her father. Haruna was also shown to be on a laptop when she was first shown near the beginning of the series – so she could be the ‘Seika’ spamming the Dollars site.
Now as for the reasons why certain people are targeted by the Slasher, I believe that it is completely coloured by whoever is possessed by the blade. In this episode the people at the forefront of Neikawa’s mind were Anri and Shizuo. Neikawa wanted to interview Anri as a Slasher attack victim, and he was keen to speak to Shizuo to complete his ‘Strongest Man in Ikebukuro’ article. Accordingly these two became his primary targets once possessed. If the possessed persons’ consciousness affects the target of the Slasher this would explain why the victims are so varied and unconnected. As for how a person becomes possessed, its pretty clear that you need to be stabbed by a Slasher, and possibly need to be stabbed by the Slasher who has the original Saika blade.
Anyway, next week sees Haruna herself make an appearance so maybe we’ll get more information then.
Other things that amused me this episode were; Izaya watching cartoons/children’s TV, Shizuo acting like a big child bouncing up and down on the back of Celty’s motorbike and the traffic cop Kuzuhara looking like a nice mild-mannered middle-aged policeman when off his bike! Also wonder what Togusa’s reaction will be to Shizuo ripping one of the doors off his precious van will be.
Oh yeah and I thought that Neikawa hit on an interesting point when talking to Simon – does he put on that slow ‘I no speaky japanese well’ act on purpose to throw people off? The Russian Sushi owner says that Simon is a pacifist, yet he clearly has no qualms throwing himself into a fight when he wants to. There’s also that scene in the OP where Simon and Shizuo are fighting – Izaya is now standing behind Simon…..just what is the connection between these two!?
Next week narration seems to be split between Celty and Shinra, which will be the first time we’ve had two narrators. Looking forward to it!
……….and this doesn’t seem too much shorter at all. I clearly fail at being consise 😐