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Durarara!! – 17

May 13, 2010

Back from my holiday and the 1st thing I had to watch was Drrr!! 17.  The episode clears up the remaining mystery of Saika, but it’s not very tidy and quite a lot of stuff is a bit hazy on the details.  Regardless this Saika arc has mostly been setup for the final arc – the pieces are in place, I can’t wait to see what kind of conclusion we get!  But getting ahead of myself now – lets talk about ep17 for a wee bit.

First off Anri’s past and how she came to have the original Saika.  Her family life turned out to be nothing like the idealised one we’ve seen in her dreams.  Rather her father was a right abusive bastard who took his frustrations about his failing business out on his family.  Daddy Sonohara owned an antiquities dealership, and it’s probably to this store that Shingen sold the original Saika blade after using it to steal Celty’s head.  As such when the abuse got too much, Mummy Sonohara succumbed to the blade’s offer of love and became possessed – killing Daddy and then topping herself.

I think this is the first time we’ve seen Saika actually being used to kill.  All the other Slasher incidents in the series have resulted in hospitalization and possession, not death.  Now the explanation for why Anri doesn’t succumb to the Saika love infection like everyone else, seems to be that Anri had learned to close her heart off in a kind of survival mechanism from a very early age.  Being the subject of her father’s violence for years on end, the only way the young Anri had to deal was to draw into herself – so we see the first instance of what I had been calling Slasher-vision.  Rather this seems to be the way to express how a person basically becomes detached from reality.  Anri does it so she’s not emotionally invested in any situation that may be damaging to her psyche.  The other case were we see it is with Neikawa while under the influence of Saika – Neikawa demonstrates that his will is still present but completely divorced from his actions which were driven by Saika.  So basically Anri isn’t affected by Saika’s obsessive love, because she has closed off that section of her heart that Saika targets.  A bit tenuous really, but hey it kind of makes sense.

Anyway the Saika incident more or less gets wrapped up with Anri becoming the Mother of the hordes of zombie Saika-Children.  Now I’m not entirely sure how that worked.  Anri herself said that she didn’t have any parental control over the zombie Saika-Children because they were created by Haruna’s Saika-Child blade, but by the end of the episode its implied that Anri is now in control of these people’s destinies.  I can only gather that when Anri poked Haruna with the original Saika, it robbed Haruna of her parental rights and took them for Anri’s own.

The other big reveal was that Masaomi actually is the ‘General’ the Yellow Scarves have all been talking about.  Kida really did form the gang when he was a middle-school student, something which I had previously thought was a bit unlikely.  However as Izaya rightfully points out, the fact that Kida managed this at such a young age really does make him an individual to take notice of.  Masaomi is one character of which we know very little – all we’ve really got to go on is his outgoing charismatic personality, but his past has always been kept in the dark apart from some ominous hints of connections to the gangs and involvement with Izaya.  Next episode will be really enlightening – I really can’t wait!

So now we have justification as to why our central trio of Mikado, Masaomi and Anri are the main characters.  Each them control a large group that Izaya is skillfully manipulating in order to bring about his Ikebukuro war.  Mikado heads the Dollars, Masaomi has been dragged back into the Yellow Scarves and Anri now has control of the Saika-Children.  Izaya can directly influence Mikado in his capacity as a Dollars member and Mikado has shown a scary amount of reliance on Izaya’s information.  The Dollars are probably the group Izaya can control most, and its also the group with the biggest membership.  However the Dollars are also the group with most murky direction and structure (or to be more accurate – their lack of structure and direction).  For simple things like a flash-mob the members do show a willingness to turn out in vast numbers; however if called on to fight I doubt very much that anyone will show.  The Dollar’s strength will be their information-gathering skills not combat strength.

Now the Yellow Scarves on the other hand, are a cohesive group with a set hierarchy, and the members demonstrate an impressive amount of loyalty to their ‘General’.  You do wonder what a middle-school brat could have done to earn the respect of these much older gang-members.  Since we don’t know much about Masaomi’s past we can only speculate about his potential.  Clearly he has links with Izaya, and these definitely have something to do with Saki (hospital-girl).  Masaomi is impulsive, he swore off gang involvement, but as soon as one of his close friends were threatened he jumps right back in again in a quest for vengeance.  Izaya will be able to use Masaomi’s impulsive nature and temper for his own purposes – in fact Izaya seems completely confident that he’ll be able to control the Yellow Scarves through Masaomi – we’ll have to wait to see what their whole past is to see why that is.

The only real wild-card is Anri and her zombie hordes of Saika-Children who have infiltrated the ranks of both the Dollars and Yellow Scarves.  Izaya was originally gearing to get Haruna under his thumb using idiot-pervy-teacher, but Anri threw a minor spanner in the works.  Anri is the only one of the central trio Izaya doesn’t have direct access to and is unable to control easily.  However Anri is also the one whose least likely to do anything drastic – she’s completely passive and will only act if her precious people are directly threatened.  Which hands Izaya the perfect weapon to get her to move since he can manipulate both Mikado and Masaomi as he pleases!  It’s also unclear how the Saika-Children will behave under Anri’s influence.  They were mindless love-crazed hordes under Haruna’s influence as she had stalker tendencies.  Anri is much calmer and isn’t affected by Saika’s love-bug, that’s bound to affect the Saika-Children’s behaviour.

Other things I liked this episode – Shizuo’s beat down of the zombie Saika-Children was epic.  I loved how Shizuo reveled in being able to completely let go of his fears and just go nuts.  It’s very telling when Shizuo notes that he isolated himself out of fear of losing control and hurting the people he loves, not the other way round.  Shizuo is such a nice guy, but his strength is frightening – it even shocks Celty a bit.  In Izaya’s war, Shizuo is practically a force all on his own even if he is technically a Dollars member too.  Also loved that Celty gave him gloves made out of her shadows – such a useful ability – she can make clothes, nets and weapons at will!

Izaya sitting plotting with his board game was also fun – especially since he has Celty’s head sitting beside him.  I like the way the jar is always shown somewhere in Izaya’s office!  Izaya is still probably my favourite character in Drrr!!, there’s never a dull moment with him and I really can’t wait to see just how far his plans extend.

Finally seeing Pervy-teacher get smacked by Shizuo was satisfying – no one deserved it more!

Next week Masaomi takes the narrators chair and we’ll be getting his back story at last.  Also that shot of Walker with his eyes opened has sparked my curiosity.  The Otaku Quartet are always involved in events somewhere, there is definitely more to their irreverent ways than meets the eye.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2010 7:28 pm

    Good point about this being the only time we’ve seen Saika used for killing! I wonder if that was on purpose or a mistake, and if on purpose if it will happen again with Anri sacrificing herself. Kinda sad that the hotpot cake was all a lie, but I guess it was a little unrealistic to start with.

    Anri has more kids now than that lady on 19 kids and counting.

    • May 13, 2010 9:01 pm

      I figure it may have something to do with the ‘purity’ of the Saika possession. Those possessed by the original blade get a stronger dose of the desire to cut than those possessed by a Daughter blade. Also Anri mentioned that Saika taught her to fight, whereas the Saika-Daughter Haruna had didn’t teach her shit about using a knife. Anri’s probably safe enough from Saika’s influence while she still has that ability to detach from her emotions…..she’s probably screwed if she ever gets too close to someone.

      I’m curious about how Shingen avoided possession by Saika – the fella is warped beyond belief, but doesnt seem detached from his emotions at all.

      I kind of wanted hotpot cake to be real – it looked delicious……the cake is always a lie though 😦 Hope Anri doesnt take parenting lessons from her folks 😮

      • May 13, 2010 9:22 pm

        I guess we should be glad that Mikado is a big dork and not some super-smooth sexy prince. Like if some idol walked into school and caught Anri’s eye, the school would turn into a zombie school in a matter of minutes.

        I wonder how Saika works exactly. It possessed Anri, but she never got cut with it (unless she accidentally cut herself while picking it up).

        • May 13, 2010 9:32 pm

          If Masaomi put his mind to it and wasn’t so deferrential to Mikado I reckon he could have reduced Anri to goo by now! But that wouldnt be good for the plot 😛

          The whole workings of Saika is really unclear, and at this stage it doesnt look like we’re going to get clear cut answers about how the sword works. Perhaps to be possessed by the original you only need to touch it, but to be possessed by a Daughter blade you need to be cut…..although that seems a but convienant and I have no clue how Haruna got possessed in the 1st place!

        • Looped permalink
          May 14, 2010 1:51 am

          Nice to have you back!

          On the KidaxAnri issue, I don’t think he would have an a effect on her since she wouldn’t understand her actions

          About Saika, what I understood is this if anyone using Saika cuts another they in turn become a Child of Saika unless they have some sort hardship(s) that prevent understanding or, receiving affections like Anri or, Shizuo. Basically as long as you isolate yourself emotionally your fine, but that’s easier said than done. The original Saika might be a little different that by just touching it possess you.

          As for how Haruna was cut, it’s implied that Anri’s mother did it according Izaya’s newsapaper articles which lists her as 12 when she was attacked.

      • June 20, 2012 12:03 am


  2. May 13, 2010 9:31 pm

    because you went on holiday without posting this I had to post my comments in the main thread 😦

  3. amado permalink
    May 14, 2010 1:12 am

    “The Dollar’s strength will be their information-gathering skills not combat strength.”
    you forgot that dollars have a few “strong” members:

    “I guess we should be glad that Mikado is a big dork and not some super-smooth sexy prince. ”
    well he’s not either but he gets a bit creepy and awesome than the time he revealed he’s part the leader of dollars in vol.6

    • May 14, 2010 1:27 am

      They may be members of the Dollars but they are all pretty independent individuals unlikely to get involved in a brawl just because some anonymous leader posts a request. Its one thing to turn up at a mass meet where you don’t have to do anything, but is quite another to commit to an actual fight.

      The major problem with the Dollars is their lack of identity and purpose – they’re a ‘colourless’ gang with no clearly defined rules or leadership and as such the members are completely free to choose whether or not to comply with their ‘leader’s’ requests.

      • amado permalink
        May 15, 2010 5:44 am

        yeah but if you remember ep 11, it shows that they will still listen to mikado despite not knowing anything about him, well some will at least and those on my list will probably defend dollars

        • May 15, 2010 1:27 pm

          They’ll listen to Mikado when he’s making simple non-threatening requests – information and turning out in a show of strength don’t require too much effort nor do they ask members to place themselves in any real danger.

          Mikado’s authority is not absolute and the individual Dollars members being fully autonomous, will ultimately decide if they’ll listen to him. The ‘strong’ members you’ve listed may indeed decide to side with Dollars, but many of the ordinary rank and file members will not.

  4. May 14, 2010 4:30 am

    One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that All three main characters are in a triangle of protection; each one wants to protect the other two from the other two forces using their own power that others see as a threat for X reason.

    Mikado wants to protect Masaomi and Anri from the Slasher (who “attacked” Anri from his view) and the Yellow Scarves (whom he sees as the ones causing trouble which gets the Dollars in trouble.

    Anri wants to protect Masaomi and Mikado from both the “gangs” of Yellow Scarves and The Dollars. She see them as a potential threat to her everyday life.

    Masaomi went back to the Yellow Scarves to get rid of “The Slasher” (who is Anri) and see The Dollars getting in his way and is unafraid to remove them if necessary.

    I find it likely that if Izaya’s gonna do anything, it’s gonna be to have them widdle down or power up their respective groups to the point where their even and build up rage and tension between the forces. Then he’ll most likely isolate Celty from The Dollars, and have the three groups go in a free-for-all after her for the purposes of defeating the other two groups to protect their daily lives. At least, that’s what I think is going to happen.

    • May 15, 2010 1:29 pm

      The triangle of protection was one thing I wanted to write about, but the post was approacting the 2000 word mark so I had to delete it! 😆

  5. June 20, 2012 12:04 am

    ^^ I love anime

    • February 18, 2013 12:21 pm

      ^^ I really love anime too and I really love drawing of anime if you hate anime well Anri would maybe kill you or even Lucy from Efen Lied she will kill you too so good luck

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