Durarara!! – 20
This picture just about sums up how I looked throughout this episode – amused, but dangerously skirting around bored; things need to start happening! Erika and Walker were the narrators this week, but we don’t get much of an insight into their characters and they don’t really add much to the episode – I’m a bit disappointed!
I’m starting to get tired of Masaomi, he’s not really developed despite how many episodes have been concentrated on him. I think it’s the fact that his motivations seem to be quite negative in comparison to Anri & Mikado’s; guilt and revenge aren’t really the best things to start a fight over. Anri is concerned with protection and love, while Mikado is seeking connections and wider horizons, and then we have Masaomi, who is stuck in the past and bitter about it. Rather than break the chains, in this episode Masaomi wilfully turns back to the man who ruined his life the last time he got involved with him – Izaya.
Sure Masaomi is a bit more cautious this time, but that doesn’t change the fact he voluntarily set foot in the spiders-web – that entire scene in Izaya’s office all I could see was Izaya’s spinning his half-truths into a web that Masaomi hasnt a hope of disentangling himself from in his current mindset. Izaya’s way with words is impressive, dropping Mikado’s name casually and then pulling the rug out from under Masaomi by naming Mikado as the Dollars leader. But Izaya is not content with just doing that, he goes as far as to colour Mikado’s actions with malicious intent. Izaya knows that Mikado is extremely concerned about the escalating tensions between the gangs, and is trying to find a way to resolve it – but he neglects to mention that to Masaomi. As the only person who can see the whole picture, Izaya is in the prefect position to feed tainted information to Mikado, Anri and Masaomi which will slowly sour their friendship.
We can already see this happening, Masaomi instead of talking to Mikado, keeps quiet and watches his friend for clues. Not the healthiest or most sensible behaviour really – if I was told my best friend was running a rival gang I sure as hell wouldn’t take the word of a manipulative bastard like Izaya – I’d go talk it out with them! The wait and see attitude Masaomi is adopting can only end in disaster – while he tries to gather evidence, the rogue factions absorbed into his gang during his absence are running wild and pushing the Dollars into retaliating; it’s only a matter of time before things escalate out of control.
Masaomi’s chat with Kadota & Co. was interesting. The Otaku Quartet are the only Dollar’s members we really see acting as Dollar’s members, and Kadota is extremely defensive of the group when Masaomi starts spouting his theories that the Dollars have sided with the Slasher and are out to crush the Yellow Scarves. Masaomi seems to be under the impression that the bulk of the Blue Squares members have been absorbed into the Dollars – probably basing this on the fact Kadota is now a Dollars member. We know that’s not the case and that it’s actually the Yellow Scarves that took in most of the remaining Blue Squares members. Throughout the entire conversation it seems like Masaomi has already made up his mind about the Dollars and the Slasher, he’s just looking for Kadota to confirm his suspicions and when he doesn’t, Masaomi loses his temper. Kadota’s warning that if Masaomi doesnt rein in his gang and forces the Dollars to act, the ensuing fight will be on a much larger scale than anything Masaomi has been involved in before. Looking at Kadota you can see this isn’t a threat – it’s a warning, and Masaomi does take it on board when he orders the Yellow Scarves not to attack the Dollars without hard proof. Further tension in the discussion is cleanly diffused by the awesome russian sushi chef flinging a knife into the room – I lol’d.
The only other thing of note in this episode is that Ryo, the Dollars member Mikado and Masaomi met on the school roof, is viciously attacked by the rouge element in the Yellow Scarves (after Masaomi had appealed for them not to attack random Dollars members for no reason!). This just further highlights that Masaomi has very little control over his gang – which makes sense since he did abandon them for a year only to waltz back in when he needed them. The members in their 20s, and new members that weren’t part of Masaomi’s original gang aren’t going to listen to some high-school brat. I’d also imagine the attack in Ryo will force Mikado to act – it’s all very well knowing faceless member of Dollars are being attacked, but now that he’s faced with the harsh reality of someone he knows being targeted, given Mikado’s personality, it will spur him into action.
Next week Mikado is back on narration duties. Hopefully we’ll get some more meaningful development – not getting my hopes up though doesn’t seem to be much action in the preview. This slow build up is killing me – at least bring back Shingen or have Shizuo run into Izaya so I have something amusing to watch!