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Durarara!! – 20

May 29, 2010

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!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 30, 2010 12:45 am

    Very well expressed remarks on Masaomi. I really don’t think the solution to this situation is going to come from him. He probably is a nice guy, but completely ill-equipped to be involved with mind games when his opponent is Izaya.

    Off Topic: There is a stretch I learned that helped me with my RSI (although I think mine was milder than yours has gotten). You put your hands and elbows together with palms away from your body (like in volleyball). The trick is you lay stomach down, which means the weight is on your arms (causing the stretch). I found that this was extremely painful for me at first, so I practiced an adaptation against a wall (giving me control over how much weight I was using in the stretch). I don’t know anything about anatomy and stuff, so I can’t say why it was helpful, but it did some good for me. Best wishes.

    • May 30, 2010 2:01 pm

      I don’t think anyone is equipped to play games with Izaya! 😆

      Off topic: Thanks for the advice – tis similar to the exercises my physio gives me. I’ve had this bloody condition for verging on 9 years now 😦

  2. Roger permalink
    May 30, 2010 1:39 am

    Finally a review that I can agree with, though to be fair Masaomi, as someone that knows all about hiding a secret identity as gang leader from his friends, I can understand him not coming out with accusations right of the bat, on Izaya’s word no less. Keep in mind, Masaomi and Anri have both stated that their two friends are their main crutches in life, to them admitting that their enemies and letting their night activities endanger the schoollife they have together is the absolute highest price they can pay.

    Also, you mention that the Yellow Scarf members in their 2os aren’t about to take order from a highschooler. I have to mention that in episode 17, it was Horoda that told their members to show respect and address Masaomi as the Shogun. I think it’s less a matter of respect then it is that Horada has an actual ambition to control the Yellow Scarfs that’s guiding his hands.

    • May 30, 2010 2:41 am

      Yeah, I don’t think it is inconsequential that Kadota remembers the name Horoda from somewhere. He is clearly bad news, which is another example of how Masaomi is too naive to handle this situation.

    • May 30, 2010 2:06 pm

      Horoda is probably one of the members that used to be in the Blue Squares. It seems like he’s only trying to curry favour with Masaomi as the General, but has no qualms about disobeying a direct order if he deems it to be counterproductive to asserting the Yellow Scarves superiority in Ikebukuro.

  3. May 30, 2010 7:43 am

    You know, it’s interesting that Masaomi never hangs out in the Dollar’s chat room. There goes my dream of an awesome “Post Your IRL pics!” thread where everyone posts their pic and then stares in shock, except for Izaya who would probably post Namie’s pic.

    • May 30, 2010 2:09 pm

      Masaomi seems to have gone out of his way to avoid joining anything that resembles a gang – he really did want a clean break from his past. So its not really surprising that he never got a Dollars chatroom ID. Masaomi seems to prefer doing things personally anyway, rather than hiding behind a computer screen.

      • Roger permalink
        May 30, 2010 3:53 pm

        Yeah, I imagine that Simon, Van-gang and Izaya have all send him a “wanna join Dollars?” message by the time Mikado came to ‘Kebukero but he turned it all down, been there done that.

  4. May 30, 2010 7:20 pm

    I did find this ep quite boring :S, Izaya has pushed things forward, and those older yellow scarves guys seem to be doing whatever the hell they want for their own agenda. Masaomi doesnt have much control at all.

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