Durarara!! – 21
A very Mikado-centric episode this week. It’s really quite frustrating how slow the pace has gotten in Drrr!! – I’m entirely sick of set-up now and just want to see things start to progress! Still I suppose it’s a good thing that the director is being so careful about fleshing out the main characters, so we fully understand what they’re going through rather than just ploughing on with the action. Doesn’t stop me from itching for some more exciting scenes than Mikado wandering about Ikebukuro looking like a kicked puppy though!
Mikado seems utterly lost at the moment. He’s so caught up in reflecting on the worth of continuing the Dollars that he can’t see whats happening immediately arround him. All three of our central characters are drifting apart, despite the fact their individual actions are an attempt to protect their precious friendship. Mikado has retreated into himself, trying to decide if he should find a way to validate the Dollars or just abandon the group. Masaomi is being pulled deeper into the Yellow Scarves and trying to assert his authority over them physically in order to put an end to the groups violent ways, and Anri has finally started to move too. She is using her influence over her Saika Children in the Yellow Scarves to order them to stop members randomly attacking people. As a result of the trio being wrapped up in their own groups they have lost that which they were trying to protect – oh the irony!
Mikado seems to be the first to realise how alone he is, reflecting that he only began to feel settled in Ikebukuro when Masaomi took him around the city and introduced him to people. For a person like Mikado who craves connections and new experiences, Masaomi is an invaluable existence; without Masaomi there to anchor him, Mikado feels lost and alone.
Masaomi, on the other hand, seems to have purposely distanced himself, both to protect his friends from the darker side of his life and to protect himself from further hurt. Since Izaya told Masaomi that Mikado was the Dollars leader, Masaomi has enforced that distance even more since he doesn’t really know how to act on that information and knows that if it proves to be true it will cause an irreparable rift between himself and Mikado.
Anri’s distance is due to her actively attempting to solve the problem all by herself rather than talk it out with Masaomi and Mikado. Its sort of understandable given Anri’s personality though – she is really quite socially awkward and is used to squashing her emotions and being alone. Shouldering the burden on her own is something she does without really thinking – she has shouldered Saika and now has taken on maternal responsibility for all the Children Haruna created; her actions are to spare Mikado and Masaomi further pain.
The frightening thing about this growing distance between our central trio is that it all seems to be part of Izaya’s plan. He’s shown in this episode watching Anri’s reckless actions and instructing Namie to move pieces on his board game (which has a new triangular board, perhaps to represent the three major groups in Ikebukuro? The single white othello piece and the shoji pieces gathered in the corner interest me).
Anyway back to Mikado. He’s shown wandering about the place without much thought and chatting to various characters. He first meets Ryo, the Dollars member who got the shit kicked out of him last week by the Yellow Scarves. Mikado radiates guilt, he’s visabily upset that Ryo has gotten hurt, which Ryo picks up on asking if Mikado is a Dollars member himself. Mikado’s over-reaction is telling, such an emphatic denial is as good as an admission. Mikado sucks at being subtle, he wears his emotions on his sleeve and is a very straightforward person – when asked a straightforward question he finds lying difficult and his blatant panic at his Dollars membership being found out is palatable.
Next Mikado randomly bumps into Kadota (who’s on his own for a change). Again the question of if its OK for the Dollars to continue to exist pops up, and its interesting to see these two interact without knowing that both are Dollars members. Finally he has a chat with Mika and Seiji (who never seems to blink!!!). It’s this conversation that has the biggest impact on Mikado. Mika asks whats bothering Anri as even though the two don’t hang out anymore Mika can tell that Anri is worried about something. The fact that he didn’t even notice this really bothers Mikado – he’s spent the most time with Anri lately but has been so wrapped up in his own problems that he never even noticed hers. It was the same when Masaomi started acting odd – Anri noticed, but Mikado didn’t. It kind of brings home to Mikado that he has his priorities messed up and Seiji’s statement that Mikado should wholeheartedly go after what he wants and not let it go really seems to shake him out of his slump. Although it is amusing that Seiji came out with this given his history with stalkery behaviour! 😆
I expect that Mikado will start to move again next week, he seems to have decided to try to steer the Dollars onto that goody-goody path he got them on once before. The fact that there are some members that truly want the group in that direction provides some of the validation he’s been seeking. However the major thing that will get him to move once again is to act to save someone he knows – in this case the fact that a bespectacled girl in a Raira uniform with big boobs (who Mikado immediately takes to be Anri) has been kidnapped by the Yellow Scarves. It’s somewhat amusing that this really vague description triggered the same response in both Mikado and Masaomi – are there no other glasses wearing girls with big boobs in Raira Academy!? Regardless it seems like things are getting to a point where our central trio are going to be forced to interact – the fallout should be interesting.
Anri is narrating next week, and there are some rather interesting images in the next episode preview! Anri with Shinra and Celty, Anri being rescued(?) by Masaomi, various Dollars members with their phones out and is that Shizuo lying in the rain!? I still have high hopes that this series can pull off a good ending – there’s been sufficient build-up now, so I really hope it’s all worth it!