Durarara!! – 19
「蒼天已死」 (Souten Sude ni Shisu)
“The Azure Sky Will Soon Fall”
In classic Durarara fashion, we delve into Masaomi’s involvement with the Yellow Scarves from a slightly different perspective this episode. Anri’s view on things leading up to her discovery of him as the gang’s leader showed just how powerless she, Masaomi, and Mikado are at trying to stop an all-out gang war even if they wanted to. Izaya’s revelation that various people may belong to the Dollars, Yellow Scarves, and Slashers concurrently makes any attempt to issue commands from above not only difficult, but could actually worsen the situation when word spreads to the opposing sides. Out of the three of them, Anri would probably have the most luck keeping her Saika children under control seeing as she can telepathically communicate with them, but I get the feeling even they’ll run amok once there’s a rampant desire to fight back in their hive-like mind. Whatever the case, the one thing that’s clear is that Izaya‘s done an impeccable job manipulating things from the background, making it only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose. Gang cohesiveness is fading, lines are blurring, tempers are flaring, and some people just want an excuse to cause disturbances.
The real focus now is on how Mikado, Masaomi, and Anri deal with the chaos that’s about to start before their very eyes. In Mikado’s case, he’s made it pretty clear that he’ll do whatever he can to prevent Dollars from going to war with the Yellow Scarves. The problem is, he’s probably the least likely to be able to do so since he has no real involvement with Dollars members outside of messages he sends them. Even then, he doesn’t even know who he’s actually dealing with since members come and go as they please, meaning Yellow Scarves and Slashers people can easily be among them. That said, he does possess two of the biggest trump cards in Ikebukuro, namely Celty and Shizuo whom he does have direct contact with, so I definitely see him playing a big part in the coming episodes, though not so much as the leader of Dollars.
As for Anri, with the whole Slashers incident in the bag, her children have now become more or less as transparent in the city streets like Dollars members, but we also learn here that some of them are already Yellow Scarves. Given her shock over the discovery of what caused Masaomi’s change in behavior and general confusion in the chat room for the first time, she’s started to show signs that she’s back to her rather helpless self despite being the possessor of the cursed blade and mother to god knows how many drones. As such, it’s hard to imagine that she’ll be the driving force behind turning the tides for the better. Since she’s technically another multi-gang member, I’m still hoping that she’ll talk to Mikado about what she knows about Masaomi, but I gather it’s unlikely when she doesn’t seem to see him as anything more than a boy who has a crush on her.
Given those two’s situations, I consider the biggest unpredictable variable in all this Masaomi, whose noticeably conflicted after seeing a Slasher with Celty even though he didn’t know it was Anri specifically. In addition, he’s unaware that the Blue Squares responsible for the attack on Saki before are now members of the Yellow Scarves following a merger in his absence. In his confused state of mind and the creepy yet cute Saki encouraging him to fight for some reason, I’m actually glad to see that he went to Kadota for advice. It was Kadota and his crew that set him somewhat straight before, so hopefully they’ll be able to do the same again. I mentioned before how I appreciated that they have a notable roles in regards to the overall story other than driving around in their van, so this turn of events naturally reinforces that notion. Could Kadota, Erika, Yamasaki, and Saburou be the deciding factors? It’s hard to say, but I like how that still remains a possibility.
On a separate note, this episode was narrated by Fujiwara Keiji, but I don’t believe it this was intended to be from the perspective of Kuzuhara Kinnosuke (he was simply listed as the narrator in the credits). However, I did get a good chuckle at how Celty is still so scared of him when she privately messaged Anri, even though we haven’t seen Kinnosuke around much lately. In contrast to her own fear, it was pretty awesome seeing her bring out her horse in its true form and scare some Yellow Scarves herself. Other than that, the titles for this episode and the next form a saying that appears to stem from Chinese dynasties. If I have my understanding correct (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), 「蒼天已死 黄天當立」 “Souten Sude ni Shisu, Kouten Masa ni Tatsu”, is in reference to the cyclic changing of rulers where each is assigned a Wu Xing with a corresponding color. It literally translates to, “The Azure (Blue) Sky Will Soon Fall, and the Yellow Sky Will Rise Up”, which for color sake alone is easy to see why it’s the Yellow Scarves’ motto.
Update (5/22): I added the full version of the second opening theme, Complication, underneath the sidebar video. I’ve been listening to the TV size one a fair bit since I first heard it, but the full version with rap portions and all is so much better. The single isn’t slated to be released until June 2nd, so please feel free to have a sneak preview.