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Durarara!!x2 Shou – 09 »« Durarara!!x2 Shou – 07

Durarara!!x2 Shou – 08

「色男、金と力はなかりけり」 (Iro Otoko, Kane to Chikara wa Nakari Keri)
“The Ladies’ Man Has Neither Money nor Power”

There’s not as much action this week compared to the last, so it’s not easy to tell whether the animation budget has managed a successful resuscitation. They didn’t do any more of that horrible slow motion stuff, at least, which is a plus in my book. At this point I’m just just watching Durarara!! chug along hoping that it’s managed a second wind, or at least can limp its way to the finish line.

Let’s forget about all those ugly pragmatics and talk about the actual episode, in which the plot has gone past thickening and is starting to come to boil. After going around in circles for a while, in the end it all comes back to Izaya being an ass again. Really, who didn’t see that coming? I’m surprised Shizuo even waited for Akane to even finish explaining revealing the source of her armaments. Frankly, any time anything at all smells fishy at all in Ikebukuro, it’s time to ‘make up’ with your old pal Izaya. That would save us a lot of running around. Well, I guess we got to see Shizuo’s attempt to use some of his brother’s acting genes and play it cool for the children, and although that’s pretty much as suave as we’re ever going to see Shizuo, there’s just something about him smiling pleasantly that makes him seem even angrier than usual. Stop being happy, Shizuo. It’s creepy.

Although Izaya has been portrayed as an uber chessmaster manipulator in this series, I must say that sometimes his plans look very flimsy from the outside. I know he’s playing on Shizuo being simple, but what if, instead of ringing the doorbell politely (so polite, to the point of doing it until he bleeds), Shizuo just kicked the door down? I wasn’t aware that Heiwajima Shizuo, wielder of vending machines, destroyer of public utilities, had this much respect for private property. I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but maybe Shizuo has too much self-control. This is how he gets framed as a hitman and all probably has to run from (or probably just fight) all the yakuza now. Good thing he had the prescience to get retrospectively fired. Meanwhile, the Russians get to prance around and go about their merry business, lounging on roofs and plotting their schemes. Speaking of which, if it wasn’t Shizuo who did this, who did? My bet is on Sloan (/Slon/Слон), during whatever side-job he had. Are Russian assassins too topical, considering the recent happenings over there? Well, whatever, anime.

As for our other subplot, I must confess that I’m slowly losing my patience with Mikado. Only he can so blithely follow such a shady bunch to the middle of nowhere. Were we ever given much details about his situation with his parents? Did they really trust him to go all alone to the big city and not get instantly mugged? Well, instead of that, Aoba offers him what sounds awfully like a deal with the devil, because you just know that there is a hook there somewhere.  Right now, Mikado’s in a vulnerable mental state; his Dollars are getting beat up (again. The Dollars are the punching bags of Ikebukuro) and he feels like he needs a means to stop it (and considering what a deranged chauvinist Mr Rokujou is, it’d take more than Kadota asking him nicely). If only Mikado wasn’t such a psychopath, else he’d know to steer well away from strange people offering him unconditional power. Make a contract with me and become a magical girl, Mikado! Nothing can possibly go wrong.

Full-length images: 25, 32.

 

Preview

March 1, 2015 at 7:24 am
37 comments »
  • March 1, 2015 at 8:08 amPTYW

    Shizuou has official broke his facial expresseion

  • March 1, 2015 at 8:10 amKerozenpy

    • March 5, 2015 at 11:43 amTsu-Kii

      oHHH MY GODDD ♥A♥

  • March 1, 2015 at 8:16 amQB

  • March 1, 2015 at 8:18 amDiabloCthulhu

    so it’s not easy to tell whether the animation budget has managed a successful resuscitation

    It’s actually pretty easy to tell that the character art in this episode was awful. I mean, just look at this.

    And all of this is an issue of awful scheduling more than anything else. The last week’s disastrous episode, for example, was being Key Animated the same week it aired. And just look at this credits (how appropriate to have Debris being credited as one of the studios).

    • March 4, 2015 at 11:33 amsherrislok

      Oh well. I hope they didn’t overestimate their budget and the quality of the next season will not suffer.

      • March 4, 2015 at 11:51 amLyfe

        ANN listed that the first BD volume sold 3.2k volumes. Not sure how that will effect the budget but I am wondering if they will honor their 3 season thing with those sales.

      • March 4, 2015 at 4:31 pmDiabloCthulhu

        budget

        Again, this is an issue of terrible scheduling, not of the “budget” (people really should read up on on this “budget” thing and how much it actually matters; here, have a few links to start with (search for eighthgear’s posts in that reddit thread)). If you gonna do the episode’s Key Animation in the same bloody week it’s gonna air, the episode is gonna look like shit no matter how much money you threw at the project. See Shingeki no Kyojin, for example.

        And no, I wouldn’t expect the show to look any good if I were you, sherrislok. Not that it looked good in the first place.

        Also, if you wanted to mention disc sales, Lyfe, you should’ve also mentioned the amount of sold DVDs (2,557 copies). In total v1 sold 5,785 copies (and that is a volume with an event ticket). So yeah, compared to how the first season’s v1 sold (29k) and the first season as a whole sold on average (18k), this season is pretty much dead disc sales-wise. But I don’t think it will significantly, if at all, affect the production of the next 2 cours. It’s not like it’s selling in the Buddy Complex/Chaika 1k range, 5k is still a pretty decent number.

      • March 4, 2015 at 5:21 pmPasserby

        @DiabloCthulhu
        I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but a good budget is magical in its own way. Longer production cycles! More talent! One can only pour time and effort into a project up until the money runs out. Sure, how you use the money is obviously important, but the budget is, almost by definition, a limiting factor.

      • March 4, 2015 at 7:02 pmDiabloCthulhu

        but a good budget is magical in its own way

        Oh, if you have a good budget AND you’re good at scheduling then yeah, you’re most likely gonna produce great-looking show. But if you’re shit at scheduling then all those longer production cycles (which are, again, more of a scheduling thing than budget) and more talent will not mean anything. See Shingeki no Kyojin and SEED’s productions. Or Ufotable’s Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight for the opposite (i.e. really good-looking show despite having a fairly low budget) example. So yes, while money is most certainly a limiting factor, it’s a less limiting than time.

      • March 4, 2015 at 11:25 pmPasserby

        Sure, sure, I agree and all. I’m just making the point that often is the case that time is bought with money. Poor management will always be poor, but restrictively limiting timeframes usually exist because producers aren’t paying for more. In the end the amount of resources available is finite. Being able to work on a show for longer is a luxury in itself, and usually it has to be bought.

  • March 1, 2015 at 9:08 amstarss

    Shizou took such difficulty trying to contain his hatred, he went completely off-model! THINK OF THE ANIMATORS, Shizou!

  • March 1, 2015 at 9:35 amIron Maw

    -Shizuo didn’t breakdown the door because he’s been practicing what little self-restraint. Case-in-point in novel (internally) he deliberates with the fact he really has no idea if Izaya is there or not. Not to mention he couldn’t sense any human and didn’t cause trouble for landlord for same reasons he didn’t freakout Akane. He starting to limit his destruction.

    -Is Izaya really the main culprit behind this incident? That’s actually a yes and no answer this time. Aoba was actually the one who dragged Toramaru here and setup them up as opponents for the Dollars so they’re being manipulated too. Izaya’s simply taking advantage of current conflict brewing throughout the city by dragging others uch as Akane, Yakuza and Russian hitmen.

    -Personally, I’m still not really sure what you have against Mikado. This situation with Dollars and as well as how he it’s affecting his character’s internal desire of wanting to live an extraordinary life is pretty interesting at moment. This arc challenging the Dollar’s ideals as group and whether Mikado can preserve them in the face attacks from both inside and outside the organization. Is he being maniuplated this time around by another outside force? Yeah he is. It can’t be helped, Aoba and Izaya has been planning this a month advance in the shadows so of course he would not be able to have immediate counter action once things got started. And frankly he’s not the only one playing into their game, Chikage, Akane, Shizuo the hitmen, the Dollars, Yodogiri and even the Yakuza are all being manipulated by either Izaya or Aoba to achieve their respective ends.

    -How each these people will deal with this mess and how much Izaya’s and Aoba’s will plots succeed, is part of fun of this arc. Afterall Stage One cannot be thwarted when most people dpn’t know that it is happening at all.

    • March 1, 2015 at 12:39 pmZaiden

      Shizuo might be learning self restraint, but he’s pressing the doorbell so damn hard that he’s bleeding all over the place!

      • March 1, 2015 at 1:16 pmIron Maw

        Which is an improvement since that door wouldn’t be there by now if this was Shizuo pre-Slasher arc!

    • March 1, 2015 at 6:35 pmPasserby

      In general I exaggerate all my opinions somewhat when I write (because it’s more fun that way), but mostly I despair for Mikado. He’s in a vulnerable state and everyone’s playing him like a chump. He probably knows that, but he still can’t help himself. He claims to be the kind of person who would deny involvement with the Dollars just to stay out of trouble, but he’s also a thrill seeker. Basically he wants his cake and eat it too, and I can’t really approve of that.

      (Also, since the yakuza and Dollars subplots haven’t merged yet, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves on who’s most to blame. They can all be at fault. Remember to watch those spoilers, too! Thanks.)

      • March 1, 2015 at 7:46 pmIron Maw

        Haha I see. :)

        But that what I think this arc is partly about for him. A corssroad where he has pick a side. The only question is whether it will be on his own terms or not. But whatever he chooses, it will inevitability change him as a person. Regardless it’s far over yet.

  • March 1, 2015 at 10:54 amGoXDS

    in Mikado’s defense here, he didn’t really have much choice, did he? they were at his doorstep, giving off pressure, and not letting Mikado close his door.

  • March 1, 2015 at 10:58 amApa

    • March 2, 2015 at 9:16 pmstarss

      Worst photo smile ever.

    • March 4, 2015 at 11:34 amsherrislok

      I’m waiting for yandere Mikado.

  • March 1, 2015 at 11:04 ammagoiichi

    http://randomc.net/image/Durarara/Durarara%20×2%20Shou%20-%2008%20-%2033.jpg “Why so serious?”

    Just look at how the sun shows the shadow taking over the light on Mikado’s face. The darkness is rising and the metamorphosis is almost complete.

  • March 1, 2015 at 12:04 pmhola

    Hasn’t Mikado been in that warehouse before? I swear I’ve seen that yellow couch in the Yellow Scarve’s warehouse. I wonder if he suspects anything, with the fact that they brought him there…

    • March 1, 2015 at 1:12 pmIron Maw

      He recognizes it. But there is nothing special about the place beyond it being a fairly common hotspot for local delinquents.

  • March 1, 2015 at 12:14 pmbgi

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 1, 2015 at 2:36 pmNoragami!

    I’m assuming you are disagreeing with Mikado’s philosophy rather than the reason behind his action, because if it’s the latter, then I really have no words.

    That aside, this was a really smart episode, and the way everything is building up reminds me of the old DRRR days

  • March 1, 2015 at 3:17 pmilion4o

    Well, I feel stupid! The guy is called AOba (“ao” mean blue, right?) and has blue hair! How could I miss that… -_-’
    I actually went back and watched Kida’s back story from season 1. I had totally forgotten , that the leader of the Blue Squares, who calls Kida to tell him that they’ve abducted Saki, is called Izumi. Which is also Aoba’s real name…Soooo, that makes Aoba or his big brother the former leader of the Blue Squares, right?

    • March 1, 2015 at 5:09 pmIron Maw

      Younger brother. You will get more explanations about their relationship later.

  • March 1, 2015 at 5:49 pmrandom viewer

  • March 1, 2015 at 6:08 pmBlahto Blahtoto

  • March 1, 2015 at 6:15 pmMeldoy

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 1, 2015 at 7:36 pmNikki

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 1, 2015 at 7:37 pmRyuuzaki

    i wanna punch izaya and aoba.

  • March 1, 2015 at 8:11 pmLightHawk

    So our group of misfits are dealt with gang Wars, baby sitting, assassination/murder, all because Izaya did not get invited to hot pot.

  • March 1, 2015 at 10:18 pmRedRocket

    A wonderful building up the tension episode.

    All should be glad Celty does not have her head. No she will not put it on she carries it but it can say anyones name and they die by legend and as a form of grim reaper she knows everyones true name with her head. I do wonder if it will be a struggle for Celty if she does get her head as she might feel compelled to go back to her real job in Ireland and or contact her higher powers. Plus how different will her personality be.

  • March 2, 2015 at 10:27 pmchromenova

    Well if the usual trend occurs, Mikado is going to be doing some boss things in the coming eps. His development is usually quite slow paced, but it always leads to something intriguing. Also, I would love to see Izaya actually feel fear or discomfort rather than be the mastermind of all shady things in Ikebukuro. He’s a fascinating character, but I feel like he deserves some comeuppance eventually. Perhaps Mikado will take on Izaya in the future. :P

  • March 3, 2015 at 6:19 pmJuan

    @Passerby

    LOL on the /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\ reference