「物情騒然」 (Butsujou Souzen)
I haven’t been waiting nearly as long as people who have been following Durarara since its premiere, but I can already appreciate how some light’s been finally shed on the overall story. To help set things up for the second half of the series, this was primarily a dialogue-centric episode, but I enjoyed it a lot thanks to Shingen and his wacky personality. However, that side of him was only as enjoyable as it was because Celty, along with her newly professed love for Shinra, served as the victim of his ridicule. With all that crap of calling her a monster only to say he’ll acknowledge their relationship if Celty refers to her as her father, Shingen is so randomly unpredictable to the point that I couldn’t get enough of him.
Amidst all that humor, I thought it was pretty smooth how they slipped in a fundamental part of the story. Namely, the fact that Shingen was the one who originally stole Celty’s head. I figured Celty would have beat the details out of him at that point since she doesn’t like him much to begin with, but surprisingly being called a dojikko riled her up enough to bring out the girlish side of her that I love, causing that opportunity to slip by. One elevator fake-out escape later and Shingen is a free man — for the time being anyway. He’s pretty much a failure of a father, but inexplicable awesome at the same time.
For most of the episode, things continued to build on what Shingen accidentally spilled the beans on and finally let us in on what Izaya’s up to. It doesn’t come as any real surprise that if someone was pulling the strings behind Ikebukuro that it would be him, but it’s nice to finally learn what his chess board with shogi tiles and Othello pieces is all about. Whether or not his attempt to turn the city into a war zone and awaken Celty’s head will actually work is another matter, but given how the story’s been pushing the Dullahan/Valkyrie idea for the past while, it seems likely things will ultimately come down to that. The reappearance of the Yellow Scarves are evidently for that very purpose, so I’m looking forward to seeing if things play out exactly like Izaya hopes they will.
As for the Slasher incidents, I wouldn’t have figured that it was actually a cursed sword that’s possessing individuals, but it turns out that “Saika” (Sin Song) on the message boards is the name of the sword itself. Consequently, I didn’t foresee how this same sword was used by Shingen to separate Celty’s soul from her head. However, given the latter, I’m quite surprised how calmly Celty took news of it from Shinra, which supports the notion that her human-like emotions are getting the best of her. Other than that, we have Namie working for Izaya as hinted at last time, Nasujima-sensei sweating at the sound of Niekawa Haruna’s name (the girl who supposedly transferred schools because of his sexual harassment), and Masaomi finally visiting Mikajima Saki (Fukuen Misato) at the hospital, the last of which has been on my mind for some time now.
While I’m interested in seeing what the deal is between Masaomi and Saki, we have another cliffhanger with Anri getting attacked by “Saika” again. She seems fine in the preview though and next episode looks like it’ll be shown from Niekawa Shuuji‘s perspective (Koyama Rikiya), which may just mean we’ll learn more about what happened to Haruna.