「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.
Man things are amping up already.
This wasn’t as awesome as the past few eps but that’s not a knock on the ep. High expectations huh?
The Chane perfume ad was a pretty clever cameo from Baccano! xD
thanks for an awesome review from your part, Divine 🙂 Always like it!
As far as the 苍天已死，黄天当立，it is more of a direct reference from the romance of the three kingdom. The blue sky means the government at the time, and the yellow sky means the rebels, or so called “yellow scavenger” in your translation (they did have yellow outfits though). the yellow scavengers think the government was so corrupted, or almost dead, therefore the yellow scavengers will rise as a new leading group to unite China.
and here it seems like we have a similar situation, only with the yellow scavengers, the balance of the city will be completely altered. guess we are heading toward an awesome climax now 🙂
Glad to hear you enjoyed it and thanks for the clarification.
Is it correct that the saying stemmed from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but is often used in various other contexts where a similar situation happens (such as here)? I found a Japanese site that lists various other incidents where that seems to be the case. Are you familiar with any other incidents where this saying was used and/or applies?
well, a lot of Japanese people like the stories about the romance of the three kingdom (just look at how many shows this season are based on that materials…), and mostly I run into this saying in this context as far as anime is concerned.
and if you just look at the 苍天已死 part, then I have run into it a lot mostly in the context of when a Chinese dynasty is corrupted enough for a rebellion to occur.
hope this helps… I can only speak and read Chinese, so all I said was based on the knowledge I got from China, so Japanese people might interpret it differently (again, see how they have twisted romance of the three kingdoms into these various absurd yet funny shows)
correction here… apparently the site you found had enough kanjis that I can read a bit…
the author there is clearly trying to establish a connection between the color and Wu Xing, which could be true depends on who you ask…
one thing is true though that the leader of that historical yellow scavenger guy was a self claimed sorcerer who attempted to use magical powers that are tied with Wu Xing (and of course, that could be where the color theme all comes in)
The saying stemmed from 三国 doubtless, and also the “Yellow Scarves”. The blue sky is something like “God” in Chinese contexts. The emperors used to call themselves “the son of blue sky” in China’s history.
It’s nothing about Wu Xing and PRC, I promise.
Izaya is the ultimate chessmaster. I have to give him props on that. He knows how to manipulate anyone and everyone around.
The Gods roll dice, while the Fates play chess. Izaya plays a complicated board game which nobody understands.
now that I think about it, izaya is like lelouch except lelouch did it for peace and not a war.
I don’t know if you can call leading a rebellion for peace, but I see what you’re getting at. =)
You read my mind. I still have money on lelouch winning in a chess match.
That chatroom has no affiliation with the Dollars. It’s just a chatroom with Mikado, Celty, Izuya, and now Anri. It’s more like a private chat that Izuya probably set up in order to better manipulate people.
I’ve heard this season only covers the first three books. And there are apparently seven so far. If so I’m really struggling to see where this is all going?! I’m game for a second season, but I hope this 3 way war doesn’t fizzle out into nothing. :/
not really, vol.1-3 are about the 3 large and powerful gangs of durarara in a struggle with each other so the anime can actually end at vol.3 if they want without making the plot confusing or incomplete.
though I hope a 2nd season or extended episodes too so I can see izaya’s twin sisters.
I’ve heard they are preparing 2 extended episodes for DVDs. Likely, one episode for Orihara sisters, and another for Kasuka, Shizuo’s bro, just my hunch though.
do you think itll air online?
Ive read sumwhere that one of those extra dvd episodes are based on vol 7
About Izaya’s sisters:
Myanimelist tells me that they already have voice actors, but I don’t know how reliable that site is.
I agree with the extra DVD episodes thing.
Can’t help wondering why she didn’t just use her drones to cover her getaway, calling Celty for help just made things even worst, what’s the worst that could have happened if she got caught? it’s not like she attacked anyone.
BTW that’s not the Dollars message board, it’s just a chatroom.
I think Anri-chan just didn’t want anyone else hurt. Some of the Yellow Scarves are also Slashers so if she did call for their help, she might have put them in danger. With Celty not being one of her children and the black rider, it would be possible she thought her escape had a higher chance of success. That’s my take though. I’m not sure if Anri wants to use her ability either unless it was for self defence (or maybe her friends.
If that chatroom was privately made by Izaya, wouldn’t it bring more doubt into the other participants? I didn’t quite catch it but wasn’t Anri’s chat name the same as the slasher who spammed the room before?
I was under the assumption that Anri didn’t want to drag anyone into anything too. As for Anri’s nick, she did go by the name “Saika”, but Izaya gave the pretext that her computer got a virus and started spamming on its own. Obviously a lie meant to deceive Mikado, since Izaya and Celty already know she’s the mother of the Slashers.
just so you guys know on who knows who in the chatrooom(spoiler characters not included for now) :
kanra(izaya)=all(even the guys who got in without his permission)
setton(celty)=saika(maybe mikado but unlikely for now)
tanaka taro(mikado)=kanra(maybe setton)
Dota-chin needs to take that beanie more often. He looks hawt in the preview. <3
is there going to be a second season???
SOMEONE tell me
First Post on site. Shout out to Divine and other blog writer Stay Awesome!!!
I don’t know if its just me but but is Durarara plot getting really thin. I loved this show til EP 13 then I was all WTF. Celty & Shizou are the best, love those 2. Sonohara was a let down. Her dying would have been better would have gave Ryūgamine & Kida a reason to go against each other. I cant understand why would go Kida go against The Dollars when its a open society thing. I guess in Six months everyone forgot that Dollars were just normal people chillin, come on anyone can join ANYONE,and it has no rules except just rep the name I think. Well at any event I officially have given up on this show’s plot. I read spoilers from novel and i like hell that makes no sense.Izaya Orihara let me down, from episode 2 i had hopes but they were dashed to pieces Izaya set hem on fire in episode 18. Ill watch only to see Celty & Shizou.
actually only the other members attack the dollars members without his permission and like you said, dollars has no rules and that means its possible for the other dollars members to beat up people or cause trouble since mikado doesnt always know what they’re doing.
anri does show some more use in latter novels.
and what do you mean about not understanding the spoilers?
Dotachin looks great without the cap. xD
And no… I don’t swing that way, but I still think he looks cool.
I agree but then I think he had been a cool cat since the start of the series.
I actually dont know the details after the 3 of them meet in the battle field so im also excited on what happens when they discover each other.
Kadota group are awesome!!
They should really get thier own plot!!!
Simon too gets too little screen-time and plot relation.
Loved how Izaya had a “I’m evil” grin during the whole chat with Mikado&co,if they used webcams they would have all knew who’s behind this mess.I’m happy too that Kida isn’t stupid and gonna ask advice from Kadota instead of acting alone.The horse scene was pretty cool.
Looking forward on how things will unfold.
I’m not sure i like the way things are heading right now, I have this feeling that something bad might happen to Masaomi.
Not as fun as the previous episodes. They better drop some sort of atomic bomb in the succeeding episodes.
I just hope the climax is worth all this setting up.
next vol..8 to be released in June! hyahah! 😀
this anime sure has many Baccano references..
One thing we really should consider is how to render Yellow Scarves into English. Their name (as well as the name of episode 19 and 20) is taken from Romance of the Three Kingdoms regarding the Yellow Turban Rebellion where the central government is exposed to be powerless to stop the rebellion, and it has to mustard forces from regional warlords to put down the rebellion. This is Yellow Turban’s slogan: “The Blue Sky (ie. the Han Dynasty) has perished, the Yellow Sky (ie. the rebellion) will soon rise; in this year of Jia Zi, let there be prosperity in the world!” (蒼天已死，黃天當立。歲在甲子，天下大吉。).
Since the Yellow Turban peasants plainly called themselves Yellow Turban, shouldn’t we translate it this way as well?