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Durarara!!x2 Shou – 03 »« Durarara!!x2 Shou – 01

Durarara!!x2 Shou – 02

「和を以て尊して為す」 (Wa o Motte Toutoshite Nasu)
“Hold Harmony Sacred”

Durarara!! just doesn’t feel complete without Heiwajima Shizuo wrecking some fool. That felt good. Shizuo may just be my uncontested favourite character from Durarara!!; he’s the embodiment of the height of Durarara!!‘s ridiculousness, while remaining a pretty decent guy deep down (when he isn’t hulking out). Shizuo’s also the source of much of the action in this show, which is just a lot of fun. If Durarara!! was filmed before a live studio audience, Shizuo would get a standing ovation every time he appeared.

Unfortunately, Shizuo doesn’t feature prominently in this episode; more time needed to be made for our new characters, in particular Izaya’s fanservice sisters and Masaomi Kida’s understudy, one Kuronuma Aoba (Shimono Hiro). They make for an interesting pairing (tripling?); Aoba is mostly normal despite having too much enthusiasm about being a member of Dollars, an organisation with no purpose, while the twins are at least 70% crazy (or maybe they’re just natural results of the Orihaya genes). You can’t bully crazy people; they don’t follow your social rules. And they set your stuff on fire. It was a bit convenient that the twins got away with all their disproportionate retaliation, but I get the feeling they would have been fine with mutually assured destruction.

All this high school drama is mostly a subplot to the overarching to the greater scheme, though, which seems to involve… zombies? Zombies vs the KGB? I don’t know. Whatever it is, it does seem more sinister than having nasty things written on your desk. Even Shinra breaking the fourth wall and becoming the narrator, even Izaya talking far too much than his character perhaps warrants, could not make sense of it for me. That doesn’t matter at this point; we’re still at the ‘lots of stuff happens’ part of the typical Durarara!! story, rather than the ‘why stuff happens’ phase. For now, the snowball keeps on rolling, and we’ll probably have a solid mass by the end.

Looking ahead

It’s taking some time to get used to Durarara!!‘s disjointed narrative structure again, but considering the usual Durarara!! formula, I would consider that it’s coming along fine for now. The overarching story is already in view (even if its details are shrouded from us for now), and more and more elements are being introduced on our way to critical mass. Even the yakuza are showing up, presumably because they need Shinra for a job, and presumably to fix the poor sod who got Shizuo-ed. And apparently this idol person is going to be a significant character. I didn’t pay her much attention when she appeared briefly in the first season, and would have continued to forget her existence if not for her place in the OP and her song being sung in the karaoke. You never know who could suddenly become significant in Durarara!!, and I think that’s the point, really. There’s something interesting about everybody if you dig deep enough.

A trend I’ve been seeing in Durarara!!, even before x2 Shou, is that as time goes on a lot of the disparate characters start to find their way together. In this episode, for example, Anri meets Kishitani Snr, which drags her into all the unnecessary trouble he’s usually involved with. It seems to be happening a bit faster in x2 Shou compared to the original season—the twins have already been linked to Celty and linked to Aoba, for example—but it may just be a natural result of us being deeper into the story. While the original Durarara!! started off as being about the many facets of Ikebukuro’s natives and general world building, with the divergent characters serving as our feelers, x2 Shou seems to be pulling them in a lot earlier. I wonder what that will do to the perspective-shifting narrative that Durarara!! has traditionally been good at.

Besides the narrative, there are also little things that Durarara!! does well that I don’t always mention. For example, I should praise Durarara!! for its consistent fidelity in rendering the Ikebukuro nightlife. I’m sure the natives would appreciate the research put into it, but I still enjoy detailed urban backgrounds. I’m glad the second episode has not dropped off in quality compared to the first. Durarara!! continues to be solid in a lot of areas, and even if it’s not always the most outstanding at any of them it usually comes together into a high-value package, no matter what zany direction the story goes. For a weekly watch like Durarara!!, consistency is a very welcome thing.

Full-length images: 20, 32.

 

Preview

January 18, 2015 at 7:58 am
34 comments »
  • January 18, 2015 at 8:04 amAndré

    This episode made me realize I don’t remember shit from the first season. Because I don’t remember shit. The main guy was a member of the Dollars gang? I didn’t remember that. Well, I don’t even remember WTF the Dollars gang was. I also don’t remember anything about everything.

    • January 18, 2015 at 8:34 amIron Maw

      Yeah you’re definitely going to need to either rematch the first season or read the wiki ep summaries. lol

    • January 18, 2015 at 9:13 amhoshi

      just re watch the first season. It was tons of fun.

    • January 18, 2015 at 9:20 amWanderer

      A member? Dude, the main character WAS the Dollars. He started it, he ran it, it moved at his command, despite nobody knowing who he was and the Dollars generally not having any sort of agenda.

      • January 18, 2015 at 10:08 amRetsurai

        But was he such a pussy on season 1? cuz he certainly sounds like one now

    • January 18, 2015 at 9:48 amLeon

      http://www.zerochan.net/379578#full

      Above is link for S1 Relationship.

      • January 19, 2015 at 8:08 pmsealouse

        This was very helpful as a refresher.

    • January 18, 2015 at 7:20 pmCherrie

      If you don’t remember the entire first arc of the first season, you should probably rewatch it lol =P Or you can read the old RC posts, Omni used to do a summary of the plot each episode =)

  • January 18, 2015 at 8:26 amstarss

    I kind of like Shinra for being the only character to spell out everything for the viewer to the point where he breaks the fourth wall, whereas every other moment is presented in a schizophrenic editing style. It adds to his eccentricity.

    Aoba seems to really admire Kida. The twins are yet another pair of completely insane characters, but I think it’s only a matter of time before Aoba shows his own side of craziness too.

    • January 18, 2015 at 2:12 pmGoXDS

      Kida Masaomi? or Ryuugamine Mikado? =P

  • January 18, 2015 at 8:59 amIron Maw

    I’m pretty sure that zombie isn’t a zombie but in actuality Hollywood, the masked serial killer that has rampant throughout Ikebukuro lately.

    • January 18, 2015 at 10:24 amPasserby

      I had figured that it was probably just a person in a mask too (and therefore probably connected to the Hollywood murders), but it would be so much more interesting if it was just a zombie, so I ran with it.

      • January 18, 2015 at 11:16 amIron Maw

        Well that wouldn’t be out of place in this either. lol

        In anycase it should be fun to find out what’s what and what role everyone will play here.

  • January 18, 2015 at 9:00 amLaughingMan

    • January 18, 2015 at 9:21 ambelatkuro

      Images are still not showing up. Removing the exclamation points doesn’t seem to work.
      Third time’s the charm?

      • January 18, 2015 at 10:25 amPasserby

        This time I’m not actually sure what’s wrong. I’ll have to poke around a bit. Hopefully episode 03 will be fail free.

    • January 18, 2015 at 12:33 pmKF

      Twins. We all have our little fantasy with them…

  • January 18, 2015 at 9:36 ambelatkuro

    I bet the reason why Izaya doesn’t like his sisters is that he can’t control them like Shizuo. From this episode alone, I can see why he would say so. Looks are deceiving I guess. Right > left
    On another note, Kamiya Hiroshi gets to have Kitamura Eri as his imouto again. First in Monogatari, now here.

  • January 18, 2015 at 10:39 amJustpassingby

    Kuronoma Aoba innocent?Pffft, if there’s one thing you’d expect from Durarara, anybody who has been featured even for a second in Durarara will be either damaged, pychotic, deranged or is a secret mob boss one way or another.

    PS. Loving Shinra’s commentary. Having him break the 4th wall and be wacky at the same time instead of having a narrator voice how events pan out is a good call, seeing as things will get more tangled further along the line and it would be more fun this way than just jotting numbers and dates in the screen.

    • January 18, 2015 at 10:41 amstarss

      Living with Celty as a girlfriend must be the most exciting life ever.

  • January 18, 2015 at 11:39 amMormegil

    Two episodes in, and Durarara S2 hasn’t missed a beat. I love the disjointed narrative.

  • January 18, 2015 at 3:10 pmBlahto Blahtoto

    I think the Main Character of Durarara!! is Ikebukuro itself if not then the whole cast.

  • January 18, 2015 at 3:27 pmBeedle

    Clearly, Hollywood(?) & Slender Man didn’t get the memo: do not pick a fight with Shizuo!

    As always, I really love the Celty/Shinra bits especially Celty blowing a kiss at Shinra as she left. Aoba’s becoming more interesting as well; there’s something about him that screams “Izaya!”/manipulator.

  • January 18, 2015 at 4:34 pmJiCi

    O…k…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Yup… still as wacky as the first season, liked it XDD

    • January 18, 2015 at 10:35 pmPtolemaios00

      Celty’s clothes are all shadows. They only appear to look like tight leather. So, she might have accidentally incorporated the money envelope into her flying manta decoy.

  • January 18, 2015 at 8:54 pmWanderer

    Izaya talking about his sisters’ personality issues Show Spoiler ▼

    pisses me off.

    Then again, Izaya irritates me in general.

  • January 19, 2015 at 12:25 amFT5.Havok

    Did they change studios cause characters designs seems off for shizuo and izaya?

    • January 19, 2015 at 1:47 ambelatkuro

      It’s a new studio, Studio Shuka, but that hardly matters since it’s still the same character designer who’s working on it. The exact same staff and cast from the first season are working on this one. The only thing that changed is the studio. It’s just you.

      • January 19, 2015 at 9:03 amYM

        The studio directly splintered off from Brains Base, so it’s the same experience, work connections, and production process. This is not a “new” studio.

  • January 19, 2015 at 3:23 am15FAN

    Thanks for covering this! I was ready for the format by rewatching S1 As far as the KGB Zombie Show Spoiler ▼

  • January 19, 2015 at 5:57 amCroos

    Durarara needs to check some QUALITY
    http://puu.sh/eIJVD.jpg

    • January 19, 2015 at 6:10 amstarss

      Despite the entirely same team from S1 on-board, they are working on this as a completely new studio. Some new people might have put their fingers into the production where they don’t belong, or they may have outsourced some of the animation elsewhere to keep up funding.

  • January 19, 2015 at 1:03 pmD-Scythe911

    From what I’ve seen in the past two episodes it seems both the character design and animation has improved from the previous season. So props from me to Studio Shuka.

  • January 20, 2015 at 6:44 ammagoiichi

    http://randomc.net/image/Durarara/Durarara%20×2%20Shou%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2013.jpg Balls of steel, nothing else to say about this guy.

    I forgot Izaya even had sisters, 2 years of waiting for a sequel makes you forget stuff like that I guess. I forgot who that girl Kida is with is too.