「闇夜に烏」 (Yamiyo ni Karasu)
“A Crow in the Dark Night”
Grass, as you may imagine, is a hugely inefficient energy source. That’s why cows eat so much of it and spend all their time digesting it. You can supplement their diet with grains like barley, but overfeeding sugars increases risk of bloat, and then you’d have to stake your cow. Commercial beef cattle, though, naturally receive comparatively energy heavy diets to accelerate growth. So rarely would your steak come from an animal that ‘only’ eats grass.
Now you know.
Fascinating agricultural trivia aside, there are plenty of other points of interest this episode. Ikebukuro is still its usual mess, but as the plot thickens one can identify two main subplots that are taking shape. At the centre of one is Awakusu Akane (Kuno Misaki), who is more or less a yakuza princess. The reason for her running away from home to murder Shizuo is unclear, and neither is the cause for her sudden illness after being so relatively energetic. It could just be a device to keep her down while the adults talk, though I guess kids fall sick quite easily. It could just be the stress from being pursued by deadly Russian assassins (Mikami Satoshi, Ichimichi Mao). Sloan (Slon?) and Varona (Vorona? воро́на?) establish their chemistry quickly as the one with all the questions and the one with all the answers (and our newest piece of cheesecake), and they would be pretty cool if they weren’t working for some slimeball (at least, Ruri didn’t sound fond of him). Since author Narita Ryougo does tend to romanticise the mob, the yakuza are probably the nominal good guys in this conflict, though protecting the vulnerable little girl is a noble cause already. Alas, I don’t think Celty is going to get to do much of that, what with her being busy hunting down her would-be killer, but fortunately that gives an excuse of Shizuo to be useful.
The other subplot involves around Mikado feeling responsible for the Dollars (again) and being dragged into some other mess—basically it’s all the Saitama gang stuff from last episode. Mikado is no less hapless than he was in the first season, and it feels like he’s being manipulated from all sides. I guess that’s what happens when someone with no leadership experience becomes a leader; all the treacherous viziers start swarming. Izaya does have a point, though (never thought I’d say that); Mikado is trying to control a group which is, by its very nature, uncontrollable. Before all this is over, the Dollars may need a reorganisation (or rather, any organisation at all).
Knowing Durarara!!, these two subplots are bound to collide eventually, especially considering that so many protagonists are Dollars members. And next week it seems like we’re going to learn more about the Russians, and it’s a good bet that all the Russians coincidentally know each other (because Russia is such a small place). Even if they didn’t (an unlikely proposition), I’m sure they’d be dragged into the plot somehow anyway. For now, tensions are rising as our entire cast feel like they’re being threatened somehow. At some point they will need to launch a counterattack. Varona may find Ikebukuro boring, but she hasn’t seen anything yet.