「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.