「艱難汝を玉にす」 (Kannannanji o Tama ni Su)
“Adversity Makes a Man Wise”

Shizuo’s here! *applause*

Really, what else needs to be said? Was there ever any doubt that Shizuo would be our closing act in our brawl? Yes, Anri and Va/orona were kinda cool, Chikage was kinda cool, but in the world of Durarara!!, no one packs as much star power as Shizuo. Two people get the girl this episode: Chikage, who’s a womaniser and it’s expected of him, and Shizuo. Hell yeah, Shizuo! You’ll be good in like 10 years, and then you can marry a princess! Mikado is nominally the main character, and he’s not gotten as far in three dozen episodes as Shizuo did in one scene (and, alas, Mikado has already been beaten to the goods). It’s not Mikado’s fault; it’s impossible to not be upstaged by a man who dribbles vans. Even Celty, a pagan Celtic analogue of the angel of death, is reduced to being his sidekick (though they do work together stylishly well).

Given what kind of reputation Shizuo must have by now, it still bemuses me why anyone in Ikebukuro would still voluntarily attacks him. Some people are just too dumb to live. How does he keep coming back? Well, as much as I enjoy watching Shizuo be eerily calm and direct himself as a focused energy instead of a as raging beast, it just wouldn’t be right if he doesn’t flip out and toss some fool every once in a while.

So Shizuo’s cleaned all that up, but a whole lot of loose ends explode into existence in the second half of the episode. Masaomi once again fails to do anything of import, like stopping his friend from making signing his deal with the Devil. I know how this one goes: Faust is trying to cheat Mephistopheles. That’s a dangerous game to play, but Mikado’s always had the crazy in him; his bigger issue is staying sane. Let’s see if this is the version of the story where he finds salvation or not. Meanwhile, Slo(a)n and Va/orana get taken out by the yakuza rather easily (this is how Durarara!! is a comedy and BLACK LAGOON is a tragedy), which was a bit disappointing, but I guess one can’t survive as a yakuza in Ikebukuro unless they were a total badass, and they had Russians of their own so that’s a wash. This opens up a second plot line, though: Slo(a)n and Va/orona need to reunite, probably through a rescue attempt. The third plot line we get is arguably the most important one: Yodogiri Jinnai (you know, the one who ruined Ruri’s life, commissioned the kidnapping of Akane, the reason why we can’t have nice things) rears his ugly head again to take out Izaya (there is no way he’s dead), except he looks nothing like what we’ve previously known him as (i.e. the anti-Santa). Well, whatever. Third plot thread.

We already know there’s going to be a Durarara!!x2 Ten in July, so all these sequel hooks are not unexpected, but still. Three cliffhangers, Durarara!!? That’s foul play.

Final Impressions

There’s still two whole cours of Durarara!! waiting some time in the future, so I’ll only speak briefly about my final impressions for now. This last episode was certainly reminded me how fun Durarara!! can be. If only it could be like that all the time. Durarara!!x2 Shou has had its ups and downs, sometimes crisply paced, sometimes bogged in exposition, but in general there were more ups than downs. I really am not sure how well it can keep this up, though. Durarara!! can’t always rely on Shizuo showing up and being crazy awesome; eventually his antics are either going to get old or derail the plot. With the cast constantly expanding and entropy increasing, the danger is always that Durarara!! will either fizzle out or collapse under its own weight.

Things don’t look that bad, though, going into x2 Ten. Yodogiri Jinnai, who seems to be playing higher level games against Izaya (I’m assuming he’s also the one who sicced Shizuo onto him) than Aoba can hope to match, makes for a legitimate Big Bad in the near future, and some of our cast seem to be approaching the pinnacle of their character conflict. There’s already a lot of fuel prepared for the next season, so perhaps they won’t need to spend as much time on build up come July. It’s a bit too early to make plans yet, but perhaps I’ll pick up Durarara!! again then. If I do, we’ll see each other again in just a few months.

Full-length images: 12, 18, 20, 21, 31.


  1. KF
    1. What’s hard to understand? Vorona and Slon are hired mercenaries/hitmen who do odd jobs the chief one being tn this arc is kidnapping Akane and incapacitating Anri. They aren’t picking fights with anyone, it’s clients who are. They also don’t have a problem with because look for what the city offers them as excitement.

      Iron Maw
  2. I’m a bit disappointed in this episode. Animation of fights was so bad that I couldn’t focus on them entirely, but was thinking about ridiculousness of them and scene with signing a contract was anticlimatic. When reading novel I was imagining that it was dark with tension, but here was like other any scene. I mean, I know Mikado himself is normal, but they could at least give him one cool scene this season.

    1. When you think about it, I think the anticlimatic nature of Mikado’s scene was done a bit on purpose, and is very true to Mikado’s character. He’s two faced, on one side he’s still a nice and gentle boy, and the other is the one who yearns for abnormality, a darker side to him. So to see him switch so easily between his different natures is actually kind of scary in it’s own right. Even Aoba was surprised at his behavior.

    2. The animation did feel a little static, especially in some of the fighting and the scenes with the truck. For the contract scene, I’m not sure how it plays out in the light novel, but I was okay with the contract scene, it showed another example of what kind of person Mikado is. Of course its just what I felt when I saw the scene and the staff might have wanted to play it out differently in terms of tone.

    3. Emotional or psychological scenes fade when animated because the scene in the book is from a character’s point of view while the anime moves out into third person. Without knowing what Masaomi was thinking the scene where he found Mikado faded. And the ballpoint scene wasn’t as intense because we didn’t see what Aoba was thinking.

  3. 1) Shizuo keeps cracking me up every single time he’s on screen XDD
    2) Erika… almost sexually assaulted Ahri. O_O

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Oh, and the fact that Ahri is actually ticklish in the chest area is rather… weird. I honestly thought she would defend herself rather violently against Erika, like grabbing her arm, drawing the sword and putting it up to her throat. Not killing her, but frightening her to the point of getting the point across.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Pretty sure Saika only cares about anyone who’s a legitimate threat to Anri. It only ever really imposed it’s own will once as far as we’ve seen when it cut Egor. Otherwise Anri seems entirely in control short of when she allows Saika to be more in control during fights such as when she was hit with the flash-bang.

  4. Um Mikado isn’t the main character, nobody really is here. Celty is the closest thing to a protagonist in this story because she is involved in everything in some way.

    Iron Maw
      1. In your typical LN maybe. In a Nartia story? No way. He’s actually stated Celty is MC character himself, she not always the focus, but she always involved in some way. It might be a little hard to grasp, but that just how his writing works.

        Iron Maw
      2. Sure, the author may not have intended a whole lot of things, but it’s how Mikado has ended up anyway. I’m not disagreeing that Durarara!! is not completely traditional with its protagonists, but Mikado still ends up coming into focus because 1. He’s the one with the coming of age story and 2. his central conflict is about his place in the world, which necessarily separates him from the rest of the cast.

  5. “I’m Masaomi. Miss me since 5 years ago! I’m back to sit around pondering what to do until the 12th episode here I travel to Ikebukuro and do nothing before the first Season 2 installment ends! FULFILLING!”

  6. I didn’t feel 100% satisfied with this first installment series, but then, I suppose we should think of all 3 of these sets as one whole story, so I don’t expect everything to be settled here and now. The biggest twist was clearly Izaya being BEATEN for once, making me really fear Yodogirl.

  7. They seem to have left out some important inner-monologue from the contract signing scene. I’m hoping that they either fix it in the BDs or touch upon it in the next season.

  8. Lets list Shizuo’s new acquaintances this arc and how they affected him and how they perceive him.

    Chikage- After all those weak and dishonorable opponents to Shizuo finds it refreshing somebody after a long time politely challenge to fight. Shizuo does admit a bit of envy he does have a girl to come back to. Chikage while cubstomp took four punches before going down. Shizuo respects him for that. Chikage in turn respects Shizuo though he wouldn’t want to fight him again.

    Akane- She is a nice girl with a sense of justice but considering she went out of her way to kill Shizuo shows the Yakuza blood in her. She still believes that Shizuo is out to kill her folks. She couldn’t process why Shizuo would be concerned about her safety when she is still trying to kill him. This leaves her utterly confused.

    Shizuo on the other hand has shown big brotherly instincts to protect Akane. And is utterly pissed off at Izaya as he would would use and harm such a little innocent girl. This has led to self control that he has been yearning for since his crush got hurt because of him. So yeah Shizuo has finally managed to protect girl.

    Its a cute relationship but I have a bad feeling she’ll grow up into like Shinra and Seiji with an unhealthy obsession to Shizuo like they did with Celty.

    Vorona- He hasn’t really met her yet. Shizuo doesn’t like hurting women similar to Chikage but isn’t above making Vorona regret attacking him. On the other side Vorona has found another new playmate and would like a fair fight with him as possible. Unlike Celty and Anri whom she considers monsters she still views him as a human. A super human but still a human. An interesting contrast Izaya likes to think Shizuo as a monster and considers him maintaining his humanity a regression.

    Possible crazy stalker situation again for Shizuo with Vorona.

  9. Honestly from having read these novels I feel like they really did a bad job with this episode and the fighting etc. It just felt rather lackluster compared to reading it. Hard to explain but a lot of the little details or inner thoughts of the characters being left out felt like a big waste. We just see things happen but don’t get the intense thought that the characters go through being in the situation.


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