February 7th, 2015.
Well, last episode introduced another conflict brewing up, a conflict between brewers of conflicts! The interesting take is this truly is “Childhood” against “Old Schemers”. Those two groups wish for the same thing, for interesting chaos, but while Orihara is stopping things from flaring up on their own so they could all go off at once, the group lead by Aoba can’t see that, and only see Izaya stifling down conflicts. Then again, Izaya might actually be enjoying the semi-controlled chaos of Ikebukuro, even if he doesn’t get invited to hotpot parties.
Post Episode Thoughts:
No! No! You can’t end the episode there! It’s not fair! Someone get me the time machine! Next week, please be here! Sobs
Oh, okay, where were we? And with Durarara!!, that’s always the question, isn’t it? Next episode’s preview ended with Celty saying chaos is coming again to Ikebukuro. Last episode ended with Izaya telling us that things are about to get messy again. And they’re wrong, and missing the entire point of Durarara!!
Wait, the characters, the chaos-mongers who promise us chaos, are missing the point? Oh yes. How much “order” did we have in the first four episode? There’s never any sense of real order, there’s never any cessation in the ebb and flow of people within Ikebukuro, they never stop interacting with one another, influencing and changing the courses of their destinies, as they fall in love, beat up one another, and get beaten up by Shizuo. This so-called “disruption of the natural order” is only an illusion, from a very specific point of view, but not what is actually going on, which is why Durarara!! is always so engaging.
But things are moving up a notch, in overtness, in action. A little girl who is sent to assassinate Shizuo? And then Celty is sent after the little girl. We can already see how things will cross over with one another, and the show is pointing it out in advance. This isn’t a “Gotcha! See how all these things are related!” show, but rather, “Everything is connected! Marvel at the world!” Because Shizuo, Tom, and little-assassin-chan are going to Shinra’s apartment, and so is Celty, obviously.
Except Celty just lost her head on the highway, without even running into the posse of traffic cops.
It actually reminds me of “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” where the point is everyone is chasing someone else. It’s a game of tag, where everyone chases someone else, until all the lines get tangled. Except those lines are also fuses to bombs, which then blow up. Did you know most cars today have engines that the driving process could be described as “Driving by exploding”? Small and continual explosions, which as I pointed out, that’s life.
I did find the return of a specific narrative device interesting, which we hadn’t really seen since the start of the first season. First, it was Namie narrating everyone’s interactions. The other bit, which is related, is how in the chat, we’d have one person’s voice saying everyone’s lines for a while. But whereas in the first season it was a sign we don’t yet know who’s involved, here it seems the opposite, as every character feels close enough to the channel, feels enough ownership of it, that they can speak for one another, speak for the chat, imitate their friends.
On a more concrete note for this episode’s plot, the poor Dollars. Being organized as a shadowy non-organization organization means information is hard to find, but misunderstandings rise. This person Shizuo fought is very similar to him. In what sense? It’s as if they both have a geas, a compulsion they must adhere to. “Rocchi” would not stomach harming women, while Shizuo’s compulsion is the instinctual violence he embodies, as Simon said in the first season, for he is violence incarnate.
And geas? Their role in stories is quite clear. You have a geas, and then you’re pushed to decide between your geas and something that you hold dear, you’re forced to choose. You’re pushed over the line of your convictions, by your convictions. And that’s exactly what Izaya said. Izaya, who appears to have been watching Death Parade lately. Izaya wants to push people to the limit, to see not if they’d break, but in which direction, they’d break.
And dammit, I need next week’s episode. I need it an hour ago.