February 14th, 2015.
The Discordant Silence:
Oh man, last episode ended with someone trying to kill Celty by beheading her, and a new team of miscreants led by a very proper women-lover is going after the dollars. And of course, a young assassin is going after Shizuo, and everyone’s going to meet at Shinra’s. The overt plot that is never the focus finally boiled over and is going to take over things, for a while, while the orchestra of Ikebukuro continues its mad caper in the background. Let us observe.
Well, I almost feel a bit silly after looking at my preamble, now that I’ve watched the episode. This episode was very much not what I expected. What did I expect? I expected overt plot, crazy action. I expected things to go balls to the walls. As I noted last week, after exploring it in prior write-ups, that is very much not what Durarara!! is about, however. Durarara!! is about lives, which may be crazy, but that’s the real action, the interweaving storylines.
Varona’s comment, about how Ikebukuro bores her is the knee-jerk reaction to this episode, and to be frank, I found myself nodding for a moment. Not because this episode was not Durarara!!’s regular dish, but because it’s not what I expected after last episode. But then again, isn’t the entirety of what this show gives us something that could be described as “Not exactly what I was expecting”? You see, if we’ll liken Durarara!! to an orchestral performance, there are the bits where we slowly pick up steam, introduce all of the players and their instruments, and then we have noise, which might be called music, loud and overwhelming.
Last episode made it seem that’s where we’re going, but then, instead, we introduced new voices to our ensemble. Am I sold on Varona and Slon as characters? Not at all. Slon especially seems like a walking shtick. But they fit right at home in Ikebukuro. They act within the plot, they bring others situations that are nasty surprises, and are going to get some surprises on their own. Varona remarked that this city bores her, but this is because she not only misunderstood the city, and Celty, but underestimated them.
The episode ended on a classic switcheroo moment, which might yet get switched around once more. The CEO of the Yodogiri group sent Slon and Varona after a girl. Who did we expect him to send them after? Hijiribe Ruri, who seems to have something of a vendetta against him as well. But whose house do we see being broken into? Anri’s. The double switcheroo here is that the girl we see being targeted is not the one we’d have expected. That’s the first switcheroo. The double bit would come next week, when we see it’s not Varona and Slon who are going after Anri, but yet someone else.
And that’s the nature of Durarara!!’s Ikebukuro – we always meet new characters. Even in the midst of the crescendo, there will still be new stories being resolved, which we might not have noticed up to that point. And just like Ryugamine Mikado, we might seem concerned, but it’s truly our excitement getting the better of us.
But yes, this episode was quite slow, and even the music seemed to reinforce both this slow atmosphere, and a slightly discordant one. A long weekend, time to slow things down? Perhaps, but also time for more stories to run their course.