February 28th, 2015.
The Best Intentions, The Worst Friends:
The hunters face monsters, while they themselves might be the most monstrous. Izaya puts on the guise of a caring person, and Ryugamine is taken out. Time to see things slowly begin to boil up.
Oh yeah, the long weekend, time for revelries, time for bacchanals, time for mayhem and joy.
The problem with the art this time wasn’t as much the lack of animation (because as Kill la Kill had demonstrated, one can get around that), but all the off-model characters, as most of them, and especially Aoba’s gang, just appeared half-drawn.
This episode is somewhat about reliving the past, and one group worming itself into another, or one situation worming itself into another. If in the first season we’ve had the Blue Squares’ remnants infiltrate the Yellow Scarves, then this time they’re infiltrating the Dollars. The smile on Mikado’s face is his desire for leading an interesting life infiltrating his self-proclaimed search of peace and quiet.
We could also speak of how Izaya keeps framing Shizuo (both with the little girl, but that could be seen as an act of kindness as he knows she’s being targeted and that Shizuo and his friends could keep her protected, and later with him coming onto a scene that looks as if he took out some gangsters), but at this point those two are more like Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote, so it’s “situation as normal” there.
And before we go to what this episode’s high point is about, Masaomi has to work for someone he hates. He has to help Izaya spread his special brand of poison. Such is life. Does he hate himself because he works for Izaya and thus runs away from his friends, or is it his depression that sent him to the arms of Izaya, as a form of self-flagellation? Of course, the relationship between Masaomi, Saki, and Izaya isn’t so simple. It never is.
The true story is obviously the one between Aoba and Mikado. Everything is about Mikado, even in a show about Ikebukuro and such a huge cast. This brings us back to the first season. Someone who wields power, in an institute that resists having power wielded over it from a top-to-bottom position. Someone who wishes for an interesting life, and knows the only way to avoid getting it is to hold himself tight.
But Aoba, Aoba is Lestat from Interview with the Vampire. He doesn’t come to Mikado and ask him what he wishes them to do, he comes to him after already creating a situation, where whether Mikado tells him to do nothing, or tells him to do something, there’ll be chaos, there’ll be bloodshed, there will be interesting times. He forces him to lead. He forces him to take up a mantle he will not be able to put down. He forces Mikado to take responsibility. That’s the same thing Izaya had told Mikado last episode.
You see, Mikado is responsible for the Dollars, so he’s being pushed to take action, and then he’ll be responsible for their results as well. Mikado, the road begins with a single step, and at the end of it, you’ll be lucky to end up as Izaya, but it seems you’re going to end as his war-leader.