July 11th, 2015.
Don’t Underestimate Crazy:
Last episode was all about what Durarara!! is, and was especially reminiscent of the first two episodes of Durarara!!’s first season, where we got a “slice of life” episode covering Izaya’s life, relationships, and the inner workings of his mind. Sure, we didn’t get to advance the “plot” and the actions of Mikado following last cour’s finale, but we’ve had a lot of small touches and flashes of what’s going on behind the scenes. And it was the core of Durarara!!, so I was content. It does mean we’re still left with the same questions for this episode as we did before the premier, but let’s get to it. Interlocking paths and extravagant characters? Sign me up!
Welp, everyone sure came across as even crazier this episode than they did up to now, and Namie and Harima Mika were never amongst the saner members of our cast, which has its share of less than balanced people, right? This is a cast that’s often Shakespearian, or Greek Tragedy in the extent of their depravities or faults, but those two take the cake, because of their mono-fixation, on something small, because of how it’s tied to something we can point at and whisper “crazy”.
For Namie, it’s all about her brother. You will note even in her idle chatter with Izaya’s sisters, her thoughts quickly turned to evaluate them by how they think, or fail to think, and be concerned for their older brother’s well-being. To her, it’s a sister’s role to be there for her brother, in as many ways as it’s possible. Namie is still obsessed with how things seem, with the head. First she had Mika look like Celty’s head, and now she thinks that if Mika will no longer look like the head, then her brother will no longer spend time with her. Namie’s vision of reality, and of people, is warped.
Mika is sort of the opposite, for the same purpose. Mika is all about the essence, she is the tribeswoman who would eat her enemy’s heart to gain their strength, to steal it. This is very fitting, as Mika is the one willing to steal another’s personality, to steal into someone’s life, in order to usurp them. She changes her outward appearance as well, but to her it’s not in order to mask who she is, but to become someone else entirely.
And that brings us to how Namie underestimated Mika, because Namie sees Mika as someone putting on a false front, rather than seeing her as a true pretender who will change their nature. She sees Mika as a ditzy girl, not understanding that one needs boundless determination, and understanding of others, in order to pull this sort of thing off. Mika is willing to go the distance, and has as much information as Izaya might. Izaya and the others probably don’t pay her much attention. They looked at her and thought she’s interesting, and that she could be used to stir up interesting problems, rather than think of what motivates her, how deep the schism in her mind.
Oh, I might have suddenly switched to speaking of Mikado. Is Mikado convincing himself of his new role in the Dollars, and why it is that he founded them, and then came to Ikebukuro, is this a question of changing his outlook, or of changing his inner nature? Is Mikado someone whom you play with because it is interesting, or someone who plays along, and will then come off as much more than expected, someone who will go the distance, and take the place by its horns, and then eat the horns, and the head they’re attached to? Is Mikado not a puppy to be played with, pushed as far as he could as a toy, but a tiger that will eventually devour or subjugate Aoba and Izaya? But not a tiger, of course, but a dragon.
I also enjoyed seeing a glimpse of Shinra and Celty running from the werewolf, and Simon always has the best lines. All those crossing paths, no, things aren’t “progressing” time-wise, but this is exactly Durarara!! at its finest, for me.