Home > Durarara!!, Episode Reviews > Durarara!! Episode 15 – This is Happening

Durarara!! Episode 15 – This is Happening


The first ten or so episodes of Durarara!! were introductions, slowly pulling us into its world and setting up the explosive events of episodes 11 and 12, known in the show as the Tokyo Incident, where the thousands of members of the Dollars gathered on one street corner in a failed gambit to get back Celty’s head. Since then, the show has been treading water, laying down a bunch of pipe about the mysterious Slasher, who may be getting his power from a demon-possessed sword, and Izaya’s mythological experimentation with Celty’s identity.

If you’ve been watching the show for this long, you take your knowledge of the characters for granted. After all, you’ve been party to their deepest secrets and most intimate moments for roughly 15 episodes, learning what makes them tick. So this episode, in addition to further setting up the plot, is a reminder of just how little the average Tokyo resident knows about what’s going on.

Here's Shuji after his last appearance, where he got thrown fifty feet in the air by Shizuo. So did a light post

Shuji Niekawa isn’t a mythical being, or part of the inner circle who knows what’s going on in Ikebukruo. He’s just a journalist, writing for the trashy gang tabloid Tokyo Warrior. Six months ago (or eight episodes, depending on your time scale) he tracked down Shizuo as part of a story to find the strongest man in Ikebukuro, and promptly had the tar beaten out of him for inadvertently bringing up the sensitive subject of Shizuo’s brother (now a major star in the Japanese film industry).

The first half of this episode is Shuji trying to track Shizuo down. Everyone seems willing to confirm that he’s the strongest man in Ikebukuro—a title which is hardly so cut and dry, but everyone else who could claim it is more interested in remaining in the shadows—but no one wants to show Shuji where he is. Before he can finally meet Shizuo, he’s cut down by the Stalker, and then the real episode begins.

Shuji's interviews begin with these newsprint-like shots. It's a cool effect

Even then, very little happens. We learn some more about Anri—she was orphaned several years ago, after her parents died in an accident—and we get a bunch of the cast together in a dark alley with Shuji, who now has the Stalker’s red eyes and is wielding a knife against Shizuo, who is bearing down on him wielding a car door he ripped off moments earlier. Then the episode ends.

I can't believe how nonchalant I am about Shizuo ripping off a car door and brandishing it as a shield! I've been watching this show for too long

This episode really doesn’t know what to do with itself. Shuji’s story does a lot to flesh out the world around its main characters, after we’ve done nothing but focus on them for a good amount of the series, but it drags on for too long and ends abruptly. The rest of the episode is flashbacks to last episode and setup for the big fight at the end, which ends on a cliffhanger.

This seems to be only part one of a two parter. As such, it’s hard to pass judgment, or say anything more. I wouldn’t review a book after 200 pages, unless it was a bad book and I was sick of it. So I’m waiting to say more until I see more.

I love how gigantic pompadours are visual shorthand for 'gang member' in anime. I wish this was true of the West, as well

Watch the episode here.

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