Home > Durarara!!, Episode Reviews > Durarara!! Episode 16 – What is Love? (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)

Durarara!! Episode 16 – What is Love? (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)

It’s pretty much been determined that Saika, a sword possessed by a demon, is behind the rash of slashings that have been happening around Ikebukuro, so I want you to think for a moment: if you were a sentient sword, what would your life be like?

Would you have emotions, desires, wants or needs? What could a sentient sword possibly want or need, anyway? I mean, it’s a weapon: a tool designed for killing things. Its only way of interacting with the world, good or bad, is cutting things.

So, if you fell in love with humanity, and wanted to express that love in a concrete way that people would see, what would you do? Well, you’d cut them, of course.

This episode shows Shizuo's door-tearing-off at a better angle

Yes, this is the main motivation behind the slashings: a demonic sword has developed a twisted love for all of humanity, and wants to spread it by cutting people. Because, if you really loved something and wanted to share that love with the world, you’d make babies. Little demon sword babies inside of people.

This is one of the most brilliantly stupid things I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe no one has thought of it before.

I think I’ve covered this before, but twisted love is one of the major themes on Durarara!! Of the various relationships in the show—Celty and Shinra, Mika and Seiji, etc.—every single one of them has some major perversity to them.

Erika thinks Shizuo and Izaya have a love/hate relationship going on like in a Boys Love manga. Which would also be twisted love, if it was real. Which it isn't, fangirls

Harima and Seiji are consciously in love with the deluded images each has of the other, but don’t mind because their devotion is so obsessive. Namie’s protective devotion to Seiji is similarly obsessive, hinting that it might run in the family.

Celty and Shinra are mostly together because of the years Shinra spent trying to manipulate her into giving up the search for her head, and because of her despair at being so close to finding it, without any success.

And yet, a sentient sword that shows its love by slashing its victims so it can turn them into copies of itself probably takes the ‘messed-up love’ cake.

Never bring a knife to a gigantic roadside barrier fight

So, with that revelation, Durarara!! starts accelerating to its conclusion. If the last few episodes have merely been setup for what is coming, this episode is where everything actually starts happening.

We know Izaya is planning to throw Celty’s world into chaos, and its hinted that he has something to do with Saika, but to what extent he’s actually involved remains to be seen. That will likely be the thrust of future episodes, but for now the focus is on Saika and her identity. Because, you see, the Saika inhabiting Shuji in the last episode is just a copy.

The kitchen knife Shuji had on him is not Saika. Unless Saika was made in 2009

So is the one attached to his daughter, Haruna Niekawa, who shows up and threatens Anri because she is being stalked by a teacher at her school, Takashi Nasujima, who Haruna was in a relationship with until she showed him how much she loved him, Saika-style.

It’s really a great scene. Despite Haruna holding her up with a knife, accusing her of being a parasite, Anri starts to turn the tables. “Do you know how hard it is to be a parasite? How much you have to sacrifice of yourself?”

Haruna is all kinds of crazy. You can see it in the eyes

The way Anri acknowledges and despises her passive dependence on others has made her my favorite character in the show. Usually these kinds of characters are irritating because of their passivity and ineptitude, contributing nothing to the show, but Anri has already shown she’s stronger and more capable than that. As this episode shows, she is fully aware of what she has become.

But if she’s doing it consciously, and not out of some weakness of character, then why? Why put herself through a life of self-loathing torment? Why make herself into something so despicable?

Wait. We know that Anri is afraid of getting close to anyone; it’s why she’s not interested in Mikado. We know Saika turns her love into bloody stabbings. But, according to Shinra, Saika hasn’t been active for the last five years, presumably because someone stronger than it was holding it at bay. We know Anri has been alone and unloved since her parents died, five years ago, under mysterious circumstances.

Suddenly, everything makes a lot more sense, doesn't it?

Oh. Ohhhhhhh.

You can watch this episode for free, here.

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