Home > Durarara!!, Episode Reviews > Durarara!! Episode 17 – Three’s a Crowd (of Violent Thugs)

Durarara!! Episode 17 – Three’s a Crowd (of Violent Thugs)

One of the problems with being incredibly complex is that plots in Durarara!! take a lot of time to build momentum. The last five episodes have been building up slowly, laying a foundation for some future episode, when everything will come crashing down in a frenzied mess of plot that will take us into the conclusion of the series.

That time is now.

Anri has Haruna at the tip of the actual Saika, making her listen to the voice she hears endlessly, urging her on to Saika’s particular brand of violent love. It’s only because she cannot love anyone, she claims, that she is able to keep the urge at bay.

There’s a flashback to five years ago, when Anri’s abusive father is choking her. Her mother cuts him down with Saika before slitting her own throat, leaving Anri an orphan and Saika her responsibility.

Anri had a very messed-up childhood

She doesn’t mind when Haruna slashes her ruthlessly; it’s an expression of love, after all. That’s not enough to stop Anri from using Saika to possess Haruna utterly, leaving Haruna broken by the constant voices in her head, and Anri in control of the army of Slashers Haruna has been raising. In one fell swoop, she’s gone from an unknown hiding in the shadows to leader of one of the most powerful forces in Ikebukuro.

The boy madly in love with her, Mikado, is, of course, another major player in the neighborhood. As secret leader of the Internet-based gang Dollars, he commands his own personal army of unruly Ikebukuroans. Incensed with the rumors that Celty is the Slasher, he orders his forces to get him information on the Slasher, in a vain attempt to clear her name.

Celty gives Shizuo a pair of gloves made out of the same indestructible shadow material her clothes are made of

The third major player in Ikebukuro is the Golden Bandanna gang, who have reformed after going into hiding two years ago. They’ve mostly been the stuff of rumor up to this point: it’s clear that they don’t like the Dollars, especially since Celty, whom they believe to be the Slasher, has been associated with them.

We get our first big look at the Golden Bandannas this episode, because none other than Masaomi, close friend of both Anri and Mikado, is their leader. He’s been reluctant to leader the group again, but finally decided to retake control so he could get revenge on the Slasher for cutting up Anri.

Masaomi is not happy about being a gang leader again

Controlling things from the shadows, of course, is Izaya, patiently waiting to start a three-way war that may prove Celty’s identity as a Valkyrie. Although it’s not like he needs an ulterior motive to cause chaos—from what we’ve seen, he lives to tear people and the relationships that bind them apart.

We’ll see that more in next week’s episode, but for now Izaya is content to stir the pot. Durarara!! is, at its heart, a show about crazy people forming messed-up relationships in strange circumstances. The first story arc focused mostly on romantic relationships: Shinra manipulating Celty into staying with him rather than searching for her head, Mikado’s awkward and ultimately fruitless attempts to court the cold and distant Anri, and Seiji and Mika’s relationship of mutual use.

While all this is going on, Shizuo is beating the stuffing out of a Saika-possessed mob

This arc seems to be concentrating on friendship. Anri, Mikado and Masaomi, obviously, will have their relationships with each other strained once they realized they have been manipulated into waging war on each other, and Celty and Shizuo’s friendship is starting to blossom from mutual admiration into something closer.

Their relationship has been one of the things that’s been developing slowly over the last few episodes, an advantage of the show’s fondness for skipping between multiple viewpoints. By devoting a scene or two an episode, you can let something develop almost in the background rather than grabbing everyone’s attention.

Never, ever, let an otaku fix your van

It’s a nice touch, and the kind of subtlety that few anime studios are even capable of. Brain’s Base show here why they’re one of the best (and sadly underrated) studios in the business.

Anyway, this episode got me excited about watching Durarara!! again. I’d say I can’t wait to see what happens next, but I watched the next two episodes immediately after this one. I need to catch up on writing about this.

Oh, and Shizuo is in this episode, too. He beats up a lot of guys.

Watch this episode here.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: