Durarara!! Episodes 18-19 – Don’t Look Back in Anger
We all have things we regret; dark secrets that we can’t tell anyone. The three high school freshman that form the trio of friends/secret enemies at the core of this arc are no exception. In fact, in keeping with Durarara!!’s dark tone, they’re all dire indeed.
Previous episodes dealt wiith Anri’s abuse at the hand of her father, and her assumption of the demonic sword Saika, whom she keeps at bay solely because she is incapable of loving other people. Masaomi Kida’s problems, while no less dark, are fairly mundane by contrast.
In middle school, he was the leader of a gang of delinquents known as the Yellow Scarves. A group of older kids, the Blue Squares had start to muscle in on their territory, backing them into a corner. Shortly before that, Kida met Saki Itou, a disciple of Izaya’s. As the two started dating, Saki introduced him to Izaya, and, bemused at the thought of playing with gang wars, Izaya started advising the Yellow Scarves.
With Izaya’s intelligence network and tactical knowledge, they had the upper hand. They were making the Blue Squares a laughingstock. Until the Blue Squares got serious and kidnapped Saki. Desperate, Kida turned again to Izaya, who promptly ignored him. With no one else to turn to (except his gang, whom he just ignores, for some reason), he heads to the parking garage where Saki is being held, alone.
This is his chance to be the hero. To do something meaningful for someone, for the girl he thinks he loves. And yet, he can’t bring himself to go in.
It’s something that will haunt him for the rest of his life. He doesn’t know why, whether it was fear, whether he just didn’t care enough for Saki. It is, of course, a lot to ask of a thirteen-year old kid, but it’s something he takes responsibility for, nonetheless.
Saki ends up being rescued by Kyouhei’s gang, who renounce their membership in the Blue Squares when they hear about Saki and stage a rescue, with Walker firebombing the van Saki is being held in and getting the leader of the Blue Squares arrested. However, not before she was horribly tortured at the hands of the Blue Squares. She has been at the hospital ever since.
Kida still can’t forgive himself for what happened, nor can he bring himself to tell her the truth about what happened, or even to visit her. Kyouhei lied and said Kida wasn’t able to get there in time; his gang prefers to believe what they want to believe about the Blue Squares and that night.
Kida won’t let it go and won’t deal with what happened, which, as Izaya is all too willing to remind him, means that he is still being controlled by his past. Which, incidentally, also means that he is fully in Izaya’s control.
When another female friend, Anri, is seemingly attacked by the Slasher, he has to do something. This is the impetus that puts him back at the head of the Yellow Scarves. He orders his men to find out anything they can about the Slasher, and its supposed connection to the Dollars is partly fueling the tension between the two groups.
Anri, of course, is the Slasher, and is now fully in control of the former Slasher’s forces. Izaya knows this, but Kida doesn’t. Which means Izaya is able to manipulate Kida into attacking his friend.
Anri gets curious about the Yellow Scarves and goes looking for their leader. She’s shocked when she finds out, but has to run, as she’s quickly spotted and chased by the Yellow Scarves. She has to call Celty, who she has befriended online, for help. Celty comes barreling in to the Yellow Scarf base, turns her motorcycle back into a horse, and storms off with Anri.
Unfortunately, Anri has to use Saika to fend off attacks, letting everyone know about the connection between the Slasher and Celty, and further fueling the gang war that has arisen out of these high schoolers’ troubled pasts.
I did these two episodes as one post partly because the narratives tie together, but also because after I finished watching 18, I had to immediately go and watch 19. This arc is finally hitting its stride and proving Durarara!! is the kind of show that anyone can enjoy. I’ve tried to keep plot information as light as possible so that anyone reading this will check it out for themselves and see just how good it gets.
Watch these two episodes here.