Durarara!!x2: Episode 3 — Hollywood Is A Lie

Giving up on blogging The Rolling Girls episodically. I’m still watching it, but as I was trying to write about what happened this week, I realized that the horrendously awkward tone the show uses to tell its story made it all but impossible to get some meaty writing out of the whole she-bang that wasn’t better suited for a final review. I don’t like talking about aesthetics weekly and that show relies too heavily on them for its appeal, so it looks like Durarara!!x2 will be the only show I cover weekly this season. Oh well.

In this episode, we get introduced to that pop idol girl who only got a brief cameo last season to the point most people might not remember her: Hijiribe Ruri. As you probably guessed from the OP and the fact that they’re both in the entertainment business, she becomes acquainted with Kasuka Heiwajima (Shizuo’s stone-faced brother if you don’t remember) after the incident from last episode sent her flying and we learn that she’s a supernatural being who lusts for violence. A dig at how all idols are fake inside? Is her name being Hollywood a current-day Sunset Boulevard-like takedown of the film industry? Well I can’t prove that’s not true.

There were two major plotlines in this episode focusing on both sides of the fight that Shizuo broke up, both linked by Shinra’s treatment of the bartender’s victims. Ruri’s side of the story was focused on developing a relationship with Kasuka and media portrayal vs. true self, both in regards to their personalities and circumstance. We already know that despite his talents as an actor, Kasuka is a monotone guy who might as well be the anime version of Peter Sellers, but this episode portrayed just how insane he is with that viewpoint. I mean you’d have to be insane to protect a serial killer that thought about killing you (granted Kasuka took precautions against that), although the fact that she’s a cute girl does come as a bit too fictional for my taste. Pretty sure he would have done the same if Ruri had been Egor, but I’ll never have visual proof of that, now will I?

Ruri herself is a scared lonely girl (of course she is) who is the complete opposite of Celty in terms of circumstance in that she’s well-respected by the public but she’s a literal vampire on the inside. We don’t really explore that side of her beyond surface level, but the one thing that was interesting about her was the realization that everyone around her is insane and she’s really no different than anyone else. And of course that’s the case in a city that consists of a super strong bartender and a headless Dullahan, but whilst the latter is the final straw for her mind, it’s her reaction to Kasuka’s exaggerated monotone behavior that’s the most interesting. He’s a human who’s also in the entertainment industry like her, but it’s not the circumstance of his birth that makes him more human than her. It’s how he embraces the insanity around him, as well as his own. Because let’s be honest, most humans have a little bit of insanity in them. You’d have to be in order to give Iggy Azalea the popularity that she has.

But of course, this insanity is not what the media sees and portrays to the public. They see two famous people who are good at their jobs. When said people kiss, they see a scandal, a fact that Kasuka uses that as a weapon to get Ruri to safety. If they can’t get to the actual subjects, they’ll turn to anyone who has some connection to them, which was why Shinra got accosted on his way home. And they will come in droves, sometimes out of nowhere, which is why Ruri’s pursuers couldn’t get to her. Also, whilst the kiss might in of itself be fake, you’d be hard-pressed to convince that nothing is going to come from it, Mr. and Mrs. Smith-style. Who better for Ruri to be with than the man who made her come to this week’s lesson, right?

Plot-wise, Durarara isn’t really doing anything new here other than the execution being more cartoonish. Actors/idols being fake on the outside is not a new thing in of itself and has been portrayed much better in other entertainment, even discounting Sunset Boulevard (Chris Rock’s recent Top Five film for example). It’s pretty much doing the same thing Parasyte is doing with its coming-of-age themes, although the way it’s doing it is a little funnier and the “everyone is insane on the inside” spin is enough to make it stand out a little. Nothing great, but a step-up from the last episode and especially the first one.

Extra Notes:

– The other plotline revolves around Shinra treating Egor at the Russian sushi place with the Orihara sisters fronting the money for said treatment, which turns out to be some of the money that Celty lost to begin with. It’s nowhere near as interesting on a plot-related level so I’m not going to comment on it. Shingen still remains a quirky ball of fun though. Glad he’s getting more screen time.

– There’s a third plotline revolving around the younger characters getting chased by a biker gang and some former Yellow Scarves guy in the aftermath of Kasuka’s scandal, but it’s not really worth commenting on at this point considering it was just setup for next week. Although it was a little funny to see Saburo and the Orihara twins crying at the news.

– Pity the way the show chose to carry out this message was through a bunch of narration and talking heads, but what can you do?

– Izaya getting frustrated is kind of funny to watch.

– I do really recommend Top Five if you’re in the mood for a good insight into a comedian’s life, especially one as talented as Chris Rock. Didn’t really excite me at first, but that movie gets better in my mind the more I think about it.

2 responses to “Durarara!!x2: Episode 3 — Hollywood Is A Lie

  1. Totally agreed about Rolling Girls. Watched about 7 minutes last night and fell asleep. Might try finish it later today. It’s a shame too because it really feels competently directed but it’s being let down by a script that wants to be wacky (though it isn’t funny) and focuses on the least interesting characters in the show. Wait, that actually sounds like Durarara!!

    • Those three were only on focus for one arc though. They haven’t had any focus this arc and the pre-Yellow Scarves ones only focused on one of them at a time.