You know, sometimes I think it’s best to view Durarara as a dark comedy series and judge it solely on whether it made you laugh or not. Well obviously laughter plays a large part in it due to how much the anime borrows from Guy Ritchie’s most successful films, but what I’m getting at is that whilst Durarara does have some intriguing plot elements sprinkled throughout its story, its main goal is to “have fun” in the same way the Saints Row games are about having fun. And since I brought up Saints Row, dear god do I wish this show was more like that. Because whilst it gets some chuckles out of me every and now and then, Durarara ain’t even close to being the over-the-top comedic gang fest that most people say it is.
This episode serves as the conclusion to the season’s first arc, which I can only describe as an interlude/setup story given how its main purpose was just to use Celty’s courier antics/money troubles as a means to introduce Aoba – who’s a Blue Scarves member as well as the younger brother to their old leader – into the story along with getting the Orihara sisters to troll Izaya, who did jack shit for most of this arc. Okay there was setting up Ruri with Kasuka, but I very much doubt the two will become too important in the future considering this episode kind of wrapped up their side of the story in a neat way.
But like I said, I wouldn’t mind the conclusion, or the story for that matter, as being noise if it was entertaining noise. Was it? Well, it wasn’t bad, but it just seems kind of standard for Durarara’s setting, especially when you compare it with Saints Row. Hell, even if you were looking for good ol’ fisticuffs, it falls short of an action-packed climax. Celty using her shadow powers to create a web (and only that) before she, Ruri, and Egor (who it turns out was traveling in the bag she was carrying due to the Orihara sisters) go karate on everyone’s ass sounds cool in theory, but the gangsters just stand still or run into the characters’ fists for the most part, and it doesn’t even last more than a minute. They even have Shizuo finish them off afterwards, and you don’t get to actually see him throw any punches. Couple that with the fact that I don’t care about this nameless gang and all I have to say is “no, this wasn’t a satisfying interlude in the least”.
Well okay, there was “one” thing I really liked about the conclusion because it did more than just tie up loose ends. Despite my tone when I brought it up, I actually think Izaya doing jack shit for the most part in this arc is a good thing. Because despite his popularity and such, I never really found him to be “main villain who’s behind every little thing” material. He ain’t exactly The Joker, as much as most people want him to be. He’s just another player in the game who can’t be everywhere at once, and it’s nice to see someone besides Shizuo admit they’re not going to take jackshit from him. It makes him more interesting in my personal opinion.
So despite my issues, I am looking forward to seeing Aoba got nuts in the future. As well as the fedora guy from the intro – think his name is Chikage, and no that’s not a spoiler because his name (in Japanese admittedly) is in the intro. We also get a brief introduction to Akabayashi this episode, but hell if I know what he’s going to add to the story.