Being a strapping great black guy trying to sell Russian sushi in Japan has to be a pretty tough gig by any stretch of the imagination... Thank goodness then that Simon also has a second job narrating episode three of Durarara!!
Anyhow, that aside, this instalment of the series sees our protagonist Mikado Ryugamine feeling a little blue as city life seems to be getting him down - All this despite the fact that he's just been made male class representative alongside Anri Sonohara, who (through Mikado's eyes) seemed to be all but imploring him to raise his hand and take the job. Any such vibes seem to disappear as quickly as Anri does when he tries to talk to her however, only serving to darken his mood a little further.
From here, the remainder of the episode is a rather madcap meandering through Ikebukuro, as Masaomi's hunt for women to seduce (unsuccessfully, needless to say) turns into talk about the various factions of "Dollars", gangs which roam around the city. Next thing we know, Mikado and Masaomi come across Anri being bullied by a bunch of girls and an absolutely hilariously stereotypical gangster - A scenario which has Mikado dreaming of rescuing Anri in a blaze of glory, before his role in that particular production takes a rather less spectacular turn as Izaya Orihara does his bit to save the day instead. Throw in an angry Shizuo Heiwajima (who in turn throws in several dangerous objects of his own), our free-falling coloured Russian friend, and all Hell generally breaking loose, et voila! One episode of Durarara!!, served up on a steaming hot plate for you.
After feeling a little unsure of what this series was about last episode, this third instalment makes me feel as though I finally "get it" - Tokyo is a huge city, and both Durarara!! and its characters are a human representation of everything that a modern city is about; it's manic, it's sprawling, it's insane, it's inviting, it's frightening and it's energising.... quite frequently all at the same time. Somehow, this single episode manages to represent all of these aspects of city living in a fabulously entertaining way, to the point where it doesn't matter whether you know what they Hell is going on or not - Even if you don't have the slightest clue, it's still jaw-dropping to watch. With the animation backing up that city feeling, the soundtrack kicking ass, the humour working perfectly, the larger than life characters making the most of their screen time and the little Yozakura Quartet homage making me smile, this was the kind of thing I was hoping for from Durarara!!, and boy did it deliver.