Friday, 19 March 2010

Durarara!! - Episode 11

The last episode ended with more than a subtly change in Mikado's attitude and behaviour, as everything seemed to suddenly click into place for this previously mild-mannered teenager. So, just what is the secret that he's been hiding throughout the series so far?

Before this is revealed however, the new-look Mikado has some work to do - Namely, brazenly calling up Namie Yagiri to tell her that he knows where the girl she's looking for is and that he wants to make a deal. Thus, Namie heads out into the middle of Ikebukuro, where Mikado lays out his simple demands to her - In short, he wants the truth, about both Mika Harima and where her current head has come from.


Needless to say, Namie isn't going to play ball this request, particular for a scrawny kid, and it's at this point where the magic happens, as a simply e-mail from Mikado's phone turns the tables in a massive show of strength that is beyond merely impressive. From here, we have to flashback to before Mikado moved to Tokyo to find out exactly what's going on, as he is revealed as the near-inadvertent "mastermind" behind the Dollars, a viral online experiment of sorts that has grown beyond its wildest dreams, and a source of power which he now finally has to call upon to help him out in this particular time of need.

Even if you feel a little short-changed by the way Mikado's true nature has been revealed by Durarara!! (and personally, I can't say I feel that way at all), you can't help but admire the fantastic way in which the layers were pulled away over the course of this episode. Quite simply, the entire scenario which unfolded here was one of those classic moments which helps you to remember why you love anime - It's clever, it's effective, it's audacious, and it leaves you both gawping and grinning at the same time as the hero of the day plays his trump card. It's fantastic stuff, set against a story of the Dollars which genuinely resonates in these times of viral marketing and the power of online media, be it social networking or otherwise. In many ways this was perhaps the simplest and most tightly focused episode of Durarara!!, but it most certainly didn't suffer from it - Far from it, it was everything I could have hoped for it and plenty more besides.

9 comments:

temperus said...

I really liked the twist about the Dollars in the last episode, although it wasn't totally unexpected they really managed to get as much surprise out of it as possible.

Also, they're really going nuts with the references and Baccano tie-ins.. it's starting to get a little obnoxious (even if I am happy to see Isaac and Miria again).

I do wonder where I can copies of Mindows7 and wbunte, because I too would like to browser Amezon and Yohoo :)

Shinmaru said...

The reveal is a bit contrived, but it's also obviously exaggerated for effect, so I think it's pretty cool, and visually it is awesome. The shift from grayscale to color is especially neat.

What I really like about it is that the group's inexplicable growth was definitely not something intended by Mikado -- he just wanted to connect to something outside the boring confines of his hometown, and he got something much more than he originally sought. What's interesting is that it is unbelievable from the standpoint of "reality", but if you look at it from the standpoint of social networking on the 'net, I can easily imagine a scenario where so many people are connected.

It's much less sinister than the bleeding together of reality and 'net shown in Serial Experiments Lain, haha.

(Side note: I hope none of those lame Facebook groups becomes Dollars powerful someday!)

abandonedfactory said...

I thought the reveal was handled well from a visual perspective. Throughout the series extra people have been gray silhouettes, with few distinguishing features. In the big Dollars reveal, the gray extras get progressively filled with color. It was an interesting idea for visually communicating a plot point.

JW said...

What abandoned said.

Fantastic, simply fantastic!

My question is, what's up with Celty? I guess she doesn't want her head any more. What's she gonna do now? Marry Shinra?

kazekaeru said...

Did Shinra's proposal feel like a "DEATH FLAG" to anyone else?...Haven't spoiled myself, so I wouldn't know...but I call it.

Hanners said...

I certainly agree that this episode got a fantastic visual treatment - I didn't even mention it because the animation quality of this show has been so consistently good throughout.

As for Selty's behaviour, that was quite a surprise to me too... Not entirely sure what that was all about.

Anonymous said...

It seemed like Celty had just snapped.

Peter S said...

I like to think of it as Celty outing herself. As for her head, maybe she took to heart Shinra's question from a few eps back. Her head has a body of its own now. She isn't the type of person who would steal it back.

I don't mind the Baccano references. When Isaac and Miria showed up I was shouting "YES!! YES!!" at my screen.

And I could care less about how the reveal was managed. Who'd have thought it was Mikado who invented the Dollars? Just that fact is enough to make it work.

JW said...

@Peter S
Ohhh!!

So it was like, "Yeah, I've got no head, whatcha gonna do about it? ...oh, scream and run away. Okay."