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Annotated Anime: Durarara!!x2 Ten episodes 9-12

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Last train out of Ikebukuro

I really cannot catch a break with recapping this series. When last last weekend rolled around I was only expecting to binge watch One Piece, read some dialogue heavy Owarimonogatari, and enjoy just ONE episode of Durarara!!x2 Ten. However, checking in on the stream I notice three more episodes have emerged. So fuck it. I've waited a bit longer so I can recap the remaining episodes for this cour so I can rid myself of the constant worry of being X number of episodes behind a series.

Episode 9: Eloquent & Competent
Following directly on from the previous episode, episode 9 clarifies a lot of unanswered questions that may have been raised. And it does so by exploring Izaya Orihara's backstory and his close friendship with Shinra. But first we are introduced to Nakura being interviewed about Izaya. The first thing that is striking about Nakura is that he dresses almost exactly like Izaya and that's not a coincidence seeing that Izaya has been using Nakura's name ever since the first season. Another is that we never see his eyes making me think he makes his living as a Hentai protagonist. As the episode unfolds we get more information about Izaya and Shinra's middle school days as when the former wasn't pissing off the most dangerous man in Ikebukuro, he was being hounded to form a biology club and running an illegal baseball betting ring inside the school. Izaya continues to be one of the most interesting characters in the whole show. He is often portrayed as an overarching antagonist but with episodes like these he fits more in the anti-hero role.  

Episode 10: Blessed are the Foolish
I really hope the Durarara!! cast will stop expanding otherwise we'll be heading towards Bleach syndrome. This episode is narrated by that scary dude with a wicked scar and sunglasses that work for the Blue Squares. His name is Ran Izumii older brother of Aoba Kuronuma. The origin of the scar? It was when Dota-chin's group saved Saki in the first colour gang war. Yep, the narrator was the leader of the Blue Squares back then. When I first saw that flashback I thought that dude was a minor character as the subject was Masaomi and him being in over his head with the gang wars. His more recent appearances are tied to Izaya's recently acquired muscle group. While not a whole lot happens this episode, the incident at the end of the episode is the trigger for the finale and it's all orchestrated by Izaya himself. 

What makes Izaya so fascinating is that is loyalties are constantly changing, his actions are hard to predict, and everything that happens in the series is somehow linked to him. He's a character that if hidden from the viewer would supply the mystery portion of a show but instead he is always open with his schemes and plans. It makes him a lot more relatable despite not being able to predict his motives, moves, or actions. 

Episode 11: Birds of a Feather
The effects of Kyohei's incident spread through Ikebukuro as the rest of his group: Walker and Saburo hit all the major gangs trying to sniff out who was the one that planned the hit on Dota-chin. I'm not too sure if Saburo is barking up the right tree as he starts to target high school kids loitering outside of a supermarket. They're not even old enough to drive and yet you try to shake them down for information!? Walker is smarter and goes for the newly reformed Yellow scarves being headed by Masaomi. After a tense stand-off between the two, Walker is assured that Masaomi will snuff out the culprit if they are within his crew. Kyohei's Gang are known to be goofy oddballs that fight for the right side and for that they're super likable within the show. I've never realised the extremely psychopathic and violent nature of Kyohei's gang. They are willing to make threats of arson and torture to those that cross them, all with a smile and manga on the mind. They're like crazy otaku except out for blood and not limited edition phone cards.

On the other side of the city, Mikado and Aoba round up their gang to go to an abandoned building so Mikado can surf the web. I'm amazed that they are able to get such a strong internet connection in an unused building, but this is Japan we are talking about. The Wi-Fi there is better than my "fibre optic" connection used to write this post. Throughout this whole cour, we have barely spent time with Mikado. He's always on the periphery or briefly shown after major events. This separation shows us how different he has become from his former shy, schoolboy self. He's now is a cold calculating gang leader under the influence of Aoba. 

Episode 12: It Takes A Thief To Catch A Thief 
It's time for the last episode to wrap up the middle cour. With the news of Shizuo getting arrested, Verona starts to wonder how she is able to repay the lanky bartender for all his favours like the canned coffee and fancy take whilst also debating when is the ideal time to kill him off would be. She runs into an old buddy Sloan who is now working for Izaya as his hired muscle as part of compensation with the Awakusu. Speaking of Awakusu, Akabayashi pays Mikado and the rest of the Blue Squares a visit under the direction of Celty and basically asks the Dollars to join the Awakusu in the most gangster fashion i.e. join us or we'll destroy you. He also brings along Shuji Niekawa, the reporter father of Haruna (the antagonistic Seika from last time) since he is still looking for his daughter and has traced her to the Dollars. However, we all know that Haruna is actually part off Izaya's newly formed motley crew.

Unlike previous series finales, there isn't a whole lot of action in this episode. Walker comes face to burnt face with Ran Izumii looking for revenge. This fight doesn't last long at all and is interrupted in the funniest way possible. A huge turn of character from Izumii as he receives a phone call from presumably Izaya calling him off fighting Walker. As the episode winds down, Celty confronts Mikado about everything; what the hell has he been doing this entire arc? Turns out he is purging the whole of the Dollars of troublemakers, those that rock the boat and go against his word. Hanging out with Aoba has changed him and now he is preparing for war with Masaomi and the Yellow Scarves since Masaomi's plan is to stop Mikado's mad power trip. 

Both are very capable leaders of their respective factions and it really reminds me of Death Note. L and Light never fought personally but were always trying to out-predict one another which we get a glimpse of near the end of this episode. The final shot for this cour is quite bizarre. If anyone remembers the UFO ending in Silent Hill where all the previous protagonists greet the player after passing the threshold then you will have a very similar feeling at the end of this one. Confused, oddly comforted but unable to shake what you have just experienced.

It's sad to already time to depart from the urban jungle of Ikebukuro. I feel this middle cour was very meandering. Not much happened and was all preparation for the big fight for the final part of the season. The joys of Durarara!! weren't wasted in this cour as it still provided lots of colourful characters presented with wonderful and strong voice direction. Finding out how all the characters are intertwining, connecting, and tangentially related to one another is still the double-edged sword of the show. It's not entirely necessary to understand all the character's relationships with each other, but it helps engrain yourself into the world of Durarara!!

[Watch Durarara!!x2 Ten on Crunchy Roll]

[Watch Durarara!!x2 Ten on Crunchy Roll]


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Anthony Redgrave
Anthony RedgraveContributor   gamer profile

Born in the 90's, Anthony was raised on Anime and cultivated a strong passion for Japanese culture and paraphernalia. He has dabbled all manner of web shenanigans; from webcomics to game developm... more + disclosures


 



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