Alright, I’m going to attempt to watch Durarara!! again…
— The episode starts off with Shizuo kicking some butt.
— Oh hey, it’s those chatrooms again. They strike me as, well, an easy way for the show to cut animation costs. Is it bad that this is the first thing I think of when I see these scenes? Well c’mon, I’m literally sitting here, watching a bunch of chatroom messages pop up onscreen. It’s not exactly the most compelling thing to watch.
— So what I can gather from this quick chat is that there’s still a ton of tension between Bakyura (Masaomi) and Kanri (Izaya), and that Saika (Anri) is one of those boring “Minna, let’s all try to get along” kind of person.
— Actually, screw their online handles. I’ll just use their actual names.
— Celty eventually gets online to complain about how she lost her money, so Izaya lets her know that the annoying show business dude from last week has pretty much put a bounty on Celty’s, uh, non-existent head. This sounds like trouble for our headless heroine, but sadly, the rest of the episode isn’t about her whatsoever.
— Uh, sure…
— But what actually led to Shinra being trapped in a ball turns out to be nothing special. He cheers Celty up a bit, but errs when he cops a feel. So when she left to do her next job, she pretty much just left him stuck like that.
— In the next scene, Mairu introduces herself to her class. She’s not a shy girl as she proudly proclaims her interest in porn books among other things.
— She also drops the fact that she’s bisexual, and hey, I don’t really care if she’s bi or not. I just find it funny that she’s that type of bi, i.e. she will be with only one guy, but she’ll have as many female partners as possible. No, I’m not saying that the anime is oppressing bisexuals or anything. It’s just one of those eye-rolling moments. Not only is she bi, she has no limits with girls, so start fantasizing, boys! And not only does she have no limits with girls, she and her sister are incestuous lovers! Wow!
— In contrast, Kururi is “shy” even though she wears a PE uniform to class. Also, she says nothing, and takes her seat immediately. Okay.
— Blah blah blah, Mikado and Anri are in the same class again. It must be fate.
— Later, one of the new students walks up to Mikado and openly talks about how the main character is in the Dollars gang. I guess we’re supposed to wonder what Aoba’s motives are, but the scene doesn’t really build to anything. We just simply find out that Aoba’s the reason why Mikado and Anri were talking about showing an underclassman around in the first episode.
— It feels like the series is still introducing the characters for our benefit, but ironically, I just want some sort of actual plot to take shape. Case in point, Anri runs into Shinra’s dad, who mentions the magical, talking sword inside her. Yeah, sure, I didn’t watch much of the first series, so I only know a scant bit about Saika. And judging by how the sword says, “Although you only let me slash the souls of bizarre monsters overseas,” I’m guessing that Shingen is responsible for Celty’s current state.
— Even so, like I’ve said, I’m not particularly interested in watching these blatant character introductions. I’d much rather just get to know the characters as they’re actually doing something, because action provides the most characterization. But really, Shingen hands Anri his card, and then the scene ends. There’s a vaguely unsatisfying feeling, because while these scenes and thus the characters are all connected to each other like some intricate web, nothing that I’ve seen so far is actually legitimately interesting.
— And oh yeah, she runs into this tall, menacing guy…
— Izaya explains to Namie how his twin sisters tick. Supposedly, they decided that one of them should be nerdy and quiet, and as a result, the other one should be outgoing and popular. This way, they form a balanced party like an RPG! Uh… that’s something, I guess. But what it ultimately means for the story, your guess is as good as mine.
— Being new to the school, the twin sisters find themselves being picked on by a group of mean girls. Unfortunately, you can’t really intimidate Mairu, as the girl immediately beats the tar out of her would-be bullies. As for Kururi, Aoba ends up defending her, but it’s not like she needed any help. Still, the guy gets a kiss from both sisters out of it. Again, what does this mean? Shrug. We’re just forming connections the characters, basically.
— And with that, the story proceeds to wrap itself up. The twins were the ones who found and picked up Celty’s money. They also find the tall guy all bloodied and beaten up, but he asks them for direction to the Russian sushi restaurant. Finally, some men barge into Shinra’s apartment, and then the credits roll.
— What are my impressions of the first two episode? My impressions are that a lot of these scenes will look cool — certainly, they’ll be eye-catching right from the get-go — but I don’t find any of them particularly interesting after it is all said and done.
And so far, the whole is not greater than the sum of the parts. Sure, there’s plenty of time for the story to get intriguing, but what it is right now is something that’s just really kind of boring. It’s like that scene with Shinra. When you first see it, you’re like, “Man, what happened here!” But what follows is nothing exciting whatsoever. Now repeat this for twenty minutes, and you pretty much have this episode.