Durarara!! – Ep 07 – Strongest Man Alive

Posted on Mar 13 2010

Hello, kids. It’s your favorite time of the week again. Yes, I have returned with another installment of our favorite series. Gather ’round for Durarara!! time.

(If I seem particularly insightful this week, it’s because I’ve just turned a year older and have grown even more wise practically overnight.)

So! Episode 7 brings us some backstory on Shizuo (Shizzy if you’re nasty). I’m going to say up front that I don’t think this is the series’ strongest episode thus far – the art is looking less polished than usual and the story just doesn’t seem that relevant. I mean, it’s backstory on a character and his motivations, so yay, but at the same time it feels a little shallow. Everything pertinent could have been said in half the time – or less.

Perhaps I’m just feeling picky in my old age. Let’s see how this unfolds…

Like I said, we’re following the Shiz and getting his take on life. Here’s what we learn in the first five minutes:

  • he’s a really violent man who hates violence (yeah, right)
  • general opinion of him is that he’s REALLY SCARY
  • he works for a debt collector named Tom-san
  • something stinks

I don’t know about you, but none of that strikes as new or interesting information. I guess Tom-san is a new face, but how important is he to the story? Should I care about him?

Later we also learn in an extremely heavy-handed way (I rolled my eyes until they fell out of my head – ugh) that Shizzy has a younger brother, Kasuka, who’s a famous, handsome actor. (Debut film: Carmilla Saizo, Vampire Ninja.) Shizzista then beats the crap out of the guy who tried to talk to him about his brother. Because that’s a totally valid reaction. Bad writing makes me mad, too, but COME ON.

Here we also learn about his super-strength, via CHILDHOOD FLASHBACK WOOOOOOOO! Basically, something pisses him off and then he goes CRAZY and is super-strong. HOWEVER (and this is maybe the first interesting thing that’s happened) every time he does that he also harms his body in some way. It hurts and it sucks and it lands him in the hospital every time, but he keeps doing it.

It bears noting as well that, while Shizzam is ruled by his emotions, his brother seems to have none at all. Creepy.

I have to pause here for the BEST scene in the episode: Shizzy and the Doc meet up with Selty outside school, and the Doc gets all crazy on her for staying out all night because he’s jealous. Selty isn’t about to take that crap from him, so she proceeds to “stab” him over and over in the solar plexus with her fingers. LOVED IT. You get ‘im, girl.

So, by the time Shizzyshizz gets to high school, he’s pretty much a stone-cold killer. Enter my favorite sociopath, Izaya, to stir the pot. Izaya is, so far as we know, the only person who’s any kind of match for Shizzzzzz’s power. And of course they become instant mortal enemies, etc, etc.

Shizuo is still fighting like mad, but the physical reprocussions for his actions seem to have disappeared. I don’t know if that’s because he drank so much milk that now he no longer suffers those consequences, or he’s broken all his bones so many times that they’ve all turned to steel and now can’t be broken, or if the writers just got lazy and hoped we would ignore the lapse in storytelling. Things like this really bug me in anime. CONSIDER ME BUGGED!

Meanwhile, le Shizz can’t hold down a job because he refuses to keep his temper in check. Finally he ends up tending bar and his (now famous) brother stops by with boxes of bartender uniforms and a little mini-lecture about how he needs to stop switching jobs so much. But here’s the thing: he isn’t losing his job because he doesn’t have the right uniform! He’s losing his job because he’s a CRAZY FREAK who REFUSES to control HIS RIDICULOUS TEMPER.

It’s not long before he switches jobs again (see, NOT an issue with the uniform) and goes to work as muscle for Tom-san, a debt collector. I guess this is a sort of good career change, because it’s a place where his stupid anger can be channeled into busting kneecaps and such, so…good for him.

You think he’d be happy but of course he’s not because life is so haaaaard and he’s so lonnnnnnely and nobody understaaaaaands him (except Selty a little), booo hooo hoooo. He wishes for the strength to control himself, but I don’t know how he expects that to happen when he clearly is unwilling to put forth any real effort to that effect. Ugh. I’m so over this guy!

I really hope another character (I HOPE IT’S SELTY) comes along and gives this guy the smack in the head he so desperately needs, but I guess I won’t hold my breath.

You tell me: am I being unreasonable and crochety in my old age? Should I cut this guy some slack? Did you find his story interesting or is it as one-dimensional (and overall boring) as I think it is? Would you like to see Selty karate chop this guy into oblivion?

Just curious.

Next Time: Life is Transient.
I think I saw that on a fortune cookie once…

You Might Also Like...