Durarara!! – Ep 17 – Everything Changes

Posted on May 22 2010

Sometimes I let my sarcastic nature and general cynicism about anime completely take over the HoungBlog – it’s been pointed out to me, more than once, don’t worry. But I’m about to say something that I need you to read as completely free of sarcasm and 100% serious: freakin’ awesome episode! Oh, Durarara!!, you cheeky scamp…you do know how to keep a blogger on her tippy toes.

For example, remember last time, when I mused that I wanted to know Sonohara’s true backstory and wondered how long it would take the series to cough up that info? (You do memorize my every word, right?) As it turns out, the answer is…about ten minutes! I know! I was shocked, too!

So Sonohara did not have the most awesome family life growing up. Her dad had a business that wasn’t what you’d call successful and took out his anger over his inadequacy on his wife and daughter. As a result of years of abuse, Sonohara shut herself off to love – which is understandable for a victim of prolonged abuse and also achingly sad. Eventually her mother came to be in possession of Saika and murdered her father before killing herself. (There’s no mention of Sonohara’s relationship with her mother, but I guess if you grow up with the understanding that one parent is unable to protect you from the other and then they both die in brutal, bloody ways in the front of you, we can assume it wasn’t a happy, loving, fun time between mom and daughter.)

I do wish that we got a little information about how her mother got a hold of Saika, but I’ll suppress my annoyance for now. And who knows – we might find out more later. Wouldn’t that be neato!

Anyhow, back in real time, Sonohara shares a bit of Saika with Niekawa and Niekawa finds it very overwhelming. How does Sonohara bear it, she wants to know? Sonohara tells her, basically, that it’s something she’s able to deal with because she’s so closed off emotionally. Sort of a yin and yang situation, Sonohara’s completely lack of love-feelings and Saika’s over-the-top lovey-dovey-ness work together.

Niekawa goes a little nuts and starts cutting up Sonohara, but our girl lays the smack down and puts her in her place. By which I mean, she takes away her Slasher-powers and in turn changes all the Slasher-zombies back to normal.

Here the creepo teacher comes to his senses and urges Sonohara to run away (with him, of course). But she’s all, “dude, calm yourself, I owed you one so now it’s gravy.” And then he freaks out and runs away, true to form.

Selty collects Niekawa to take her to see the Doc and shares a little moment with Sonohara. She tells her, more or less, no hard feelings and also says she doesn’t think she could beat Sonohara in a fight. Come on, Selty, don’t be so modest! As she leaves, she tells Sonohara to use her powers for the good of the city. Being as Sonohara can basically control hundreds or people, it should be interesting to see how that unfolds…

As Sonohara and Niekawa are doing their thing, Shizzy is across town single-handedly taking on a huge mob of Slasher-zombies. He makes a interesting comment during his internal monologue that his strength doesn’t come from bravery or a lack of fear – in fact, he’s plagued constantly by fear, fear of screwing up, fear of going too far. I think we’ve heard echoes of that before and I like it for his character. It gives him some humanity and keeps him from being just another comic-relief cliche.

He’s a little confused when the zombies change back into normal people – who wouldn’t be?! – but he’s so relieved that he was able to fight without killing anybody that he falls to the ground laughing. Well. Okay.

Later, Mikado goes to visit Sonohara in the hospital. She tells him about being attacked by the Slasher (not quite a lie…) but emphasizes that she was saved by a couple people, namely Shizzz and Selty. Mikado is pretty upset by all this, though he tries to hide it. And of course he doesn’t know that Sonohara is the Slasher (the original, anyway) or that she takes her own happiness from Saika’s, so when he puts the word out among the Dollars to gather information about the Slasher (presumably to fight over the lady’s honor) one can’t help but be a little horrified at what he’s potentially setting into motion. Horrified…and intrigued…!

This won’t surprise anyone, but we also learn that Izaya is involved. He claims to have set up the whole thing to have gone down just the way it did (sending the teacher to Sonohara’s house and such), but I have to wonder if that’s the truth or just bluster and arrogance.

At any rate, there’s an interesting three-pronged disturbance unfolding: the Slasher (who’s scary and dangerous, according to people who live in the city), the Dollars (headed by Mikado, who wants to avenge/protect Sonohara) and the Yellow Scarves (headed by Kida, who want to serve beatings on poor, defenseless Sonohara’s behalf). The Dollars wonder if the Yellow Scarves are more involved with the Slasher than anyone will admit, and the Yellow Scarves wonder the same about the Dollars, though with all of her dormant zombies wandering around, Sonohara’s probably got people in both groups AND she needs neither avenging nor protecting.

None of this is lost on Izaya, of course. He wants to control Saika and the zombies that come along with it but he’s content to sit back and let things reach their boiling point. For now.

So we have a whole bunch of things beginning to happen and I imagine in the next few episodes we’ll see the ante upped and tensions start to rise even higher. I’m most interested to see what happens between the three friends, but of course with Izaya waiting in the wings, even if by some miracle it’s not totally horrible, you know something bad is still headed their way.

Bring it on, Durarara!!

Next time: Out of Your Control
For the love of Pete, take off that silly yellow bandana! You look like a doofus!

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  • Sandgolem May 24, 2010 at 12:13 AM

    Jeeezus, I have to watch this series myself. Been meaning to catch up on the series on CR but instead I end up reading your blog while eating breakfast. :3 As soon as we get to the series finale I’ll have to have a Houndblog Marathon in Combo with the Actual Series.

  • Threeight May 24, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    I think that Anri’s mother got Saika from her husband, who was the owner of an antique shop.

    Some episodes ago, Shinra said that his dad used Saika to steal Celty’s head and then he sold it tp the owner of an antique shop. So Anri’s mother got Saika from her husband, who got it from Shinra’s dad.

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