Durarara!! – Ep 18 – Out of Your Control

Posted on May 29 2010

I think the mark of a well-developed character is that you sympathize with and root for him/her, even if you don’t always agree with him/her or even totally like him/her. Kida is one of those characters for me and the episodes that tell his story tend to be the ones that resonate with me the most. Sometimes I want to smack him and sometimes I want to hug him, but when he’s on screen, at the very least he’s got my attention.

We get some more of his backstory in this episode, revolving around the mysterious girl he keeps going to see in the hospital. Her name is Saki and they used to date – two people thrown together by Izaya’s warped master plan, whatever that is. Hmmmmmm. Perhaps not a relationship fated to last long or bring great happiness?

So, way back when – more than a year ago in the timeline of the story – Kida was leader of the Bad Fashion Sense…I mean…Yellow Scarves gang. While out one day with his posse, he met a young lady (Saki) whose pick-up line is, “I like your yellow scarf,” so I immediately have a disliking for her. Then it turns out she’s buddy-buddy with Izaya and I know she’s trouble.

Kida and Saki start dating and she encourages him to turn to Izaya when there are troubles in his gang. She seems to have blind faith in him, but Kida is more suspicious. Smart boy, I say.

Meanwhile, the Yellow Scarves and the Blue Squares are in near-constant war. Kida seems very affronted that the Blue Squares fight dirty (uh…it’s a gang?) and turns to Izaya once again. With his advice on how to fight even dirtier, the Yellow Scarves start kicking some butt – and there the trouble starts.

The leader of the Blue Squares kidnaps Saki and, in a particularly horrific telephone exchange, breaks one of her legs while Kida listens, helpless. He tries to turn to Izaya once again but can’t reach him so he rushes off to save her.

He gets almost to where she’s being held and then…stops. He knows what’s waiting for him and he knows it isn’t good and he’s scared of facing it. At the same time, he knows Saki needs him and even that knowledge isn’t enough to spur him into action. He’s too scared. Remember: he’s just a kid, not even in high school yet. This is heavy stuff for someone so young.

Luckily, about the same time Kadota and his merry bunch hear about the plan to hurt Saki and intervene themselves. As they leave, they pass Kida – still standing the street, frozen in place, hating himself. It broke my cold little heart.

Saki makes it to the hospital and survives (though she’s still in the hospital a year later, so it must be really serious). Kida can’t bring himself to go visit her, he’s too sick over not being able to help her. He runs into Kadota outside the hospital one day and learns that she can see him from her window – yikes.

Kadota also says that he told Saki that Kida was detained by Blue Squares and that’s why he couldn’t get to her. Kida is really upset by that little intervention, and Kadota says, to paraphrase, “listen up, you little punk: either you go on with the lie and punish yourself with guilt or you tell her the truth and face her reaction. Either way it sucks, but that’s life. Quit whining and grow a pair.”

It’s not clear what Kida ends up telling her. I wonder if/when we’ll get to see that conversation.

In the present-time storyline, Kida is reigning over the Yellow Scarves and trying to figure out how to get at the Slasher and whether the Dollars are involved. One night at his super-secret hideout, a girl is sighted sneaking around, peeking in windows. Kida orders his men to catch her and bring her to him. We learn, though he doesn’t, that the girl is Anri – and now she knows that he’s involved with a gang. And she is not what you’d call joyous about that little nugget of info.

There’s lots of talk this episode about the past – which makes sense, given that so much of it takes place in the distant past. More than that, though, there’s an emphasis put on our inability to escape our pasts. Izaya tells Kida he’ll never get away from what he’s done and his guilt (to make him feel bad), just as Kadota tells Kida he can run from his past as long as he doesn’t forget about his present and future (to make him feel better…sorta). We know Kida’s got lingering baggage, for all his funny-guy joking around, and we know he’s got a history of dealing with some seriously violent, nasty people. Toss Izaya and the hubbub over the Slasher into the mix and I am seriously nervous for the kid.

Are we going to have an ending to this series in which Kida is killed while saving someone else, feeling he has to atone for his past sins? It doesn’t seem like much a stretch to go in that direction…

Next Time: Anarchy
Everyone in the preview looks sad except Izaya. I imagine this is not a good sign.

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