Houndblog – Durarara!! Ep 02 – Highly Unpredictable

Posted on Jan 25 2010

Today in the Houndblog we have sandwiches, metaphorical sandwiches we are just as tasty. Houndy tackles episode two on Durarara!! find out what she thought of it, besides sandwiches that is.

Class, I’d like to speak to you in metaphor.

Imagine Durarara!! is a sandwich. Now imagine Episode One is the sandwich just sitting on a plate, freshly made and set down in front of you. You can make certain assumptions about the sandwich based on how it looks on the plate or how it smells or if it’s all gooey and cheesy and melty and begging to be picked up and shoved down your pie hole and…wow, I’m starving. Anyway, my point is, you can make educated guesses about the sandwich, but you don’t really know what the sandwich is all about until you sink your teeth into it.

Episode Two is the first almost-bite of sandwich. We’ve put it in our mouth but we’re not ready to chew anything yet.

Still with me? OK. Great.

Episode Two of Durarara!! starts off with a disembodied female narrator (hello? Who are you? Kitty Helmet? Mommy?) telling us about how reality – what we think is reality – can often turn to be, well, not very real. In short, Durarara!! is saying to us, “hold on to your butts, people – you’re not going to see this one coming!”

A bold statement to be sure, but with a episode title like “Highly Unpredictable,” I guess it’s to be expected. (HA! So I did see it coming! Hounddog 1, Durarara!! 0)

Rather than move on with something resembling a story, this ep deals mainly with the backstory of “Miss Magenta,” the teenaged girl who was kidnapped and nearly murdered in the first episode. I thought the girl with the scar was more Episode Two material, but whatever.

We meet her a middle schooler when she receives a strange envelope in the mail with photographic evidence of her father’s affair with some floozy. She’s not sure how to react to the photos, hides them at first, and then puts them back in the mailbox for her mother to find. When there isn’t a huge upheaval in her household, though, she assumes that her parents don’t care, don’t love her, are bad people, her family is a sham, life isn’t worth living, blah blah blah, whiney teenager, blah blah blah. We all know teens are this ridiculous in real life, so…Hounddog 2, Durarara!! 1.

Meanwhile, she chats/emails/texts (omg, Durarara!!, can anyone just have a freaking conversation?!) with “Nakura,” who seems to be a kindred spirit that understands her feelings of isolation and her desire to kill herself. She decides to “disappear” and goes off to meet up with him in the big city. Smart move, honey.

Fast forward a bit because we know what happened: he’s a bad dude, he lures her to the furry van, she gets gassed, they drive away, Kitty Helmet shows up to lay the smack down, etc etc. (Spoiler alert: Still awesome.)

Oh, I do have to mention that Durarara!! slipped in something genuinely unique and unexpected: Kitty Helmet’s motorcycle sometimes neighs like a horse. NEIGHS LIKE A HORSE. That may be the most awesome thing I’ve ever heard and I will give credit where credit is due: Hounddog 2, Durarara!! 2.

After the bad men are put down, Kitty Helmet takes Miss Magenta to meet up with the REAL Nakura, who then admits that he not only arranged for Kitty Helmet to rescue her, he arranged for her to be kidnapped in the first place.

Wait. What? WHAT?! Hounddog 2, Durarara!! 3

This nut job then goes on to lecture her about her pathetic feelings and explains that he knew if she was put in a situation where she really might die she would be scared, which is not a reaction someone who genuinely wanted to die would have (although, hello, there could be torture – torture is scary) and isn’t he just so smart to have seen through her silly facade and LET’S HAVE A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR ME. Ugh.

I would have punched him in the kisser, but Miss Magenta gets all, “I’ll show him, I’ll really kill myself!” (Hounddog 2, Durarara!! 4) Then she jumps and Kitty Helmet’s shadowy spider arms save her (Hounddog 2, Durarara!! 5) and she realizes that the world is not so bad and maybe she does want to live and maybe her parents aren’t so bad either. I am not a teenager and I already knew that, so…Hounddog 3, Durarara!! 5.

OK, I’m glad we got that little lesson about not always believing reality is real out of the way (hopefully this will have some kind of relevance to later episodes too?) and I guess it’s nice to have backstory, but seriously…what this episode did was give us a waft of the Bigger Story and then take it away. Episode Two let me put the sandwich in my mouth and then ripped it out of my hands and made me go back in the kitchen to see where the sandwich came from.

I don’t care where the sandwich came from. I JUST WANT TO EAT THE SANDWICH.

Next Week: Rampant

Prediction: A little nibble? Please?

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