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Durarara!! Episode 16

April 30, 2010

With what appears to be the current incarnation of the “slasher” cornered, all soon seems to be well in the world of Durarara!! as Shizuo quickly puts paid to this particular assailant thanks to the handy use of a ripped off car door. With Selty taking careful possession of his blade, assumed to be Saika, it seems like a job well done.However, rarely in life is anything quite as simple as it first seems, and in this case the complexity in question first manifests itself in the form of a visitor to Anri’s doorstep – Haruna Niekawa, a former student of Nasujima, the teacher currently “interested” in Anri the same way he was Haruna previously. Indeed, it’s Nasujima who is the entire reason for the decidedly odd Haruna’s visit, as in her particular case its clear that the teacher’s longings were being reciprocated… at least until he got bored and dumped her. Thus, the Haruna we see is consumed with a mixture of love and wrath, and Anri is an obvious outlet for her attentions when channelled through Saika’s power.

As if that isn’t bad enough, the wider truth about Saika soon comes to light – In short, Saika has been “giving birth” to “children”, in the form of those who have been attacked and stabbed, creating what is in effect a zombie army. While those stabbed by Haruna have inherited her particular love, so those attacked by her father have absorbed his fascination with Shizou, sending a large number of them to search him out. Shizuo himself has already come to the conclusion that Izaya is involved somehow, but perhaps more importantly the time comes to reveal the “mother” and bearer of Saika herself, which is something that has been foreshadowed for a couple of episodes now.

While I’ll be the first to admit this whole “slasher” story hadn’t really grabbed my imagination hugely until now, this episode has well and truly snatched my attention in a most impressive manner. Yes, the whole “zombie army” thing is a little tired, but otherwise this instalment was excellently played, treading the thin line between revealing too much or too little to the viewer almost perfectly to keep the tension reasonably high without suddenly landing something nonsensical upon us. If anything, this episode allows me to appreciate the last couple of instalments all the more, as the groundwork laid out within them comes to fruition, while despite the macabre tone of much of the episode there’s still time for a little humour, not least a reference to some Shizuo-Izaya “BL” that is as ironic as it is amusing. Regardless, it’ll be tough for Durarara!! to top this episode next week now it’s played its biggest cards, but somehow I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it goes ahead and does just that.

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