Daydream Sanctuary Features

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Durarara!! - Episode 2


My favorite character, Izaya, had a lot of screentime in this episode. How can I not be pleased?
But honestly, even if I put him aside, this episode had still been terrific! I would really want to applaud to the director of this show. It's so brilliant!

[ RECAPS ]
The opening theme in this episode featured a few recaps of the previous episode. This is much better to refresh your memory on what just happened rather than having a narrator tell you what happened so far in the first few minutes of the episode. The human memory isn't that bad that you need to narrate the summary of events for them to recall.

Ah well, it's not that it's bad to have a narrator in the episode. I just hate hearing a narrator's voice during recaps, especially if they sound boring. Like with the narrator in this episode, her voice makes me so sleepy. It didn't help that I was watching the episode at night and the bed is right infront of me. It's nice that the narrator's giving hints (or saying explicitly) of how the characters feel and what you may expect in the future of the series . . . but still . . . that voice. And how she narrates it. Uuuuggghh . . . I think it might be more fun if they just let the audience speculate on their own. I don't wanna hear the narrator again. I hope it's just for this episode because of that extra character's story.

[ DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ]
The events early in this episode actually happened around the same time as episode one's. But this time, we see it in a different perspective. It's cool to see what the main characters have been doing at that same period of time. What's cooler is that though this various cast don't have much relation to each other, the story connects them.

I think you could already watch this episode without watching the first one because it could actually stand on its own. It already provided the necessary recaps that you didn't need to recall what happened in the previous episode. The only thing that made the first episode more first-episodish is that it gives the audience an introduction of the show's setting (Ikebukuro), its main plot (which I believe is the mystery behind the headless rider, and the dangers of that neighborhood, particularly the gangs http://tinypic.com/and the dangerous people among the normal crowd), and its primary characters (which I think are the black rider and Mikado).

[ SUICIDE ]
This episode told us the story of the kidnapped girl. From the previous episode, she just apeared to be a girl who met someone online but got tricked and kidnapped. But there's actually more to that because, she's actually a suicidal teenager. She has problems with her father's affair. She couldn't take it and wants to disappear. Then she meets someone online who's just like her. So when she was invited to die together with him, that gave her courage to do what she thinks she wants to do.

I believe the desire to kill oneself isn't exactly a new thing in Japan, especially that they actually have a custom/ritual of it in history. Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, if not the highest (and that problem keeps on getting worse). Ikebukuro is no exception; suicide didn't seem to be a surprise anymore to its citizens. Many of the Japanese people who kill themselves are actually in old age actually, but it's still a fact that the youth also has a large percentage among the age groups that engage in suicide. Internet suicide had been a trend (incidents didn't only occur in 2004). There had been groups like suicide lubs and there are a lot of news/reports/story about them.
I find it a sad reality that a lot of young people want to kill themselves out of shallow, if not stupid, reasons. They get affected too much; they jump into conclusions; they get depressed/emo/angsty so easily. Having an easy life is difficult, but finding an easy escape from it makes one weak and foolish. I don't think the youth of the next generation will change much . . . especially that the world is getting more and more chaotic.

[ SET-UP ]
It's hard to tell if the girl had been lucky or unfortunate about it, but the guy whom she had become friends with happened to be some philosophical psychopath.

Some of the few twists/surprises that this episode has revealed behind her abduction are that:
1) The Nakura-san she first met is fake
2) The real Nakura-san was the one who ordered for her to be kidnapped
3) But it's also the real Nakura-san who had her rescued
As you can see from what he has done, he was just playing/toying/messing with her. He made her go through a lot for the sake of his fun.
However, he's also the one who's trying to point out to her that what she's doing is absurd; and what she truly wants is not to die.
From that you can say that he has good intentions, but he has this personality who doesn't really care about other's wellbeing and who enjoys seeing people's anxious faces. He messes her up once again by taunting her to be afraid of what she claims she wants to do.
Since he's such a good manipulator, even at the end she does what he wants. How frightening this guy is capable of.

[ NEW HOPE ]
I feel relieved that the story in this episode had been about a suicidal teenager, it ended with a lesson discouraging teens to do such an act. Two of the main characters help her realize it: First is, yes, the crazy informant; and the other is the myterious headless rider.

The biker saves her on her latest suicide attempt, and tells her that the world isn't as cruel as you take it is. Ironically, that is coming from someone that is not particularly human. But I'm happy that the girl didn't protest (like, "no, you're wrong! How could you do this to me? I wanna die already! Waaah") and she quickly understood the message that's given to her. She tried to changed her views on her situation and decided to forgive the people that gave her such anxieties. Thanks to that, she had a new life and became happier. She wishes now to be able to help others and be able to say those same words that moved her to change.
Seeing life on a positive note in this chaotic society. Seeing a spark of hope admist the madness. It's beautiful.
A lot of other shounen shows teaches some morals (like by trying your best, it's important to help others, one should protect people, world peace, etc.) But there are other problems that the youth is concerned about that isn't that explored in most shounen shows: problems within the family and the "motivation" to kill oneself. Frighteningly, these cases are not only prevalent in Japan, but in other parts of the world. I love shows that tacle contemporary issues, and encourages you to do the nicer thing, if you don't think it's the appropriate thing (suicide has a lot of philosophical and religious arguments o_O). Life sucks, but it's still something to treasure =D

[ SCHOOL ]
I was really really relieved that even though our main character is someone new in the neighborhood, it's not the typical "transfer student" thing. I'm sooooo sick of that. Uniforms aren't in sailor uniforms either (I've seen so many anime school settings like that, and I have enough of it from watching Sailormoon x_X). Anyway, this episode shows the usual ritual of first-day-of-schools. Students go to the entrance ceremony, they introduce themselves, and so on.

Speaking of the entrance ceremony, Mikado and Kida were so cute~ LOLz . . .okay, it looks like we have a perverted teacher in this episode and he has tastes. I don't think this show aims perverted fanservice though. It just happened to have a perverted character. And the audience gets to see what he's particularly looking at. Haha! Funny that he was easily caught. But hhhmm . . . he's in the cast list. So it's possible that though he's not one of the main characters, he'll still have quite a role in the story.
Despite the beginning of their schooling having familiar scenes, something different arises, which is the appearance of one of the main characters.

[ CHARACTER APPEARANCE: SEIJI ]
I have seen a lot of characters who don't like going to school I'm even such a person. LOLz, but this is the first time that I see a character who bothers to go to school, wearing his uniform, just to tell the teacher that he doesn't want to go to school anymore, saying that it's pointless for him to do so. He was even cruel enough to say that he doesn't have time to spend with them (teacher + classmates). Haha!

I guess from that we can safely assume that there's definitely something big that he's putting his mind into lately (he even mentions that it's something he values A LOT). We're not alone on that, because one of the main characters, Anri, sees there must be something wrong with him as well.

[ CHARACTER APPEARANCE: ANRI ]
I have no idea why she is that concerned about Seiji. I doubt that she has any romantic interest in him (From the OP and ED, Seiji obviously has a girlfriend; and Anri's usually around with the two other main characters) She probably knows about something dangerous, but we just don't know yet; and Seiji himself has no idea what she might be talking about.

She's also not a ghost that appears and disappears out of thin air. She actually lives somewhere, and staying with her is one of the main characters, Shinra. Hopefully we'll see more of him next time.
Anyway, for a character who's not exactly human, she's showing sides that are humane, like having compassion towards others. She saved the girl the second time even if it's no longer part of her job. She's even he one who taught the girl to move on. I find it fascinating that for someone who obviously has big problems (she doesn't have a "head" in the first place), she doesn't give up and doesn't think of the world that badly.

[ CHARACTER FOCUS: IZAYA ]
As I've said, I'm so pleased that my favorite character had a huge role in this episode~

Bias or no bias, he's a very intriguinly spectacular character~ There are so many things to tell about him, even if I put fangurlings aside, that he needed to have his own post. Hahahaa!


With a brilliant auhor and a talented staff and cast, I doubt this series will ever cease to impress me. Of course it won't ever be perfect, but the less troublesome factors, the better. The only main things I honestly didn't appreciate in this episode are the suicidal girl and the narrator. The girl isn't a main character, so I doubt she'll have much of a big role in the next episodes. As for the narrator, I didn't hear her in the previous episode. I really hope it's not the rider's voice . . . because it makes me soooooooooooooo sleepy. *sigh* maybe I'm the only one who feels that way about that voice.

Nevertheless, I highly look forward to the next episode. It looks like most of the fun and action will be starting there. Yay!

1 comment:

crazyanimegyrl said...

This episode was so cool! It really shocked me when chicky took that flying leap and the headless legend caught her! O.O Really enjoying this series thus far! Yay!!!

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