While the days have gone by, Ikebukuro is still the same - yet just a little different.
What They Say
Six months after the big Dollars meeting, Ikebukuro has at first glance returned to normal. But below the surface, the Yellow Scarves and the Slasher are becoming more active. A shadow approaches, ready to destroy their peaceful days, as the characters are forced to face their past and present.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When a show jumps forward any amount of time from where it left off, it doesn't always pick up well at first since there may be some significant changes to the landscape. Durarara has been filled with interesting and varied characters from the start with plots that wrap and intertwine with each other. Moving everything ahead like this, especially after such a big event which changed the landscape due to Celty being more up front about her presence, making the jump forward could end up being a bad thing since that interconnected nature is lost for that duration. We don't see the connections that may be there and believing that there were none after all we just saw is hard to believe.
The main visible change to the series is that there's a new threat out there that's causing a lot of disturbance. While Celty has earned herself a reputation and she's more known now, even to the point where the police have confronted her in an effort to make sure they don't get bloodied up like you see in movies in order to show Celty's strength, she's fairly benign overall. The threat that's out there that's causing a lot of attacks is a mysterious Slasher. Several victims have been found so far with no connection between any of them to give hint as to why they're killing people or how the choices are made. This comes at the same time that an older gang is resurfacing, the Yellow Scarves, as they're not happy with the fame that the Dollars have gained since their own disappearance some time ago. The streets are becoming less safe on several fronts and it's all the buzz out there.
Most of this episode is narrated by Anri, so it has a very quiet and moody feel to it as she reflects on the changes that have occurred. Her life is one where she's not sure where she stands, even stating that if either Kida or Ryuugamine asked her to date them, she wouldn't know what to say. There's something in her that's still holding out for Mika even though she knows he's out of the picture at this point. Following Anri around, the time spent with her as she makes her way through the city pushes a huge feeling of loneliness and disconnect. When she does have to deal with people, three kogals that are definitely up to no good, it sets some new events into motion that are pretty chilling for a young woman to see. Her life has been fairly balanced so far with no great swings in either direction, but now she may be set on a new path.
With this change in time frame, Durarara has an unnatural feel to it at first that has you almost feeling disconnected from things. Ikebukuro has changed and surely the characters have changed as well in those six months, though we don't get to partake in that. The city has a lot going on with the new Slasher in town causing trouble and the relationships between the characters haven't changed much, though Celty seems to have a touch more humor about her now that she's more open in the streets. As the episode progresses, the show seems like it's getting its bearings back and it moves smoothly through the different angles that it plays with, but it's definitely felt like it's lost some of its steam because of this leap ahead.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.