Durarara!! Episode #14 (of 24) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, April 16, 2010
Release Date: Friday, April 16, 2010

There's nothing more amusing than watching a headless woman in love.

What They Say
Anri and several others are attacked by the slasher. Each night someone is attacked, someone called Sinsong appears on the web, writing mysterious messages. "Today. Cut. Did Cut. More. Stronger. Love. Wish. Wish. Is. Want." Mikado is bothered by the rumors that the Slasher attacks are being perpetrated by the Dollars, and asks Celty for help. Who is the Slasher and what are they after? Celty starts to get closer to the truth, but...

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The shift to the new arc has us going back to the feelings of the first one where it's fairly laid back with the slight edge of tension about it as we aren't sure where it's all going to go. The first half of the series took several episodes to take shape and I'm sure we'll see that again, and this episode does some nice work with spending time on just a couple of characters and setting Celty on the right path that she has to follow. Like a lot of things in the world of Durarara, one bit of information leads to another and suddenly a whole lot of things are tied together.

A lot of time in this episode is spent at Shinra's apartment where he discovers his father now there. Though this comes off badly at first since he comes across him naked in the shower, it eventually turns mildly amusing and cute as the three of them sit down together. Shinra's father is certainly an odd duck with his mask always one and his slightly off personality, but there's something far more to him as he casually talks about how he was the one who stole Celty's head and made off with it. That's just the tip of the iceberg for revelations about her head though as it turns out that Shinra himself learned some things about it recently and has kept it from Celty since she was acting like she was done looking for it. But there are also some good positive moments to be had here as it's more and more plain that Celty and Shinra are mutually in love in an almost high school kind of way. The music for those moments only makes it cuter.

Celty ends up on a new path during this episode as she comes across Mikado, who himself is very concerned about the Slasher out there and the supposed ties that are being drawn to the Dollars with him. Celty certainly has an affection for Mikado at this point and she ends up trying to help him out to take her mind off of things so she sets about to finding more information about the Slasher. There are definitely some creepy areas here as we start to unravel who and what all it may be, including an intriguing tie to Celty herself, but it adds a new wrinkle in that it may be a similar supernatural aspect like herself. She spends some interesting time with others in her pursuit, including Shizuo, which is fun since we see him get all macho in wanting to help her out and beat up anyone who needs it.

In Summary:
While this isn't an unusual episode for this series, it is a fairly laid back and relaxed one that spends its time building the story and character interactions. It's not exactly an infodump but it has a lot of similarities to one as Shinra's dad lays out a few choice items and he also has an intriguing conversation with Izaya. There's a ton of mystery in this particular arc, much as the first one had at this stage as well, but it doesn't have the same sense of intensity and urgency that we had before and that gives it a very different vibe. Not bad or worse, but just different. The series has had me intrigued from the start so I'm definitely curious to see where it will go here considering where the first arc went in general and with Mikado in particular.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
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.

Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Durarara!!