Durarara!! Episode #18 (of 24) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Friday, May 14, 2010
Release Date: Friday, May 14, 2010

The truth about Kida is finally revealed in full as we find he's just as engaging as Mikado.

What They Say
Confusion is starting to descend on the town of Ikebukuro. Izaya grins with an evil smile... everything is going according to plan. Unaware of Izaya's plan, Masaomi is remembering the past in an abandoned building. How he came back here. How a girl named Mikajima Saki still waits for him at the hospital. He remembers the words Izaya once said to him: "You can never run from your past."

The Review!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Anri's storyline has closed out a little bit and she's in recovery mode now, which means its time to shift the story a little bit. Her arc provided a lot of revelations, about herself and the Slasher, and how that may figure into events going forward as she has to decide whether to be a force for good or just a force of chaos. This episode starts to focus on Kida with a trip to the past at a time a year ago when a girl named Saki ended up in the hospital, a girl that's still in the hospital even all this time later. What's surprising about this little trip down memory lane is that Izaya is there with Kida and he's spending his time seriously taunting the young man, egging him into anger very easily. And it's an anger that hasn't abated as even the mention of his name in the present causes him to grind his teeth.

Kida's time as one of the Yellow Scarves is interesting to watch, as is the sheer amount of Yellow Scarves that we see roaming about Ikebukuro. Kida's meeting of Saki occurs just moments before his meeting with Izaya and it's there that we learn that Izaya is something of a guardian for her, making it easier to understand how Izaya will manipulate things as time goes on. With Kida running things for the Yellow Scarves, much as we saw how Mikado handled things with the Dollars, it's intriguing to see the differences and similarities between the two. But it's also apparent that Izaya is manipulating things and even though Kida is aware of it, it's hrd to go against Izaya's suggestions and ideas because they tend to work well. And even harder for Kida since he's so interested in Saki.

The struggle between the Yellow Scarves and the Blue Square gangs hits an interesting crescendo when Saki becomes involved and Izaya watches everything he's tweaked and manipulated come to fruition. Kida is the real focus though as he watches the girl of his dreams get kidnapped but finds himself unable to really do anything about it when it comes down to the make it or break it moment. It's a defining moment for him as reality intrudes on the fantasy way he's been living his life, one that pushes him in interesting directions and is surprisingly honest, both in the way its scripted and the actual performance. As everything ties back into the present, we come full circle in understanding where Kida comes from and it really cements how he'll proceed as events with this season goes forward.

In Summary:
Kida's been an interesting character since the start of the series when he welcomed Mikado to Ikebukuro and we're now getting to the meat of it when it comes to what motivates and defines him. And just like with Anri and Mikado, it's not entirely what you'd expect and it adds a lot of new layers and wrinkles to the fabric of the Durarara storyline. This was another solid episode where you aren't sure where it'll go or what it'll do, defying convention in a lot of ways, to give you something that stands out amongst the crowd. With solid visuals and an expanding layer of depth for its cast, this is another excellent episode that further cements this as one of the most intriguing new series of this year.

Features
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!!