Shizuo steals the show.
What They Say
The man known as the strongest in Ikebukuro, Heiwajima Shizuo. Lately he's been short-tempered and he doesn't know why. His senior and partner, Tom Tanaka, tries to calm him down. Celty worries over him, but it doesn't help. What's bugging him? As he wanders the city to try and find out, he reflects on his past...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As Durarara!! plugs along, it's interesting to see how tight each of the individual character episodes are and the way they interlock with everything else, tying back to previous events and strengthening relationships. After watching Baccano, I can't say I was surprised by this as it seems to be a particular specialty of the creator, but seeing it all come together is still very engaging and fascinating to watch. That it looks so spectacular and has the right kind of sense of humor and seriousness makes it all the more enjoyable.
The seventh episode plays a little more towards the humorous side but with a serious bent to it as Shizuo is given his time to shine. He's been very fun to watch in the bits we've seen him in so far as he stalks across Ikebukuro in his bartender outfit and occasionally doling out massive amounts of violence upon people who deserve. He's also got a very acrimonious relationship with Izaya as he keeps trying to throw him out of Ikebukuro with a vengeance. This kind of activity seems to be getting stronger later, something that his partner Tom even acknowledges and Shizuo isn't sure why he's getting like this, especially as he continually reminds us that he despises violence but can't help but go that route when it's necessary in a situation.
Mixing in past and present, we see Shizuo working his job as a bodyguard for Tom who is a collection agency. The two get along quite well and their relationship works since often times just mentioning Shizuo's name in 'bukuro gets things done as he has quite the reputation. The past is where we get a lot of things fleshed out though as we see him as a child with his younger brother '" who is now a famous movie star '" and the way Shizuo used to get into a lot of fights and end up with broken bones and fractures. What's interesting is that every time this happened, he'd get stronger and stronger from it which led him to doing more. As he got older there's a key moment where he learns responsibility that sets him on the right path and he deals with people like Celty and her roommate, who was actually a friend of his and his brothers when they were younger. It's a nice little tie that helps to explain why Celty will stop and converse with him easily in the present and show some amount of concern. On the flip side, we see his first encounters with Izaya in high school and plainly get that Izaya has been manipulating and playing with him for years which explains his animosity against him in the present.
With this episode there isn't any significant serious plot advancement but we get a fabulous episode that delves into one of the more fascinating characters of the show and understand how they're one of the ones where much is tied to. With tips of the hat in past and present, Durarara!! really goes far in making him one of the best characters in the show for a lot of reasons. He's got the style, the attitude and the history along with the connections to be someone really amazing. With his inner monologue along the way and the interactions we do see, Shizuo really steals the entire series for me at this point, a series that was already quite strong and thoroughly engaging.
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.