Anri's true past begins spilling out and her life is even darker than expected.
What They Say
Niekawa Haruka leaves to chase Nasujima, who appeared by chance at her house. Anri follows her. As she faces off against Haruna, who's controlling the gang of slashers, truths about her past are revealed. At the same time, Shizuo fights an unending battle against the Slashers in South Ikebukuro Park. As he defeats them one after another, his expression starts to take on a hint of joy...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With an episode title of 'Everything Changes', you really have to hope that there's something significant in it. The show does have a lot of fun to it and we get some good background material as well. The simple joy of watching Shizuo fight with abandon against the various controlled slashers that are out there is worth the price of admission alone. He's been so controlled in a way for so long with his abilities, enough so that he feels like he's a coward in some ways, that when he gets the chance to truly cut loose he does so. It's completely different from how he is with Izaya as well which I think says a whole lot. It's a brutal series of events as it plays out, but you can't help but to smile throughout it much like Shizuo.
A good chunk of the episode focuses on the encounter between Haruna and Anri as Haruna is leading her charge to take out Anri. That Anri is something more than she expected has really thrown her, but it's what we learn about Anri that really does seemingly change things. Her cool and introverted nature has kept her apart and we've seen how she is with Mikado and others, but the real truth of the matter is something else. With her sword in hand, touching it to Haruna reveals exactly what Anri's real past is all about with her parents that died and why she is the way she is. The power within her is fascinating and curious, enough so that even Celty is uncertain about how to interact with her and shy's away from getting into a fight with her, so far as to suggest that the problems are all related to Saika and are not how Anri really feels. It's an intriguing conversation the two have and helps to potentially cement Anri in the mindset of doing good with what she has in her hands.
The rest of the episode has a lot of little moments that deal with some interesting little set pieces and all. A good part deals with Izaya and the plans he had running behind the scenes as he's trying to acquire Saika's army for himself, though in the end he thinks he has what he wants even with Anri in the position she is. My favorite scene has to be the one with the gang in the van talking about various manga series they're hoping to read soon with new chapters and a few favorites of mine came up, including Kino's Journey. There's a lot of fun little references in the show to modern day events and pop culture things, something you really don't see too often, so I'm enjoying that aspect of the show, even when it's self referential to the original creators other works.
With a title like Everything Changes, I'm not sure that it really achieved anything like that. In terms of Anri, there are definitely changes as well as revelations as she's now finally being honest about what happened in the past. And if she's able to channel what she has in her hands for something good within the city, similar to what others like Mikado and Shizuo are doing, then that's a significant change. Whether she follows through is another thing since there's a lot of change possible in this series. I liked this episode, but I think it set up some unrealistic expectations based on the episode title and the kind of massive changes we've had in the past, notably with Mikado himself. The action is a lot of fun with Shizuo and the flashback material was spot on, but I came away from the episode feeling kind of ambivalent about it overall.
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.