Episode 02 – “Harmony is the Greatest of Virtues”
I can already tell that this series is going to be hard to write about. In typical Durarara!! fashion, there’s always a lot of things going on, and yet there’s not too much that actually happens from episode to episode. It’s a lot of small events that overlap and stack themselves up on each others’ shoulders that construct the narrative, which is what I love so much about the series. One isolated event may not mean much by itself, but when presented alongside a series of parallel events framed by the similar temporal and physical space, we get a story that’s propelled by tandem plot points, creating a tugging sense of intrigue.
This week, we backpedal a bit to witness the Orihara twins’ first day at school, and what a first impression they make. One their first day they manage to beat up some bullies and catch the romantic attention of Aoba Kuronuma (CV: Hiro Shimono). According to their big bro Izaya, they’ve created personae for themselves in order to cover for the others’ weakness. I’m really upset that Kururi isn’t played by Yuka Iguchi, because we could have had a good old Monogatari family reunion with parallel seiyuu.
I’m glad that we finally get to see Shizuo tear shit up, as that has become sort of the calling card of Durarara!! It’s actually what got me to Durarara!! in the first place. I started seeing GIFs of Shizuo throwing vending machines around and the rest is history. This time around, he beats the hell out of a zombie which is not something I ever expected Shizuo to ever do but here we are. Along with the zombie, there’s the tall dude who has an earlier run-in with Anri at the karaoke joint and ends up being on the verge of death at the end of the episode.
One thing that felt off was the narration and Shinra’s method of guiding us through the flashback. While I do remember that there was narration in the original series, it was much more detached and felt much more like a narration you would expect from a novel. Shinra’s narration is different but I don’t suppose it’s necessarily bad, as long as it isn’t used in excess. I do prefer more poetic and mysterious types of voiceover commentary.
I also want to rescind my statement last time, when I said that this season doesn’t look that much better than the original series because looking back at the original, this new season looks considerably better. The animation quality is simply at a consistently higher quality, whereas in the first season you would dips in character quality during wide shots, resulting in distorted faces and stick figures. Celty’s head smoke is sometimes CG now, but that’s really the only negative thing I can think of this time around.
“After all, ‘fortune and misfortune come by turns,’ as they say.” ~ Shinra Kishitani