Durarara 4, Cross Game 42

Durarara 4 slows the pace down, gives us a straightforward background story, and loses some of its steam. We learn more than I really wanted to know about the headless rider.

For the aura of mystery and power she gives off, Selty has come to lead a pretty mundane life. Not only does she have a name, but she lives with Shinra (this week’s narrator). Her head, which she used to carry under her arm when she was a local Irish fairy, is gone, and she’s looking for it. Not only does she feel incomplete without it, but she suspects it may possess some of the memories she’s lost. And, of course, she works for a living, just like any of us, if we were headless Irish fairies. It’s like any one of the urban fantasy novels that have come out in the past few years.

Even Celtic fairies get the blues.

It’s a bit of a letdown. Apart from the question about her head there’s no mystery to her anymore. The only interesting thing we learn is that Selty and Shinra have been together for twenty years. Though the relationship is not romantic we have to wonder what each person’s motives are for staying together for so long. Well, with Shinra it’s easy: he’s obviously in love with her. But why does she stay with him? Convenience? A need for companionship? And why does Shinra wish Selty would give up her quest for her head? Because it might end their creepy relationship?

Yeah, not much in the way of story here. Hardly any of the other characters even show up. Here’s hoping for more craziness next episode.

For the past few episodes the Cross Game plot winds have been shifting about, blowing pieces here and there, and ep42 would have been the same, except the winds are beginning to come together. Everyone stops dithering around and prepares for the Koshien. Even Senda.

Everyone gets inspired in different ways. The underclassmen want to look good for Aoba. Akaishi (who really doesn’t need inspiration) gets a lecture from an alum. Nakanishi’s girlfriend has just ended her own quest in track and field, not doing as well as she had wanted, and he doesn’t want to let her down. Senda doesn’t want people to think he’s a goof-off (too late).

And we get a sense of closure. Aoba, in danger of being a fifth wheel when the tournament begins, gets a visit from the slugger Ozaki, and reassurances that she should do what she feels she must. And we get their final confrontation, or is it? They agree to compete again. Either way, I get the feeling the girls All-Star team story has come to an end. A shame. I had enjoyed that part of the series.

Mixed in to all this are little scenes, each of them a delight. Akane’s frailty comes appears again. Deebu, the team manager, has a fun little scene to herself. Junpei and Ichiyo go to meet his parents. But focus keeps returning to what it was forty episodes ago.

Quick flashes of Aoba and Kou, in different locations, looking at the setting sun. The day off is almost over. It’s time to get serious.

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