Durarara 6 is fantastic, Hanamaru 5 isn’t, but it’s happy

Durarara 6 gives us some more information about the missing people, the dollars, perhaps Selty’s head, and other little things that will make sense later on, I hope. But none of that is important. It’s rare that a single anime episode can take me on such a wild ride as this one did. It’s sheer fun from beginning to end.

Even the narration takes a comic hit.

Kyohei, who’s been on the sidelines until now, is this week’s narrator, and we (mainly) watch him and his buddies try to track down the people who kidnapped their odd foreign friend Kaztano. The baddies will bring Kaztano to a big medical lab where they’ll do experiments on him. Just regurgitating the story doesn’t do it justice. The tracking down and subsequent chase is full of misadventures, coincidences, and comic setups that don’t resolve until much later (I absolutely loved the dog). Characters not related to the story show up and change it slightly. And along the way the world opens up for us a little more.

Apparently the Dollars gang isn’t really a gang as much as a social organization where all you need to do is say you belong to it. The people running it are unknown. Kyohei comments that he has no responsibilities toward it, just a lot of freedom. I’m wondering what the purpose of it all is, or maybe it’s just a prank? We also learn who is abducting the people, and that one of them has a connection to Seiji. And we see a head, in a jar. We don’t learn anything more. It’s the nature of this show to work such things in indirectly. And as I said before, it’s not important now.

Mission accomplished.

The music again mixes jazz with what sounds like Russian folk songs, and a little opera (in honor, no doubt, of Kaztano), and seems to laugh along with the characters. The writing and direction are spot-on. I set a record for screenshots because each little scene was great on its own. I don’t know if I want to watch anything more tonight; nothing will top it.

… So I watched Hanamaru Kindergarten 5, so I wouldn’t have to think too much. As usual it’s cute, and again the first story is a little better than the second. First we have the girls suspecting that Tsuchida has a girlfriend he’s not telling them about. They snap into action.

And they follow him around on a Sunday, after phoning him to tell him to do something. Hiiragi suspects this is not proper detective behavior, but it gets him out of the house. The team gets distracted a few times by kitties, games, and pictures of pandas, but they get some dirt on Tsuchida:

The whole thing is complicated by the fact that a worried Sakura is keeping an eye on all of them, and has to intervene when it looks like Tsuchida is getting harassed by gangsters. In the end all they learn is that Tsuchida is a loser with not much of a life.

The second story has Koume falling in love with not an adult, but a boy who helps her up when she’s fallen.

The lovestruck Koume.

It goes pretty much as expected, including the scene where she attempts to confess to him. The only surprise is when she uses the words Anzu told her. After all, “Hold me” worked for her mommy, right? Not the greatest segment in Hanamaru’s history, but Koume is the least interesting character of the three. Nonetheless she’s a main character and deserves a turn or two as the star. Oh, yes, the episode includes not one but two Eva references. Why not. Durarara! is full of references, why shouldn’t Gainax have some fun as well?

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