Durarara 14, (deep breath) Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitte Iru 1

Durarara 14 pours on information like it’s nearly the last episode. Luckily for me and others who confuse easily, most of the points were already made, or inferred, especially from the events of last week.

Most of these come from Shingen, Shinra’s father, who wastes no time verifying what we suspected. In a hilarious opening scene he admits he stole Celty’s head and gave it to Yagiri Pharmaceuticals, for whatever reason. Why Celty doesn’t just kill him right there I don’t understand, but, as Izaya points out, she’s become more human since she lost her head. And I’ve had this feeling for a couple of episodes now, that if she ever does get her head back, maybe she would revert to being a complete monster. Dullahans were dangerous, feared creatures, after all, rather than the type of person who, upon seeing Mikado alone in a park sits down to ask him what was wrong, or inspire as much loyalty as Chizuo shows when she mentions her encounter with the slasher (“I’ll kill him!”). Also interesting is that Celty, though she does care about her head, doesn’t worry about it as much as she used to.

So while Celty and others research this slasher, Shingen pulls out his next surprise. He visits Izaya and Namie and lays out everything Izaya had speculated about Celty’s head, as if he had been listening in. Dullahans as valkyries, looking for strife to awaken the head. Shingen’s only been in two episodes but he seems to know everything. Very interesting …

Not all the revelations come from Shingen. Shinra believes the slasher uses a demon sword called Saika, which, coincidentally, was used to get Celty’s head away from her in the first place. Why Celty doesn’t kill HIM I don’t understand, either. Why does he keep withholding information from her? Okay, he had just made the connection, but not to tell her about Saika to begin with … Celty is TOO nice sometimes. Maybe she really ought to get her head back.

There are some other little points to make, like the fate of a student that the teacher who’s been hitting on Anri had the previous year. The Anri/Saika connection is further hinted at. And there’s Saki, the girl in the hospital whom Masaomi visits (she must be important; she’s in the opening credits). And I’m beginning to think that Durarara percolates for a few episodes and then gives us a doozy episode. It’s about time for one.

Episode 1’s keep trickling in. Here’s something called Uagiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitte Iru, what looks to be a supernatural thriller with Yaoi overtones. Like many supernatural thrillers, it starts by slowly inserting weirdness into everyday events. We meet our hero, Yuki, a nice boy from an orphanage whom everyone likes, the kids, girls his age, and adults, male and female.

Yuki is hugged by a total stranger, well, to him.

The weirdness starts right away. Strange dreams, two people whom he’s never met but who know him, and there’s his cute ability to read people’s emotions and life history by touching them. This chance to view the sorrow in others’ lives should have given him some perspective, but instead he feels like no one wants him, though he’s surrounded by people who do, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s the death threats he’s getting in the mail. Never mind.

There’s more weirdness, with some supernatural force which prompts the character Usuku to try and kill him, binding him with darkness, but he’s saved by Yuka, some guy with tats and piercings and leather jacket, who tells him that he will never betray Yuki. This is interesting because we started the episode with Yuki’s dream of Yuka saying the exact same things to a girl …

Well, it’s good enough. It dragged a bit, like in the bus stop fight, but first episodes have to establish characters and setting, and most shows don’t do it terribly well. Especially when there’s magic involved, because you also have to explain that. But I don’t think this will be a memorable series, maybe a watchable one.

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