Durarara!! 17, K-ON!! 6

It’s exclamation mark night on this blog!! Damn, I should have held off on the latest Working! until now. Well, that show only uses one, anyway.

Durarara!! 17 finishes one story arc in wild fashion and then drags a bit as they set up the next one. I’m frankly not sad that they’ve resolved for now the slasher story, as it was getting a little incomprehensible. But at least it went out with a bang.

Shizuo vs. the slashers was everything I had hoped for. But on the other side of the coin we had the confrontation between Anri and Haruna, a slasher against the mother of all slashers. I can see the point of interweaving these two sequences; you can’t have ten straight minutes of Shizuo beating people up, but Anri’s tale, seen through flashbacks, doesn’t explain enough about why she took up with Saika in the first place, or how Saika could “possess” Haruna in a different way than it does her. And Anri’s speeches about being unable to love sounded … fictional, not something I could relate to. Perhaps it’s what this adolescent girl with a tragic past thinks she knows about herself, or maybe it just isn’t written well (or beyond the skills of the translators?). Add to this Izaya’s manipulation of the whole situation (which parts did he manipulate?), the teacher’s odd motives, and you have me wishing they’d go back to Shizuo beating people up.

Then we get some aftermath scenes, followed by a tedious one where Izaya plans his next move. There are three forces out there now: the slashers, the Dollars, and the Yellow Scarves gang. We learn that Masaomi was the founder of the latter, and with a possible gang war coming up, they want him back. Why the Yellow Scarves are so pissed off at the slashers we don’t learn, or what they have against the dollars. We do know that Masaomi hates all this. I guess the gangland fun will start this week, and Masaomi will be the center character. No problem with that. He’s always been a cipher in this series. He deserves his episode or two in the limelight.

(Afterthought) So with the triangle of Mikado, Anri and Masaomi, we have the three gang leaders. I’m so thick sometimes …

K-ON!! 6 breaks the pattern of good ep/bad ep by delivering the second good one in a row. As usual, nothing much happens, but each little scene was entertaining enough. The episode could have been named “A Girl and her Gitah.”

It’s the rainy season, and the girls worry about their instruments. Especially Yui, who has taken on a fierce devotion to hers. She sleeps with it, talks to it, goes to extremes to keep it dry in the rain (while getting sopping wet herself) and is driven frantic when forced to leave it at school. Most of the scenes deal with this, with side glances at how the other characters worry about theirs. I suppose I could go on about how silly Yui is acting but it didn’t bother me this time, possibly because the other characters behave (mostly) sensibly. It’s when they’re all acting like nut jobs that I start gripping my chair in frustration. And, seeing that Yui’s behavior is devoted to keeping her beloved Gitah safe and dry, I can sympathize.

A happy Yui and Gitah.

And it shows a side of Yui that I often overlook amid all her silliness. She’s serious about playing. She practices every day, and it’s showing. She and not Azusa notices when a note is flat. She and Ui have a little sing-along, and nothing could make Ui happier. The others are often taken aback by her actions, such as changing the strings without loosening them first, but they also enjoy basking in her glow. It’s altogether a happy episode.


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