Durarara!! 20, Daimaou 9

Durarara 20 goofs around with concepts of reality and fantasy, pushes chess pieces around some more, and then gets violent. The narrator this week is Erika, who, with Martin, have come up with their technique to make life bearable, though I couldn’t follow it. Separate the good things from the painful things and make the latter unreal. Something like that. Their use of it puts them in a world full of “moe, tsundere and boy’s love,” which may of may not be your idea of a good time, but it’s theirs.

Masaome probably wishes he could do such separating himself, but he’s too deep into it now. The past he has tried to ignore has come up again and he must confront it. So as he mulls just what is the truth and what isn’t, he talks to the guys in the van, who help him a little by pointing out what in his revenge plot might be true and what might not be, and give him not so subtle warnings. Then it’s off to talk with Izaya, always a bad idea.

But you won't like it!

Through it all we get a sense that Masaome doesn’t really know what to think, or what his motives are. There’s no evidence that the Dollars are an enemy, or in league with the Slashers. Izaya suggests that he’s going through this for Anri’s sake, because he failed to help Saki. And that he didn’t really love Saki after all (low blow). Then delivers the bombshell: Mikado is the boss of the Dollars.

So Masaome knows Mikado’s secret, and Anri knows Masaome’s. Poor Mikado is left out. Now Masaome is thoroughly confused, and he’s losing his control over the Yellow Scarves. Izaya has managed to blur reality to his purposes again.

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou starts clumsily, then drops a whole lot of plot bombshells in about five minutes.

Korone has arranged a marriage interview for Akuto and Junko’s family, but Junko can’t get herself to tell him that’s what this innocent trip to her household is about. Akuto has his own reasons for going, to take responsibility for the monsters appearing everywhere, but why he has to go out to Junko’s home doesn’t enter his mind. And before you know it, they’re engaged. And he STILL doesn’t know. It takes a late-night confession from Junko, who herself is torn between duty and desire, to clear up the action. Then things get stupid.

There’s a mix-up and suddenly he’s on the run from ninjas (I recall a favorite Nanowrimo saying: “When stuck with the plot, throw in some ninjas.”), then Eiko shows up to tempt him to her side, then to kill him, and he learns that Keena back at school is going to be assassinated. Huh? But the mysterious blond guy named Yamato, I believe, stops the attack, because … well, it just gets stranger and stranger. And just when my head wasn’t spinning from yet another magical group showing up and more bizarre revelations …

Never thought I’d be glad to see Fujiko, but cripes, what a mess! An entertaining mess, but still … The upshot of all this is that everyone wants something out of Akuto, either to marry him, enslave him, or kill him. Like Masaome, Akuto wants it to all go away.

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