Durarara!! 22, Yumeiro 34

I said last week that for me Durarara!! was losing its sense of fun. Things had become too grim, and the humorous edge that had given the show such a lift was gone. Well, this week it gets pretty grim, too, but the first half is as much fun as I can remember.

Anri gets help from all sorts of people.

Anri is cornered by Yellow Scarves members. But Mikado, who was feeling helpless last episode, hears about it and launches into action. It’s sort of a reprise of ep11, where the Dollars all get a phone call and join together to help her. We get a marvelous chase scene where regulars help out and one-shot characters get a reprise. The lost-and-found girl, the guys in the van, Simon, the guy who was beaten up, Kaztano, the runny-nose kid, total strangers, they all come to the aid of the bewildered Anri, who’s never seen such a show of support before. Until it comes down to Celty, and Shizuo’s rage. Great stuff. The only people missing were Isaac and Miria, and I didn’t really expect them to actually take a role in the story.

And it does a couple things. Mikado realizes that the Dollars might be a viable group after all. Anri, safely resting at Celty and Shinra’s place, says she’s tired of running away. Of course, she’s more than capable of defending herself, but unleashing her Slasher-Mom schtick is the last thing she wants to do. She doesn’t want to hurt anybody, something Masaome doesn’t understand at one point when he confronts her during the chase.

But the grimness comes in again. Some Yellow Scarves are on the Dollars’ network. And so infuriated are they that they go out and double-up on their random beating of Dollars members, to the point where Mikado loses all hope again and actually shuts down the Dollars, saying they “… must disappear,” which is actually sort of cryptic. They were sort of invisible already, weren’t they? And Shizuo is gunned down in an alley, just as you thought they might not have hit their grim quota for the week. Interesting, though. He’s always been a trump card for the good guys. Maybe they just want him out of the picture for an episode …

What needs to happen next is that our three heroes must get together and work this out, meaning secrets will have to be revealed. But Mikado seems to want none of this, anymore. Two episodes to go. Can they fit everything in? Will it be fun?

Yumeiro Patissiere 34 is great fun. The main story is about sweets fairy Marron, who’s bored and has decided to go to Earth and partner up with someone (All the sweets fairies head to the Japan branch. Why is that?). She brings along the rebellious boys from early in the series, but happily they don’t contribute to the action at all. Marron’s story isn’t what makes this episode so fun; it’s what we find out about all our fairy friends and human partners.

Our fairy friends introduce Marron to Ojou Miya (They changed her name, dammit. Several episodes ago. I have no brain), but she’s depressed after losing in the Grand Prix and out of sorts, so she goes off on her own to look for more promising humans. What makes this fun is that Marron is headstrong and a little spoiled, in short a perfect match for Ojou Miya, so we’re biding our time waiting for the inevitable hookup to happen. Every one of the promising ones already have fairies, so she decides to get one to drop their fairy and choose her instead, leading to some hilarious moments.

The scene where Marron tries to get Kashino away from Chocolat is the best. In order to display the deep knowledge she has of him, Chocolat begins to reveal some rather … embarrassing things, which include his anatomy (no, not that part, perverts). In doing so Chocolat shows a sneaky, dirty side we haven’t seen before. But it’s not the only good bit.

She looks in on Satsuki and Cafe having a decadent rose water bath together. When they agree to let her partner with them it sounds like they’re arranging a threesome. While Andou and Caramel behave like young lovers. I can’t believe this show’s for children.

There ought to be a side series: “Untold Secrets of the Sweets Academy.” It’d be ratings gold!

But we need to get back to Ojou Miya, newly revived with the thought of just jetting Kashino to Paris himself, giving off her spoiled rich girl laugh every few seconds (Who invented that laugh, anyway? First instance I know of is Utena’s Nanami). Marron likes her style after all, so that’s settled. Now just about every character has a fairy. But Marron is actually helping Miya cook? I thought that wasn’t allowed. Doesn’t matter. Good episode. Fun to watch. Apart from missteps like the last episode this show’s on a roll.

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