Playing catch-up: DRRR!! X2 Ketsu Eps. 2 & 3

DRRR!! is somehow still keeping me hooked, even though it’s as loopy and befuddling as it’s ever been.  I guess I’m too far in this quagmire of kooky characters, gang wars, demon possessions, and misplaced heads.

So after almost 2 seasons and 50 episodes, Celty’s missing head finally makes a splashy appearance. Meanwhile, Izaya and Mikado have a heart-to-heart about the Dollars, Chikage returns to Ikebukuro for payback against his gang, everyone has a sleepover at Celty and Shinra’s deceptively spacious apartment, and Anri, Haruna, and Kasane attempt to kill each other before deciding to have a sit-down about their shared experiences as demonic sword vessels. The sense of foreboding is still pervasive, which excites me, but also makes me very nervous — Ketsu is already juggling more character and plot threads than any of its previous iterations.

We got to see some insight into a lot of different characters, most notably Anri and Mikado. I’m pretty bored with Kasane so far, and only a small bit of her backstory has been squeezed into the narration. DRRR!!’s greatest strength is its attention to well-constructed character exposition, but we have been shown nothing about Kasane’s motivations, even though she looks primed to be a key player, and rival to Izaya, in Ketsu’s upcoming events. On the other hand, Erika has grown from ditzy otaku to a more rounded character, and we’ve gotten to see her mettle and upbeat composure in the wake of Kadota’s hit-and-run and her interactions with Anri. Most importantly, she might be the only person in Ikebukuro who remains entirely unruffled by Izaya’s machinations.

ep2

Angry Erika is best Erika.

Meanwhile, Anri is going through an identity crisis as Saika’s human vessel, while Mikado affirms his increasingly contradictory philosophy for the Dollars’ reform to Izaya. Their conversations with Haruna and Izaya respectively were revealing as they were obtuse, but it did show that Anri and Mikado’s current mindset and viewpoints are practically contrary of the other’s right now. Anri’s existential crisis has led her to question all her actions, even though her current predicament stems for her continued desire to Mikado and Masaomi safe. Both Anri and Mikado have lost their paths, but only Anri seems to be aware of it. Mikado has gotten to the point where his contradictory philosophy has become completely intractable, even as Celty and Izaya has started calling him out on his actions. Unlike past seasons, it’s refreshing to see Mikado unapologetically involved in Ikebukuro’s machinations, and his movements are easily the most intriguing part of DRRR!!’s final season.

ep3

If even Izaya starts questioning your actions, you know you’ve drifted way down shit street.

ep3-2

Just a casual reunion between demon sword vessels.

Random observations:

  • We need more of Erika smacking Izaya in the face whenever he starts acting like an asshole.
  • A picture of Haruna needs to be on the Internet’s definition for yandere.
  • Mika’s swift voicemail change after Celty’s head appeared on the news was pretty priceless.
  • Both Manami (who stole Celty’s head) and Mikage (who has amazing abs) seem to think that they have a bit of a hold on Izaya. They’re obviously new to the DRRR!! game if they truly believe that.
  • Everyone’s reactions (especially those at Celty’s slumber party) to the appearance of Celty’s head were pretty great and so very on character.
  • There’s a bit of an unfortunate trend with the show’s female characters that has really stood out so far. Characters like Haruna, Namie, and Mika are completely defined and motivated by their obsessions with other male characters. They’re the most extreme examples, but you could easily extend this to Anri (who is motivated by Mikado and Masaomi), Saki (Masaomi’s girlfriend who also idolizes Izaya), and even Celty (head over heels for Shinra). Fortunately Celty is a pretty well-rounded character, and so is Anri, to a slightly lesser extent. But Haruna, Namie, and Mika stand out the most since all they’ve done these first three episode is act out in service for a man in their lives.
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