Ah, so the creators are going into an anime original ending. My opinion of those kinds of endings is simple: as long as it works, I don’t mind. Although of course in the past creators have shown that adapting a story and writing an original can be completely different (I think Claymore is the most notable example of this). But, here this series has the odds in favour of it: Takahiro Omori‘s endings have got an excellent track record. Baccano ended wonderfully, even though the source material continued on, Jigoku Shoujo always had excellent endings in which everything came together, and Fancy Lala had the single best ending of any mahou shoujo ever.
But Durarra… its ending is a bit more nuanced. You can see that a lot of thoughts went into it, but it lacks refinement. Here’s what I mean:
– I really liked how in this episode Mikado explained why he decided to shut down the Dollars. A surprisingly solid reason and gamble of him. The fighting didn’t stop immediately, but I doubt that he was just thinking in the short term. Unfortunately, he did not explain why he refused to answer Kida’s calls.
– I liked how the adults here set the children in their place, the chemistry between Celty, Anri, Shinra and Shizuo was well done, it was subtle, developed the story and was very interesting to watch. The conversation between Simon and Kida however… that was just too one-sided.
– The twist that the Blue Squares were the ones who took over the yellow scarves was actually quite interesting. It gives a reason to those random attacks they’ve been making beyond “ZOMG dollars sucks”. On the other hand… what were the creators thinking with that fight? Why can Kida easily kick away guys twice his size, and only after ten or so guys does he give up? I know that such an iron bar can hit hard and all, but it’s thugs he’s dealing with. These guys should know how to fight. I also did not like how they stood there like sheep while Kida was having a nice talk. And even during the fight, most of them just did nothing. Yeah, that’s a good idea, attack just one at a time.
Nevertheless, those are just details. What about the bigger picture? There, I can see where the creators are going here. They’re continuing the path of the flawed characters. They made Mikado more naive (seriously, I’ve seen quite a few webmasters pulling some weird drama that makes shutting down the Dollars just seem like nothing special) to let everything spiral out of control like what was originally hinted at. It decided to focus on the fact that the characters are teenagers, in the way that they have good ideas, but at the same time can’t quite see all of the consequences of their actions and don’t always take the smartest way out.
I suspected this way earlier, and with series that focus on flawed characters, it’s really hard to make your audience care about them compared to the flawless and charismatic ones. For me, it was especially Kida who got in the way and made me lose interest. This episode actually used Celty as a catalyst very effectively to develop Mikado a bit, in the same way that she took care of Anri.
The final episode is going to be very important for this series. I really want to see a good conclusion here, when the creators went out of their way to create a new one, eliminating any chance for a possible sequel. Kida is about to develop out of his angsty self. If the creators can get his character-development in the final episode right (and I really mean make something memorable out of it), then I feel like I’ll be able to forgive a bit of the disappointment of the second half of this series.
Rating: * (Good)