Durarara!! 18 – shogun
May 16, 2010
Episode 18 of Durarara!! focuses on the Yellow Scarves’ shogun, Masaomi Kida, revealing just how much he has been played by Izaya. For a detailed description of the events, and lots of good screen caps (including an animated GIF of Izaya’s insane actions with the match seen above) check out Kyokai’s review at Metanorn.
The thing that most impressed me this week was just how much Izaya has been messing with people, and possibly nobody more than Masaomi Kida. That’s saying quite a lot, given that he physically has possession of Celty’s head. But Izaya has gotten inside Masaomi, and is now controlling him like an RC model of the U.S.S. Enterprise.
As we learn in this episode, Izaya’s tentacles grasped Masaomi long ago. He clearly had his eye on the leader of the Yellow Scarves long before they were useful for anything other than bragging rights on the Junior High schoolyard. Izaya approached Masaomi first through Saki. As Caraniel states, “Saki’s entire purpose was as a tool to manipulate Masaomi.” Izaya declares himself Saki’s “guardian”, but that is utter BS. I am convinced that Izaya is directly to blame for Saki’s kidnapping and injuries. They were necessary to strengthen his grip on Masaomi.
When a Yellow Scarves member first referred to Masaomi as “general” (shogun), I thought he really had some great strategic ability that caused the gang members to look up to him. This episode makes it clear that there is a good reason that he doesn’t want to be called shogun; he really is just Masaomi Kida after all.
After Izaya planted Saki close to Masaomi, the Yellow Squares started having problems with the Blue Squares, problems that Saki constantly urged Masaomi to turn to Izaya for help solving. Note that, from the beginning, the Yellow Squares successes were not the result of Masaomi’s leadership, but of Izaya’s information. I personally believe that, when the Blue Squares started successfully attacking, this was the result of Izaya feeding information to their side. Masaomi admits that the Yellow Squares had no sense of strategy or tactics. When the Yellow Squares launched a wave of successful counter-attacks, the tactics were fed to him by Izaya Orihara.
We had been hearing that the color gangs disappeared after a big event of some sort. I’m convinced that Izaya was behind that as well. Saki was kidnapped by the Blue Squares. Where did they get the information as to who to kidnap to get to the Yellow Squares leader? How did the Blue Squares leader know Masaomi’s phone number? Certainly Izaya knew perfectly well why Masaomi was calling, and he made no attempt to assist in the rescue of his “guardian”.
Not only was Masaomi not the strategist behind the big event (quite the opposite), he didn’t assist in Saki’s rescue, and it turns out that the person who really busted up the Blue Squares was Saki, who put their leader away with her testimony. So the Yellow Scarves think they need Masaomi Kida to return to their former glory. They idolize him and call him shogun, but Masaomi was being played by Izaya, almost from the very start. The victories and the defeats were nothing but matches of solitaire that Izaya played with human lives.