Between Linux and Anime

Kind of like Schrodinger's Cat


“Because the world isn’t as cruel as you take it to be”

Have you ever tried to tell someone something he/she really needs to know, something you’re sure he/she desperately wants to know, but find yourself just unable to get through? I watched Durarara 02, watched the brief flashes of the life of that unnamed girl, and remembered it vividly. The beginning with hurt and fear, then the gradually germinating cynicism, the concealed anger and hate, the dark and quiet accusation. Then the dark and brooding fortress around the heart, that admits neither gentle thoughts nor positive possibilities, but constantly twists and gnaws into itself, creating pain and thriving on it, over and over without end. And you desperately but futilely try to somehow communicate that all the person really needed to do is to open the doors and let the cool wind in for a bit, for the cycle to break and the healing to begin.

What does it take to tell a person that fateful message – “the world is not as cruel as you take it to be”? People are creatures of great and unshakable prejudices, and they will believe and cling to what they want to believe while insistently remaining blind to what they don’t. And ironically and perversely, people like to believe in their own pain and suffering, and in the evil of the rest of the world who prey upon them. Perhaps it is as mysterious-man-on-the-roof implies, that people in pain want to think of themselves as special. That people who didn’t share their experiences and suffering didn’t understand them. A message like “the world is not as cruel as you take it to be” would dissolve and destroy that victim mentality, even though people in pain desperately want the world to be kinder to them. The result is a paradoxic situation where a person resolutely refuses to consider the very thing he/she truly desires.

And yet she did it! She broke through that impossible shell with that simple message tapped out on her cell phone. I had my breath held through every moment of the conversation upon the roof, pausing and repausing and rewinding on occasion. It was bizarre, and it was brutal, the things mysterious-guy said to the girl up there. But it was truth, and evidently it hit something. A final shove that sent the girl off the roof, that then revealed that the world in the rushing air isn’t quite as the girl imagined or wanted? I can’t truly tell. But I do know that when the girl later wondered if someday she’d be able to tell someone else the same words, that that’s full circle right there. To first be saved by someone, and then to seek to save the next person. Passing down the blessing of freedom. That’s the meaning of life. It makes me that much more curious to know more about the black, headless rider with her effeminate frame, and the effeminate words she taps onto her cell phone that had accomplished something so incredibly difficult, and so incredibly valuable.

The realization that I don’t truly see reality, that you don’t truly see reality, and that there is hence no need to be too sure, or to insist, on any one.

I take it back, what I said about this season not looking too great. Durarara 02 just shone it’s divine light into my world and made the rest of the season look so much brighter. There is very little doubt in my mind, if Durarara even loosely keeps up this kind of quality, we have our undisputed star show of the season.

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Orange Wind


The Web, the Desktop, and the Google between


  1. I read your post, but most of the stuff I would use to comment I’ve already posted about :(.

  2. Jason "moofang"

    Hehe, I was just down reading your post and I can kind of see that I guess :) At any rate this post is really more of an after-episode thought hemorrhage kind of thing. Probably because some of the themes the episode explores directly resonate with some of the stuff that’s been affecting me irl – I was just captivated by their portrayal of Rio’s gradual metamorphosis. Couldn’t tear my eyes off the screen, and when I was done I just whipped up wordpress and spilled out a post.

    I appreciate you letting me know by the way. Thanks :)

  3. No problem. I like to know people are reading my stuff too. Sorry I didn’t have more commentable stuff this time. Except maybe that I think we all go something similar to Rio. We feel isolated and alone and maybe there is that one person who gets it and we start to put too much trust in that person.

    This was crushing because it hurt to see her be betrayed by the one person she needed more than anyone else. It was also uplifting because someone she barely knew reached out to catch her when she fell (literally and metaphysically. Did I mention I love how Durarara sets up situations so it can do both at the same time).

  4. Jason "moofang"

    Personally I think it’s not so much that that one person gets it as that one person agrees and supports your views – justifying you. I remember this scene where Rio reacted strongly and insisted to then disguised ‘pompous ass’ that his parents didn’t care at all about how he felt. “They don’t care about your feelings at all, I’m sure“, or something along those lines. But the thing is there are always alternative possibilities in situations like these – in the girl’s case her parents as you said might have worked it out in private. In fact it may be that they are working to carry on as if nothing happened because they cared about her and didn’t want to ruin her familial life. But she couldn’t admit those possibilities or all of her anger and silent accusations would have been horribly wrong. And so when someone appears that feels the same anger and makes the same accusations she latches on, not only drawing reinforcement from his similar interpretation of his predicament but also actively reinforcing that interpretation for him. If she had also spoken to someone else, hypothetically, who also finds himself in the same situation as her, but who insists that she may be wrong in her interpretation of it, it is highly likely that she would trust ‘pompous ass’ deeply while rejecting this other person, even though they both theoretically ‘get it’.

    And so the question fascinates me – how do you disagree with such a person in such a way that it wouldn’t trigger the defense mechanisms? The interesting implication Durarara makes here is that you need to push a person to breaking point – literally off the precipice, before you can speak to a person’s inner self and plant the seed towards recovery. Although it didn’t look like ‘pompous ass’ meant any benevolence, his cruel words and his driving her towards jumping off the roof was evidently part of the picture in Rio’s eventual change of heart. Do you need to be cruel to be kind? Oh questions, questions.

  5. I second everything that has been discussed about this episode. Um, I apologize if I couldn’t give any more comments regarding this but that’s because the analysis done by both you and Dustin of the featured scenario were just that good. :)

    With regards to ‘pompous ass’ method of handling Rio’s situation, while I do think it does take a harsh whip of reality to change someone’s perspective for the better, I don’t exactly agree with his approach. Imho, he went a bit too far with Rio but I guess Rio is equally to blame for giving up. If she hadn’t been saved by the headless rider, everything would have been in vain. Then again, it is as you say, it didn’t seem like ‘pompous ass’ words carried any benevolence. It’s evident he merely finds amusement in toying with people and it’s not like he wanted to help Rio in the first place.

  6. Jason "moofang"

    Thanks for the compliment, although I think Dustin deserves most of it. And man, ‘pompous ass’ has so become the de-facto standard for referring to ‘pompous ass’ :)

    I don’t agree with his approach either, and literally cringed at every line he said. It probably doesn’t even count as an ‘approach’ in the first place since I don’t think he had any thoughts of saving/helping her (though who really knows at this point). But I dunno, suppose it was you standing there at the roof waiting for Rio. How does one do better? Is there a ‘kinder’ way that would still allow the message – the title of this post – to get through? I’m hoping Durarara might have something more to say about the themes in this episode. We’ll see what the next episodes bring.

  7. Even with episode 3 out, I’m still a bit lost as to what central theme Durarara has for its viewers. Well, I guess this is part of the charm why I’m watching this Anime here.

  8. Jason "moofang"

    Hehe, haven’t watched episode 3. I’m behind as usual >.< but 3 is still pretty early I guess. They have plenty more episodes to flesh something out :P

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