Let me start by saying I’m super proud and happy to be part of an amazing group Owls. I appreciate that there are fellow anime lovers out their looking to support people who are discriminated against or bullied for being different. I say it’s good to be different. If we all were the same then this would be a boring world. Every month we have a topic we must take an anime and relate it to that topic. This month’s topic is “dreamers”.
“What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?”
Due to recent events that happened in September, this month’s OWLS topic will be on “Dreamers.” Every individual has a goal or ambition that they devote their whole life to with passion and courage—whether it’s landing your dream job, traveling, or finding the love of your life. However, there are those who spent their whole life working towards a dream but it was cut short due to an unexpected occurrence. Those people are left only to dream and wonder about the possibility.
This month’s topic will be dedicated to these characters in pop culture entertainment. We are not going to focus on the individuals that achieved their aspirations but instead, we will focus weon characters that weren’t able to. We will explore what happens to characters who had their wings forcefully cut off as well as those who gave up before they even started their journey. We will also discuss what it means for “a dream to be deferred.”
Once I saw this topic I had so many ideas of characters that came to mind but one character stood out the most to me. That is Mikado Ryuugamine from Durarara. He comes from a small town in Japan named Saitama which is very uneventful. After hearing stories from his childhood friend Masaomi about Ikebukuro he decides to move there. What was supposed to be a good life in the city turns out to be more than what Mikado can handle.
BACK STORY OF DURARARA AND THE CITY OF IKEBUKURO
Durarara follows many characters who lives throughout the series Intersect each other. Each of their interactions play a major role in each other lives. Ikebukuro is a district in Tokyo that has many interesting characters from Izaya Orihara the information broker who is sneaky and manipulative. Shizuo Heiwajima who has super human strength and is usually seen attacking Izaya throughout the series. Then you have Celty Sturluson an Irish Dullahan (in Irish means no head and its an Unseelie Fairy) that is known as the “Black Rider” who rides a motorcycle that sometimes looks like a horse. She is rumored to have no head underneath her helmet and is in search for her stolen head. Plus many more characters that each of their interactions creates a bigger plots in the series.
Mikado Ryuugamine, is a 16 years old boy from a small town called Saitama in Japan. He longed to live in the big city of Ikebukuro after hearing so many stories from his childhood friend Masaomi Kida. While in Saitama he and a few online friends created a fake online group called “Dollars” as a prank to play on others. The group begins to gain momentum and many of its followers are based in Ikebukuro. Mikado decides to move to Ikebukuro to reunite with his friend Masaomi and to attend Raira Academy. The beginning of the series Mikado is a quiet and timid character. Later in the series we begin to see a more colder and darker side to him.
The group Dollars was founded by Mikado and a few online friends as a prank to play on others. Anyone can join the group through email invites. The group begin to gain momentum as more and more people begin to join. It started as an online group but became known as a colorless gang in the streets of Ikebukuro.
The original members that created this group with Mikado decided to leave due to the violence. The dollars expanded and became more known as a gang committing crimes. Mikado decides to email all the Dollars’ members to start doing good for the city to show that the group is not a gang.
Throughout the series the Dollars become more and more dangerous. They get involved in gang fights and start committing more and more crimes.
HOW DID THIS ALL START
Mikado was living a boring life in a small town named Saitama. Majority of his time was spent being online in different chat rooms. He would also talk with his childhood friend Masaomi about his life in Ikebukuro which sounded exciting to Mikado. He was looking for something different and exciting. So, Mikado and a few of his online friends created the group “Dollars” as a prank. Whenever a situation happened in the city they would claim the Dollars were responsible in the online chat forums. Anyone was able to join the Dollars through an email invite only. Many people joined the Dollars because the group was designed to have no rules, no commands plus no restrictions. No one knew who the leader was (Mikado) but they never questioned it and kind of liked the mystery.
Mikado finally decides to move to Ikebukuro to reunite with Masaomi and to live his city life. He also wanted to see how the Dollars acted because majority of the members live there. When he arrives he is welcomed by Masaomi at the train station. Now in Ikebukuro, Masaomi explains to him the different people he should stay away from one being Izaya and the other Shizuo.
Mikado enrolls into Raira Academy where Masaomi attends as well. There he meets a lot of new students. One main student that stood out is Anri Sonohara who he gains an interest in. After meeting Anri, Mikado, Masaomi and Anri start hanging a lot as a trio.
Throughout the series we witness Mikado starting his life off well in Ikebukuro to spiraling downhill. The major factor for his troubles was his involvement with The Dollars. His original friends who started the group with him decided to leave due to the reputation the Dollars Were earning. They started to become a street gang and were committing different crimes throughout the city. They were nicknamed “the colorless gang” because they were unidentifiable compared to the street gangs that had colors assigned to them such as the “Yellow Scarves” and the “Blue Squares”.
Due to this negative reputation Mikado went on the Dollars forum and asked the members to do good deeds for the city because he didn’t want to be associated with violence. He was laughed in the beginning but some members went to the streets to show that they are not a bad group.
The Yellow Scarves were now out to start trouble with the Dollars. Especially since they think the Dollars were involved in with the Slasher incidents that were occurring around the city. Since the Dollars were a colorless gang the Yellow scarves were attacking anyone they thought was part of the Dollars or whoever tagged their streets up with the name Dollars. There are many occasions we see Mikado getting beaten up by Yellow Scarves and other crazy characters.
When a dollar member was being harassed the Dollars would send mass messages out to the group to help the fellow Dollars member from the yellow scarves. This kind of made Mikado happy that his group can stick together and help each other.
The violence begin to extremely escalate because more people joined the Dollars and were ready for an all out gang war with the Yellow scarves. The Yellow scarves attacked some key members of the dollars. When the dollars heard the news they were upset that the leader didn’t do anything to handle the situation. So they decided to take it into their owns hands.
As the street wars escalated Mikado and a few of the Dollars were plotting to eliminate any members in the Dollars that were causing all these problems. But they were unsuccessful.
The battle he was in was at the climax where there was no turning back. This is where we start to see Mikado’s sinister side that is his true self. He was getting an excitement from all the things that were happening. He knew this was a bad situation but he was enjoying the life because it was something new and different.
HOW IT ALL ENDS
(Spoilers) One day Mikado is told by the Black Rider (Celty) that Masaomi was the Leader of the yellow scarves and Anri was the Slasher. This hit Mikado hard because these were his very close friends that he was hanging with his whole time in Ikebukuro.
He heads to the Yellow Scarves hide out and see Anri holding a beaten up Masaomi. They escort him to the hospital and there Masaomi decides to leave Ikebukuro.
Now, Mikado is dealing with some new characters from the Blue Squares who want to team up with the Dollars to rid the Yellow Scarves from the streets. Mikado doesn’t trust this group and feel they have an Ulterior motive. He shows his power by stabbing a pen in their leaders hand to let him know he has the power.
As the wars progress we begin to see Mikado’s attitude change because he realizes he can not handle all these problems. He is now regretting becoming the leader of the Dollars and having the gang get to this point.
We witness a scene where Mikado is hysterically crying and ranting because he just can’t handle it anymore. He wants the Dollars back to where they use to be but know it is not capable of going back. He pulls out a gun and tries to kill himself but the bullet is blocked by The black rider (Celty). He is taken to the hospital after this incident to recover. after this incident he shuts down the Dollars forum. But there were still a few active Dollars.
HOW FAR IS TOO FAR TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAM
Now I didn’t want to go into full details of the Durarara story but wanted to give you the situations that caused Mikado to get to the point in his life for him to try and commit suicide to escape it all. A small town boy that wanted excitement and once he was in the city he got the excitement he was looking for. Yet, he didn’t realize the consequences he had to face. It can happen like that in real life as well. You may think things are greener on the other side but sometimes it’s not.
His goal to turn the Dollars into a group that did good for the city was never reached. The situation became worse and worse. Yet, he was loving the power he was gaining from being the leader of the Dollars. It was something he never had in life. He needed more but couldn’t handle it. He let his dream get the best of him that he was put in danger mentally and physically. Never let your dreams take you to a place where you are in danger mentally or physically like Mikado.
If he noticed from the beginning that this was escalating to a point of no return he should have tried to pull back or shutdown the Dollars forum from the beginning. But since he had the mentality of wanting his life to be exciting he was caught up in trouble that followed him everywhere he went. It’s sad that he started out as a sweet boy and very trust worthy to becoming a darker person and hurting people along the way. He lost himself in the city and forgot where he came from.
How far will you go to achieve your dream? Many people in life have a dream, some put so much effort in to it and many times it can fail. Do you dust yourself off and try again or do you pursue another dream? How can we make a dream a reality? There is no right or wrong answer but there are some people who continue to try and the there are those who decide let’s try another path. I think it’s good for people to dream and have goals. If you don’t reach that goal or dream maybe try another path. Just know we are very lucky that we can dream and have more options on our plates.
Hope you enjoyed my tour. Please be sure to check out the rest of my fellow Owls ‘s tour.
Also, be sure to check out Arria Cross from Fujinsei with He’s No Dreamer, The Lost Boy from Silver Spoon.
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