Starting a bit further back from where the previous episode left off, we see the story from our neighborhood reporter, Shuji Niekawa. After having been tossed like a rag doll by Shizuo, Shuji has been searching the town, continuing his effort to find the “strongest” in Ikebukuro.
Shuji meets with several characters who all tell him a little bit about Shizuo and how he is possibly the “strongest” person in Ikebukuro. As a side note, Izaya mentions how Simon is probably the strongest person when it comes down to a fist fight, but Shizuo would win if anything goes. Shuji’s research leads him to the spot where the slasher attacked the girls who were bullying Anri and he starts to relate Anri to his own daughter, Haruna, as a girl who is being targeted by the slasher. Shortly after he is attacked by the slasher and becomes possessed by the spirit of Saika. This leads us to believe that the “slasher” is not limited to one person. Shuji eventually attacks Anri as she revisits the same spot where she witnessed the slasher attack earlier. Anri gets saved not only once, but twice by Dotachin’s group and Celty. The episode ends with Shizuo taking on the possessed Shuji with a car door ripped off Togusa’s precious van.
While this wasn’t a particularly great episode, it still had a few good points. In particular, the parts where each person interviewed was introduced with a newspaper-style photograph with the headlines around it were a nice touch. However, the primary character, Shuji, for this episode was pretty bland with no striking features and made for a mediocre episode. But, we do find out a few interesting points and we’re getting closer to the truth about the slasher.
First of all, we learn that Anri lost her parents right around the same time when the “slasher” first appeared. This leads us to believe that the slasher and Anri’s parents are related. Perhaps, the slasher killed Anri’s parents, or perhaps one of her parents was actually the slasher instead. We saw a brief flashback in episode 14 that had an older woman with red eyes and a katana who could possibly be related to Anri (this flashback occurred while Anri was wandering around town). Could that person be possibly be Anri’s mother? Or perhaps Haruna’s? Either way, the slasher is related to Anri somehow, since when Shuji was possessed, he mentions a voice telling him to “Look after her” (“her” being Anri of course). While some may think this is because Shuji wanted to interview her about the slasher, I would have to disagree. It seems that it’s Saika, or rather a mind that has been possessed by Saika that wants Shuji to “look after” Anri, though I’m not sure how attacking her with a knife would accomplish this task.
Besides the slasher, we learn some subtle details about the other characters of the story. Simon, who always seems cheerful and friendly, has shown a side of seriousness in the past. In this episode, Shuji points out how Simon’s strange way of speaking Japanese might be on purpose. We already know that Simon might actually be hiding a few secrets, but this further proves that Simon might know a lot more than he appears. Of course, he isn’t the only one who seems to be acting ignorant in this show.
Izaya is also hiding some information of his own. He outright denies any information about Shizuo to Shuji, saying that the only person who needs to know about Shizuo is himself. I’m not sure what this could mean, but I’m thinking it has to do with that incident where Izaya got Shizuo arrested a while back. Perhaps, he doesn’t want anyone digging up information about what he did to get Shizuo arrested or what he got Shizuo arrested for? Or I could be completely off and he could just have those “special” feelings for Shizu-chan.