I was reading the Durarara!! light novel volume 1 and on page 184, Izaya says the following to Mikado:

“But while you may be dreaming of a life outside the bounds of normality, life in Tokyo will become normal after you’ve been here for a year. … If you truly want to escape the ordinary, you’ll simply need to keep evolving – whether what you seek is above or below.”

Mikado thinks that this is painful to hear because of how well he understood what Izaya meant. If he was unhappy with his life now, would he just keep searching for a new life forever?

Reading this was painful for me too. This made me think about the time I wrote about desire and how suffering relates to desire. Back to Izaya – what does he mean by evolving? I thought I knew, but I’m not sure anymore. Any thoughts?

P.S. I’m reading The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. I read parts of it a few years ago for a Psychology class. I’m just reading it for fun now since I already have my BA in Psych. The book is about evolution, natural selection and altruism… so maybe that’s why I thinking about Izaya’s definition of evolving.


13 thoughts on “Question

  1. hmmm i never watched durarara so i don’t have the full context, but i think “life in tokyo…” refers to how ppl can easily associate new beginnings (ie moving to a new city, starting at a new job/school) as a way to grow or change up their mudane lives; moving to the big city is often a common theme in stories that kinda plays on this. “you’ll need to simply keep evolving” could then refer to how that change would only be temporary. if you want to keep your life exciting, are you going to take the easy route and just keep moving to new cities every year or so? realistically, that’s not very sustainable, and once you adapt to this new life, things are going to be boring again. i think izaya is saying that instead of flashy external factors, you have to internally discover things in life that you enjoy without making them into routines. i think this is especially true for life once you start working, where your day to day involves waking up, going to work, coming home with a few hours to indulge in hobbies before going to bed, and rinsing and repeating. evolution itself is a slow process, so maybe izaya is saying grow to love a new interest, but learn to recognize when that interest is becoming a routine, and build the strength to let go and move towards new avenues, or having multiple avenues, never limiting yourself. i wonder how this compares to what you used to think izaya meant? i also don’t get what he means by “whether what you seek is above or below” tho lmao

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    • Yeah, moving every year is not sustainable at all. “internally discover things in life that you enjoy without making them into routines” – what do you mean by that? I feel like it is easy for anything to become a routine. Although, I’m not sure how sustainable it is to constantly change hobbies either.

      What I thought it meant: When things don’t go your way, to go with the flow and don’t let it affect you too much. If something unexpectedly happens, to “evolve” or change yourself so that it’s okay for change to happen. Either change your mindset into acceptance or to change your behaviour to adapt to whatever the situation. I’m not sure about this anymore because I’m thinking about how this would relate to ordinary/mundane life and life of excitement.

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      • Yeah, I agree that it’s easy for anything to become routine; it’s just human nature to try and find stability in life. But I think that’s the point: if you find stability, life eventually becomes mundane over time. By not “making [your interests] into routines”, I mean not overly indulging yourself in your hobbies but having a balance and switching it up every now and then. For example, I used to use my entire summer/winter breaks just watching my backlog of movies and anime, and while I enjoyed completing series that I always wanted to watch, it eventually felt more like a chore 😅😅😅 Nowadays I feel like I have a main interest that I partake in pretty frequently (watching anime) and then a circle of other hobbies I do occasionally: drawing when inktober comes around, watching western films, photography, etc. I think finding balance with my interests in that way has let me keep my passion for my hobbies strong. Evolution itself is a slow process where traits (or interests/hobbies in this case) gradually build up over long periods of time, so yeah mb Izaya is saying more to find a way to balance your life in a way that keeps it interesting than seeking constant change as a form of spicing up your day to day.

        Looool I relate to your interpretation of the quote alot; whatever happens happens. I used to say shoganai aLOT in high school lmao, which is basically the Japanese philosophy of accepting that some things are out of your control, so sometimes it’s better to just move on that dwell on things; aka don’t cry over spilt milk lol.

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      • I do think that I have balance with my hobbies (watching anime, playing video games, photography, cosplay, reading books, blogging) but I still don’t feel content enough. My life still feels pretty mundane. I enjoy my hobbies, but I feel like that’s not enough right now, if that makes sense. Like in Durarara, lots of things happen to Mikado. He’s not doing his hobbies, but actually doing a lot of IRL stuff.

        Re: moving on than dwell on things, I understand this and I try to do it but it’s quite hard. It’s kind of hard to just move on and go with the flow when you’re still processing your emotions, you know what I mean?

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      • I think if you feel your life is mundane, in order to “evolve” mb explore things you don’t do as often that are somewhat out of your comfort zone. Or pay attention in the coming weeks on the activities that do make you feel content. IRL stuff where I’m socializing would kinda be the answer for me, interacting with others always boosts my mood. Might or might not be the same for you tho.

        Sometimes it’s ok to dwell on things, especially if they make you feel emotional. Shoganai usually refers to little accidents; there’s some things where if you’re able to move on quickly, it makes sense since maybe you didn’t really care about it that much in the first place (ie spilt milk). If you’re unable to move on quickly from an emotional event, it just goes to show how much you cared; on the flip side, if you’re able to quickly move on from something that you thought you cared about, did you really care that much in the first place? Or was it just superficial. Dwelling on stuff just reminds us that we’re human 😊

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      • “if you’re able to quickly move on from something that you thought you cared about, did you really care that much in the first place? Or was it just superficial.” — Damn, that was deep. That is very true, you make an excellent point. Hmm… I will have to think about this.

        Thanks for all your input!!

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  2. Pingback: Mystery Blogger Award – Keiko's Anime Blog

      • Here’s a thought for you. No trait that appears in significant numbers in the population is without its advantages. If it didn’t it would disappear.

        Whether a trait is used for good or evil is a social thing. Genetics can’t help with that.

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  3. I’m completely unfamiliar with the anime/manga to which you refer. But as your elder, I will offer this observation: all things change in time, including your own body and thought processes. They will continue to do so (although at varying rates, depending upon the efforts you expend to manage such change) so long as you exist in this plane. The subject statement is essentially correct in that one must change–it is a condition of life. You just have to decide if you’re going to transform into a butterfly or decay into a pile of compost, then exert decision-appropriate effort. (You look like a brilliant butterfly to me. . .) Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for saying that I look like a brilliant butterfly!! Very nice of you to say!

      I agree, things change. Very interesting that you decide what you want to be. Thank you!


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