Guest Post: What “Durarara!!” Taught Me About the Way Satan Works

Today, we are happy to bring you a guest post by community member Maggie Schoepke. Maggie is a writer, artist, and graphic designer in charge of her blog, Ladies of the Press.

While we are a Christian website, one of our goals here at Beneath the Tangles is to foster discussion with anime fans of all religions. We hope that you enjoy reading what our community has to offer and will consider submitting a guest post of your own. Remember, we welcome posts from all writers, regardless of their beliefs!

General Disclaimer: Beneath the Tangles does not necessarily advocate the theological views expressed in any article labeled “Guest Post.”

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With the first season of Durarara!! under my belt, I can finally say, this show takes the cake. If you know me, I seem to say this after every anime I’ve completed, but there’s something different about this one… I can’t help thinking that, even after more seasons to come, Durarara!! will be in my top ten for quite some time.

It’s been a bit hard to pinpoint, but I think what really drew me into the series was the genre. Without many shonen-like scenes, there was room for more of a plot line, undoubtedly thickened by the perfect balance of mystery and logic. Yes, there were elements of violence and horror, but I found it terribly interesting and somewhat true to life all the same. I could go on and on about how it was marvelously written with twists and turns in every episode and animation that kinda has a 90s feel to it, but as Masaomi says,“Its the square root of three -above the heads of grade school kids,” so I’ll keep it to myself.

Instead of boring my readers to death with praises for the show, I thought I’d take a minute to talk about some of the supernatural elements of the story. There’s a sword called Saika that loves people, but also hurts them. To help you understand where I’m going with this, I have included the following dialogue below:

Celty: “I don’t understand…if it loves people, why slash them?”

Shinra: “When people are in love they have various ways of expressing themselves.”

Celty: “Huh? What do you mean?”

Shinra: “Like holding hands or embracing or even talking.”

The conversation further unfolds into a description of how the sword works. Viewers learn that the weapon simply wants its love to have tangible form. Because of this desire, it expresses itself through the person who wields it. And it does so by taking over the body of the wielder and then slashing the person it loves. Long story short, the slashing gives birth to more wielders of similar swords wanting to convey similar love. See what I mean about it being both intriguing and horrible at the same time?

Saika in action.

Well, later in the series I started asking myself what the supernatural elements in the world of Durarara!! could tell me about the supernatural elements in the real world. And here’s what I found out. Saika loves humans. We know that from the story. But when you compare Satan to Saika, the motives of the Prince of Darkness are a bit more complicated. You see, Satan (and other demons) influence people. Such influence is not always the cause for sin, as often our own flesh-nature motivates us to do wrong, but influence in the form of spiritual warfare still happens nonetheless. We must be on guard for such attacks. The Prince of Darkness can get a grip on the mind and heart, all too easily affecting our every thought and motive. This, to me, is much like the way Saika works. Only there’s a small difference.

As I’ve mentioned before, Saika truly does love humans. Satan, however, does not. He may make it look otherwise, but the only person Satan loves, has ever loved, and will ever love, is himself (see Isaiah 14:12-15). Despite this being the case, I think it’s worth noting that Satan works most of his deceits through passion, just like Saika. Try to think of a time when Satan didn’t motivate people through their love of something. He does his best work through things like greed and lust, and even when hate is the main motivation, it only exists because there is love for something else.

So, there were those differences and similarities I caught in the series, but there were also a couple more. The primary wielder of Saika is a girl named Anri. Once, when caught in a tough situation, she announces, I will have peace in my life even if I have to do something horrible to have it. These are much like the lies Satan tells to motivate humans. Think about it. How does Satan often tempt us into doing wrong? He tells us that sinning (the horrible deeds he often asks us to commit) will bring us some kind of reward if we push through with it. In Anri’s case, this reward is peace. Satan has done this type of tempting since the beginning. Remember Adam and Eve?

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5).

The text in red is the first instance where Satan convinces humans that sinning will be worth the “reward” it brings. As I’m sure we all know, a reward is not exactly what Adam and Eve get in the end. Yes, the husband and wife’s eyes were opened, and they knew both good and evil. They did not die immediately, but death was a suddenly-existing thing that eventually came as an aftermath of their disobedience. By giving into Satan’s lies, they were shown far more than they ever wanted to see (Genesis 3:16-19). And they were also shown far less of their paradise than they ever wanted to see (Genesis 3:23-24). They were introduced to murder and were ultimately even responsible for their son being killed in such a way (Genesis: 4:8).

Just like Adam and Eve, who found themselves enslaved to Satan and their sin, Anri was likewise indebted to the blade, Saika. Her collaboration with the sword brought forth children (more bearers of the blade), and her pain doubled immensely because of this. Her life and the life of her friends and countless others were endangered because of the choices she made. Some of those people even died in brutal ways, and because of this, Anri struggled to obtain the life she truly desired.

In his book Creativity According to the Kingdom, Matt Tommey summarizes what I’m trying to say exactly:

Because God gave legal authority to mankind over the earth realm, both He and Satan need a human – one authority in this realm – if they want to do anything on the earth. It’s a legal issue based on the law of agreement. When God wants to move on the earth, He finds a man or woman who will agree with Heaven and then through that agreement, the Kingdom of Heaven manifests. The same is true for the kingdom of darkness.

Then, he goes on to further encourage us on what to do with this information:

As believers, our job is not to make Heaven happen here through stressful religious striving. Rather, it is our job to discern between the Kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom of darkness and then agree with Heaven. So how do you know the difference? Well, lots of different ways like God’s Word, prophetic revelation and godly counsel come to mind, but they all come under the heading of renewing you mind, so you can operate with the mind of Christ.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

You are transformed and can discern (test and approve) the difference between kingdoms through a renewed mind (knowledge). Once you know the difference, then you can agree with heaven in your heart, having been what the Bible calls ‘fully persuaded’ (Romans 4:21), what I call being ‘in faith.’

Both Durarara!! and Matt Tommey paint a pretty ugly picture of the way Satan works. Through their use of words and imagery, we learn that the Prince of Darkness has no other motives than his own. He loves no one else but himself. He works his deceits through passions of some sort and tells us that sinning will bring us a greater reward. When we pursue this desire, we get what we deserve, not what we want. It may take years for a consequence to develop, but one will develop nonetheless.

If you ask me, this seems like a very depressing cycle. Thankfully, things don’t have to be that way. We can defeat Satan and this pattern of sin and consequence by renewing our minds, and being on guard for works from both kingdoms. We can give authority to the Kingdom of Heaven to work through us. Then, and only then, can we fully live in faith.


Tommey, Matt. “The Kingdom Is Like…” Creativity According to the Kingdom. Asheville: Worship Studio, 2014. 142. Print.


12 thoughts on “Guest Post: What “Durarara!!” Taught Me About the Way Satan Works

  1. Maggie,

    I love that you decided to write specifically about Durarara! It truly is a diamond in the rough, and I have already seen the entire first series. I will tell you that the second season begins to enter more into the fan service, shonen garbage that we have out now, so if that is not your cup of tea, I would suggest to entirely skip it. The first season actually wraps up everything every well, even without a sequel! I did an article on Beneath The Tangles on Durarara as well not that long ago, so it’s cool to see some of the things that I noticed in your writing too!

    Satan really does operate exactly like Saika, except that he does not care about our well-being. He does everything in his power to tempt us into sin, keeping us as far from the Lord as he can. But God’s plan are “to help us and not to harm us”. Sometimes I think that obeying my flesh and the demons that surround me will bring me the gratification and satisfaction that I am looking for, but as of recent I have realized that I only find these things from the abundant life in Jesus Christ.

    Micah Marshall

    1. Micah,

      Thanks for your comment! I truly enjoy discussing Durarara!! with fellow Otaku’s, as it is one of my favs. I will admit, I have started the second season since I wrote this article, and as you’ve seemed to imply, it was very disappointing. I think the only reason I’m still watching it is because, in my opinion, the characters have just strong enough personalities to carry the series through. Also, I’m so glad you were able to reflect on this article and apply it to your own life! It’s so cool to hear; thank you for sharing! 🙂

  2. Interesting piece on a series I’m unfamiliar with. Then again, I’m unfamiliar with a lot of series’ 🙂

    That said, your comparison to Satan is interesting. Another comparison to Satan which we as people tend to ignore, but I think is also relevant – is that Satan is created and is therefore limited. Much like the sword Saika, Satan has limited power and influence. While we feel his power being exerted all over – it is not merely him doing these things. He is one being with physical limitations. So too, it appears, is the sword.

    Despite his depiction in most modern media as a direct equal to God, Satan is not equal to God. He cannot be everywhere at once. He is not omnipotent. He is not omnipresent. He can be defeated, and he will be.

    1. MRNewman,

      I think your comment really adds to and expands on what I was trying to say. Your right, such thoughts about Satan having limited power are often neglected, but it’s absolutely true and something we need to remind ourselves of daily! Thanks for pushing us towards that direction 🙂

  3. Luminas here to make comments! 😀

    “Satan, however, does not. He may make it look otherwise, but the only person Satan loves, has ever loved, and will ever love, is himself.”

    Well….technically inaccurate on the second point from a Biblical standpoint. All beings with free will God initially created perfect— To say otherwise is essentially to say that God Himself screwed someone over from the get-go, which isn’t scripturally…okay on a lot of fronts. So that must mean that when Satan was initially created, he did in fact love someone passionately— God Himself. How and why exactly he fell out of Love (Somewhat literally!) and gave up Love for Pride and Power is something that has been of considerable interest to me for a long time.

    There’s….a lot more I want to say here on this subject, but none of it is arguable in any sense (Being that it is part of the conflict between me and Christianity, what I have seen and experienced religiously).

    “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5).”

    I think he would probably argue that this line isn’t a lie, and he’s at least half right, but that’s the Devil for you. ;]

    “You see, Satan (and other demons) influence people. Such influence is not always the cause for sin, as often our own flesh-nature motivates us to do wrong, but influence in the form of spiritual warfare still happens nonetheless. We must be on guard for such attacks.”

    I’ve always wondered what this feels like to you. How can you tell the difference between your own flesh-nature motivating you to do wrong and the Devil or his demons motivating you to do wrong? Because, well, I subjectively experience what seems like the very real presence of another person with no body with me, whom I want desperately to meet, but I doubt you’re talking about something that overt and obvious. Are you just taking it on faith that it’s happening, or have you in fact “met him” and “done spiritual battle” with his temptation?

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Luminas! I always look forward to your input!

      Since I didn’t write this article, and don’t technically endorse the theological views found within (as per the disclaimer!), I won’t get too far into this response so as to give Maggie the chance to do so fully.

      However, I do want to briefly mention that I understand your points. Many within Christianity have different views of Satan. Some interpret him as a literal being that is also referred to as Lucifer who rebelled against God and was literally cast to Hell, where he reigns. Some regard him as more mythological in nature, separating him completely from the Lucifer “legend,” instead considering demons to be forces as opposed to literal beings. And then there are many in between (and outside!).

      Before you get any more responses, I just want you to keep in mind that all of these views exist, and we don’t officially advocate a specific view here on the site (though we welcome positive discussion!). Though I suppose you probably knew all of that already 😛

      1. Which in and of itself gets interesting, because my “problem” with Christianity dissipates in a sense as soon as Satan isn’t actually a person in the angelic, has-a-personality sort of way. But that’s another subject for a different poster. Thanks Japes for the clarification and always responding with awesome and grace. 🙂

    2. Luminas,

      I completely agree with you that God did create EVERYTHING perfect from the beginning of time, INCLUDING Satan. It is confusing as to why he decided to fall away from God, but I believe that his own intentions might have been revealed when he was talking to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:4-5:

      “The serpent said to the woman, ‘Surely you will not die, 5 for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil.'”

      Satan himself wanted to be like God just as he is convincing mankind to do the same. I’m not for sure on this and have no real proof, but it is just a gut feeling.

      You were saying that you had some arguable questions about Christianity that you were not sure about, and I was just curious as to what they were? I’ve had dozens of questions about the validity of the Bible, having faith in Christ, and explaining the actions of Biblical heroes in the Old Testament; I understand the turmoil you must experience. If you ever want someone to ask these to, I’m always available to answer. I’m not a pastor, heck I’m still a high school senior, but I still think that I can give some helpful insight. Email me at with any questions that you have, and I’ll try to get back with you! You can always email the contact for Beneath The Tangles, and I bet that Japes or the other staff can give you some advice.

      Micah Marshall

      1. Micah, that does sound like it’s definitely part of it. And as for my questions, well…I can send you a form of the rant I sent TWWK about this a while back, if you’re at all interested. My questions have a lot less to do with the Bible itself and more to do with my personal religious experiences.

        1. Luminas,

          I’d really appreciate it if you would! Just shoot me an email, and I’ll try my best to discern what you personally experienced! I’m actually leaving for a church retreat this weekend, so expect an answer on Sunday or Monday.

          Micah Marshall

    3. Luminas,

      I agree with what you said about how God initially created every being with free will perfect. This is something I completely forgot to take into account when writing my article. However, I am so glad you caught and pointed out my mistake, as it is truly my desire for everything I say to be grounded in God’s Word, and I would never want to say anything that degrades my Savior in any way, shape, or form. Now that I think about it, I guess what I was trying to convey, was that, from the moment we are born into this world, our flesh nature is in place.

      Your other question is a tough one to answer, but I welcome it gladly. As Japes already kind of said, everyone’s going to have different beliefs about Satan and spiritual warfare, so everybody’s experience is going to look different. If you are asking me personally, however, I would have to agree with you that such decrement between flesh nature and Satan’s influence is hard to make. If I think back on my life however, I can definitely recall times when an evil power seemed to be at work. I would say there’s more of a presence with that power than mere flesh nature, and that’s how I try to tell the difference. I hope that answered the questions you had, and feel free to ask more if you have any! I’d love to try and help 🙂

  4. Great post here Maggie, thanks for writing it. Satan is so tricky and sneaky, hiding himself as an angel of light that we sometimes don’t even realize it’s him that is influencing us. It can even be a nice person, trying to convince us to do something that is out of God’s will and we don’t even see it. We have to be on guard, asking God to guide us every day of our lives so we don’t waste time on unnecessary things.

    Pray and ask God to reveal to you any plans of the enemy that he has for your life. To anyone else reading this comment, I urge you to seek Him that made you and gave you purpose for living. Whatever that is, ask Him if you are not sure. I did, and He has got me to where I am today through His wisdom and understanding.

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