Izaya speech bubble: Won’t you stop prying into my business so much?
Title: Let’s decipher Izaya’s expectations from the arrangement of the pieces!!
Subtitle: During the anime, Izaya used a combination of shogi, chess, and Othello pieces, and they reappeared many times and we saw them in many scenes. But what did they mean? From the pieces and their positions, let’s see if we can figure out what Izaya’s thinking.
【Episode 9 – Iirenren (Love and Cherish in English)】
Blue squares: White Othello piece is Namie, shogi と piece is Mikado, black Othello pieces are Namie’s black suited underlings.
Title: Shogi pawn Surrounded by White and Black Othello Pieces
Description: While Mikado was sheltering Harima Mika, Namie and her black suited underlings were surrounding their target, is what we think this means. The centre “pawn piece” represents “Mikado,” the “white Othello piece” represents “Namie”, and the “black Othello pieces” represent Namie’s black suit wearing underlings. At this point, the “pawn” is flipped over to become a “promoted piece.” We can guess this change is meant to include the change from Mikado as an ordinary “pawn” to his place as the founder of the Dollars
【Episode 12 – Umusousei (Ying and Yang in English)】
Red exclamation: Immediately after the “promoted piece” becomes a senior “king piece”!
First picture: Shogi piece is Mikado
Second picture: White Othello pieces are Dollars, shogi と piece is Mikado, upper shogi piece is Izaya, upper white Othello piece is Namie.
Title: Promoted Pawn Surrounded by White Othello Pieces
Description: The black Othello pieces surrounding the “promoted piece” die, and are replaced by white Othello pieces (the Dollars?). Immediately after that, the “promoted piece” is changed to a senior “king piece,” meant to represent the instant Mikado goes from ordinary pawn to making his appearance as the founder of the Dollars. Also, if we assume that the cornered white Othello piece is Namie, the nearby pieces would be the “shogi bishop” as Izaya and the “Queen” as Celty’s head…we wonder what that means.
【Episode 17 – Uitenpen (Everything Changes in English)】
Blue squares: Shogi piece is Mikado, black Othello pieces are Dollars
Title: Shogi King Piece Surrounded by Black Othello Pieces
Description: The senior “king piece” is Mikado and the “black Othello pieces” are the Dollars. This probably represents the position of Mikado, who is going to investigate the situation using the Dollars. As for the change of the Dollars from white pieces to black pieces, could this be because the team colour is colourless, or could this represent the beginning of the changes in the Dollars…?
【Episode 18 – Shiseiyuumei (Out of Your Control in English)】
Blue squares: Upper left shogi piece is Mikado, chess piece is Celty’s head, upper right shogi piece is Anri, lower middle shogi piece is Masaomi.
Title: Three king pieces facing the Black Queen
Description: Most likely the normal “king” is Anri, and the senior player “kings” are Mikado and Masaomi respectively. The centre queen is either Celty or Celty’s head. Perhaps this indicates the 3 of them facing off with Celty, or that in the future the relationship between the four of them will be even more complicated?
【Episode 21 – Gorimuchuu (Everything Covered in Fog in English)】
Blue squares: Black bishop is Masaomi, white pawn is Yellow Scarves, white queen is Anri, black Othello pieces are Saika’s children, white king is Izaya, black queen is Celty’s head, white Othello piece is Namie, black knight is Celty, shogi piece is Mikado.
Title: The triangular board returns!
Description: After burning his Japanese chessboard in episode 18, Izaya has changed to a triangular shaped board. Notice that the white Othello piece from episode 9 that we speculated to be Namie is consistently being used. From there, we can guess at the other positions. Her nearby pieces are Izaya (white King) and Celty’s head (Black Queen). Also, if the right lower senior king piece is Mikado, then we can determine that the black knight would be Celty. And assuming that the lower left Black King is Masaomi, and if the surrounding chess pieces would be the Yellow Scarves, then from the state of affairs surrounding Masaomi we can guess that the white queen of “Saika” (and her black Othello piece children) is Anri. In short, the arrangement is that Izaya and company are watching the three way struggle and ensuing events from their little corner.