By Ryohgo Narita and Katsumi Enami. Released in Japan by Dengeki Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Taylor Engel.
At last, we are forced to discuss the elephant in the room. This volume came out in Japan in August 2016, and there has not been another one since. Ryohgo Narita has been battling a lot of health issues. He’s also been writing another Bleach novel series, which was licensed in North America, and an ongoing manga series, which was licensed in North American AND got an anime. And, most importantly, there has been Fate/strange Fake, a light novel spinoff of the super duper popular Fate series, which began in 2014 but has had five new light novels since the last Baccano!, the most recent being this year. And it’s ALSO getting an anime. It has to be said, Dengeki Bunko know what is popular and what is merely a cult series. It has gotten to the point where, after I joked on Twitter about Narita forgetting about Baccano!, he actually replied to me to apologize and say it’s coming. So we’ll hold out hope. But till then, hope you enjoy this, as it may be a while till the conclusion we’re supposed to get with 1935-E.
The main thing that happens here which ends up dragging everyone into one place is that Charlie, the massive grizzly bear from a previous book, is now wandering around the streets of Manhattan. Fortunately, he very quickly ends up at the Grey Doctor’s office, where he finds friends in Isaac and Miria (who will befriend anyone). Unfortunately, Firo and Victor are also there, and they’re quickly joined by Ladd and Graham. Then everyone there (including the bear) is lured to Central Park, where ALL the Lemures have gathered, along with Maria and Luck’s other paid shit-stirrers. Oh yes, and Chane has come running, seeing that Ladd is there and really, really, REALLY wanting to kill him. None of this is surprising. What *is* surprising is that Lua gets a couple paragraphs all to herself, possibly the most she’s spoken in this entire series.
Usually in Narita’s books there’s always some normal guy who has to pretend not to be normal in order to get by. In Durarara!! it was Mikado, though he very quickly shot past that character type in a big way. It’s been a few people in Baccano!, most notably Jacuzzi. But in this entire arc, it’s been Nader, and that continues here – he’s basically the protagonist of this arc. (Melvi should be the antagonist, but everyone the last two books has spent all their time talking about how pathetic he is compared to the rest of the cast, so nah.) Nader is a two-bit villain who does not have the drive to be anything more, but when he finds out that Sonia is not only no longer in his hometown waiting for a hero to save her, but is actually the protege of Spike… well, let’s just say this is where the dramatic theme music starts playing behind him. Even Ladd notices the difference. I hope he lives, but it’s gonna be tough.
It’s also gonna be tough waiting for the next book, but at least we’re waiting a lot less time than Japan. Come back to Baccano! soon, Narita-san!