By Ryohgo Narita and Suzuhito Yasuda. Released in Japan by Dengeki Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Stephen Paul.
Apologies to those wanting to know what this specific volume is like, but I need to briefly get a little meta. Ryohgo Narita, a ludicrously prolific writer from 2003-about 2015, has been dealing with a chronic illness. It’s made writing on a regular basis very difficult for him. What’s more, when he is well enough to write he has other projects that take precedence, because they’re owned by people other than him. The Bleach light novels. The as yet unlicensed Fate/Strange Fake novels. What does all this mean? It means that this volume of Durarara!!SH came out in 2016, and there has not been another one since. I will be writing the same thing about Baccano! in a few months time. As with Hunter x Hunter’s long hiatuses, it feels wrong to blame Narita for this extended absence. It does mean, though, that this volume was one where I hoped there might be, if not a definitive ending, at least a good stopping place. Alas, no. This is just another day in the life of these violent idiots.
Despite the presence of Anri on the cover of this volume, she’s mostly a supporting role in the book, and Mikado is mentioned but does not appear. Instead, once again, the lead role pretty much goes to Celty, who is grasping for a new purpose in life and wants to try going back to her old courier job, minus the complications that always hounded that job back when Izaya was around. Sadly for her, Izaya may be gone but complications remain. The drug that was going around two books ago is still around, despite the folks behind it having moved on. She’s being asked to locate the eldest son of a rich family, who is, as a lot of eldest sons do, getting involved with a bad crowd. And even though she’s a supporting player in this book, everything seems to revolve around Anri’s antique shop.
I admit that I was very amused about the subplot with the guy who was upset at Ikebukuro in general for treating him like a nameless character, not even someone important enough to be called a weak loser. I was amused because I had trouble remembering who he was as well. Honestly, in addition to the various references to Narita’s other series that litter this volume (Firo and Ennis, though unnamed, get a mention, and there’s a Vamp! subplot in here too), I feel as if I’m missing something in regards to the Natsugawaras, and would not be surprised if the backstory we hear about happened in an unlicensed side story. Other than that, this volume is a lot of fun. Narita calls it lighter than the others, and I agree. It also features the return of Kujiragi, who gets my favorite line in the whole book.
So yeah, good volume, and for now… that’s the end of Durarara!!. Unless Yen licenses the Izaya side novels. Which I highly doubt. Let’s hope that we eventually get some more and perhaps some closure.