Durarara!!, Vol. 13

By Ryohgo Narita and Suzuhito Yasuda. Released in Japan by ASCII Mediaworks. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Stephen Paul.

And so, in the end, so much of DRRR!! turns out to be about love. First and foremost we have the love of Shinra and Celty, which is twisted (as Shinra cheerfully admits, saying he values his love for Celty over her own happiness) but also romantic, with Celty continuing to be the most tsundere Dullahan ever. She also saves the day about ten times over here, making sure that Mikado doesn’t kill himself, stopping the zombie Saika outbreak for a bit, etc. There’s also the love Anri has for Mikado, which is still in its nascent form but at least she can now admit to herself that love is what it is. Mikado’s feelings are a bit more vague, but he did save her from being stabbed (and was apparently in a coma for a month afterwards!), so that counts for something. There’s Seiji and Mika, who have Celty’s head keeping them together, even if their motives are totally in opposition. And then there’s Haruna and her teacher, who get one of the more horrifying but also satisfying twisted ends. Love is everywhere.

And yes, let’s also talk about Shizuo and Izaya. I think if you told canonical Izaya that he was in love with Shizuo he’d have something nasty to say to you, but it is striking how dedicated he is to proving that Shizuo is a “monster”. Izaya, who loves humanity as an abstract whole but can’t be attached in any way to individuals, pales in comparison to Shizuo, who gets TOO emotional when confr4onted with individuals, and needs to learn restraint, something Vorona helps teach him a bit. (Basically, he needs people to be a good example for.) I would not say Izaya is jealous of this per se, but I think he does not want Shizuo, whose body is almost indestructible and who can throw vending machines with one hand, to be a normal human. Moreover, while Izaya needs to have Shizuo as his nemesis, Hark a Vagrant style, I’m, pretty sure Shizuo would be happy to never see Izaya again. They’re both dark mirrors of each other.

This was one of the few LNs where I’d watched the anime before I read the book, and I was surprised that the epilogue made a few changes. Aoba sitting himself down in front of Anri and Masaomi at the hospital and being smug reads oddly, and you wonder why Masaomi doesn’t slug him. I think the anime wondered this as well, adding in a scene with Akabayashi threatening him to replace it and make it clear that this isn’t Aoba’s win. That said, the epilogue does seem to wrap everything up, at least as far as the current plot points are. The afterword mentions the sequel LN Durarara!! SH, but it’s not clear if that will be licensed here, and Narita’s current erratic writing schedule means it’s somewhat stalled at the moment. Fortunately, DRRR!! works as a contained unit here. Celty comes to terms with herself, Mikado realizes that being a villain is not what he wants to be, and they all live happily ever after. Except Izaya.

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