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Durarara!! Vol. #10 Light Novel Review

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The true face of the hidden mastermind is revealed, as everyone spirals deeper out of control.
Durarara!! Vol. #10 Light Novel

The true face of the hidden mastermind is revealed, as everyone spirals deeper out of control.

Creative Staff
Story: Ryohgo Narita
Art: Suzuhito Yasuda
Translation/Adaptation: Stephen Paul

What They Say
If you’re seeking the extraordinary, be careful what you wish for…
The Dollars and their associates have been disappearing one after the other – but why? Maybe it’s connected to the former best friends – though they’re still thinking of each other, they have gone their separate ways, due to their conflicting beliefs. Maybe the fault lies with scheming adults: the Awakusu-kai, the black market dealers, and the information broker. Or maybe it’s because of the accident that left one of the bravest Dollars members in critical condition…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

Durarara has one thing in spades, and that’s quirky and over-the-top characters. In a motley cast full of crazy personalities the one straight man tends to stand out. Despite leading a troop of dangerous and crazy youths, Kadota was the normal one. He was just a simple, likable tough guy who knew how to communicate with others and keep the peace.

Early in this volume he becomes the victim of a hit and run. The culprit remains at large, and suddenly it’s as if the entire city is balancing on the edge of a knife. It feels like an unwritten rule has been broken. Kadota was far from an innocent spectator, but he was widely respected and when every other character in the story learns he’s in critical condition a powder keg is lit.

Some want answers, others seek revenge, others move on their dangerous trajectory toward more violence. It’s not surprising to see how many characters start a vigil for Kadota. It’s also unsurprising to watch his posse take to the streets to get information, threatening to burn all in their path to get revenge for their boss.

Kadota isn’t the only one taken out of the action. Shizuo is arrested, finally, but his arrest is a ruse. It’s not for a crime he actually committed, and clearly, someone just wants him tied up for a while. With the two former main enforcers of the Dollars out of commission, it looks like a plot to weaken the group. Yet both of the men hadn’t really been active in that group, and the force behind the scenes pulling the strings targets even more key figures in Ikebukuro.

I feel that the author Narita knows a great deal about how organizations can splinter and break away from their original vision. The Dollars reminds me of many internet communities that start with either good intentions and a community and a gradual or sudden schism turns them into the antithesis of their original intent. Sometimes these changes are unintentional, and sometimes they are targeted attacks meant to take over a group for nefarious ends. Mikado appears to be chasing the high he had during the Dollars defining and motivating moment when they came together to stop the slasher. That one button push which summoned an army, that feeling of power, and yet I don’t think he realizes that he can never have that back.

He does appear to realize Aoba is using him, and Mikado thinks he has it all under control. Yet at this point, he has turned into the “let’s keep going to see what happens” meme. His motivations seem flawed beyond belief, and his methods are going to hurt a lot of people.

There is one bright spot in this mess of tension, and that’s the fact several characters who appeared to be missing were not. They are, in fact, brought together to gather around the first character taken out of the action, Shinra. 

Then there’s Izaya, who meets the devil themselves. The Yodogiri organization has been looming as a dangerous threat throughout this entire series. We finally meet the true mastermind, and yet it only raises more questions than answers.

The only extras for this volume as an author’s note. Yen includes the usual fold-out color spread in the front of the book.

In Summary
They say it’s always darkest before the dawn, but some of the most upstanding and reliable members of the Durarara cast have been sidelines just when they’re needed the most. In this twisted tale of monsters, men, and the fine line between chaos and the law a children’s game has gotten wildly out of control. Mikado shows no signs of stepping back to the normal life, and even if he wanted to he is in far over his head. Izaya’s schemes lead him face-to-face with the leader of the most dangerous side of this multifaceted power struggling in Ikebukuro. Despite the reveals and the tension as the leads are slowly drawn apart, it feels that the volume barely moves the needly in terms of advancing the plot. It’s a build-up toward war in the city, and the casualties have only begun to mount.

Content Grade: B +
Art Grade: B –
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: 13 +
Released By: Yen On
Release Date: July 17th, 2018
MSRP: $14.00 US / $18.50 CAN

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