I loved the first season of the anime of Drrr!! (or Durarara!!), and I’m part way through season two; I liked the several manga short sets. I have liked several of the light novels. The light novel series is the only one though that seems to be going a little off the rails. The basic story is a bunch or random people cross paths in the Tokyo neighborhood of Ikebukuro, and eventually their various narratives start coming together. Main characters include high schoolers Mikado, Anri, and Masaomi; grown ups (?) include super strength wielding Shizuo and his arch-nemesis creepy information broker Izaya, Shinra the back alley doctor and his love interest Celty the dullahan who was searching for her stolen head but now just wants to live a content life with her sweetie (she realizes she likes Shinra back a few volumes ago), Simon the black, Russian sushi shop employee, and Ruri the starlet idol who’s a serial killer with supernatural abilities and her boyfriend Shizuo’s famous actor brother Kasuka (real name)/Yuuhei (stage name). Add in various punks, thugs, gangsters, corporate creeps, and a motorcycle cop who terrifies Celty, many of whom are named and many who are not, and you get the idea.
The biggest problem with light novel volume 8 is that there are now too many characters to keep track of (I just named most but not all of the main cast of the series overall; there’s a lot of side characters and quite a few newer ones showing up), and I’m having to struggle to remember who some of the later additions are or side characters who reappear, which is a problem when they seem to be getting a little more important to the story. The second problem is that I’m starting to get tired of some of the long-term problems that never seem to go anywhere yet keep getting brought up as terribly important. The struggles between Anri, Mikado, and Masaomi to communicate with each other is getting old. Granted they all have some pretty big secrets including gang leadership and a cursed sword, but given how much they think about wanting to be open with each other, they never seem to manage, and I’m starting to not care as much about their emotional teen angst. Celty and Shizuo are the ones who are gradually becoming more developed and growing as characters, and they are my two favorites. Everyone else seems to be stuck in time, even as they struggle figure out the tangle of secrets and lies that connect everyone.
It’s a really good complex mystery with some really interesting characters and relationships, but now it’s starting to feel a little drug out. I don’t quite get why we need all the new characters since the ones already involved have so much potential.