The build-up is done, the cards have been set, and all that remains is to see how everything pays off in the end.
Durarara is a series where the normal meets the abnormal, and not everything is what is seems at first. But what is normal? What lies beneath the mask that any particular character has? And where is this entire story going?
This season answers these questions and leaves more wide open to interpretation. What many people often complained about ever since the first half of the first season is that they miss the lack of a particular main character, and equal focus from character to character. There’s also the argument that the show focused on the most boring characters instead of the more interesting ones, which hurt people’s enjoyment of the second half.
These arguments are irrelevant, and all that build-up has found an extremely interesting and satisfying answer in this season.
The story for this season follows a semi-episodic format similar to what we’ve gotten used to in Durarara so far. The only difference is that instead of leading to anti-climax to anti-climax, which was a major complaint in the second half of the first season as well as the first third of the second season, there is finally a feeling of real tension, that things will no longer remain the same and that the story finally has a purpose of sorts.
The characters no longer are walking aimlessly into one another without purpose, and instead are setting up factions to confront one another and find the answers that they seek in Ikebukoro. Everyone has developed and changed, and not everyone picked the faction that people assumed they’d pick at the beginning of the season. And yet the reasons why every character picked the faction they did makes sense and is logically consistent with their development up until this point, instead of the show having plot twists for no other reason than having plot twists.
The deciding factor behind the enjoyment of this season, however, is whether or not you enjoyed Mikado’s development throughout the show. I personally felt his character made sense in the context of the show from the very beginning, and this season only made that more clear through the various actions he took (controversial as they may be). There was build-up to his character and it finally paid off here, and I cannot wait to see what happens next.
The soundtrack is as consistent and fluid as it always was, and the voice acting was absolutely amazing and spot on. Particular mention needs to go to Mikado’s voice actor, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, who did an utterly fantastic job at voicing Mikado from scene to scene, switching between calm and composed to absolutely chilling very naturally and consistently.
The artwork and animation is the same, though I must add that it was a definite step up from the various awkward scenes in Shou. The backgrounds look fantastic and the movement feels smooth and consistent, so no real problems here.
Overall, this season was a blast. It finally feels like the amazing climax we’ve been waiting for is arriving next season, and to say that I’m excited for the final season of Durarara is the understatement of the century.
I give this a 9/10.