Durarara!! was first published in April 2004. It was written by Ryōgo Narita and illustrated by Suzuhito Yasuda. Narita was also the writer Baccano!. Durarara!! has 13 volumes in total, has spawned two seasons of an anime, two mangas have been made based on the book, there has been an internet radio play, two games based of the series and a second series of books in currently being released. So far, only the first three have been released in English. Needless to say, there will be spoilers ahead. If you haven’t read the series, it is different from the anime and do continue at your own risk.
I read the first book in the series and at first when I found out that there was 12 more, I rolled my eyes a little bit. I have two options when there are long series like this, start the series and hate it/kind of like it and then never reall
y go back to it till I’m really bored or start the series and like it/love it and have to read the next few. I like the series, so that being said I’m going to have to read the rest of the series.
Before to why I liked the book I must talk about the things I didn’t like. For starters, there are alot of things going on all at once. All the characters are introduced either to each other or to the reader in such a way that you have no idea how this is going to fit together. It is a huge ensemble cast and it does take a but of time to figure out who every one is. It also makes it a little hard when you are an american not used to Japanese names. This only stunts you a little bit but some of the names are very similar so you have to pay close attention. Because if you don’t it could be Shizuo being thrown against a wall instead of Seiji. Once you realize you just have to pay attention a little more to the characters every thing flows fine.
The other problem I have with the book is, it felt like it was only half of the book. I felt like the it could have easily gone on for an other hundred pages. This could be because light novels normally have a few hundred pages instead of being an actual novel with five or six hundred pages. Or it could be a ploy from Narita to make us read more of his books. Either way you can see this as a good or a bad thing. Meaning, the book was good I want to read more of it, or shit now I have to get the next book. Since I live in the United States I’m going to have dig for the fourth and beyond. We only have up to the third one here. Well this gives me yet an other excuse to study Japaneses.
Now on to what I did like about the book. Even though in the beginning I had no idea how Narita was going to connect all these people to each other, by the end every one was connected in some way or an other. It was done with one simple idea The Dollars. With out that there would have been no connection or he would have been grabbing at straws to make it work.
Celty is my favorite. I hate to say this but it’s not because her personality, I really don’t like how she just let it go that Shinra knew were her head was and didn’t tell her. I like her design. Girl wal
king around with no head, that is awesome. Also, I love her mythology, a dullahan. I will always love mythology, whether it is crated for the story or the story takes from older stories and folklore.
The best quote and whole message of the story is:
“If you really want to leave normality—you have no choice but to keep evolving. It doesn’t matter if you want to rise higher or if you want to sink lower, it’ll be the same.”
Izaya tells Mikado at the climax of the story. There is nothing more true then this. If you want to keep going and not be stuck in a revolving door of the same things over and over again. You need to evolve and change. If you want to be something other then the normal average Joe then you need to evolve.
I recommend this series. If you have watched the anime, it is not a word for word copy of it but the anime does fallow it pretty well. But, be warned only read it if you are ready to read the rest of the series as well, because you’ll want to once you finish the book.
Photo Credit: Durarara!!, ASCII Media Works, Inc., Yen Press