Durarara!! Vol.1 by Ryohgo Narita, Akiyo Satorigi, Suzuhito Yasuda
Series: Durarara!! Manga #1
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Genre: Shounen, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: January 24th 2012
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)Welcome to Ikebukuro, where Tokyo’s wildest characters gather!! Meet an ordinary boy who daydreams about the extraordinary. A naive stalker girl. The strongest man in Ikebukuro. A shut-in doctor with questionable credentials. A hedonistic informant…and the “headless rider” astride a pitch-black motorcycle!? As their paths cross, this eccentric cast weaves a twisted, cracked love story…
If only one word could be choses to describe Durarara!! the word would be crazy. The characters are crazy. The plot is crazy. Everything about Durarara!! is crazy. But that is not to say that it doesn’t make sense. The creator of Durarara!! masterfully weaves together the weird personalities these characters have, the supernatural element, and the gang wars.
Now. Before I start reviewing this specific volume I have got to talk about the gigantic amount of characters this series has. The five characters on the cover aren’t even half of the entire cast of characters. Sometimes using a lot of characters doesn’t work at all, but Ryohgo Narita (the creator of the story) is great at putting to use a large amount of characters.
What drove me to read the first volume of the Durarara!! manga series was the anime. For me, the anime was just pure enjoyment even though the story is very complex. It was just fun. And when I finished the anime I craved more Durarara!!. To be more specific, I craved more of this:
So when I found out that the manga series was licensed in english I was pretty darn happy. I immediately went to the bookstore to buy the manga and start reading it. And I am very happy to say that so far the manga does the anime series justice.
The characters are still the same awesome characters that I loved in the anime. Shizuo still needs anger management, Izaya is still loving humanity (and observing/manipulating it), Celty is still kick butt, Shiinra is still kind of a pervert, Simon is still trying to sell sushi, and Mikado, Anri, and Masaomi are still the normal (or are they?) group of teenagers caught in the mess known as Ikebukuro. I am really excited to read more about these characters (and the ones I didn’t mention).
From what I have seen of the plot so far in the manga, it is being told in a fluid, smooth manner. Even though a lot goes on in the series, what with the Dullahan looking for her head, the gang known as the Dollars, the murder, and the random fights (this is all in the first volume)the creator is still able to tell it without confusing the audience. I admire him for that.
The only thing I can complain about is the art. Don’t get me wrong, the art is great as long as you don’t count a few derpy-looking expressions the characters make. I just wish that the art had the same style as the art in the anime. I’m not use to seeing the characters drawn in the particular style the illustrator of the manga uses and I am a bit bothered by that.
Overall, I have high hopes the for manga series. The first volume was really great and I hope that continues with the rest. I would recommend this for people who are itching for a creative, fun, and complex shounen series that definitely strays for the norm. And if you want to know who was throwing the fridge in the gif I showed earlier it is this guy: