Durarara!! Drrr!! Saika arc. (Volumes 1 & 2) by Ryohgo Narita

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The one thing that’s frustrating about picking up random manga via my library is that sometimes, like in this case, what you get is the spin-off.

I had no idea. I got through two of the three volumes that I brought home and sat there thinking, “What is wrong with this? Why does it feel weirdly disconnected?”

Well, now I know.

SPOILERS

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I actually read and returned the volumes several days ago.

I’ve been sitting on reviewing Durarara!! Saikahen/ Drrr!! Saika Arc  because I wanted to have more to say than, “I feel like I’m missing a couple of chapters, but this is okay, I guess.”

I suppose I should still wait, since I haven’t yet tried any of Durarara!!/Drrr!!  but, this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve reviewed a sequel without having read the first series. Why start behaving responsibly now?

I mean, I also didn’t finish the series. The library had all three volumes and I gave up after the second one. Thing is, I’m not sure why. I found the mystery of the ‘serial killer’ fairly compelling.

The back cover copy, by the way, reads thusly:

“A teenage girl with no personality of her own; a beat writer for a third-rate tabloid; a teacher suspected of harassment; an informant based in Shinjuku…and a headless rider straddling a pitch-black motorcycle!! Meanwhile, the slasher continues to terrorize the night, all in search of…“him”!?”

Now that I realize that it’s part of a larger body of work, I might have to give its predecessor a chance, because one of the things that really felt lacking was a sense of character development. I really liked the “headless rider,” Celty Sturluson:

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She’s just cool… a Celtic version of a Fury or a Valkyrie who has lost her memories (and her head) who communicates via her Smart phone, which seems to magically project her text/voice. I see that she is a reoccurring character, so that makes the other stories more compelling to me. I also liked this deeply desultory character,  Heiwajima Shizuo, who hides a berserker rage.  He’s very “eh, whatever, don’t bug me/I’M GONNA KILL YOU,” which I found oddly charming. But, then, I like rage-monster bad bois.

The problem was that there wasn’t ENOUGH of either them in the Saika Arc.

I suspect the other stories fix that problem.

I can’t 100% recommend this set of books, but there were certainly things about these characters that made me sit up and go “OoooOOOOoo?” and there’s, of course, an anime, so how about this–one of you try the original and tell me if I should hunt it down and read/watch it?  I’m sure it’s old enough (my library had it, after all,) that some of you may have ALREADY consumed it in some form or another. How was it? Would you recommend it to me?

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4 thoughts on “Durarara!! Drrr!! Saika arc. (Volumes 1 & 2) by Ryohgo Narita

  1. Highly recommend it. The anime, anyway, since I’ve not read the manga. The characters are fascinating, the story is mostly pretty good. There’s some relationship dynamics that made me uncomfortable, but that’s not exactly unusual and, imo the good way outweighs the bad. In conclusion, I mainlined the anime after I started watching it.

  2. Yes! Anime is quite good. I seem to remember liking the music enough to have it as a commuting playlist for a while. Thanks for reminding me about that.

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