Durarara!!, Vol. 1
written by Ryohgo Narita
illustrated by Akiyo Satorigi
When I first picked up this manga, I expected to find something that I wasn’t used to: something down to Earth, something not fantastical. But after the first couple of chapters, it had me interested. It is down to Earth, but at the same time, paradoxically, not.
It all starts with a normal young man named Mikado Ryuugamine, who has just moved to Ikebukuro to start high school. He meets up with an old friend and gets introduced to many different people around the city. Soon, however, things begin to go a little bit crazy. We meet possibly one of the most dangerous men in Ikebukuro, a hedonistic teenager named Izaya Orihara, who claims to “love people” but is said to have drastic mood swings at the drop of a hat, the very dark and twisted kind.
Then there is the mysterious black-clad, scythe-wielding man with no head, “The Black Rider.” From there, things only get crazier as we meet an unlicensed shut-in doctor who claims to love the Black Rider, whom he calls “Celty.” Celty is classified as a Dullahan, somewhat of a “headless knight”–type of creature that rides about searching for its long-lost head. That’s just one of the many things this manga gets you thinking about as you read.
This series was created by Ryohgo Narita, with art by Akiyo Satorigi and character design by Suzuhito Yasuda, and has seen recent success on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim roster, and promises to do so in print as well.
If you are a fan of seemingly nothing-out-of-the-ordinary book series that become increasingly out-of-the-ordinary, Durarara!! is something you should definitely consider picking up.