DRRR!!, also known as DURARARA!!, a manga, or Japanese comic, by Ryohgo Narita and his team was a good read. It was, in fact, really great to read. The first volume I picked up of it, I'll be honest, I wasn't sure what to think. It's a series with artwork in the manga along the lines of Soul Eater, if you've ever read or seen that series. So, I decided to check it out.
Now, halfway through the first chapter or so, I wasn't impressed. The second character introduced, Kida-Kun, wasn't really a great one. He was a bit too egotistical and, not knowing much else about him, that didn't make me like him since I usually like narcissistic characters. They're usually fun to read, and this character did have some moments, but that didn't make up for my initial first impression of him. It's a good thing he's not really a major character like Mikado Ryuugamine (at least, not until we gain his background much later, which then allows me to appreciate Kida-Kun's character). Yet, at first I wasn't really impressed with him either. He was really quiet and was just sort of there. That was, however, before things started getting good. There was so much mystery and hints at forbidden love between other main characters that made me want to keep reading within just the first volume. It had it's funny moments as well, and, as I read on through all the volumes the library had to offer, it kept getting better and better with main characters throwing everyone for a loop. Mikado definitely managed to become on of my favorite characters after all that along with several others. I can't wait to read what happens next, and you won't be able to either. In my opinion, boy or girl, there’s something in it for everyone to enjoy as long as you're open minded to some weird things going on (it has some supernatural elements to it and one-sided incest after all). But, hey, what else do you expect from manga and anime?
DURARARA!! (By KasGiD)
Now "DURARARA!!" is a rather unique and amazing series. I started reading the series along with the Anime when it debutted on Adult Swim for the first time in the West. So when I heard or pretty much saw that the manga was out in the West I rushed over to buy it.
Story (Mainly just the first chapter also certain parts will be left out for convinence): The story is about a young boy named Mikado Ryuugamine going to school called Raira Academy in Ikebukuro, Japan and having to live alone for the first in his life. He's going to school their at a request or recommendation of a friend by the name of Masaomi Kida. When Mikado arrives in Ikebukuro he meets his friend Masaomi and from their Masaomi gives his friend Mikado a tour around the city. As Masaomi is giving Mikado the tour he talks about Ikebukuro. He talks about the people who you shouldn't mess with. But before he does that he talks about two unique individuals named Walker and Eirika and also Kadota and that he'll introduce them to him later. He gets back on track with the people you shouldn't mess with. Two of them being Simon and Shizuo and that if Mikado sees them he shouldn't wait he just run. He then gets him and Mikado jokingly makes fun of him. But after that he then gets someone "You do not want to ever have contact with." Izaya Orihara. Masaomi then talks about not someone but a color gang by the name of "The Dollars" and that he also shouldn't mess with them. After that as Mikado was crossing the road he runs into an urban legend called "The Black Rider" or "The Headless Rider" who has a cat like helmet and a black bike. The Black Rider then zooms past Mikado or "Jumps" over him so he does not get hurt imo Masaomi then tell Mikado that since he met the urban legend that it must be Ikebukuro welcoming you.
Art: It is up to you.
Characters: The Characters in the story are really drawn out as you progress through the series. Mainly revolving around our protagonist Mikado Ryuugamine and how his life becomes rather enjoyable and strange. All of the characters in the series are all connected in some way, shape, or form and also all know each other as the series goes on. The story focuses just on those individual character and pretty much tells you if the characters are important or not. The way it shows you if they are an important character is that they have more detail than other characters and also more unique. They show that the characters also having meaning in a crowd by having the characters be like a "Sun Spot" by drawing the characters around with less details or with pretty much no eyes to show that those characters are not important to the story what so ever. The character is rather well done and the series has is one of few that I actually like every character in and for some reason just can't hate.
Overall: The series is made by the creator of "Baccano!" which if you liked Baccano! then you already know how well that series was done. The series is more prioritized on Story and Characters while also keeping the art really nice and decent for readers.
When the licence for this manga was announced last year, I know of quite a few people (myself included) whose initial reaction was thus:
“You're releasing the manga, Yen Press? Why not the light novels!? And why aren't the Baccano! novels out in English when that show is an established hit?”
I eventually shrugged this off, seeing as the publishers aren't exactly enamoured with the idea of putting out translations of Japanese light novels and expecting to make profit. These books almost always get bunged into the manga section of book shops and libraries, and thus enjoy a very limited audience, with the exception of Spice & Wolf.
But enough about light novels! The Durarara!! manga is actually pretty good. The art is gorgeous, excepting a few off-model moments where Izaya's angry faces look a bit derpy, and it very slowly brings us into the hectic world of Ikebukuro, a district of Tokyo's Toshima ward well known for being the physical approximation of Eddy Grant's song Electric Avenue: neon lights, huge anime, manga and electronics shops, shopping malls, and advertising everywhere you look.
Mikado Ryugamine is brought into this city by his childhood friend Masaomi, who encouraged him to move away from his parents and attend private school there. Upon arrival, Mikado is taught about the 'colour gangs' and the people in Ikebukuro who are not to be crossed. There's the sly informant, Izaya Orihara, Shizuo Heiwajima, the bartender with an explosive temper, and Simon, the enormous Afro-Russian sushi seller whose strength is beyond compare. There's also a very shy girl, and some hardcore nerds who make Ikebukuro, as well as a Dullahan (riding a motorbike rather than the traditional horse and carriage) and the unlicensed doctor she lives with. And the strange guy and the girl who stalks him. And his sister, who seems completely okay with it when said strange boy snaps and murders his stalker.
With such a diverse range of characters, where can you go wrong? Nowhere, it seems. I loved this manga, quite simply for the way it sucked me in. I saw the anime back when it was airing in Japan (thank you, CrunchyRoll!) and so I know the story, but I could not put the manga down. There's a great moment where Mikado is told about the dollars, and he smirks, but very quickly composes himself again when he catches up to Masaomi. (Those of you who've seen the anime all the way through know what I'm talking about.)
One chapter of the manga is fairly intense, though. Izaya recruits two incredibly shallow girls from a suicide forum, and invites them out for drinks and karaoke, promising to join in their suicide pact. During the karaoke session, he learns that the girls don't really believe in the concept of an afterlife, and if they do, it's very half-arsed. Izaya bursts into a philosophical speech at this point, and it makes for a rather intriguing debate. Then he whips out two suitcases and reveals he's presumably drugged the girls' drinks. Hoshit.
And then he calls the Dullahan (Celty) to transport the girls somewhere safe, because he doesn't feel like giving them to a loan shark tonight. And then he waxes lyrical about how much he loves humanity on top of a ledge high above Ikebukuro. Did I mention how much I love this character?
All in all, this manga gets a 4.5/5 for me. =)