Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Monday, September 16, 2013

Plot Summary:
Mikado is moving up in the world. Not only is he attending Raira Academy in the iIkebukuro, he is actually attending school with his childhood friend, Kida. Although Mikado is from a small town, he is incredibly excited, and terrified, by the hustle and bustle of the big city. When Kida picks Mikado up from the train station, he can't believe how cool his old friend is. If there is one thing about Ikebukuro, there are certain people to stay away from such as Simon (the Russian Sushi Man), Shizuo (skinny dude with awesome strength), and Izaya (the informant who has serious hatred for Shizuo and is a sadist). For Seiji, who is also attending the same high school as Kida and Mikado, he has problems of his own including a blood-thirsty sister and a stalker. As Mikado and Kida tour Sunshine City, not only do they run into Seiji, the meet the Black Rider in the "flesh." Since Mikado is afraid of everything, meeting the Black Rider should have scared him, but, his reaction was the opposite.Who is this Black Rider? When the first day of school arrives, Mikado is leery about introducing himself to his class, but, when he meets Anri, Mikado is hit by cupid's arrow. After surviving his first day, Kida and Mikado meet up with, Yumasaki, Karisawa, and, the ever elusive, Kadota; they are all on the weird side, but good guys at heart. The questions that remains is what do these characters have in common? All will be revealed when the identities of "The Dollars" are made known. With alternating point of views, DRRR!!! Durarara!!! is an action packed series based off of Narita-San's light novel, where mystery, drama, fantasy, and adventure, and love lay right around the corner.

Critical Evaluation:
Honestly, this is probably one of the most creative, complicated, silliest, and the weirdest manga I have read in a while. Not only are the characters out of the ordinary, their stories are a great compilation of how wild and crazy adolescence really is. On top of the usual teen drama, there is a fantastical storyline involving a Dullahan in search of its missing head, an unsuspecting warrior, and plot to bring misery to the human race. In other words, if one could combine every soap opera in existence with the traditional fantasy novel then the final product is DRR!!! Durarara!! Another great aspect of this series is the alternating point of views because no only do readers get the bigger picture, they get to learn more about each character. Furthermore, each chapters is preceded with an online chat room script. As stated earlier, DRR!!! was originally a light novel that was turned into an anime; thus, the manga is a re-telling of both the novel and series. Although I have yet to watch the series, I am hoping that most of the story arc is kept intact because, conceptually, an anime is usually made right after the release of the manga and/or light novel. Whatever the case, Narita is definitely an artist since he is infamous for writing a ton of installments packed full of grammatical and spelling errors (see note about the author). This series is for older teens since there are some mature themes and violence. Other than that, there is a lot of fun to be had for those who are looking for an adventure.

Information about the Author:Again, there is not a whole lot of information (in English), but, according to Goodreads.com:
Ryohgo Narita (成田 良悟, Narita Ryōgo) is a Japanese light novelist. He won the Gold Prize in the 9th Dengeki Novel Prize for Baccano!, which was made into a TV anime in 2007.[1] His series Durarara!! was also made into a TV anime, which began airing January 2010
There are two traits found in most of Narita's works:
* Narita writes extremely fast, one volume a month if he wishes - with tons of spelling errors and missing words as a tradeoff. The editors like to leave them sometimes just for fun, though.
 * His work titles often have an exclamation mark at the end (i.e. Baccano!, Vamp!, Durarara!!, etc.).

Genre:
Teen Adventure Manga


Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 10 & up

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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