Durarara!! Volume 1 Light Novel Review: Everybody Has Some Story To Tell

I’ve mentioned this before, but the anime of Durarara is one of those that I’ve tried repeatedly to watch and repeatedly walked away from. It’s never managed to really grab me but I just keep thinking that maybe if I’m in the right mood it will work. However, still having not watched the anime I finally decided why not try the light novels? What’s the worst that could happen? And so I dove into Ikebukuro district with these characters for a spell and now I have to wonder what I thought about the story.

The problem is, much like with the anime, I think I should like this. The ideas are interesting, the characters are pretty interesting, everything about it seems like it should work for me. And yet, I found myself regularly putting this volume down and at one point I even read two volumes of the Natsume Yuujinchou manga before returning to finish this story. I wanted to see how it ended but at the same time I found reading this really tedious.

Normally when that happens it is because of the style of writing. However, the writing itself isn’t really a problem. It is descriptive enough without tripping over itself to use flowery speech. Events move along and a good enough pace. Again, it all seems like it should work.

I think what ultimately does this story in for me is I don’t feel I can relate to any character in the story. They all have goals and motives but I don’t seem to find myself caring what they do or whether they accomplish their goals. Even the climax of this volume, which is actually a really nice culmination of lots of events and stories all coming together and should be quite satisfying is more just kind of there and I closed the book feeling more like a burden had been lifted.

Still, there is plenty I can recommend about this book to others.

There’s a large cast of characters who all have their own idiosyncrasies which I think most people would find someone of interest. Even though there is kind of a protagonist, the story isn’t told from any single character’s perspective and chapters chop between the different groups and individuals helping many of the cast members feel more fleshed out and realised than they might have been.

As I mentioned before, the plot builds nicely to a climax. Even though early on it feels like a lot of events are random or of no consequence, everything does come together in the end and there is a sense of resolve about the whole volume despite it leaving plenty of loose ends to come back to in future stories. It really does feel very nicely planned out.

If you were thinking of picking up a light novel, and you really don’t want it to be an isekai, Durarara!! seems like it might be a fairly decent place to start. As for me, I’m probably not continuing this series. The feeling of utter indifference to each and every cast member means that no matter how quirky they are or how well constructed the plot is, I’m kept an arm’s length from events emotionally and I just can’t get into the world being described here.

But how about you? Have you read Durarara!! and if yes, what did you think?

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DURARARA OST BEST HIT IKEBUKURO PSYCHE DE REMIX
DURARARA OST BEST HIT IKEBUKURO PSYCHE DE REMIX

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13 thoughts on “Durarara!! Volume 1 Light Novel Review: Everybody Has Some Story To Tell

  1. I’ve read it, it’s pretty good, but I’d rather read other ones. The style isn’t really something’s that draws me in and traps me into the world. Some wit.h the anime. I’d knida just left it to watch other anime. I don’t have anything against it though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s where I am. I didn’t dislike it but I’d rather read other things. Every time I’ve tried to watch the anime I’ve just kind of stopped and not gotten back to it. It just doesn’t grab me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Durarararararararararararararara is a frustrating show for me – I liked everything that it did, its ideas and characters but I had zero clue as to what it is was about. I watched every episode because if felt I should but had no idea what I was watching. It ended up becoming a sort of visual white noise – I could stare at for 20 minutes but get nothing from it.

    I doubt I have the patience (or time) to try watching it again or give it a go in written/drawn form… :-/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This one is an oddity because it really does seem as though I should like it, and yet I just am not really into it. If anything this has made me not want to give the anime yet another go because quite clearly there’s something about this story that just doesn’t work for me.

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      1. The story (stories) are fine but they need to be told in a coherent fashion to get anything out of them, instead of the haphazard, timeline jumping, multi-perspective manner they are, which is frankly the height of pretension for me. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

          1. If I recall, Baccano let us know when the story was changing over to another, Durararara is like Tarkovsky’s “The Mirror”, it just chucks it out all there and you have to work it out for yourself. :-/

            Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t really read enough manga or light novels to say. Though, Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody I enjoyed the first volume of the light novel and even at the third book, where I decided to stop reading, I was enjoying reading it was just the plot wasn’t really going anywhere. Meanwhile the anime was just dull from the beginning.

      Liked by 1 person

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