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?
If you’re interested in reading Durarara Volume 1 it is available on the Book Depository.
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DURARARA OST BEST HIT IKEBUKURO PSYCHE DE REMIX