Mikado is an average high-schooler whose life has been anything but since moving to Ikebukuro! After coming face-to–Neck?–with the legendary “Headless Rider,” Mikado can hardly wait to encounter more of the city’s peculiar residents. But when Midako is caught in the middle of a feud between Izaya Orihara and Shizuo Heiwajima, he soon realizes that Ikebukuro’s most unbelievable characters are also among its most dangerous…
All the players are finally introduced in this second volume of Durarara!! Now that the introductions are done, the story can start moving forward, and maybe even become interesting. The connections between the characters start to become apparent, as do their motivations, which often puts Mikado in the middle of many of them.
The final introductions are rounded up as Shizuo Heiwajima finally makes an appearance after all the warnings about him in the previous volume, which seem to have been for good reason. Also formally introduced is Sonohara, the girl with the glasses that Mikado notices in the first volume during their first day in class. She turns out to have been the best friend of Mika Harima, the girl who was stalking Yagiri. And finally the Dollars, the mysterious gang that is taking over Ikebukuro, make an appearance, and their identities end up being rather surprising, to me anyway. I did like their chosen method of torture. It’s very meta.
The story also starts to find some direction, with its center being that of Celty, the “Headless Rider.” I thought her story was the most interesting in the last volume, and it appears that was the intent. This is her story. Nearly every character that has been introduced has some connection to Celty by one or two degrees. Shinra met her as a boy on her journey to Japan. Yagiri has fallen in love with Celty’s head. His sister, who works at Yagiri Pharmecuticals has been experimenting on her head, a byproduct of which has attracted the attention of the Dollars. Even Mika, Yagiri’s stalker, becomes involved in a rather surprising way and ends up dragging Mikado in as well.
The text for volume one called Durarara!! a love story, and at first I didn’t see it. The developments in this volume shed more light on it though. While I wouldn’t call Durarara a love story per say, it’s definitely developed a twisted love polygon, which I hope the next volume develops more.
I was ready to shrug off Durarara!!, but this second volume has had enough developments to make me curious about the next volume. At only 4 volumes total, the story should move fairly quickly which is want this series needs to keep the reader’s attention. Which such a large cast it can be dragged down way to easily. While I am looking forward to the next volume, I don’t see this series as a keeper.