Durarara!!: Saika Arc

Story: Ryohgo Narita/Character Design: Suzuhito Yasuda/Art: Akiyo Satorigi

A slasher is terrorizing the streets of Ikebukuro, appearing in the night with blood-red eyes yet with no other distinguishing features. Around the same time, a troll going by the tag “Saika” begins haunting the online chatrooms, maniacally raving about love and slashing . . . and Shizuo Hiwejima. All these odd and troubling occurrences catch the attention of the black rider–particularly as they involve her friend–and Celty’s investigations turn up even more interesting stories of a demon blade–also going by the name of Saika–that appeared in Shinjuku about a decade before. Now she has to figure out the connections . . . before someone actually gets killed!

What a super-cool, fun manga! The Saika Arc of this manga follows immediately after the first four volumes, titled simply Durarara!!. This arc consists of three volumes and covers the same story as Narita’s second light novel. The manga adaptation is extremely well done. The art is vivid and active, and the characterizations are brilliant. I love this story’s characters: Durarara!! is full of unusual people with unique perspectives on life, and it doesn’t devote itself to just one character. It’s really neat to see the development of the connections between all the individuals who initially appear completely unrelated. Actually, the Saika Arc tends to focus primarily on Anri, Celty, and Shizuo, and it’s great to see the development in these characters. And pretty much everyone else is mixed in at some point anyhow. One last note: I love the humor that’s randomly mixed in, particularly in the parts where Shizuo goes nuts (then is distracted by ramen) and where Celty and Shinra are alone together (their relationship is weird/cute). Durarara!!: Saika Arc is a great manga for anyone who likes a solid, varied story with plenty of action and mystery with some fantasy elements thrown into the mix for fun.

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