Durarara!!: Yellow Scarves Arc, Volumes 1 & 2

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” – Pablo Picasso

Durarara!!, or DRRR!! if you prefer, is causing some interest at the moment, primarily because a new series is planned for broadcast next year. Meanwhile a manga adaptation of the original novels and the anime is still being made. The most recent collection covers the “Yellow Scarves” arc that was in the last series of the anime that went out in 2010.

This manga continues to tell the story of the stranger residents of Ikebukuro. Most recently there has been a series of slasher attacks and some of the people harmed were members of the “Yellow Scarves” colour gang. The original leader has decided to re-join the group in order to find out if the attacks are anything to do with the new gang on the block, the “Dollars”.

The leader of the Yellow Scarves is Masaomi Kida, who doesn’t realise that his best friend Mikado Ryugamine is the creator of the Dollars, and that their fellow classmate Anri Sonohara is the controller of the “Saika” blade used in the slasher attacks. To make things worse for him, the Yellow Scarves are becoming more troublesome to handle since he left them.

Meanwhile Celty Sturluson, the Black Rider and dullahan from Ireland who is searching for her missing head, still has to cope with the advances of her flatmate Shinra, the backstreet doctor. In fact, she has several problems to contend with. One is that she has to deal with a new bunch of motor-biking cops. The other is to deal with a visit from Shinra’s gasmask-wearing father, who has knowledge of what happened to her head.

Those familiar with the anime will know that the series is rightly praised for its plot and characters. Durarara!! has one of the best ensemble casts. You have the three school-chums and Celty, but then you also have super-strength Shizuo Heiwajima and the disturbing information broker Izaya Orihara, who are also brilliant creations in their own right. The art in the manga is also great. Akiyo Satorigi’s adaptation of the novelsreally helps to bring the whole series to life.

So far only two volumes of this arc have been published in Japanese, so the current English adaptation is up-to-date. When the third volume will come out is not yet known. But when we does see the completed work, it should be a good complement to the new anime in 2015.

8 / 10

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and was also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. His debut book, CLAMPdown, about the manga collective CLAMP, is available now. Outside of anime, he is data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, has written questions for both The Wall and Richard Osman's House of Games, and has been a contestant on Mastermind.

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