While Baccano! is definitely Narita Ryohgo's best series, Dulalala! is damn near as good. Like Baccano!, it offers a berserk blend of random genre elements - the title being derived from the Dullahan in exile, working as a underworld courier, her headless mount disguised as a motorcycle. There's been a simmering plot through the series about exactly which evil group of mad scientists and otherwise psychotic puppet masters is currently controlling her stolen head, but this usually takes a back seat to Ikebukuro West Gate Park inspired gang activity. Only with evil swords that possess people. This one promised to bring things to a head; the Anonymous style internet based gang known only as Dollars, the hive mind collected created by the magic sword, and a traditional color gang are each collectively run by the three members of a high school love triangle, who hilariously have kept all this secret from each other despite the fact that their groups hate each other.
I was sort of expecting full on action, really, but it sort of wound up being heavily based on the color gang leader's angsty backstory, to the point where I got half way through the mammoth 440 page book and couldn't for the life of me figure out where all those pages had gone.
I generally think Narita is at his weakest when he's being serious, and this was quite a grim book - but this time around the serious stuff generally worked, and the wacky comedy subplot involving a mad scientist in a white gas mask generally fell totally flat as a result. I certainly missed the headlong enthusiasm that coursed through the first two books in the series, but perhaps it was necessary to resolve this set of plots, and let the Dullahan and other larger than life characters (one dude who gets shot several times, and goes to see a doctor on account of he might get lead poisoning, and then walks out the next day and picks a fight with a moving van) can fuck some shit up proper next volume.
Gosh, I sure get a lot more reading done when I'm riding the bus to work.