Mikado Ryūgamine is a young man who longs for the exciting life of the big city. At the invitation of his childhood friend Masaomi, he transfers to a school in Ikebukuro, Tokyo.
Masaomi warns him about people he doesn't want to cross in the city: a violent man dressed like a bartender, an information merchant, and a mysterious gang called "Dollars." And to top it off, Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first day in the city: the "Black Rider," the supposedly headless driver of a black motorcycle.
The narrative follows all of the characters equally, showing how their lives intersect, creating a greater plotline from what each character knows about a common incident.
An anime adaption of the light novels was announced in the wraparound sleeve of the sixth volume of the light novel. The anime is produced by Brain's Base and started airing on January 7, 2010 on MBS, TBS, and CBC. Crunchyroll is to simulcast the anime at 480p and 720p within 24 hours of its Japanese premiere. Other users can see the same episode in standard definition for free one week later. The anime adapts the first three novels. The anime has been licensed by Beez Entertainment for UK release in subtitles. UKAnime has also announced on it's Twitter that the US release for the anime will also be in English subtitles. At Anime Expo 2010, Aniplex of America confirmed that they have the license to Durarara!! and are planning to produce an English dub for a planned January 2011 release.