I’ve been away from the Drrr!! series for a little while; I honestly thought it was over. Apparently, the novels at least keep going and I just found the first one of the next sequence of the story. The original premise is still kind of there, but with some tweaks: there’s a series of interconnected characters in this one Tokyo neighborhood and mysterious goings on (some disappearances) that may or may not be supernatural. There is one character who is not human, although Celty the dullahan does not personally appear for much of this novel, but she’s still a presence.
I have no idea what the “SHx1” of the subtitle means (the author isn’t helpful about that either) other than the x1 meaning “volume 1” or ‘part 1’ but whatever it is, it’s got to suggest something like ‘the next generation’ since basically all the new characters have parallels with the previous sequences, and there’s still plenty of continuity with a lot of the adult side characters like Simon of Russi Suchi and Shizuo the enforcer with inhuman strength who dresses like a bartender. There’s a group of new high school kids at Raira Academy now and most of them are looking for some kind of adventure. The new kid has a secret and he wants to see something exciting or supernatural to figure out if there’s something wrong about him, and there’s his self-identified new bestie who is definitely up to some kind of manipulative something. And there’s also a girl to round out the trio, in this case she’s searching for her missing sister (one of the disappearances, rumored to be connected to the Dark Rider, who is something of an urban legend except that it’s actually Celty.
There’s enough of a difference in the personalities and general set up that this doesn’t feel too repetitive but the parallels are so very much there; the biggest give-away to me was when the schemer says something that’s almost verbatim a quote from his parallel, except that the content is an exact opposite. Izaya Orihara was a grown-up information broker who manipulated everything from the shadows and who claimed to “love humanity”; his next generation counterpart fells the opposite but is otherwise quite similar. It’s going to be interesting to see how the other characters might fit into their analogues and not, especially since a few of the previous generation characters are in fact still around, although we don’t meet anyone specific until near the end. I’m kind of looking forward to how this develops.