Genres: Action, Horror, Fantasy
Author: Katsura Hoshino
Artist: Katsura Hoshino
Publication: Weekly Shōnen Jump, Shueisha
Start Date: October 9, 2004
End Date: TBA
Number of chapters at review: 143
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 143
D.Gray-Man is a Shonen Jump Manga series centered around Allen Walker and his fight as an Exorcist against the Millenium Earl.
In the (fictional) universe of D.Gray-Man, when somebody dies and thus leaves a close relative or friend in great grievence, the Millenium Earl (a big and rounded evil fellow with Bunny Ears) can use that grieve
to create an 'Akuma' (lit. : Demon) of the soul of the dead person. These Akuma's or currently terrorising the earth as the Millenium gains more and more Akuma's under his Wing.
Those who fight the Earl in the name of The Holy Catholic Church are called 'The Black Order', also known as 'Exorcists'. With the help of weapons made by a substance known as 'innocense' they fight the Akuma and the Earl to stop him from taking over the Earth.
The story starts with Allen Walker searching for the mysterious Black Order's HQ and after being recruited into the Black Order he starts on his journey to stop the Earl. Allen Walker's weapon (which is unique for every person due to the innocense) is a symbiotic type which means that it is an integral part of his body (his arm), this type is rare considering that most innocense concert itself into a conventional weapons such as swords, hammer or sometimes even clothing. Apart from his unique weapon, Allen also holds a cursed eye due to a event which happened with with his (now dead) suggerate father.
As Allen journeys with his partners from the Black Order named Yu Kanda, Lenalee Lee and Lavi he discovers more about the Earl and his mysterious group called the Noah. The Noah seem to be very interested in the innocense which the Akuma thrive on, and the Black Order keep safe from them.
I should explain here that even though I think Katsura Hoshino draws an excellent manga here, it can be confusing sometimes due to loads of action in not so much frames sometimes
The plot overall is very interesting, but it sometimes slow downs too much, or it takes up a speed which is hard to follow
Even though the author doesn't go in-depth on all the characters, Allen en Lenalee are two very interesting characters and so is the relation between them
A bit corny sometimes, but it doesn't stop you from reading
Nearly always takes a bit of different turn into storytelling, although serious plot-twist are absent.
Overall it is one the best and most interesting manga I'm currently reading, but the confusing art and tempo can be a trouble sometimes
Ps. One last bit: The humor in this manga is very good (at least that's what I think) and is quite reminescent to the humor in One Piece (facial expressions and shallow one-liners). It is a great aspect of this manga (although it is dissapearing a bit in the last few chapters), and I suggest you read the manga considering I think the story and the humor is better than the Anime
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Last edited by Mooncrow; January 07, 2008 at 09:32 AM. Reason: Cleaned up the format a bit
Totally agree with your bit about the action. I get really confused about who is speaking/what the heck is going on. Overall I pretty much completely agree with your review.
Okay.. i am agree with the review.. especially the plot... so far i only read till chapter 80+ i got boring because somehow the tempo of the story is decreased.. but i really like the art...
Overall : 8
Good manga ... you should read it ..
This series is so much better than the anime it's not funny. Something about the Manga style really brings the best out of the characters. However the story has gone a little stale during the latest arc...how an organisation being mankinds last hope in a war against akuma being a beurocracy doesn't work logically, especially in the nineteenth century.
I agree 100% with your originality, themes, plot, and art. This is one of the few manga I've read that doesn't seem to be a new interpretation of an old, tried and true storytelling style, and that's one of the things that's so bizarre about it. Perhaps it is this that makes it so hard to read and follow. With most manga, we know what's going to happen; after all, we've seen it before a thousand times, albeit with different character names, different powers, or in a different environment. In this story, we actually have to read the thing to figure out what's going on (almost every other Shonen, you could just see the pictures and know EXACTLY what happens), and the author has few or no predecessors to draw on for how to lay out the plot.
I would, however, differ with you when it comes to characters. I would have to give this...closer to a three than a nine in that aspect. The characters...well, maybe I got a little confused and missed things, but...is it just me, or do they not interact? Or grow (and no, I'm not counting getting new techniques as character growth)? The characters themselves are the bane of this manga, as the writer seems to have made a clear decision when it comes priorities. While he took the time to set up decent characters, which takes only a few pages and a good introduction, when it comes to development... the combat (and COMBAT growth) and overarching story is more important than what happens to the characters. Honestly, I don't give a...errr...darn about what happens to any of them, other than maybe Kanda, who I dislike but DO feel something for.