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Discussion What is your most favorite arc? SPOILER? Watch out

Jaymie

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I like the Edo arc, just before the Ark (So I guess Volumes 9 and 10). I loved Chomesuke, and I thought the gathering of all of the Exorcists and Noah was pretty awesome. Allen and the Millennium Earl meeting face-to-face for the first time in eight volumes was also pretty awesome.

I also liked the Rewinding Town, since I absolutely adore Miranda and Road. That arc provided an immense amount of character development for almost everyone, and the chapters afterward with Allen and Lavi were simply stunning.

And I also like the Timothy arc, strangely enough. I love the setting (Paris), and the battle against the Akuma (besides the extremely long hiatus's) was pretty awesome. It also introduced some cool new characters (Timothy, Emilia, the Thirds, and Miss Bonnaire).
 

Triantafyllo

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Well, considering that I loooove all arcs of this manga, and that I am grateful of it having so many different arcs, so it is not fight after fight like other mangas... I will say the ones I like the least, those are: Crowley and Eliade and THe Ghost of Martel. I like them but not that much. And as for my all time favorites: the Ark arc, the current arc (which I consider one of the saddest of this and other mangas) and.... the vampire-virus arc...yes, this arc didn't have any story development but I lafted since begining to the end...so yes I love it and I red it a couple of times.
 

LovingAngel

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1. Ark arc ( as we learnt lots of new facts about Allen, Lavi, Noahs and others)
2. Rewinding Town arc ( as we got the introduction to the future events)
3. The arc where we learnt about Allen's past and about the fact that he is the 14th host (the most exciting arc from my point of view)
But it's no secret that the whole manga is great!!!
 

Bugzee

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HQ Invasion Arc – Lulu Bell and her level 3 akuma army invading the laboratory was awesome. This arc was more emotionally-charged with those Skulls in search for healthy brains to use. Quite a gruesome conversion imo. Once that level 4 akuma entered the frame, who saved the day? Lenalee with her new sexy form of Dark Boots! :hearts
 

capricorn

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Personal favourite- Lullubell invasion/level 4 arc

Best in terms of writing and getting shit done- Alma arc

Best in terms of action choreography- Timothy/ Thief G arc (believe it or not) cause the fight between Allen Kanda Marie and that level 4 was perhaps the most badass i've seen any of those 3
 

Yoichi Hiruma

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My favorite arcs are:

Invasion of the Black Order Headquarters arc

The Rewinding Town arc

Noah's Ark arc
 

Zibi234

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1. ark
2. lulubell invasion
3. north america noah attack (lots of noah fooling around with lots of road's intereaction with allen [like her a noah comment that why does he get lost so easyly while streching his face like allen does to tim]... or allen and tyki standing on earl while completly forgetting about it )
 

Dlanor_A.Knox

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Hmmm probably the Ark Arc :)

The current ark is also very good, the suspence in this arc is greater than in the previous arc's (in my opinion)!!
 

Zibi234

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Hmmm probably the Ark Arc :)

The current ark is also very good, the suspence in this arc is greater than in the previous arc's (in my opinion)!!
Yeah the suspence is greater :) its already 2years ;) in previous chapters it was only 6months
 

Wood-Guy7

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For me, my top 3 arcs are:

1-search for A.W arc
2-seed of destruction arc
3-the rewinding town arc

I'd be happy to hear what is/are your favorite arc/s.
 

Silverwolf442

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I am leaning toward the SFAW arc.

None of the arcs were ever dull or meaningless. Just seemed like this arc had a good bit going on. But I tend to get confused on arcs sometimes.

_The revelation of Neah / Adam / Mana -Some figured it out already, but it's good to have it finally acknowledged. The story is really moving now.
_We find out Cross is alive -though comatose
_Neah is finally awake and able to do more, rather than only awakening for a short period
_We see what happens with Allen once Neah awakens. I figured he wasn't gone, but probably in a limbo state
_Allen has some lead on where to go and finally get some real answers about Mana and Neah

All the arcs have good movement. But this stuff I find the most interesting.
 

capricorn

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This is a tough one for me but my favorites in no particular order are:
1) Search for A.W.
Probably the best stand alone major arc we've had thus far in the series despite the fact that my experience of it has suffered due to hiatuses (the longest one in dgm history no less) as well as irregular updates, fluctuating art quality most likely due to hoshino's illnesses and now the waiting time between updates.

2) Seed of Destruction
Simple, short but awesome from beginning to end. The Apocryphos introduction constituted three of my favourite back to back chapters of d gray man (203 to 205)

3) Lullubel Invasion arc
Immediately after the orders first ever major victory, having stolen the egg and the arc Lullubel shows up to crush high spirits. Pretty simple arc but it was just really awesome to see all the characters band togethor even with significant disadvantage to overcome an unforseen enemy as well as Lenalee's return to greatness.

4) Mystery of Kanda arc
Before Search for A.W. this could have been the best one for me but because of a couple imperfections really didn't rise to it fullest potential for me.
 

Dlanor_A.Knox

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1: Searching for A.W.
I just love all the twists, answers and mysteries we've gotten so far.

2: Ark Arc (and the part before that with Suman Dark& Asia Branch).
Because this ark is what made me start to fall in love with DGM, before this I just viewed it like every other shounen anime.

3: Seed of Destruction
Apo-guy and Tyki and Roads rescue mission... <3

4: Lullubel's invasion
Lenalee turned back to her awesome self and we saw some generals in action.
It also made us realize that the Earl could destroy the Order whenever he wants...
Also we got to know Johnny Gill a bit better and saw some more character development from him!
 

Niko_kun

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I guess im gonna re-read the manga to answer that question because, i mean, when I first read d.gray, it was about 170 chapters and the arcs until there had more pacing if you know what I mean. A monthly arc or quarterly arc requires attention. But im almost sure my top3 would be between the Ark ark, Suman's Arc and Kanda/Alma :)
 

REN KOUEN

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The entire story has been great

If i had to choose probably the arc where allen found out he was the musician
 

fuff

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alma arc, order gets attacked, the ark arc
 

MSofAofCOCA

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I know I enjoyed the Ark arc's art style the most from the pre-long!hiatus releases, but my favorite arc would be the HQ invasion one, because I did not care much for Skinn vs Kanda, which was part of the Ark arc. I also looooooooooooved the juxtaposition of the HQ invasion arc right after the progress made during the Ark arc. Despite everything, Allen was (unofficially) labeled a traitor, and the stolen Ark and Egg triggered a massacre. Literally, it was one step forward, a hundred steps back. Reading the two back to back was delicious. :nrr

I would rank the rest as such: Best -> Lesser Best (BECAUSE THERE ARE NO BAD ARCS! No, not even you, dear Zombie Arc.)

HQ Invasion
Ark arc
SFAW, Part 2: Nea f'ing with the Earl
Timothy Arc (including the actual HQ move)
Crown Clown Arc
Travel to Edo Arc: Lenalee vs Eshi
Rewinding Town Arc
Zombie Arc
Alma Karma arc
Travel to Edo Arc: Suman Dark
SFAW, Part 1 (including escape from HQ)
Matel Arc
Coming to HQ Arc
Vampire Castle Arc

I ranked based on my likelihood to re-read the pertaining chapters. That's why SFAW is in two parts, because while they are the same arc, I very much prefer to reread the latter half (the current half) than the first half. Ditto for Travel to Edo Arc - Lenalee vs Eshi > Allen vs Suman Dark.

I thought that the Vampire Castle Arc (Krory's Arc) was too messy. I'll admit that I've skipped it during my last few re-reads because of that. Guess I'll give it another go to make sure the ranking is fair.

I.... enjoyed the Zombie Arc more than the Alma Karma Arc. Bite me. :victory
 

Kouichi

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I personally like these arcs:

Ark arc
Rewinding Town arc (because Road and Miranda)
Crown Clown Arc
and Travel to Edo Arc (Suman ;3;)
 

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For me, my favorite arcs, as well as what I consider the best point of the manga, where the ones integrating the "Searching Cross Marian" era, AKA Fallen One + Edo + Noah's Ark + Black Order Invasion (as the "epilogue"). Roughly, what was adapted in the second half of the first anime. Reasons include:


For Fallen One arc:

• It introduced the dark side of the Innocence (that, before this arc, was presented as the weapon that would save humankind from the Akumas) and the Black Order with the Fallen One. It was such an interesting twist, like, how the holy weapons that are supposed to save humankind can also do such horrible things to their wielders if they deviate from the path established by God.

• The Fallen One itself had an awe-inspiring design and an interesting lore behind it, making it both pitiful and horrifying despite his holy appearance.

• Suman, despite his brief role in the series, managed to be a memorable tragic character that you could hate for betraying his comrades, but also pity because he really wanted to see his family again and desperately wanted to live, even when he knew he was fated to perish, making his death a punch in the gut for the audience once they find that he succumbed to the process.

• The anguish of Lenalee and, especially, Allen as they try to save him through the arc was heartbreaking, with Allen giving everything he had to save someone he doesn’t know, only for Suman to die afterwards despite Allen giving his best to save him.

• Tyki was a stylish and badass villain who had everything under check the whole arc and managed to be a character hard to hate despite, you know, practically killing the main character in cold blood.

• The ending of the arc, really. Our protagonist, Allen, who in previous occasions managed to win even in the hardest of the situations he got involved, gets utterly trashed, unable to do anything due his wounds, has his Innocence destroyed, fails to save Suman despite giving his best effort, and gets (apparently) killed without any fanfare, with his friends still desperately searching for him, not knowing his horrible fate, with his only solace being that Timcampy retrieves the Innocence of Suman before Tyki has the chance to destroy it. I mean, I doubt that anyone who read or watched that chapter/episode really believed that Allen was truly dead (after all, he’s the main character, and battle shounens don’t usually kill their main character in the middle point of the story), but that panel/shot of Tyki throwing the poker cards to Allen’s lifeless body was just chilling, probably one of the darkest ways to end an arc.

• It featured Lenalee with her hair down <3


For Edo arc:

• Miranda returned to the series as a full-fledged Exorcist after her absence since her introductory arc, proving to be a valuable asset to the Exorcist team despite not being a fighter.

• It showed the first hint of Nea’s existence within Allen (in the dream sequence Allen has before awakening in the Asian’s HQ of the Black Order, when he finds the Black Order destroyed and Lenalee crying, but a shadowy figure in his reflection in the water stops him ), foreshadowing the 14th Noah plot that would come later.

• Bak, the rest of the crew from the Asian Branch (For, Rohfa, Won, Rikei and Shifu) and Chomesuke were fun side characters that made the arc enjoyable without becoming a hindrance at the end. Chomesuke’s death was also very sad, considering she was also killed forever.

• The fight of Lenalee against Eshi, what I consider one of my favorite battles of the series. We discovered how Lenalee views the world (in a selfish, but relatable way, as it is true that, for many of us, the world is composed of the people we love), Eshi was a formidable and memorable enemy despite not lasting much more than this battle, and the ending of the fight, with Lenalee going full hot blooded shounen hero mode and using her strongest technique (that would probably had killed her if it wasn’t for her Innocence protecting her at the last moment, meaning she was ready to die in the attack) to finally crush Eshi and save her friends in the ship after a long battle was an incredible way to end the fight. Even if her iconic twintails were lost at the end and she remained unable to fight till the Black Order Invasion, it was a worthy price for such badass fight. I liked Lenalee before this event, but this was what made me fall in love with the character for good.

• The deaths of Anita, Mahoja and the rest of the crew of the ship. A really sad scene that makes you believe at first that Anita has survived the Akuma attack, only to give you a punch in the gut and reveal that she was in fact killed. A very powerful and heart wrenching moment indeed. I also liked Anita herself, despite her short run in the series. Despite not having special powers and being a normal human being, she remained faithful to Cross and helped the Exorcists till her last breath, and her scenes with Lenalee were sweet. Honestly one of my favorite tertiary characters from D.Gray-man

• Allen’s fight against the Level 3 Akuma that Tyki sent to kill him and his Innocence adopting his true powers. Even if it wasn’t as spectacular as the battle with Eshi (the Akuma was pretty much easily defeated after Crown Clown manifests itself and the rest of the fight is just For trying to win time for Allen to escape), it reinforced Allen’s ideals (that he wants to save BOTH humans and Akumas alike) and it was such a good twist how, despite being decided to fight for his friends and loved ones, it’s the appearance of an Akuma (one of the beings that he vowed to save) what triggers his Innocence to adopt its true form. The end of the fight, where a kind and understanding Allen purifies the Akuma and his soul thanks him for ending his suffering was a heartwarming way to end the battle, and a great show that, again, Allen will fight not only for humans, but also for the salvation of the Akumas, that, at the end of the day, are just victims of the Earl. Also, the first appearance of Crown Clown was a breathtaking sight, and is still one of my favorite designs from Hoshino to this date.

• Kanda and Marie entrance in Edo, destroying with ease the Giant Akumas that Lavi and his group were trying to defeat without any success. After not appearing in the series for a time, Kanda sure made an impressive reappearance. However, that still doesn’t hold a candle to…

• … Allen’s epic, incredible, awesome, amazing and all the good adjectives you can think on entrance in Edo after the Earl destroyed it, saving Lenalee just when the Earl was about to kill her, then engaging in a fight toe to toe with him. Even if the Earl was holding back, it was impressive to see how Allen went from struggling against Level 2 Akumas to being able to fight with the main antagonist of the series, telling the readers/viewers that, effectively, our main character is back, and ready to kick asses. His little scene with Lenalee after the Earl retreats, when she tells him that he managed to save Suman despite everything that happened, was also really heartwarming (and tingled my shipper heart too).


For Noah’s Ark arc:

• The entire premise of the arc. No Akumas, no distractions, no half-assed skirmishes, just full-blown battles to the death against the Noahs inside the Ark, coupled with a race against time due the old Ark being destroyed while the new one gets downloaded, raising the stakes even more. I think they were some of the most intense fights of the series, so I will detail what I liked from each one :

• Kanda vs Skinn: A battle with good choreography, we got to see more of Kanda’s abilities, Skinn’s Noah form looked cool, introduced the concept of the Noah’s memory (who would be vital later in the manga), and it even made me feel bad for Skinn when the rest of the Noahs inside the Ark mourned his death. Hell, just the fact that Skinn was a normal person living a normal life who got turned into a mindless brute consumed by the Noah inside him is depressing enough. I liked how Hoshino tried to make the typical muscular, huge, not very bright antagonist something more than a punching bag for the main characters to beat.

• Krory vs Jasdevi: Started very hilarious, with the twins trying to make Allen pay for the debts Cross left to them, then serious when they fuse and start crushing everyone. I adored Krory’s sacrifice to let his friends advance to the next room, and his conversation with the spirit of Eliade as he’s being crushed by Jasdevi’s iron maiden really made me root for him, it was frustrating and sad seeing him being slowly crushed to death after being trashed verbally and physically by Jasdevi. His “revival” as Bloody Krory is probably one of my favorite moments of the series, and the Bloody Krory also looked incredibly cool, another great design made Hoshino. Only complaint is that the fight ended as a draw, as Krory really deserved to win. May Hoshino give him his deserved victory against Jasdevi by the time they fight again (hopefully).

• Allen vs Tyki: Allen gets a very awesome moment when he reaches the Critical Point and unleashes his iconic exorcism sword, proceeding to defeat Tyki, taking “revenge” from the time he almost killed him in China. Tyki was no pushover either, as he was dominating the fight until Allen gets his sword, displaying how terrifying his Noah ability can be when he shows the ability to create vacuums (a pretty badass skill). Also, I know people don’t consider Allen the winner due Tyki later awakening as a Noah and being unable to defeat him, but, since that enemy wasn’t Tyki himself, but Joyd taking control of his body, I take Allen as the rightful winner, as least of the “first round”.

• Lavi vs Road: While this wasn’t much of a fight as it was Road mentally screwing Lavi (I think the only true physical fight this had was the one where Allen tries to stop Lavi in his “Bookman mode”), it may be my favorite fight of the arc along with the Krory one. We finally knew what was inside Lavi’s head and how cynical he truly is under his usually easygoing persona, and how he debates himself between his duties as a Bookman and his loyalty to his friends in the Order. I especially love the moment where Road twists the “I am still part of this world?” that Lenalee said to him when he rescued her after the fight with Eshi and turns the Lenalee in her Dreamworld along with the other allies and friends of Lavi into zombies and they start to attack him while they scream that “they are more than ink on paper”. I found that a very powerful moment, and Hoshino managed to even make the usual wise and serious Bookman to look really sinister and evil. I found the conclusion of the fight, with Lavi trying to sacrifice himself to defeat Road and avoid harming his friends any further, ending with his Bookman self finally accepting and merging with him, to be very satisfying, developing Lavi’s character very well.

• Of course, I cannot mention the Ark arc without mentioning the glorious appearance of Cross. After spending the previous arcs searching for him, the madman himself appears and shows himself as a certified badass by showing his magic skills, that he has two Innocences that he can use at the same time and defeating without taking a sweat the previously shown to be invincible Noah!Tyki , forcing the Earl to come to rescue him and retreat from the about-to-be-destroyed old Ark. Since the beginning of the series, I was curious to see how Cross Marian was outside of flashbacks, and after many arcs of build-up, Hoshino definitely delivered with his character. Suffice to say, Cross became a favorite of mine the moment he appeared in the Ark saving Allen and his friends.

• We got to see the first sight of Nea (as a shadow) in the piano room of the Ark. Back then, he was such a mysterious and eerie character, appearing as a smiling shadow wearing a coat, throwing to the table more mysteries about Allen and Mana and kickstarting the future plot of the 14th Noah. I dare to say that I even liked Nea more when he was a mysterious shadowman than how the character is currently in the manga.

• The moment where Allen restores the Ark using the piano in Nea’s room. A good scene in the manga, that was even better in the anime, with the Score of the Musician (Tsunaida Te ni Kiss wo) playing in the background while the Exorcists who “died” in the rooms that were downloaded in the new Ark collapsed come back to life. A very, very beautiful moment that, that, coupled with Sanae Kobayshi’s heavenly voice as she sings the song and with the monologue that Komui tells Allen the first time he enters in the Ark (when he tells him what he is going to do when they return from their mission in Japan) also playing as the fallen Exorcists rose out again, managed to become one of my favorite scenes of the franchise.

• The ending of the arc, where the Exorcists return to the headquarters after the whole thing ends. After going through many battles, constant fights to the death against Akumas and Noahs, losing many in the process, and with some of them almost dying in the Ark, they receive an emotional welcome from Komui and the rest of the Science Division, have some funny moments, and finally have the chance to enjoy their deserved rest (they don’t get to enjoy it much, but it was still a great way to end the arc).

• The rage of the Earl where he discovers that the Old Ark wasn’t completely downloaded. A small scene, but seeing the main villain of the manga so furious and acting out of character compared to his usually amiable and twisted persona was such a shock, and his face of frustration as he curses Nea for helping the Exorcists was honestly horrifying. Again a short scene, but I really liked it.

• Just the fact that this arc marked the first step in the favor of the Exorcists against the Earl and his forces. They bring back Cross to the headquarters in one piece, manage to defeat 4 Noahs (and killing one in the process), stole both the old Ark and the Akuma Egg from the Earl, got a new Exorcist to help the fight against the Akumas (Chaozii), and some of them got upgraded Innocences. Though later arcs would undo practically many of those things, at that time, it was such a progress that one would have thought the Exorcists actually stood a chance in the war.


For Black Order Invasion arc:

• Just when our heroes are resting after the whole adventure in Edo, troubles don’t let them take a breath with the appearance of Lvellie, who puts Cross and Allen under surveillance and starts causing problems too to Komui and a traumatized Lenalee. Just when this arc looked like a breather episode four our battered Exorcists, this Hitler lookalike appears to ruin everything. I found that honestly very amusing, in a twisted way, and it was the reminder that the Order is more of what it seemed at first and that it is also has a nasty dark side. It also was a stepping stone towards the plotline of the 14th Noah (back before it became tedious), thing that hyped me the first time I watched this arc.

• Related to the above point of Lvellie appearing and ruining everything after the arc seemed to be a transitory one, and more shocking, it was the sudden infiltration of Lulu Bell in the European headquarter of the Black Order, along with an army of Level 3 Akumas and a group of Skulls, who then proceeds to retrieve the Akuma Egg, massacre the science staff from the Order, and turn the ones who are qualified for it into Skulls. It was such an unexpected twist, I totally did not seem it coming. It was also scary known that the Skulls (who in the Ark arc were shown as little more than fodders for Cross to destroy) were once former humans enslaved by the magic of the Earl, not unlike the Akumas.

• The epic entrance of the Generals to save the day when Allen was knocked out by the Akumas and about to be retrieved by Lulu Bell. We finally saw the strongest Exorcists in action, and, oh boy if they delivered. From Tiedoll protecting the wounded scientists with his magical garden, to Cross, Nine and Socalo just obliterating the Akumas who were causing havoc in the headquarters without sweating. It was honestly really satisfying seeing how all those Akumas that caused so much trouble during the previous arcs were massacred like flies by the Generals. Socalo in special was awesome, giving no fucks about anything other than slicing Akumas to smithereens and then proceeding to laugh like a maniac. That part was badass.

• After that, the short but intense battle of Allen, Marie and the Generals against Lulu Bell as she attacks Miranda and takes her as a hostage in order to retrieve the Egg (that Miranda was retaining in the Order with her Innocence). Again, it wasn’t very long, but it gave a small moment of awesome to Miranda (who didn’t do much in the Ark arc) when she managed to keep the Egg enough time (despite being drowned in Lulu Bell’s water form) for the Generals to force the Noah to escape, and I loved the part where Allen destroys the Egg before her eyes, prompting her to curse Allen.

• Then there’s the biggest twist of the arc: the sudden born of the Level 4 Akuma. Just when you think that things were finally solved and that our heroes would be at last able to get a break, this little fucker appears, being born from a grotesque abomination resembling a pale, pregnant woman (who emerged from one of the Giant Akumas that the Generals killed), and looking like an horrifying mix of an angel, a little child and a doll, with the uncanny valley in full exposure, with a creepy high pitched voice and a huge power of destruction. Probably one of the creepiest things that have come out of this manga and that is something, considering how many terrifying things this manga has. If that is bad enough, it managed to knock down the freaking Generals in seconds for a time, utterly defeat Allen, and then starts to annihilate both foes and allies alike without remorse. Its giggling was probably the worst part of it.

• After spending the latter half of the Edo arc and the entirety of the Ark arc being a nuisance for her friends and unable to help them, Lenalee finally returns to the battlefield, more badass than ever, after having her Innocence re-synchronized with her and evolving into Crystal Type. If her battle with Eshi was about showing how she views the world and what her friends mean to her, this battle against the Level 4 Akuma served for her to finally accept her role as an Exorcist and leaving aside her hatred for God and the Innocence that she gained from the traumas that she developed when she was forcibly separated from her brother at a young age in order to protect what she treasures. Her whole inner monologue about how many times she wished that all her bad experiences since she joined the Order were just a nightmare and she would just wake up and live a peaceful life with her brother like a shallow novel with no conflict as she drinks her liquefied Innocence is another favorite scene of mine from this series. I don’t think is farfetched to say that this arc is the arc of Lenalee, in the same way Alma Kanda was Kanda’s arc and the current one is Allen’s arc, as the second half of it revolved around her, her doubts and, ultimately, her acceptance of the fate deposited upon her shoulders in order to protect the people she loves. I used to dislike how Hoshino made Lenalee unable to fight in the Ark, as it is what her detractors usually bring up the most when they bash her, but now I realize that all of that was made in order to build up this moment, for her to feel what is it to see her friends beating up and suffering without being able to make anything to save them, and forcing her to submit to both the Innocence and God to avoid getting stuck in a situation like that ever again, “redeeming” herself after being useless in the Ark. I think this makes me appreciate this arc even more.

• Komui’s role in the whole thing is also worthy to mention. While normally acting like a moron and a comic relief, in this arc he showed why he’s the chief officer of the Black Order, being very professional and trying to take control of the situation at every moment. We also got to see more serious and heart-to-heart interactions of him with his little sister and how much he cares for her by making sure for her to stay away from all the carnage happening in the headquarters, yet, at the moment of the truth, when her returning to fight again becomes the key to save the day, he can’t help but to let his sister walk into the danger again, despite his conflicting feelings, acknowledging that, to win this war, she must fight. Again, like I mentioned before, since this is Lenalee’s arc, Komui, being her most important person, had to have some role (just like Alma for Kanda and Mana for Allen), and he certainly did, briefly returning to the main focus after staying outside the main course of action during the search for Cross.

• Really, the whole final fight of Allen, Lenalee and Cross against the Level 4 was awesome. It may possibly be my favorite battle from D.Gray-man and one of my favorite anime battles of all time. It had everything: the previously emotional moments of Lenalee with Komui and later accepting her fate as an Exorcist; it featured three of my favorite characters from the manga fighting together; it was an evenly matched battle and unlike other shounens, even though she had a power up, Lenalee didn’t curb stomped the Level 4 and needed the help of Allen and Cross to deal with it; it had a good choreography with cool action scenes (like when Allen and Lenalee both impale the exorcism sword into the Level 4), and it ended in a great way, with Cross ridding the little shit with bullets and Allen and Lenalee giving the final blow to it. And it was even better in the anime, where the fight looked even more spectacular and had some really fluid animation (some of the best of the series, even). Without any doubt the perfect way to end it.

• Tup’s death. While is true that Tup didn’t have much screentime time, it was still heartbreaking seeing him crying as a Skull as he mutters that he wouldn’t mind working hard again the rest of his life if he could survive (reminiscing a previous line from him) while he disappears into dust. It was so sad even KANDA of all people seemed affected for it. It was a reminder that, even if the Level 4 was destroyed and the Noahs lost the Egg, the toll of casualties was still huge, and many more tragedies would happen as long as the Earl is active. Also, the death of Tup, who was a harmless, friendly comic relief, showed that war spares no one, and was a sign that the laidback moments of the past were not going to return.

• The way the arc ends is also worth mentioning. While it was a huge step back for the Exorcists, almost left the victory on the Ark arc meaningless, and showed that the Earl could wipe out the Order anytime he wants, the Egg didn’t returned to the Earl, the Order got new data about a new kind of Akuma, Lenalee regained her Innocence and became stronger, and a new type of Innocence that could help the Exorcist to win the war appeared in the records. It was a bittersweet ending, and our main characters, far from surrender, will keep fighting till the end. A far cry from the bleakness of the recent arcs of the manga, which have been nothing but tragedies and despair for our protagonists.

In general:

• It was the point when the series turned out “serious” and with a focused goal (go to Japan and find Cross) after spending previous arcs introducing the characters and the world of the series in simple missions that were covered in short arcs. It was basically when the plot of the series really started, and when the series was at the peak of its popularity.

• It featured what I think are my favorite Exorcists uniforms to the date (the ones used during Edo/Noah’s Ark).

• The side characters introduced (Bak, For, Anita, Chomesuke…) were for the most part enjoyable, contributed to the plot without overstaying their welcome (unlike Johnny), and were endearing enough to make you feel their deaths.

• The comedy scenes were pretty fun and their timing was good. As such, it had many funny moments like Road kissing Allen out of nowhere (to the shock of everyone present), the first part of the battle against Jasdevi, Lero in general, Cross hitting on Lenalee (to the horror of everyone present) or Komui trolling Bak when he was going to send flowers to his sister.

• It introduced the Level 3 Akumas, which have by far my favorite design out of all the Akumas. These tall humanoids machines, with that demonic armor, those sharp teeth, multiple eyes and long tongues, look really imposing and frightening, definitely not a being you would want to find in real life. I also love how the design of their helmets varies depending on the individual despite all of them looked similar. They were also tough opponents that forced our heroes to reach to their limits in order to overcome them and starred two of the most iconic battles of the manga. Was nice seeing them as threats before they turned into fodder.

• The Noah’s looked cool and stylish, and not like a bunch of strippers/members of a boy band. They were also portrayed as powerful, but not ridiculous overpowered as they were shown in later arcs, making the prospect to defeat them actually credible without making the antagonists of the series look like wimps.

• Unlike in later arcs, everyone from Allen’s group had screentime. Be Allen, Kanda, Lenalee, Lavi, Krory, Chaozii, Miranda, Bookman.... everyone had their chance to shine at one moment or another, even if the majority of the focus in these arcs was in Allen (and Lenalee to a lesser extent until her big moment with the Level 4), none of them felt neglected nor abandoned.

• Allen was at his best point as a main character here. Without Nea’s presence hindering him, he could show how powerful and cool he really is. From obtaining his Crown Clown, to reassuring his ideal to save both human and Akumas by gently putting the Level 3 Akuma that went to kill him out of his misery, to fighting the Earl in Edo, to being able to defeat Tyki after reaching the Critical Point, to restoring the Ark with the piano, then frustrating the plan of Lulu Bell of taking the Akuma Egg back to the Earl, and finally helping to kill the Level 4, Allen was simply awesome. Also, despite being compassionate and polite with his enemies, he still didn’t fucked around if they crossed the line, like in the Ark arc, when Tyki uses one of his Teezes to threaten Lenalee, and then Allen stabs it with the claw of Crown Clown and tells Tyki he may kill him if he touches his friends. That thing was just badass. He also possesed that "dark Allen" personality when he was playing poker or when he remembered all the stuff with Cross's debts, who made him quite hilarious and even dastardly too. I don’t usually tend to have the main characters of shounens as favorite of mines, but I can say without any problem that Allen Walker is one of my favorite characters of the series, and he’s probably one of my favorite protagonists in the world of anime/manga.

• Hoshino’s art around this era was my favorite one of the series, starting with the gothic-like look that the manga possessed in its first arcs, then transitioning with the rounder and more shounen-like designs that she kept until the first big hiatus of D.Gray-man, when the manga went from weekly to monthly (the one that was used by the first anime). Plus, the art was less confusing and you could follow the battles more clearly than in some scenes from the latest arcs.


And that’s all, I think. I really don’t have much criticism for those arcs, since I really liked them and they were the reason why I became a fan of D.Gray-man to begin with. Of course, there’s nothing perfect in this world, and I’m sure that these arcs have their share amount of flaws too, but, as far as I’m concerned, I didn’t have many problems with their executions, outsides of one or two nitpicks. If I would had to express some complaints, would be that in the anime, the pacing in Edo after the deaths of Anita and the rest of the crew until the Level 3 appears in the Asian headquarter to kill Allen was a bit dragged off, but I still liked it, so…
 
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Hermit

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There are two arcs in particular that stand out in this series for me.

Third Generation Exorcists Arc:
Kanda is my favorite character in the story, so seeing his entire backstory which had been foreshadowed in bits and pieces now (E.g the Lotus in the anime openings), was a treat. I reread the ending of that arc a few months ago, and that Kanda/Alma dynamic is one of the strongest ones in the series, hands down. Also, Allen doing his best to make sure they got away from there, and Kanda's eventual return to the Order was sooooo emotional. Lenalee and Mari crying always gets to me
:(


It also makes Kanda start treating Allen decently :XD

Ark Arc:
Everyone got a chance to shine, even the characters I am not particularly big on like Aleister Crowley. Battles were epic all round, emotions at an all time high (Like that scene where Allen apologizes to Lenalee for being unable to save Suman) < Stuff hits so deep in the anime wiht the OST in the background :crying

Honorable mention to the Rewinding Town Arc, since that arc introduces my favorite Noah in the story, Road :nod Who is also, the best girl in D Gray Man
 
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