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Friday, September 18, 2009

Manga of the Week - D. Gray Man

Series Summary:
The plot revolves around Allen Walker, an exorcist, in the midst of the an imaginary 19th century Europe. Allen is a member of the Black Order, which contains exorcists, connected with the Vatican. The mission of the Black Order is to stop The Millennium Earl, an evil demon-like entity intending to cleanse the world by destroying all the human in it in the manner of Noah's great flood.

D. Gray Man by Katsura Hoshino 
D Gray Man, no one knows why the author named it this way but it�s an intriguing title set in a post war era.  The deaths of so many has led to numerous grieving people.  These bereaved souls unwittingly fuel another secret war, the war between the organization known as the Black Order, and the akuma, mystical weapons powerd by the souls of the dead and led by the Millennium Earl.

The series focus on the exorcist Allen Walker, one of the rare individuals born destined to fight the akuma using Innocence, the only weapon the akuma fear.  Allen is exceptional even among those compatible with Innocence in that he was born with Innocence already residing in his cursed left arm.

We find Allen is an orphan who works for a circus along with his clown mentor, Mana Walker. However the death of his mentor, and the despair that it left him with, caused Allen to summon the Millennium Earl, who recalled Mana�s soul in the form of an akuma.  Mana's soul then cursed Allen before his soul passed on a second time, to see all the pain and suffering of the souls bound to akuma.

Allen is then picked up by the worst influence available in the world, Cross Marian, a general of the Blaack Order. A general he may be, but he has run away from the Order to accomplish a secret mission, at the same time he manages to rack up enormous debts which Allen has to pay off.  Eventually Allen is sent away by the genreal and makes his way to the Order�s headquarters.  There he joins up with Rinali, who is pretty much the main female exorcist and the sisterly figure of the Order. Inside the Order, he meets her brother, the eccentric supervisor, Komui Lee, who immediately starts to experiment on Allen as the form of his innocence is rare and the supervisor wants a peek inside.

The story revolves around the exorcists of the Order, depicting their battle against the Millennium Earl and his legions of Akuma and human allies alike.  Both groups vie or the legendary Heart Innocence that is said to be the key to victory in their battle. In this time period, as the number of akuma grows as the number of people grieving increasess, the exorcists are heavily outnumbered, desperate to find the key to their victory.

Throughout the storyline, Allen and the other exorcists slowly uncover the secrets of the Millennium Earl and his most dangerous minions, the Noah family. They must fight their enemies while having to fend off conflict amongst themselves as well as their own organizations sometimes questionable motives.  Still, there is humor within the series, as the characters all have their fun sides.

Overall this is a great series with a strong plotline, as well as good artwork. Proof of this being the almost fanatic following as proven when the artist put the manga on hiatus, where scores of fans ranted about it. Thus don�t miss this chance to catch this series now, especially when the series has gone back to regular serialization.


Storyline: 9/10
Artwork: 7+1 (at the request of fans)/10
Overall: 8+0.5 (at the request of fans)/10

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