Toward the end of the 19th century, Allen Walker officially joins the organization of Exorcists that destroy the beings known as Akuma; mechanic weapons made by the Millennium Earl with the suffering souls of the dead. Allen has both a cursed eye and an anti-Akuma weapon as an arm, bearing the power of "Innocence," a gift given to him as an apostle of God. Allen, along with his fellow Exorcists must put a stop to the Millennium Earl's ultimate plot that could lead to the destruction of the world and all who live on it.
#1: "Snow Kiss" by NIRGILIS (eps 1-13) #2: "Pride of Tomorrow" by JUNE (eps 14-25) #3: "Yume no Tsuduki e" by surface (eps 26-38) #4: "Antoinette Blue" by Kitade Nana (eps 39-51) #5: "Anata ga Koko ni Iru Riyuu" by Rie fu (eps 52-64) #6: "Wish" by Sowelu (eps 65-76) #7: "Regret" by Hoshimura Mai (eps 77-89) #8: "Changin'" by Stephanie (eps 90-103)
On the surface, D. Gray-Man sounds like just another shonen anime with an organization of good guys with special weapons fighting evil monsters. Yeah, that's the base of it, but DGM turns into something more, something deeper than many other shonen anime series. In fact, I feel that it sneaks around seinen territory.
While the setting is standard shonen all the way, you'll find yourself surprised when watching this show. It starts off a bit slow, with many fights, small arcs (~1-4 episodes) and nothing special to it. However, it quickly picks up, and some way into season 2 or 3, DGM starts to show its qualities. The story soon blends in action, emotions and last but not least, realistic power-ups. The story is overall more deep and serious than most shonen anime, and builds up and only gets better towards the end, where it meets it demise with an unfortunate canceling, which, together with its slow start, may ruin the experience of the show for many.
The characters are without a doubt the strongest point of DGM. I mentioned earlier that DGM is sneaking about in seinen territory, and the reason for this is the characters. They don't think "You bastard! I need to suddenly get stronger so I can defeat you" and get stronger and defeat the bad guys. The characters here aren't all about brawling against the evil guys. They have emotions. Emotions which they have to face. And that's what makes it into a semi-seinen series; it's a bit more character-driven and not so much plot-driven.
The animation quality of DGM is also astounding. There's a lot of detail put into the environments, and character designs are great too. Special effects are really great, and the same can be said about lighting effects. When you consider that DGM is a bit dark and serious, the coloring is really great too; it's just as dark as it needs to be to fit in with the series.
The soundtrack is definitely the weakest point of DGM. The background music isn't especially memorable, and not really great. I hope they decide to get a new soundtrack soon so I can get something better. Also, using the same stuff for 100 episodes is a lot. OP and ED themes are okay though, and I like the more heavy style of the OP themes - it fits with the tone of the show. Voice acting and sound effects are great though.
Final thing which I should mention is that the fillers in DGM are actually good. "What fillers?" you may ask if you've watched the show. To be honest, I asked the same question when I first heard that there was a lot of filler in the show. The thought never even came close to my mind. So that's a plus.
All in all, I feel that DGM mixes shonen and seinen into something special and unique. It may not appeal to all shonen fans, but those of you who like more serious action anime will enjoy DGM even more.
To 'Not Helpful' voters (and you 'Helpful' voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =) read more
I'll be honest here. I don't usually go for long running shounens. Since my younger days of pokemon, digimon and yu-gi-oh (back before I'd even heard the term anime and just thought of them as cartoons), the longest anime series I've watched was 50 episodes, and that was only one show and took me forever to finish. High episode counts put me off. I like my stories to have an end. I like my battles not to drag on for five episodes. I like my plot arcs to end before I've had enough of them. When my characters have to get stronger, I like a training montage with the Rocky theme playing, not five episodes of them agonising over what it is that's holding them back, only for them to then repeat that process after the current villain is defeated and the next villain has presented itself. So why do I love D. Gray-Man? Because for a 103 episode shounen, it keeps it's use of the above shounen tropes to a minimum, and on the occaisions when it does use them, the other elements of the show keep the formula fresh.
I'll start with the plot, which is far darker than your average shounen. From the very first episode, we are shown a merciless enemy that will exploit any weakness, who's main weapon, the Akuma (demons) uses the souls of the dead. These are not zombies, just mindless corpses. These are weapons which pull a soul back from heaven and torture it as their power source. A lot of shounens gloss over the concept of death, bad guys are captured alive or shown the error of their ways, people fall unconscious but can be healed, etc. In D. Gray-man, death is very real, and resting in peace is only for the fortunate ones who's loved ones are strong enough not to be tempted to call them back.
Against the Akuma and their creator, the Millennium Earl, are the Exorcists of the Dark Order. Exorcists are those chosen by God to use 'innocence', a mysterious substance which can be used to form weapons capable of destroying the Akuma. The series follows Allen Walker, a new recruit with the ability to see the souls trapped within the Akuma. The plot itself begins slowly, with short arcs in which Allen and his comrades are dispatched to investigate mysterious phenomena which are thought to be caused by innocence fragments. After a few of these arcs, the Noah Clan, allies of the Millennium Earl, begin to be introduced and the focus turns to the war between him and the Dark Order.
The plot is, for the most part, very well paced. Early arcs are kept short, about 4 episodes or so long, with a single 'filler' episode in between. Don't be put off when I say filler. While the plot could easily go without these episodes, I found them all to be entertaining (if somewhat silly at times) and they served well as comic relief within an otherwise serious plot. And if you don't enjoy them, they do become fewer and further between as the war intensifies and plot arcs become longer. With one exception, none of these longer plot arcs drag on to the point that the viewer just wants them to get on with it. In the one arc in which this does occur, it is saved in part by having another plot running at the same time. Battles often do last across multiple episodes, but in most of these, the battle changes and develops over those episodes, unlike drawn out battles in other shounen which just get repetitive, where the middle episodes can often just be skipped entirely.
The show also boasts one of the best sets of characters of any anime I have seen. Each hero is flawed, and the Earl and Noah are far more fleshed out (in more ways than one in the Earl's case) than most villains. It says a lot about the quality of a series' characters when the villains mourning a dead friend can evoke sympathy. They also managed to inspire doubt as to whether the exorcists are in fact the good guys, thanks to the show's religious imagery.
As for the heroes, each has their own motive, each of which is more complex than the standard shounen motives of just saving the world or becoming the strongest and the like. Allen wants to save the souls of the Akuma, to the point where he can even show disregard for his own or others' lives at times. Lenalee, the series' main female character, fights for the sake of her friends and brother, and her past reveals that she may not support the Dark Order's cause even as she fights for them.
My personal favourite characters were Lavi and Bookman. These two are a master (Bookman) and apprentice (Lavi) of a clan of historians who became exorcists to be close to history as it occurred so that it could be recorded, and while they do fight, they try to minimise how much they interfere. Lavi's conflict between his duty as a Bookman and as an Exorcist, the loyalty he developed for his friends despite Bookman's orders to become close to no one, and his doubts as to whether the cheerful, friendly, fun guy is the real him or a mask that he should remove was probably my favourite aspect of the series.
So, here I am singing the series' praises, yet it got a 9, not a 10. Why? Well, in complete contrast to what I said at the beginning, because it ended. A lot wasn't able to be explained before the series was cancelled. The last ten episodes or so suffered from trying to rush one of the story arcs after having taken their time over previous ones. The battle in the last three episodes was amazing, but it also wasn't the final battle that I wanted to see. There is a lot of potential for a sequel, including a development at the end that virtually screamed "to be continued". I do sincerely hope that there will be a sequel. But if there isn't, the show ended in the best possible place it could. A clear cut ending is often unrealistic, and endings in which the heroes won but the villain is there in the shadows, not as dead as they thought, muttering "This isn't over" gets old quickly. Maybe the abiguity was for the best.
All in all, the show is well worth watching, even if you don't usually commit to long running shounen. Just don't go in expecting to not have any questions at the end.read more
This is my review of the episodes which I have seen which is up through 58.
Im not going to dull people with a summary of the story its on anidb and other such websites and they do a better job than I would. However if you want a short summarized version of what Im going to say, here it is: Want a series that start out as typical shounen series that transform into a powerful epic that twists and turns in unexpected ways? Then I would recommend D.Grey-man.
The story starts off pretty good, but takes some time before it kicks into overdrive so be prepared. I found myself liking the series, but for the first 40 episodes or so it felt pretty mediocre after that point the story starts to flesh out and go in some pretty unexpected directions. I felt probably one of the stronger points of the story was how episodes which appeared like fillers at first turned out to introduce important characters which return again and play very important roles in terms of the story. At heart though D.Grey-man is still a shounen so dont watch it if you absolutely hate these types of series, but it has a different taste than other series such as Naruto or One Piece.
The Animation is top notch and it improves as the series progresses. Characters facial expressions are superb especially when considering the huge cast of both good and bad guys. I love the unique look that the bad guys bring to this anime: evil, yet at the same time they are appealing in their own way. The same is also true of the good guys cool but, at times, ridiculous. Any filler episode had at least average animated action scenes. However whenever the series gets to the story pertinent battles the action scenes are stepped up a notch.
The sound is by far the most troublesome area. All the intro or ending songs are excellent and fit the series very well. However during the actual episode the music is far less memorable. Not that it is absent or that it is per say bad, but there was never a moment where I really noticed it particularly like I have in other series. The sound effects themselves are alright, but there are several characters with really annoying sound effects attached to them when they use their abilities and that is by far my biggest complaint worth noting.
The characters are by far D.Grey-mans strongest point. They have an absolutely lovable cast. From the main characters to the side characters there hasnt been a single one I found annoying or wishing they would go away. Quite the opposite I found many times hoping these characters would make a return and too my surprise many did. The series takes its time to flesh out as much as possible all the characters, of course with the emphasis being on the side characters, but I felt satisfied with all of the side characters back stories as well. It really doesnt get much better than the characters, in terms of growth and depth, than in this series.
The Enjoyment of this series is really watching the characters grow. This in my opinion is where D.Grey-man strongly resembles most other shounen series, but not in a bad way seeing as I love these types of series. The story is there in the back of your mind, but in the usually the focus is on the characters. I have found that as the series has progressed I began enjoying it more and more much like an acquired taste.
Overall D.Grey-man does start out like a standard shounen. However after the first 40 episodes I found it getting increasingly more fun to sit and watch. And while its hard to say what the future will bring the series is entering what I would consider the second story arch and it has gotten really good, much in the same way that Bleach or Naruto did. So basically if you like shounen then you will dig this series, but if you typically dont go for those type of series I would still recommend giving D.Grey-man a try because it does vary from your typical series enough to make it a unique experience. read more
When i originally wrote this review (after watching the 72 episodes that had aired at that time), D.Grayman was #42 in "Popularity" on myanimelist.net and a very Popular Manga (#10). The show had a score of 7.8..BUT You might have noticed that the score and popularity you now see is much higher reason being the anime starts off fairly slowly and takes a while to kick into gear and progress the plot. But once its does you just might be a fan...
The Story has a very original plot. When I started this anime I immediately liked the concept of chosen humans + "innocence" = akuma (demon) butt-kicking "Exorcists"! I knew nothing about it but i decided to watch it based on its good animation and I was not disappointed at all. The characters and their uniforms/weapons all look outstanding!
I found that all of the op. and end. songs are excellent songs that you wouldnt mind listening to each episode. Normally I would skip songs but I listened to all of D.Gray-man's because they really do suit the anime and sound good! Background music could be a bit better tho...
Character is one of the best aspects of the anime. Each and every character is Amazing! Each main character is lovable, unique, strong, nice-looking and they all have mysterious pasts and secrets. I have found fan clubs for even the evil characters. You wont find out about the evil characters until late in the anime but they are surprisingly loved as well. There might be a few characters you dont like but those would likely be side characters..all the main characters are great! The development of the ALL the characters through out the series always amazed me...
Try not to give up on this anime too early...after watching about 30 episodes I started to get a little bored... But since I loved the characters and was curious about the plot I decided to go read the manga. I was instantly hooked and it became a favorite! The point is that at the start of the anime there are a lot of filler-type episodes (especially before episode 38). Dont get me wrong, these are not the typical useless filler episodes. All most all these episodes are either action-packed or show some character development.
Even in the most serious of times there are humorous moments and great weapons/abilities/battles..
D.Gray-man finished with 103 episodes and not many fillers..In my opinion do not be disappointed with the end of the anime. There are many amazing battles that lead up to the climatic end but a lot of things are left unexplained. I don't think its confirmed but I am expecting a second season in the future after a lot more manga chapters are released (when the anime ended, it was very close to manga and i guess they decided not to go into fillers...)
Overall this anime is excellent [9-10] and covers almost every genre;
A worthy watch! It can be compared with the popular shounen anime Naruto and Bleach but I found more interest in D.Gray-man which is a bit more serious and in depth. (And a lot less out-stretched if you know what I mean...) read more
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