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 =)
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.
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.
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...)
To be fair, I can understand why D. Grayman has a huge following. You've got an interesting premise, lots of good characters, and excellent animation by BONES. And cool weapons and uniforms. And Allen's REALLY cute. The only problem is the snail-paced plot development. And that's gonna be a lot to endure for a 100+ episode series.
It starts out interesting enough. We meet our hero (Allen), and get introduced into the world of exorcists who fight akuma (monster/human/machine hybrids). We learn what the goal is (save the world--specifically to save the crystal substance called "innocence" from the evil
Millennium Earl). But by the 15th episode or so, the episodes have begun to show a pattern. Each episode falls into one of three categories:
1: Somebody finds a new innocence accommodator
2: Allen goes on a trip/mission
3: Someone besides Allen goes on a trip/mission
Each trip/mission (most take up just one episode) takes place in some town that holds a tragic story. Since each of these towns has a new cast of townsfolk, we meet a bewildering number of characters very quickly, and it's a bit taxing to constantly be introduced to new characters. The exorcist who is the hero of the episode has to solve the townsfolks' problem. Practically none of these trip/mission episodes contribute anything to the main plot.
And each episode has a battle with akuma. Every episode. Did you hear me? EVERY DANG EPISODE. Okay, maybe one or two don't. But it gets routine pretty quickly. If we're lucky, we see Allen's weapon advance to a new level! I've gotten to where I skip over the battles. It gets to be where if you've seen one akuma battle, you've seen them all.
Now and then we get an itsy bitsy tidbit that's actually related to the plot. But they're so few an far between that when they do come I don't notice right away because I'm half-asleep. And as far as I've seen, I'm not really sure what the plot is anymore. There just isn't much "meat." The series has settled into a pattern of "go to new town; meet akuma; fight akuma: repeat." I suppose that's fine if you're watching it one episode per week, like when it was originally aired. That would be easier to handle. You'd get your akuma battle-of-the-week. But watching it off DVD when you'd like to see 3-6 episodes at a time, it gets pretty tedious.
I'm wondering whether I should bother trying to finish this series. I've seen over 40 episodes so far. I like an anime/manga/book to have an underlying story or mystery, but not take forever to provide any clues about it. If you don't care so much about story, and are happy with good animation, characters, and your regular battle of good vs. evil, you'll probably be fine with it.
I think D.Gray-man is one of those animes you don't expect to be a masterpiece, yet you fall in love with it the more you watch it. To be honest I even liked the fillers in this series, actually not knowing they were fillers because I read the manga after I saw the anime (and desperately wanted to know what happens next).
The story is a bit stereotype, at least the main plot, but there are so many wonderful stories and moments it makes it very unique.
I can't say a single bad thing about the animation. Of course it's not that great as manga, but
they still did a great job with reproducing the amazing manga-ka's style.
The music is probably the worst part of this anime, but still good. It's a bit plain and sometimes even boring, but you got attracted to the plot anyways, so you don't have much time to listen to it. XD
Characters are just the best. I love the fact we don't know much about them, yet we have to love them.
Don't get discouraged by the lenght of this series, it's definetely worth your time, especially if you like typical shounen genre with something original to it!
Story - 5
The story was bad to say the least. It was badly paced as most of the time your stuck to seeing something between shonen- anime glued together with a lot of dramatism. And that means that action fight's are predictable and almost seem pointless and the Allen or Lenalle or other guys from the Order cry after almost every fight about something. The story had so much plot-holes that there were more holes then the plot. Also on the end all you get is about the same were this anime started. The last episode everyone is still fighting akuma's and more
then 100 episodes passed away already.
It was very good. Nowhere in this anime you can see bad animation and it was 103 episodes long. That's a lot of episodes! Off course it wasn't anything ground braking and akuma's could of been made more creepier.
It was awesome. All the time I liked the sound in the anime soundtracks. Specially when Allen played piano. Only reason I didn't give it 10 was, because few openings could of been a bit more better. Almost all of the openings were top notch, but none of them were something that I would like to listen.
The good guys were decent characters.The main protagonist Allen was an interesting character, but he lacked the brains or the attitude to be a real protagonist. Allen is basically a good guy and nothing more. The protagonist might as well be Lavi or The Krory( The vampire dude). Well at least the good guys had some good character development, but because of the bad story the character development was really hard to see. The villains were just pointless. There goal was pointless and even 3 year old kids have better goals to accomplish. For example, Earl's goal was to destroy the world. And what will happen to him? Who the hell would want to destroy something his life depends on? Makes no sense.
I kinda enjoyed this anime with a big minus. I liked to watch some of the fights in D. Gray-man, like Krory against Lavi and Allen. Though most of the time the fights were one-sided like Allen killing lvl 1 akuma's. The comedy in here was like: Should I be laughing or not? So I didn't crack any laugh at all. Well at least I liked to listen to the music. But once I remember how long this anime was I feel like I wasted too much of my time for almost nothing. I will never rewatch this anime.
The story is rubbish. For 103 episodes it went nowhere and the last episode just ended with a cliffhanger. Character's are decent. The art and music is quality stuff, but nothing ground-braking.
If you really have nothing to do then go watch D. Gray-man. At the start you will like it , then you will get bored of it somewhere in the middle, then close to the end you will start to like it again and you will want to know what will happen next and at the end you will just get a wtf moment that will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and a lot of wasted time.
Themes surrounding exorcists and demons have been treated in previously in other works, and D.Gray-man revolves around such topic. What makes this anime different, is that it takes the liberty to slightly adjust such theme to match the setting, and also make an arguably more intriguing story. With the recent announcement of the upcoming sequel of D.Gray-man, people may wonder whether this battle shōnen is worth their time, and in this case it is, but only to a certain extent, as several crucial elements of a battle shōnen were executed in a lackluster manner. Not to mention the presence of some very lackluster characters.
of D.Gray-man revolves around Allen Walker a young boy who enlists in the organization of Exorcists with the purpose of eliminating the akuma that roam the world with the "Innocence" - a gift, a weapon bestowed to serve the apostles of God, the exorcists. The akuma are in fact mechanical weapons made by suffering living souls, as opposed to the regular definition of the term; these are controlled by the antagonist, the Millenium Earl, a twisted and dark "joker" or "clown" if you may. It is the task of this organization to abolish and vanquish the Earl, the source of evil.
While it is a very standard premise, as mentioned earlier, what makes this anime differentiate itself from other similar titles, is the approach on its theme: it is dark and cruel, which was is the first thing that will be noticed when viewing the anime, which isn't frequent in the genre. It gives insight in the working of despair, loneliness, longing and death in numerous occasions when the protagonist seek to quench the attack of these akuma. The side stories provided for numerous situations can be interesting and dramatic as well. Comedy is also present in the anime, which can be at times funny, yet ultimately was overused as the story progressed.
What makes this anime even more interesting is its setting: it takes place in the 19th century, a good and welcoming Victorian/gothic feel, mixed with some futuristic elements, which was achieved by the studio. Furthermore, this enhances the credibility of the situation of humanity currently is in, through the lack of fast communication present currently in ours society, which in turn enables the occurrence isolated and unknown cases where attacks occur. In addition it makes the viewer appreciate the difficulties the people faced in that era. As for the pacing, this was overall a bit lacking at times, where in several instances actions lasted longer than necessary, or either were beating around the bush. It must be mentioned that the first batch of episodes (around 30) are of episodic nature with some small arcs, following a very similar structure, whilst introducing the characters. From there on actual story takes place, which is in turn more intriguing and gripping.
However, where the anime fails in several occasions are the battle scenes and the "powerups". First of all, each exorcist has a unique "innocence" power, which gives diversity to the show. What is a shame is that the majority of the battle sequences are executed in the same manner, and very repetitive, which renders the diversity of the skills a bit pointless, as these are in majority of the cases confined to 2 or 3 action. Other huge issue are the "powerlevels" in this anime, these are very irregular and change whenever the plot demands it. When actual powerups take place, which for the matter are not earned through training or the likes, these seem totally pointless as secondary characters who didn't undergo such changes have the same powers; it doesn't give any real feeling of progression.
The characters of D.Gray-man are rather lackluster in general, who stay in the majority of cases one or two-dimensional, or in even some cases devolve; however, the author managed to make these characters somewhat interesting through their pasts. On the side of the organization there is Allen Walker, the main character who is the typical shonen character who is very caring and values friendship above everything else. On the flip side, as a character he is likable as the aforementioned attribute isn't overused; furthermore, his past is something that certainly will keep viewers intrigued throughout its duration. Some character development takes place, yet this is hardly noticeable.
Then there is Lenalee, easily the worst character in the show: at first she seems to be a somewhat mysterious person, with a dark past. However, her character seem to change over the course, the author seemingly not very sure what to use her for, consequently several times her actions being incomprehensible. What is worse, she ultimately devolves to being a simple damsel in distress, which was a huge drawback. Other character of interest is Kanda, who as opposed as Allen, doesn't care about the others, which nicely contrasts in the show.
As for the antagonists, these are typical as well, yet the most intriguing by far is the Millenium Earl himself, as audiences are intrigued on what his ultimate motives are for creating the akuma. He appears to be a comical character, yet dead serious when necessary, which can be a drawback for some, as it makes to difficult to take him seriously, with no motives apparent. Concerning the supporting cast of characters, these are for the most part uninteresting, on both sides, being either one-dimensional characters, or too mysterious to care about these. I might want to add that the akuma are not always simple evil beings; in several occassions it is shown that these can have a will of their own.
~Animation and sound~
The art style of the anime was well done, having its share of detailed and varied backgrounds, which enhaced the overall viewing experience; this can't be really said of the protagonists, as these are generic, as opposed to some of the akuma designs, and naturally, the main villain himself. The animation quality was overall good, yet as the fights were repetitive and basic, it never could shine. It must be said that some actions scenes were very well executed, alongside a matching choreography.
The soundtrack of D.Gray-man is certainly well done, befitting of the atmosphere, yet ultimately forgettable. The voice actors performed their role well, especially in the case of some of the secondary characters, which helped to the intrigue of said people. As for the openings and endings, these are of very high quality with praiseworthy music pieces that certainly helped to peak the interest in audiences.
D.Gray-man was overall a fine anime, yet never really shined due to the above mentioned issues: it failed in some crucial aspects of the genre itself, in addition to a weak cast of characters, although some were interesting, in addition to some of the antagonists. Despite all these flaws, I can't deny that I actually enjoyed the unknowing mysteries surrounding the world and the approach on its themes. A lot of things remain unknown in the anime, and thus I hope these are revealed in the sequel. So do I recommend this anime? Only to those who enjoy watching battle shounens really.
For anime, you usually need to suspend your disbelief and just enjoy the story or the characters or the art. It isn't an exercise in logic or anything serious. However when it becomes that everything affronts your sensibilities, it's time to turn it off. This anime was beyond frustrating, very unenjoyable. I've been frustrated at animes like Bleach, Naruto, Hunter x Hunter, but nothing this awful.
First, I didn't read the manga, maybe that is where it all went wrong. It starts out by throwing you into a world that is far fetched, with unrealistic physics
and what not. To be expected. The art is above average, the music was mediocre and forgettable. The main character is weak, without any distinguishable personality traits other than his clothing. There isn't any supporting characters that are worthy of note and it's as if the writers expect you to have logged in hours of previous anime viewing to understand things.
I only made it to episode 12, it was very difficult. There is so so many questions and holes, and not the good kind that you want to find out, it's the bad kind that you just wish wouldn't linger like a shot of cheap whiskey. I understand it's shonen, but seriously, does the main character have to be a scrawny do-gooder with a twisted morality? After 12 eps, it left nothing to be desired. The villians were obnoxious and petty. It was throw up juice for the mind.
I stopped it at exactly the part where the main character was given a chance to kill off a "bad guy," she says something like, "I know you won't shoot me." How does she know this? Because she has profiled him as a typical shonen anime character. Please show me something that makes me want to watch the next episode. Nothing. Stay away from this. Far away.
D.Gray-man is a shounen/action/adventure anime. It aplies the typical formula: long episode range with 19-20 minute animation, practically endless storyline and a main lead that predominates over all. It plays a lot with religion, this is what actually makes it really interesting.
Like in almost all shounen animes the first episodes seem to be interesting. This is because you don't know anything about the world in which the events are going to take place or about the protagonists of this story. So meet Allen Walker, a 15 year old boy who has the power to see Akumas (means demons, mechanical killing machines is the term aplied
in this anime ) and haves an anti-Akuma weapon to free the souls that hold them. This weapon works powered by "Innocence", a misterious susbstance that haves a cubic form, it was supposedly created by God. Only those compatible with it can use it, can become "Exorcists" and join the Black Order to fight the Millenary Count, who is destined to destroy the world.
The plot develops in a 19th century, mostly, european demography. Of course you get to see some regions of Asia as well, but the settings are usually european. Past the first 10-15 episodes probably most people who aren't used to watch shounen-type animes will easily get bored. D.Gray-man haves a "Inuyasha-10000+Pearl fragments" feeling, but it does not develop that slowly. There are 140+ Innocence pieces to be found... well actually no. Some of them are already in posession of the Black Order and the events focuss troughout the first 40-45 episodes on only this objective, but then it drastically changes.
From episode 50 the ambience changes will be totally obvious: the objetives will change, the battles will get more ferocious and the story will truly advance. D.Gray-man is as average anime up to espisode 50, then it touches the realm of a masterpiece.
Artistically speaking I would define D.Gray-man as varied. You'll see lots of characters: enemies and companions. If I take the Akumas as an example the artistic design is poor on episodes 1-20, these are level 1 Akumas. Then the Akumas evolve into levels, now here you can see what I'm talking about: variety and creativity. As the anime develops you'll witness more crazy and unthinkable tranformations and evolutions. The protagonists are very well designed, the weapons of each one of them somehow reflects their own and unique personality. The fighting scenaries are beautiful and the "bosses" are more than fearsome, in a funny way.
UVERworld, Abingdon Boys School and Sowelu are just some of the artists you'll come across on the opening and ending scenes. This translates into a amazing sound experience that will glue you to the anime fron the opening to ending sequences. The BGM's are well executed in the anime an add more suspense, spice up the action and ultimately transform good fights into epic confrontations. Definitely one of the strongest points D.Gray-man achieves.
The characters are typical shounen-based. You have the strong-willed never-surrender-even-if-I'm-almost-dead Allen Walker (main lead). His female companion and most probable romantic parther Lenalee. The "rival" character: Kanda Yui. And other companions that will be added to the "party" as the storyline progresses. One thing I didn't like was the lack of airtime that some of the most interesting characters have (generals). You get glances of them at some point in the anime but they do not appear as part of the plot until later on and for such a short amount of time that it really feels like a waste once you get to finally see them on action. Also you don't get almost any character development troughout the first half of the anime; here episode 50+ becomes again a turning point in which characters develop at a very good speed in a 40-50 episode range.
To be honest I was about to drop the anime at episode 20. My friend told me "to keep on going, you won't regret it once you get to episode 50". Surely I didn't. The twists in the story started here, continued until the end and made D.Gray-man really worth my time. Anyone should watch this, it isn't your average shounen anime, you'll understand why once you dig into it.
The end is actually inconclusive so I guess the studio might be making another anime (second season?) to continuate this one, due to the great popularity this and the manga have. I really hope so because there are still many things that need to be explained and I just can't wait for that moment.
"Akuma: monsters born from dead souls mistakenly recalled by their loved ones to the living world."
"Exorcists: those who aim to destroy akuma and retrieve the Innocence scattered around the world."
So. At first look D.Gray-man may seem like a typical shonen anime. The main character is probably going to be a hot-head who wants to get stronger and stronger for a certain purpose... usually to protect his friends.
D.Gray-man is not like any shonen anime I've ever seen. In fact, it's got something much more than most.
You may be thinking "Hmm... a guy with a deformed arm... Full Metal Alchemist?"
Well, no, actually.
D.Gray-man's plot may seem like it's
going on the same path as FMA at first, but it transforms into something completely different.
I love the plot. At first (since I don't normally watch horror anime) I thought it was a little creepy, but it was an addicting kind of creepy. I couldn't get enough of it.
Though in the beginning I thought it was going to be typical shonen since there's talk about "finding all of the Innocence", I was a little skeptical about watching DGM.
But, after a while, that passed and it grew into something much more.
Of course, there's that issue of fillers. Darn fillers ruin a lot of anime sometimes, but I couldn't tell when there was a filler when I watching DGM. The fillers are actually good. Really.
I don't want to spoil the series, but let's just say that once you start watching DGM, you'll never want to stop.
I loved the animation. At first, it starts off okay, but during the third and fourth season, it really kicks into gear.
The characters match the manga really well, and stayed true to Hoshino-sama's character design.
The lighting and scenery are utterly beautiful. There are too many beyond words places that this anime visits.
The sound is good, but I found the background music boring at times. It's used over and over again--but the background music is still good.
The OP's match the anime extremely well.
At first when I heard the ED's, I really didn't like a lot of them. Listen to the ED's a couple of times, and you'll fall in love with them.
First of all, the main character,Allen Walker, is the exact opposite of most main shonen anime and manga characters. Allen Walker is the polite and klutzy type who just loves to eat, but there's much more to him than meets the eye, just as there is with the other characters.
Of course you have to have the comic relief, Lavi, who can still fight.
You have a guy who just seems to make you laugh every time you seem him, Yu Kanda.
You have a girl who can kick some serious butt, Lenalee.
You have a really... weird but cool adult figure, Komui.
And, of course, there's kick-ass villains who you just want to love--but you have to keep reminding yourself that they are evil, and WILL kill your favorite main characters.
I found it extremely hard to NOT hate any of the characters.
And... there was something else that caught my eye about these characters.
They seemed REAL.
This anime focuses on the characters more than the plot, even though the plot is almost as interesting as the characters.
I really enjoyed this anime.
I think that every anime or manga fan should watch/read DGM.
It's my favorite anime--and D.Gray-man always makes me sit on the edge of my seat, tear up, and put a smile on my face.
Note: This review has been completely changed and thought over.
To be honest, I was extremely iffy to watch D. Gray-Man. I mean, a series over 100 episodes screams out filler and something more mainstream like Naruto or Bleach. I began to watch it because I already had it and the holidays had come by. With nothing else to do, D. Gray-Man was the better option out of the rest of my anime storage.
This anime is really quite a typical shounen with action, a set enemy and a love interest. It goes more into the dramatic side though. Of course, D. Gray-Man follows the exorcist Allen
Walker. It depicts his time at the Dark Order. DGM shows struggles within one's self and such. Once you get to about episode 40+ you are thrown onto a roller coaster of emotional struggle. It's really good, it gets to ya sometimes but it's not a tear jerker. It just makes you feel for the characters.
That's the main plot of the story. The idea is great but it's been seen before, most obvious example being FMA. It's the directing that let's DGM down at times. Some points in the plot is plain boring itself, it's nothing you haven't seen before really. The pacing is inconsistent and it bugged me. You get really tedious 4-5 episode long arcs at the start which are somewhat important to introduce characters and the idea of Innocence to the audience. It just could've been handled better and without the 2-3 episodes to get to the main point.
After you're introduced with everything, nothing big happens until about episodes late 30's early 40's. Feel free to skip anything you deem filler and come back to it later. It's what I did and if you come to be obsessed with the characters in the end like I was, you'd be glad for them fillers you get to watch once you actually do have some sort of appreciation towards the characters. I skipped about 10 episodes, majority were filler and the rest were part of the actual plot. Even the original storyline can get boring as well.
Art wasn't anything major. It was nice but it definitely wasn't something with a high budget. Only major characters were given a decent amount of detail, but at least the animation was smooth. I was also quite surprised with a scene near the end of the series, which I thought had quite a bit of effort put into it. If the scene was handed down to another anime, I fear that the detail would disappear as it's not something I see producers really caring about. So props to the producers for that. It's not shiny and wow looking, it's just a scene that felt realistic is all.
I didn't take note of the BGM. BGM normally doesn't appeal to me unless it's really good. DGM didn't hit that really good standard. OP and ED's were quite normal for me. Catchy, but not something that was really really good. The voice acting I liked. I thought Allen had a too high pitched of a voice at first but it grew on me and is very suitable for him. Everything was up to normal standards and enjoyable.
Now I have a thing for characters so this area usually gets a higher mark then the other categories. You get a range in characters and a few main cast ones but I only felt that Allen was the only one given any character development. Yes we find out Lavi's and Lenalee's past a little but it never really stood out. It felt like something thought up to fill in that curious gap, though it wasn't satisfying. That is why I find the characters bland when I seriously think about them. But if you think of them based on enjoyment then yes that would be quite high. The characters are fun to watch, it makes you happy to see them being well, happy with each other. The Noah are great. They're evil yet human at the same time and it's just so fun to watch.
To sum it all up, DGM is definitely not a technically good anime. It more bases on its fandom and enjoyment rate for its success, like the mainstream anime. DGM is a little deeper then that though. It's better then mainstream but not good enough. This is really something to watch when you have the time and are bored. It's agonising just look at how many episodes there are. Just skip to about 40 once you watch maybe the first 20 and it should be more bearable. Don't expect something that is breath taking, expect something simply fun and addictive, like how Kuroshitsuji is. Both are dark but it's mainly the fandom which makes them awesome.
D.Gray-man is one of those "hit or miss" shows, for me it was a bit of a miss, but some hits.
Story - 7.4/10 (C)
The tale begins with the introduction of Allen Walker, a young man with a strange power to send demons packing. His adventures in the Black Order, his encounters with many different types of Akuma, and his relationships with his fellow Exorcists are shown.
The beginning felt a tad awkward, it was a little on the comedy side (When Allen goes to the Black Order), and for a show like D.Gray-man, it didn't really fit. It took me a few episodes (and some motivation)
to get me into it. It was a moderate experience, some good turns, some bad ones. I liked how the filler episodes (yes, there were filler) didn't feel like filler, but more of a depth in character views (Ex. Lenalee, Allen, Miranda). Then there were a couple of "Naruto"-long fights, that really didn't have to be that long. Overall, it was a pleasant ride.
Animation - 7.0/10 (C-)
The animation was far from what we see today, but it doesn't mean that it was THAT bad. The OP sequences were great, however the ED sequences were just a bunch of pictures moving in cool angles. The fights were a mixture of both good and bad. But for the most part, the animation doesn't really change.
Sound - 7.5/10 (C)
The OP/ED themes were really a great step-up than most animes, and i really enjoyed some of the lighter, lax music it had. The trouble of it was, sometimes it got to lax that it started to get boring fast. Mainly, the rest was just a mix of great tracks (Lala's Lullaby from one of the earlier episodes was a great, moving song) to plain tracks.
Characters - 8.4/10 (B)
I can honestly say, none of the D.Gray-man characters will disappoint you. We have the polite and respectful Allen, the protective and light-hearted Lenalee, the mysterious and sometimes shady Kanda, the cheery, upbeat Exorcist Lavi, and the pessimistic time-user Miranda. Each character will leave you feeling the same way they do, and each character brings a uniqueness that leaves you wondering how it can be done.
Enjoyment - 7.3/10 (C)
For the most part (and that same phrase you keep reading in this review), it's a mixture of some good elements and some bad ones. I really enjoyed the light-hearted actions and the teary-eyed moments of the first season, the second season got more intense with the arrival of the Noah Clan, and the rest is ok. The animation needed a good tune-up though, and some better choices of BGM.
Overall - 7.5/10 (C)
The Good:Great character backgrounds, interesting way of presenting each episode, the filler episodes make you feel like it's not filler
Lackluster animation, combined with lackluster BGM made the show more towards a "good" rating. Some episodes left you scratching your head more than others.
If Hollywood going to film this anime into live-action (well, hopefully not, they tends to ruin the greatness of anime) I’m positively sure that it would be directed by Mr. Tim Burton. The anime is quite similar to his works. The dark, gothic, and edgy.
Even though the story is typical shounen anime, it’s fun to watch the whole drawing things. Black, white, and grey are the main color use in the anime, but doesn’t make the artwork dull, instead it makes the late 19th century setting to be stronger.
The main antagonist, Earl of the Millennium looks non-threatening at all. With his massive grin
and high top hat, he very much like Joker from Batman, or Oogie Boogey man from Nightmare Before Christmas.
Even though I’m not up to date with this series, but I love it a lot. It got good storyline, great weapons and fights, adequate humor, good plot and twist.
To everyone thinking "Oh, joy. Another cliche shonen anime!", you'll be surprised how different and fresh D.Gray-Man is from most other anime. OK, it starts off slow and has a sort of simple, definitely cliche plotline at the beginning. It seems really boring with simple and boring characters, right? Wrong.
DGM (aka D.Gray-Man. I'll use this from now on - easier to type up) is definitely a more character-driven anime, instead of the usual plot-driven ones. The characters are all real and tangible; they have emotions and they show them. Each of them have different backstories, which are revealed as the story progresses and each of
them faces different enemies and situations. Each of them has different abilities that they show as the danger increases and they all play unique and vital roles in the story. But wait, I'm jumping a bit ahead of myself. That's all in the second half of DGM; the first half is simply an introduction to their world, powers and enemies. The story arcs are very short; around 4 episodes max and quite decent. But after the 50th episode mark, DGM shows its true colours. The detailed introduction of the creator of the Akuma and his "family" really kicks off the story and raises the bar for everything to come.
The story, as I've said, is more character-based, and is one of DGM's stronger points. It's unique and interesting, but the earlier episodes don't really compare story-wise to the later episodes; all hell breaks loose and it kicks into overdrive after episode 50 or so. Also, whilst watching DGM for the first time, I had no idea most of the episodes I was watching in the first half were fillers; the story arcs are so short they seem to be part of the story and just slot in with the more crucial episodes that introduce important characters.
The art and animation quality are top-notch. The special effects and art styles are quite something, and the character models and backgrounds are superb. There's a lot of detail for those who care to look, and there's nothing really I have to complain about.
The sound now. The sound's... well, decent. The openings and endings are excellent, but the background music doesn't really do much for the anime. To be honest, I just sort of blanked out the background music and when I saw a soundtrack for DGM in the shops, I thought "D.Gray-Man had background music?" Japanese voice acting is excellent. English? Not so much. Definitely watch in Japanese with subs.
The characters in DGM are by far its strongest aspect. They develop and mature as the series goes along, and they have real emotions, emotions which they have to accept and overcome. They aren't afraid to show their emotions, not afraid to cry or laugh, and they do so regularly. It's quite astounding how Katsura Hoshino has managed to make convincing characters and then throw them into different situations, showing them reacting accordingly without the slightest hint of forcing them to, or pushing the story along.
So, in conclusion, I think D.Gray-Man mixes a cliche shonen storyline, convincing characters and a beautiful art style to create something completely fresh and unique. Definitely give it a try, no matter what. And if you don't like it, watch on anyway; it gets much better the further along you watch.
This is probably the most underrated show of all time. It's very unique when compared to other shounen anime, too.
You will notice how great, unique and advanced the story is as you progress. At the same time, it succeeds to keep the storyline simple and clean; Innocence and exorcists good, Akuma and Millenium Earl bad, The Heart big important, whoever finds The Heart achieves victory royale. After ridicule events that may occur in this absurd story, there're no plot holes formed and loose ends are ALWAYS tied up. In addition, there're no forced power-ups or friendship power assemblies to do the impossible. In fact, there
have been many times where I thought to myself "crap, there's no way these guys make it out". When Allen hits the ground, he hits it HARD. Combined with his selflessness, DGM gives a chance for side characters to prove themselves.
Character development? Mmm, tasty! In over 100 episodes, there's always time to explore characters and their past, even ones with minor impact on the plot. Although it's a tad disappointing how Allen remains mysterious even after his past got slightly unveiled, it makes me glad that it wasn't disclosed in depth. You'll understand what I said when you watch DGM Hallow or read the manga afterwards. It's also worth mentioning that the antagonists are so well written that you might end up sympathizing them, which is the case with most of the DGM fans. In fact, you might begin to question who the righteous side is. Perhaps Allen will join the Noah someday? One can hope.
Last but not least, for a shounen there're lots of sad episoded which will evoke your feels (also see episodes 4&5), followed by sorrowful soundtracks (also see Saikai OST and episodes 4&5 again). I'm a strong guy but damn, this anime drowned me in tears.
All in all, the anime has great story, characters, soundtrack, and can be tearful sometimes *whip*, but everything is followed by great humor, so you will most likely not get bored. I stayed along the journey only because the story was thrilling. Like in Neon Genesis Evangelion, so little was covered so there was always a feel of hype and excitement. I believe DGM is unlike your regular shounen anime, you should definitely give it a shot!
I'm going to be honest: don't waste your time with the anime. It does not do the manga ANY justice whatsoever. I happen to be a huge fan of the manga; the art style has always impressed me, the pacing is just right, the humor is done well, and the characters are so well developed and interested. 10/10 in every category.
The anime has none of that.
The animation is lackluster, the filler plots are long, abundant, and dull, and the characters are simplified and just not done well at all (it's difficult to explain, but the depth and fullness of the characters just do not come
through like they do in the manga).
The only redeeming quality would have to be the opening themes, and even that is a bit of a stretch (although this probably depends more on one's personal preference).
So basically, if you've never seen the series, go read the manga instead. If you've already read the manga and are looking for more, forget about this. If you've already watched the anime but have never read the manga, I highly implore you to go read the manga right now and compare.
Gah .. okay, i've seen 10 episodes so far. And im gonna start about what's wrong-ish about this anime >.>
First of all, hmm... well, the Earl of Millennium is really not my favorite of villains. He looks too weird, and not-so-sinister, despite his evil laugh.
Another thing is that I think all of the Akuma are like weird emancipated bad guys, who, like their Lord, aren't so sinister looking after all. They just look weird.. >.> But.. i guess there's nothing i can do about that. Character design wasn't up to me lol
ALSO, meh... although Allan Walker looks really cute with his ash blond hair and
boy-ish voice, his arm kinda looks weird to me o_O
Please tell me how many times I've used the word WEIRD already haha.
But okay, I have to admit that this series does have some good points. When I watched episode 5 and saw his arm [not spoiler]do really kool stuff[/not spoiler] it pretty much put some punch into the anime.
I also like the character what's-his-face... you know? The aloof, quiet samurai type.
And, the opening song by Abingdon Boys School (ah, loooooove them ^.^) is a definite plus.
All in all, I think this series is still worth watching. And there are a lot of D-gray Man episodes out there that i have to download still.
Definite plus? ..... It's definitely something different. And at least I have something to watch while waiting for the next Bleach ^.^
I finally finished D.Gray Man, just in time for the summer release of it's sequel. Was it worth the time and effort to catch up? Well, I wouuuuuld like to tell you, but if I do that you won't read the review!
The concept of D.Gray Man is definitely overdone. It was certainly more unique in it's time, but was still common, even then. Even if it hadn't been overdone so much, it still wouldn't have been too interesting. Humans versus monsters isn't really that captivating. However, one of the big pluses of DGM is that it is much darker than you would expect.
There is a LOT of death involved with the series, and it deals with the concepts of pain, loss, and depression rather well. I'll talk about this more in characters. For the actual plot itself... well, for the first half, it's totally garbage. It just feels pointless, like the story was being prolonged just to make money. But it's not like you can skip it either, because as boring as it is, it's important for setting the framework for the second half. Once you can get past that, though, the second half of DGM gets much, MUCH better. The story takes off from mimi arcs to a massive war between the main characters and the main villains. There is tons of death and despair during this arcs, which is quite rare to see from a shonen. However even in these climactic moments, plot armor still exists, and you know none of the main characters will die. Also, it seems that no matter how hard DGM tries to be unique, it always returns to it's shonen roots, with every character screaming 'I FIGHT FOR MY FRIENDS' and things along those lines. That said, the climax was epic and gets your adrenaline running every time the protagonists have a comeback. If I were to judge this anime on the second half alone, it would get a much higher score, but I can't forget that atrocious first half.
For shonen standards, the quality put into DGM's art is outstanding. However in the anime medium as a whole, it isn't as impressive. You can clearly note the unneeded effort put into structures, and it was clear the show wanted to make itself look as dark as possible. But, in the animation department, it falls flat. The character movements can be weird at times, and the most important part of any shonen, the battles, are majorly affected by this. In the second half not as much, but definitely in the first place I laughed during some of the grim battles, just because of how pathetically childish the animation is.
Probably the biggest problem I have with shonen is the massive amount of theme songs that come along with them. DGM is not one of those shonen. Only one, or two if you want to stretch, of the endings are really 'good', but that still makes it above average from the everyday anime! And the openings... omg, the openings... openings 3 and 4 are fantastic to go along with the dramatic improvement, bur 1 and 2 are no joke either. The theme songs power is overlooked when it comes to the soundtrack though. Remember how I was saying that I laughed during some of the serious battles? Well this is another reason why. And the main one. I would go as far as to say the soundtrack actually ruined the entire show for me, until the second half, where a couple good tracks are added. It ruined the suspense sometimes though, which may be another reason why I cannot stand the first half. The power of the soundtracks is ALSO overlooked when it comes to the voice acting department. Some of the most famous seiyu of all time voice the main characters, and they live up to their reputation and do a fantastic job. Krory, in particular, has an extremely talented voice actor, to be able to pull off his creepy voice. The power of the voice acting though, is ALSO (you must be tired of me saying this by now) overlooked b the poor sound effects. They're very typical to a shonen, and are the third and final reason why I can't take the battles seriously. It can be summed up in one word, and that is fake explosion. The directors practically spammed it during fights against akuma.
Now THIS is where DGM shines, right from the start. First off, the main characters. The designs are AWESOME! Not to mention unique. I bet if you were to look at Allen or Lavi, you wouldn't forget them for a while. Now I know I said 'right from the start', but that wasn't completely true. The characters are great to start with, but are even more amazing when they go through the pain and loss of a comrade. They all have their own unique way of reacting, and sometimes they feel so real, it's... well eerie! Out of the four lead characters, though, there is one person in particular who is outshined by the rest: Lenalee. Being the only female main character, Lenalee has the plainest design and motivation of the four. However. I believe that Lenalee has the most potential out of the four of them. I feel in the future if she were to undergo a serious loss, her change would be almost psychological... something I wholeheartedly have crossed my fingers for. The supporting characters, especially the villains, are also worth mention as they are also extremely unique and outclass the characters of your average shonen. However... their designs don't, and because of this I guarantee you'll be calling characters 'Lenalee's brother' instead of 'Komui'. This isn't a problem with the antagonists, but the helping main characters certainly suffer from it.
So, is DGM worth the watch? If it was just the second half I would say YES in all capitals, but no matter how hard I try, I can't forget the first half. In the end, my answer became no. DGM is better than average, but it's not worth watching 103 episodes. If it was shorter I would say give it a go, but because of it's length, I had to answer with no. For recommendations I point you towards Hunter x Hunter (2011) which also has it's weak points but overall is a far better example of a mature shonen, and Bleach, which is similar in the sense that supernatural beings also invade the human world with a group of people blessed with special powers to defend it.
Thanks for reading! Feedback is always appreciated. This has been thelectricow, and now I shall end this review faster than lighting!
Well, this is probably one of the few anime with too OP main character that I enjoyed watching. It has really enjoyable plot and story.
It has action and awesome fighting scenes
It has developed plot and great solutions.
It does not have harem/Rever harem/ecchi/etc
It does not have weak and pathetic highschool girls
It has great developed relationships between main characters.
It has unique characters and unique powers too. The art isn't really top class, but the second season is really awesome.
All in all, please do give this anime a try. It is probably one of my all time favorite anime!