I heard that D.Gray-man was an awesome thing that you should NOT miss. And I tried it myself and… HOLY SHIT – 103 episodes. Oh well, I hope it will be something good, right? RIGHT? And… right, it is. I mean it’s no fucking masterpiece, but it was good, entertaining and had some laughs. I was pleased that I saw it.
The plot is mostly about a kid named Allen Walker and his fight against demons and their creator, the Millennium Earl. In his childhood Allen was abandoned by his parents due to a 'deformed' left arm and was adopted by a travelling clown called Mana Walker. At some moment Mana died and Allen was approached by a person named Millennium Earl, who offered to revive Mana. The Earl revives him but Mana reappears as a machine called an akuma that is ordered by the Millennium Earl to kill him and take on his skin, as akuma do. During that moment Allen is gifted with the ability to control his left hand and turn it into an anti-akuma weapon because of a substance called Innocence is embedded in it and against his will, kills Mana. Before Mana dies, he curses Allen's left eye, which later gives him the ability to see the souls of akuma. Allen then is found and ,,trained” by Cross Marian, a powerful exorcist that tells him after 3 years of training to go to the Black Order Headquarters, which has a lot of exorcists. Their mission – to gather Innocence in order to defeat the Millennium Earl. The Millennium Earl is helped by the Noah Clan. Yes, apparently the guy who built a frigging Ark was the father of these murdering fucks with crazy powers. So basically it is about the fight between Good and Evil. Although it is cliché, it’s a good story. At least a lot better than Blassreiter. It had some twists, and it has what to offer.
But what captured me was the compelling character cast. It’s big, it has variety and characters aren’t as simple as they look, some have internal conflicts, others have interesting motivations, while some are more or less cliché, wanting to protect everyone and all that. Also they have some awesome powers. I mean they can be complex and original, while other powers are simpler. But all of them are satisfying. Just Allen has a rich array of abilities, with the eye and all. I mean his hand can take other forms than just a gigantic hand, and in time he gains new abilities and power. And from all the good guys, Allen is my favorite character. Yes, he is a typical do-gooder, but he has a certain charm. He has some serious issues and doubts, which he has to confront. It’s like he doesn’t know what he wants and he has to solve this in order to advance. Also you see him with fears. In most anime of its type (long and filled with super-powered beings) when faced with certain death, the heroes usually act all angry and swear a lot. But with Allen, you see the fear in him. Maybe I’m talking nonsense (which I do about 80% in my life), but I think Allen is an awesome character. But what I think this anime has to offer more than an awesome hero, is an awesome villain. The Earl is one of the greatest villains I’ve seen in an anime. And if you don’t believe me, well… just look at him. He looks like he was drawn by kid hyped up on crack. He is laughable to say the least. Well… aside from his monstrous teeth that is. I mean look at his grin. Not once has he ever closed his mouth and take of that grin. Well actually, not once has he opened his teeth, so when I think about it, he is kind of fucked up. But that is just what makes him interesting. He looks all fucked up, and you wouldn’t say he is menacing at all (aside from the teeth), but he is so frigging powerful. Also he acts like a Victorian age gentleman. And he treats the Noah like family. So he also has a more kind and family side to him than just a genocidal maniac. When I will make a top 10 villain list, he will be there.
But D.Gray-man has its little downfalls. First is the title. What does it mean? Why is there a dot between D and G? What does D stand for? Who is the Gray-man? And why Gray? Maybe they gave an explanation, but I’m sure it was so subtle or stupid that I didn’t even pay attention. Also, the story is set in the late 19th century. So why in the Holy loving Fucker of Fucks, are there robots and computers present? It’s like they wanted a sci-fi, futuristic kind of fantasy, but then changed their minds for something more historical. But half the script was already done, so fuck it, just leave the robots and computers. I’m sure no one will notice. It made me wonder, if they could make giant robots and computers, then couldn’t they mass-produce weapons to fight these demons, WITHOUT HAVING INNOCENCE AND POWERS? It makes no sense, and there are other details, but it will take too long for a written review (I’m thinking on going video-review sometime in the near future).
The presentation is decent. Animation is good, has pleasant character models for the good guys, and disturbing and sometimes grotesque models for the demons, and the special effects are beautiful. The sound department is also on top level, with good music, and believable voice-work and sound effects.
Overall this is a good anime. It can be frustrating, sometimes feeling like it dragged for no reasons, and it has some senseless moments. But it is entertaining, and if you have the guts to watch it for 103 episodes, then go for it.