D.Gray-man poster


Losing a loved one is so painful that one may sometimes wish to be able to resurrect them—a weakness that the enigmatic Millennium Earl exploits. To make his mechanical weapons known as "Akuma," he uses the souls of the dead that are called back. Once a soul is placed in an Akuma, it is trapped forever, and the only way to save them is to exorcise them from their vessel using the Anti-Akuma weapon, "Innocence." After spending three years as the disciple of General Cross, Allen Walker is sent to the Black Order—an organization comprised of those willing to fight Akuma and the Millennium Earl—to become an official Exorcist. With an arm as his Innocence and a cursed eye that can see the suffering souls within an Akuma, it's up to Allen and his fellow Exorcists to stop the Millennium Earl's ultimate plot: one that can lead to the destruction of the world. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Ranking 239

User Count36848
Favorites Count614
Start Date3rd Oct 2006
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank239
Rating Rank766
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older


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Normally, most shounen series don’t warrant a real review of any sort, for two reasons – first, they probably haven’t ended yet, and second, they probably never will. I’m talking about shows like Naruto, One Piece, Fairytail, and even Bleach (for the manga, at least). The reason being that if they don’t have a proper ending, it’s rather impossible to give any decent, well-rounded criticism of the plot from start to finish. I’m making an exception here, but it must be qualified by saying that D.Gray-man is strange because the anime has most certainly ended, precisely because the manga never will. So with a heart full of compassion for the D.Gray-man fanbase, which has won a lot of my respect due to their undying patience in waiting for new releases, but mostly because I used to belong in there until *my* patience ran thin, here’s a review of all 103 anime episodes of Akuma-slashing goodness. The plot of D.Gray-man is nothing spectacular for a standard shounen, although this should in no way be taken as a downside, since familiarity works to an advantage most of the time. So the world is overcome by darkness, because an evil fat rabbit in a top hat and suit decides to call himself the Millenium Earl and trick people into transforming themselves into Akuma, monstrosities who hate the human race with a burning vengeance and hide amongst humans, preying on them. It’s up to chosen ones called Exorcists to harness the power of a curious substance called Innocence, which they wear in their weapons, and hunt down the Akuma – while the evil Earl and his henchman family, called the Noah, watch from the shadows and cackle with glee. The story follows the adventures of Allen Walker, an Exorcist who is new to the Black Order (the central organisation which recruits and dispatches Exorcists). Allen’s journey involves forging friendships with others like himself, improving his skills and acquiring new powers, and destroying Akuma. Like most shounen series, this eventually expands into a darker, overarching plot involving conspiracies and loyalties and a blur between the lines of good and evil. Overall, I would say that the plot isn’t extraordinary for a standard shounen series, but then, it doesn’t need complete originality to be *entertaining*, and entertaining it most certainly is. So if you want to watch flashes and fights and cool weapons and monsters getting blown up, why not? The characters deserve very special mention, not because of their great development, but because of how generic and typical they are. I’ll demonstrate this by pointing to another pseudo-shounen-fantasy called Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, whose main motley crew could almost be carbon copies of the main motley crew in D.Gray-man. D.Gray-man's lead protagonist is Allen Walker, a polite and very “nice” goody-two-shoes with a firm belief in “protecting the world”, complete with plenty of hidden potential and an accompanying “dark alter ego” – case in point, Li Syaoran. The Mary Sue in distress, Lenalee Lee, is a beautiful, precocious young woman who spends most of her time as the would-be-girlfriend figure who frets about how the main character is always “pushing himself too hard and always thinking about others at the expense of himself”, while harbouring some secret power that becomes a major plot point – a la Princess Sakura. And then there’s the lone-wolf tsundere guy with the icy-cold demeanour and dark past, who just *has* to be a swordsman and have a name beginning with the letter K *because* – no really, has anyone else noticed that you could swop Kanda and Kurogane, and no-one would actually notice the difference? And finally, because the group would descend into depression with too much ice and angst, we have the comic-relief character Lavi, who always wears a sleepy smile on his face and pushes the limits of the lone-wolf Kuro- I mean, Kanda, although as the story progresses, it is revealed that the happy-go-lucky exterior is a cover up for some inner depression that could actually rival the collective inner-depression of the rest of his friends. Case in point, Fye D. Flourite. A brief mention must be made of the token plushie creature that is towed along on travels, although thank goodness Timcampy, unlike Mokona, can’t talk. With the good guys being such typical cookie-cutter stereotypes, it should come as no surprise that the eerie villains of the show pack a larger punch than their goody-goody counterparts. From the dark and obsessive gothic loli Road Kamelot, to the suave Tyki Mikk, each of the Noah family is a creepy sight to behold – but it’s best that you experience it for yourself. The animation was probably made using the same general budget that is allocated to long-running shounen series, so only the most serious of fights are done well – but when D.Gray-man delivers in its action, it really delivers, with the best fight sequences taking place whenever the more gruesome Akuma appear. Speaking of Akuma, those disgusting things are some of the worst nightmares I’ve seen in all anime. Note that while most shounen series structure the protagonist’s growth by having him fight increasingly tougher opponents, D.Gray-man goes one step further in actually classifying the Akuma into numerical levels, resulting in Allen and gang most coincidentally encountering Level Three Akuma only after they have successfully finished a Level Two Akuma killing spree. And it seems like cranking up the Akuma levels results in simultaneous cranking up the level of *ugly*, as Level Four Akuma are seriously the most repulsive mutations I have seen in my whole life – uglier than the immortal soldiers in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, uglier than the Titan which ate Eren’s mother, and yes, uglier than Giant Rei and the Eva Units in the End of Evangelion. The overall dark tone of the show is helped by the very interesting backdrop – a sort of Gothic 18th century Victorian England, complete with Gothic architecture and extensive use of dark tones and shadows. The soundtrack is really not too bad, either, with some of the orchestral pieces delivering the perfect ghostly disquiet that lurks throughout the show. The Japanese voice acting is pretty fair, with my only gripe being that Allen and his friends sounded really irritating when crying – though, I’m supposing that this should have been a complaint filed under the ‘characters’ section. Nevertheless, special props go to the Japanese voices for the voices of all members in the Noah family, particularly the Millenium Earl and Jasdevi – because those talented people pulled off the ‘crazy’ remarkably well, and made the villains such a compelling bunch. The show does suffer from several problems inherent in most shounen, so I thought that running through them in a quick paragraph should suffice. First, the pacing of the plot. I heard it took Sakura Haruno close to 4 hours of screen time to defeat Sasori, and I’m pretty glad I avoided all that long-drawn meandering by reading the manga instead, but D.Gray-man seems to have made up for that spot of convenience by spending close to roughly 5-6 episodes each on fighting the Akuma in Martel, fighting Suman Dark, fighting Skin Bolic, and goodness knows how many hours on Allen Walker trying to revive his Innocence. In between, there’s inspirational speeches about never giving up, the whole ritual of acquiring new abilities, touching friendship moments, and all the rest of it – you know how it goes. Secondly, the filler. D.Gray-man does have filler, and it’s not boring, but it’s certainly unnecessary, for the most part. It did help to flesh out a rather interesting villain called Lulubell, but other than that, it could have been skipped. Third, the ending. Since it’s likely that there never will be another season (in the near future, at least), we have to take it that the ending is open and the fate of the world is left rather ambiguous – the worst part being that I’ll just wish you the very best of luck if you want to look to the manga for a satisfying conclusion. Overall, D.Gray-man is certainly a likeable show. For readers too mature for ninjas and pirates, its dark and eerie premise serves as the perfect gateway to the wonderful world of anime, and anyone not well versed in shounen tropes will definitely be hooked by the mystery and suspense of the overarching plot, even if questions take close to 50 episodes to get answered. While the main characters seem a tad cliché at times, the creepy villains more than make up for it by providing much of the disturbance and horror of the story. It’s hard to compare this to other shounens because it’s similar, yet different at the same time. Personally, the things I found most intriguing about D.Gray-man were minor things here and there –Lenalee’s Dark Boots are honestly one of the cooler weapons I've seen in shounen, while Tyki Mikk’s swashbuckling charm never fails to make me blush each time. I’d say that D.Gray-man pulls this off because it does what any shounen does; by making its world and character cast so astronomically wide, there’s bound to be sprinkles in it for everyone, even if there are a million and one other things annoying you at the same time (the excessive crying, for one). I wouldn’t be too quick to recommend it as an anime for veteran otaku, but there’s a chance that if you are one, you would know what to expect and immunise yourself against when going into a typical shounen like this one. I personally enjoyed it, and forsee that most others will feel the same. 6/10, and please get well soon, Hoshino-Sensei.

I have this anime to thank for introducing me to a medium that is a consistent part of my 'day-to-day'. I stated this first in order to indicate the fact that my opinion is entirely biased. This Anime spoke to me the way no ever did or has. It grabbed me by the scuff of the neck and told me to enjoy what I see. This is an experience that is a fork in the road for the majority of the viewers. You either maintain your casual detachment as a viewer and lead yourself down the path of those that dislike this anime, Or you chose the other. The one I chose. You let the anime pull you in and embrace it in its persistent enjoyability. It is without imperfection however it is has the ability to make you a fan, it only requires you to embrace it. So I ask of you to diminish predetermined judgement and enjoy.  

D.Gray-man had so much going for it until the end. I watched the whole series in a few days I was so immersed. The ending was so bad I could cry at all the wasted potential. I wouldn't get sucked into this black hole of an anime if I were you.

This anime is like finding a really good fanfic with everything you want in it, reading up until the cliffhanger end, then finding out it hasn't been updated in years. By the time I got to around episode 97 or 98, I realized that this story wouldn't be resolved by the time episode 103 hit. But that didn't stop me, nor did it take away my enjoyment. In fact, it makes me want more, because the way D Gray Man leaves off, it's not just a cut-and-dry cliffhanger. It's the resolution of a story arc, leaving you anticipating and guessing at what might happen, waiting (hoping) for that day when it will be continued. I can understand why some people don't like that feeling, but to each his/her/their own. It's still a great anime to watch. 

Love this series!!

“I laughed... I cried... I experienced something that changed my life...” DGM was able to merge all the elements that make a good anime (or a good shonen), a hero with a troubled past and a future even less certain, a supernatural story-based and esoteric, fighting enough intriguing and spectacular to let you glued to your screen, a scenario of sadness, comedy and adventure . Graphically is quite dynamic and entertaining them that the eye will see something more commercial, they may have reason, I focused on my one and only pleasure. I do not really remember when I started to love the Gothic genre in anime, perhaps through DGM who knows. In any case, I have embraced the concept, the atmosphere created and the development of a relatively cool color palette. This is an art ... Level design , the characters are well made, personification of their powers, development of their personalities. Yes it's all a little similar but the series will be able rightly out all these aspects.

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