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Monday, August 13, 2007

D.Gray-Man, volume 6 Impressions

First, some background -- Katsura Hoshino, love the art, love the style, design and flow of the work found in D.Gray-Man. The story, not so sure what to say. I find this series from Viz perplexing. The story follows Allen Walker, a 15-year old exorcist in a fictional 19th century England. Allen’s job is to utilize his Innocence to battle and destroy akuma, evil demon weapons also seeking Innocence for the Millenium Earl.

Thats about the most basic, back of the book description I can give for D.Gray-Man, a series that captivates and confuses me all at the same time. This is a good thing. The history in the D.Gray-Man series is explained as needed in each volume, with towns, the Earl, Innocence, The Great Flood all explained as they tie to Allen’s current job. Not much different here from most manga, but what can and has caused me confusion is the action, the pace, the little story details not quite explained that could make the action all the more enjoyable. Why does Allen’s arm, where his Innocence is found react in certain ways, what’s the deal with his eye, his partners? I’d love to have an addendum, an appendix that explains each in more detail.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not down on this series at all, in fact it’s one of my faves going back to the detailed arty of Hoshino. I’ve reread volumes to get a better grasp on the story, which helps, but it’s the art, oh the details, the gorgeous character design, the montsterous akuma, the sadistic looking Earl … this keeps bringing me back for more. Ok, enough about my confusion and my love, onto volume 6.

Second, talking about vol. 6 – Anytime I talk about a series for the first time or first tiem in a long time I’ll give what you see above, a little background and impression on the series, but here’s the meat, no matter how short, of what I think about a particular volume.

Volume 6 of D.Gray-Man picks up where 5 left off, with Allen and his team boarding a ship. The reason for this journey is not touched on as volume 6 is all action as hundreds of akuma attack a fellow exorcist, Suman Dark, one who’s apparently betrayed the order and is to be put to death, his Innocence collected. While I don’t mind pointing out spoilers, I’m avoiding that this time as mixed with all the action there is some pretty heady revelations found in this volume of D.Gray-Man. The story is becoming clearer, characters and settings more defined. With a series like Hunter x Hunter which I’ve talked about, the path seems very clear, but no so with D.Gray-Man and I find this discovery of story very satifying, and would love to have others readers experience the same. Learn about Suman, why he’s attacked, why he’s to be killed and how the Earl’s lackeys tie into the story, and how Allen dies … did I say that?

If youre looking for a heady manga with great art that requies a wee-bit of deciphering story-wise, pick up a volume, any volume of D.Gray Man and read. Maybe it’s just me, but being challenged by a story, to think, to really decipher what’s going on is great.

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