Thursday, April 16, 2009

D.Gray-Man vol. 10, 11, 12 manga Impression

Allen Walker and the Millennium Earl are headed for a major confrontation, but first there is the little issue of a collapsing Ark and of course the Noah to deal with. D.Gray-Man volumes 10, 11 and 12 from Viz cranks up the action that’s almost too much to keep up with.

 D.Gray-Man volume 10 mangaD.Gray-Man volume 10
As Lenalee and Lavi enter the fight with the Noah the Earl also gets involved. In order to escape a newly arrived Allen Walker (stronger too) must guide the group into the Ark in order to survive. Within the Ark the collapse is going level by level which means our heroes have a chance to survive but they must get by the Noah. First up its Skin Boric and to take him on, Kanda. It’s time for the Black Order and Noah to go head-to-head.

I’ll say this once, the art is impeccable, action pact, fast (sometimes hard to follow) and some of the most unique and beautiful found in any series, period. This applies to every volume I’ll touch on. After a few rehab volumes for Allen he’s back in action and better than ever for the rehab. He arrives just in time to save his fellows but still not ready to beat everyone so time to escape. The faceoff with the Noah, learning about their past as well as the limits of the Black Order, in this case Kanda, power is the best part of this volume. Seeing why perceived good and evil do what they do, what drives them is something not every manga … not every story does. Usually they are one sided tales but not this one. Fear the Noah but learn to pity them also.

 D.Gray-Man volume 11 mangaD.Gray-Man volume 11
One door down, yet another to get through, the fate of Kanda unknown it’s time to take on the twisted Devit and Jasdero. Seems these two Noah have a bone to pick with Allen thanks to another debt courtesy of General cross. Their weapons are guns, but their true power is in the mind and as they unleash their attacks its Arystar who steps forward so the other may pass. As Jasdevi (combined Devit and Jasdero) shows new powers so does Arystar. More history is revealed, a visit from the past and even more unique innocence powers as the battle continues and another door is entered.

Much like volume 10 readers learn about the history of the bad guys with a bit more on Arystar and his unique powers. The fight is not as good as Kanda’s but still enjoyable and shows are very dark side of the Exorcist. A good volume but it’s just another step, continuation of what started in volume 10.

 D.Gray-Man volume 12 mangaD.Gray-Man volume 12
Yup, another door but this time the battle steps up as both Allen and Lavi must take on Tyki Mikk and Road respectively. Allen reveals a power not seen before that take Tyki by surprise and, oddly or not, causes comparison to the Earl in power. Road occupies Lavi on a mental plane while the rest of the group is held as spectators with no hope of helping. A fight to remember, but one that has no end in sight.

Yup, short summary but this volume is all about two major fights, Allen vs. Tyki and Road vs. Lavi. One it totally physical the other mental and neither is resolved so volume 13 is going to be hot. One has to wonder what tricks creator Katsura Hoshino has left in the bag. With the Noah (soon) out of the way is the final Earl confrontation next? What other baddies will appear? Will Cross make an appearance? Yes, lots of questions but when you are 12 volumes into a series and it still feels fresh with questions to be answered you know you've got a solid story. D.Gray-Man offers up all the action and story manga fans could ask for in action packed volumes that go by way to fast.

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