Thursday, April 08, 2010

D.Gray-man (Volumes 1 through 17) by Katsura Hoshino (Story and Art)

Set in Victorian England, we follow the adventures of Allen Walker in his search for Innocence as one of the Black Order’s Exorcists. Innocence is vital to the Black Order and the world’s survival as it is their only weapon against the Millennium Earl and his akuma. Allen is important to their cause as he was cursed and now can see the trapped soul that is used to create akuma. It is a race against time to see who will get the innocence and save or destroy the world.

This gothic story may seem familiar as there are some elements that are in other supernatural narratives. What really captures your attention is the art style and character design. This is a very visually beautiful work that grabs you and sucks you in to this alternate reality. D.Gray-man has very interesting characters, especially the main character of Allen Walker. He is a young man with a dark past. As the series progresses, his character develops and even physically changes. You will want to keep turning the pages to see all of these compelling characters and experience the fight between the Exorcists and the Millennium Earl.

While the art style has been criticized for being generic, I find the character designs to be fascinating and unique. The akuma and exorcist transformations are so interesting that I can't wait to see the next one to see what reality will be completely altered. I will admit that the backgrounds are dark and the action sequences can be difficult to decipher. I still like the alternate reality created that I keep coming back for more.

D.Gray-man was awarded the prize for best manga series 2006 at the Anime and Manga 2007 French Grand Prix. It was also awarded the manga of the year in 2006 by Webotaku.

To enhance your enjoyment of this story, why not check out the anime based off of the manga. D.Gray-man transports you to an alternate Victorian England. Enjoy the world that Hoshino created in vibrant color. Experience the exciting action that you can only get a glimpse of in the manga. The anime follows the storyline of the manga closely and allows the characters to come alive.

You can find the D.Gray-Man manga and anime by Katsura Hoshino on the VBPL Catalog. If you enjoyed D.Gray-Man, you may want to try Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkubo or Bleach by Tite Kubo.

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