D. Gray-Man 17Posted: August 16, 2010
Katsura Hoshino – Viz – 2010 – 20+ volumes
I have a serious love-hate relationship with this series, having jumped in somewhere in the middle. Some volumes make me desperately want to go back and start at the beginning, and others make me want to dismiss it as just lots and lots of fighting and Shounen Jump plainness. This was more of the former than the latter, and aside from far too many characters, there was a lot of awesome stuff going on story-wise here.
I skipped volume 16. On one hand, I clearly missed something major. On the other hand, there’s something awesome about going from a super-serious, dramatic shounen fight mired in too many characters and backstory to a fight against all the good guys turning into zombies. I’m starting to think that zombies are a little overplayed, but it was an amazing story line here. And I didn’t miss much, since all I needed to know was explained on the first couple pages of the first chapter. I still think there are way, way WAY too many characters here, but knowing who they were wasn’t important, and seeing Allen resisting zombification because he thought it would be humiliating was really great. Plus, there’s a bonus haunting story going on elsewhere (?) in the building.
I was a little afraid of things returning to the regular plot after that, which has so far not been to my liking, but I have to admit I liked what I saw here. Allen was once again reunited with his teacher, General Marian, and under the heaviest security the Black Order has to offer, Marian drops a huge bombshell. Or I assume it’s a huge bombshell, but maybe others saw it coming. Later, Marian disappears. Again. This part is unexpectedly gruesome, and is shown again and again.
The revelation goes back into Allen’s past with Mana Walker, and it makes me want to go back and read the first few volumes more than anything else has. I do like Allen, as much as I think there’s just too much going on character-wise elsewhere (it may be about as bad as Hoshin Engi), and I think the English setting and whatever strange circus themes run through things are really interesting. I’m still not convinced I can go all the way through the volumes I haven’t read, but every once in awhile, I read a volume like this that makes me want to try. There’s a lot of good stuff here.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.