D. Gray-Man 17

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.

One Response to “D. Gray-Man 17”

  1. Taker Says:

    I have mis emotion about this series as well. I had high hope for this series in the beginning but than start to losing it a bit.

    The series reminds me of Karakuri Circus in that the world is pretty much doomed with bad guys overwhelming the good guys both in quantity and quality. The situation is so dare that it’s surprising the good guys had not been wiped out yet. It a story about a flickering light in a complete darkness room.

    What lost me [or at least starting to]is percisely the setup itself. The situation is so bad for the good guy that I can’t really find a way to justify why they are still around organized with the exception that the bad guys just didn’t care and are purposly allowing them to exist. Karakuri Circus covers that up by having the good guys always on the move and on the run and somehow manages to become a master piece, but DGM is opposite. The Black Order are organized, they have bases, and whith the way that the bad buys seems to able to track down the Exorcists other than selecting few it really is hard to justified why Black Order is still around not to mention the size of it despise its pathetic fight force [compare to that Earl has in his desposal, of course].

    Couples that with the fact the current storyline has lost a lot of its comedic charm the series had in the beginning. This forces me to read the story on a more serious note and as result the inconsistency, the lack of logical explaination and plot hole seems to magnified tenfold.

    I really hate to say this, but it’s series like this made me appreciate and in awe of what Oda has done with OP. Oda is able to manipulates his story in any way he want while still able to keep the plot-holes and incosistency to almost non-noticeble and able to change to mood of its story efferotlessly between comedy, serious, fighting, emotional, etc. is incredible.

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