D.Gray-man

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D.Gray-man
D.Gray-manVol1Cover.jpg
The cover of the first Japanese manga volume release featuring Allen Walker and The Millennium Earl
ディー・グレイマン
(Dī Gureiman)
Genre Action, Adventure, Dark fantasy
Manga
Written by Katsura Hoshino
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Viz Media
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump (May 31, 2004 – May 11, 2009)
Jump SQ (November 4, 2009 – December 29, 2012)
Original run May 31, 2004 – ongoing
Volumes 24 (List of volumes)
Light novel
D.Gray-man: Reverse
Written by Kaya Kizaki
Illustrated by Katsura Hoshino
Published by Shueisha
Original run May 30, 2005December 3, 2010
Volumes 3
Anime television series
Directed by Osamu Nabeshima
Studio TMS Entertainment
Licensed by
Madman Entertainment
Network TV Tokyo
English network
Original run October 3, 2006September 30, 2008
Episodes 103 (List of episodes)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

D.Gray-man (Japanese: ディー・グレイマン Hepburn: Dī Gureiman?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Katsura Hoshino. The series tells the story of a boy named Allen Walker, a member of an organization of Exorcists who make use of an ancient substance called Innocence to combat the Millennium Earl and his demonic army of Akuma. Many characters and their designs were adapted from some of Katsura Hoshino's previous works and drafts, such as Zone.

The manga began serialization in 2004 in the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine, published by Shueisha. It made the transition from a weekly to a monthly series in November 2009, when it began serialization in Jump SQ. There is also a spin-off novel series titled D.Gray-man Reverse, authored by Kaya Kizaki, that explores the history of various characters. As of August 5, 2014, Viz Media has released 24 volumes in the United States. The manga has also been adapted into a 103-episode anime series that aired from October 3, 2006 to September 30, 2008 in Japan. The anime is licensed by Funimation Entertainment in North America. Several related items of merchandise have also been produced.

The manga series has become one of the best-sellers for Shueisha, with over 20 million copies sold. Both in Japan and in North America several individual volumes have been featured in weekly top ten lists of best-selling manga. Although most reviewers deemed it similar to other series from the same genre, they praised its moments of originality and its well-developed characters and their personalities.

Plot[edit]

D.Gray-man follows the adventures of 15-year-old Allen Walker, whose left arm can transform into a monstrous claw and destroy Akuma (Japanese for 'demon'), evolving machines created by the Millennium Earl to help him destroy humanity. As ordered by his master, General Cross Marian, Allen becomes an Exorcist, one of the people who can destroy Akuma for the Black Order, an organization attempting to stop the Earl. With his left eye, Allen can detect disguised Akuma, making him a powerful asset for the Order. He is sent to recover pieces of Innocence, a substance giving the Exorcists the ability to destroy Akuma. The Earl decides to call together the Noah Family, superhuman descendants of Noah, who can destroy Innocence. Both sides start the search for the Heart, the most powerful piece of Innocence, which will ensure victory for the side that finds it.

In his search, the Earl begins killing the Generals, the Order's most powerful Exorcists. In order to protect them, the Order attempts to bring the Generals back to their headquarters. Allen and three other Exorcists are sent to find the missing General Cross, but Allen and Lenalee Lee are nearly killed during the mission. They are saved by their Innocence, causing the Earl, Bookman and Bookman's apprentice Lavi, who are chronicling the war, to believe one of them possesses the Great Heart. Meanwhile, the Order learns that Allen is to succeed Nea Walker, the 14th Noah, who was killed for betraying the Earl. This leads the Order to suspect that Allen might betray them, and he is eventually confined. The Noah frees Allen to rescue him from the Apocryphos, a sentient Innocence that guards the Heart, causing the Order to revoke Allen's rights as an Exorcist and treat him as a Noah.

Production[edit]

Some of the concepts in D.Gray-man first appeared in Katsura Hoshino's one-shot title, Zone. This earlier work includes the same concepts of the Akuma, the Exorcists and the Earl's plans for ending the world. Allen Walker, the main character from the series, is also based on the previous series' female protagonist, but Hoshino changed some characteristics to make Allen look more masculine.[1] In addition, Lavi is based on the protagonist of one of her planned series, Book-man.[2] Other characters, such as the Millennium Earl, Lenalee Lee and Komui Lee, are based on real people, although Hoshino has not confirmed who some of those people are. She has mentioned that some of them are famous scientists, while Komui is based on her boss.[3][4][5]

After beginning work on the longer D.Gray-man series, Hoshino considered continuing to use the name Zone. She also considered naming the series Dolls or Black Noah. The title, "D.Gray-man", is meant to have various meanings, most of them referring to the state of Allen and the other main characters.[6] Hoshino commented that she got most of her ideas for the series while asleep in the bath for six hours.[7] One exception occurs in the plot of the second volume, which she based on a Noh story called "Koi no Omoni".[8]

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Written and drawn by Katsura Hoshino, D.Gray-man manga series has been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump by Shueisha since May 31, 2004.[9] The series was put on hiatus twice due to Hoshino falling ill; it resumed a few weeks after each incident.[10][11] In November 2008, Weekly Shōnen Jump announced that Hoshino was again putting the series on hold due to an injured wrist.[12][13] Publication resumed on March 9, 2009.[14][15] The series once again went on hiatus starting May 11.[16] It reappeared in the seasonal magazine Akamaru Jump on August 17. Following the release in Akamaru Jump, D.Gray-Man resumed serialization on November 4, 2009, in the monthly magazine Jump SQ.[17] Individual chapters are published in tankōbon by Shueisha. The first complete volume was released on October 9, 2004, and 24 volumes had been released as of November 1, 2013.[18][19]

At the 2005 San Diego Comic-Con International, D.Gray-man was licensed for an English-language release in North America by Viz Media.[20] Viz Media released the first collected volume of the series on February 5, 2008, and released the 24th volume on August 5, 2014.[21][22] Viz Media has also started to re-publish the series in a 3-in-1 edition format, with five 3-in-1 editions released between July 2, 2013 and November 4, 2014.[23][24] Digital versions of the volumes were also released by Viz Media from July 9, 2011, to August 5, 2014.[21][22] Madman Entertainment published Viz's 24-volume English release in Australia and New Zealand[25] from August 10, 2008, to September 10, 2014.[26][27] The manga has also been licensed by Daewon C.I. in South Korea,[28] by Glénat in France and Spain,[13][29] by Grupo Editorial Vid in Mexico,[30] by Panini Comics in Brazil and Italy,[31][32] by Tokyopop in Germany,[33] and by Tong Li Publishing in Taiwan.[34]

Anime[edit]

The episodes of the D.Gray-man anime are directed by Osamu Nabeshima and produced by Dentsu, TMS Entertainment, Aniplex and TV Tokyo. TMS Entertainment produced the animation and Aniplex was responsible for the music production. The episodes began airing on October 3, 2006, in Japan on TV Tokyo.[35] The first season of the anime, known as the "1st stage", aired for 51 episodes, finishing its run on September 25, 2007.[36][37] The second season, known as the "2nd stage", began airing on October 2, 2007, and finished its run on September 30, 2008, lasting 52 episodes, bringing the total to 103 episodes for both seasons.[38][39] All episodes were released by Aniplex on 26 DVD compilations, released between February 7, 2007, and March 4, 2009.[40][41]

The English adaptation of the first 51 episodes was licensed by Funimation Entertainment.[42][43] These episodes were released in North America on DVD between March 31, 2009, and January 5, 2010.[44][45] The series made its North American television debut when it started airing on the Funimation Channel in September 2010.[46] The first 51 episodes were released on four DVDs by Madman Entertainment between August 19, 2009, and May 13, 2010;[47][48][49] a DVD box was published on June 6, 2012.[50] In the United Kingdom, Manga Entertainment released the first season in four parts between February 22 and October 18, 2010.[51][52] A box set was published on December 6, 2010,[53] but the second season was not licensed as Funimation did not dub it.[54]

Soundtracks[edit]

Cover of D.Gray-man Original Soundtrack 1

All of the music for the D.Gray-man anime series was composed by Kaoru Wada, and so far three CD soundtracks have been released in Japan by Sony Music Entertainment. The first, D.Gray-man Original Soundtrack 1, which contains 34 tracks, was released on March 21, 2007, with musical production and composition, including the first opening theme of the series and the first two ending themes as well.[55]

The second soundtrack, containing 32 tracks, D.Gray-man Original Soundtrack 2, was released on December 19, 2007. It includes the second opening theme of the series, as well as the third and fourth ending themes.[56] All opening and ending themes were also collected in a CD called D.Gray-man Complete Best, released on September 24, 2008. Its limited edition includes an extra DVD that contains creditless footage of the intro and closing scenes from the shows and a large number of anime illustrations.[57] The third soundtrack, which contains 31 tracks, was released in Japan on December 17, 2008. It includes the third and fourth opening themes of the series, as well as the fifth to eighth ending themes and the insert song "Hands Sealed With a Kiss" (つないだ手にキスを Tsunaida Te Ni Kisu o?), sung by Sanae Kobayashi.[58]

Video games[edit]

A D.Gray-man video game for the Nintendo DS was released in Japan on March 29, 2007. The game is titled D.Gray-man: Kami no Shitotachi (D.Gray-man 神の使徒達?) and was released by Konami.[59] A second video game titled D.Gray-man: Sousha no Shikaku (D.Gray-man 奏者ノ資格?) for the PlayStation 2 was released on September 11, 2008.[60][61] Additionally, characters from D.Gray-man are featured in the Nintendo DS game Jump Super Stars and its sequel Jump Ultimate Stars.[62][63] Allen Walker also appears as a support-only character in J-Stars Victory Vs.[64]

Books[edit]

Based on the manga series, three novels titled D.Gray-man: Reverse, written by Kaya Kizaki, are published by Shueisha. The first of them was released on May 30, 2005, while the second was released on July 4, 2006.[65][66] The third was released on December 3, 2010.[67] The D.Gray-man Official Fanbook: Gray Ark was released June 4, 2008.[68] On September 4, 2008, the TV Animation D.Gray-man Official Visual Collection: Clown Art was released.[69] Three "omnibus special" books were released on November 13, 2009, December 11, 2009, and January 15, 2010.[70][71][72] They were followed by an illustration book titled D.Gray-man Illustrations Noche on February 4, 2010;[73] Noche was released by Viz Media on December 6, 2011.[74] On July 4, 2011, D.Gray-man Character Ranking Book, a compilation of the character popularity polls with additional character profiles by Hoshino, was released and included the one-shot "Exorcist no Natsu Yasumi" (エクソシストの夏休み?).[75]

Reception[edit]

The D.Gray-man manga has been highly popular in Japan; one of the best-seller series of the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine,[76][77] individual volumes have appeared on lists of the 50 best-selling manga of the year. In 2008, volumes 14, 15, and 16 were featured on the lists;[78][79] in 2009, volume 17 was one of the best-selling manga of the first half of 2009.[80] Volume 19 was on the first half of 2010's best-seller list,[81] while volumes 19 and 20 were listed among the top sellers of the entire year.[82] In 2011, volume 21 was the 22nd best-selling manga of the first half,[83] and the 48th of the year,[84] while the series was the 33rd best-selling of the year.[85] Volume 23 was the 27th best-selling of the first half,[86] and the 45th best-selling of the entire year.[87] The complete series had, as of November 2013, over 20 million copies in circulation in Japan.[88]

Volumes from Viz's English publication of the series have been featured in best-selling manga rankings in the New York Times[89][90] and Nielsen BookScan.[91][92] In its Summer 2008 and Q3 2008 lists, ICv2 ranked D.Gray-man as the 15th top manga property for North American sales.[93][94] For 2009 and 2010, the series was North America's best shonen property and best manga in general.[95][96][97][98] In ICv2's Top 25 Manga, it was listed as the 24th and 23rd manga property of North America in 2011 and 2012 respectively.[99][100]

Zassosha's manga magazine Puff ranked the series as the seventh best long story manga of 2006.[101] The series has also picked up attention in France, where it was awarded the prize for best manga series of 2006 at the Anime and Manga 2007 French Grand Prix, which was organized by Animeland. It was also awarded the "manga of the year" title for 2006 by Webotaku.[102] The anime DVDs have also been popular, climbing high in several Japanese animation DVD rankings from 2007 through 2009,[103][104][105] while the series itself was featured once in the list of the most watched anime of the week.[106] Even the novel adaptions were well received; the second novel adaption was the third best-selling novel in Japan in 2006.[107]

In his review of volume one, Carlo Santos of Anime News Network (ANN) stated that certain plot points "come out of nowhere" and that the story was kept from its full potential due to "generic character designs and sparse backgrounds." The quick-moving story plot and the series' exposition and backstory received positive comments.[108] A. E. Sparrow of IGN also reviewed the first volume, comparing the series' antagonist to three of Batman's villains. He commented that "Walker is a solid hero with a dark past, the Millennium Earl is a menacing villain you'll love to hate" and the supporting cast shows enough potential to hold interest into future volumes.[109] Carl Kimlinger, also from ANN, gave his thoughts on the first episode of the anime. He criticized the series for being very derivative, with "absolutely nothing original". However, Kimlinger noted that it was not a boring anime.[110] Mania.com commented that the series becomes better as it continues, remarking that some elements seemed derivative, although it has developed its own unique identity. However, the reviewer criticized several changes made in the Viz Media edition, such as the fact that the Japanese sound effects have been replaced by others that fans find less appealing, and awkward translations of some character names.[111]

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External links[edit]