Men in Catholic/military style hoods holding up a banner not for joy, but a sense of gloom and darkness that is set in a roughly 18 or 19 century European world with the deep and grim voice of the commentator in the background. That’s how D-Gray Man begin.
The main character, Alan Walker is a young man with a strange hand – no, nothing like Midori no Hibi. It’s nothing like that show at all. Alan Walker is an exorcist – no, nothing like that priest in the classic horror film Exorcist with useless piece of wooden cross and a probably fake bible (correct me if you care to). This exorcist’s hand transforms into an ultimate weapon against AKUMA – yes that term means devil in Japanese language, but in this case it’s a weapon made by the Thousand Year Baron to tempt the humanity and to destroy the world. Alan’s hand is only one part of the Innocence – a material left by God with great powers.
It was scattered into parts after the Great Flood.For people who are suitable/in sync with parts of it, it aids the person in a way that has something to do with the person’s skills/specialty/obsession or in some cases, the manga author’s fancy and conceptions (I think). That’s how the show begin. I’ve been reading the manga and I think it’s a great story that doesn’t fall into cliche shonen manga stereo types where the main character fights because he’s got his hearts on fire and his mind setting on protecting his friends and the world. In contrast, Alan told one of his colleague, the katana user Kanda, that “I have nothing to protect.”
The first person that got turned into AKUMA was Mana Walker, who adopted Alan when he was a small child. Alan, not knowing the consequences of one of his wishes, turned Mana into AKUMA. Mana cursed Alan with an eye that can see the true essence of an AKUMA – a tormented soul.
I don’t want to spoil more about this show, all I can say is that despite the grim background and the sometimes typical attempts at humor like most shonen shows, this one is a gem that stands out because of the great story background, characters (though a couple of them is kind of cliched), and the deep and moving story itself. The plot is tight when they get into their quests to search for the lost parts of Innocence. Not to mention that the show talks about exorcism, but nothing cheesy comes out, and there are no easy graces here in this show. Unlike Chrno Crusade, where the evil guy is WAY too strong, and once, “Maria” had to intervene from above.
There are few parts where there are no easy redemptions and the seemingly typical process gets rather painful, and a side character grows so much that she will come back later. But I’m not telling any more. I’m on episode 13.
A recommended watch.