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D.Gray-Man

D.Gray-man (ディー・グレイマン, Dī Gureiman?) is an ongoing 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 makes 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, and Continue, and her assistants.



The manga began serialization in 2004 in the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine, published by Shueisha under their Jump Comics imprint, and to date, 20 collected volumes have been released. It made the transition from weekly to monthly series in November 2009, when it began serialization in Jump Square. 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 May 4, 2010, Viz Media has released the first seventeen 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.

The manga series has become one of the best-sellers for Shueisha. During its second release week, the 15th volume of the manga ranked as the second best selling comic in Japan. Although most reviewers compared it to other series from the same genre, they praised its moments of originality and its well-developed characters and their personalities.



Plot
D.Gray-man follows the adventures of 15-year-old Allen Walker, whose left arm can transform into a monstrous claw and destroy Akuma, evolving machines created by the Millennium Earl to help him destroy humanity. As ordered by his master General Cross Marian, Allen becomes an Exorcist, people who can destroy Akuma, for the Black Order, an organization attempting to stop the Earl. He becomes a powerful asset for the Order because he can detect disguised akuma with his left eye. Allen is sent to recover pieces of Innocence, a substance that gives 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 Great Heart, the most powerful piece of Innocence that will assure victory to the side that finds it.
During his search, the Earl begins killing the Generals, the Order's most powerful Exorcists. To protect them, the Order attempts to bring the Generals back to headquarters, and Allen and three other Exorcists are sent to search for the missing General Cross. During the search, Allen and Lenalee Lee are nearly killed and saved by their Innocence, leading the Earl and Bookman and his apprentice Lavi, who are chronicling the war, to believe one of them possesses the Great Heart. Meanwhile, the Order learns that the 14th, a Noah that betrayed and was killed by the Earl, implanted his memories into Allen. The memories will erode Allen away until he becomes the 14th. This leads the Order to believe that Allen may betray them.



Production
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 and their creation, Exorcists, and the Earl's plans for ending the world. Allen Walker, the main character from the series, is also based from the previous series's protagonist, who is a girl, but Hoshino changed some of his characteristics to make him 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 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 Chronoa. The word "D.Gray-man" is meant to have various meanings, most of them being the state of Allen and the other main characters.
Hoshino commented that she got most of her ideas for the series while asleep in the bath for 6 hours. One exception occurs in the plot of the second volume, which she based on a story called Koi no Omoni.



Media
Manga
Written and drawn by Katsura Hoshino, the chapters of the D.Gray-man manga series have been serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump by Shueisha. Since its premiere on May 31, 2004, over one hundred chapters have been released in Japan.[9] The series was put on hiatus twice in Japan due to Hoshino falling ill; however, the series continued 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] The series 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-release Japanese manga magazine, Jump Square.[17] D.Gray-man has been licensed for an English language release in North America by Viz Media.[18]
The individual chapters are published in tankōbon by Shueisha. The first volume was released on October 9, 2004, and as of June 4, 2010, twenty volumes have been released.[19][20] Viz released the first collected volume of the series on May 2, 2006, and as of May 2010, eighteen volumes have been released.[21]
Anime
Main article: List of D.Gray-man episodes
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.[22] The first season of the anime, known as the "1st stage", aired for 51 episodes, finishing its run on September 25, 2007.[23][24] 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 giving a total of 103 episodes over both seasons.[25][26] The English adaptation of the series has been licensed by Funimation.[27][28]
As of February 2009, twenty-six DVD compilations have been released by Aniplex between the first on February 7, 2007 and the latest on March 4, 2009.[29][30] The first thirteen compilations contain episodes of the first season, and all successive compilations have episodes of the second season. The first thirteen episodes of the anime were released in the US, dubbed, on DVD on March 31, 2009 and also Blu-ray on January 5, 2010.[31][32] The remaining 52 episodes (seasons 3 and 4) have yet to be dubbed, and are currently on hiatus.
The series made its North American television debut when it started airing on the FUNimation Channel September 6th, 2010.
Soundtracks
All of the music for the D.Gray-man anime series were 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 that contains thirty-four tracks was released on March 21, 2007 with musical production and composition, which includes the first opening theme of the series and the first two ending themes as well.[34]
The second soundtrack containing thirty-two 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.[35] All opening and ending themes were also collected in a CD called D.Gray-man Complete Best that was released on September 24, 2008. Its limited edition includes an extra DVD that contains credit-less footage of the videos and a large number of anime illustrations.[36] The third soundtrack, which contains thirty-one 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.[37]
Video games
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 and was released by Konami. In the game, the player interacts with characters from the series and destroys akuma using the touch screen and stylus.[38] A second video game titled D.Gray-man: Sousha no Shikaku for the PlayStation 2 was released on September 11, 2008.[39] Additionally, characters from D.Gray-man are featured in the Nintendo DS game Jump Super Stars and its sequel Jump Ultimate Stars.[40][41]
Books
Two novels, one fanbook and two art books. Based on the manga series, two novels titled D.Gray-man: Reverse and written by Kaya Kizaki are published by Shueisha. The first of them was released on May 30, 2005, while the second one was released on July 4, 2006.[42][43] The D.Gray-man Official Fanbook: Gray Ark was released June 4, 2008.[44] On September 4, 2008, the TV Animation D.Gray-man Official Visual Collection: Clown Art was released.[45] They were followed by an illustration book titled D.Gray-man Illustrations Noche on February 4, 2010.[46]
Reception
The D.Gray-man manga has been highly popular in Japan; as of 2007, the series ranked as the ninth best seller series of the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine.[47] On December 31, 2008, Comipress reported that the first fifteen volumes from the series had sold 14,000,000 copies.[48] During its second release week, the volume fifteen of the manga ranked as the second best seller comic in Japan.[49] The anime DVDs have also been popular; they have ranked high in several Japanese Animation DVD Rankings.[50][51] Zassosha's manga magazine Puff ranked the series as the seventh best long story manga of 2006.[52] The series has also picked up attention in France as it was awarded the prize for best manga series 2006 at the Anime and Manga 2007 French Grand Prix, which was organized by Animeland. It was also awarded the prize of manga of the year 2006 by Webotaku.[53] Even the novel adaptions were well-received. The second novel adaption was the third bestselling novel in Japan in 2006.[54]
In his review of volume one, Carlo Santos of Anime News Network 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 back-story received positive comments.[55] A.E. Sparrow of IGN also reviewed the first volume and compared the series' antagonist to three of Batman's villains. He also said that "Walker is a solid hero with a dark past, the Millenium [sic] Earl is a menacing villain you'll love to hate" and the supporting cast shows enough potential to hold interest into future volumes.[56] Carl Kimlinger, also from Anime News Network, gave his thoughts on the first episode of the anime. He stated the series was very derivative and there was "absolutely nothing original". However, Kimlinger said that it was not a boring anime.[57] Mania.com commented that series becomes better as it continues, remarking that some elements seemed derivative but it has developed its own unique identity. However, they criticized several changes made in the Viz Media edition, such as the fact that the Japanese sound effects have been replaced by ones that make fans detract while viewing it and some translations of the names of the characters that the reviewer deemed awkward.[58]
References
1. ^ Hoshino, Katsura (2006). D.Gray-man, Volume 1. Viz Media. p. 61. ISBN 1-4215-0623-8.
2. ^ Hoshino, Katsura (2006). D.Gray-man, Volume 4. Viz Media. ISBN 1-4215-0623-8.
3. ^ Hoshino, Katsura (2006). D.Gray-man, Volume 1. Viz Media. p. 112. ISBN 1-4215-0623-8.
4. ^ Hoshino, Katsura (2006). D.Gray-man, Volume 2. Viz Media. p. 172. ISBN 1-4215-0623-8.
5. ^ Hoshino, Katsura (2006). D.Gray-man, Volume 1. Viz Media. p. 152. ISBN 1-4215-0623-8.
6. ^ Hoshino, Katsura (2006). D.Gray-man, Volume 3. Viz Media. p. 26. ISBN 1-4215-0625-4.
7. ^ Hoshino, Katsura (2006). D.Gray-man, Volume 3. Viz Media. p. 81. ISBN 1-4215-0625-4.
8. ^ Hoshino, Katsura (2006). D.Gray-man, Volume 2. Viz Media. p. 119. ISBN 1-4215-0624-6.
9. ^ "本誌の内容" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Archived from the original on February 5, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080205071139/http://jump.shueisha.co.jp/henshu/backnumber/2004/27.html. Retrieved March 9, 2009.
10. ^ "D.Gray-man Manga-ka Ill". Anime News Network. 2005-11-07. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2005-11-07/d.gray-man-manga-ka-ill. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
11. ^ "D.Gray-man on Hiatus... Again". Anime News Network. 2006-02-04. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2006-02-24/d.gray-man-on-hiatus-again. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
12. ^ "Hoshino Puts D. Gray-man Manga on Hold Due to Health". Anime News Network. 2008-11-16. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-11-16/hoshino-puts-d-gray-man-manga-on-hold-due-to-health. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
13. ^ "Ediciones Glenat-ADIÓS, MUÑECA" (in Spanish). Glénat Manga. 2009-01-19. http://www.edicionesglenat.es/asp/noticia.asp?pid=447. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
14. ^ "Katsura Hoshino to Resume D.Gray-man Manga on March 9". Anime News Network. 2009-02-15. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-02-15/katsura-hoshino-to-resume-d.gray-man-manga-on-march-9. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
15. ^ "本誌 2009年 No.15" (in Japanese). Shueisha. http://jump.shueisha.co.jp/henshu/backnumber/2009/15.html. Retrieved 2009-03-10.[dead link]
16. ^ "Majin Tantei Nōgami Neuro Manga Ends in Japan on Monday". Anime News Network. 2009-04-20. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-04-20/majin-tantei-nogami-neuro-manga-ends-in-japan-on-monday. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
17. ^ "D. Gray-man to Move to Jump SQ. After 1/2-Year Hiatus". Anime News Network. 2009-08-17. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-08-17/d-gray-man-to-move-to-jump-sq-after-year-hiatus. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
18. ^ "New Viz Manga". Anime News Network. 2005-07-18. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2005-07-18/new-viz-manga. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
19. ^ "D.Gray-man/1" (in Japanese). Shueisha. http://books.shueisha.co.jp/CGI/search/syousai_put.cgi?isbn_cd=4-08-873691-5&mode=1. Retrieved 2008-04-30.
20. ^ "D.Gray-man/20" (in Japanese). Shueisha. http://books.shueisha.co.jp/CGI/search/syousai_put.cgi?isbn_cd=978-4-08-874764-4. Retrieved June 3, 2010.
21. ^ "(D.Gray-Man) (Paperback)". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/D-Gray-man-Vol-18-Katsura-Hoshino/dp/1421535432/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282913161&sr=8-1. Retrieved Augest 3, 2010.
22. ^ "D.Gray-man staff" (in Japanese). TV Tokyo. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/5iXtViOsJ. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
23. ^ "List of D.Gray-man episode titles (1-13)" (in Japanese). TV Tokyo. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/5iXtZS3Pu. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
24. ^ "List of D.Gray-man episode titles (39-51)" (in Japanese). TV Tokyo. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/5iXtcBr4t. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
25. ^ "List of D.Gray-man episode titles (52-64)" (in Japanese). TV Tokyo. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/5iXtepXhM. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
26. ^ "List of D.Gray-man episode titles (90-103)" (in Japanese). TV Tokyo. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. http://www.webcitation.org/5iXthuhvJ. Retrieved 2008-10-23.
27. ^ "Funimation Acquires Romeo x Juliet, D. Gray-Man (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2008-05-17. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-05-17/funimation-entertainment-acquires-romeo-x-juliet. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
28. ^ "FUNimation Entertainment Acquires D. Gray-Man from Dentsu". Mania Entertainment. 2008-05-19. http://www.animeondvd.com/news/pr.php?pr_view=1391. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
29. ^ "DVD第1巻発売は2007年2月7日!" (in Japanese). TMS Entertainment. 2007-11-01. http://www.tms-e.com/tv_movie/dgrayman/html/news.html#kiji06. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
30. ^ "D.Gray-man 2nd Stage 13" (in Japanese). Aniplex. http://www.aniplex.co.jp/dgrayman/dvdcd/dvd0213.html. Retrieved 2009-02-22.
31. ^ "D.Gray-man Season 1 DVD Part 1 (Hyb)". rightstuf.com. http://www.rightstuf.com/1-800-338-6827/catalogmgr/O18BbhYQbWmwFiLOxF/browse/item/82457/4/2730/108. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
32. ^ "D. Grayman: Season One, Part One [Blu-ray"]. Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002UOMGV0/. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
33. ^ http://www.funimationchannel.com/schedule/2_e037.htm
34. ^ "D.Gray-man Original Soundtrack 1". CDJapan. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=SVWC-7446. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
35. ^ "D.Gray-man Original Soundtrack 2". CDJapan. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=SVWC-7508. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
36. ^ "D.Gray-man Complete Best w/ DVD, Limited Pressing". CDJapan. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=SVWC-7576. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
37. ^ "D.Gray-man Original Soundtrack 3: TVサントラ, access, Rie fu, Sowelu, 星村麻衣, ステファニー, UVERworld: 音楽" (in Japanese). Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B001HK0DQS. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
38. ^ "D.Gray-man: Kami no Shitotachi". Game Spot. http://www.gamespot.com/ds/action/dgrayman/tech_info.html. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
39. ^ "D.Gray-man: Sosha no Shikaku". IGN. http://ps2.ign.com/objects/142/14260360.html. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
40. ^ "JUMP SUPER STARS". Nintendo. http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/ajsj/p3.html#. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
41. ^ "JUMP ULTIMATE STARS". Nintendo. http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/ajuj/index.html. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
42. ^ "D. Gray-man Reverse1" (in Japanese). Shueisha. http://books.shueisha.co.jp/CGI/search/syousai_put.cgi?isbn_cd=4-08-703156-X&mode=1. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
43. ^ "D. Gray-man Reverse2" (in Japanese). Shueisha. http://books.shueisha.co.jp/CGI/search/syousai_put.cgi?isbn_cd=4-08-703165-9&mode=1. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
44. ^ "D.Gray-man 公式ファンブック 灰色ノ聖櫃| 星野 桂" (in Japanese). Shueisha. http://books.shueisha.co.jp/CGI/search/syousai_put.cgi?isbn_cd=978-4-08-874248-9&mode=1. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
45. ^ "テレビアニメ D.Gray-man 公式ビジュアルコレクション 道化ノ聖画| 星野 桂/ジャンプ・コミック出版編集部" (in Japanese). Shueisha. http://books.shueisha.co.jp/CGI/search/syousai_put.cgi?isbn_cd=978-4-08-102076-8&mode=1. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
46. ^ "星野桂 D.Gray-manイラスト集 Noche  " (in Japanese). Shueisha. http://books.shueisha.co.jp/CGI/search/syousai_put.cgi?isbn_cd=978-4-08-782264-9&mode=1. Retrieved February 13, 2010.
47. ^ "Comipress News article on "The Rise and Fall of Weekly Shōnen Jump"". comipress.com. 2007-05-06. http://comipress.com/article/2007/05/06/1923. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
48. ^ "Top Manga Properties in 2008 - Rankings and Circulation Data". Comipress.com. December 31, 2008. http://comipress.com/article/2008/12/31/3733. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
49. ^ "Japanese comic ranking June 10-16". Anime News Network. 2008-06-18. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-06-18/japanese-comic-ranking-june-10-16. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
50. ^ "Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, September 3–9". Anime News Network. 2008-09-12. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-09-12/japanese-animation-dvd-ranking-september-3-9a. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
51. ^ "Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, November 7–13". Anime News Network. 2007-11-16. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2007-11-16/japanese-animation-dvd-ranking-november-7-13. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
52. ^ "Winners of PUFF 2006 Manga Best Ten Announced". comipress.com. 2007-03-06. http://comipress.com/news/2007/03/06/1598. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
53. ^ "Manga culte" (in French). at Glénat Manga. http://www.glenatmanga.com/manga-culte3.asp#d_gray_man. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
54. ^ "Manga-Based Novels Tops in Japan". ICv2.com. December 19, 2006. http://icv2.com/articles/home/9783.html. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
55. ^ "Full Frontal Alchemy - RIGHT TURN ONLY!!". Anime News Network. 2008-04-18. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/right-turn-only/2006-04-18. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
56. ^ "IGN: D. Gray-Man Vol. 1 Review". IGN. http://comics.ign.com/articles/702/702496p1.html. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
57. ^ "The Fall Anime Preview Guide". Anime News Network. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2006-10-22. Retrieved 2008-08-29.
58. ^ Henson, Brian (2007-05-01). "D. Gray-man Vol.#05 Review". Mania.com. http://www.mania.com/d-grayman-vol05_article_83103.html. Retrieved 2008-09-06.

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