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Published:June 11th, 2010 22:32 EST
D.Gray Man, interesting, yet predictable.

D.Gray Man, interesting, yet predictable.

By Tony Graff


My younger brother introduced me to D.Gray Man while I was halfway done enjoying Fullmetal Alchemist. Having been in close contact with the anime... we`ll say culture, for now, for over a decade, I`ve gained a vast knowledge of this global peculiarity, which makes a series as popular as D.Gray Man a little bit of a disappointment. 

It wasn`t a bad series, the story was well told, the characters were original, but much of the series was pattern based, and predictable. You can find these same elements in Bleach, Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, and many, many others.
The first thing I noticed is the main character, Allan Walker. In the first episode, we find out that there are demonic creatures called Akuma - one of the Japanese words for devil, go figure - and there are special people called exorcists who have special and unique weapons to destroy them. But, since Allan is the main character he has a curse that makes him even more special. Allan`s scar covers his left eye, and looks more like a tattoo, its that neat and well cut. You can find similar scars that look cool in Rorouni Kenshin, several in Naruto, and Edward Elric from Fullmetal. But this isn`t an ordinary scar. It gives him the ability to see the innocent soul that is trapped in the akuma form. That sounds more like a gift than a curse, because it is obvious in the other characters that it is quite a useful thing to have. But our hero sees it as an excuse to be emotional about his past. 
Next is the "mad with power" character. Every series has one. They have authority, either in knowledge or in leadership or research that makes them to useful to replace. This seems to give them the prerogative to be as crazy as they want. Dr. Stein from Soul Eater, Lloyd from Code Geass, and for D.Gray Man, we have Komui. He`s eccentric, he`s giddy, and has the craziest ideas to solve simple problems, which he executes with loving glee. Of course he`s mad with power, have you ever been mad without power? It`s boring, no one listens to you. 
And, the last staple cliche that I`ll use to tear down D.Gray Man is the useless episode. It does nothing to progress the central plot, usually involves useless tasks for the characters. It`s like they let the animators tape simple daily tasks to a dartboard and blindfold one of them to decide what they are going to do with this filler episode. Some are bad enough that the series is cancelled because the useless episode lives up to its name. MAR is one such series. 
Setting those things aside, D.Gray Man still proved to be an entertaining show. There are some deep moments, and characters that sometimes even stray from what we stereotypically think that person is. The animation is stylized for the story they tell, and the entire series is complemented by the English dubbing staff of Funimation studios. It`s not going to stand out as great anime, but it certainly isn`t going into the recycle bin any time soon.