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D. Gray-Man Vol. #03 Manga ReviewPosted by John Rose
August 24, 2012 at 12:58 PM Share on Tumblr
Story/Art: Katsura Hoshino
Translation/Adaptation: Lance Caselman
What They Say
Allen and Lenalee are sent on a mission to a city where time has stood still; a place where the townsfolk forget that every day is the same day repeating itself. Strangely enough, a woman named Miranda is the only one unaffected by the time warp. Would it have anything to do with her being fired from her job for the hundredth time?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
After his previous exploits Allen Walker has finally made it back to headquarters where all he wants is to properly deposit the Innocence he and Kanada obtained and find his bed. Unfortunately for him he arrives in the midst of a blitz as a robot that Head Officer Komui made to try to help out with the paperwork has gone berserk and is targeting exorcists for “improvements” and anyone- including the rest of the staff- that gets in its way will find a very dangerous reception. Over matched and exhausted Allen may be no match for the rampaging beast and it may be time for Lenalee to show her stuff-if she can shake off the effects of her previous encounter with the robot in time.
Afterwards, with the mechanical terror defeated Allen goes back to the not exactly peaceful task of collecting Innocence before the Akuma can get a hold of them. To this end both he and Lenalee are dispatched to a city that seems to continually be repeating October 9th while the rest of the world moves on around it. Thanks to their abilities both Allen and Lenalee are able to enter the city that normal humans can’t but discover that they are just as trapped once inside as the residents until they figure out what is going on- and they won’t be able to spend time calmly pondering events as a number of Akuma have gravitated toward the city looking for Innocence as well.
With time (figuratively to some degree anyway) moving against them, Allen and Lenalee will have to uncover the secret behind this rewinding city and just how it connects with Miranda Lotto, a woman who seems to have a rather unfortunate nature and for whatever reason is the only person in the city who recognizes what is going on. Will the pair from the Black Order be able to solve this puzzle or will events spin out of control when they discover a brand new enemy they never imagine has arrived who isn’t what she appears and who has the power to take things in a horrible new direction?
Picking up shortly after the previous book left off, the next volume in the D.Gray-man saga serves to give another Exorcist her chance to shine as Allen gets a new partner in Lenalee Lee who is a lot more sympathetic a character then the brooding Kanada was. In an effort to balance out the gap between the emotions the previous volume left off with and those that this volume will present it seems the author decided kicks events off with a fast paced, action packed and often humorous little tale that serves as a welcome relief from the melancholy events of the previous volume before the series launches into yet another tale that wraps those who encounter Innocence in misfortune.
This time the Exorcists from the Black Order discover a different tale of woe as they stumble upon a woman who seems to be one of the most unfortunate people ever and as they talk they begin to suspect she may be more wrapped up in things than she can imagine. In some ways this is kind of a repetition of an early theme for this series as it seems the happiest people are those who never discover that there are more secrets hiding just out of sight of normal life and once dragged in to a realization of this truth their chances for misfortune grow exponentially. There is a bit of surprise to be found though as even in the midst of dealing with new revelations and dangers the author dangles hope in front of the reader as if to show that even in the darkest of places struggling isn’t meaningless.
With the development of Lenalee and the addition of a pair of new characters who will have roles to play the exploration of both the psyche of those who come into conflict with Innocence by fate and those who want it for power gets revealed a bit and the world of D.Gray-man begins to take a bit more shape. This book contains some wonderful rollercoaster like emotions as it mixes its humor, horror, despair and even hope into a complex weave that draws the reader in deeper than they may initially realize. If the book has flaws it may come from this pace as at times it feels like it would be interesting just to have a bit more exposition from some characters to help fill out their personalities in reacting to events and there are a couple of panels where the action is less clear than would be optimal to demonstrate what is going on. Still with the story starting to take some larger strides as it gets up to speed the book is a blazingly entertaining tale that mixes a number of emotions to produce maximum thrills.
When home sweet home isn’t, one wonders just how long Allen can keep up his frenetic hunt for Innocence. The question may be answered here when he and Lenalee are dispatched to a city that keeps repeating time and the pair discover not only have a number of Akuma managed to learn of the location and proceeded there but that there is a new threat that awaits them as well that even the Black Order is unaware of. With frightful powers gathered on both sides trying to obtain the Innocence will one seemingly bad luck cursed woman be the next innocent bystander to have her life consumed by the war raging in secret or does fate have a different role for her to play in all of this? Regardless of the outcome, the thrill ride of emotions that is D.Gray-man continues as the journey to flesh out its world and those who inhabit it storms forward in a bold and daring way.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: VizManga.com
Release Date: November 7th, 2006 (Print)
MSRP: $7.99 Print / $4.99 Digital
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