It’s been eight years since we last saw Allen Walker kicking some serious Akuma butt. Eight long years since the last time I cosplayed as Yu Kanda.
Last night I felt like a fangirl waiting to see her icon for the first time after a long hiatus. This review though is not going to be biased, I assure you.
What is this Anime about
‘D.Gray-man Hallow’ is based on Katsura Hoshino’s manga series of the same name and it picks up almost where the last series were left.
Allen Walker is a young Exorcist of the Black Order organization whose prime purpose is destroying weapons called Akumas. The Akumas were created by a being known as the Millenium Earl, an ally of the immortal Noah family. The Exorcists use mighty weapons called Innocence to make their lives easier and to fill the show with amazing action sequences.
Because the last series ended eight years ago, ‘The Fourteenth’ had the tedious task of explaining a few things to the newcomers and of giving the veterans a few moments to reacquaint themselves with the characters.
The opening scene is an obligatory action sequence where we see Allen and his friends fighting some Akumas, a perfect reminder of what the Exorcists do for a living. There is nothing like a fight to get you heated up. After the battle, our cast of colorful characters head to their new headquarters (since their last was utterly destroyed).
Since I want to keep all my reviews SPOILER FREE, I am not going to delve into details.
Yet, there are a lot of scenes that will make sense and a lot that won’t. My advice is, whether you return to D.Gray-man or you are a newcomer, to read an overview of the characters and the plot from the previous series. It will make things easier to understand and the episode more enjoyable. Half the episode is dedicated to explaining the backstory through some flashback sequences, but I had to re-watch them a few times to fully understand them.
Those who have never seen the series will almost certainly find themselves lost in the pre-established lore. If you have a friend who’ve seen the 2006 ‘D-.Gray-man’, buy him a coffee and have him answer all your questions. You will learn more about the awesome universe of ‘D.Gray-man’ and you’ll cultivate your personal relationships. Win-Win.
It’s evident that the series will insist on the dark themes of the first anime. It plays on the concepts of good and evil, their dependence on each other, and their existence on each and every one of us. Death, loss, adversity, friendship, and camaraderie, will probably be heavily featured as themes during the course of the series.
‘D.Grayman Hallow’ is a direct sequel to the TMS Entertainment 2006-2008 anime written by Reiko Yoshida and directed by Osamu Nabeshima and Nana Harada. This time the direction wheel goes to Yoshiharu Ashino with Kaoru Wada returning to provide the music.
This series also features new voice casts, most notable Ayumu Murase as Allen Walker and Shinnosuke Tachibana as Howard Link. The anime’s opening theme song is “Key -bring it on, my Destiny-” by Lenny code fiction, and the ending is “Lotus Pain” by Mashiro Ayano.
Allen Walker （Ｃ）星野桂／集英社・D.Gray-man 製作委員会
Howard Link Ｃ）星野桂／集英社・D.Gray-man 製作委員会
The episode was a little heavy on its attempt to explain as much as it could (not very successfully), but there was a good balance of action, lighthearted moments, and plot-establishing. The dark overarching feel of the first series feels like it will be maintained for this sequel.
The animation was fine but some shaky moments and low-budget scenes clearly indicate that the money didn’t actually flow for this run. The saturated color palette felt different from what the fans were used to, but overall the animation was consistent without any major flaws.
And the rating is…
I admit that the rating might have been a little lower if I wasn’t a fan of the series.
Yet, the episode served more like a connection between the past and the future and it should be judged as such. I had fun watching Allen and his friend fighting Akumas, being introduced to their new base of operations, and slowly being drawn into their new adventures. I am excited enough to want to find out what’s in store for Allen and the Black Order.