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DVD Review

DVD cover

Season 2 - Part 2


Starring (voice): Sanae Kobayashi, Ai Shimizu, Hiroki Touchi and Hiroshi Yanaka
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £22.99
Certificate: 12
Available 18 October 2010

Allen Walker isn’t your average fifteen year old boy, for a start he has a piece of Innocence material embedded in his left arm. This allows his arm to be transformed into a monstrous claw, a claw he uses to destroy the Akuma. His power makes him a natural exorcist and a worthy addition to the Black Order, a group of exorcists dedicated to stopping the evil Earl and his army of Akumas. When the Earl mobilises his army to destroy the Black Orders generals, their most powerful exorcists, Allen and his friends are sent to retrieve General Cross, Allen’s original mentor...

D.Gray-Man (2006-2008) is a gothic horror anime series based on the manga written by Katsura Hoshino. The first season, consisting of fifty-one episodes, went under the umbrella title of '1st Stage' and was directed by Osamu Nabeshima, produced by Dentsu.

The second part of '1st stage' is presented as a two disc DVD set covering episodes 40 to 51 effectively finishing off season one of the show, so I’m not really sure why the disc is titled D. Gray-Man: Season 2 - Part 2 when it s actually part two of season one. Both discs have audio options for either an English 5.1 track or the original 2.0 Japanese track, with optional English subtitles. Disc one contains no extras.

When we left Allen he was in search of General Cross and in the previous review I noted that the show had moved away from interlinked stand alone stories, which moved the narrative forward, to an endless journey which made the same mistakes as many other long running anime, that of degenerating into fight of the week shows, unfortunately the opening episodes of the set continue this downward trend.

There are a number of tricks that directors have used in many anime shows which appear here, so we have the inevitable splitting of the group. This gives you the opportunity of doubling up the fights, which might fill air time but does little to push the story forward. So, it’s no surprise that on the first DVD, which contain episodes 40 to 45, Allen and Crowley find themselves separated from Lenaho and Lavi. Both groups meander through the countryside getting into various scrapes before the show shifts to Czechoslovakia and General Tiedoll, who with his companions fight Akuma in a famous mansion.

Disc two picks up the story with episode 46 and runs till the end of the season, which sees like an extraordinary amount of episodes to reunite the group, that alone takes up two episodes, before they are joined by a new character and finally get to China only to discover that Cross has left for Japan, his fate unknown.

The second DVD does have some extras in the form of the textless opening and closing sequence as well as a full length commentary for episode 50.

How disappointing to see a show, which started out with so much promise and visual flair, descend to the same level of its more average brethren. I can only hope that season two kicks the show back where it came from, otherwise this is likely to turn from an average show to a decidedly poor one.


Charles Packer

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