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Manga Review

Book Cover

D. Gray-Man
Volume 2


Author: Katsura Hoshino
Artist: Katsura Hoshino
Viz Media
RRP: £5.99, US $7.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 4215 0624 1
ISBN-10: 1 4215 0624 6
Ages: T+ (For older teens)
Available 05 May 2008

Having gained entrance to The Black Order of exorcists, all be it with some reservations from some of its members, Allen Walker finally gets his first true mission against the Akuma, the soul weapons being used by the Millennium Earl to destroy all life on Earth...

D. Gray-Man: Volume Two - Old Man of the Land and Aria of the Night Sky continues Katsura Hoshino’s most excellent supernatural tour-de-force. In this volume we learn a little bit more about the background story.

The Innocence, being the mystical objects sought by both sides in this conflict, arose at the time of the great flood, which in D. Gray-Man was the last great face off between The Earl and the forces of good. The Innocence was split into one hundred and nine pieces and scattered around the world. It is these pieces which, when joined with a human, creates the anti-Akuma weapons. The weapons come in many forms, Allen’s replaces his whole left arm, creating a claw, though in this story, as he gets used to his Innocence weapon he learns to do a lot more with it.

The whole of Volume Two covers the story of Allen’s first real mission to the lost city of Mater in Southern Italy, a city which once created dolls to sing for them. However things went terribly wrong and now the city is a dark deserted place. Of course, a new mission means a new villain and this one looks like The Joker on acid. We are also introduced to another level of The Order, the Finders, who scour the land looking for the lost pieces of Innocence.

Yu Kanda, whose Innocence is in the form of a large sword, joins Allen in his quest, but things are not good between them as Yu considers Allen a rookie - likely not to survive - so not worthy of getting to know. Do they succeed? Well it would be a pretty short manga if they didn’t.

Once again, there are some very nice touches in the book. The artwork remains distinctive, and the story has some great touches of pathos, especially between the doll that they have come to find and her lifelong human companion. The balance between narrative and fight scenes still leans heavily towards narrative, which is unusual for a book aimed at a young male audience.

I continue to be impressed with this particular manga and if you're looking for something with a little more thought behind it you could do worse than pick up D. Gray-Man.


Charles Packer

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