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Manga Review

Book Cover

D. Gray-Man
Volume 3


Author: Katsura Hoshino
Artist: Katsura Hoshino
Viz Media
RRP: £5.99, US $7.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 4215 0625 8
ISBN-10: 1 4215 0625 4
Ages: T+ (For older teens)
Available 05 May 2008

Alan Walker, a 15-year-old exorcist and member of The Black Order, has successfully completed his first mission, earning a certain amount of grudging acceptance by Yu Kanda. Having delivered the Innocence that he rescued in Mater Walker he is ready for a new mission - this time with the vivacious Lenalee Lee - as they head towards a walled city where the same day is repeated. However, before they can do this there is a little housekeeping to be done at the Black Orders headquarters...

D. Gray-Man: Volume Three - The rewinding City sees the first chink in what has otherwise been a very enjoyable manga from Katsura Hoshino, as the whole day repeating itself story has been done to death in other genres. Although I had definite reservations about this, the book's take on an old idea is pulled off nicely, even if it did steal more that a little from Groundhog Day.

A new volume and some new characters to meet, in the city, where time repeats itself. Apart from the exorcists, Walker and Lee, only Miranda appears to be aware of the time loop - and it's driving her loopy. The few advantages that it brings her (one being the ability to avoid poo thrown by children) are far outweighed by the obvious psychological damage that it is doing her.

Before the two ever get to that point though the book's first chapter goes off on a comic tangent with a pretty much stand alone story about a rampaging robot created by Komui Lee, head of The Orders science division and brother to Lenalee. It's an okay story, but its real reason for existence is to introduce us properly to Lenalee, who has so far only really been seen in passing. When that is out of the way, the book’s arc starts properly.

A new book and a new villain but, rather than just add in another psychotic psychedelic creature, Lenalee and Walker are confronted by Road Kamelot, a superhuman who is allied with The Millennium Earl and a descendant of Noah. This increases the scope of the book, adding a new element rather than treading old ground. I did wonder how they were going to stop the book from descending into villain of the week, but rather than this, each book enriches the back-story and the environment of Allen Walkers world.

The artwork remains strong, as does the storyline, which let's face it is all you can ask of a manga.


Charles Packer

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