Anyone remember Pierrot Le Fou from Cowboy Bebop? How can we forget that floating fat man, screaming with insane laughter as he tears his way through the landscape. I know D.Gray-man may not have the kung-fu style of Spike Spiegel, but “The Earl of Millennium” looks just like Pierrot Le Fou, and also happens to be a sick bastard too.
Regardless that my brain is still hurting from the craptastic shounen epic Kiba, this first episode of D.Gray-man was surprisingly impressive; showcasing suitable levels of gore and supernatural brutality, my ultimate interest in these Shounen Jump adaptations often rests on their mutli-talented casts. Ichigo of Bleach is a dull jock, so I can’t be bothered, but D.Gray-man’s Allen Walker offers a mysterious balance of “dark history” (represented by a striking red tattoo dripping down the left side of his face and an apparently demonic left arm ) with a shockingly pleasant personality. Just from his voice, its obvious Allen has a good heart, and no doubt, he should become a hero worth supporting.
D.Gray-man’s universe is based on an involving snap shot of late-Victorian England, an era full of little details and fascinating quirks- the fashions, the hair styles and the architecture of the time have been captured well, setting an intoxicating and foggy tone from which the supernatural adventure can begin. This undeniably human mythology, covering the classic themes of ghosts and exorcism, builds an important sense of belonging and familiarity for the viewer, lulling us into Allen’s weird and wonderful life, a world still capable of springing a few real shocks and grotesque surprises.
Based on this one episode, D.Gray-man has shown real potential. Completely coherent (compared with Kiba) and mysteriously atmospheric, it immediately reminded me of Fullmetal Alchemist, right down to the tragic truth of Allen’s dangerous profession. I plan to watch more, filled with the hope that this can become an involving and fascinating adventure.