There will be major spoilers related to the story of D. Grayman before the new series, D. Grayman Hallow. If you have not watched the original 103 episodes of the series please do not read this review until you have unless you don’t really care about spoilers. Also this is not a complete summary so don’t use this review to catch up before watching D. Grayman Hallow.
Yesterday I finished watching D. Grayman. I did not watch Hallow but I did start watching that yesterday after I finished the original series. I liked the original series though I did have a few problems with a couple of characters and how the plot was paced but in the end it makes sense how the plot was paced.
The first 25 episodes or so were mostly episodes where Allen and the others are hunting for innocence. They meet two new accommodator’s along the way and these two new characters end up being interesting recurring characters later on who are almost as important as the original four characters of Allen, Lenallee, Kanda, and Lavi.
These episodes end in the death of General Yeeger which seems to be the inciting force of the rest of the series. Up to this point it has been nothing but introductions but this moment in the anime ended all that. It also upped the stakes of the battles that the exorcists had to fight since all of a sudden there is a force that can defeat even the strongest of exorcists. I also did not feel for any of the main characters until a little bit after this because now anyone can die at any time and it doesn’t seem that anyone has a plot shield. Though this inciting force is placed so late into the series it works well to give the characters a visible goal in the war between acuma and exorcists. It also shows the people watching who the protagonists will have to end up beating until the series is over. By this I mean Road and Tyki and not the Millennium Earl because he won’t be defeated until near the end of the series as a whole which includes Hallow.
The next episodes almost made me quit because for about 25 episodes Allen and Lenallee are traveling to find General Cross. They become separated for a while as Lenallee goes and does a few things. Meanwhile other characters get episodes centered around them. They get back together but then a big battle happens where a bunch of people die including 6 exorcists and they miss it. They then go to Bulgaria where they meet up with Lavi and Krory. After this point the episodes follow these characters heading east while battling Lulu Bell. While there are a few major plot points in these episodes including the death of Daisya I found them boring until the battle happened. However Lulu Bell and her maid acuma simply annoyed me because the acuma seemed to be mainly there as comic relief until she almost died while Lulu Bell stood at the sidelines until she had a chance to destroy innocence which meant that she didn’t do much. I do think that having an antagonistic character be the cat of the clan of Noah is a really cool idea though even if it meant that she made her minions do most of the work.
When the four of them finally make it to the east coast of China they get on a ship and head to Japan but before they can make it too far acuma attack and Allen ends up trying to save Suman whose innocence has gotten out of control due to him nearly dying during that big battle earlier. Allen fails at this and nearly dies at the hands of Tyki but is saved by his innocence and the Asian branch of the order. Again this shows how none of the characters are safe since even the apparent protagonist ends up nearly dying. The thing that annoyed me most about this part of the anime was the fact that someone from the Asian branch came to tell Lenallee and Lavi that they had Allen but failed to literally mention that Allen was alive at the branch. This caused the two of them to grieve until they realized that Allen was still alive when he showed up to save Lenallee from the Earl. This also caused several annoying moments where I wanted someone to get mad at Wong for being too vague. This could have all been avoided had either Lavi or Lenallee said something along the lines of “so he’s dead?” in which case Wong would have said that he was alive.
After this there were several major battles all of which I enjoyed. There were also a few major plot points which were hinted upon but will not be fully explored until Hallow. The fights on the ark were all interesting because there was variety. Skinn was super strong so Kanda had to go all out which didn’t happen until then. The twins were tricky and grew more powerful once they combined which forced Krory to use an ability he didn’t know he had. Lavi and Allen struggled against Road and Tyki but ended up winning in the end. Then Tyki grew more powerful which was too much for Lavi and Allen. At that moment General Cross showed up and I was so happy because they had finally accomplished their goal after over 60 episodes. What I liked best about this part was the fact that Allen knew subconsciously how to control the ark so he was able to save everyone on it and carry everyone instantly to headquarters which meant that there weren’t 30 episodes of travelling after the battle in Japan.
Next a character who looks a lot like Hitler is introduced and he doesn’t trust Allen because he knew how to control the ark. This is okay because an ordinary exorcist shouldn’t have this ability. There are several quiet episodes which I like since there were about 30 episodes of straight action during the battle in Japan. But these quiet episodes don’t last long as they shouldn’t because there is a war and there shouldn’t be so much quiet during a war. There is a threat which is defeated within a few episodes which ends up killing a few minor characters which was pretty sad. This threat becomes a serious threat as the exorcists end up encountering the strongest acuma they have come across so far, a level 4.
Lavi and Kanda can’t use their weapons to fight it since their weapons broke during the battle in Japan. This leaves Allen and the generals all of which are defeated fairly quickly. This is when Lenallee needs to use her innocence which she hadn’t used for 60 episodes to help defeat the acuma along with Allen who is using his innocence to move his broken body. Then she becomes super strong and the series ends after the survivors are rescued and they grieve for the fallen.
I don’t like Lenallee. Or at least I didn’t like her after she lost the use of her innocence during the voyage to Japan. This made her seem to be weaker as a character than she was. She would scream for her friends while doing nothing to help them. I know that her innocence isn’t working right but if she is the type of character to do anything to save her friends as evidenced by the fact that she forced herself to use her innocence despite having a weak connection to it then she should be doing more than sitting in a box and punching her legs while Allen and Lavi are being wrecked. She could have yelled something helpful other than their names. She could have tried activating her innocence. She could have done anything to help them. What she did do was make herself look like a weak character instead of the strong one she should be.
Also I didn’t like how some minor details were revealed. For instance I didn’t even know that Lenallee was Chinese until they were in China. Maybe if I had heard her last name before then it would have helped me piece things together. I couldn’t even look at the differences between Asian characters and European characters to make this connection because there is little to no correlation. I also didn’t know what the Bookman’s anti-acuma weapon was because it wasn’t shown until he saved Lavi at around episode 40. And also it seems like where ever they go everyone speaks perfect English because though I watched the subbed version headquarters was in England so everyone would have spoken that language. This makes no sense to me but it makes little to no difference to the plot so its not really an issue just confusing.
I did enjoy though despite the few issues I had with it. It is a rather dark anime as you would expect from a show where the premise is based around a villain who uses tragedy to force people to call their loved ones from the dead to create acuma which hold these souls hostage until they were exorcised. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who dislikes watching dark anime and other TV shows. I am excited to watch Hallow and will review that in the future as well though I don’t know how far that is going to be in the future since I would like to wait to do a full review after it ends but I also would like to do a review that only covers the first few episodes first. I’ll do it someday.