D.Gray-man Volume 23 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
Allen Walker lives in a fictional version of 19th century Earth. The 15-year-old searches for a substance called “Innocence,” some of which has bonded with his left arm to form a bladed weapon. Allen is an Exorcist, one of many fighting the evil Millennium Earl and his minions, the demons known as “Akuma.” Allen is also a very special Exorcist, and the Earl knows that.
As D.Gray-man, Vol. 23 (entitled Searching for Allen Walker) opens, we see into Allen Walker’ past. Now, everyone knows the truth about him. Inside Allen resides “The Fourteenth,” a legendary Noah (which is a special class of demon). Because of this, Allen has left his friends behind to go on a new journey.
Now the Exorcists’ leadership organization, the Black Order, has deemed Allen one of the Noah and has made him a wanted man. Yu Kanda, whom Allen saved, and Johnny Gill begin a long search for Allen. But the Noah have already found him.
THE LOWDOWN: The D.Gray-man manga is a series constantly in flux. It has been an action/fantasy, a battle manga, a fantasy drama, a fantasy horror, a fantasy adventure, and even a comic fantasy. The art style seems to change about every four volumes or so. Sometimes, the story is a muddle of action sequences that are almost incomprehensible; other times, the story is straight-forward and melodramatic.
But that is the good thing about this series. It’s always wild and crazy, and sometimes, readers get a particularly good volume, as is the case with Vol. 23. D.Gray-man also has an X-Men vibe about it, which makes it like a superhero comic book, a cool superhero comic book.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for superhero action/fantasy in a manga will enjoy the Shonen Jump Advance title, D.Gray-man.