First Impression – D. Gray-man Hallow

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8 years later and they’re still on those tedious fetch quests…

Wow, I guess to make things more exciting, they added some blood effects when the characters kill the Akuma. But anyways, it’s been a long time since D. Gray-man was an anime, so how has Hallow faired so far?

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As someone completely new to the series may have guessed from this first episode, they kind of just drop you where they left off with the past anime, so unless you’re good at filling in the blanks this probably isn’t the best place to start. The characters already have established relationships with the enemies, they’ve already had some of those classic shounen power-ups, and there’s political intrigue within the Black Order, so things are kind of complicated. I guess they skipped over a bit of the manga in order to get to this point too. To be totally honest, I never actually finished the first anime, so I’m not entirely sure where that story ended in relation to the manga, but I imagine that they did this because they wanted as much time for the arc that’s coming up. From the looks of the ED, they’re going to finally go into Kanda’s backstory, so it would be nice if they rearranged things a bit in order to not rush that. Apparently Hallow is only 13 episodes, so the more time, the better.

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However, the anime was actually pretty nice with easing people back into the story. The character’s powers and personalities were all reintroduced, and they’ve moved to a new location, so the characters are kind of getting a new start along with the anime. The voices and character designs have changed a lot as well, which would normally have been extremely jarring, but given the time gap between the anime, it isn’t too bad. If I didn’t know some of the seiyuu from the old cast so well, I might not have even noticed.

However, there are a few notable differences. I almost didn’t recognize Miranda from how… not stressed she looked. Plus Crowley’s new voice sounds much younger than I remember the original sounding. Surprisingly though, I’m pretty sure they’re using the same OST as the original anime (which is probably infinitely cheaper and easier than hiring 20+ people again for voice acting), so some things are familiar.

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As for the story itself, they certainly went into Allen’s relation to the 14th quickly. This was probably also a good refresher about Allen’s whole backstory with Mana, and a good starting point for the anime to grab the viewer’s interest since it’s pretty important. His position within the Black Order is kind of precarious since he may or may not be a kind of time bomb with his connection to the Noah. It seems a little odd that they would be concerned about Neah’s intentions behind killing the Earl, since that doesn’t really seem like a bad thing, but given what the other Noah have done to the Order, their suspicion is kind of justified.

Of course, Cross Marian’s murder was also a pretty big hook, and another lead into the problems going on in the Black Order. It seems kind of likely that one of the people on the inside did it as opposed to an Akuma or someone else from the Earl’s side.

I definitely want to finish the first anime (or if I’m lazy, look at the manga again) to see exactly what they cut out between the last season and this one, and to try and remember all of the events that happened prior to where the story is now. But as for this episode itself, it was a nice refresher for the characters and general situation. The action scenes look good so far and while the character designs have changed a bit, the characters are still identifiable. Allen still looks like Allen. It’s not like they made his hair blue or anything (…which may be another reason why I didn’t recognize Miranda at first since she had a darker brown to her hair before). Overall, I’m excited for the new season, and even though there are some changes, there are still some things that are nostalgic too. Like the soundtrack, or how the OP and ED are kind of in the same style as the original anime (plus there are the scenes from the past arcs during the character intros in the OP, which probably helps).

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Welcome back to D. Gray-man. Now have an important character death!


University student and the one at Metanorn who's known for wearing glasses. Likes blood, insanity and plot twists, but also plays otome games and adores cute romance anime. It balances out... somehow.
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12 Responses to “First Impression – D. Gray-man Hallow”

  1. sonicsenryaku says:

    “Welcome back to D. Gray-man. Now have an important character death!”

    I love you guy’s sense of humor. PS. Allen and lenalee are adorable together…..moving on

    • Karakuri says:

      Haha thanks! And yeah they were pretty adorable. D. Gray-man never really did much with romance, but I always shipped them together…

  2. akagami says:

    I barely remember anything from the original anime, so going into this felt a bit jarring because other than Allen, Lenalee, and Lavi, I don’t remember any of the characters.

    Also took a look and realized that the oriiginal series was 103 episodes long. I don’t know how I managed to finish watching it~ I clearly don’t remember much about what happened to be totally honest.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Also took a look and realized that the oriiginal series was 103 episodes long. I don’t know how I managed to finish watching it

      That’s easy to surmise. You were younger, had more time on your hands and less responsibilities to adhere to. I’m not off the mark, am I?

      • akagami says:

        No, it was more of how did this manage to keep my attention for 100 episodes? The only series that has managed to do that is One Piece.

        Only a couple of others have reached the 50 mark (Gundam Seed and HxH, although the latter I finished probably out of the sake of finishing). Might be a couple of others that have slipped my mind.

    • Karakuri says:

      Yeah, I was expecting a bunch of flashbacks or something, but I guess they kind of did that in the OP…

      And I know what you mean. It feels kind of shorter when you’re watching it. But hopefully what you remember is enough to follow this anime!

  3. akagami says:

    To be totally honest, I never actually finished the first anime, so I’m not entirely sure where that story ended in relation to the manga, but I imagine that they did this because they wanted as much time for the arc that’s coming up.

    From what I do recall, the Earl had been trying to recruit Allen, and there was this child Noah who had kidnapped Lenalee, or something. My memory is so poor =/

    There might have been more after that, but that’s all I can recall as far as major plot items. =S

    • Karakuri says:

      Oh, I remember that all happening too haha. There was the whole Noah’s arc thing after that, the level 4 Akuma, and also zombies (ish).

  4. zztop says:

    I might follow this for Katsura Hoshino’s designs – I loved her character art for Valvrave the Liberator.

    I still think it’s a pity she’s never done any other titles apart from D-Gray Man – maybe it’s a workload issue.

    • Karakuri says:

      I really like her designs too. It’s just too bad that she wasn’t active for a while…

      I do know that she had health issues or something the first time D. Gray-man took a long break….

  5. BlackBriar says:

    My first and only exposure to D. Gray Man’s existence was a DVD advertisement from one of the Funimation box sets in my possession. It was from Burst Angel, if I recall correctly. Apart from that, I never saw the series for certain reasons but was interested to see it at a point.

    Since I don’t have the time or means to get up to speed on the show’s story progression through the first season (103 episode demands a lot of time), I’ll wing it and start my journey right here. Not a bad opener and there are elements I can easily get into.

    • Karakuri says:

      Good luck then! Hopefully you understand enough… The story is great though, so I highly recommend watching or reading up until this point whenever you have time

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