Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|D Gray-Man Season One Part One|
Actors: Sanae Kobayashi, Todd Haberkorn, Travis Willingham, Bryan Massey, Joel McDonald
Director: Osamu Nabeshima
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
A Hero is only as good as His Enemies Darkness is moving in, and young exorcist Allen Walker is humanity?s greatest hope against the wicked forces conspiring to bring civilization to its knees. Akuma ? cruel spirits born o... more »
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E. A Solinas | MD USA | 01/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If Tim Burton were ever to attempt a steampunk horror story, then I imagine the results would be something like "D.Gray-man."
And the first thirteen episodes of this gothic, deeply quirky anime attempts just that kind of atmosphere. "D.Grayman: Season 1 Part 1" starts off relatively slowly as it introduces the main storyline, the akuma and the sweet-natured Allan Walker. But the story really blossoms as our likable, haunted hero begins his new life among other exorcists.
Two cops are investigating an abandoned church when Officer Moore encounters a strange boy with a deformed hand, Allen Walker. After her partner is killed, Allen manages to save Moore from an akuma -- an enslaved human soul under the control of the evil Millennium Earl. When Allen is placed under house arrest in Moore's home, he reveals that the akuma is nearby... and its origins lie in a horrific tragedy from Moore's own past. Only Allen can stop it.
Later Allen arrives at the clifftop Exorcist Headquarters to introduce himself as an official exorcist. But things don't go very smoothly -- he's mistaken for a spy, the exorcists are weirdos, and the place is governed by mad genius Komui and eerie Hevlaska. But Allen finds out just what "Innocence" is, and why the exorcists are racing to find it.
His first missions are no less stressful: first Allen is called to accompany antisocial swordsman Kanda to an abandoned city haunted by a "ghost"... and a shapeshifting akuma. And he encounters a young boy determined to fight the akuma, but unaware that someone close to him is one -- and a face-to-face encounter with the Earl reveals the horrifying reason Allen became an exorcist.
Then Komui's sister Lenalee is sent with Allen to a town that is repeating the same day over and over -- and only the pitiful Miranda Lotto notices. But their mission is complicated by a mysterious human girl who has come to locate the hidden Innocence... and take it for the Earl.
Cyborg demons, cross-embedded magic arms, virus-filled biobullets, giant glowing worms with collagen lips, and a mountain fortress filled with eccentric exorcists out to save the world from a grinning, rotund demon who looks like a Blue Meanie and may (or may not) have rabbit ears. Yup, "D.Gray-man" is not your typical manga series, even as quirky horror goes.
And "D.Grayman: Season 1 Part 1" does an excellent job sticking to Hoshino Katsura's manga series, introducing a gothic Victorian world and introducing the akuma, the Earl, and the exorcists. It also lays the groundwork for what the Earl's plans are, and what the exorcists are doing. It's a pretty standard "get the artifacts before the bad guys do" goal, but with a couple interesting twists.
And along the way, we're given plenty of explosive, horrific action with macabre creatures, graveyards, little shadowy towns, and the tragic, horrific origins of the akuma. But lest the series become too grim, we get plenty of funny stuff as well -- including an entire episode devoted to Komui's deranged robot rampaging through Headquarters, trying to operate on the exorcists.
Allen is a pretty endearing hero from the start -- polite, apologetic, selfless and courageous, even when people are nasty to him. But he becomes truly striking character it's shown how got his cursed eye, white hair, and ability to kill akuma. He's backed by a solid supporting cast -- the snotty Kanda, sweet-natured Lenalee, eccentric Komui and frenetically depressed Miranda. And the Earl is a very creepy villain -- not just because he wants to kill God, but because he smiles cheerfully even as he destroys people.
"D.Grayman: Season 1 Part 1" has a few episodes that don't quite reach "superb," but it's an excellent start to an outstanding anime series. Absolutely brilliant -- and promises to get even better."
One of My Favorites!
Ayame Karisuma | Wisconsin, USA | 02/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The series does start out slow but picks up later. The first part indroduces you to characters, backgrounds, concepts, and you start to dip your foot into the plot. Later on, you're fully submerged into the plot and you cling to the end of your seat waiting for what comes next. Fights don't drag on forever but don't end too quickly. It's filled with lots of action, some dark stories, and humor that will have you laughing out loud.
I love the charaters in D. Gray-Man. They range so much and have so much personality to them. You get to know both bad and good guys and love them both, even the Earl.
I recommend this series to everyone."
Blu-ray: Entertaining series but no Japanese lossless audio,
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 01/07/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In 2004, mangaka Katsura Hoshino's "D. Gray-Man" was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine with 19 manga collected manga volumes currently released.
With the manga series popularity, in 2006, "D. Gray-Man" received its anime adaptation and in three years, a total of 103 episodes were featured in Japan on TV Tokyo and also received various video game series, soundtracks and also novels.
FUNimation Entertainment began releasing the series in the US via 13-episode volumes on DVD (with the most recent release being the season two part two) and now the first 13 episodes (season one part one) is being released on Blu-ray.
"D. Gray-Man" focuses on the 15-year-old character, Allen Walker, who is an exorcist who works for the Black Order, an organization that is trying to stop the main antagonist Millennium Earl. Earl wants to destroy humanity by creating an army of akuma. What Earl does is go to those who grieve for a love one that passed away and asks them if they want to see their love one alive and if they do, they just have to call out the deceased one's name.
In this case, Earl brings up this metal skeleton in which the soul of the dead comes alive and takes over the metal skeleton that are now akuma. Earl then urges for these akuma to kill the person that wished them back and take over their body in order to inflict more harm on humanity.
It is the job of the exorcists to stop these akuma and kill them but for Allen, unlike others who work for the Black Order, he understands their anguish of being revived to kill and having no control over what they do. Allen knows this from experience as he was tricked by Earl when he was young and ended up bringing his dead father Mana back to life as an akuma. And Mana cursing Allen with an eye that can detect and see the anguish of the soul that inhabits an akuma body.
Along with others in the Black Order, Allen learns through his visits to various villages of the evil of Millennium Earl but also that he has others working for him. And a race is on for both sides to look for 109 pieces of the "Innocence" which can be turned into anti-akuma weapons that the exorcist need to fight Earl and his akuma, while Earl wants these pieces to make sure that he can destroy them.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"D. Gray-Man: Season One Part One" is featured in 1080p High Definition (16×9). Overall, picture quality varies from episode-to-episode. The animation and character designs are well-done. I actually like how the characters are animated and although not a vibrant anime series (since a lot of the scenes take place indoors or during the night time, especially with a foggy atmosphere), there are colors that come out from the various visual effects from the red that comes off of Allen's eye to the green light aura around his arm, the blue of Yu's innocence sword or the orange and red from explosions and fire.
Part of the problem that I found is that the discoloration problems that were evident on "Samurai Champloo", "Basilisk" and several recent Blu-ray releases shows up. During closeups of a face, you can see these green splotchiness surrounding the faces of the characters. But it is important to note that the splotchiness and artifacting is not as evident as the two series mentioned but it does show up from time-t0-time. But because of this, I'm guessing that for this Blu-ray release, the video is an upconvert.
As for the audio, "D. Gray-Man: Season One Part One" is featured in Dolby TrueHD English 5.1. Dialogue is clear as it comes from the center channel, music and special effects from the front channels. During the more intense action scenes, good use of the booming effects as the bass is nice and punchy from the subwoofer and sound effects are strong coming from the surround channels. So, for the most part, lossless English track is pretty solid. Voice acting was also very well-done on the English dub track as well.
As for the Japanese track, on the back of the package it says that the audio is Dolby TrueHD 2.0 but when you see the menu of the disc, it is Dolby Digital 2.0 and the signal coming from the player and receiver shows it as Dolby Digital, so it's a missprint on the rear packaging.
I did enjoy the Japanese vocal track and for those who prefer watching their anime in Japanese, if you have a modern home theater receiver and a good 5.1, 7.2 or higher setup, you can have a more immersive setup by setting audio to come out on all channels. But it is important to note that the Japanese audio track is not lossless and I'm sure that anime Blu-ray fans who were excited about a Japanese lossless soundtrack may have issue with this.
Subtitles are in English.
"D. Gray-Man: Season One, Part One" comes with the following special features:
* Episode 2 Audio Commentary - Featuring audio commentary for episode 2 by Asst. ADR Director and voice actor (for Allen Walker) Todd Haberkorn and Luci Christian (voice actress of Lenalee Lee). Todd talks about the episode and being a voice actor trying out for a role and Luci Christian talks about being a writer and voice actress for the series.
* Textless Opening and Ending Theme - Textless themes for Abingdon Boys School's "Innocent Sorrow" and the ending theme "Snow Kiss" by NIRGILIS.
* Trailers - Featuring FUNimation Entertainment trailers.
"D. Gray-Man" so far is an entertaining anime series. It happens to also be the longest anime series out on Blu-ray in the US and with over a hundred episodes, it's going to take some dedication to follow the series with each volume only containing 13-episodes.
In some way, I found "D. Gray-Man" as appealing as "Fullmetal Alchemist" but with only 13-episodes so far, it's too early to tell how the overall season progresses. One thing that I did enjoy about this TV series is that each episode is connected and there are not as many filler episodes. One thing that tends to drag a series is too many stand-alone episodes and the good news about "D. Gray-Man" is that there is always an episode arc in regards to Allen's missions, so that was quite a positive.
Character-wise, so far I've enjoyed the supporting characters such as Lenalee Lee, Yu Kanda, Komui and a few others. Although, I wonder if the entire series primarily focuses on Allen (which it does so far) and if Lenalee will have her own episodes further into the series. I also enjoyed the character designs and also the costume designs of the characters. So, my first impression plot-wise is that for the first 13-episodes, so far, so good.
As for the Blu-ray release, I know that there are people who may be dissatisfied that there is no Japanese Dolby TrueHD soundtrack despite the package displaying a lossless soundtrack but I will say the English lossless soundtrack was very good and well-acted, also there is good use of the surround channels and the subwoofer during the action sequences.
There are not as many special features included on this Blu-ray release and it would have been good to have a few more commentary tracks instead of just the one for episode 2.
Again, it's important to emphasize that "D. Gray-Man" is a 103-episode TV series, so it is a much longer series compared to the average 13 to 26-episode anime TV series. I do wish there was 26-episodes included on each Blu-ray release but with this series being released not long after the DVD release in the US (and is still being released in the US at this time), I can understand.
So, before stepping into "D. Gray-Man", you may want to make sure you are committed to staying the course of purchasing multiple volumes of this series on Blu-ray. Overall, I found "D. Gray-Man" to be an entertaining series thus far and is another anime TV series worth adding to your anime on Blu-ray collection."
An Entertaining, Dramatic, and Comedic Anime Worth A Look
Rich | CA | 04/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you've seen and enjoyed the series Trinity Blood or Full Metal Alchemist you'll truly enjoy this series as it seems to be a combination of both. The main story seems to follow on two groups the Black Order a holy order trying to protect mankind from destruction by the dark group lead by the nefarious leader The Millennium Earl. The shows main cast character is a young exorcist Alan Walker who's left arm is imbued with an anti-akuma weapon(A mystical weapon use to destroy the akuma and free the trapped souls within). The show has a lot of hilarious parts so you'll won't see just straight drama and action and I truly appreciate that, I don't mind hardcore drama and action within a series but sometimes it gets a little monotonous seeing the characters like that all the time and seem to never loosen up. The animation is decent and clear for what you expect for recent animes and the voice cast for the Japanese and English characters were good too. Now my only problem is having to wait for Funimation to release the rest of this great series which hopefully won't be to long. So for fans of Full Metal Alchemist, Trinity Blood, or Hellsing try this series out you'll be shocked at how much you'll enjoy this show..."