Anime Review: D.Gray-man HALLOW
Amazon: (links for the box set will be placed here as soon as it's released)
Synopsis: Despite the recent Akuma attack, the members of the Black Order are in high spirits as they set about moving to a new base. Immediately upon his arrival, however, Allen Walker is suddenly called by the Central Agency and has his arm forcefully sealed by the Order. He is then led to a surprising meeting with his master, General Cross Marian, who reveals staggering secrets surrounding the enigmatic 14th Noah.
A phantom thief incident, the arrival of a mysterious group of Exorcists, the death of an important comrade, and an all-out battle against the Noah Family—just what does this mean for Allen, Yuu Kanda, and the rest of the Order? This is but the beginning of a series of strange, seemingly unconnected events that lead to something far greater.
Review: So finally the continuation of the D.Gray-man anime is here, and I'm so excited about my favourite manga arc finally being animated. I've spoken briefly before about my passionate love of D.Gray-man before in my Top 10 Manga Recommendations, and nothing has changed since then; I'm here though to talk about the newish (because I am a slow reviewer) adaption that came out last summer!!
The first thing to say is that this is definitely a continuation, and so explains very little about the background to this arc; so on that note I'd advise that before watch you either go and watch the older D.Gray-man anime, or if you don't have that much time go and read the fantastic manga (which you should do anyway it's incredible). This is mostly due to the fact that this arc is incredibly important to the character development of Allen and Kanda Yu, and so I think it's worth knowing the context when dealing with characters emotions.
Okay so here are the good things about this adaptation before I get onto what I didn't like about Hallow. Firstly the story is just as good in animated form as it is in the manga; there is so much fantastic character development for almost every single character involved in the battle, this even includes the Earl who's the antagonist of the story. You learn so much about the Earl, Allen, and Kanda during this arc, that you'll feel differently about each character by the end. It also still comes pack full of humour and never say die spirit which suits me perfectly, and I definitely finished watching this loving the story even more.
The animation is absolutely gorgeous and sticks very closely with the original art, and the story line stuck very closely with the manga which suited me just fine. I did find the voices a little off though as they'd changed the Japanese voice actors, and I always tend to find that a little jarring because I get a little attached to a characters voice. The pace also feels a little rushed when you compare it to the manga, and even when you compare it to the previous anime; this is likely because they only made thirteen episodes and honestly it's a shame they didn't make more as I felt like something was missing.
The feeling that something was missing for me continued throughout the anime, and I did not have the big emotional reaction I had when I read this arc in the manga; though I can't say I didn't love seeing my favourite manga return in animated form after a six year break, but I can't honestly say that this was the best adaptation that could have been produced. I always struggle criticising something I so passionately love, but I thing it's due to this love that I am so critical; honestly I cannot recommend D.Gray-man enough, the story is incredible, and honestly if you are new to it I don't think you'll notice half the issues I did. I just wanted more from it because it's my favourite.
Recommend: Yes always, I love D.Gray-man and honestly think it's one of the best stories around at the moment.