D.Gray-man is set in England at the end of a fictitious 19th century. A 15-year-old boy named Allen Walker is the main character of the series, who was abandoned by his parents due to a "deformed" left arm. Allen was adopted by a traveling clown named Mana Walker. When Mana died, Allen was approached by Millennium Earl, who offered to resurrect Mana. However, Mana reappeared in a machine called an Akuma, and the Akuma was ordered to kill Allen. Allen's "deformed" left arm had a substance called Innocence embedded into it, and his arm became an anti-Akuma weapon. Against his will, Allen killed Mana. Before Mana died, Allen's left eye was cursed; the curse gives Allen the ability to see the souls of Akuma.
After Allen discovered that Millennium Earl was tricking people to resurrect their loved ones into Akuma in order to create an army to destroy mankind, Allen decided to train himself in order to stop Millennium Earl. As part of his training, he became an apprentice to General Cross, an exorcist of the Black Order. Allen is sent to the Black Order's headquarters at the beginning of the series, where he meets and fights alongside other Exorcists.
When I first started watching the episodes in this set, I kept seeing things that reminded me too much of Fullmetal Alchemist. These similarities include the time period, the "bean sprout" insult used in regards to the main character's size, and the main characters in both series trying to bring a loved one back to life. I believe there were some other similarities as well, but those are the main ones that stick out to me as I'm writing this review.
Admittedly, seeing these similarities with Fullmetal Alchemist was a little distracting as I was watching the episodes, and it made the series feel a little derivative. Fortunately, by the time I finished watching this set, the series started finding ways to differentiate itself from Fullmetal Alchemist. D.Gray-man isn't a bad show, but it does take a little while for it to get going and to find its own identity.
When it comes to this S.A.V.E. release, I believe that all that FUNimation did was to combine two previous DVD releases into one. The first and third discs only contain an episode commentary as an extra. On the first disc, the commentary is for episode two, "The Black Order." On the third disc, the commentary is for episode 18, "Lenalee's Love."
On the second disc, there are two extras listed: "Textless Songs" and "Trailers." In "Textless Songs," there are textless versions of the first opening and the first closing available. The trailers available on this disc are for: Kurau Phantom Memory, Fullmetal Alchemist, Dragon Ball Z, Project Blue Earth SOS, Murder Princess, Dragon Ball GT, Samurai 7, and D.Gray-man.
The fourth disc also contains textless songs and trailers. There are textless versions of the first opening and the second closing included on this disc. The trailers on this disc are for: Origin, Venus Versus Virus, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid, xxxHOLiC, Kaze no Stigma, Big Windup!, One Piece, and D.Gray-man.
If you're a fan of D.Gray-man and haven't already purchased the series on DVD, this would be a good item for you to purchase. Since FUNimation has now released this title under its S.A.V.E. line, this means that the company doesn't intend to hold on to the license for too much longer. In an interview on Anime News Network's ANNCast podcast, company representatives admitted that once a series is released as a budget-line S.A.V.E. edition, it is the last chance consumers have to purchase a series before the company drops the license. In other words, if you haven't purchased D.Gray-man on DVD before now, you probably should consider doing so before it's too late.
|The Boy Who Hunts Akuma|
The Black Order
The Ghost of Mater
Old Man of the Soil and a Lonely Night's Aria
Let Me Hear the Lullaby
That Which Calls Forth Disaster
Tombstone Of Memories
|The Black Order Annihilation Incident|
The Rewinding Town
The Bad Luck Woman's Innocence
Miranda Lotto's Feelings
And Snow Falls Over the Town
With the Coat
|The Leaf of Revival|
Beyond The Snowstorm
Pride of the Swordsman
Vampire of the Solitary Castle
Go for It, Exorcists!
The Truth About Eliade
The Vampire Whom I Loved
Krory's New Beginning
The General's Chains
The Beginning of the End