D. Gray-Man, Season Two Part One – DVD Review

Review by: Clive Owen

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $59.98 US
Running Time: 300 minutes
Genre: Supernatural/Action
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now

This is the beginning of a war on the Exorcists.

Like most fans of D. Gray-Man, I found the first season to be a pleasant beginning and introduction to the world of the Exorcist and, of course, of Allen Walker who is an excellent protagonist in a story that is just getting more interesting. If anything, Part One of Season Two of D. Gray-Man is past the getting-to-know-you stage and moving on to the beginning of what is looking to become some exciting times up ahead for Allen Walker and his fellow Exorcists.

In the finale of the first season, the Millennium Earl sends his followers – known as the Clan of Noah – to kill an Exorcist General and they accomplish the task. It is Allen Walker who realizes that the Earl is after Generals for the power they wield. Chief Komui, meanwhile, doesn’t want to wait for the Millennium Earl to strike again so he sends various Exorcists and Finders to locate each Exorcist General and protect them. As it turns out, Allen is sent out to find General Cross … Allen’s troublesome mentor.

Setting out to Liverpool, England in search of the only person who might know where General Cross might be spending his days, Allen recounts to Lenalee what it was like to be with the scoundrel. We catch a good glimpse of what young Allen was like and his training but mostly Allen concentrates on the fact that his mentor was always being sought after for owing money all over the place so Allen had to work hard to pay off his Master’s debt. In England, though, Allen and Lenalee discover that Liverpool is being plagued by Akuma that might be connected to a local hospital. We also meet an old woman from Allen’s past he calls “Mother.”

Meanwhile, Krory – the vampire we met in Part Two of Season One – has officially become an Exorcist and is on his first real assignment by the Black Order. A tad scared to be on his own, he is delighted when he runs into Lavi and Bookman who accompany Krory to a small farming village. To all their horror, the three discover that the village has befriended an Akuma that is so friendly that the villagers have given it shelter and a job. When Lavi and Bookman threaten to destroy the Akuma, the villagers defend it! Krory is the only one who believes that the Akuma might actually be different in a good way. Sometimes things aren’t always as they seem and sometimes they are.

Krory isn’t the only character from the first season ready to step into the shoes of an Exorcist because the still unlucky Miranda is on her way to the Black Order to become an Exorcist. Lugging her favorite grandfather clock, Miranda realizes that she’s lost and it isn’t until she meets a family of traveling performers that come under the attack of an Akuma that she might not be cut out to become an Exorcist. Another familiar face, however, convinces her that she does seeing as it takes guts to actually make the journey to the Black Order headquarters.

On the way to Barcelona, Spain, Kanda is on a mission to find an even more elusive Exorcist General. On his way, though, he meets a Finder named Goz who is the survivor of an Akuma attack in the forest said to contain a witch. Together with Goz – who is actually hilarious – Kanda discovers the identity of the witch. While Allen is stuck in Liverpool solving his own mystery, Lenalee meets up with Goz and a fellow Exorcist named Suman who doesn’t care about anything but his mission. Yet it’s a little girl who convinces the icy-hearted Suman to help her rescue her mother.

It isn’t until the final chapters when Kanda and two Exorcists – Marie and Daisya – are close to locating General Tiedoll that things get really interesting. An army of Akuma is nearing Barcelona and the body count for the Finders and Exorcists climb. A member of the Clan of Noah confronts Daisya in a battle that ends surprisingly as Allen Walker fights to reach his friends and the General. Oh yeah, things are definitely getting darker and more interesting in D. Gray-Man.

Still, it’s good to see that there’s a calm before this storm as the early episodes in this first part of Season Two hasn’t lost its good sense of humor. For example, Allen takes a break from his journey to head out of Liverpool by joining a group of kids looking to rid the seas of a mysterious pirate ship. The addition of Miranda and Krory is also a good one and here’s hoping we see more of Goz whose crybaby antics and Keanu Reeves-like delivery is actually funny.

Part One of Season Two of D. Gray-Man is a step above the first season of this series as events start getting more interesting as the enemy is finally getting serious. The overall tone of the first few episodes are light but they’re a good setup for the darker and more exciting final moments of this first part. We are definitely looking forward to see what happens next with Part Two.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: B+
With the Millennium Earl and his Clan of Noah targeting Exorcist Generals, it’s up to Allen and his fellow Exorcists to find and protect them. As Allen travels with Lenalee to find Allen‘s mentor, the other Exorcists try to locate a wandering General that is one of the main targets. Meanwhile, new Exorcists Miranda and Krory try to make sense of their new occupation.

VIDEO QUALITY: B+
The series still sports some interesting animation in terms of the character design and the action gets fierce and impressive in the last few episodes.

AUDIO QUALITY: B
The voice acting in the series is still good and more so if you prefer the original Japanese voices. The music is equally good and so are the opening tune (“BRIGHTDOWN” performed by Nami Tamaki) and the closing song (“Yume no Suzuki” performed by surface).

EXTRAS: D
There are trailers and the clean opening and closing songs in the second disc but unlike the last season’s set there’s no audio commentary track in this one.

OVERALL: B+
The first part of Season Two of D. Gray-Man is actually a tad more entertaining than the first season and its good to see that the series hasn’t lost its sense of humor in the process. Still, aside from the lighthearted moments scattered throughout, the enemy is on the move and things are going to get more interesting as we can see from the final episodes of Part One.

Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment.

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