Review by: Clive Owen
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $59.98 US
Running Time: 300 minutes
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now
The calm before the storm?
Season Two of D. Gray-Man was off to an exciting start as the Millennium Earl has made his first move against the Exorcists that have sworn to stop him and the Akuma that do his evil bidding. By the end of the first part of this second season, many Exorcists have lost their lives and the Clan of Noah – the Millennium Earl’s most devoted and dangerous followers – begin their hunt for Exorcist Generals. Part Two of Season Two isn’t as dark as Part One but it is still a fun journey as well follow Allen Walker and his fellow Exorcists.
With Kanda and Marie traveling with the artistic General Tiedoll, Allen and Lenalee finally make it to Bulgaria in their continued search for Allen’s old mentor, General Cross. Rescuing a fellow traveler on a way to a village holding a Rose Festival, the young pair run into Krory, Lavi and Bookman who were ordered to join the two in search of General Cross. Since Exorcists are being killed by members of the Clan or Noah, it is much safer to travel as a group.
Of course, this doesn’t stop the surprising number of Akuma from attacking them and Allen feels that something is watching their every move. It isn’t until they reach a city in search of shelter from the rain that they come to realize that Allen was right. They are led to an empty inn by a strange black cat and encounter a beautiful blonde woman who calls herself Lulu Bell. Their stay in the inn is short since Akuma attack their very room and Lulu Bell mysteriously disappears. It doesn’t take Lenalee long to figure out that something was not right about the young woman.
As it turns out, Lulu Bell is a member of the Clan of Noah and along with her cute servant in a maid outfit named Mimi, this agent of the Millennium Earl who can turn into anyone is tasked with stopped them from locating General Cross. While Lulu Bell plays a psychological game of cat and mouse with Allen and the others, Mimi is the bumbling henchwoman who fails at her task in a number of comical ways. It’s blast watching Maid Mimi trying to steal Lavi’s hammer only to fail in so many ways.
Lulu Bell, on the other hand, is far more effective in her attempts and comes close many times such as the episode where she turns into Lenalee and feels even a vampire like Krory. She even turns into the statue of a favorite deity for a small village, putting the lives of innocent civilians in danger just to get to them. During a confrontation with her, Lenalee is badly injured as Allen is forced to move ahead with Krory while Lavi tends to his fallen comrade. It is separated that Lulu Bell feels that they are the weakest but she wasn’t counting on Allen’s determination or Krory and Lavi’s loyalty.
Meanwhile, we get an episode following Kanda, Marie and General Tiedoll on their journey only to meet a fellow artist who came to town to see a most unusual mansion built by an artistic architect. Little do they know what dangerous Akuma have taken over the mansion and the very edifice becomes a deathtrap for the Exorcists.
With rumors that General Cross is in Asia, Allen and Krory head for Nepal and make a dangerous journey to Nepal to meet up with Lenalee, Lavi and Bookman. When they finally do reunite, they encounter a Chinese city that is suffering a drought. On top of that, there’s a young girl that is said to possess the ability to tell the future via a crystal ball. She is Mei Ling, a girl who has a vision of her in an Exorcist uniform crying over the dead bodies of Lenalee, Allen, Krory, Lavi and Bookman. When she sees the group of Exorcists, it becomes clear that these are the people she saw in her vision. Is this really a glimpse of the future?
Recognizing a potential threat to the Millennium Earl, Lulu Bell tries to capture Mei Ling in a showdown with the Exorcists. The Maid Mimi makes a stand for her mistress as the maid’s past is revealed as well as the reasons she is so devoted to Lulu Bell. What happens next is actually quite touching but the result of the fight has a victory for the Exorcists and the Millennium Earl. Moving forward, Allen and the others head for Japan where they meet an ally who knows where General Cross might be this very minute.
While not as riveting or as grim as Part One, Part Two of Season Two of D. Gray-Man is still blast mainly because of the bad guys that make the Exorcist’s journey such a difficult task. New friends are made along the way and the Millennium Earl’s plans are still in full swing but here’s hoping what comes next will be just as intriguing and exciting as the first part of this second season.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
The search for the elusive General Cross continues as Allen and Lenalee meet up with Lavi, Krory and Bookman who join their search. However, a member of the Clan of Noah and her loyal servant are following closely as they attempt to keep the five Exorcists from finding General Cross. Along the way they meet a girl with a special ability that could make her a good weapon against the Millennium Earl.
VIDEO QUALITY: B+
The series continues to look really good and, of course, watching the Exorcists in battle is still quite pleasing to the eyes.
AUDIO QUALITY: B
The original Japanese voices still rock but, as I probably said one too many times, the series just works better viewing it with the English dub cast. Plus, we don’t often get to hear Monica Rial do a sultry and downright sexy voice. I definitely like the new closing theme song “Antoinette Blue” performed by Nana Kitade.
Sure there are trailers and sure there’s the option to watch the opening and closing animation minus the credits but the real extra comes in the form of audio commentary for Episode 50. The commentary features a rather animated conversation with episode director/voice actor Brina Palencia plus Monica Rial (who voices Lulu Bell) and Jason Liebrecht (who voices Lavi and the Millennium Earl).
As Allen Walker and the other Exorcists attempt to locate General Cross, a dangerous foe is on their trail and will stop at nothing to keep them from finding the General in Season Two Part Two of D. Gray-Man. This second half of the series isn’t as dark as the first part of this new season but it still manages to be interesting and loads of fun to watch thanks to the villains.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment.