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D.Gray-man HALLOW – 02, 03 »« Random Musings – A Little Bit Of Everything

D.Gray-man HALLOW – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「Key -bring it on, my Destiny-」 by Lenny code fiction

「14番目」 (14-Banme)
“The Fourteenth”

There’s that feeling one gets when a chance meeting occurs and you reunite with someone you haven’t seen in a long time. There’s a part of you that can’t really believe what’s going on, yet there they are in the flesh, right in front of you. Seeing D.Gray-man again after nearly eight years—yeah, it’s kind of like that. As a big fan of the original series, this was a franchise I was sad to see go (especially after we finally got to see the Generals in action), and one I hoped would return after everything sorted itself out. Having now survived various publishing issues/switches, hiatuses, and creator sicknesses—D.Gray-man has finally returned, and the first thing to note is just how much has changed since then.

A different backdrop comes on the heels of a newly built HQ, the cast returns with fancy new uniforms and new character designs, and a brand new voice cast takes the spot in lieu of the original. The fact that there’s been a long hiatus lowers the impact of these changes, but there’s a lot to get used to here in this new iteration, and it’s decision to resume almost immediately after the events of the original also makes it a bit difficult to get into the swing of things given all that’s happened in the series so far.

Thankfully, they’re all things you’ll get used to by the time the episode’s done (or hopefully in the near future), and it’s important to note how not everything has changed in regards to the overall content. The dark atmosphere’s just as foreboding as it was previously, the musical compositions are similar stylistically (you’ll note how little Kanda’s Mugen theme has changed), and many of the character interactions remain unchanged. Lenalee and Allen continue to be one of my favorite potential pairings, Allen and Cross continue to bicker with one another in a way only Master and abused Pupil can, Kanda’s still ribbing the former on his bean sprout status, and the rest of the cast generally fits in nicely in the ways we’ve come to expect.

It’s just too bad that the band’s reunion comes on the heels of the franchise’s most significant developments, and this first episode wastes no time in emphasizing how wary the Black Order’s higher ups are now that it’s confirmed that Allen not only holds the Fourteenth’s implanted memories, but will likely be consumed to become his host as he resumes his attempt to kill the Earl with his own hands. Not knowing the Fourteenth’s motivations and whether or not he’d be a threat to the Order despite their common enemy only makes things harder, and for Allen himself, it’s even more significant given how it’s impossible to know whether his motivations and choices were his own or something controlled/influenced by the Fourteenth. Cross’s ominous comments regarding there more to this war than it seems adds yet another potential twist to it all, and the fact that Bookman seems to have at least some clue as to what’s going on makes you wonder when Lavi’ll have to make a choice between influencing events in a significant way versus observing them as a Bookman in-training.

At the moment though, Cross Marian’s fate given the end of the episode is the more pressing issue, and it seems far from a coincidence that he gets taken out (I use this lightly for now given his significance in the story, although the fact he’s drinking a Death branded whiskey isn’t exactly subtle) shortly after saying what he did. Allen being asleep likely means he’s not the culprit despite Cross’ suggestion that he’ll kill someone close to him at some point, but you can be sure the Black Order’ll have their eyes out for him even more so than ever before, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was instigated by someone higher up in the first place to set the stage for Allen’s elimination/expulsion.

And so continues the story of D.Gray-man, which notably returns with the Akuma being more on the colorful side than what I originally remembered. The OP/ED themes don’t quite match up to Brightdown (Nami Tamaki’s certainly faded out after this one didn’t she?) and SNOW KISS (NIRGILIS!) of the original, but they’re fitting in their own right, especially that Lotus/Kanda themed ED song/sequence.

Just as a note, coverage for the series isn’t in the books at the time, but I’ll certainly be watching it with an eye for a finale post at least at the end of the season. Guess we’ll see. Why couldn’t it air on a different day of the week!? Also, please make sure to put any future spoilers of content not yet covered in spoiler tags!

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「Lotus Pain」 by Mashiro Ayano

Preview

July 4, 2016 at 10:04 pm
42 comments »
  • July 4, 2016 at 10:12 pmsonicsenryaku

    im personally glad that this new series decided not to handhold and jump straight into the content proceeding the end of the old series; there treating this as if d.gray-man never left for 8 years. However, i do understand how jarring the transition can be because of the fact that it has been 8 years, there’s a new production team on deck, and the voice actors have changed completely. And damn, lenalee and allen’s relationship remains just as sweet and rife with potential as i last remember. When was the last time you see two characters of the opposite sex in a shounen anime act as comfortably around each other as these two do?

    • July 5, 2016 at 7:40 amManly Tear

      I’m noticing a trend of that this season, with Shokugeki no Souma & Arslan Senki also naturally picking off where each of their previous seasons left off in a fairly natural fashion.

      And well, D.Gray Man was always a shounen which sometimes was reaching towards the seinen border, so I maybe that’s part of the reason of Lenalee & Allen’s interaction – at any rate, I’m lovin’ it!

      • July 5, 2016 at 6:31 pmsonicsenryaku

        that’s a good point you make about d.gray-man teetering on the boarder between shounen and seinen because ive always thought that. That’s going to be ever so more apparent this season with the upcoming arc

  • July 4, 2016 at 10:32 pmZJZJ

    I really want to love this, but I still can’t get used to it. I don’t know how much of it is due to the different voices (can’t get used to Allen/Lavi especially), or if it’s just the different art style (and everything is so colourful!). I think they’re trying, but something doesn’t feel right to me, though I hope I get used to it soon.
    For now I shall just be happy that I get to see some of my favourite characters again. Kanda calling Allen moyashi made me really happy. Hope someone covers this!

    • July 4, 2016 at 10:57 pmsonicsenryaku

      im not so jive about lavi’s voice but i can understand why hanae natsuki was casted as him. As for allen, im perfectly fine with murase. Rather than have a voice actor who clearly sounds female voice allen, im glad the casting this time pick murase, who splits the difference. Allen sounds more masculine now (you know, cuz he’s a guy) but there’s still this vulnerability in his voice that harkens back to kobayashi Sanae’s interpretation. I think it’s the perfect compromise. In all honesty, i think people are making too big a deal of the voice cast change, but that’s just my take on it. I guess it comes with the territory since change is always going to be something that gets getting use to.

      • July 5, 2016 at 3:29 amChloesong

        @sonicsenryaku

        It’s interesting you mentioned Allen’s voice as containing vulnerability, because although I’m still holding out before making a judgement since its just the first episode, to me the difference between his new voice and the old one is precisely his lack of vulnerability.

        He’s supposed to sound uncharacteristically spunky in his interaction with Cross, but so far Allen’s new voice sounds so…confident and boyish? Especially his line “I believe these feelings are mine without a doubt!”.
        Also “When Mana said he loved me.. But did he mean me? Or was it…”, I imagine Allen’s entire world falling apart at that moment, and didn’t really sense his vulnerability there. If I had to sum it up in one word, I’d say Allen’s new voice sounds very “genki” haha, maybe to the point that I can imagine Allen’s new Va playing Lavi.

        To be fair, these were really hard and heavy lines for the first episode and I’m sure over time we’ll get used to his voice.

        On a side note, I like Lavi’s new va. He sounds playful, but tricksterly intelligent. I think he does old Lavi’s “-saa” ending thing pretty well.

      • July 5, 2016 at 6:33 pmsonicsenryaku

        @chloesong

        I get what you mean about the vulnerability part but as i siad i think murase makes a good compromise between the two. Not saying that Sanae kobayashi has been outdone by him, i just think murase makes a good fit. Now we play the waiting game to see how the seiyuu performances play out

    • July 5, 2016 at 12:30 amZJZJ

      Hmm, for Lavi, the voice is different but I can still feel like the seiyuu is trying to potray this character called Lavi, and so while I’m not used to it yet I think I could get used to it eventually. For Allen I feel my issue is less of the voice sounding different, but the feeling that I get from Allen being different (but this could be due to other reasons too).
      I was happy when Lvellie appeared because it finally felt like a character I could recognize appeared, haha.
      I shall try not to complain any more since I really want to enjoy this (still am pretty excited for it) and I don’t want to ruin the fun for myself and others.

      • July 5, 2016 at 3:43 amChloesong

        @ZJZJ
        I agree with “the feeling that I get from Allen being different.”
        Maybe… hmm is it that Allen now looks older, but sounds younger than before? XD?

        Also I think in the old Allen felt slightly of his rocker. xD Like if he was hiding something, or forcing himself to be polite, and letting go when acting devious. He sounded naive and hurt, optimistic but unsure. Often ridiculous and joking. Or haughty and fake nice haha.

        I think the new Allen sounds much more straightforward and lacks hesitation in contrast.

      • July 5, 2016 at 7:00 amsonicsenryaku

        @chloesong

        but this is precisely what lenalee points out in this ep; that the way allen talks to people has changed since the series started

    • July 5, 2016 at 7:49 amManly Tear

      Perfectly fine with Allen’s new voice – heck, I might even start to like it more. Fine with Kanda’s once I get used to it. I also like Sugiyama Noriaki but it feel’s pretty weird hearing Crowley of all people with his voice – it’s like, it doesn’t seem goofy enough.

      What I’m REALLY gonna miss when it comes to voices will be Itou Shizuka’s soothing voice for Lenalee. She sound’s way too high pitched & childish now.

      • July 5, 2016 at 5:23 pmShrubbery

        I agree that they missed the mark on Crowleys voice. Unmistakably the voice actor of a certain Uchiha I’m not fond. And Lenalee. Completely agree with you again, too childish, sounds less smart, can’t take the voice seriously somehow.

        There’s a couple more characters they missed the mark on imho, but maybe that is just my initial reaction. I hope I’ll get used to all the new voices. Nevertheless very glad D. Gray-man is back again!

    • July 5, 2016 at 3:02 pmabdulkerim ak

      actually new animation style and new seius are kinda sucks…. especially allen’s voice… its simply lacking feelings… in the first place allen was emotionaly unstable character, and his previous voice is fits him perfectly imho

    • July 6, 2016 at 2:24 pmAniBEE

      I comely agree about the voice feeling haring because I watch the original as they came out to me this original cast is still very much the voices I hears in my head while reading the Manga as well now. I’m expecting those voices…. sort of like how we all where expecting Dumbledore to be Richard Harris and need to whole movie to get use to Michael Gambon.

      I can get behind the new voice cast, I feel like who they pick works once we give them some time but the one that thrown me for the biggest loop was all things PANDA!!! (aka Bookman)

      But I’m also curious why none of the main cast came back as well….. I mean it’s 13 episode series and you can record in advance so their might have been time to fit everyone into a schedule.

      But in all honestly I was just bounce my Timcampy off the walls in excitement!!!

  • July 4, 2016 at 11:41 pmmarsh381

    I’m just thankful that this season will only cover the Paris Arc and then the Kanda Arc (the arcs that are easier to digest compared to what’s currently in the manga). Subjecting viewers to the confusing spider web of the 14th arc would be torture (at the rate the manga is going its safe to say we won’t get in for years in anime-format).
    I think this transition seems jarring because they took out a couple of chapters beforehand. That “turning into kids” arc. But it wasn’t plot important and was more gag than anything so I guess I understand why they skipped it. Because asides from that chapter introducing the Noah again, I think this is where the story actually picks up from the end of the first season?

    This will take some getting use to. I mean I like how the artstyle looks current, but using bright colors on the Akuma doesn’t really look well (and some other moments that’ll probably be fixed in the Blue-Ray. Like the outline for Allen’s eyes being white for one scene). But at least for the most part the characters look fine (like Damn Lavi, you became 4x hotter when you’re drawn this way).

    And new fans, do yourself a favor and watch the first season first….because you’ll be so lost lol. Heck, I think new fans have it better because they can just continue to the second season after they finish the first.

    • July 6, 2016 at 2:41 pmAniBEE

      Yes that scene with the Noah was shorted in the final episode, it was a full 1.5 chapter in the Manga but they cut that in half to just the first part with the ball section. I would not be surprised they rearrange and put the rest in another episode.

      The first scene of this episode was from a latter chapter as well but it fitting here.

      The rest of this episode covered 4 chapters (short chapters), that I readied too many times to count… Soo much feels for this one. T-T It makes me want to cosplay Allen again… T-T

  • July 4, 2016 at 11:51 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    I hear what yall saying but..as a fan..its been too damn long..i welcome this despite the changes….also i agree…does ANYONE UNDERSTAND WTF is going on in the current manga ARC?!?!

    its a HOT mess…imo the whole mana thing is really not that interesting.

    i just want to see characters i liked animated again and interacting…i’m gonna watch it now……
    maybe i’ll hate it..who knows

    • July 5, 2016 at 5:09 amdefunkt_bots

      the problem with the manga is the combination of slow release alongside total oddity. Meaning you usually have to do some backtracking to work out what’s occuring.

      i am sort of hoping that hallow will go some way towards focussing the overall intent…

      because I always had great hopes for DGrayMan

  • July 5, 2016 at 12:09 amAiko

    I’m glad to see D.Gray-man back and I’ll definitely be watching this. However, I’m not sure if it’s just me, but the character design seemed a bit off from time to time. It’s no biggie and I’ll get used to it, but it’s something I noticed almost from the get go.

    • July 5, 2016 at 5:39 amNayrael

      They are being faithful to the Manga’s style, where the art style changes every few chapters XP

      But generally, the art style of the new Anime is completely different: it’s more colorful, characters look older and the Akuma are more varied. Of course, some of the changes are due to the art changes in the Manga (like older, more bishie, characters).

  • July 5, 2016 at 1:21 amzztop

    I loved Katsura Hoshino’s artwork ever since her designs for Valvrave the Liberator. Pity she hasn’t made more manga titles beyond D-Gray Man.

  • July 5, 2016 at 3:12 amChloesong

    Ah no Zephyr, please blog this! I…I really want you to blog this. ;__; Petition anyone?

    “it’s just too bad that the band’s reunion comes on the heels of the franchise’s most significant developments”.

    I agree! I feel like if it wasn’t for only having 13 episodes, DGM:H would have benefited from a recap intro. Lots of viewer reactions seem to be ” I watched this, but don’t remember/ I want to watch this, do I need to catch up on 103 episodes?”. It reminds me of Hoshino-sensei’s return-from-hiatus chapters that would be like “TADA I’M BACK, BAM HAVE SOME MAJOR PLOT DEVELOPMENTS>:D”.

    Regarding the first episode, after so many years of waiting, I had so many things to say. First AHHHH YESS FINALLY.

    I had to watch it twice. The first viewing I was let down due to the hype, comparisons to the first season, and my own expectations.

    So then I mulled over it and reread the relevant chapters. And it hit me. DGM Hallow’s art style reflects the manga chapters that it adapts! Anyone familiar with DGM knows that the art style evolves with the manga (seriously, the tone and style change so much throughout the arcs). It’s a love-or-hate it fact. Cut for lots of text, not spoiler. Art discussion.Show Spoiler ▼

    I think the adaptation is being very faithful to the manga, which is a good sign.

    A surprising change that I enjoyed was Lenalee’s new seiyuu. I realized that the high pitched “imouto” voice really suits Lenalee.
    Spoiler cut for lots of text
    Show Spoiler ▼

    This new voice of a well-meaning but struggling imouto matches her character well.

    -I liked how when they animated the key scenes, it was so closely adapted that it seemed they colored the manga panels.
    -I like Lenalee’s new voice
    -I like seeing Hoshino’s recent art style animated (although my favorite styles are her most recent chapters and probably the Asia Branch arc).

    Regarding seiyuu, cut for lots of text, not spoiler, Show Spoiler ▼

    However, the only real lasting gripe I have about the first episode after the even the second viewing is the comedic timing. Cut for lots of text, not spoiler. Show Spoiler ▼

    In addition, maybe because I’ve been familiar with the reveal for years now, but the tension seemed a little low. Cut for lots of text, not spoiler. Show Spoiler ▼

    Still I’m just glad that the anime is back and I hope this brings more fans to read the manga. Long live DGM :D

    • July 5, 2016 at 6:30 pmZephyr

      I’ll see how it goes. Might just do a snapshot of the next episode or two to see how/if I can fit it to my weekly schedule.

  • July 5, 2016 at 4:30 amBlue

    New voices will take some time to get used to but I actually really liked this new art style. I admit, I had to stop and google some things because I just could not remember what had happened at the end of the last series, but all in all I’m glad that this series is back. Better late than never.

  • July 5, 2016 at 4:32 amYukie

    I’m psyched about this, but I can’t help to nitpick a few things:

    I think some of the new voice actors are quite good (like Satou Takuya for Kanda and Sugiyama-san for Aleister, while others are a bit iffy and need some getting used to:
    -Hanae Natsuki as Lavi really feels like a miscast (SuzuKen’s goofiness IMO was a lot closer to what I had pictured when reading the manga), but I guess Hanae’s type of voice is what’s popular nowadays.
    -Murase Ayumu sounds great as Allen Walker most of the time, but there are moments where I feel like the Hinata voice slips in and Allen isn’t really that type of character.

    The only problem I have with the new character designs is Lenalee’s hair. It’s GREEN! What was great about her was her all-black assemble and her beautiful black hair. She was probably the first female protagonist of a shounen that I actually liked. Why you do dis TMS?

    K, crazy fan rant aside, I can’t wait for the next episode.

  • July 5, 2016 at 5:13 amMei-chan

    My main problem in this episode is Lavi’s VA.
    He tried too hard!!! And I can feel hesitation in his voice acting.
    I remember I watched a video on YT where new VAs of Allen, Lavi and Kanda talked together and acted a bit for their characters. Lavi sounded perfect there but in this episode…..it was urgh…..

    • July 5, 2016 at 2:12 pmWarriorsHeart

      I know. The change from that energetic and brash to this soft-spoken natured dude is quite drastic.

  • July 5, 2016 at 7:52 amn30nl16ht

    I hope somebody brings back hitman reborn as well. that series ending chapters were action packed to say the least, this one’s is just plain confusing.

  • July 5, 2016 at 10:32 amstarss

    Seeing Leena without pigtails is quite the drastic change. Without hearing the voice, you almost get the impression it’s an effeminate man!! Not sure that will be easy to adjust with. The only reason I ever got that it was Leena from the images here was when I saw her trademark mile-high legs! :O

  • July 5, 2016 at 12:01 pmVars

    Why couldn’t it air on a different day of the week!?

    A little off-topic, but that thought/question comes up a lot whenever a new TV season starts (both in Japan and US) and sometimes I wonder why most reviewers can’t watch/review some shows with a 24-72 hour delay, especially shows they really like.

    • July 5, 2016 at 6:30 pmZephyr

      It’s mostly been done to make sure that it doesn’t ever become habit really. Once you delay something a little here, a little there, it’s pretty easy to just sit back and let things spiral from there. There’s also the notion of timeliness that we generally like to follow, and ultimately people enjoy discussing things more the closer it is to its initial release.

      For me personally though, the big thing for D.Gray-man here is not only is it essentially the same date as Macross Delta give or take, but it’s hard subbed, meaning I’ll need to do a second pass of the episode to get clean caps, and it forces me to write the post first before going back to do the caps, which usually impacts my writing as well.

      I’ll see how it goes. Might just do a snapshot of the next episode or two to see how/if I can fit it to my weekly schedule.

  • July 5, 2016 at 2:12 pmWarriorsHeart

    I welcome the return of this series, but the guys sound too tamed.

  • July 5, 2016 at 7:58 pmrandom viewer

    Even though I’ve been reading up on the manga and all, there are some things that still need refreshers. Given the opening/ending the arc is focused on Kanda’s “lotus” story. Many of the side characters (not in the main group of the Exorcists), especially the Noahs needs some expositions. Despite that, I feel the episode is off to a great start for the anime.

  • July 6, 2016 at 10:14 amiron2000

    Wow, so its a continuation!
    Its been so very long.

    Listening to the familiar tunes makes me feel nostalgic :)

    Wow, looks like the manga is still ongoing after 12 years.

  • July 6, 2016 at 2:00 pmyoukai

    I want to watch this, but I don’t have enough time to rewatch the old anime to remember wtf was going on… feels bad…

  • July 6, 2016 at 5:52 pmVision33r

    Most of the new seiyuu don’t sound very similar to the original voices. Kanda sounds pathetic now, Allen doesn’t sound very cool, and Miranda sounds too young for a grown up.

  • July 7, 2016 at 12:07 pmfishell

    I have been following D.Gray-Man since around 2008 and this season just doesn’t clicked. Knowing that 8 years should make things different but I couldn’t helped myself to readjust with reference to the prequel. The seiyuu sounded quite odd and Lenalee is no longer pretty :P
    The pleasant feeling when reading/watching D.Gray-Man is no longer there…..sigh :(

  • July 7, 2016 at 1:04 pmSuicuneSol

    Hmm… I like the voices! Perhaps it’s because I haven’t seen the original anime in a looooong time, or perhaps it’s because the change in voices illustrates a timeskip that shows how the characters have matured and changed since the beginning of the anime. There’s no better way to show the passage of time than a change in voice. Allen’s voice, especially, I believe he was voiced by a woman in the original anime to illustrate his young, naive boyishness. The deepness of a man’s voice now shines through, though he is able to bring out a higher pitch.

    The colors? I like it. Way more than the original. Perhaps it’s just because the image quality of anime nowadays is so much higher than it was back then, but the original anime’s colors were dark, grey, washed out. Combined with subpar animation, it wasn’t very interesting to look at.

    Story-wise, I’m looking forward to how the plot is put together. As we all know, the manga had so many periods of downtime that the plot seemed disjointed and confusing. Now that there is plenty of material available, I can sit down, watch everything, and obtain understanding.

  • July 8, 2016 at 9:54 amL002

    Noooooooooo, they skipped the zombie apocalypse