I think one of the most confusing things for newcomers to anime is just where to start with everything. This is especially confusing for any anime prior to 2008 that wasn’t one of the mainstream popular ones or part of the Big 3. I mean, it’s not like the older generation of weebs compiled a list of some of the more niche anime hits of the decade and put it online for future generations to reference. But some anime needs that in this day and age.
D.Gray Man was one of those anime that was constantly featured in the ‘top watched of the week’ list on streaming sites, alongside .Hack. But just like .Hack, it was all over the place with how the series should be started. Because there were multiple seasons and what not, so things got confusing. Again, back in those days, you couldn’t just look up and find a neat compilation of how to get into a particular franchise. With D.Gray Man, you start with the original series from 2006, skip the filler episodes from 14 to 18 and move through the seasons until you get to the sequel, D.Gray Man Hallow.
That sounds about right, yeah? Except there’s still dispute over something as simple as the sequel and whether it counts and how the seasons before it stacks up. Like, I’m not kidding when I say things are so muddled for this poor franchise solely because it’s fans don’t consider the D.Gray Man Hallow as anything more than a failed follow-up. So, round and round we go, with more than a 100 episodes to sift through.
But the thing is, D.Gray Man happens to be a solid series, with so much to offer. Despite not being as popular as its contemporaries, such as Death Note, D. Gray Man has a loyal fanbase and tons of critical acclaim. The light novel had a short run, and the anime is done, but considering how the manga is still going on with a dedicated following? It might be worth looking into, especially if you’re a fan of Dark Fantasy mixed with Sci-Fi notes!
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D. Gray Man: A Genre Mash-Up That Still Holds Up!
So, say you’re in the mood for some nostalgia but don’t want to rewatch all the big shows you’ve already experienced growing up. You want to try something new while still enjoying the vibe from an era gone by. In that case, look no further than D. Gray Man.
D. Gray Man started out as a historical fantasy that quickly dove into alchemy and the dark arts. You have your protagonist, Allen Walker, who becomes a part of the Black Order, an exorcist organization that aims to save humanity by going against Millenium Earl and his army of demons. Their weapon of choice? A strange substance known only as ‘Innocence’, which is used to craft their holy weapons and Armor.
As someone who was a huge fan of series such as Vampire Knight, D. Gray Man was right up my alley. Set somewhere in the 19th century, the Gothic vibes coupled with magic and mystery give that mid-2000s feel that truly can’t be beaten.
The Ultimate D. Gray Man Watch Party!
So, now that you’ve determined you want to get into D. Gray Man, how do we start out? Well, honestly, it’s not as confusing as people online make it out to be.
With the anime, you start with the 1st season that came out in 2006, and continue till episode 14. And this is where you decide whether you want to spend your time on the non-canon content. If not, you skip right to episode 19 and continue from there. This goes on till episode 24, until more fillers start from episode 25.
However, this is where you have to watch the content because it’s actually canon to the timeline. So those filler episodes continue from episode 25 to episode 36. From then on, you’re back on track for the main story, until episode 41 to 50, which is, yet again, more filler. But this filler isn’t important, so you can skip it.
From episode 51, it’s smooth sailing. And it arguably happens to be the more action-packed compared to the rest of the series. I wish you luck on your nosedive into D.Gray Man