Overall Grade: 10 Story / Pacing: 7 Art / Animation: 8 Sound / Music / Voice Actors: 10 Character: 10 Enjoyment: 10 CONTAINS MINOR SPOILER 400https://abload.de//tenorjskaa.gif But I will do my best to avoid bigger / major spoiler. THIS is my favorite anime and Im such a fangirl for it Unfortunately I learned about the existence of D.Grayman like two years ago and not when it came out because it wasnt so wellknown in Europe. I never heard about it back then although I cant see a reason why. I dont understand how hypes work and why something is loved to death and other things are ignored anyway uhm well... If you have prejudices against Battle Shounen then at least please hear me out anyway. I still have to remind you that all of this is very subjective and my mere opinion nothing more 400https://abload.de//73091sqjp0.gif ART MUSIC The first thing I love are the setting the art style colors and the music. Really its great and the art style is something you like very much or you dont do at all in my opinion. The art isnt too experimental but it has its own charme and individuality. The colors are toned down but they dont make the series looking too grimdark. I loved the whole first impression it had given me like I watched the first minutes of the first episode and thought: This could be great maybe I discovered a new favorite anime. Although it looks old by todays standards but I actually like some older styles not all I think anime today look better overall which arent too shiny in their color schemes and ... they just look pretty good. The art and color also help the dark scenes and horror to get close to you. Unfortunately there are some repeating battle sequences and stock animation for the fighting scenes too. It might be animated like this because D.Grayman is older than some new Battle Shounen. Regarding the manga: The art style has improved A LOT and it looks absolutely beautiful and stunning now. I love just looking at some panels and appreciate the art. Also the openings are great too and my favorites are the first and the third. I really love them. But its not just the openings which sound great. Its the whole music there: the endings the themes some included songs which are actually included into the story. Also their sounds add so much and fit very well into the atmosphere and the plot. 400https://abload.de//32766594217193b0364ffk9jp1.gif PLOT ATMOSPHERE SETTING The setting is really fitting my taste. Its a little bit steampunkish / a fictional victorian era it takes place in the real world turned into a dark fantasy with Akuma and exorcists. There had been a lot of care that went into the world building and the fantasy aspects as well. The setting and plot points are not something you would see every day. The themes are pretty well included if you are asking me. Grief for example is an important theme in general and since people react in different ways its shown like that. Still everyone wishes to see their loved ones again and if the pain takes over them the bereaved are calling for the millenium lord to revive them which never ended well... The themes dont feel flat and the author handled them with care and empathy in my opinion. D.Grayman is something that is absolutely fitting my taste and style. It has this very own gothicstyle and definitely dark fantasy one of the best I personally had ever seen because its so effective but its not edgy and the characters definitely arent edgy as well. Sometimes it has scenes you could describe as horror fantasy but despite many other horror anime it never becomes trashy or a splatter just to shock the audience. Although I was very shocked at some scenes even if I can take very much in horror movies normally. But here I felt so much for the characters and cheered for them that the dark fantasy / horror fantasy scenes felt worse to me than they objectively / actually had been. By that I mean if I compare the scenes to actual horror movies then they should have had more impact on me than some scenes from D.Grayman. But it wasnt the case. I never felt more horror than in Made in Abyss AND D.Grayman to be honest. I love the whole cast and they are some of my absolute favorites. I will talk about them in the paragraphs below. In my eyes the story is very complex and if you want to dive into it on a deeper level you might see what I mean. In the fandom there are actually a lot of theories and unsolved mysteries etc. Its deep but its not pretentious in any way and thats another reason why I love D.Grayman and some other Battle Shounen which had been similar or good in my eyes in other ways. At first it seems like there is a clear good vs. evilplot happening although in creative ways but the more episodes you watch the more you understand that the good side the order isnt that holy. I dont want to spoiler and the details dont play a role here since I love how nuanced it is written and that the buildup happens slowly. It starts with little scenes where you get an unsettling feeling of something is wrong there. This becomes bigger and bigger until the order reveals all / many of its secrets. The antagonists might come off as weird and very onesided but they are actually very effective and appear as real threat. Until now you dont know so much about them and you are always waiting for the next manga chapters to get to know more backgrounds about the background of... well everything. The story the main characters the antagonists... how the puzzle will fit together in the end. Its pretty clear that there is much more about it. If you pay attention right away from episode one there is so much foreshadowing at everything it feels so genuis and I simply love it Actually I want to learn from D.Grayman how to do this. In my eyes the author is pretty good at setting mysteries and her fans always hope for more now since she is writing at a more regular pace again I think. The one thing I could criticize are the amount of spoilers for example. I like some of the episodic drama stories also because I love such stuff but especially in the middle parts the pacing was kind of bad. Good thing is they included stories from the novels. It also depends on the question: Do you like episodic stories and life drama. I like them very much. The first mission was very moving and some others are wellwritten and touching too. At least I felt that way. From their first mission youll get the idea how the other episodic stories which are included will look like. Unfortunately it has some misplaced comedy as well which could get annoying at times. Especially because some not that many but like... a few which arent great are filler episodes and just pointless comedy filler. In some serious situations it wasnt benefical for the atmosphere at all and felt out of place. 400https://abload.de//323925380513zdh02kpljvk.gif CHARACTERS Now lets talk about the characters. Appearancewise their designs are very creative and individualistic. I have never seen a similar designs and I absolutely love their look. Even their weapons arent the standard designs for weapons. There is so much creativity and love and care that went into their designs its great Lets talk about their personality as well of course: All characters act so natural and are far more realistic than from some other anime. At their first appearance you could assume that the four mains are stereotypes but you will realize soon that they arent cliched at all. They are smart and have the intelligence of a normal person. No idiot heroes yeeah Also they have their own morals opinions and mindsets you wouldnt see everyday in some other anime. Their mindsets felt very natural and you could get behind their way of feeling and thinking. I love their dynamics between each other as well and some of the character relationship that developed between them. Allen is one of my favorites ever because he felt so human and I cheer so much for him and the other characters from the order. Although he is so sweet empathic and a goodnatured soul he doesnt appear as the stereotypical good hero. He doesnt feel like he is too good because he shows all emotional ranges of a normal human being and got temperament too. He is far from being perfect has flaws and an interesting also damaged psyche. Allen is goodnatured per se but he also needs the feeling of helping others and feeling loved by others for himself to feel better. One of his outfits included a mask and I thought thats kind of genius because he is hidding parts of himself and puts a mask on. He tries to be Mana because he always thought Allen isnt enough to get other peoples love but doesnt know so much about him either. Thats the reason why he hides his temperament as well... or tries to hide it at least. I guess he believes that this could make him unlikeable. He doesnt like the fact that the interaction with Kanda reveals it. Nevertheless the author doesnt want to play the sympathycards fully and didnt write Allen as the poor broken bird you have to pity all the time which he definitely isnt either. I really liked that. While I absolutely understand that people could break into some traumatic situations they had been threw into Allen is a very resilient character. The stuff that happened to him still didnt leave him unmarked and I personally think that he is a very good example of a resilient character which is more realistic than some others of this sort that I have seen. Besides all the terrible things that happened to him until he was a little kid you recognize that he is just a fifteen years old boy at the begin of the story. Although he is very mature he would love to make friends and distract himself by having fun here and there as well. Since the start you could watch him grow in believable ways and you could understand where is coming from. Also he actually is powerful and kind of a badass sometimes but he isnt overpowered and never appeared as a GaryStue to me although there are quite a lot of mysteries about him going on. In addition to that he has special abilities and is special in his own way. I could write much more about him I actually did in a German review he is such a deep character and has a stunning and great design its so fitting creative and goodlooking. Lavi is my second favorite character in this series and also one of my all timefavorites. He also has a great design. I really really love that. His personality is awesome and very wellwritten. One reason is that a character you should take seriously doesnt need to act and be drop dead serious all the time. Lavi is also intelligent but has this very fun side to him at the same time. I like it when writers understand that intelligent characters shouldnt be so over the top like Light from Death Note and that they dont need to prove this all the time. Its not meant as hating just to show an example to explain what I mean. In other situations he is serious and shows something about his kind of nihilistic mindset and his understanding for other people as much as his own struggles. They had been absolutely interesting because his own interests contradict each other. He acts super cheerful around others and at the same time he has to hide his struggles and because he feels comfortable like that I guess and actually feels torn. I will put this small paragraph in a spoiler tag now because you might want to watch for yourself: Cheerful people who are secretly torn inside are a cliche on its own but to me he doesnt feel like this type of stereotype. Lavi is overall very fun to watch and I like the two sides of him which you will discover slowly throughout the story in more detail than I described here. Kanda could have been an annoying edgelord in another story and sometimes the writer wanted him to be annoying sometimes but actually I love Kanda You will see that there is more about him if you pay attention to details and he is one of these I dont carecharacters who is pissed so many times while he actually cares a lot. I have to admit that I love these character types and I also adore these samurai character designs these guys with long dark hairs and samurai swords. Im sorry haha Although his story needed time to get revealed and he wasnt there in the middle part of the story you might start feeling attached to him because he shows that he is much more than a mere stereotype as well. If you dont like Kanda in the first four seasons you might start feeling for him in Hallow. Youll see the full story there. Its one of the most touching and moving backstories I have seen and it was actually terrifying to watch and I think I was sitting at the edge of my seat. Lenalee is another character that could have been written as too good and pure in another writers hands but actually she also feels natural. In one episode she told that she has a very egoistic side and wants to protect her little world more than anything else. Her backstory is really moving and sad and I was shattered by that as well because she was just a little kid. Since she had suffered so much she cares as much about people in her environment to avoid pain for them. Some people I know dont like Lenalee unfortunately. Since character preferences and tastes differ I absolutely understand and respect that but I think she feels natural and down to earth without being too much of a goody two shoes either. For me I understood it like she could relate a lot to other peoples suffering. Maybe I also feel some kind of fondness towards Lenalee and Im not objective if you could be objective towards characters at all because a few friends had compared me to her in some ways so I really dont know ... But again: She and none of the others isnt written as poor broken bird who is pitfully suffering all the time which feels very real this way. Also I like the relationship build up between Allen and her and I actually ship them a lot haha and that Kanda surprisingly acts much softer towards her. It somehow managed to make all sidecharacters loveable or at least interesting as well. They are also people on their own and not just the side character and only exist to support the big damn hero. The antagonists have something really charming to them and especially Tykki and Road are terrifying as hell. 400https://abload.de//f5eda9bfc9f1a8abae5fctmkbi.gif CONCLUSION Its a fantastic dark fantasy series with very wellwritten characters. The pacing in the middle parts is off but if you like episodic stories you might them appreciate here as well.