D.Gray-man Encyclopedia

D.Gray-man (ディー・グレイマン, Dī Gureiman) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Katsura Hoshino, published by Shueisha and currently appearing in the quarterly magazine Jump SQ Crown a special issue of Jump Square. The series was initial released every monday of the week in the magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump but has been placed to the monthly magazine because of Hoshino's health issues which the series had to go a lot of times on hiatus evenly sometimes for a long time. Before it was released in Jump Square, few chapters had been released in Akamaru Jump. In total, there are 25 volumes released and 223 chapters, since it's release on Monday 31 May, 2004. The manga series got licensed in North America by Viz Media. In total they published 24 volumes of the series.

The series has also been adopted into a episode anime that aired from October 3, 2006 to September 30, 2008 in Japan, and two seasons has been released which season two called "Second Stage". The anime series has been licensed by FUNimation but only showed the first season of the anime series. In 2016 the anime was offered a continuation of 13 episodes with the name of D.Gray-Man Hallow.


Set in a fictional 19th century, D.Gray-Man is the story of Allen Walker, who joins an organisation named the Black Order, and becomes an Exorcist. The Order's purpose is to put a stop to The Earl of Millennium's plans to destroy humanity with his army of Akuma. Allen, along with his fellow Exorcists, is able to fight against Akuma using an ancient substance named Innocence, which is the only thing able to destroy them. However, the holy war only intensifies when the Earl gathers the Noah Family, superhuman descendants of Noah, who abhor and have the ability to destroy Innocence.

Both sides soon begin their search for the Heart—the most powerful piece of Innocence—which will ensure victory to the side that finds it.


Hoshino has named Takeshi Obata and Osamu Akimoto as inspiring her work.[2] Her most notable work D.Gray-man is greatly influenced by her previous titles. Characters are often carried over from unpublished manga Hoshino worked on early in her career. D.Gray-man and its predecessor Zone share many major concepts, such as the creation of demons known as akuma, the Exorcists' role to eliminate these demons, and the overall plot of both works. The main antagonist of Zone, known simply as the Millennium Earl, retains his appearance and name in D.Gray-man while the features of the female protagonist were changed to create the more masculine appearance of D.Gray-man's male protagonist Allen Walker.[3] The characters Lavi and Yu Kanda were carried over from two unpublished titles.[4][5] In making the demons known as "Akuma" from D.Gray-man, Hoshino was inspired by the 1973 film, The Exorcist, even though she was afraid of the movie.[6]

She uses unnamed famous scientists, Aleister Crowley and Yūsuke Santamaria as models for several of her characters.[7][8][9][10] Characters are also based on her editor and the Tim Campi Design silver accessory brand.[9][11] Hoshino collaborated with Kata Kizaki, the author of the novel adaptations, to create the character Bak Chan.[12] The role of Miranda Lotto changed, and was ultimately lengthened, after Hoshino realized the similarities the two shared.[13] Hoshino comically comments that Allen's hair has become very similar to the Super Saiyan, a transformation from Dragon Ball, in which the character's hair becomes spiky.[14] Towards the beginning of D.Gray-man's publication, Hoshino stated that Allen, Kanda, and Cross Marian are the hardest characters to draw while the Millennium Earl and Hevlaska are the easiest.[15]

Hoshino commented that most of her ideas for the series come after falling asleep in the bath for six hours.[16] An exception occurs in the plot for second volume of the series, which is based on a Noh play called Koi no Omoni.[17] As she works, she enjoys listening to Final Fantasy soundtracks, Dragon Ball CDs, the bands Porno Graffitti and L'Arc-en-Ciel, and jazz music.[15][18]

Hoshino feels grateful to the editors assisting her, owing her D.Gray-man's success to them.[19] She has also thanked her mother in some volumes of the series.[20][21] The story arc involving Alma Karma proved Hoshino to difficult due to the fact it featured several characters. As a result, this arc set up Allen's departure from the Black Order to feature less characters per chapter. She has also commented the series' main theme was "tragedy" but still aims to make it fun. Additionally, once she has finished D.Gray-man, Hoshino wishes to make a more lighthearted series.[19]

In order to gather research for the series, Hoshino once visited New York as she believes the city left a deep influence in her works. She also visited graveyards since she never had resources for the series. The ground zero of the World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks also left a big impression in her based on the guides' comments. Hoshino commented she would rather go again as she did not have much time to stay in New York.



The manga has been popular in Japan. One of Weekly Shōnen Jump's bestselling series, individual volumes have appeared on annual Japanese top-50 manga sales lists; in 2008, volumes 14, 15, and 16 were on the list.Later volumes were also Japanese bestsellers.[99][100][101] In October 2016, the series had a Japanese circulation of over 22.5 million copies. Manga author Katsura Hoshino is grateful to the editors assisting her to the point of saying that she owes the series' success to them.[22]

Volumes of Viz's English version of the series have appeared on bestselling manga lists in the New York Times and Nielsen BookScan. In its summer 2008 and Q3 2008 lists, ICv2 ranked D.Gray-man the 15th-bestselling manga property in North America In 2009 and 2010, the series was North America's bestselling shōnen property and the bestselling manga overall.It was ranked as the 24th and 23rd North American manga property on ICv2's Top 25 Manga list in 2011 and 2012, respectively.[22]

Zassosha's manga magazine, Puff, ranked the series the seventh-best long-story manga of 2006. In France, it received the Best Manga Series of 2006 award at the Anime and Manga 2007 French Grand Prix (organized by Animeland) and the 2006 Manga of the Year award from Webotaku.[114] The anime DVDs have also been popular, ranking high on several Japanese animation DVD lists from 2007 to 2009,[115][116][117] and the series was listed as a most-watched anime of the week.[118] Its novelizations were also well-received; the second volume was the third-bestselling novel in Japan in 2006.[119]D.Gray-man's characters have also inspired cosplay.[22]


Reception of the series has been generally positive. In his review of volume one, Carlo Santos of Anime News Network said that certain plot points "come out of nowhere" and the story was kept from its full potential due to finding some points like the designs generic. However, he enjoyed the series' quick-moving plot, exposition, and backstory.[123] A.E. Sparrow of IGN also reviewed the first volume, comparing the series' antagonist to three of Batman's villains due to his likeability despite his role. Sparrow also enjoyed Allen's characterization based on his tragic backstory.[124] Calling the early volumes an "amateur comic", reviewer Leroy Douresseaux of comicbookbin.com noted that the plot and art improved significantly with each volume.[125] Ross Liversidge of the UK Anime Network enjoyed the first three volumes; Hoshino had "an excellent quality of storytelling" in juggling dark plot, light comedy and appealing characters.[126] According to Brian Henson of Mania Beyond Entertainment, the series became better over time; although some elements seemed derivative, it developed a unique identity.[127] Yussif Osman of Japanator said that the characters were some of the deepest seen in shōnen manga, citing Lavi's backstory and the Noah Family.[22]

Later volumes were also praised; Otaku USA's Joseph Luster appreciated the series' battles and Allen's development.[129] The revelation that Allen would be an enemy of the Order and the 14th Noah was well received by Grant Goodman of Pop Culture Shock and Chris Beveridge of the Fandom Post. However, Goodman criticized early-volume reliance on comedy rather than plot.[130][131] Beveridge and Erkael of Manga News were impressed with Kanda's dark past.[131][132]Douresseaux liked Allen's situation in volume 21 (due to the character's connections with the Noah), and wanted to see more of that and less of Kanda's fight with Alma Karma.[22]

Hoshino's art received mixed reviews. According to Casey Brienza of ANN, as of volume twelve, the battles were "practically unintelligible" yet liked the rest of the artwork. She described Hoshino's drawing style as the "aesthetic yet dynamic, superbly beautiful yet super-violent" style made famous by female manga artists arising from the late-1980s and early-1990s dōjinshi subculture, citing Clamp and Yun Kōga as examples. Brienza also talked about Hoshino's character designs, believing fans of both sexes would find them appealing.[134] Douresseaux called Hoshino's art "highly stylish" and reminiscent of work by Joe Madureira, Kelley Jones, and Chris Bachalo.[135][136] Describing her backgrounds as eerie and Lovecraftian, Douresseaux wrote that Hoshino made appealing scenes that combined both gothic and violent elements.[135][136] Brian Henson criticized changes made to the Viz Media version, such as the replacement of Japanese sound effects with less-appealing ones and awkward translations of character names. [22]

List of Chapters

Main article: Volumes and Chapters

List of Volumes


Weekly Shonen Jump Covers

Akamaru Jump Covers

Jump SQ Covers

Jump SQ LaB Covers

Jump SQ Crown Covers

Jump SQ Rise Covers


  • The "D" in "D.Gray-man" means "dear".[23]
  • Before settling on "D.Gray-man", other titles Hoshino considered were "Dolls", "Chronoa", and "Zone".[24]


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katsura_Hoshino
  2. Viz Confirms D.Gray-Man, Naruto Spinoff Books. Anime News Network (2011-04-11). Retrieved on 2014-08-03.
  3. 9.0 9.1
  4. 15.0 15.1
  5. 19.0 19.1
  6. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.Gray-man#Reception
  7. Katsura Hoshino interview, 2016
  8. Volume 3, discussion room 1 , page 24

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