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D.Gray-Man Vol. #20 Manga Review

3 min read

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s flashback time!

Creative Staff
Story: Katsura Hoshino
Art: Katsura Hoshino

What They Say
Allen and his fellow Exorcist, the formidable and misanthropic Yu Kanda, discover the latter’s background-including his true nature and purpose-in visions that flash back to his childhood. Yu’s memories of the time have long been suppressed, and it seems for good reason. They not only involve Yu but another child named Alma, and expose how desperate certain factions within the Black Order were to counter the threat posed by the akuma and their master, the Millennium Earl!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
What else is there to say about D Gray-Man that I at least haven’t said? It is a consistently good series that may never explode to greatness but really never disappoints either. Volume 20 is no exception there.

The first chapter follows up volume 19 with a little action as Allen bursts into the room where the Millennium Earl and the Noah Clan have Black Order members’ hostage while they try to revive Alma. A really good bit here is when The Fourteenth awakens within Allen for a brief moment. I like this aspect because I am a sucker for internal good vs. evil conflicts and this scenario brings it to a new level. I’m looking forward to how the series will deal with this later on and hopefully it is going to be really unique and allow for some awesome fights!

The rest of the volume is one giant flashback. My thoughts on flashbacks vary on the mileage. Flashbacks to things actually shown in the manga…??? No thanks. Flashbacks that give in depth back-story on characters that is relevant to the events currently happening in the main story…??? Yes please! So what route did D Gray-Man take? The latter of course! There is a neat little spin on this though that I quite enjoyed. The flashback is about Kanda’s past as a second exorcist that goes from his ‘birth’ to meeting and befriending Alma to Alma’s death. But it just isn’t a flashback; Road of Noah actually uses her powers to transport Allen into Kanda’s memories. I liked this approach because we as readers not only experience the history and gain more understanding about the characters and events but so does our main character! Now when the next volume comes out and Allen interacts with Kanda it will be interesting to see how their relationship dynamic is affected by these revelations.

In Summary
Three fourths of this volume is the flashback; it is a good interesting flashback that explains a lot about the secrets of the Black Order, the second Exorcists, and Kanda himself. Constantly entertaining and interesting, just how I like my D Gray-Man, but the possibility of what can happen next is much more interesting and bound to be good!

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: A-

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: February 1st, 2011
MSRP: $9.99

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