Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Plot Summary:
Alan Walker is a very special young man who's arm is a powerful source of power that can destroy demons, called Akuma; Akuma's are dead souls brought back to life by grieving loved ones that are trapped in vessels controlled by the Millenium Earl. In order to combat these demons, Alan becomes an exorcist for an organization called "the Black Order." However, the Earl has called upon the Noah family to destroy the generals since they are immune to Innocence.As the Noah's continue to slaughter generals left and right theya re unable to kille General Cross, who is Alan's mentor and a scoundrel. As part of the order, Alan is joined by his comrades (Lenna Lee, Lavi, Bookman,Aristar, and Kanda) who not only possess their own demon slaying abilities, but they all share one thing: friendship and tragedy. They may not all get along, but they are willing to sacrifice each other to make share the Millenium Earl does not steal any more souls.

Critical Evaluation:
Katsura Hoshino has created a world where evil roams freely praying on defenseless human beings and the art work is just stunning. Hoshino's characters are not only memorable, but their personalities vary, which makes them unique and lovable, especially since most of them happen to be teenagers. Alan Walker is just adorable beyond words; not only is he innocent, he wears his heart on his sleeve, which saddens the readers when they learn about the immense burden he carries. Lavi is the comedy relief of the story whose antics are just astonishing. Moreover, Aristar is a contradiction (he is a vampire that feeds off the blood of Akuma and he cries a lot). Kanda is the stereotypical bad boy, who not only makes fun of Alan, but has a soft spot deep within that hard exterior. Last, but not least, Leena Lee is the den mother who not only keeps all of the boys in check, but is also the only one who can keep her older brother under control since he has a massive sister complex. The plot is not only original, it is puts a spin on the battle between heaven and hell, which makes it intoxicating and hard to put down.

Information about the Author:
Katsura Hoshino was born April 21, 1980. As a manga artist, she has written three manga series and currently lives in the Shiga Prefecture. As the the youngest fraternal twin, she wrote her first manga at the age of twenty-one and she had not made any public appearances until 2008, which left a lot of critics and fans guessing if she was a guy or a girl. However, that same year, all of the questions, regarding her gender, were put to rest when she attended the Animagic convention in Germany as the guest of honor. Unfortunately, due to health problems, the series has been on hiatus several times so readers have been waiting anxiously for new installments.

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up 

Books Similar to D. Gray Man:

Awards & Recognition:
  • 2006: French Grand Prix Award organized by Animeland  
  • 2006: Webotaku's prize for Manga of the Year 2006
  • 2006: Prize for Best Manga Series 2006 
  • 2006, the second installment was the third bestselling novel in Japan
  • 2007-2008: Weekly Sh┼Źnen Jump's ninth bestselling manga in Japan
  • 2008: The fifteenth volume ranked twenty-second and the fourteenth and sixteenth volumes placed at twenty-seventh and thirtieth respectively

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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