D.Gray-man (ディー・グレイマン, Dī Gureiman) is an ongoing steampunk manga about a young man that becomes an exorcist to fight akuma, a type of demon, in an alternate-history 19th century. An anime adaptation was created in 2006 that ran until 2008.
Allen Walker, a young man with a cursed eye, lives to destroy demons known as akuma. These demons are created by the Millennium Earl and are sent out by his command to purge the world of humans. Haunted by the death of his adoptive father, Allen uses an anti-akuma weapon to counter the Earl's attempts to destroy humanity. He joins an organization called the Black Order and there he meets others who also fight against the Millennium Earl's plans, but more questions start to appear as Allen and his friends move further along to reach their goal; questions that seem to connect to Allen's past.
- Allen Walker: A 15-year-old exorcist and the main protagonist. His left eye was cursed by his adoptive father after Allen attempted to resurrect him and inadvertently turned him into an akuma.
- Lavi: A cheerful 18-year-old that is distinguished by his red hair and eyepatch over his right eye. He is training to be a Bookman, one who knows the world's secret history. He often acts as an older brother figure to Allen and Lenalee, despite sometimes acting more immature than them.
- Lenalee Lee: A 16-year-old exorcist from China. She is extremely dedicated to her friends and family, whom she considers to be her "world".
- Yū Kanda: An 18-year-old Japanese exorcist with a cold personality. He hates being called by his given name, Yū, and often berates Lavi for for using it. He has a bitter rivalry with Allen, but seems to hold a soft spot for Lenalee.
The anime adaptation of the manga consists of 103 episode. Because of its dedication to its source material, it does not have a definite end, instead ending at around chapter 157 of the manga. The anime resumed Jul 4th of 2016, entitled D.Gray-Man Hallow, a 1 cour anime consisting of 13 episodes, which adapts chapters 165 -209.
Manga to Anime Differences
The original anime has some key differences from the manga, such as rearranging events, leaving out certain scenes, and changing the characterization of Cross Marian, making him more of a villain, rather than merely a flawed hero, as the manga did.
- Kanda's regenerative abilities and association with lotus flowers are re-interpreted; rather than 'hallucinating' lotus flowers, he keeps a lotus flower in an hourglass that slowly loses its petals as he takes damage. There seems to be a connection between the lotus flower and his regenerative abilities, but what this connection may be remains unclear.
- In the character info by the author, Cross is stated to like good women. In the anime, episode 27, Allen states he likes rich women, and takes money from women in relationships with other men.
- In the manga, Allen says he only gambled when he and Cross were really broke. In the anime, Cross made Allen gamble regardless; for example, he forces Allen to gamble in episode 27, while living in a palace with one of his lovers.
- In the manga, again Allen only states he gambled to make money. In episode 27, he's forced into slave labor to make money for Cross personally and to pay off his debts; working on construction sights, loading docks, and in the desert.
- In episode 25 and 27, Allen says it's because of Cross that he believed all generals were bad people. This was filler not presented in the manga.
- When Cross is shown speaking with the food vendor in the manga, he's carrying a suitcase and bording a train. In the anime, he's carrying no luggage on his travels, and is showing stealing food off of the vendor's cart.
- In the anime, Cross asks Allen to bring him a lion to see, and Allen is almost killed. This was not in the manga, and actually makes Cross much more cruel, because Allen was almost killed by a lion as a young boy when the ring master of an abusive circus threw him into a cage with one in D.Gray-Man Reverse Lost Fragment of Snow.
- The search for General Cross is re-organized. Instead of stumbling upon Krory by chance, Lavi and Allen come across him after receiving reports that Cross was seen there. After recruiting Krory, instead of continuing with their search as they do in the manga, they return to HQ. Allen is not officially dispatched to search for Cross until episode 27. He does not join up with Lavi and Krory until episode 40. Allen is also unaware of Timcampy's ability to instinctively know where his creator, Cross, is until General Tiedoll tells him; in the manga Komui knew this and told Allen right away.
- Lulu Bell is introduced much earlier (episode 40) and is given the assignment to eliminate Cross's unit. An important part of this arc is her Akuma servant Mimi, who is only present in the anime.
- During the Lulu Bell arc, there is a three-episode sub-arc (47-49) about a newly-discovered exorcist called Mei-Ling. While the Black Order attempts to bring her to a safe place, Lulu Bell attempts to destroy her Innocence.
- There is more emphasis on the attachments Lavi has come to develop.
Although the steampunk influences are initially subtle, they still carry a definite impact on the story's setting. The majority of the story's everyday technology does not deviate from the historical technology of the 19th century, but the Black Order does use obviously anachronistic equipment, including advanced robots. One of the more obvious steampunk influences is in Allen's cursed eye once its second stage is activated; gears materialize above it, allowing him to see the souls of Akuma, and thus combining steampunk technology with mystical forces. Other steampunk influences include mechanical dolls that that take on the appearance of humans. Although they do not play a significant role in the story, they are highly advanced machinery that first appeared approximately one hundred years before the events of the story.
D.Gray-Man also contains themes of corruption common in steampunk. Some agents of the Vatican are hinted to have become corrupt and consider exorcists to be nothing more than tools, persecuting Allen for his unwitting ties to the enemy. They are also seen to engage in unethical human experimentation.