This all contains spoilers; SO READ IT!
- The story of Allen Walker and the Earl of the Milennium is actually a very personal story, as I see it, and I think the simplest way to review what happens in this Manga is to look at it from both sides after each other. Starting with the 'good' side.
The Exorcists and Allen Walker
- The Exorcists are a group of Priests selected (with righteous fury) by the Vatican and equipped with the strongest of holy weapons, Innocence. Some are weapons, some are items and some are parasites that live inside and augment the physical body. There's one 'innocence' called the Heart Innocence that is said to be the strongest of them all. The Exorcists explain to Allen they are looking for it, but in reality the over-arcing story is based in some reality, the Church are exorcising Demons (akuma) to keep the peace.
- Although the story follows Allen Walker as its lead it veers off quite violently towards the other bit part players when they make their appearances. Kanda, Marian, Lena and even Bak-Sama all get heavy face time when the story allows for Allen to be close to them. This actually makes Allen kind of a weak character as the story goes on, but given the weight of the organisation he is working for, that does make following logical sense.
- Throughout the story Allen makes friends, learns their powers, gets stronger and it all rattles along a nice pace that feels very Shounen and well made. It seems to have very definite goals, big fight scenes, uncomfortable romance, that sort of thing but its not until the finality starts to climb in that I saw this as a truly outstanding Manga.
- Effectively like all mainstream Manga/Anime, it hits the ceiling, the roof of what is acceptable and logical by what normal people should follow. Usually these things just blast past it and go on to just sell bigger and more ridiculous ideas. D.Gray-Man sort of doesn't, it hovers over every fight making you constantly uncomfortable reading it because you never know what might happen. In the midst of this Allen is actually representing a normal, thought out, morally fair opinion. The Exorcists are ruthlessly dedicated to the point of self deprication, whilst the Noah and Earl are like little children playing at destroying all humans.
- What this achieves is something that I found, to be pretty unique. Lastly my favourite things about the Exorcists are the mysterious nature of their true power and the people behind it, accompanied by the constant uphill battle the protaganists face trying to stay in the confines of Dogma and actually beat these maniacal Demons.
The Noah, Akuma and Earl of the Milennium
- Earl, his Noah and the Akuma they make are all subhuman. Humans that have been consumed by some sort of evil power and turned into automatons for Earl. It seems that they do what he asks because he grants them limitless power, a place on earth for all eternity and the freedom to rampage and kill as they see fit. They can never love, reproduce or be free of his control.
- The story, really, centres around the Earl's decision to bring a two thousand year war to a close. He's been gathering his forces (the Noah) and slowly corrupting as much as humanity as is possible (many akuma can still form human shape) so as to mount a huge assault to find the Heart Innocence. One of the great plot devices is that Earl thinks the Exorcists have it or know where it is, whilst in reality, they have absolutely no idea. It's early on that earl captures one of the Stronger Looking Exorcist Generals and tortures him to learn that knowledge.
- So as the story revolves around, with the two groups chasing each other in slowly deepeningly serious battles, it basically unwravels that the Exorcists without Allen and his friends have absolutely no guard against Earl's forces. However no matter what happens, the Heart Innocence seems to remain pretty well hidden.
- Ultimately it winds up a little bit Harry Potter-ish, it actually draws so many interesting elements from different theologies, philosophies and moral idealogies that I don't even want to get into it. It's really worth reading yourself.
9.5/10: I love this manga, I may be a heathen westerner with a large coke but this is exactly the kind of challenging thing I love. It darts around and keeps you guessing, don't let the haters tell you what it is and isn't and what it could of been. It's a fantastic story with some many great themes and motifs that I really now, having written this, feel I didn't do it justice and should just re-read the whole thing. Huge fights, demons, weird boy/girls and a totally wigged out loved-up pyschopath bad guy villain who just loves violence so much he wants to put it on and screw it. So much fun.
Maybe the only thing it lacks is a little bit of romance and sexuality, but I think if you look for it you can see why it isn't there, as to say it isn't omitted just shifted out of focus. I admit thats personal, I find staring at huge anime tits for hours and not getting uncomfortable, hard.
On another note don't ever watch the Anime, it's god awful.