I am so mad at this episode.
Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe I was TOO hyped.
Its been 8 years since the first series ended at 103 episodes.
They make a new season, and they give us… this.
D.Gray-Man is set in an alternate universe in which a creature called the Millennium Earl uses distraught human souls to create Akuma, who in turn kill more people so that the Earl can create more Akuma. He does this by trapping the soul of a dead human into the body of the distraught, grieving human. The dead soul is then manipulated by the Millennium Earl with no free will.
The Black Order is the organization that opposes the Earl and is humanity’s warriors. Those who can fight are called Exorcists and wield weapons made from Innocence. Innocence is the only substance that can kill an Akuma, and each fragment of Innocence only resonates with one person in the entire world. So the Order has to not only find their Exorcists, but the innocence as well.
Enter Allen Walker. A boy who was raised by a clown named Mana, mentored under Order General Marian Cross, and sent to the Black Order to become an Exorcist. He is in possession of a special type of innocence; one embedded in his body known as a parasitic type. So instead of his Innocence fragment being molded into a weapon like a majority, his left arm becomes his weapon. His left arm was red and scaly and ugly since birth, so he was abandoned as a child and met Mana when he was about 10. Mana later died. The Millennium Earl tried to turn Allen into an Akuma when Mana died. Instead of being turned into an Akuma, Manas spirit cursed Allens eye, marring his face with a Pentagram with a tail trailing down his face to his chin. The Cursed Eye is able to detect Akuma in human form. He is not the only character with a parasitic type innocence. Alistair Crowley’s teeth are embedded with Innocence, making him very vampire-like.
The Millennium Earl also has warriors; the 13 Noah’s. The Noah begin as regular people before the Noah gene inside of them(with the theory that every single persons lineage can be traced back to one person, Noah, so each person has the potential to become a Noah) and they become the representation of one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Once a Noah has been killed, that Noah is replaced by another human whose Noah gene will activate and regain the Noah’s memories. Effectively, they are immortal, it may just take time for the Noah gene to activate.
The Noah are the only thing that can destroy Innocence, and they have killed a number of Exorcists. Tikki Myk destroys Allen Walkers left arm to destroy his Innocence. The struggle Allen went through brought me to tears. I sobbed for a good while.
Episode 70, Allen found out his Innocence had not been destroyed and fought to regain it. It ended up evolving, so his left arm became a broad sword that he would wield with his right arm to fight the Akuma.
It was revealed by the Noah that Allen Walker has been embedded with the memories of a 14th Noah, Nea Walker. Allen is told that the memories will surface, and he will cease to be Allen Walker and become Nea Walker, the 14th and exiled Noah. This makes the Order officials wary of him.
The first series ended off at the end of a battle with the first ever level 4 Akuma. The battle destroyed the Black Order headquarters and they had to leave and build a new base for the Order.
Now having read the manga to continue the story, I know what happens. I know the drama with the 14th, and Mana and Nea and Alma and Kanda. It becomes so emotional I was beyond happy that not only the manga resumed after a 3+ year hiatus, but that there was going to be an adaptation of my favorite arc, the Alma Arc.
Now I don’t want them to touch it.
If they are going to maintain this level throughout the season, I would like them to stop now please. So much is wrong! And the original series was not fantastic, especially by todays standards. But that’s the original, that is the standard. With todays techniques, there is no excuse for these blatantly obvious mistakes.
First of all, they skip an arc. Granted it could be made into an OVA, it’s a pretty standalone arc used to break up the battle and give a realistic time break for the new headquarters to be built. But it was missing.
Miranda’s character design is completely different. She is supposed to be pale and gaudy and ugly and have dark circles under her eyes. She is a pathetic character who has been pushed into being an exorcist and she has played that role well. She is not some tan brown curly haired lady that they have turned her into.
Allen is SO confrontational! He was not like that before, he is not like that in the Manga! Sure, there would be bouts, but never a drawn out lighting bolt stare-down with Kanda! Kanda looks down on him, he wouldn’t hold prolonged eye contact! Allen would just bark at him from behind about not being a beanstalk!
Lavi’s voice is WAY to high! He is the cool, but funny character! Kanda is the cool but angry character. Allen is the light but deeply troubled character. Lavi is supposed to have a deeper voice.
As for the animation; the level of detail changed in every single frame. In one part it would be deep lines in the face, fire in their eyes, every movement of their clothes is documented but in the next scenes its eyes, nose, and mouth. In some scenes the only thing moving is a characters mouth, and Timcampy floating in the background. Everything may be drawn anatomically correct, but the level of detail, and even the type of outline fluctuates FAR too much! In one frame all 3 characters will have a different type of outline. So many of the scenes were just the panning over a motionless frame with someone speaking off screen. It is so frustrating I want to cry.
And the absolute worst offence TMS Entertainment made was… the lip sync to the audio was off by SO much! Characters would be talking and their lips would not match it in the slightest. The start and stop times were off, by very noticeable margins.
During internal monologues, the voices didn’t change, there was no audible difference between a spoken voice or an internalized voice. Which just made the lip sync issue worse.
TMS was the studio responsible for the original series. I know a lot of people like the studios to stay the same, but in this case I wish they switched. This is a revival season. People have been waiting for this for 8 years. If it needed to be postponed another season to be done in better quality, we would have understood! And re-watching old episodes, by todays standards its crap. The animation in a lot of old animes compared to now would be considered crap, but older series are special to people. Watching them back when they came out, they were fantastic, and this season-this episode did not hold up that legacy torch.
The one saving grace was the music. The music was very Inuyasha-esque. It fit with the old D.Gray-Man style.
That and that they included old footage in the opening sequence. The opening sequence was the best part of the episode.
It shatters my heart,