|D.Gray-man (ディー・グレイマン Dī Gureiman) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Katsura Hoshino. The series tells the story of a boy named Allen Walker, a member of an organization of Exorcists who makes use of an ancient substance called Innocence to combat the Millennium Earl and his demonic army of akuma. Many characters and their designs were adapted from some of Katsura Hoshino's previous works and drafts, such as Zone and Continue, and her assistants.
The manga began serialization in 2004 in the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine, published by Shueisha under their Jump Comics imprint, and to date, 23 collected volumes have been released. It made the transition from weekly to monthly series in November 2009, when it began serialization in Jump SQ. There is also a spin-off novel series titled D.Gray-man Reverse, authored by Kaya Kizaki, that explores the history of various characters. As of July 3, 2012, Viz Media has released the first twenty two volumes in the United States. The manga has also been adapted into a 103 episode anime series that aired from October 3, 2006 to September 30, 2008 in Japan. The anime is licensed by Funimation Entertainment in North America.
The manga series has become one of the best-sellers for Shueisha. During its second release week, the 15th volume of the manga ranked as the second best selling comic in Japan. Although most reviewers compared it to other series from the same genre, they praised its moments of originality and its well-developed characters and their personalities.
D.Gray-man follows the adventures of 15-year-old Allen Walker, whose left arm can transform into a monstrous claw and destroy Akuma, evolving machines created by the Millennium Earl to help him destroy humanity. As ordered by his master General Cross Marian, Allen becomes an Exorcist, people who can destroy Akuma, for the Black Order, an organization attempting to stop the Earl. He becomes a powerful asset for the Order because he can detect disguised Akuma with his left eye. Allen is sent to recover pieces of Innocence, a substance that gives the Exorcists the ability to destroy Akuma. The Earl decides to call together the Noah Family, superhuman descendants of Noah who can destroy Innocence. Both sides start the search for the Heart, the most powerful piece of Innocence that will ensure victory to the side that finds it.
During his search, the Earl begins killing the Generals, the Order's most powerful Exorcists. To protect them, the Order attempts to bring the Generals back to headquarters, and Allen and three other Exorcists are sent to search for the missing General Cross. During the search, Allen and Lenalee Lee are nearly killed, but they are saved by their Innocence, leading the Earl and Bookman and his apprentice Lavi, who are chronicling the war, to believe one of them possesses the Great Heart. Meanwhile, the Order learns that Allen is to succeed Nea Walker, a Noah that betrayed and was killed by the Earl, as the 14th Noah. This leads the Order to suspect that Allen might betray them, and he is eventually confined. The Noah frees him to rescue Allen from the Apocryphos, a sentient Innocence that guards the Heart, causing the Order to revoke Allen's rights as an Exorcist and treat him as a Noah.