Anime DVD Review: D.Gray-man The Complete First Season S.A.V.E. Collection

D.Gray-man The Complete First Season S.A.V.E. Collection is a four-disc DVD set that includes the first 26 episodes of the D.Gray-man anime series. The first disc has seven episodes, the second disc has six episodes, the third disc has seven episodes, and the fourth disc has six episodes. The episodes in the set are available with both the original Japanese audio and an English dub; for the Japanese audio, there are English subtitles available. Additional material is also included on the discs in the set.

D.Gray-man The Complete First Season S.A.V.E. Collection
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: DVD
Release Date: December 27, 2011

D.Gray-man is set in England at the end of a fictitious 19th century. A 15-year-old boy named Allen Walker is the main character of the series, who was abandoned by his parents due to a “deformed” left arm. Allen was adopted by a traveling clown named Mana Walker. When Mana died, Allen was approached by Millennium Earl, who offered to resurrect Mana; however, Mana reappeared in a machine called an Akuma, and the Akuma was ordered to kill Allen. Allen’s “deformed” left arm had a substance called Innocence embedded into it, and his arm became an anti-Akuma weapon. Against his will, Allen killed Mana. Before Mana died, Allen’s left eye was cursed; the curse gives Allen the ability to see the souls of Akuma.

After Allen discovered that Millennium Earl was tricking people to resurrect their loved ones into Akuma in order to create an army to destroy mankind, Allen decided to train himself in order to stop Millennium Earl. As part of his training, he became an apprentice to General Cross, an exorcist of the Black Order. Allen is sent to the Black Order’s headquarters at the beginning of the series, where he meets and fights alongside other Exorcists.

When I first started watching the episodes in this set, I kept seeing things that reminded me too much of Fullmetal Alchemist. These similarities include the time period, the “bean sprout” insult used in regards to the main character’s size, and the main characters in both series trying to bring a loved one back to life. I believe there were some other similarities as well, but those are the main ones that stick out to me as I’m writing this review.

Admittedly, seeing these similarities with Fullmetal Alchemist was a little distracting as I was watching the episodes, and it made the series feel a little derivative. Fortunately, by the time I finished watching this set, the series started finding ways to differentiate itself from Fullmetal Alchemist. D.Gray-man isn’t a bad show, but it does take a little while for it to get going and to find its own identity.

When it comes to this S.A.V.E. release, I believe that all that FUNimation did was to combine two previous DVD releases into one. The first and third discs only contain an episode commentary as an extra. On the first disc, the commentary is for episode two, “The Black Order.” On the third disc, the commentary is for episode 18, “Lenalee’s Love.”

On the second disc, there are two extras listed: “Textless Songs” and “Trailers.” In “Textless Songs,” there are textless versions of the first opening and the first closing available. The trailers are for properties that FUNimation was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.

The fourth disc also contains textless songs and trailers for properties that FUNimation was promoting at the time this DVD set was released. There are textless versions of the first opening and the second closing included on this disc.

If you’re a fan of D.Gray-man and haven’t already purchased the series on DVD, this would be a good item for you to purchase. Since FUNimation has now released this title under its S.A.V.E. line, this means that the company doesn’t intend to hold on to the license for too much longer. In an interview on Anime News Network’s ANNCast podcast, company representatives admitted that once a series is released as a budget-line S.A.V.E. edition, it is the last chance consumers have to purchase a series before the company drops the license. In other words, if you haven’t purchased D.Gray-man on DVD before now, you probably should consider doing so before it’s too late.

I wrote this review after watching a copy of D.Gray-man The Complete First Season S.A.V.E. Collection that my husband purchased for me as a gift.

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