D.Gray-man is a shounen manga written and illustrated by Katsura Hoshino. It debuted in 2004 and is still on-going, having come out of a long hiatus in 2015 for quarterly releases.
It follows the story of Allen Walker, an orphaned boy who is set on a path of becoming an exorcist for an organization called the Black Order. It is set in an alternate 19th century, in which an entity known as The Millennium Earl is looking to destroy humanity.
Thematically, it touches deeply on the subjects of grief, purpose, identity, and found family.
It is my favorite manga of all time and it holds a very special place in my heart as it was what brought my late best friend Eden and I together back in 2015. I have re-read it many times.
Hoshino's artwork has long been a great inspiration for me ever since I picked up D.Gray-man when I was a teenager. I love the more exaggerated stylization she had on her early chapters, and her attention to detail and impressive rendering on her current work too. But perhaps, most of all, I love her captivating writing, storytelling, and sense of humor.
D.Gray-man is the type of story that when you come back to it a second time, you always find new little details that enrich your reading further. It always takes me on a wonderful journey with characters rich in personality and development. It is a story that always feels like home.
Below is some artwork taken from different volumes of the manga. Click them for a bigger resolution!
Art from early chapters.
Art from recent chapters.
If you've never read D.Gray-man and like shounen manga I suggest you give it a try! I feel like it's a very refreshing title in the genre. No matter how many times I reread it, it still continues to move me in ways few other manga have managed.
This is the only series for which I have collected every volume to date. I hope that someday we will get to see the story to its completion.