|Name:||D.Gray-man (ディーグレイマン dii gureiman)|
|Abbreviation(s):||DGM, Dグレ, D灰, 灰男|
|Creator:||HOSHINO Katsura (星野 桂) ♀|
|Date(s):||2004 - present (manga)|
2006 - 2008 (anime)
2005, 2006 (novels)
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
|External Links:||Official Site (J)|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
D.Gray-man is a dark fantasy shounen manga series created by Hoshino Katsura. In Japan, it was serialized in the popular magazine Weekly Shounen Jump from 2004 to 2009; as of November 2009 it has transitioned to a monthly format in the Jump SQ magazine. DGM also received an accompanying anime series which began in 2006 and finished its run of 103 episodes as of October 2008. The D.Gray-man manga is published in English by VIZ Media; the first 52 episodes of the anime adaptation have been released in North America by Funimation Entertainment. In addition, two spinoff novels in a series titled D.Gray-man: Reverse (authored by Kizaki Kaya, supervised and illustrated by Hoshino) were released in Japan only; these novels detail the backstories of several main characters.
Throughout its five-year lifespan, the series has not always run continuously; author Hoshino is somewhat infamous for her unfortunate series of injuries and health problems which have caused the manga to go on multiple several-month hiatuses in the past. There has been no public confirmation on the matter and likely will not be, but it is believed by the fandom that DGM's transition to the monthly Jump SQ is primarily an effort to spare the author's health -- being that the schedule of a monthly magazine is less demanding than that of a weekly one.
D.Gray-man takes place primarily in an AU version of 19th-century Europe (stated to be "a fictionalized end of the 19th century" [仮想19世紀末 kasou 19 seikimatsu], fans have speculated the series is set anywhere from the 1850s to the 1910s; popular fan consensus seems to place D.Gray-man in the 1890s or 1880s). The series follows the exploits of 15-year-old Allen Walker, a young British boy seeking to join the Black Order, an organization of Exorcists who fight against the Millennium Earl and his army of mechanical demons known as Akuma. The Earl is planning the obliteration of the human race, and only the power of Innocence, 109 "crystals of God" scattered across the world after the Biblical Great Flood, can destroy his Akuma creations without killing the stolen human souls trapped inside. Allen and his companions are dispatched across the globe to look for Innocence and new Exorcists, destroy Akuma, and thwart the plans of the Earl and his Noah Family.
Though not without significant comedic elements, D.Gray-man is fundamentally dark in tone, borrowing both visual and plot inspiration from sources like steampunk and Gothic horror and incorporating elements from Catholicism, Christian mysticism, and numerous other world mythologies. The series deals with a number of recurring plot themes, perhaps most prominently those of sacrifice, togetherness, the definition of family, the nature of war, and the thin line between good and evil -- series creator Hoshino has stated that the "gray" in D.Gray-man's title refers to this ongoing theme. 
In terms of fandom size, D.Gray-man can be considered probably the least popular among Shounen Jump's long running "big four" manga series, the others consisting of One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach respectively. Shounen Jump fandoms tend to have large overlaps in membership, with many fans claiming a single title as their "main" fandom, then following along with one or more other titles more casually; though many members of manga fandom read D.Gray-man, numbers of those who claim it as their "main" fandom appear to be comparatively few. Despite its relatively small size, however, the fandom maintains a constant level of activity, and the series has grown in name recognition among English-speaking fans with the North American release of the manga and anime series. As with many areas of fandom, there is some amount of gender self-segregation; male DGM fans are often found on message boards such as D.Gray-Divinity or NarutoFan's DGM section, while female fans tend to frequent the fandom's main LiveJournal communities (dgrayman, dgray_man, dgrayman_yaoi, and others) more often.
As a series created well after the mass migration to LiveJournal by fanfic-centric fandom, D.Gray-man has few dedicated fansites, and has never had a series-specific fanfiction archive. The majority of fanfic for the series can be found on LiveJournal and Fanfiction.net; fanart and cosplay photos are generally posted at DeviantArt and individual LiveJournals. The number of AMVs created for D.Gray-man is relatively small compared to fandoms like Naruto or Bleach, but some videos can be found on Youtube as well as AnimeMusicVideos.org. Many DGM fans participate in LiveJournal roleplay -- the D.Gray-man Dressing Room, the largest of only two active DGM-only games on LiveJournal (the other being a more recent offshoot dressing room known as the D.Gray-Islands), is one of the fandom's busiest communities. Single-fandom games of a more traditional application-based style have occasionally been attempted, such as Absolvisti in 2007 and Overclocked in 2008, but have met with little success -- it is believed this failure may be due to the relatively small size of DGM's main cast and the fact that the overwhelming majority of the fandom is interested only in the same four characters.
Of the main genres of fanwork, yaoi wins by a landslide in DGM fandom in terms of popularity, with het coming in second, gen an extremely distant third, and yuri having an arguably negligible presence. The overwhelming majority of fanworks for the series are based on yaoi pairings revolving around various combinations of the three teen male protagonists, Allen, Rabi (Lavi), and Kanda. There are separate large followings within the main fandom for every possible combination of the boys, including fans of different characters as seme and uke. The fourth main protagonist, a teenage girl named Linali (Lenalee), is a popular subject for het pairings with each of the three boys. Owing to the fact that probably 80~90% of English fanworks center on these few characters, fandom has affectionately dubbed them the OT3, or the OT4 on occasions when Linali is included. Of the remaining 10~20% of DGM fanworks, characters who appear in a significant number include Linali's elder brother Komui, debauched General Cross Marian, and villain Tyki Mikk. These and other adult characters sometimes appear in various combinations as side pairings in fanfic featuring the OT4 (pairings of Tyki and Allen, Komui and Cross, and Komui with side character River are often favored); fanworks exclusively focused on the adults have their own small, separate following within the fandom.
Pairing names in D.Gray-man generally fall in line with the standard conventions developed across the larger animanga fandom on LiveJournal in recent years, with a few idiosyncracies. A x B, A/B, and AB (name smoosh/portmanteau) would all be considered standard; A & B and A+B would be considered unusual, but still intelligible. Beyond indicating presence of a pairing, there is little to no difference in perceived meaning between the various symbols -- a story labeled A/B, for example, would likely be taken for a fic where A is seme and B is uke based on name order, despite the use of the slash. Portmanteau naming, while very popular in Japanese DGM fandom, has not crossed over as consistently into English-speaking fandom due to the shortness of many of the romanized names; seeing full-name 'portmanteaus' like RabiAllen (LaviAllen) or KandaRabi is common. Pairings involving Linali/Lenalee, however, tend to use name shortening, as in KanLina and KomuLina (this brother-sister pairing also has one of the few idiosyncratic names in DGM fandom, Licest/Leecest). One of DGM's most popular pairings, KandaAllen, has its own special portmanteau invented by English-speaking fandom: what Japanese fans call KanAlle is known to most DGM fans on Fanfiction.net as Yullen.
Aside from routine personality conflicts, DGM is generally a quiet fandom, and outright pairing wars are few and far between. A large percentage of fans ship multiple pairings at the same time, often pairing the same character with several different people, and there is a general attitude of live-and-let-live. The majority of pairing disagreements occur off-LiveJournal, often centering on het pairings within the OT4 -- AllenLinali vs RabiLinali vs KanLina is a perennial debate, especially among fanboys. Within the yaoi side of the fandom, wank most often arises over characterization debates: Allen seme vs Allen uke, Kanda seme vs Kanda uke, and whether or not Rabi is promiscuous are arguments that seem to crop up repeatedly.
One common point of contention in this fandom is the issue of character name spellings. Many anime/manga fandoms have alternate "non-official" name spellings present to a limited extent, but in D.Gray-man this practice is arguably more widespread and standard than in other fandoms. Some fans prefer to concede to the spellings published by the series creator, but many other fans feel that the given "official" spellings are nonsensical, not aesthetically pleasing, not accurate romanizations from the Japanese, or demonstrate a lack of knowledge about English pronunciation rules and therefore reject them. Name spellings can be an issue of bitter dispute among some fans; instances of people looking down on others in the fandom for their choice of name spellings are not unheard of.
Example list (non-exhaustive) of varying name spellings in D.Gray-man
All character names are in Western order with the exception of Kanda, who is commonly
referred to in Japanese order (surname first) both in the manga/anime and in the fandom.
|Japanese name||Literal Romanization||Spelling given by creator||Popular alternate spellings|
|アレン・ウォーカー||aren uookaa||Allen Walker||n/a|
|神田ユウ||kanda yuu||Yu Kanda (Western order)||Kanda Yuu|
|リナリー・リー||rinarii rii||Lenalee Lee||Linali Li, Rinali, Linalee|
|アレイスター・クローリー||areisutaa kuroorii||Arystar Krory||Aleister Crowley|
|デイシャ・バリー||deisha barii||Daisya Barry||Deisha Barry|
|フロワ・ティエドール||furowa ti'edooru||Froi Tiedoll||Froi Theodore|
|マルコム・Ｃ・ルベリエ||marukomu C ruberi'e||Malcom C. Lvellie||LeVerrier, Leverrier, Rouvelier|
dgrayman - General discussion/all-purpose community.
dgray_man - The series' original all-purpose community. Still in use, but most fans favor dgrayman due to the disappearance of dgray_man's maintainer, lack of tags and other issues.
exorcists_order - Information about new releases of manga chapters, anime episodes, DVDs, books, and all other official material.
dgrayman_yaoi - For posting of yaoi-themed fanworks and discussion.
dgure - General fanworks community.
dgray_flashfic - Fic exchange community.
dgm_bigbang - Fanfic writing challenge community.
dgmkinkmeme - Fandom-exclusive kink meme -- quiet but still active.
dgray_icons - Icon community.
dgray_cosplay - Cosplay discussion, photos, etc.
dgm_amvs - Posting/discussion of AMVs, MADs, and other video.
capslock_dgm - Macros, memes, videos, and other humor.
dgm_connect - Meetup/advertising comm for DGM roleplayers.
dgmdressroom - Dedicated dressing room RPG.
dgrayislands - Dedicated dressing room RPG.
rateme_exorcist - Character rating/sorting community.
Cross Grave - D.Gray-man series fanlisting.
dgm - General D.Gray-man community on Dreamwidth.
D.Gray-Divinity - Message-board-centric discussion site with image gallery and multimedia downloads.
D.Gray-man archive at Fanfiction.net.
Essence - partial screencap gallery.
Fleeting Fancies - One fan's collection of DGM recs.
D.Gray-man works at AO3
- VIZ Media Products: D.Gray-man. Retrieved on 2009-01-04.
- "Funimation Acquires Romeo x Juliet, D. Gray-Man". Anime News Network (2008-05-17). Retrieved on 2009-01-04.
- Hoshino, Katsura (2004-10-04). D.Gray-man vol 1. Shueisha. ISBN 4088736915.
- Anonymous @ dgmkink_disc (2008-05-09). Retrieved on 2009-01-06.
- Anonymous @ dgmkink_disc (2008-05-08). Retrieved on 2009-01-06.