D.Gray-Man Volume 11: Fight To The Debt

D.Gray-Man Volume 11: Fight To The Debt 
Story and Art: Katsura Hoshino
Release Date: 2nd May 2007
Covers Chapters 98-107
Shonen Jump Advanced/Viz Media

Been nearly two years since I read D.Gray-Man and it is pretty hard to see why after the dramatic battle between Skin and Katsura. The dash through the crumbling ark continues and this time our friendly Exorcists must deal with a deadly duo who have the power of imagination behind them. The most powerful power in the world when used to its fullest and Jasdero and David like to go full on. 

The volume covers the huge battle and doesn’t make it to the end, instead opting for a dark cliffhanger which will certainly not have me wait two years till I pick it up again. Jasdero and David are two weird members of Noah who carry around guns and are falling apart over the debt left by Allen’s master Cross on their attempts to catch him. With Cross out of their reach and Allen before them, they decide to take their anger out within the ark and the battle erupts within a library room. It’s Allen, Lavi, Krory, Lenalee and Chaoji versus the two and each gets their own time to shine/play damsel in distress. Except for Chaoji; you can be forgiven for thinking he isn’t even there. I think he’s hiding or using his special invisibility powers no one else is aware of.

Despite being a volume long battle, it doesn’t drag due to the variety of obstacles Jasdero and David throw at our heroes. From illusionary key hunts and fake Millennium Earls to crazy combined blood bath battles, the pace and tone shifts from an amusing tone to one of deep concern as the Exorcists desperately try to fight their way through. The excellent gothic art style helps showcase the hopelessness of the situation  with the dark detailed characters and nightmarish dreamscapes and like the previous battle, there is a lot of doubt on whether the crew are going to get through this all in one piece. The way the characters work together (except Chaoji) is much more interesting than straight one on ones, and when they do take that route, there is a sense of meaning to the action and they don’t feel too forced.

The ark is crumbling, but the story is tightly stuck together with no cracks in sight.

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