Born in 1980, Shiga Prefecture native Katsura Hoshino's hit manga series D.Gray-man has been serialized in Weekly SHONEN JUMP since 2004. His first series, Continue, first appeared in Weekly SHONEN JUMP in 2003.
Hoshiro's fantastic vision of a Victorian England stalked by the evil Millennium Earl is a true original, although the action takes place more than a hundred years before the turn of the millennium. A wonderfully strange destroyer of worlds, the Earl wears a top hat and tails, and bears a passing resemblance to both the Joker and the leader of the Blue Meanies. His strategy is to overrun the earth with legions of akuma, demons created through blasphemous rage. Against these nightmare soldiers are ranged the forces of good, human wielders of something called "innocence," a substance that was washed away long ago when Noah was in his ark. Chief among the good guys is our hero, Allen Walker, who has a concentration of innocence in his left hand. In his quest to keep the world safe, Walker recruits friends to his cause and seeks out the Black Order, a mysterious band recommended by his unseen master; this gang of do-gooders is also committed to fighting the Millennium Earl. Although the story line is imaginative, what makes Hoshino's work outstanding is the art, a fabulous collection of images both elegant and macabre, that should have much appeal for the crowd that reads Hellsing and similar goth adventure manga. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.