"With my right hand I will save humans, and with my left hand I will save the Akuma."
— Allen Walker
D.Gray-man is a manga (later adapted into an anime) about Allen Walker, a 15-year-old Exorcist with a deformed left arm which can transform into a weapon called Innocence. Allen fights against the Millennium Earl and his Akuma: living weapons created by trapping a human soul inside a mechanical body using Dark Matter, and having it wear the skin of the human that created it in the first place. The Millennium Earl wants to use these to destroy humanity, and Allen, who was cursed by an Akuma as a child, is caught in between. The Black Order, which he joins early in the series, is a religious organisation of Exorcists that seeks to stop the Earl and destroy his Akuma using Innocence. As the story progresses, a conspiracy unfolds involving the Noah Family - a group headed by the Earl - and the mysterious "14th" Noah.Written by Katsura Hoshino, the series is known and loved for blending typical shonen action tropes with a gothic sensibility and a sense of design that borders on the surreal. Tends to go on hiatus a lot due to Hoshino's bad health, so updates are a bit unpredictable. The most recent hiatus ended on August 17th 2010, wherein she released a 50 page chapter. The series has now switched to a monthly schedule − but the releases are still very sparse. The most recent chapter was released in late 2012, with Hoshino having gone on yet another hiatus due to illness, the most recent chapters having been organized into Volume 24. There has yet to be any announcement of any potential forthcoming chapters.For the same reason, the Animated Adaptationended in 2009 after 102 episodes, in the middle of volume 16. An uncancelling is unlikely at the moment, but some fans still hope to see it again.See the character sheet here.
Actually Not a Vampire: Krory, since he'd attack the townspeople at night and drain them of their blood. Turns out he was subconsciously attacking Akuma.
Adaptation Distillation: Even though the anime adaptation is fairly true to the source material (manga and novels), it still alters the timeline, and includes characters in events where they originally weren't there either because the event occurred before they were introduced, or it was a solo mission. For instance the time when Allen meets Jan in episode 6 and we find out how Allen became cursed, originally happened before Allen joined the Black Order.
Adaptation Expansion: The anime fillers add plenty of characterizations to characters that had less of the spotlight in the manga, notably Miranda, Krory, Kanda after he was temporarily Put on a Bus, and General Yeegar, Daisya Barry, and Suman Dark, who we barely got to know in the manga.
A Death in the Limelight: A number of these episodes also happen the episode before said character dies (or is Put on a Bus.) Yeeger and Daisya are given this treatment. Suman also isn't seen again after his episode until the start of the Fallen One arc.
Allen loves everyone, even the Akuma and villains, with two exceptions: He nurtures a great hatred for the Earl, and tries to kill him in the Ark, and he absolutely cannot get along with Kanda.
Subverted by Lenalee. Although on the surface her strongly caring nature could appear to invoke this trope, we later find out otherwise when it's revealed that she is only this way towards the people who make up her 'world', and she doesn't care about what happens to those outside it.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In one scene, Cross shoots a Level 4 Akuma full of bullets. He tells it he fired one for each of his allies it killed, and the rest were for ruining his coat.
Art Evolution: Several actually. Due to Hoshino's health problemsthere were several long breaks that went with abrupt changes in the author's style. From volume 1 to 8 the drawings follow a regular curve, getting more and more refined. Then from volume 9, the drawings suddenly became more angular and less classical, and when the publication went monthly after a year long hiatus, the style changed again and has become rather irregular since then.
One very interesting newer example is the design of Link. Starting out as a somewhat younger version of Lvellie (lacking Hitler moustache) with a horrible hairstyle and nightmarish eyes, his design later got more and more towards the Bishōnen section - which is directly proportional to his increasing screen time and him getting more and more likeable and accepted as part of Allen's everyday life (which is even lampshaded when Allen calls him "furniture"). And as things are now he is freakin' damn hot. Ho Yay ensues.
We can also note the unexplained change of Lenny Epstein's design. Before the long hiatus she was a very tall and muscular looking woman with a long face, not unlike Mahoja (although not as extreme). When the manga became monthly though, she apparently lost 15cm in height and looked like a more classic Hot Scientist.
As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Certainly seems to be how majority of characters were named. The protagonist has the most accurate name considering that he's British, but others... not so much. Alma Karma, Cross Marian, Klaud Nine, Froi Tiedoll, Tup Dop, Winters Socalo, Tyki Mikk, Road Kamelot and Jasdero among others. The list just goes on. Not to mention the rather feminine names on some male characters...
Awful Truth: Mana was the 14th Noah's brother, and insane.
Alma Karma is Kanda's pre-death female lover. He would go to extreme means for it to stay ignored.
Really, the Alma Karma arc has a long list of those concerning the Black Order and just how far/low they're willing to go/sink.
Bad Ass: There are a lot, especially Allen (it takes unusual levels of awesome to be able to shout Crown Clown in the middle of a fight without looking like an idiot) and Kanda. And General Cross wears this trope like it was made for him.
And we also have Lenalee, Tyki Mikk, Lavi, Krory, and Road. All very, very badass.
Madarao is extremely badass. Takes him no effort at all to destroy a Level 3. Shame he and the other Third Exorcists are subject to The Worf Effect.
Badass Normal: Inspector Howard Link, despite having no superpowers and appearing at first like a meddling bureaucrat, is able to keep up with the rest of the cast and has a particularly awesome, albeit ineffective, moment attempting to defend an Innocence user.
Also Mahoja (so strong that she can kick a level 2 Akuma off her ship!) and Officer Moor. Reever also counts.
Badass Transplant: Although technically all of the exorcists apply, Allen takes the cake for having the most obviously transplanted one, and the most badass.
Krory has been known to get a little irritated when somebody calls him a vampire.
Don't even hint at the fact that Jasdevi is a monster.
It is advisable NOT to lay hands on ANY of Allen's True Companions. His anger at you is directly proportional to the number of people you hold as hostages - and the amount of sadism you threaten upon them has quite some influence too.
Oh EARL... oh 14th... you two both never get that Allen hates it when the latter one once again tries taking over. (Most hilarious reaction - he got back to consciousness, just to ram his head into the Earl's teeth)
Level One: Giant orb covered in cannons with a human face down the centerline.
Level Two: Massive animalistic form, with abilities and design unique to each Akuma.
Level Three: Always an armoured figure, with individual variations only manifesting as differing numbers of eyes and unique abilities. Level Three Point Five: A giant, lanky hermaphorditic humanoid roughly the size of Godzilla, made by combining thousands of Level Two and Three Akuma.
Level Four: The deadliest Akuma form yet, resembles a naked pot-bellied four-foot tall hermaphroditic ball-socket-doll-like tattooed haloed cherubim, which is capable of batting aside five Critical-level exorcists (that is to say, the Generals and Allen, the most powerful exorcists alive), without breaking a sweat.]]
Black and Gray Morality: An Omnicidal Maniac versus an insanely extremist Church Militant that will stoop to absolutely any depths. Poor Allen is a bit of an anomaly... Arguably, most of Allen's fellow exorcists are good people. It's just the Black Order's management that employ the less desirable methods
Yet every time Lenalee mentions how the order basically kidnapped and imprisoned her for years, she handwaves it all that now they are her family. And there is no real bitterness towards them.
Blood from the Mouth: Seems to happen to Allen pretty much every battle, and Kanda fairly often as well.
Body Horror: The Akuma blood bullets make you break out in a pentacle-shaped rash. Then you explode into toxic dust.
Also, Suman Dark. Poor, poor Suman.
Don't forget when Road stabbed Allen in the eye, then we get to see his partially regrown-but-still-not-there eye-socket!
And remember when Allen's arm was all flaked and looked like it was about to fall off? Then Tyki ripped it off and then had his Teez eat a hole in Allen's heart?
And Level 0 Akuma forcing themselves down their victim's throat...and Tyki destroying people's hearts...Let's just say there's a lot and leave it at that.
Almost payback for Tyki's Body Horror infliction on Allen: He transforms rather gruesomely into a demonic knight thing that turned the Black Knight scary again. He now uses weird energy circle things to basically trounce his enemies left and right. It also seems to have a taste for blood.
Why does everyone seem to forget Daisya? We never did find out what all was missing from his corpse, did we?
Born Unlucky: You think being chosen to be the host of a not exactly benevolent man's soul and being suspected by the Order sucks enough? Well Allen, be happy to learn that you are now targeted by an enemy you can do nothing against, who wants to absorb you and will chase you to the end of the world!
Bratty Half-Pint: Surprisingly, Allen was bratty, mouthy, and a bit of an urchin back when he worked in the circus, before meeting Mana. And now Timothy.
Past Yu. Having your memories erased, reconfigured into a child body, and being subjected to horrific experiments can do that to you
Break the Cutie: Alma, Alma, Alma. The Cheerful Child foil to Yu's Bratty Half-Pint, he eventually slaughters the whole lab when he figures out his "friends" (failed experiments) are never going to wake up and since the war with the Noahs will never end, neither will the horrible experiments.
Bridal Carry: Several times between Allen and Lenalee when he rescues her, a few times between Lavi and Lenalee, and Kanda and Alma.
Broken Hero: Both Allen and Lenalee are deeply traumatized, but you wouldn't know it to look at them.
Cessation of Existence: If an Akuma is destroyed by anything but an Innocence, it cannot be saved. Road gave Allen his first experience of this by causing an Akuma to self-destruct.
Chainsaw Good: Winters Socalo (by rapidly spinning his serrated blades.)
Charles Atlas Superpower: It´s never really mentioned how, but pretty much all the Exorcists are capable of superhuman feats of agility and strength. Allen´s daily morning routine consists of 300 1-handed handstands per hand, Socaro is able to leap hundreds of feet into the air and Leenalee can jump a few scores of feet into the air without her Innonence acitivated. All the Noah have superhuman strength too, though it is somewhat justified since they are able to use the superhuman Noah genes within all humans that unlock not only certain Dark Matter-based powers, but also incredibly strength, regeneration and agility.
The Charmer: Current evidence suggests that Allen could be if he wanted to, but he's too kind to do so. Unless the victim is a robot, that is.
Cheerful Child: Alma, despite the horrible experiments that were done to him. And then he figures out the experiments will never end...
Chekhov's Gun: The abandoned city of Mater, where Kanda and Alma end up being transported by Allen so they can get away from the Order.
Chivalrous Pervert: General Cross who, despite being having many lovers, really does care for and form bonds with his women. Unlike The Casanova, nothing has shown he mistreats or is dismissive of his lovers. In fact the manga shows he thinks fondly of women. Also, Allen says under Cross' bed, at mother's house, that it's filled with things he got from his lovers, pictures, accessories and silverware. So, Cross has keepsakes from his lovers that he puts away. Seems Cross may be into Polyamory if anything.
Chronic Hero Syndrome: Allen has a rather serious case of "Must save everyone!" and doesn't seem to have quite gotten it through his head that there are only about twenty Exorcists and millions of Akuma.
Comedic Sociopathy: Cross's emotional and physical abuse of Allen is usually played for laughs. The least disturbing form this takes is his habit of racking up massive debts and leaving them for his 15-year-old apprentice to pay, or, in a case that actually was funny, for the guys who were trying to kill him.
As of Chara Gray, Cross takes it Up to Eleven—while the events in the framing story are in the same spirit as a Fourth Wall Mail Slot page when it comes to how canon they are, Cross manages to somehow pile on more debts on Allen despite, as Allen notes, it being uncertain if Cross is alive or dead.
Common Tongue: Everyone speaks English in this series, no matter the people or the place. At the beginning it was justified within the order because of the various nationalities inside of it (although in the 19th century English was not the lingua franca it is nowadays...) but then the heroes travel to Italy, Germany, Romania or France and don't have any trouble to communicate with complete strangers. The newspaper in the Rewind City arc (set in Germany) are also written in English, as well as the name of Timothy's orphanage in Paris. Even the Noah's real names are English! The tongue barrier is only briefly Played for Laughs in China. So the most logical explanation is that Hoshino just doesn't care...
Crapsack World: Of the highest degree. Congratulations you are now an Exorcist for the Church. Here is your Innocence. Problem is that there is only a dozen of you guys against the millions, if not billions, of Akuma which can each kill you horribly in a single shot. They are also led by the Noah family who each have ridicously powerful abilities which can all kill you horribly in a single shot. Next of which is the Earl who can kill you and everyone you love horribly in a single shot. Better not mess up though or we will order your friends to kill you horribly in a single shot. Better not go against us cause we have a squad of Half-Akuma shrouded guys who can and are really willing to kill you horribly in a single shot. Oh and remember that Innocence which gives you all of your powers? Better be careful or else it will turn you into a Fallen. Which will force you to go on a rampage, murdering all the people you are trying to protect before finally draining your life force and leaving you a hollow shell before you pray for death. Oh and if you do happen to die we might just revive you in a new body so you can do it all again. Enjoy.
Honestly, how are the exorcists ever going to beat the Akuma and save the world?!
What was that? You said you killed a member of the Noah family? Well too bad. Turns out that every member of humanity is a descendant of the original Noah which means that soon enough the memories of the Noah will be reincarnated spontaneously. Which means that eventually they will come back and ready to kill you again.
Don't forget the Heart of the Innocence. When this one randomly appears if the enemy gets it than its destruction will lead to the destruction of all Innocence in the World which means nothing can stop the destruction of the world.
Creature Hunter Organization: The Black Order. being tasked with looking for and training people who can be Exorcists and providing them with non-exorcist backup for reconnaissance and such. The exorcists are the ones doing the actual hunting of Akuma though.
Creepy Cool Crosses: All over the place - the stigmata on the Noah clan, one of the lower-level attacks from Allen's innocence, the symbol of the Black order (complete with embedded Hebrew and Greek lettering)...
Although when someone else is able to see Akuma the way he does, they practically have a nervous breakdown, so that part maybe isn't so cool. Useful, though.
Exorcists in general. Yeah so having Innocence gets you a cool weapon that can kill Akuma, but Innocence shortens the exorcist's life and causes them to be targeted by Akuma and Noah. If that's not enough, being an exorcist makes you be treated as a pawn by bigoted higher-ups of the Black Order, and betraying the Innocence itself turns you into a Fallen. And it is not pretty.
There's also Lavi. Like Lenalee, he hasn't been around much either since Destruction of Black Order arc, despite them both being part of OT4 and close friends of Allen. These two aren't present in recent chapters despite the fact that there are major things happening around both Allen and Kanda. Sure, they're off carrying their exorcist duties somewhere, but one would think that this series being Shounen would mean that these two would be around their True Companions during important changes. But no. Whatever happened to Lavi's job to record Destroyer of Time, no one knows...
Lampshaded in the bonus material for volume 19, where a very distraught Lavi begs to be let back into the series.
Despair Event Horizon: Crossing this is how the Earl FINDS YOU. Once you let youerself sink into that depression, expect the Earl to show up before you with an offer to revive your lost loved one.
Also, subverted. Allen Walker is one upbeat, glass half full kind of guy when we first meet him. It's only until later that we realize he has already crossed the horizon once before but has come back with a new and more painful fighting spirit.
Disability Superpower: Noise Marie is blind, but he has such good hearing that it usually isn't a problem.
Dissonant Serenity: Dear God, the Fourteenth Noah. Allen's face should not be capable of an expression like that when he has a BFS through his chest and a Level 4 Akuma not a foot from his face.
Alma Karma greets Yu Kanda with a gentle smile after he's slaughtered the whole lab and still has a few corpses stuck to his razor-like "wings".
Driven to Suicide: Ironically the optimistic hero Allen attempts to slit his own throat in a newer chapter when he doesn't want to have his Innocence attack a 3rd Exorcist having a And Then John Was a Zombie moment. The attempt failed, but it gives whole new meaning on his promise to stop the 14th if he attacks the Order.
Also, A younger Alma Karma sees this as the solution when he gains Innocence and learns the truth about his existence. However unlike Allen who attempts it to stop himself from harming people, Alma decides to take out everyone around with him.
Drop the Hammer: Lavi. For bonus points, it can change size to be as big/long as he needs it.
Dynamic Entry: It's pretty hard to top Allen's entry into the science division during Lulu Bell's assault. He cut a Skull in half vertically.
Dysfunctional Family: The Noah. They're all psychotic. Of course, they also have affection for each other and a few 'awww' moments.
Dysfunction Junction: Between Allen (abandoned by his parents, turned his guardian into an Akuma, and raised byCross), Lenalee (wanted nothing to do with the Order, and was effectively kidnapped and blackmailed into working for them), Lavi (turned cynical and jaded from years of watching wars, and guilty that he's taking sides when he's supposed to be neutral), Miranda (bullied her entire life and couldn't keep a job no matter how hard she tried, leaving her with a massive inferiority complex), and most of all Kanda (an Artificial Human created from a fallen exorcist with lingering memories of his own death, who was subjected to Body Horror-filled experiments and forced to apparently kill his only friend after said friend went insane and slaughtered dozens of people), being deeply traumatized seems to be a requirement for Exorcists. Especially when compared to the Noah.
Evil Is One Big Happy Family: The Millennium Earl may have annihilated Japan and turned it into a Social Darwinist hell filled with cannibalistic Akuma, but he is also a polite, jolly gentleman who loves his family and is rarely too busy to take some time to help Road with her homework. Most of the Noah, despite their bickering, do act like family, particularly Road and Tyki, who get along like a real brother and sister. Cyril, however, takes this familial love among Noah a littletoofar.
Evil Uncle: The 14th Noah, Nea, is technically one of these for Allen due to him being Mana's brother.
Evolutionary Levels: Akuma. Level 1 Akuma are basically a big ball of guns, level 2s have special powers and more animalistic or humanoid forms, and level 3s are armored humanoids with more powerful abilities. Combine enough of them and you get a level 3.5, a mecha-sized hellbeast. Level 4 Akuma are just as badas you'd expect, and probably worse.
Exposition Beam: Wisely uses this on Kanda in order to show Kanda's memories to Alma Karma in an attempt to wake him up. Conveniently, Road and Allen are both drawn into watching the memories too. In true DGM fashion, the ensuing flashback goes on several chapters and contains vast amounts of Body Horror.
Face Doodling: Lavi even doodles on Allen's eye bandage. In the character book, the first thing Road does when she wakes up in the morning is listed as "pranking Tyki by doodling all over his face". In hilarious parallel, the first thing Tyki does is "getting rid of all the graffiti that Road drew all over his face".
The Faceless: We have yet to get a proper look at Mana Walker's face, despite the flashbacks he's been in. The same goes for the 14th's original body.
What we have seen implies he probably looks exactly like the Earl's human form.
Chapter 198 showed the 14th. He looks like a slightly younger Tyki.
Fanservice: The camera always seems to shoot the scenes to accentuate and draw attention to Lenalee's perfect legs as much as possible, in particular the opening and ending credits. Also lots of absolutely gorgeous guys.
The whole arc after the Level Four Akuma attacked the Black Order was dedicated to fanservice and humor.
Fate Worse than Death: Becoming a soul bound to an akuma. And working for the Black Order, as they do not let you die even when you die.
Fetch Quest: In the earlier chapters, and much of the filler. This dies down quickly when the Earl declares war on the Black Order. The Earl himself remains on a Fetch Quest to destroy all the Innocence.
Fingore: Noise Marie gets 2 of his fingers hit by a level 4 Akuma's bullet and has to cut both of them off before the blood virus spreads and kills him.
Foe Yay: Despite being Allen's enemies, it's mentioned in-universe that both Road and Tyki like him, although whether the true cause of that is this trope or them subconsciously detecting that Allen is also a Noah and thus a family member of theirs is debatable. Even so, some of the lines between Tyki and Allen during their fight on the Ark scream out Foe Yay.
"This is giving me the thrills! I'll break you, one more time, with this hand...!"
"Don't be so cold, boy. An Exorcist made a Noah strip down to his underwear. Was that the first time you did it? Do you think it was destiny for it to be us?"
"It would have been good if we just played poker, and nobody died. If it could come true, this is all I'd want."
And in the most recent chapters, there are serious hints of this between the Millennium Earl and the 14th Noah. In chapter 196, when asked by Johnny why the Millennium Earl is so interested in taking Allen (or rather, the 14th) away with him, the Millennium Earl says:
Millennium Earl: "Why.... by his side. I want to be by the 14th's side."
And this is after the 14th has publicly expressed his clear intention to kill and replace the Millennium Earl.
Foreshadowing: Maybe. Near the end of volume 8 Allen regains the use of his innocence and destroys a level 3 akuma. Before he deals the final blow, he asks it for information... and surprisingly it gives it to him! We later find out that Allen is the host of a Noah. Noahs have the unquestionable loyalty of every Akuma. So the Akuma may have given him the intel because it subconsciously felt the Noah in him.
There's also the fact that Allen is looking more and more like a Noah lately, including changing hair style and darker skin. Heck, while imprisoned, he's seen wearing white clothes very similar to those of Tyki and Wisely.
For foreshadowing, one can go all the way back to Volume 1 when the Order's door can't decipher if Allen is human or not. They write it off as the curse causing the problem and Komui later decides not to check to see if Allen is human. But then you realize that the curse would affect his eye and not his whole body...
The Joker card. Leading up to the destruction of Allen's Innocence, there were quite a few instances of Allen being depicted with or shown in the same scene as a joker card. When Allen reclaims the use of his Innocence and is granted greater powers by it, it takes on a new form (a cloak with a masquerade mask) and name, "Crown Clown".
Four Is Death: Level Four Akuma are horrifyingly powerful. As in, a single one almost destroys the Order over the course of one manga chapter, including most of the Generals.
From Bad to Worse: Allen's life is pretty much this trope, but his time with the Order includes losing his arm, and Innocence, and getting a hole torn out of his heart thanks to Tyki and seeing the only place that he could ever call home almost be destroyed by a Level Four Akuma attack. And just when you think things can't get any worse for the poor kid, the 14th Noah takes over Allen's body, and there isn't a sewer big enough to produce all the shit that has hit the fan.
From Nobody to Nightmare: The Noah were all normal humans once. Then once cross shaped scars started to appear on their foreheads things went bad from there...
Fusion Dance: Twin brothers Jasdero and Devit sing a little song and shoot each other in the head to merge into Jasdevi, a much more powerful single entity.
Gender Bender: Any akuma formed by one (heterosexual) lover pining for the other (the Japanese akuma who helps the gang in Tokyo, for example). Alma Karma was a woman — Kanda's girlfriend, in fact — in a previous life.
Gatling Good: Level Four Akuma get two of these: one in each hand. Level 1 Akuma have a considerably less powerful version.
Allen gets one of his own early on as well, though he still uses the claw form for much of the series (primarily as a shield.)
Gender Misdirection: For the author herself, no less. The omake in the volumes always depict Hoshino as male or gender-neutral characters, which confuses the translators and the readers quite a bit when they learn she's actually a woman.
Later on, Allen manages to punch Kanda to get themselves out of a flashback vision of Kanda's sad past. Well, Allen does have the right to be concerned that a Noah is invading his and his friend's privacy.
Lavi tries to do this to Lenalee, and fails. Everyone yells at him for doing so.
God Is Evil: what the Millennium Earl believes- or at least says.
Good Is Not Dumb: Lavi, Bookman, Lenalee and Komui are the standout examples. Also, Allen has the occasional moment of being a Guile Hero despite his usual honesty, such as when he cheats at poker to win back all the items Krory lost.
Goth: This is basically a shonen anime for Goths run by Rule of Cool. The entire idea is particularly original and works amazingly well, considering.
Heroic Willpower: The Fourteenth Noah occasionally tries to take over Allen's body. This mostly just succeeds in pissing Allen off, and he's actually managed to force it back against its will with sheer stubbornness at least once.
Hero with Bad Publicity: Allen is slowly going this way because he's the 14th's container. After he turns into a Noah a couple of times, and the Order's distrust has escalated to the point where Allen gets thrown into a prison.
And being broken out by Road and Tyki has made things worse.
High-Pressure Blood: Akuma and Suman Dark. A little girl Akuma in a filler episode seemed to expel more blood than she could possibly contain. And Level 1 Akuma shoot blood bullets.
Hyperactive Metabolism: Allen has been shown to eat gigantic piles of food, yet remain rail thin. Justified as all parasite innocence users have an extraordinarily high metabolism to make up for all the energy their powers use.
Hypocrite: The Black Order is quite willing to use dark powers and torture or murder innocents.
The Inner Reveal: Different from most cases in that the Exorcists have to go through this numerous times when meeting new people that almost always wind up caught in the middle of the Exorcists' battles.
Irrevocable Order: Played for Laughs. Several of Komui's wacky series of robots, the Komurins, seem to lack a function to abort any given command. It only seems that the Komurins can prioritize certain commands, as seen when Komui has one go after Allen rather than have her sister subjugated to its augmentations. By the time Komurin-Z, a walking Mazinger parody, first appears, Komui finally seems to have gotten the point and installed a "terminate command" option.
I Want Them Alive: Around chapter 200 in the manga, you find out that the 14th Noah's memories aren't inside of Allen, but that Allen IS the 14th. With everyone staring in awe and horror, the Earl explains that he now wants to bring Allen over to the side of the Noahs.
As of happier 210, it seems that the Earl is sending out higher level Akuma to abduct Allen.
This is a tricky one for Cross. He has his times where he seems like a total jerkass. But Hoshino has given many hints in the manga that Cross is a caring person. Anita, one of his lovers hates mean people. But she was totally in love with Cross and died looking for him, and was moved to tears to find out he was alive. She says her mother loved him as well, and that's why she became a supporter of The Order. Hard to think that Anita and her mother would fall in love with a complete creep. Anita even has Mahoja act as a bouncer for her brothel. So, any horrible men won't be coming in, or staying long. Hoshino also sates that Cross tried not to empathize with Allen, and didn't want to get close to him. So, Cross had to actually expend effort to push Allen away and not get close to him. Showing Cross actually had to fight caring for someone. Thus, him loving Allen was a risk from the day he picked him up. Is he really a jerk with a heart. Or, are his jerk moments him putting up a show? In chapt 206, he drinks and tells mother he doesn't care about Allen at all. But prior to that, Cross was sitting by Allen's bed, starring at him with a sad expression on his face. Didn't seem like the actions of a man that didn't give a damn, and mother seemed to have an odd look on her face as well where either she could tell Cross was lying, or she could tell he was conflicted about Allen's plight.
He also hugs Allen in chapt 167, thinking to himself he can't laugh at Tiedoll anymore. So, seems he made fun of Tiedoll's hyper sensitivity, and thus he's prone to trying to act or be more macho so people don't take him for a crybaby, or being soft. But he has no problem showing softness toward women. So, it exists, could be he just doesn't show it around men.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kanda, amazingly. He was largely assumed to be a Jerk with a Heart of Jerkuntil the Alma Arc, when he suddenly became much more sympathetic. His reaction to finding out that Alma's soul belongs to the woman he's been looking for his entire life, plus his thanks to Allen, plus the kindness he shows in holding Alma until he dies places him firmly in this category. Chapter 209 proves that it wasn't just a temporary change on account of Alma: he is now cheerfully making himself a fugitive from the Order so that he can find and help "the Beansprout."
Killed Off for Real: So far, Tupp Dopp, Mana Walker, Alma Karma, Suman Dark, Daisya Barry, the branch head of Oceania, Skinn Bolic, and General Yeagar, two of the Thirds, Bak's parents, Zu Mei Chan, plus many a member of the Red Shirt Army—both the Order, Akuma, and Random Bystanders branches. It is worth noting that so far, we have gotten very clear death scenes or outright Word of God on the whole when the person has gotten developed past being just a name; as of the Chara Gray fanbook in 2011, explicitly set afterAllen fleeing the Order, though Howard Link is quite lively and General Cross's status is given as...well, Allen may have been right about him.
Killer Rabbit: Tyki's Teez. The man fights with butterflies. Flesh-eating butterflies.
Not necessarily flesh-eating. They can just take their pick of internal organs. Seems like they love hearts.
Magic Music: The whole Ark Arc describes this trope. Jasdero and Devit sing and shoot themselves to merge into one, the Earl plays the piano to replace the old Ark, and Allen and Timcanpy have the mysterious power of the Musician to control the Ark. Plus Noise Marie's Verse of the Saint that is poison to Akuma and Cross' Grave of Maria that sings to hide people and uses mind control.
Magic Pants: Allen's left arm can grow to an incredible size or turn into a sword, but when he stops invoking it, his sleeve is still there.
This is addressed by the author during a Fourth Wall Mail Slot segment, where Allen admits that he has no idea what happens to the sleeve when his arm transforms, but is just glad that it doesn't rip.
Magic Skirt: Lenalee's uniform skirts are extremely short, but you never get the chance to have a Panty Shot.
Well, maybe just once. Although technically the "skirt" is part of her third uniform coat and she's actually wearing shorts underneath.
Also inverted with the evolved form of Allen's innocence, the Crowned Clown, though Akuma naturally find it frightening.
And quite possibly Mana...
Mondegreen: No two fansubbing groups can agree on what half the lyrics in the final OP are saying. Hell, some fansub groups keep changing their interpretations constantly between episodes. This is especially true for the last 20 seconds, which is full of Gratuitous English ('Let Alone' becomes 'Never Alone' becomes 'Rebel One'. 'Shining Point' becomes 'Scatter Point' becomes 'Turning Point', etc.)
Mood Whiplash: Chapter 189 careens between the aftermath of an attack by the Noah, the Fourteenth showing up and being incredibly creepy, and... Amusing Injuries being inflicted on the Earl.
The latest chapter has a moment too. Allen's innocence gets out of control goes wild on a Cardinal after he believed the guy was trying to kill Link. (The guy survives it through. Which actually is not quite a good thing.)
The Alma arc is drifting in this direction as well for Kanda: he stabbed Allen with Mugen, which seems to have woken the 14th up completely.
Link and the Director deciding to restrain Allen the moment he's about to make a breakthrough with the rampaging piece of Alma that's mutating the Third Exorcists, giving time for the Earl to escape and make the TE's his "pawns". Additionally, imprisoning Allen after he's learned Alma and Kanda's history isn't going to soften his mood towards the Organization (or the higher-ups, at the very least).
The Nicknamer: Lavi does this a lot. He calls Bookman "panda" (due to dark circles around his eyes) and Arystar Krory "Kro-chan" (Krorykins!)
Nightmare Face: Many characters (mostly akuma), but the best example is the earl.
Allen also has quite a few ones. Usually pulls them when being reminded of Cross' depts he had to pay. or when rummaging about how he WONT loose at gambling.
No Ending: Since the anime nearly Overtook the Manga due to the latter's irregular release, it stopped in the middle of volume 16, leaving all the important plot threads hanging. It's unclear whether it will be continued someday.
Nonuniform Uniform: The Exorcists uniforms share a specific style, yet are fitted for each individual Exorcist (Lenalee's attire comes with Dangerously Short Skirts or shorts for added freedom of movement, Allen's uniform includes gloves to hide his deformed arm and Lavi's usually has tight pants so he can wear his thigh holster over them)
Obstructive Bureaucrat: The higher-ups' response to Allen and Cross saving everyone's asses by preventing the download of the Ark and capturing it for the Black Order? Put Cross under house arrest, put Allen under surveillance, charge Allen with heresy, and prevent them from talking to one another. While Cross didn't especially care, since now he could charge the debts for his ridiculously decadent behavior to the Order, this still rid them of one of their most powerful exorcists and seriously alienated another.
This has only gotten worse: in chapter 201, Allen was prevented from saving the lives of three Exorcists because he hid and refused to retrieve Alma. And was thrown in prison.
As of chapter 205 Allen has taken the Ark and gone renegade due to evidence that is making him doubt the intentions of the Higher ups. Though he still considers the Black Order his "home", and still intends to fight the Earl.
That's the translation of the name which is used in the Viz English edition, which makes more sense of the katakana and leaves out the weird punctuation. But even so, according to the Gray Ark fanbook which lists the character names written in English, the even stranger official spelling is Ares Teena = dloe = gynosan = P = ruporson = gear = Amadeus 5th.
Paranoia Fuel: Level One and Two Akuma wear human skin and are indistinguishable from humans, except by Allen.
Invoked when Allen walks through a crowd of people after temporarily losing his power to detect Akuma, then realizes that any one of them could be an Akuma and he wouldn't even realize it. These four panels sum it up perfectly. It turns out he's right on the money, as everyone in the crowd, and even everyone in the the entire town is an Akuma.
Parental Abandonment: Allen's parents supposedly abandoned him because of his arm. Allen has no memory of them whatsoever.
Poor Communication Kills: The exorcists and people that know about Akuma don't tend to warn people about The Earl even when they've just lost someone and they are their best friend, The one victim who did know about Akuma was a child warned by another child who did not fully understand Akuma at the time.
Post-Kiss Catatonia: Very understandable; poor Allen got unexpectedly glomped and kissed by the evil Road, and she had stabbed him in the eye last time they met.
Power Degeneration: Parasite-type Exorcists have very low life expectancies due to the strain the Innocence puts on their bodies. Similarly, Kanda's Healing Factor seems to sacrifice long-term life force for short-term healing.
Red-Headed Hero: Lavi, who really looks colorful next to the monochrome Allen, Kanda and Lenalee. Also General Cross, sort of.
Red Right Hand: Inverted in more than one way with Allen Walker: Not only does he have a literal one (almost his entire left arm), but he is also the main character of the story and very much a good guy.
Redshirt Army: The Finders, or as the Akuma call them, "free exp."
A cardinal whose Trigun-esque glasses and pleasant smile make it very hard to tell if he's good or bad for Allen. The hooks coming out of his hands point to "bad".
Schizo Tech: The rest of the world is set in the late 19th century, with late 19th century technology. The Black Order, on the other hand, has access to giant robots, computers with holographic screens and wireless communicators.
She Cleans Up Nicely: Miranda's looks are nothing to write home about in her first appearance, but when she comes back, holy crap she's hot.
Her looks even improve by the end of her introductory arc, her initial appearance being downright ghoulish due to stress and sleep deprivation.
She's Got Legs: Good Lord, Lenalee… in some pannels, she has legs almost twice the length of her upper body, head included!
Ship Sinking: The character relationship chart in the officialfanbook puts the kibosh on several of the fandom's most popular ships, most notably Allen/Kanda and Allen/Lavi.
The flash-back to Kanda's past both introduced a new Ho Yay option to ship him with, and pretty much sank any possible Kanda ship with the reveal that he's still very determinedly looking for his long-lost girlfriend/fiancee... then chapter #198 subverted it beautifully: Alma has the soul of the girlfriend in him. Official Couple get!
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Fallen One arc. After going through a set of horrible ordeals to rescue the fallen Exorcist Suman Dark, Allen manages to amputate Suman's Innocence and rescue him, which almost destroys Allen's Innocence and exhausts him. After saving Suman, Allen finds that Suman's soul is gone. When he decides to bring Suman back to his family, Tyki Mikk appears, explodes him, destroys Allen's Innocence, and tears a hole in his heart so he can slowly bleed to death.
Shout-Out: The ruins of the North American branch after the Noahs wake up Alma are clearly modeled after the ruins of the World Trade Center.
Hear me tropers. Hoshino LOVESNeon Genesis Evangelion. Look at the third exorcists, what Alma resembles as "the first womb", the Noah themselves (and how all humans are this friggin' close to being just like them), the innocence and their "sync ratio" (and how you can go over 100%), the level 4's assault on Black Order headquarters (and how most of the remaining innocence, that all exorcists are trying to protect at all costs, just so happens to dwell within the deepest level), how damn near all fights are extremely desperate yet just barely winnable if the protagonists are willing to risk/sacrifice everything to stop them... Hell, this should pretty much seal the deal, even if you've only seen Rebuild. I dare say any fan of both these series cannot fail to see what I have.
The weird circly things on Alma and Kanda growing up seem reminicent of those of the Homunculi from Fullmetal Alchemist. Appropriate, considering they're both, at least in a way, artificial humans.
Another possible shout-out to Trigun in the Cardinal's Vash-esque glasses and in how the feathery tendrils of innocence that Allen produces look exactly the same as those produced by Plants.
Also, in Chapter 213, Apocryphos briefly looks exactly like one of the clowns from Soul Eater.
Spell My Name with an S: Too many, please don't list them all. Let's just say that there are lots of characters in this Japanese series who are not Japanese, and have "B"s, "V"s, "L"s, and "R"s in their names.
To Hoshino's credit, most of the names, when romanized correctly, are fairly accurate to the character's nationality. For example: Hungarian exorcist Daisya Barry's first name is likely supposed to be Desya, which is an actual eastern European name.
Stalker with a Crush: Bak, although one of the good guys, spies on Lenalee and takes pictures of her.
Star-Crossed Lovers: Krory and Eliade; any akuma who was created by someone pining over their dead lover. This includes Alma Karma, who was Kanda's girlfriend in their previous lives and became an akuma after reawakening to hide it from him. Possibly taken to literal levels since Alma is last seen with a giant star on his/her forehead.
Steampunk: Truth be told, the series is way too techy (almost to the point of outright anachronism) for the time frame it is placed in (late 19th century).
Stepford Smiler: Cyril increasingly hints to be particularly unhinged and depraved even among Noah, but throughout all of it he never seems to stop smiling genially. His EYES, on the other hand...
Strong as They Need to Be: Regardless of the supposed logic of the in-world scale, the heroes are always more or less into the realm of "desperate but winnable fight". A level 3 Akuma can wipe the floor with a whole group of heroes by itself and require several episodes and a lot of heroism to be finally defeated, but just a few hours later each hero can fight several of them at once.
Actually, only some characters so far have outright been shown in manga canon to be able to defeat Level 3 (or 4) Akuma by themselves. For example, neither Bookman nor Lavi have ever been shown defeating a Level 3 or above - so far.
Sudden Humility: When he loses his left eye, Allen discovers the pressure that the exorcists who can't distinguish human from Akuma must endure every single day. He adapts fast enough, but not before getting close to have an Akuma bullet or two between his eyes.
And in Chapter 189 we learn that the 14th Noah, whose consciousness is still partially active inside Allen, is not really a very nice guy at all despite earlier hints to the contrary. Turns out he doesn't want to stop the Millennium Earl so much as replace him.
Somewhat Lamp Shaded when Miranda is wondering how to cheer up Allen, and offers him candy. He LITERALLY sparkles in glee.
Together in Death: It's implied in Chapter 202 that Alma and Kanda finally died for good once Allen teleported them out of the Order's reach. This doesn't mean the Order has decided to stop looking for their remains...
Also Bak's parents where For arranges their bodies so that they were side by side, holding hands.
Tokyo is the Center of the Universe: Seriously averted. Japan's isolation allowed the Earl to conquer it easily; at the start of the story almost all of the Japanese are dead and the country is run by Akuma.
Tomato in the Mirror: The manga revealed that Allen Walker is the new 14th Noah - or will be, once the memories of the previous 14th awaken fully within him.
Too Dumb to Live: Jasdevi have the power to materialize anything they both think about at the same time. So why didn't they just materialize a mass of concrete filling up the whole room or something else that would instantly end the fight?
Transformation Trauma: Level 1 Akuma bursting through their human skin. Probably painless, but very unsettling. Also Level 0 Akuma forcing themselves down their host's throat.
She also tells Bak she likes him at one point, only to immediately punch him and say she was lying (while blushing).
Unconscious Objector: Played with when Krory fights Jasdevi. He has been trapped in an Iron Maiden, is unconscious if not nearly dead, and has lost the fight no matter how you look at it. The twist? His own blood independently comes out of his body and takes a human shape to continue the fight.
Ungrateful Bastard: The Black Order officials to Allen after the Ark arc. You'd think they'd be excited that the new kid managed to capture the Ark, temporarily disrupt the Earl's supply of Akuma, find the missing General, and hit General-level synchronization rates himself, but instead they immediately suspect him of being a traitor. Despite the fact that going by Suman Dark, that's not even possible.
Taken to the extreme just recently. Allen has just saved the lives of many scientists, and Lvellie, but he still gets tied up and locked away in prison because he turned into an Noah, and didn't obey orders. You know why he didn't listen to you? He wanted to save your butt, too, even if you were being very mean to him for the past few months!. Poor Allen does not get a break.
The officials of the Black Order are all Jerkasses
Verbal Tic: The first Level 3 Akuma we meet has an artist's soul and likes to start his sentences with "Title".
A lot of level 2+ Akuma do this, such as the cat akuma that comes after Miranda ("Nya!") and the frog akuma Krory and co. meet in the small farming town ("Kero!") The biggest offender is Cross' modified Akuma, whose constant tendency to end her sentences with "Cho!" causes Lavi to dub her "Chomesuke."
The Earl's umbrella, Lero, frequently punctuates its sentences with its name.
Lero can also use its name just a general exclamation. "Le~ro..." means "Whoa..." "LERO?!" means "AAUGH!" and "Lerolerolero!" means "Ow-ow-ow!" for example.
Crowley has a habit of ending his sentences with "de aru."
Lavi ends most sentences with "sa".
Villainous Rescue: Despite the fact they have both inflicted significant Body Horror and done other unpleasant things to him in their earlier meetings, Tyki and Road (especially Road) have begun to develop a knack for helping Allen out when he's about to be consumed by something. Why? 'Cause they like him, of course.
Played absolutely straight when they break him out of prison
Wham Episode: Chap. 198 We see the 14th face, who is about to fully awake, and discover that Alma's soul is actually THE ONE OF THE WOMAN KANDA HAS BEEN LOOKING FOR HIS WHOLE LIFE. Ouch.
And now, chapter 204: Tyki and Road break Allen out of jail to save him from the Apocryphos, who wants to absorb Allen into itself. But the Order is only aware of the first part, so they declare Allen to be no longer an Exorcist and now an enemy of the Order.
Chapter 192 gives us: "I was killed by Akuma, wasn't I?"
And now another: "You can't go back to that place, can you? ♥"
204: "As of now, we will be freezing Allen Walker's rights as an exorcist. From here on he shall be classified as a Noah"
Where The Hell Is Springfield?: In the beginning, the main character is supposed to find the Black Order Headquarters without knowing where the hell it is. The location is still unknown, but a filler episode seems to be hinting it's in France.
Well...At least in the Anime, Cross Marian asks Allen if "he knew the way to the Black Order" before knocking him out, because the good General won't be joining him on the account that he "hates that place". And even if Allen didn't knew, or forgot because of the blow to the head, Timcanpy surely knows the way, So...yeah.
According to the first D.Gray-man Reverse novel, which is part of canon, all that Cross had ever told Allen was that the Black Order was somewhere in Europe. And so Allen had to travel to Britain, hoping that a particular supporter of the Order he knew there might be able to give directions - which she did. Timcanpy didn't help.
Nine even has a line in the anime to the effect of "Maybe I should whip you [to make you actually work]!" to which Cross replies, "Doesn't sound too bad." This could be called an example of Adaptation Distillation.
Thanks to the 14th, Allen may qualify as a double subversion...
Word Salad Title: Hoshino said in her interview at the Animagic convention in Germany that the idea for the name D.Gray-man came from the fact that "The colors black and white play an important role in the whole series. And the color gray symbolizes that."
Wrecked Weapon: Allen's arm. It gets better eventually, though. Also Lavi and Kanda, later. Heck, this is the Earl's ultimate goal.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kanda, Timothy and Madarao all have blue hair, as does Lenalee on some colour pages. Tokusa has green, and both Komui and Road have purple. And apparently all 100% natural
Though technically averted in the cases of everyone but Timothy and the third exorcists in that their official hair colours are all black with the author herself stating that anything else is just her having fun with the colours on the volume covers. Probably justified with Timothy as his hair is implied to have been normal before his dad forced him to swallow innocence.
You Won't Feel a Thing: The anime subverts this with Komui telling Allen, "When I get done with you, you'll be good as new. Though I must warn you, this will be traumatic."