Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
The Millennium Earl is attacking the headquarters? Kanda is brought along to revive Alma? Allen is transported to the fight?
How fast did things happen in this episode?
It felt like they missed to include a few scenes on how we got to these events, just for the sake of getting straight into the action. Unfortunately, there was little action to go straight to, and the only thing that I was left with was an anticipation for the next episode. At least the director, Yoshiharu Ashino, knows how to do a cliffhanger even if he doesn’t eventually deliver on it.
Alma is alive.
He has been in a coma for the last nine years and the only reason he was kept alive was to use his body as some kind of perverse baby chick. He was merged with the nucleus of the Akuma Egg to use his cells as the main ingredient of the Third Exorcist recipe. The scenes surrounding this event were bombarded with so many background information that they seemed like a mini filler sequence.
Let’s see if we can rush through the events as well, shall we? The Earl, in his human form, and the Noah Road arrive at the Black Order Headquarters and begin their attack. Their mission is to use Kanda to awake Alma’s memories. Sheril Kamelot is using his power to puppeteer the Black Order members in the Akuma Egg room and keeps them incapacitated in a position that reminds a crucifixion. One of the scientists, Johnny, is having second thoughts about the Black Order’s morality. The 14th takes over Allen’s body for a few seconds and greets the Earl by threatening him that he will eventually kill him and take his place like the good brother he is. Allen headbangs the Earl. Yu sees lotus flowers (I think that very soon we will know what these flowers really represent). The Apostles and the Earl are used for a few irrelevant comedic bits. I didn’t laugh. The Third Exorcists are so important that I don’t even remember their names. Wisely sends Allen and Kanda back to the past (probably in some kind of mind illusion) to awake Alma’s memories.
The only thing that really matters from all the above is that the next episode is probably going to be a huge backstory sequence. Hurray.
Crucifixion: D.Gray-man continues to invest heavily on religious imagery. When Sheril Kamelot takes over the Black Order members’ bodies, he places them in a stance that resembles a crucifixion. The name refers to a method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang for several days until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. While the cross is considered to be primary a Christian symbol, the punishment preexisted Christianity. It’s known as a form of execution from classical antiquity, but remains in occasional use in some countries.
In Japan, the method was introduced during the Sengoku period (1467-1573). Before that there was no known capital punishment. There was a similar type of punishment during the Tokugawa Shogunate, which was called haritsuke (磔).
Millenium Earl’s Hat: Did you know that the Millenium Earl wears a different hat in each encounter? He much be a hat-decoration fanatic. I am not sure there is a reason behind the hat changing habit, except maybe the fact that he likes the procedure. In this episode, he decorated his hat with several orange striped tennis-size balls. His gusto is unmatchable.
The way this episode was structured left me with no time to actually enjoy what was happening. Everything occurred so fast that I spent my energy figuring out what took place instead of relishing on the actual events. I felt like I was bombarded with information. Maybe they felt it was necessary to link to the previous events. Ok. Maybe they thought that they owe a kind of recap for new D.Gray-man fans. Again, ok. I can relate. But there was a rush in the way this episode unfolded that made me feel violated in some awkward way. Am I overreacting? Probably. I wanted the action to happen in a battle. Not in my mind trying to figure out the story. Even the comedic bits were a little forced and seemed like they were only included to keep the same level of seriousness that the previous episodes had.
Judging from the preview, the next episode will chronicle Alma’s and Yu’s story, maybe resulting to a fight between them? I just hope that they will slow things down instead of trying to rush through things. My head still hearts from all the trivial, though unanswered, questions.
NEXT TIME: ‘Friend’
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