This episode is a story of friendship, pain, and sacrifice. This is a story of how far away from the sky a person’s character can be shaped. This episode was the story of how Yu Kanda made his very first friend.
Allen and Road are taking a mind trip inside Yu’s memories of the Second Exorcist program. The Noah are trying to wake Alma by using Yu’s memories to stimulate Alma’s brain. Thus, Allen bears witness of the events that happened in the Asia Branch of the Black order ninety-nine years ago.
“Deep underground, far away from the sky” Yu Kanda
The Second Exorcist program was created in hopes of producing artificial Accommodators from fallen exorcists who could yield the same Innocence. Thus, those who have died in the line of duty could still serve the Order through their new bodies. What they did is harvest the brains of the dead accommodators and implant them into new bodies, bodies like Yu and Alma’s. Once awaken, the new bodies hosting the brains attempted to synchronize with the Innocence they wielded in their former lives.
We don’t know whose exorcists’ brains Yu and Alma have, but since their awakening, Alma is desperately trying to be friends with the only kindred he’s ever known, Yu. Yu, on the other hand is completely indifferent to Alma’s attempts to embrace his existence and befriend him. His is instead trying to break free of the harsh reality of his existence. Eventually, though they become friends.
As it happens though when you have someone else’s brain, the memories of Yu’s former self are starting to haunt him. Because of the dangers involved in those hallucinations, the Branch decides to seal Yu forever. In the last scenes, Yu realizes that he is a former exorcist and that the woman he’s been hallucinating of is probably his former self’s love interest, and Alma, true to his friendship, manages to synchronize with an Innocence so he could save Yu.
Om: The symbol of the regenerative core that both Alma and Yu have below their left shoulder is a variant of the symbol of Om, a sacred sound and spiritual icon in several Asian religions. It’s found in many ancient and medieval era manuscripts, temples, monasteries and spiritual retreats in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The symbol/sound has a spiritual meaning in all Indian Dharmas (the word has no single translation in any western language).
D.Gray-man’s probably the only shōnen anime that I follow. Most of the times, shōnen anime are either too long, too boring, or too ridiculous to watch. For example, I’ve been said a million times how great One Piece is and that I am totally missing on it. That may be very well true, but even if I saw one episode a day, I would still need two years to be get up to speed. And then I would have another two years’ worth of episodes unwatched.
I always thought that 75 episodes was my personal limit; any more than that and a series would be a no-no for me. Yet, D.Gray-man, even though it’s not the most original of stories, has a certain dynamic between its characters that kept me hooked. Yu and Alma’s story is far from complicated, but the implications behind their relationship and the conditions in which they were created are fascinating. I’m sure that many shōnen titles share the same dynamics, but for the time being I’m sticking with this one.
Also, I’m not buying into that brain-moving plot. Since all our memories are stored inside our brain, then moving the brain to a new body wouldn’t affect that person’s character. He would have just waken up into a new body. Unless there is a certain degrading of memories after death, which would make sense, I guess. And here I am, trying to make sense of D.Gray-man.
And the rating is…
I’m usually not a fan of flashback episodes, because most of the times, they are irrelevant to the main plot. This flashback, however, was one of the most exciting D.Gray-man episodes. Alma is a great character and his connection to Yu is so powerful that I am eagerly anticipating his awakening.
NEXT TIME: The Truth of a Sterile Flower, “Adabana no Shinjitsu” (徒花の真実)