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.
I wasn’t expecting much out of the final episode of D.Gray-man Hallow. Probably just a generic sub-par episode of Allen hiding and Apocryphos and the Order chasing him. Maybe a cliffhanger at the end to make us go get the manga.
I was so wrong. Not that the episode was a masterpiece, but it was so much more than another D.Gray-man episode. The writing was pretty good, the animation was decent, and the plot was exactly what the series wanted: a closure to the arc.
Japanese Title: ウォーカー
The flow of this episode was terrific. It starts with a little backstory on how Cross Marian took care of Allen at Mother and Barba’s house after the boy killed Mana. The present fleeting Allen decided to find some piece of mind to the same house. He eventually leaves because he is a Walker and he has to protect those who are unrelated to his struggle by being far away from them. Of course, the Order, Apocryphos, and Akumas are on his trail.
Lavi and Bookman are being punished by Sheril’s jealousy as Tykki recounts the events that led to Road’s disappearance. Kanda returns to a bed-ridden Zuu Mei Chang to retrieve Mungen and become an Exorcist once more.
Link is dead: This title begs for a Legend of Zelda meme. It was really sad to see Link’s grave as he was one of the most sympathetic characters of the arc.
Cross Marian: The episode did a complete circle, with Marian taking care of Allen in the beginning, and Marian reminding Allen why he has to keep walking at the end. Despite his bitter words to Mother, he really cared about the boy and kept a close eye to his progress. He knew from the beginning that he was the vessel for the Fourteenth. It was a heavy burden to carry.
Kanda is back: To be honest, I could live with anyone’s death but Allen’s, Kanda’s, or Lenalee’s. If they are alive, then D.Gray-man is alive. After his little adventure with Alma Karma, he comes back to an Order he hates for a man he loves. Allen and Karma have a wonderful bromance and I am glad to see how important it is for our sword-wielding protagonist. He gets back his Mugen but in a new form. Mugen became a crystal type, and Kanda gained two stigmata on the underside of his forearms where his blood exited his body to form Mugen’s new blade.
Jealousy: One thing I really like about Japanese animation is that good voice actors really go out of their way to portray the emotions of their characters. When a character laughs, he really laughs. He doesn’t chuckle. He roars with laughter. The same happened with Sheril and his outburst of jealousy. He doesn’t just feel annoyed because Road protected Allen. He is possessed by the green-eyed monster and yells her name like a ravenous animal.
Conflicting Loyalties: It’s not easy to choose between family and duty, or in the case of Lenalee, between family and…well…family. Allen has strong ties to many members of the Order, but after fleeing with the Noah, it was to be expected that some of his former comrades would doubt his actions. Lenalee on the other hand remains loyal to both Allen and the Order, which raises an interesting question: What will she do when it comes down to choosing between the two?
Art of Kanda: It refers to Froi Tiedoll, one of the generals of the European branch of the Black Order who is always seen with a canvas hanging from his neck. One of his special attacks is Art with which he can spawn a massive white creature. I am not sure why Kanda was mistaken for a massive white creature. Maybe the general could summon much more than that.
The Hero’s Journey: The theme of the episode was evident: there is no journey unless you start walking. A destination is but a cross on the map. You may reach it, you may not. But you will never make any progress if you stay put. Allen Walker: あるくのひと(aruku no hito: the one who walks).
I just had that feeling that Kanda was going to make an appearance in the final episode. After all, when I think D.Gray-man, I always picture Lenalee, Kanda, and Allen on the front with the rest of the gang (Marie, Chaozzi, Lavi, Bookman, Miranda, Arystar, and now Timothy) behind them. This episode included them all in a way that sets the story for a brand new arc. Allen is a fugitive, Kanda returns to the Order for his sake, and the rest of the exorcists are divided when it comes to their loyalty.
I wasn’t engulfed but compared to previous episodes, this one felt like it had a clear sense of purpose: to conclude the arc and guide us safely to the next one.
This was the perfect ending to a not so perfect series. It was exactly what D.Gray-man Hallow needed and what D.Gray-man as a franchise wanted: a reminder that this is not the last chapter. All our favorite characters are still alive, Allen is fighting to remain his self, and there is a new badass villain in Apocryphos. If you are a lifelong fan, then you already know where to find out what’s going to happen. But if you are a new or returning fan, then Hallow was just that friendly push you needed to your neighborhood comic store.
Don’t stop. Keep walking.
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