Yu has always been one of my favorite characters. His firm and decisive nature kept the secrets of his past a nectar I longed to taste. While the lotus fruit is known for its amnesic properties, the lotus flower is known for its spiritual symbolism. I don’t know how hard Yu tried to forget his past, but I will certainly never will.
The Second Exorcist program has failed. Both subjects, Yu and Alma, have recovered the memories hidden inside their borrowed brains and also managed to synchronize with their former Innocence. Kanda’s determined to live in order to find the woman in his visions, while Alma gives in to the fear and despair and wants to end both his and Yu’s suffering.
“I want to…. see her”
Kanda finds Noise Marie whom he accidentally heals with his blood and tries to get him out of the lab. It seems that Marie always had that calming demeanor we’ve associated him with. He tells Yu that the only reason he kept sane was Yu’s company. Fear is always there. Fear never leaves. It’s the company of others that keeps us from succumbing to that fear. It was Yu’s company that kept Alma from succumbing to his fear. Yu is determined to use his will to live to get Alma out of there and try to find a life together. But Alma was not as lucky as Yu. His awakened memories filled him with a despair too dark to handle. He kills almost every scientist in the lab in a sad attempt to end his suffering. He wants to die together with Yu, but Yu’s memories make him kill his friend to survive.
I was so engulfed in their personal tragedy that I literally shed a tear or two as I watched so many personal stories ending in that lab. The writers created a backstory where every scene had its importance and every character played his part in the final outcome. Yu and Alma were just the victims of a war that demanded sacrifice of its soldiers. And although Yu had love to give him purpose, Alma had nothing.
Allen, still a silent participant, becomes enraged as the memories become harder to bear witness too. Yu is one of his best friends (even if they don’t seem to admit it to each other) and he finally makes sense of a certain part of him. No one has the right to do this to him. No one. He breaks him and Yu free of Wisely’s spell, but not fast enough to prevent Alma reawakening as an Akuma.
When Alma wakes up, he is faced with Yu. This is going to be one exciting battle.
Victims: Yu and Alma are part of a twisted Yin Yang. They are both test subjects of a horrific experiments that robbed them of their individuality. They are just vessels that have borrowed brains. Their lives are theirs but at the same time they are not. Their memories are theirs but at the same time they have the memories of a person that they used to be. They are Yu and Kanda, but their feelings are mixed with those of their former selves. They act as of their own free will, but their ultimate acts are based solely on someone else’s desires. Yu seeks life because he acts on a memory of love. Alma seeks death because he acts on a memory of despair.
Love vs. Despair: It’s hard to say if Yu and Alma aren’t just an amalgam of their former selves and their new experiences in the lab. They probably are. But it was the desires of who they used to be that in the end determined their character. They both felt love and anger, companionship and hatred, but they decided to confront their feelings in a very different way.
Shōnen (少年) anime and manga have two distinct characteristics: lots of actions and heartfelt scenes. The writers of such stories rely on the feels to get the most out of their battles. If you are a Dragonball fan then you surely remember the Gohan vs. Cell scene. I am still tearing up watching that. I really liked this backstory since Yu is one of the most interesting D.Gray-man characters. Now my only wish is that Lenalee gets more screen time.
And the rating is…
The last two episodes had been preparing us for that decisive battle that’s going to take place next. Yu vs Alma. A fight of memories. A fight of principles. A fight of hope vs. despair. This is going to be one hell of a bout. Really looking forward to it.
NEXT TIME: Awakening
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