D.Gray-man (HALLOW) Episode 13: Walker, the One Who Walks
In Walker, the thirteenth and final episode of D.Gray-man HALLOW, Allen Walker tries to regain his strength when he retreats to a place from his past; Cross Marian, in that same past, reveals what he knew of Allen’s history when he rescued him; a surprise Exorcist, thought dead, reappears with no improvement to his disposition, with one important exception; and Allen continues the long fight against reemergence of the Fourteenth.
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What Happened (Spoiler Free)
Cross Marian had found Allen shortly after the Earl of Millennium had tricked the boy into bringing Mana back to “life” — as an Akuma. What we didn’t know is why Cross Marian had been searching for Allen. In this episode, we learn the answer. Was it because Cross Marian pitied the child? Because the child simply needed help? The answer is something more subtle and surprising.
Meanwhile, the Exorcists are still divided. Some remain pro-Allen; others are convinced of his treachery. Noise Marie and Lenalee Lee are commiserating between missions when the last person they expect appears before them — for a reason even they didn’t suspect.
Will the Fourteenth overcome Allen? Will Allen finally throw off the traitorous Noah’s influence?
The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful!
What Happened (Spoilers!)
As referenced in the first D.Gray-man series, Allen as a child had been so traumatized at Mana Walker’s death that he begged the Earl of Millennium to bring Mana back to life. Allen didn’t know that Mana would be an Akuma. The shock almost destroyed Allen’s mind.
Cross Marian sought out Allen and brought him to a church where Mother lived with her servant, Barba. Mother had to teach Cross Marian how to interact with a child, but he eventually nursed Allen back to health.
In a side conversation with Mother, Cross Marian revealed that he knew Allen housed the memories of the Fourteenth. Not only that, but Cross Marian searched for Allen precisely because he had the Fourteenth’s memories.
Years later, in the present, Allen staggers to the Church’s door, to the home he knew before the Exorcists. They welcomed him.
Three months pass. The Exorcists are still in turmoil. Some hold out hope that they’ve misinterpreted events and Allen is still an ally. Others like Chaozii Han ridicule Allen’s supporters.
Noise Marie and Lenalee Lee are commiserating when they notice a shocking figure: Yu Kanda! He has returned, and his attitude is as cheerful (dour) as ever. He’s returned to retrieve his Innocence, which Zuu Mei Chang has kept clasped in his arms since he tried to plead Allen’s lack of guilt to the Church leaders a few episodes previous. Chang, overcome at seeing Kanda again, confesses that he was the one behind the experiments that brought about the Third Exorcists. Rather than condemn him, Kanda apparently forgives him as he takes back his Innocence. Before he can complete the process, Lenalee objects, asking it he’s sure he wants to do this, given how the Order has treated him.
He’s sure. Lenalee shortly thereafter finds out that he’s sure because Kanda came back expressly to regain his Exorcist powers — on his own terms — so he could help Allen.
Allen, having recovered as much as he could, is trying to control the Noah within. He sees an avatar of Cross Marian telling him to keep walking; he sees Mana giving him the same advice. He continues his struggle, alone except for Timcanpy.
Two of the Noah watch, unbeknownst to Allen, urging him to show the world how he’ll solve this problem.
What I Liked
Apparently, realizing he had turned Mana into an Akuma almost broke Allen’s mind. D.Gray-man takes consequence seriously; that’s one of the things I love about this show.
When Mother asked why he didn’t just feed Allen, Cross Marian acted like she asked to eat puppies. He was completely aghast at the idea of taking care of a child! It was only after grousing about it that he finally admitted he had no idea how to do it, so Mother had to encourage him.
Seeing Cross Marian — General Cross Marian — washing Allen’s soiled bedclothes was funnier to me (as a father) than it should have been! No matter how powerful or aloof you think you are, your kids have ways of humbling you.
So, Cross Marian not only knew that Allen was the vessel for the Fourteenth’s memories — he sought Allen out because he was the vessel. I wish I understood more about his motivations!
When he needed somewhere to go to regenerate, Allen chose the church where Mother and Barba still lived. He could barely stand upright; he was exhausted and wounded; but he made it to the place he thought of as home to recuperate.
Sheril Kamelot was seriously upset that Road had put herself in harm’s way to protect Allen. I don’t think he understands what Road’s doing, but Road’s always gone her own way. Maybe she, like Allen, is contemplating a different way to solve the problems they all face?
Chaozii Han demands no mercy for Allen — while he’s carrying around a Noah spy in the form of a parasite within his body. Irony has many forms…
Kanda Yu’s “Where’s my welcome home?” was the second best “Kanda moment” in the episode. The best was when he told Lenalee that she’d gotten ugly. She didn’t seem amused.
Lvellie asks Yu Kanda if Alma Karma has died; Yu Kanda tells him he still hates the Order and he won’t talk about Alma Karma at all. I have to hand it to Kanda — he has integrity. He hates if the recipient deserves it, and he doesn’t let go. That goes along nicely with the next thing I liked, which is:
Zuu Mei Chang confessed to being the force behind the Third Exorcists. And he exhibited honest regret. How did Kanda react? Did he lambast the man? Treat him with the contempt that Lvellie deserved? No. He told Chang that he’d be in hell, too. Kanda’s not vindictive. He’s just brutally honest.
Kanda reactivates his Innocence, which had been rusting in Chang’s arms. Lenalee intercepted it before he could complete the process, asking if he was sure this was what he wanted to do. It was. For the first time, Kanda became an Exorcist on his own terms.
I was honestly surprised that Kanda confessed that he knew Allen was becoming the Fourteenth earlier in the season; but he didn’t care enough to tell anyone because he hated the Order more than he hated either the Noah or the Akuma. He confessed this to both Lenalee and Noise Marie. But now, after what Allen had done for him and Alma Karma, he realized that Allen deserved better, so he decided to become an Exorcist again to help his friend.
The little girl at the end, oblivious to Allen’s suffering, Akuma, or any of the darkness that had plagued Allen, saw him struggling with his Innocence as Apocryphos closed in. She asked if he was an angel. Pure innocence met Innocence, and Allen retained enough control to tell her to keep him a secret. An Akuma would have destroyed the girl; Allen was protectively playful.
What I Liked Less
But… but… what happens to Allen? The season’s just going to end like that? Arg!
Is Road okay (as Crunchyroll user eltofurr asked in the comments for episode 12, “Is Road okay?? SHE DOESN’T LOOK OK”)? Will she become corporeal again? She seemed too alive to become just a memory.
Does Allen come to some kind of terms with the Fourteenth? Allen’s always gone his own way. Can he do that in this circumstance?
Why oh why did we get just 13 episodes in this season?
At the beginning of the episode, Allen was unwilling to take Mana’s surname because he didn’t feel like he’d earned it. At Cross Marian’s urging, though, he accepted it, as much because of its relation to Mana as its symbolism to Allen’s (as yet undeveloped) philosophy of life: keep walking forward. Which is exactly what Allen was trying to do at the end of the episode.
Though I’m dismayed that the series has ended without more resolution for Allen’s struggle against the Fourteenth, I have to give it credit: over its entire run, Allen has been true to Allen. He’s moved forward as best he could, regardless of being utterly unsure of what to do in the earlier episodes, to showing compassion to the Akuma against all social pressures through the middle episodes, to struggling to right the wrongs of an abusive hierarchy in the last episodes. The Akuma and Noah could fight against him; his own Order could betray him. It didn’t matter. Allen was true to his inner moral compass. Even more: He was true to it not so he could claim righteousness. He was true to it so he could express who he was.
I’m going to miss this season!
So, what did you think of HALLOW? Was it a worth successor to the series’ first run? What did you like about it?
Reviews of Other Hallow Season Episodes
- Episode 104 (episode 1) HALLOW: The Fourteenth
- Episode 105 (episode 2) HALLOW: Lonely Boy
- Episode 106 (episode 3) HALLOW: It’ll be Fine If I Wash My Face
- Episode 107 (episode 4) HALLOW: Blood Crusade
- Episode 108 (episode 5) HALLOW: Alma Karma
- Episode 109 (episode 6) HALLOW: Friend
- Episode 110 (episode 7) HALLOW: The Truth about a Sterile Flower
- Episode 111 (episode 8) HALLOW: Awakening
- Episode 112 (episode 9) HALLOW: Little Goodbye
- Episode 113 (episode 10) HALLOW: Sinner in Despair
- Episode 114 (episode 11) HALLOW: Hidden One
- Episode 115 (episode 12) HALLOW: My Home