In Blood Crusade, the fourth episode of D.Gray-Man HALLOW, Allen Walker suffers through a prophetic dream, only to awaken a momentarily changed man; Allen and friends become aware of the true nature of the red-robed CROWs they met last episode, and the prognosis is chilling and unholy; the Noah awaken.
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What Happened (Spoiler Free)
Still troubled that Crown Clown, his own sword, hurt him in the last episode, Allen dreams that he’s impaled on that sword. Mana Walker frees him, and he reverts to a child; but then he awakens with the yellow eyes of a Noah. Lenalee Lee sees the change before he regains himself, but she doesn’t say anything.
Renny Epstain, American Branch chief for the Black Order, arrives and announces that the red-robed CROWs are actually products of the Third Exorcist program. They are not Exorcists in the sense that they are not Innocence Accommodators. Allen is shocked to learn their true nature.
Around town, the Noah begin to reincarnate by taking over the bodies of humans and forcibly ejecting the original human personalities. They rejoice to be reunited with the Millennium Earl. They waste no time in launching an assault against the Exorcists.
As we saw in the last episode, the Third Exorcists perform well against Akuma. Will they perform as well against the Noah? And why is Allen so set against their methods?
The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful!
What Happened (Spoilers!)
Allen dreams that he’s impaled on his sword and listening to a voice telling him that he’s as much in need of salvation as the Akuma. Mana Walker, in full clown regalia, rescues Allen, who becomes his childhood self. When he awakens, his eyes are yellow. Lenalee Lee sees this and is deeply, but silently, worried.
Renny Epstain, Chief of the American Branch of the Black Order, visits Komui Lee, Director of the European Branch. Bak Chang, leader of the Asian Branch, was already visiting Lee. Chang is not in the least bit happy to see her. He seems angry.
While they talk, the Exorcists are sparring. Allen’s partner is Noise Marie, and they start talking about Akuma. Allen’s still worried about the Akuma’s souls; he sees his mission as saving them. Marie gently chides him, saying that many people will hate him for what appears to be kindness to their enemy.
As they fought, Marie accidentally threw Allen against Goushi, one of three red-robed CROWs from abroad, who had been watching the other Exorcists train. When Allen touched Goushi with his left arm (the arm filled with Innocence), the man reacts as if he’s an Akuma. Allen can’t see an Akuma’s soul, but the sensation is the same. Inspector Howard Link has to step in the calm the parties down.
Renny discloses that the red-robed CROWs are really products of the Third Exorcist project. Unlike Allen or Yu Kanda, though, they have no Innocence. Instead, their power derives from their hybrid human/Akuma nature. Chang is horrified and speaks out against such an abominable effort, but Renny insists she’s willing to do whatever is necessary to defeat Akuma and save humanity.
Nearby, members of the Noah Clan began reincarnating by taking over human bodies. They gather, celebrating their return to life and their reunion with the Millennium Earl.
Shortly thereafter, the Exorcists find themselves battling hundreds of Akuma. Allen watches Tokusa and Madarao, two member of the Third Exorcists, destroy swaths of Akuma with single attacks. Allen’s astonishment turns to horror when he discovers that the souls of the Akuma killed by the Third Exorcists are destroyed without a chance for salvation. The Third Exorcists are an affront to everything he believes in.
The situation rapidly becomes dire. The Noah arrive. The Exorcists are spread across several areas. The two Noah that visit Allen and the two Third Exorcists slice off Tokusa’s lower arms and Madarao uses a talisman to escape to a cave. Madarao is about to absorb Tokusa, since he can no longer fight, when Allen intervenes, unable to understand why they would turn on each other. His amazement only grows when Tokusa says he wants Madarao to consume him so his cells won’t be lost and his legacy will live on in the form of new Third Exorcists. Then the Noah track them down and kill Tokusa.
Noah have arrived at the other sites where Exorcists and Akuma battle. One Noah, Wisely Kamelot, has telepathic powers. Confronting Kanda, Wisely asks if the Exorcist remembers Alma Karma. Wisely then telepathically attacks Kanda, who falls backward to the ground.
What I Liked
Allen’s dream was sufficiently creepy and allegorical. Not only does it remind him that he, too, needs saved, but it features Mana leading him back to his childhood. Then he awakens with yellow eyes; with Noah eyes. Lenalee saw it, too. And she’s worried.
Speaking of Lenalee, it was nice seeing her in this episode. She added some comic relieve with Howard threatening to spread rumors about her and Allen because they were together in a locked room. I thought it was interesting that she wasn’t in the least bit embarrassed!
Allen’s worried about the Akuma’s souls, as he always has. Marie takes him to task for it, but in an understanding way. Allen, though, still wants to save Akuma’s souls, and any thought that the Black Order is retreating from their mission of salvation offends and saddens him.
Allen was furious when Marie compared him to Kanda, but I see what Marie was saying — the two of them share a lot of traits, from their single-minded dedication to their amazing levels of power.
So the CROWs were engineered from an Akuma Egg? Chang’s fury and indignation spoke volumes. He seems to view mating humans with Akuma as an abomination, and I have to say I agree with him.
We got to see For again when Kanda visited the Asian branch! She was one of my favorite characters in the previous series. It’s nice to see her back in action, even if it was only for comic effect.
The Millennium Earl used to have a fixed smile with teeth that had a smooth veneer; now, he practically has two tusks and fewer but much larger teeth. I was so used to the old set that the new look took me off guard; but I think the two fangs make him look more immediately dangerous.
Allen briefly sees the souls of the Akuma killed by the Third Exorcists; they’re damned and dissolving. The Third Exorcists say they don’t care about the Akuma. Their only goal is mankind’s salvation. Allen can’t accept that.
Allen’s horrified that the Third Exorcists will cannibalize a wounded comrade if that comrade can no longer fight. They reason that it preserves the cells needed to propagate the Third Exorcists. In fact, Tokusa embraces that role so he can leave a legacy.
What I Liked Less
In anime, do all of the women from the United States have blonde hair? And wear revealing skirts?
What does the quote mean? The one the Noah Wisely forced Kanda to remember? “I have faith… When we get through this suffering… the world we believed in… will surely exist, right?” Whatever it was, it hurt him so much that he wept blood as he fell.
The Exorcist’s tactical situation degraded rapidly in this episode. At first, it looked like the Third Exorcists were going to make our heroes, members of the second wave of Exorcists, obsolete. Then I saw how easily a Noah sliced through Tokusa, and I had to wonder: did the technique of bypassing Innocence to fuse human and Akuma deprive the Third Exorcists of an essential weapon/defense against the Noah? Allen, Kanda, and the other Exorcists, when they fought Noah in the previous seasons, fared much better than Tokusa.
I’m touched by Allen’s dedication to saving souls, even the souls of Akuma. Treating an enemy mercifully is an advanced, civilized trait. It requires discipline and imagination. Allen understands the despair that drives the creation of an Akuma, and that understanding informs his decisions. That’s why he’s so angry to see the Third Exorcists destroy Akuma (previously human) souls — as part of their design. In the truest sense, they are no longer Exorcists, or those who cast out evil to restore good. They are simply destroyers who delude themselves into thinking they’re making the hard choices or sacrificing themselves to save the human race.
That being said, I think the show did a good job presenting the perspective of the Third Exorcists. Before he was killed, Tokusa shared his burning desire to save humanity despite not being “chosen” as an Innocence Accommodator. I could feel his longing even while I deplored his tactics. The Third Exorcists seem to me to be worse than Akuma; at least Akuma are betrayed by the Earl, who’s evil by nature. I expect evil to betray! Human leaders like Renny prey on the desires of people like Tokusa. It doesn’t even seem like the tactic is at all effective against the Noah.
I think their lack of Innocence is fittingly symbolic.
So, what do you think about the Third Exorcists? Do they represent progress? Or are they an abomination? Or something inbetween?
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 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
- Episode 116 (episode 13) HALLOW: Walker