D.Gray-Man (HALLOW) Episode 7: Piling on the Truth
In D.Gray-Man (HALLOW) Episode 7 (a.k.a. episode 110), The Truth about a Sterile Flower, Yu Kanda relives his decision to do what had to be done; Allen Walker decides he’s seen enough but wasn’t ready for what came next; Alma Karma finds that knowing is not freeing; the Millennium Earl raises the curtain on the center piece of his show.
Amazon, as usual, has some great D.Gray-Man merchandise. Please check it out!
What Happened (Spoiler Free)
Chi Chang casts the spell to put Kanda into an eternal sleep, but memories of the woman he had loved drive him back to consciousness. The memories evoke such strong feelings that his Innocence from his former life responds and reunites with him. He breaks free of his resting place and goes in search of Alma Karma.
Alma Karma, meanwhile, after reawakening to his memories and reuniting with his Innocence, goes on a rampage to assuage the agony at remembering his former life and the broken promise to protect those he had loved. What will happen when Kanda meets Alma Karma again?
Just what Earl hope to achieve by reawakening Alma Karma?
The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful!
What Happened (Spoilers!)
This episode starts with a flashback to the last few minutes of the previous episode: Yu Kanda awakening to the Black Order’s treachery; Chi Chang casting a spell to put Kanda to sleep forever; Alma Karma reuniting with his Innocence — and, like Kanda, regaining the memories of his former life.
Moments later, seemingly distraught at the horrible things they had done to Kanda, Chang and the others leave Kanda alone and in the dark. Memories of the blonde Exorcist he had loved in his former life tormented him, and his desire to see her again was so strong that it reunited him with his Innocence. He leaves the chamber, unsure of what to do next, when he finds an mortally wounded and unconscious Noise Marie.
In another part of the facility, Chang and the others discover that Kanda has escaped. They’re surprised when Alma Karma enters the room.
Kanda accidentally bleeds on Marie, and the blood heals the man’s head injuries. The two of them begin their escape. Marie confides that without Kanda’s company, he would likely lose himself to panic and grief. In that moment, Kanda understands Alma Karma’s loneliness and vows to invite him to escape with them.
They enter the incubation room to find Alma Karma standing among the dead bodies of many CROWs and others, like the branch’s assistant chief Edgar Chang Martin. Saying he’s happy to see Kanda, he laments that he now has to kill Kanda. Burdened by Marie, Kanda can only defend until the two of them tumble down the stairs. After hacking off Kanda’s right arm, Alma Karma pauses to lament that he can’t kill himself because of his rapid healing, and that he can’t protect those he should because they’re all gone — along with his former life. Again remembering the woman he had loved, Kanda rallies and begins furiously attacking his friend.
For, the branch’s artificial guardian deity, begins to gather the dead bodies. Chang had ordered her not to intervene, perhaps hoping to contain the damage to the branch or to atone for what they had done. So For stood idle, obediently watching those she had pledged to protect die. The only thing she could do was place Chi Chang and her husband, Edgar Chang Martin, side by side in death, their hands clasped one final time.
Allen had seen enough. He gathers his strength and breaks the spell that held him and Kanda in Kanda’s memories. Unfortunately, it was too late. Back in the “real” world, Alma Karma wakes up, and he’s on his way to becoming an Akuma. Allen tries to intervene, but the other Noah push him back. His power building to a critical mass, Alma Karma unleashes a spell wave that destroys the North American Branch. Amid the rubble, Alma Karma becomes aware of his surroundings, which includes his old friend: Kanda.
What I Liked
I generally don’t like extensive flashbacks; I feel like the time could be better spent on new material. In this case, though, it perfectly setup this episode.
When Kanda remembers his previous life, he sees his hand raised against the sky before an Akuma comes into view. The Akuma’s attitude, when it kicks his uplifted hand aside, is chilling.
Kanda, who has made a name for himself for being emotionally distant or gruff, broke the binding spell because he wanted to again see the woman from his previous life. He didn’t even understand why — his memory of her face was incomplete! Yet the feeling compelled him. He’s a complex character.
Kanda walked out of what was supposed to be his burial chamber without any idea of what he should do. That realistic touch resonated with me, and I thought his spur-of-the-moment decision to help Noise Marie fit his character. It’s another example of his gruff versus affective way of living.
Bak Chang seemed to both feel betrayed by what Chang and the others were doing and aghast at what he guessed they were up to. It’s nice to see at least one person in the Order who was opposed to the Second Exorcist Program. Some faith in humanity restored!
Kanda’s blood healed Marie’s most pressing wounds — it’s no wonder Marie has such high regard for Kanda in the “current” time.
Marie is such a great character — he’s so at peace with his honesty that he can tell Kanda that he’s the one helping Marie maintain his composure. That moment of insight opened Kanda’s heart to see Alma Karma’s loneliness.
Kanda understood that loneliness just in time to meet Alma Karma, who had gone on a rampage and had killed everyone he could get his hands on. That revelation drove home Kanda’s pain in a dreadfully effective way.
“The ones I should protect are all gone,” Alma Karma says. That perfectly summed up his pain at the loss, and his fury at those who had brought him back. He couldn’t even put himself out of his misery — his regenerative capabilities kept him alive even after he mortally wounded himself.
Seeing For’s dilemma — that Chi Chang had begged her not to save them despite For’s mission to protect everyone in the branch — was heartbreaking. I think that if this happened during the first seasons, we might have gotten an episode or two building up to this moment. But with twelve episodes, something had to give. For remains one of my favorite characters.
Okay — Chi Chang redeemed herself by sending the other woman. She made sure there was a survivor who could warn future generations of this mistake. Nice gesture; too bad it was necessary.
Allen casts off Wisely’s spell with his own strength. Even Road was surprised! I like seeing a hero who can at least take some action.
The Earl and Noah’s strategy of leveraging the Order’s evil to drive a wedge between him and the Order seems really effective. It’s almost like the Order gave munitions to the Earl!
What I Liked Less
Having watched the show when it first ran (104 episodes), I’m really beginning to feel the constraints that HALLOW’s 12 episode run imposes. So many little moments, like For’s lament, would have received a more in-depth treatment. I guess I’ll just be grateful we get 12 episodes instead of zero!
I understand that Ray Bradbury was right when he said that as a species, we’re too close to the cave and too far from the stars:
I have that intellectual understanding of what he means. What I still struggle to grasp is why so many of us continue to make decisions like the ones Chi Chang and her compatriots made in this episode. Their faith is pretty clear in its teaching of how to treat other humans — and this ain’t how!
As Bradbury suggested, I think it’s the influence of the cave that overcame their love of the stars. They were afraid that they wouldn’t have enough natural Accommodators, so they behaved like denizens of the cave would behave: they cast aside their ethics and morality and tortured children in the name of salvation.
Allen knows better. Heck, even the Noah know better! They trust that their ethics and morality are meaningful and represent a better way of living. They trust that by living according to their interpretation of their ethics (by living according to their heart and conscience), they will prevail.
Allen choose the hope represented by the stars instead of the fear of the darkness in the cave. His choice opens possibilities that fear closes; his choices empower others to embrace their own ethics and morality instead of slavishly following those ruled by fear. Hope begets hope; fear begets fear.
That’s makes him the hero.
What do you think? Is this a lesson that applies to us out here in the real world? Can hope really triumph over fear?
Will the fear and darkness in the cave claim us? Or can we really reach for the stars?
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 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