In Little Goodbye, episode 9 (or 112) of D.Gray-man (HALLOW), Allen Walker tries to resist the Noah that inhabits his body; Yu Kanda takes his fight with Alma Karma to a very dark level; the Millennium Earl tells the truth only to see it rejected, possibly as he planned; Malcolm C. Lvellie makes a move that underscores his inability to learn from history. All of this against the backdrop of a tragedy of Wagnerian proportion.
What Happened (Spoiler Free)
The Noah in Allen fully awakens. In his mind, Allen sees himself chained to a chair as Nea Campbell confirms that he’s the Fourteenth, and he intends to destroy everything. Timcanpy seems to have other plans, though. Swelling to an enormous size, he issues an incantation. What effect will it have on Nea? What does Timcanpy think he’s doing?
Once freed of Nea’s influence, Allen’s eye shows him the debilitating truth about the soul chained to the Akuma Alma Karma. The realization pushes Allen to make a bold decision that puts him at odds with the Black Order’s leadership, especially Lvellie, and with the Earl.
The rest of this review may have spoilers, so please be careful!
What Happened (Spoilers!)
Because Kanda attacked him with Innocence at the end of the last episode, the Noah within Allen fully awakens. Allen finds himself imprisoned in his own mind, but the situation doesn’t develop as he expected. The Fourteenth introduces himself as Nea Campbell to Allen and accuses both Allen and the Earl of becoming insane puppets of destruction. Before Nea can reveal the puppet master’s identity, Timcanpy grows to an enormous size. Chanting a strange incantation, he unleashes power that dissolves the barrier that had enveloped the North American Branch. Allen regains the use of his left eye and is able to push the Fourteenth back into his subconscious.
His eye reveals something else to him, though: he sees the soul that Alma Karma’s Akuma self has imprisoned. Allen’s horrified: the soul belongs to the woman Kanda had loved. Through the machinations of the Second Exorcist program, she had been reincarnated into Alma Karma’s body. Now, she was a soul chained to an Akuma. Realizing that Allen perceived the truth, Alma Karma screams at him not to reveal the secret, and he self-destructs. Kanda is partially crystallized.
Allen doesn’t know how his friend will possibly deal with this newly discovered truth.
The self-destruction didn’t kill Alma Karma. Even after trying to regenerate, though, he only has a head and one arm; and he’s blind. Allen tries to carry him to Kanda, but Alma begins to disintegrate. In dark matter form, he rises into the air. Allen picks up Kanda and follows. Opening an Ark gate, Allen honors Kanda’s request to send them to a place where neither the Black Order nor the Noah can find them.
That action infuriates Lvellie.
In the hidden place, Alma Karma is fading fast. He asks Kanda to watch over him “Until the Dark Matter crushes my soul…”
Back at the North American Branch and surrounding areas, the battle against the decaying Third Exorcists continues. Lvellie lambasts Allen for sending Alma Karma away, saying that until Alma Karma dies, the Third Exorcists can’t be saved. The Earl tells everyone that Alma Karma’s already dead; the strength of his detestation of the Black Order is what drives the Third Exorcists cells now. Bak Chang realizes that the Order is but paying for its sins; but Lvellie rejects all of that.
Heedless of Lvellie’s rhetoric, Allen tries to engage the Akuma that was Tokusa. Instead of ripping him to pieces, Allen tries to reinvigorate the Exorcist. They are close to achieving their goal when Howard Link arrives. He thinks that the Noah is exerting too much influence on Allen, so he binds Allen before he can complete his task of saving Tokusa.
What I Liked
Kanda had the good sense to be aghast at his role in awakening the Noah within Allen. He’s a great character. I hate seeing him go through so much pain!
Seeing whose soul was chained to the Akuma Alma Karma was devastating. Alma’s determination to keep it a secret was likewise devastating. Kanda’s been through more than any person should have to withstand. And yet, it’s still not enough for some — like Lvellie.
The Fourteenth’s attitude immediately dominates any situation he’s in. He’s quiet, confident, determined, and supremely calm. I still don’t really know if I consider him an enemy or not. That’s quite a contrast to how I feel about Lvellie.
Allen had the decency to weep at Kanda and Alma Karma’s plight. Even the pathetic gesture of picking up Alma Karma’s remains and walking him to Kanda, despite the results, was a gesture born of decency. I think if he and Bak Chang got together, they could turn this situation around.
I laughed when I saw that Allen had used the Earl as an anchor to launch himself and Kanda into the air.
As Allen prepared to send him and Alma Karma to a safe place, Kanda thanked Allen and said he was glad Allen was there. Yu Kanda. Said thank you. To Allen Walker. Wow. That might have been the emotional high point of an episode packed with emotion.
Alma Karma proves his humanity through his remorse at killing so many within the Back Order. Even after confiding this in Kanda, Kanda accepted him. They two remained together in solitude in that inaccessible place, waiting for what seemed inevitable.
Kudos to Bak Chang to understanding the situation — namely, that the Order’s bad decisions brought the current conflict to pass. It’s too bad the organization doesn’t put its trust in him.
Despite Lvellie’s carping, Allen tried to reach Tokusa and save him. The two of them even had a plan, but Lvellie was so bent on his own crippled vision that he ordered Howard Link to bind Allen. I wonder if “righteousness” was comforting to Tokusa in that situation?
What I Liked Less
The only negative thing I have to say is that 12 episodes isn’t enough for this arc. The narrative’s packed tight, and I’d like to see some of it get more lengthy treatment. I’m not complaining; 12 episodes is WAY better than zero. Still…
Allen’s charting his own course, apart from either the Noah or the Black Order. That’s dangerous; and I’m afraid, based on the previews for next week, that he’s going to pay a price within the Black Order. Given how much he loves others, given how much he’s willing to risk to save others (like Tokusa), he’s on the only course that he can be. His life is an inditement against men like Lvellie who live for power.
So, Lvellie declares that they can’t stop the decaying Third Exorcists without killing Alma Karma? “Are you intentionally trying to let people die? Are you trying to crush the Third Exorcist Plan?” he asks Allen.
This is the textbook example of a false dilemma.
The Earl even came out and said that Alma Karma’s deep-seated grudge was the driving force behind the Akuma cells now.
Not without some good reason, Lvellie rejects the Earl’s explanation. But he won’t accept the facts staring him in the face. He clings to what he sees as the innate rightness of the Order’s decision to move forward with the Third Exorcist Program. He ignored all of the agony that decision inflicted; he ignored the knowledge of the costs of the Second Exorcist Program.
He ignored his own hubris.
It’s not like the leadership can’t see what’s going on. Bak Chang clearly understands. He understood during the Second Exorcist Program; he understands now. Yet, despite being the Director of the Asian Branch, the church won’t listen to him. The hierarchy prefers to listen to people like Lvellie.
And the world pays in pain…
The Fourteenth seems to oppose both the Noah and the Black Order. Allen seems like he’s moving along that path, too. I think Kanda’s right there with him. The factions are on a serious collision course.
Is it wrong that I wonder if Nea’s right? That maybe he sees a different path — one that Allen might see, too?
So much conflict!
And I’m enjoying every moment!
What do you think of Lvellie in this episode? Is he a responsible steward? A power hungry maniac? A weak human who won’t embrace the facts as a way to strength himself?
Other Posts about This Series
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: D.Gray-man Hallow – Episode 9 Discussion
- 100 Word Anime: D Gray Man Hallow Episode 9
- AngryAnimeBitches: D. Gray-man Hallow Episode 9: [Little Goodbye]
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 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