D.Gray-man – 32
Stranded in town waiting for the next ship to come in, Allen learns that some of the ships have sunk in the area. When a group of boys interrupts his conversation with a sailor to declare that pirates are responsible, the sailor chases them off and attributes the sinkings to a rocky reef instead. Since he has to spend the night, Allen finds an inn, but this inn turns out to be run by the father of Archie, the leader of the boys from before. These boys, who aspire to be pirates themselves, decide to recruit Allen by kidnapping Timcanpy and forcing Allen to take their tests to join the group. Allen beats every single one of them at their own games, and when Archie challenges him to a swimming competition, Allen actually saves Archie from drowning. What’s more, to protect Archie’s pride, Allen even says that Archie drowned on purpose to test if Allen would come back to save him. Thus, the group accepts Allen into their pirate group, despite Allen not really wanting to join.
That night, Allen finds out that Archie and his father have bad relationship because Archie thinks his father should sail since he’s a sailor. Archie’s father Jido explains that he was a sailor who enjoyed his work but wanted another life. Looking at a picture of Jido and his now deceased wife carrying their son, Allen wonders if that’s the reason Jido gave up sailing. Later that evening, Allen sneaks out and meets up with Archie who takes him to a cave where the boys are building a raft that they call their ship. They also tell Allen about how they saw a pirate ship sink another ship one night, but no one believed their story. Thus, they’ve taken it upon themselves to defeat the pirates and want Allen to fight with them. Thinking of Jido, Allen suggests that Archie shouldn’t worry his father, but this only gets Archie angry and he kicks Allen out. The next morning, it’s time for Allen to leave, and he calls up Komui first. Komui informs him that recently there have indeed been some sinkings, and it is at this moment that Allen notices Jido yelling at the boys who have set out on their raft.
Allen also suddenly sees an Akuma appear in the water in the distance, and since Archie is in danger, Allen gets Jido to provide a boat so that they can go save the boys. With the Akuma attacking the passenger ship, the boys fire a fireworks bomb at it and draw the Akuma’s attention. Fortunately, when the Akuma returns fire, the boys are saved by Allen and his arm. Allen proceeds to fight the Akuma, but the Akuma decides to target the ship instead, forcing Allen to protect the passengers. One of the shells that gets through Allen’s defense breaks one of the ship’s masts, and it falls down towards the water that the boys and there raft are sitting in. With Allen unable to get there in time, it is Jido who comes to the rescue and sacrifices his boat to save his son. Jido manages to survive and tells his son that he had decided to protect him because he couldn’t do the same for his Archie’s mother. Not wanting to lose his son too, Jido had given up sailing. Realizing that his father did it for him, Archie starts crying. Father and son then help Allen by firing another bomb straight at the head of the Akuma, giving Allen the opening he needs to destroy it. In the aftermath, Jido returned to sailing and the boys become his students. Allen leaves town once the ship has been repaired, back on his journey to find Cross.
I thought that this was as generic a filler as it could be, to the point that if the ship Akuma were just some monster and Allen were just the hero, this could have been an episode of just about any action show with a moral of father/son relations at the end. We didn’t even find out how the Akuma came to be, and there wasn’t any of the loss-of-a-loved-one-leading-to-resurrection-as-an-Akuma that could have tied the episode more together.
Next week’s episode features Kanda, and I’m hoping that it’ll be at least a little better than this week since it’ll be the beginning of a two-parter.