「アルマ＝カルマ」 (Aruma = Karuma)
“Alma = Karma”
There are reunions you’d like to have and others you’d rather not. For the Black Order, it’s probably safe to say that this falls under the latter. With Kanda and Alma meeting one another for the first time in nearly a decade—courtesy of the Earl himself no less—a significant portion of the Order’s inhumane foundations are on show in the form of their Second and Third Exorcists, and a bit of added exposition gives us a window into what exactly happened all those years prior. It’s not the whole story—we’ll get the rest soon enough—but given the revelations that the Chang and Epstein family heads were murdered along with over forty others and Kanda had to slash Alma into so many pieces that he couldn’t regenerate to finish things, it’s clear that things didn’t go nearly as planned.
What it goes to show is that there were significant risks involved in the creation of the Third Exorcists after all—it’s just that much of the consequences were already dealt with many years ago. What we’re seeing now is the successful salvaging of a failed project on the part of the Black Order, which is impressive in its own right, even though the preservation of Alma Karma may have played right into the Earl’s hands. The fact that he’s able to use Kanda to lure Allen makes this moment all the more sweet for him, and at this point, everything’s going his way. Coaxing the Fourteenth to confess his ultimate goal only adds to his gains, and for all the focus on Kanda and Alma, the fact that everyone now knows that the Fourteenth intends to take the Earl’s position could be the most important of this week’s developments.
After all, Allen’s position within the Order was tenuous to begin with. Now that the Order knows he can be taken over at any time by someone who wants to take the Earl’s place (and may aim for the same end goal while he’s at it), the negatives are starting to overcome the positives of keeping him around, and it could be that the Earl may have inadvertently succeeded in accomplishing his ulterior goal without needing to take Walker with him at all. The way things are right now, Walker may not have a place to return to once everything boils over, and that could set the stage for a merry go round that’ll drastically affect the rest of the cast and their actions in the future.
In the meanwhile, it’s interesting to note just how funny the episode was despite the serious nature of its developments, even though the comedic touches are only possible at the expense of our cast’s fortunes. At this point the Noah are toying with the Order more than anything, and the fact that they can sit there knowing there’s nothing the latter can do to stop them at the moment gives way to some rather hilarious moments. The Earl in particular continues his running gag as the stuffed teddy bear of the family, and I laughed out loud seeing him used as a carpet mid-way through the episode. Road’s doll form was yet another comedic twist in an episode filled with them, and let’s not forget everyone’s incredulous expressions in response to Kanda’s whole “am I supposed to recognize that guy?” routine.
Ultimately, I’d go as far to say this was probably the best episode we’ve seen so far in terms of pacing, development, and balance—all things that bode well for the remainder of the series’ run. It’s just a pity the run’s only a single cour, although I suppose I’m glad that we even have something to watch in the first place. That said, am I the only one who kinda wants a Road doll after this episode? Or is that just a bit creepy? Can I at least get a figure of her regular form then? Or how about a Lenalee figure? Too much to ask?