「徒花の真実」 (Adabana no Shinjitsu)
“Truth of Adabana”
A massive smash to the face brings an end to Kanda’s recollection, and a fateful reunion brings together Alma and Kanda once more. Given all that’s happened between the two so far, it’s only fitting that they meet one last time to finish things, and it’s a meeting that highlights the irony behind everything and the differences between our fated pair.
For one, the actual destruction of the North American Branch ends up coming from something the Black Order created themselves rather than the Akuma/Noah directly. Furthermore, the only one standing between Alma and the branch’s complete annihilation is someone they tried to dispose of previously—a notion made even more ironic when you consider that the only reason Kanda’s even here is because of the memories he regained despite the Order’s attempts to make sure that never happened.
At the same time, the fact that Alma continues to live despite his desire to die ends up a direct contrast to Kanda’s desire to live and the fighting he’s had to do to ensure that he does. Kanda’s decision not to kill everyone and his acceptance of the Second Exorcist Project’s intentions come up as yet another contrasting point, and it’s tragic story made more so when you realize that if a few things went differently, there’s a chance they both could’ve ended up alive and well.
As it turns out though, everything went Kanda’s way more than anything—and yes, I know how ridiculous this sounds given all that he’s had to face. But when you think about it, he was extremely fortunate not to be the first to awaken (thus he was never alone in the beginning and was more sane as a result), and his chance meeting with Noise Marie likely played a large role in his decision to sympathize with the Order and not kill anyone either. The fact that he had someone he loved in his previous life was also the reason he regained his sanity in the first place, and the aforementioned are all things that Alma was never fortunate enough to receive/have, any of which may have caused him to embark on a different path.
With the Black Order doing the things they were however, one could argue they were bound to mess up one way or another eventually, and I guess it just so happened that it came earlier than they would’ve liked. Interestingly enough, the Order’s continued experimentation with Alma does end up successfully creating the Third Exorcists this time around, so it can be argued that they at least put additional precautions this time around and it worked. The only thing they didn’t for was a full-scale attack by the Noah, but I suppose it’s just desserts for the Order not letting sleeping dogs lie.
With that said, I think one of the more important parts of this episode isn’t so much the background we get, but the fact that we now have additional context from which to frame the interactions we’ve gotten between Allen and Kanda. Given what we now know about the both of them, it begins to make sense why they clash more often than anyone else, yet still seem to maintain a respect for one another that neither would care to admit.
As it turns out, Allen’s belief in bringing salvation to the souls of the Akuma may not be incompatible with the latter, but rather serves as a painful reminder of his past—especially in regards to the potential consequences that can result from the best intentions. At the same time, one can reason he respects Allen’s viewpoint despite that having understood the Second Exorcist Project and its intent, and it’s likely that he understands more than anyone else how much Allen tries to not only protect his loved ones, but even those that others may not deem as worth saving (given how he too was almost tossed aside). In this way, it reasons that words just aren’t enough to serve as a proper form of communication for the two given the complexity of their pasts, and the result is a physical clash and the use of other actions to demonstrate everything instead.
In this sense, I think the thing to really think about isn’t the fight versus Alma, but what comes after it (assuming Kanda wins, of course). Indeed, it seems like Kanda’s more than ready to bring an end to the past, and what could affect him the most isn’t so much the death of a friend he already bid farewell to a long time ago (although this will likely be emotional in its own right), but the potential of losing a comrade who now understands him more than anyone else. After all, even if they successfully fend off the attack, it doesn’t mean that Allen will be welcomed back to the Order. Given how much the Noah seem to want to associate with him and the potential of him awakening as the Fourteenth (he could very well awaken again between now and the end of the Alma arc to boot), Allen could very well find himself with no home to return to, which could test Kanda’s already loose ties with the Order.
Needless to say, there’s a lot to look forward to, and this is certainly one of those moments where I’m glad that the series is benefiting from the adaptation of what’s turning out to be one of the franchise’s better arcs. The question I have now is, will we ever find out who the woman was in Kanda’s recollection and what happened to her? Or shall we be forced to assume that she too died on the day he originally did?
Author’s Notes: As we get closer to September and various commitments in real-life start, posts will likely start coming out on Wednesdays more often than not. Aside from that, please remember that spoilers for future chapters should be placed into spoiler tags. Feel free to ask if you are unsure how to use them.