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Allen Walker (アレン・ウォーカー Aren Wōkā?) is the main protagonist of the D.Gray-man manga and anime series created by Katsura Hoshino. He was created from the female protagonist of the D.Gray-man's predecessor Zone; Hoshino lengthened the female character's hair to create Allen's design.

The setting takes place during a fictional nineteenth century England. Allen is sent by his master to join the Black Order and be an Exorcist, who is able to use a divine substance called Innocence as a weapon and destroy the Millennium Earl's akuma, weapons which use human souls as an energy source. Allen aids the Black Order's attempts to prevent the Earl's plan to destroy the world. He is the prophesied Destroyer of Time and is believed to be the only one able to defeat the Earl. However, a traitor member of the Noah Family, a group of humans who aid the Earl, has implanted his memories into Allen. As the memories will erode Allen away until he becomes a Noah, the Order views him as a potential enemy. It's been revealed that he's not the player left behind by the 14th, but that he is the 14th.

Allen appears other media relating to the franchise, including the two video games and the two light novels. His character has been very popular with the D.Gray-man readers, usually ranking first in the series' popularity polls. Reaction to Allen's character is generally positive. Several pieces of merchandise have been released in Allen's likeness, including a plush doll, a figurine, clothing and cosplay pieces. His character design is highly praised, as well as his difference from of a typical shōnen protagonist.

Creation and conception

File:EarlyAllenWalkerDesigns.jpg

Creator Katsura Hoshino notes that she does not know where Allen's concept came from as she likes to have her main characters be rambunctious, rude idiots. Although she believed his final design looked best with the Black Order uniform, she wondered if his design should be more masculine. She based him on the female protagonist of the D.Gray-man one-shot Zone; she drew the character with longer hair to create Allen and found it difficult to decide on the hairstyle.[3] Hoshino also comically comments that Allen's hair later in the series has become very similar to a Super Saiyan, a transformation from Dragon Ball, in which the character's hair becomes spiky.[4] She says towards the beginning of D.Gray-man's publication that Allen is one of the hardest characters to draw.[5]

Character outline

Background

Allen was born with a deformed left arm, actually caused by the effects of an Innocence, and abandoned by his parents. He later worked at a circus and met Mana Walker, a clown. Mana adopted Allen the day his contract with the circus expired, December 25.[6][7] When Mana died, Allen attempted to resurrect him through the Millennium Earl's offer, instead turning Mana into an akuma. The resurrected Mana was ordered to kill Allen, slicing him through the left eye. Allen's deformed left arm awakened as an anti-akuma weapon, destroying Mana, and his left eye became cursed, allowing him to see the souls of akuma. As a result of this experience, Allen's hair became white from shock (originally having been reddish-brown). Shortly after, Exorcist General Cross Marian offered to take Allen as a disciple and train him as an Exorcist.[8] Allen trained under Cross until the General decided to send him to the Black Order headquarters in Great Britain.[9] At an unknown time, the 14th, a traitor member of the Noah Family and Mana's younger brother, implanted his memories into Allen.[10]

Personality

Allen is a friendly and kind-hearted person. Because he can see the souls of the akuma, he decided to live and fight for their souls. Eventually, he realizes that human souls also need salvation and learns the importance of his friends and comrades. He then devotes himself equally to both causes.[11] Because he wishes to save humanity, he is at odds with fellow Exorcist Yu Kanda, who tells him that Exorcists are not saviors.[12] Allen is loyal to his friends and comrades and protects them at any cost.[13][14]

File:AllenWalkerCrownedClown.jpg

He loves his adoptive father Mana Walker and is greatly influenced by him, so much so that he is said to be wearing a "mask of Mana".[15] Allen promised Mana to keep moving forward on the path he chose for himself and to never give up.[16] Because of this promise, Allen remains optimistic regardless of the situation.[17] Allen is well-mannered and always speaks formally, just as Mana had done.[15] As the series progresses, he begins to speak in a more informal tone.[18]

Abilities

Allen is one of the rare parasite-type Exorcists and controls Innocence with his body.[19] When his anti-akuma weapon is not invoked, it appears as his deformed left arm; however, his arm is actually composed of a different cellular structure than the rest of his body.[20] The weapon goes through two forms before reaching its true form. Originally, it appears as a giant claw with great strength and swiftness.[21] It later "evolves" into a gun-like structure, allowing him to shoot beam-like objects, as well as emitting a beam-like sword from the end.[22] Its final form, the Crowned Clown (神ノ道化 Kuraun Kuraun?, lit. Clown of God), takes the form of a type of fur cape and a claw-like hand.[23] In the Crown Clown's true form, Allen's left arm no longer appears deformed (but retains its odd color in the anime). In addition, his arm is also able to produce a large sword from Allen's left arm, resembling the sword the Earl uses, and use his cloak as a grappling hook.[24][25] Shortly after his anti-akuma weapon takes the form of Crown Clown, his synchronization rate exceeds the percentage required for General level.[24] Thus making him a critical.

Shortly after Allen resurrected Mana as an akuma, Mana sliced through the boy's left eye, granting him the ability to see the souls of akuma, allowing him to detect a disguised akuma.[8] His eye later "evolves", allowing him to extend his akuma detecting abilities to others.[26] His eye is also able to detect akuma within a range of Script error; objects no longer impede his detecting abilities. Now those around him can see the bound souls of the Akuma.[27] Allen is able to control Noah's Ark. Like the Earl, he controls it by playing a melody on a piano on the Ark.[28]

Plot overview

After Allen completes his training under General Cross Marian, he is sent to the Black Order headquarters to become an Exorcist.[9] Allen is accepted into the Order and learns that he is the prophesied Destroyer of Time.[16] He is sent with other Exorcists to recover Innocence scattered around the world, find people compatible with Innocence and fight against the Millennium Earl, his army of akuma and the Noah Family.[29][30] Eventually, he and four other Exorcists are sent to locate and protect General Cross because the Millennium Earl is attacking Exorcist Generals in his search for the Great Heart, the most powerful Innocence.[31] To save a fallen comrade, Allen uses his Innocence past his ability and is weakened, allowing the Noah Tyki Mikk to destroy his Innocence and nearly kill him.[13][32] He stays at the Black Order's China branch and learns that his Innocence has saved him from death and has not been destroyed.[33][34]

With his Innocence finally taking its true form, Allen joins his comrades in Edo.[23][35] When the Earl kidnaps Lenalee Lee, Allen and three others are accidentally taken with her. They are transported to a crumbling Noah's Ark, which is under the Earl's possession.[36] The Noah offer an exit and battle the Exorcists as they try to find it.[37] Allen is nearly killed by Tyki once again, but manages to defeat him using a sword that resembles the Earl's.[24][25] Using the sword, Allen attempts to exorcise the Noah from Tyki; instead, Tyki fully awakens as a Noah, becoming more powerful than the Exorcists can handle.[38] General Cross defeats Tyki and directs Allen into restoring the Ark through a piano.[28][39] Upon returning to headquarters, he is suspected as an ally of the Earl [40] and learns that the 14th implanted his memories into Allen. The memories will erode Allen away until he becomes the 14th.[10] He later appears at the Black Order headquarters in North America preparing to battle the Earl and prevent him from killing the personnel.[41] After a Noah attack, he is accidentally trapped within Yu Kanda memories, where he witnesses the Second Exorcist Program. He is later caught in an explosion that was caused by Alma Karma's awakening. Allen emerges from the rubble, but is unable to help the Third Exorcists when their akuma cells begin to mutate out of control as a result of Alma's awakening. The Millenium Earl then appears and addresses Allen directly as the new Fourteenth Noah, and offers to stop the mutating cells in exchange for Allen joining him and the other Noahs.

Appearances in other media

Allen is a playable character in the two D.Gray-man video games.[42][43] He also appears in two crossovers video games which feature Allen fighting against several characters from other Shōnen Jump manga, including Jump Super Stars and Jump Ultimate Stars.[44][45] He also appears in the series' light novels. The first documents Allen's search for the Black Order headquarters after Cross tells him to do so and disappears.[46] In the second, he is a supporting character and attends the Black Order's reunion party.[47]

Reception

Allen has been highly popular with the D.Gray-man reader base, having ranked as the most popular character in the first official Shōnen Jump poll of the series.[48] In the second poll of the series, he dropped to second, falling under Yuu Kanda. He returned to the first position in the third poll. In an Animedia character popularity poll, Allen has been featured as the nineteenth most popular anime character.[49] He ranked twentieth in a Newtype character poll.[50] A plethora of merchandise has been released in Allen's likeness including a key chain,[51] a plush doll[52] and figurines.[53] Clothing[54][55][56] and cosplay pieces based on his appearance and uniform have also been released.[57][58][59]

Several publications for manga, anime, video games, and other related media have provided praise and criticism on Allen's character. Squentialtart.com praised Allen's character design, saying that his anti-akuma weapon is "quite impressive" when invoked, giving a visual representation of his strength. She also notes that his cursed left eye paired with his white hair make the design "much more striking".[60] Anime News Network also praised his design, stating he looks like a "visual-kei rock star" and believed he is "a nice change of pace" from other shōnen protagonists.[61][62] Allen's abilities were described to be "rather inspired" by mangalife.com.[63] However, Anime News Network stated that Allen does not use any amount of "cleverness" to defeat akuma and just lets his arm "overpower the enemy".[64] Despite this, Allen was praised as a hero, described as and solid by IGN.[65] Animationinsider.net believed that Haberkorn does a "decent job" voicing Allen, matching Kobayashi's portrayal well.[2]

References

  1. Script error
  2. 2.0 2.1 Morales, Kimberly (2009-05-08). "D.Gray-man - Page 3". animationinsider.net. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  3. Hoshino, Katsura (2006-05-02). D.Gray-man 1. Viz Media. p. 61. ISBN 1-4215-0623-8. 
  4. Hoshino, Katsura (2008-11-04). D.Gray-man 11. Viz Media. p. 2. ISBN 1-4215-1998-4. 
  5. Hoshino, Katsura (2006-11-07). D.Gray-man 3. Viz Media. p. 86. ISBN 1-4215-0625-4. 
  6. Hoshino, Katsura (2006-05-02). D.Gray-man 1. Viz Media. p. 62. ISBN 978-1-4215-0623-4. 
  7. Script error
  8. 8.0 8.1 Hoshino, Katsura (2006-05-02). "The 3rd Night". D.Gray-man 1. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0623-4. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Hoshino, Katsura (2006-05-02). "The 2nd Night". D.Gray-man 1. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0623-4. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Script error
  11. Hoshino, Katsura (2006-05-06). "The 83rd Night". D.Gray-man 9. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1610-3. 
  12. Hoshino, Katsura (2006-08-01). "The 16th Night". D.Gray-man 2. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0624-1. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Hoshino, Katsura (2007-08--07). "The 53rd Night". D.Gray-man 6. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1054-5.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. Hoshino, Katsura (2009-02-03). "The 111st Night". D.Gray-man 12. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-2389-7. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Script error
  16. 16.0 16.1 Hoshino, Katsura (2006-05-02). "The 7th Night". D.Gray-man 1. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0623-4. 
  17. Hoshino, Katsura (2007-05-01). "The 46th Night". D.Gray-man 5. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1053-8. 
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  19. Hoshino, Katsura (2007-11-06). "The 62nd Night". D.Gray-man 7. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1055-2. 
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  21. Hoshino, Katsura (2006-05-02). "The 1st Night". D.Gray-man 1. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0623-4. 
  22. Hoshino, Katsura (2006-08-01). "The 15th Night". D.Gray-man 2. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0624-1. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 Hoshino, Katsura (2006-05-06). "The 85th Night". D.Gray-man 9. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1610-3. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Hoshino, Katsura (2009-02-03). "The 116th Night". D.Gray-man 12. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-2389-7. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 Hoshino, Katsura (2009-02-03). "The 117th Night". D.Gray-man 12. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-2389-7. 
  26. Hoshino, Katsura (2007-05-01). "The 38th Night". D.Gray-man 5. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1053-8. 
  27. Hoshino, Katsura (2007-05-01). "The 31st Night". D.Gray-man 5. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1053-8. 
  28. 28.0 28.1 Hoshino, Katsura (2009-08-04). "The 132nd Night". D.Gray-man 14. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-2600-3. 
  29. Hoshino, Katsura (2009-08-01). "The 8th Night". D.Gray-man 2. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0624-1. 
  30. Hosino, Katsura (2009-11-07). "The 19th Night". D.Gray-man 3. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0625-8. 
  31. Hoshino, Katsura (2007-02-06). "The 29th Night". D.Gray-man 4. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-0623-4. 
  32. Hoshino, Katsura (2007-08--07). "The 56th Night". D.Gray-man 6. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1054-5.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  33. Hoshino, Katsura (2007-11-06). "The 57th Night". D.Gray-man 7. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1055-2. 
  34. Hoshino, Katsura (2007-11-06). "The 59th Night". D.Gray-man 7. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1055-2. 
  35. Hoshino, Katsura (2008-05-06). "The 89th Night". D.Gray-man 9. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1610-3. 
  36. Hoshino, Katsura (2008-08-05). "The 90th Night". D.Gray-man 10. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1937-1. 
  37. Hoshino, Katsura (2008-08-05). "The 91st Night". D.Gray-man 10. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-1937-1. 
  38. Hoshino, Katsura (2009-05-05). "The 124th Night". D.Gray-man 13. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-2599-0. 
  39. Hoshino, Katsura (2009-08-04). "The 129th Night". D.Gray-man 14. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-2600-3. 
  40. Hoshino, Katsura (2009-08-04). "The 136th Night". D.Gray-man 14. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1-4215-2600-3. 
  41. Hoshino, Katsura (2009-12-04). "The 188th Night". D.Gray-man 19. Shueisha. ISBN 978-4-08-874675-3. 
  42. Script error
  43. Script error
  44. Script error
  45. Script error
  46. Script error
  47. Script error
  48. Hoshino, Katsura (2007-11-06). D.Gray-man 7. Viz Media. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-4215-1055-2. 
  49. Script error
  50. Script error
  51. Script error
  52. Script error
  53. Bricken, Rob (2009-07-19). "Astro Toy with Rob Bricken - D.Gray-Man Deformed Figure Series". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  54. Script error
  55. Script error
  56. Script error
  57. Script error
  58. Script error
  59. Script error
  60. McNeil, Sheena (2006-05-01). "D.Gray-Man Vol. 1". squentialtart.com. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  61. Brienza, Casey (2009-03-14). "D.Gray-man GN 12 - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  62. Brienza, Casey (2009-06-04). "D.Gray-man DVD Season One Part One". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  63. Aronson, Michael. "D.Gray-Man v1". mangalife.com. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  64. Santos, Carlo (2008-04-18). "Full Frontal Alchemy - RIGHT TURN ONLY!!". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  65. Sparrow, A.E. (2009-04-20). "D. Gray-Man Vol. 1 Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 

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