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|“||This world is dark and it's so hard to breathe... but in this instant, when I laughed along with you, I felt that breathing just got a little more easier.||”|
—Kanda to "that person"
Yu Kanda (神田ユウ, Kanda Yû) is an Exorcist and member of the European Branch of the Black Order, formerly of the Asian Branch. He is a Second Exorcist, an Exorcist raised in a test tube and artificially modified to bear the Innocence of the previous Exorcist his brain formerly belonged to. He is also the second incarnation of the lover of fellow Second Exorcist Alma Karma's former incarnation. As a former disciple of General Froi Tiedoll, Kanda belongs to Tiedoll Unit.
Kanda is a handsome young Japanese man usually found in a foul mood. Kanda has long black (blue in the anime) hair, and dark eyes. Lavi comments that Kanda is a "pretty-type character", and Allen occasionally calls him "girly face"; Inspector Galmar also called him a "pretty boy". Kanda is testy about others touching his hair, getting mad at Lavi when he attempted to braid it. Recently, when Mugen became a crystal type, he gained two stigmata on the underside of his forearms where his blood exited his body to form Mugen's new blade.
On Kanda's chest is a tattoo that is the seal of his Second Exorcist regenerative abilities. Though the ring around the symbol changes (seemingly depending on the severity of his injuries), the symbol in the center remains the same; it is a variant of the symbol for "Om", a symbol/sound/syllable featured in such religions and belief systems as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.
In his original body, Kanda's appearance is similar to an older Allen Walker, but with light colored hair that covers his eyes. He also wore the standard exorcist uniform for men.
Kanda's golem is a black round one with large bat-like wings and one eye. It has two small black antennas. There is a circle around the pupil leaving a sclera space instead of an iris. The circle has four little edges : one up, one down and one on each sides.
Kanda is a cold, stoic, and arrogant person who shows little regard to the lives of those around him, even his fellow Exorcists. He is, more often than not, willing to leave those who slow him down behind, even if it means their death and especially if they are not Exorcists, viewing any field officers (especially Finders) who are not Exorcists expendable pawns who should not be expected to be saved. He is even often seen turning his blade on his own comrades over small things, such as Lavi calling him by his given name, Yu, or Allen simply trying to talk to him. Despite his words, Kanda is frequently seen saving those around him, and even putting his own life at risk (like he does with Gozu), though he does it grudgingly and openly complains.
Because of their conflicting views about the worth of the lives of others, Kanda and Allen are almost constantly at one another's throats, Kanda ready to blame Allen for anything that goes wrong and Allen often breaking his polite exterior to let his "dark side" out as he incites an argument with Kanda, which frequently leads to physical confrontation. Kanda has openly told Allen he hates people "like him"; people who make promises they can't keep and seem to fight without purpose. He calls Allen "beansprout" (モヤシ, Moyashi, English Dub: "Short Stack").
Kanda's personality does not seem to have changed since he was young. As a Second Exorcist in the Sixth Laboratory in Asian Branch, he was moody and easily annoyed, especially towards fellow Second Exorcist Alma Karma, who often followed him around and tried to befriend him. However, his final conflict with Alma, who he came to view as a friend just before he had to kill him, seemed to have hardened him further, as Kanda later admitted that, during his years as an Exorcist, he came to not care what happened to the Order or what the Order did to achieve their goals, going so far as to witness Allen's emerging Noah side and not report the incident to Komui.
Since coming back after Alma's death, Kanda has expressed repentant feeling towards his behavior for all of those years, blaming himself for Allen's current state and feeling like he can't die in peace until he repays Allen's kindness.