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|“||This world is dark. It's hard to breathe here. But that time... when I tried laughing like you... it seemed like it got a little easier.||”|
— Kanda to "that person"
Yu Kanda (神田ユウ, Kanda Yū) is a Second Exorcist, a member of the European Branch of the Black Order, and a former member of the Asian Branch. As a disciple of General Froi Tiedoll, Kanda belongs to Tiedoll Unit.
Kanda is a handsome young Japanese man with long black hair (blue hair in the anime) that he ties in a ponytail with bangs hanging over his forehead while there are two medium-length hair strands hanging on either side and dark eyes.
Due to his appearance, he has gotten a few names by other people:
- Lavi comments that he is a "pretty-type character"
- Allen Walker occasionally calls him " "girly" face"
- Inspector Galmar calls him a "pretty boy"
Kanda is testy about others touching his hair, getting mad at Lavi when he attempted to braid it. 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. Although 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 religions and belief systems such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.
In his original body, Kanda's appearance is similar to an older Allen, but with light-colored hair that covers his eyes. He also wore the standard exorcist uniform for men.
Kanda's golem is black and round with large bat-like wings. It has two small black antennas and a single red eye.
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 Walker simply trying to talk to him. Despite his words, Kanda is frequently rescues those around him, even putting his own life at risk (like he does with Gozu); although 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 cannot keep and seem to fight without purpose. He calls Allen "beansprout" (though in the English dub he calls Allen "Short Stack").
Kanda's personality does not seem to have changed since he was young. As a Second Exorcist in the Sixth Laboratory in the 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. Kanda has also 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 Lee.
Since returning to the Order after Alma Karma's death, Kanda regrets his behavior for all of those years, blaming himself for Allen's current state and feeling like he cannot die in peace until he repays Allen's kindness.
- Yu's surname Kanda means "god" (神) (kan) and "field, rice paddy" (田) (ta/da).