|“||You're too soft, you know that? An Exorcist is simply a destroyer. We'll never be anyone's saviour.||„|
|~ Yu Kanda to Allen Walker|
Yu Kanda is one of the main protagonists of the anime/manga series D.Gray Man. He is the first member of the Black Order Allen Walker meets face-to-face and ends up in a brief skirmish with him (due to believing him to be an Akuma at the time). He is later revealed to not be human at all, but an artificial construct known as a Second Exorcist, created by the Black Order in an attempt keep the number of Exorcists stable. His brain originally belonged to an Exorcist who died thirty years before the main story. Despite looking like a 19-year old man, he has in reality lived for only nine years.
He is voiced by Takahiro Sakurai in the Japanese version of the anime, while in the English version he is voiced by Travis Willingham in the first two seasons and Ian Sinclair in all subsequent appearances. In the Japanese version of D.Gray-man Hallow, he is voiced by Takuya Sato, who also voices Machias Regnitz.
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.
Kanda is generally portrayed as a very cold, serious and arrogant individual, rarely allowing anything to get in the way of a mission. 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 as expendable pawns who should not be expected to be saved. In spite of these words, Kanda is frequently seen saving those around him, though he does so begrudgingly and openly complains.
Because of this callous attitude, Kanda frequently becomes antagonistic, especially to Allen, due to their conflicting views about the worth of the lives of others. He has told Allen that he hates people who make promises they can't keep and seem to fight without purpose. He believes Allen to be too idealistic for his own good and doesn't hesitate to tell him this, saying that Exorcists are simply destroyers and that they'll never be anyone's saviour. He also has a short temper, often turning his blade on his allies for tiny things such as people calling him by his first name, especially Lavi (who often does it deliberately to see how he'll react and even got almost killed for it shortly after joining the Order).
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.
Powers and Abilities
- Enhanced Artificial Regeneration: Kanda can recover much faster than ordinary humans and is able to withstand the blood of Akuma due to a secret skill created by the Chan family. He is seen being able to rebirth after death ("approximately during 580 seconds"), regenerate lost limbs, and even survive a crushed skull. His blood is also enriched with healing power, even allowing him to accidentally save fellow Exorcist Noise Marie from a wound that had been deemed fatal and later Johnny from Nea's attack.
- Physical Prowess: Kanda is noticeably much stronger than the average human; while his Anti-Akuma weapon does enhance his power, when none of its abilities are activate he is able to cleave Akuma in half using the blade alone.
- Speed: Kanda is faster than most other characters in the series and can leap beyond average distances, though this may be attributed to his regenerative abilities, where such jumps on normal humans would result in damaged ligaments in the feet.
- Expert Swordsman: Though his Innocence makes him already inclined to swordsmanship, Kanda is shown to be powerful with a blade in his own right. He has been seen using regular swords to hold off Akuma as evolved as Level Four, and can use various forms of Japanese swords without changing his fighting style.
- His English Voice Actor, Ian Sinclair is best known for voicing as Brook from One Piece, Mezo Shoji from My Hero Academia, South Italy from Hetalia, Ginei Morioka from Rosario + Vampire, Daikoku from Noragami, Bardroy from Black Butler series, Otohiko from Kamisama Kiss series, Akane Hoshi from Soul Eater NOT!, Kazuichi Banjou from Tokyo Ghoul series, Juzo Sakakura from Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School series, Lawless from Servamp and Kureno Sohma from Fruits Basket.