D.Gray-Man Context Analysis
Let me first start off by saying that THIS IS NOT A THEORY. A theory, by definition, is
an idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action. An analysis, by definition, is
the process of separating something into its constituent elements. (So, basically, a theory is putting elements of a subject together to prove/make sense of something, and an analysis is taking one thing and pulling it apart to break down and further understand the contents it contains.) Got it? Okay, good.
The second thing I want to mention is that this particular subject I’m talking about is controversial and I will most likely lose a lot of you in the process. But, I ask you to hear me out and keep an open mind. The point of a literary analysis is to make you think in a way you never have before. It’s a more mature way of reading. Got it? Okay, good.
With that out of the way, the specific scene in D.Gray-Man that I will be talking about is, arguably one of the most iconic moments in D.Gray-Man, when Allen and Tyki truly meet for the first time. (I’m talking about after Suman disperses into a bunch of Tyki’s flesh-eating butterflies moment.) Now, I know what you might be thinking: The context of that moment is pretty straight forward. Tyki was introduced officially in the series as another antagonist, was confirmed he was assigned to kill Allen, Tyki shows Allen what he can do because why not? He’s going to die anyway, he removes his arm, destroys his innocence and puts a hole in his heart because he wants him to die slowly. Sound about right? I think it does; but, what if it’s not? Let’s take the world and logic of D.Gray-Man out of context and then see what we have. A man looms behind a fifteen year old boy in the middle of an isolated forest. The boy doesn’t run away, not like he could, so the man approaches closer. The boy’s in no state to fight back; he wishes he was stronger. As the man talks, he tells him that he doesn’t touch anything unless he wants to touch it. He then proceeds to grab at the boy’s heart. The man then asks the boy, “What if I told myself I wanted to touch you, boy? Without making a cut into your body?” The boy is shocked and grows more anxious. “How do you think that would feel?” What about now? What does that sound like to you? Answer honestly, because I literally just copied this off of that particular scene in the manga and just removed the names and plot from the story. Does it sound a bit…off? Like, you know and feel something is going to happen, but you know it has nothing to do with murder, but you know it’s equally just as bad, or worse? If you haven’t caught on yet, I’m surprised, because I’m laying it on pretty thick. (That, or you just don’t want to think that what I’m implying is what I’m implying.)
Allen was raped by Tyki.
And this is where you say I’m crazy and disgusting for even relatively thinking like this. Let me re-phrase it then.
Allen was metaphorically raped by Tyki.
I just lost you, didn’t I? Allow me to explain.
In a book called, “How to Read Literature like a College Professor” written by a college professor, there are two chapters entitled, “It’s All About Sex…Unless It’s Sex.” In the first chapter, “It’s All About Sex” he mentions many metaphors in classic literature that so clearly references sex and or sexual desire. (The one he mentions so often in that chapter is a key and a bowl.) In that chapter, he also discusses that not all metaphors for said subject implicate that it was wanted and or legal. (He then proceeds to mention Clockwork Orange.) And that, my friends, is why this thought came to my sister and I’s head. (Yes; after reading that chapter, we both thought of this specific scene from D.Gray-Man.)
So, now you probably see why I thought of the idea in the first place. But, now you’re probably thinking, “Why this specifically? How does that possibly lead to rape, or just sex in general?” Both are great questions. After all, we clearly see that it wasn’t sexual, right? We see the pictures, it’s a manga after all. However, I would like to point out that Katsura Hoshino has done something like this before. What do you mean? I mean that hiding a deeper meaning under something visually obvious is not that uncommon of her. For example, the first few manga covers, 1 - 7 to be exact, are picture riddles. (You heard me right. She stated so in an interview.) And also, what about that time where she had Allen’s akuma seeing eye become injured, and Allen found himself terrified of the people around him. Because he simply couldn’t see which one was dangerous or not. That in itself is a much deeper, and realistic meaning than it seems at first glance. But now, back to the subject at hand. In the literary world, it isn’t uncommon for authors to hide what’s really happening in context. Like I said in the beginning, it’s highly controversial; so, they make it so that people can make what they want of it, and therefor taking some of that controversy out. Why would that not be the same here?
Let me first start off by saying that Tyki is the Noah of Pleasure. The word has a multitude of meanings, sure, but that also means that all the definitions apply. Including the to give sexual satisfaction to one. Allen says that he is vulnerable and cannot defend for himself in the state that he’s in. Tyki impales him. (Okay, yeah, he has intangibility, but the implication is still there.) Tyki says that he doesn’t touch anything unless he wants to. (And stating that out of context sounds sexual enough as it is.) The first thing he grabs is Allen’s heart. Sure, it’s literal, I know. But, the heart is a very common symbol in the romance area, even if it’s not wanted. However, this piece right here is the big one. This is the one that makes you think.
Tyki stole, and destroyed, Allen’s innocence.
Take that out of context, and you know what you get? The option to translate innocence into virginity. BOOM. Got you now, don’t I? Good, because we also can’t forget that Tyki wanted Allen to suffer. He didn’t flat out kill him, he left him there in pieces and broken to die slowly and painfully. But, we also can’t forget that when Allen does regain his innocence, his innocence is more protective over him. That says a lot to me. You know what else says a lot to me? The fact that after that Allen considers himself inhuman and just a tool used to be used in the war. Who knows if he thinks that now, but when he was told he couldn’t fight because he still hadn’t regained his innocence he thought that. (Lots of things that could hint towards sexual assault, if you know what I mean.)
Of course, there’s one thing that could very much disprove everything I’ve just said: it’s a manga.
It’s not a regular book where what you read is up to the imagination. The images are given to you so you have a visual of what exactly is happening. That, and the story is mainly told in dialogue. Not exactly narrated by something capable of using metaphors to give a visual; there is a visual.
BUT, more so can be used to FURTHER PROVE THIS. Art can be analyzed just a deeply as words can. Angles play an important role in the visual aspect, as well as the expressions on a characters face, the contrast between the black and white outline, the shading used. They give you what they want you to see. So, what I’m going to do now, is show you pieces of that part of the manga, and you’re going to be thinking of all the things I just told you. Really take into consideration the format of the panels.
Now, do you see it? Did you just have an OMG moment? Even just taking away just a little bit of the pages gives you a different outlook. The parts where it’s heavily shaded can be interpreted differently. Don’t even get me started on the angles.
Of course, this is DEBATABLE. I’m not saying this is what happened. I’m saying it’s a possibility. But, it really changes the way you think, doesn’t it?