S-P-O-I-L-E-R-S!! (for practically the whole series)</u></b>
Hoshino has thrown us again. At first, we thought Allen was a very open person. The way he talked, acted and reacted all pointed towards him being the sort of person who was very open, very reactive and interactive with other people and willing to pour his heart out to anyone. His revalations and changes in personality were very rare, and usually caused by great stress, and thus, we hardly ever noticed them, and like Kanda, we pinned him a a relatively passive, halfway naive boy. We decided subconsciously to ignore how odd it was for a fifteen year old to act so fixed and in place, ruling it out as the trauma in childhood forcing him to grow up too quickly
Later, after Crowned Clown awakened, we all got the feeling we didn't know him at all, after all, never before had be expressed fear of death and panic about anything, only suprise and maybe a rising sense of urgency when the need was presented. After Crowned Clown, we noticed we hadn't really been able to pin why exactly Allen acted as he did. We got clown and mask references and started realizing he had been hiding a bit of himself from everyone, including us. Because in manga, we are used to having everything about a character revealed almost immediately, and more importantly, all at once, we automatically thought that we had seen every sight of Allen that he had, savior, destroyer, scared, angry and hopeful. Deceptive, playful, and, of course, clownish.
When the 14th arc first came around, we still believed to know everything about Allen, despite only seeing about once full scene from his past. We brushed all that off and so, were surprised at learning he and Mana had written another language. We had it adamantly in our minds as the trial grew nearer, that Allen's soul was ' pure' and his love 'completely unconditional'. However, we had already gotten a frickin' huge hint of what was going to happen to him.
It's as though like the light, one day, you're going to disappear.
Lavi fans? This ring any bells? Well, Lavi got it dead on. Light doesn't last forever, and as we were then, Allen was all light. All light and horrible sadness.
As the trail approached, we saw a scene from Allen's past, where he meets a clown. All signs point to the clown being Mana, but they never said any names, and so, this cant be confirmed. It's equally likely that it was the Fourteenth or just a random clown. We may never know, but in this chapter (173), the clown's face was shown with Mana's name, and so, we can safely assume it IS indeed Mana.
However, the clown/Mana, is not the main attraction in the circus. It's Allen, whom many people apparently mistook for Kanda or a new character at first. And we see in this chapter, the younger version of Allen was certainly not as polite as the current Allen, but did display much of the determination and loner-approach to problems as our current Allen does. This surprised a lot of people, most of which apparently assumed that he had been raised by Mana from a baby. I personally thought he lived in an alley until Mana happened to find him, so naturally, I cant be one to talk. The fact is, however, that the older Allen is simply a much more refined version of the younger Allen.
Yes, birdie got his feathers ruffled and flattened down is what I'm saying. The younger Allen is simply a lost child no one seems to care for. He gets beaten up as a way for others to exert anger and does any work he can find. He doesn't complain much, and has his likes and dislikes. He is supposedly practical, given as he seems to have enough to get by. He's not exceptionally skinny like you would expect an orphan in 1800s england to be. He has clothes (several sizes too large) to help him keep warm, as everything hints that the weather is cooling down, coming closer towards winter. He has a clip to keep his hair out of his face, and he seems to know how to speak fluently and must have something of a steady business with his work.
The older Allen is also practical. He survived three and a half (I'm not sure exactly about the time, but I think it was about that long) years with Cross Marian making his own money and still finding time to learn how to fight. He was able to gambol his way out of most situations and my guess is the ladies didn't hate him so much because he was able to sweet talk them (you notice he was actually able to seduce a robot, right? Arent those things supposed to be as emotionless as a Bookman? Well... not a Lavi, but an official Bookman??)
He obviously has his same fashion preference as when he was younger (long sleeves, obviously, long pants, swept hair, and a ribbon), which suggests that it was a good style for him, and kept him warm as well as allowed him to move. He prefers shorter trench coats, like his old check coat, which I assume was given to him by Mana.
Allen is quite willing to express his dislikes, including his clothes being too large (Ne? That not work out for you Allen? Slip off once or twice in mid-winter or something? Kakaka....), and people calling him cursed.... and Cross, definitely disliking Cross more than clowns when he was younger.
These are just some spots where they overlap. The biggest difference is definitely the dialect they use. Older Allen is polite and overly careful with his words, while the younger Allen simply tells it as he thinks it in his mind. If Allen was more like his younger version when LouFa looked at him the first time, he most likely would have said something along the lines of the 1800s version of Ew, girls have cooties, you're going to get me infected. Freak.
Naturally, present Allen, being slightly more refined, was just wondering why the hell a girl had fallen in love with him at first sight.
Also moving on, judging by the independent personality that Allen had adopted when he was younger, which carried on to his teenage self, Allen was not Mana-worshiping and completely dependant on him after being 'adopted'. Actually, we don't even know if Allen EVER was given the Walker name, or if he just took it after Mana's death, wanting to be thought of as Mana's son, whom Allen saw as the ideal person.
Yep. Insane clown-man who pretended to hang himself when he and Allen first met. Allen probably saw his as the idea person. His personality, Allen's, has not yet been fully shown. He's been wearing that mask of Mana as Cross's voice-recording puts it. We havent been watching Allen as much as Mana with Allen's face and thoughts.
Allen is still Allen in his mind and body, but Mana has ultimately become Allen's 'performance'. He acts as he remembers Mana to act and talk like Mana talked. He may not be wearing a mask, but he certainly knows how to perform.
But, Allen's still living to Allen's ideals. As far as he knew, Mana didn't have any knowledge of the Akuma or Noahs. That information has only come out recently, so Allen had never gotten the chance to create a Mana who thought of these things, so, he's still Allen in his mind. Allen who loves both humans, demons, and everything cursed in between. Don't expect that to be changing any time soon, unless something really drastic happens, which I hope wont just yet.
The Allen we saw in this chapter has a personality I don't think we've ever seen on him before. We might have once, however, at the time, there was a pumpkin head on him, so we cant know for sure *sigh*
Allen in this chapter... well, let's just say I was thinking Omg, it's a bobcat! Really! He had the chesire-cat grin on page 15, and right before that, he literally jumped onto the roof of a building (a very tall museum, actually), kicked a mythological bandit in the head while he was holding something akin to crowned jewels, and then promising to protect it with his life, simply because it costs more than all of Cross's debts and then making the dets look like nothing (okay, well that's not so hard to understand when it's Allen...)
Honestly? When have we ever seen Allen act like this? Also: Sorry about that! <-- dude... flying kick to the head! I mean... wow... I'd be expecting Allen to say something like I am really, really, sorry, but I had to! Please don't hold it against me, or something similar. Adding on to that... he cracked his knuckles... just that gives me the impression that he's not going to let this guy off so easy, even if he has that awkward little smile on his face. He got his friends in jail, and he's going to get his face messed up for it.
This Allen we only recently met was also the one who thought She's cute back in vol 3. He unrefined, a slight dare devil, ready to go, calm when unprovoked, fully thinking things through and focused with a way that reflects in his face. If no one noticed, his eyes are also much more alive than they ever were way back in the beginning.
There were a few things I noticed with Hoshino's style early on. It could be just coincidence and Allen had to develop over time, but that's unlikely, as Robin from Zone had been around a while. It's very likely Hoshino had Allen's personality thought out very fully already. Back in the beginning, Allen's eyes were simple, maybe a little clouded and dark looking. Now, his eyes have a very clear look to them, and are much more expressive. I don't like looking at the first volume after this chapter.
The places his eyes look clearest in the first volume are when he's destroying Akuma (specifically Clare and Mark) and when he's facing the Earl. As well as several spots here and there, mostly when he's being attacked. The action and interaction with Akuma and the Earl... and Kanda.... all bring out his life a bit more than anything (including a police investigation) ever could.
Meanwhile, in this chapter, where we see Allen for, once again, what feels like the first time, his eyes seem much deeper, even though Hoshino has gone back to what seems like the original style. Like I said, there's something that seems much more authentic about this 'Allen', rather than all the others.
He broods over his path and the way fate shapes us, fearful of losing his dreams and losing control of his life, like our old Allen, but at the same time, there's a lighter hearted feeling to it. His mood is pulled up easily by a little bit of food (glazed doughnut with chocolate frosting and sprinkles... hmm... sugary and headache inducing...), as well as the promise of seeing something he's never seen before (a phantom thief in the flesh, haha). He's protecting his neck and wallet as well as working to complete his mission, and he's been working rather well with Kanda lately... as seen in the last chapter and in this one.
I think that in aid to us needing to notice Allen's personality change, Kanda has been sent on missions with Allen a lot lately. In the previous mission, Kanda was angry with Allen for being a 'traitor', however, in this one, it's two months later. Plenty of time for Kanda to cool off and accept the fact that Allen didn't ask for this, and more importantly, he's not pretending to be someone else anymore.
Remember long long ago in vol two? Kanda said he hated naïve idiots and people who broke promises. Allen was both at the time, or at least acting it. He certainly wasn't naïve, but he acted it, and so in a sense, he was a liar. Liars broke promises. Kanda hated Allen more than any other person currently probably because he couldn't get Allen to show his true face. Now that the real Allen is out there, he's more comfortable being around him and not trying to skewer him all the time, or more accurately, scare the real self out.
Allen has really done the 360 on everyone, apparently. Link even seems to be regarding him as more of a brother from what we've seen so far, more than a charge. Lenalee and Johnny said that Allen had stopped with formal speech altogether, and though we havent seen Lavi yet, most likely, he's seeing Allen differently. In fact, over the series, Allen has changed over and over as constantly as his appearance.
As we have seen him, he has gone from self-sacrificing sad boy wearing carnival masks to hide himself to the boy who speaks roughly and refuses to give up for someone he doesn't know and doesn't want to, even if he is technically his uncle.
Most people would not regard this change as something that is certainly not a good thing, however, when you look back from the absolute beginning of the series to now, you definitely see a drastic change in him. And it's not bad. He went from saving them with hushed and sorrowful whispers before carrying on to the next to saving them with a bright grin and friends at his side to catch him when he trips.
And I can only image what he will be next.