Before becoming part of Alma's Second Exorcist body, Alma Karma's brain had belonged to a young female Exorcist who had died in battle. She and Yu Kanda's previous incarnation, another Exorcist, had been lovers.
As a Second Exorcist, Alma was the first person to see fellow Second Exorcist Yu Kanda awaken, telling him his name and making sure he immediately got the medical attention he needed. He would later try to make multiple attempts to befriend Kanda, all of which ended in physical confrontation, as Kanda found Alma's actions 'creepy' and Kanda's actions would incite Alma into fighting with him. The laboratory technicians of Laboratory 6 would try to help Alma in his attempts to befriend Kanda by giving him (Alma) advice and trying to make Kanda stop and listen to what Alma had to say.
After a particularly trying day spent in synchronization testing, when a depressed Kanda wandered into the Second Exorcsit birthing room, Alma fished Kanda out of one of the birthing tanks he had fallen into, the strain causing his arm to fall off. This ended with Kanda and Alma sitting together and talking, Alma teasing Kanda about a female "ghost" he had thought he had seen (though Alma was talking about For and Kanda had actually seen Alma's previous incarnation). The teasing ended in another fight, but both Alma and Kanda's bodies were too worn out from syncrhonizing and they both collapsed in their own blood. They then both started to laugh, finding the situation mutually funny.
193 days after that, Kanda had started accompanying Alma when he went to see the other Second Exorcists, early in the morning. During one of these times, Kanda collapsed after hallucinating again, and Alma listened in while Twi Chang, Edgar Chang Martin, Renny Epstain and Saarinzu Epstain talked about Kanda's situation, Alma overhearing their plans to put Kanda to sleep. After learning about a canal that ran through the building, Alma broke into Kanda's isolation room and knocked the scientists there out, taking Kanda and fleeing with him. When they were tracked and cornered by several members of CROW, Alma kicked Kanda over a ledge and into the canal, telling him he 'might' still have a chance to escape.
When he had gotten away from the CROW, Alma went looking for the Innocence, planning to use it to save Kanda. When Edgar found him sliding down a tube towards the Innocence containment room, he tried to talk to Alma, but Alma called him and the other scientists 'animals' before letting go of the tubing and falling into the hole. He ended up in the Innocence containment room and tried to synchronize with his, only to be captured and burned by the CROW. When the CROW continued to attack him, Alma managed to syncrhonize with his Innocence and killed them, cutting open the canisters the Innocence were attached to and revealing the spell strip-bound corpses of the former Exorcists, including the original bodies of his and Kanda's brains, inside. Realizing what the Order had done, Alma became enraged.
Alma went back up to the Second Exorcist birthing room and slaughtered all of the staff members of Laboratory 6, as well as the other sleeping Second Exorcists. When Kanda came into the room carrying Noise Marie, Alma said he was happy to see Kanda was alright, then tearfully admitted that he would have to kill Kanda, as well, before attacking. When Kanda asked him why he'd killed everyone, wondering if Alma had recovered his memories, Alma noted that he (Alma) was like an Akuma before attacking himself with his own Innocence. Kanda continued to try to talk to him, but Alma said that he'd wanted to die and was unable to, saying he couldn't stop himself before his Innocence lashed out at Marie, next, and knocked him through a wall.
Alma then stabbed Kanda, saying that the Order wouldn't repent as long as they were alive, and that he didn't want to be a tool for the Order as he no longer had anything to protect. Kanda then lashed out and attacked Alma, saying he wasn't ready to die and wanted to live, even if that meant he had to kill Alma.
Kanda won the ensuing fight, slashing Alma over and over until he could no longer regnerate. While the Order had told Kanda that he had killed Alma, they really took his body to the North American Branch and bound him with powerful sealing magics, implanting an Akuma nucleus (from the shard taken from the Akuma Egg that had been destroyed in the original European Branch) into his body. Alma's Second Exorcist regenerative abilities allowed him to survive the implantation, and his bodily cells fused with the nucleus and resulted in a half-Akuma mutation. Alma's cells were then taken and implated into five CROW, whose left arms mutated into Akuma-like appendages. These five (Madarao, Tewaku, Tokusa, Goushi and Kiredori) became Third Exorcists.
Mystery of Kanda arc
When Reever Wenhamm, Johnny Gill, Regory Peck, Mark Barrows and their assistants go to North American Branch for a meeting, they are shown Alma Karma for the first time. Alma Karma, it is explained, is a Second Exorcist whose body has been infused with an Akuma nucleus so that the mutated cells that resulted from the process could be used to make Third Exorcists. Zu Mei Chang, who had known Alma as a child, comes in and demands to see his body, angry with Malcolm C. Lvellie for hiding Alma from him for nine years. Lvellie simply responds that Alma's chances of survival had been slim, and that Zu Mei would not have agreed to allow Alma's body to be used for the experiments.
When Johnny throws up upon reading Alma's dossier and is taken to the bathroom, the Millennium Earl arrives and attacks the North American Branch, invading Alma's containment cell and taking everyone in the building hostage with the help of Noah Sheril Kamelot, Noah Wisely brings Kanda from Jordan, and Tyki Mikk lures Allen Walker through an Ark Gate and into the room.
After a brief confrontation, Wisely uses his ability to manipulate memories to force Kanda and Alma to relive their past through Kanda's memories, accidentally sending Allen and Road Kamelot in, as well.
After witnessing Kanda and Alma's past, Allen forcibly cuts off Wisely's connection to their minds by punching Kanda in the forehead and breaking the 'third eye' Wisely had put there, causing Wisely to suffer a crippling headache.
Being forced to relive the past stirred Alma Karma's mind into consciousness, making him remember his hate of the Order and causing the Akuma shard within his body to covert his energy into Dark Matter and turn him into an Akuma. A large, head-like bubble grows around Alma and shines brightly, the rays of light releasing intense amounts of Dark Matter that destroy the North American Branch from the inside out. Alma then breaks free from the head and lands on the ground, standing up amongst the shambles of the building and calling out to Kanda.
When Kanda approaches Alma, the side of his face healing as he recovers from being infected by the Akuma Virus, the Earl calls out to the Dark Matter within Alma and incites his rage, causing Alma's body to finish transforming. As he walks towards Kanda, Alma tells him that he understands why Kanda betrayed him and that he hated Kanda for killing him. Alma then tells Kanda that he blames him for his (Alma's) Akuma transformation. Kanda calmly replies by unsheathing Mugen and telling Alma that he will destroy him. As they fight, Alma's rage causes his cells within the Third Exorcists to mutate, resulting in them becoming berserked, Akuma-like beings.
As Alma and Kanda clash, Alma notes that Kanda grew up well and asks what it was like to live alone, resulting in Kanda wordlessly delivering a deep blow to his side. Alma taunts Kanda further by asking if he's made any friends.
When the Earl, projecting his voice into the minds of everyone present, tells Allen that he will eradicate the Dark Matter within Alma and the Thirds if he will agree to come with them, Alma says that it doesn't matter if the Earl takes his Dark Matter away because he will still hate the Order and want to kill Kanda. He then attacks Kanda again, paralyzing him with a lightning-like attack before shooting three long spikes from his mouth and impailing Kanda's abdomen and chest, ignoring the cries of Zu Mei, Renny and Bak Chang telling him to stop.
Bak summons For and uses his family sorcery to freeze a madened Tokusa in order to defend Allen, Renny telling Allen to stop Kanda from destroying Alma.
In a battle rage, Kanda calls upon more of Mugen's power and cuts off Alma's right leg and left arm, Alma responding by blasting Kanda's left arm off. Alma then continues to taunt Kanda by saying that being an Akuma is easier than using Innocence, as his power is continuously fueled by his hatred. Kanda, though, is no longer listening, muttering "destroy" to himself over and over again before he lunges at Alma. Before Kanda can land a blow, though, Allen appears between them and blocks Mugen, guarding Alma.
As Alma and Kanda ask Allen what he's doing, Allen responds by asking Kanda why he's making the face he is while attacking Alma. Enraged, Kanda attacks both Alma and Allen, while off to the side Zu Mei notes that Kanda's hair has turned a light purple and that he's drawing too much on Mugen's power and killing himself. Kanda ignores Zu Mei calling out to him and runs Mugen through Alma's stomach.
Alma fires another blast of Dark Matter at Kanda, stripping Mugen of its hilt and guard and blasting a hole through Kanda's side, Alma calling out for him to die. Allen steps in and grabs Alma's hand to make him stop, asking Alma why he can't forgive Kanda after having seen Kanda's reasoning through his memories. Alma then wraps Allen up in his tail and asks if he (Allen) is Kanda's friend before saying he can't forgive Kanda as long as he is alive.
Alma then collapses, his regenerative core starting to fall out of his chest.
As Alma weakens, the Earl notes that Alma has reaches the limits of his regenerative abilities with his weak body, and that the Dark Matter within him could only boost him for so long. Alma tells the Earl to shut up and weakly tries to get back to his feet, saying he still needs to kill Kanda, and just when Allen starts to ask him why, they both barely have time to dodge when Kanda lunges at them and swings Mugen.
When Allen, now carrying Alma, asks Kanda what he's doing and Kanda simply tells Allen to give Alma to him, Allen notes that Kanda simply isn't thinking at all, noting that Kanda is just running from something that's too painful for him to deal with and asking what exactly it is. In response, Kanda boosts his syncrhonization rate with Mugen further and blames Allen for Alma turning into an Akuma, as well as the destruction of the North American Branch and the Third Exorcists turning into monsters, Kanda calling Allen a Noah.
Incensed, Allen sets Alma aside and attacks Kanda and they both fight. As they fight, Alma tries to get back to his feet, thinking about how he needs to kill Kanda before he runs out of time before firing more Dark Matter and striking Allen's shoulder.
The fight comes to a sudden halt when Kanda stabs Allen through the stomach with Mugen and comes back to his senses, Allen telling Kanda to look at the face Alma is making before pushing himself off of Mugen's blade and collapsing as his skin begins to darken. Alma takes advantage of Kanda's shock and prepares to fire another blast of Dark Matter at him, but just then Allen's body sends out a powerful pulse of energy that knocks them both aside, Alma getting slammed into a large piece of concrete and hurt. Before he can fall, Kanda calls out to him and catches him.
As the Noah within Allen threatens to break free, the Earl thanks Kanda for using his Innocence on Allen and allowing the Noah within Allen to feel the pain and remember its hatred for Innocence. Before the Noah can awaken, though, Timcanpy, far away from the scene uses a spell stored within himself to shatter a barrier that has been set up around the remains of the North American Branch, which activates Allen's Eye and allows him to regain consciousness.
His eye now active, Allen is able to see the soul bound to Alma's body and recognizes it as the woman from Kanda's memories, the lover of Kanda's previous body's life. Crying, the soul pleads for Allen to not look at it, and when Allen is about to speak, Alma screams at Allen to not say anything, not wanting him to reveal his identity to Kanda.
Alma then turns on Kanda and wraps his hands around Kanda's neck, starting the self-destruction sequence of his Akuma body. As he does, he thinks about how Kanda had killed him (Alma) to keep his promise to her (Alma's previous body), and that he (Alma) couldn't bear it if Kanda continued living and searching for her, only to find out in the end that Alma and the woman were one in the same.
After Alma's body self-destructs, Allen climbs over to the crater left behind and looks in to see that Kanda's body is falling apart, and that all that is left of Alma is his regenerative core. As he realizes that Alma didn't become an Akuma for revenge, but to bury the truth of who he was to Kanda, Allen cries out and asks how Kanda will feel about this.
As he begins to regenerate, Alma explains that he can't tell Kanda that he's the woman he's been searching for because he'll stop looking, because he (Kanda) would have fulfilled his promise, and that as long as Kanda doesn't know he will belong to her forever. Alma then begins to crawl, in the wrong direction, to look for Kanda, crying out that he didn't want to lose him. Crying, himself, Allen picks Alma's body up and begins to carry him back towards Kanda, Alma noting that Allen is a kind person.
Before they can make it to Kanda, though, Alma's body shatters and the Dark Matter within him grows out of control. Alma thanks Allen before his body begins to bloom up towards the sky, the Earl noting as it does that Alma will just "pop like a bubble" before disappearing. Suddenly, Allen wraps his Clown Belt around the Earl and uses him as leaverage to throw himself and a now conscious and recovering Kanda skyward, Kanda telling Allen to send him and Allen to Mater, where they had gone on their first mission together, and thanking Allen before going to Alma and embracing him.
Alma, who had just been wondering why he had heard Kanda's voice coming from the heavens, is shocked when Kanda proposes that they leave the Order together. When Alma, starting to cry, asks if Kanda had heard him talking to Allen, Kanda calls him a "fool" and says that he had.
Alma's body starts to break, he and Kanda falling, and Allen lands beneath them and opens an Ark Gate that will transport them to Mater, where the Order will not find them for a while. Kanda tells Alma to hang on, but when he doesn't receive a response, he looks down at Alma and sees that he is seemingly dead. As they fall through the gate, Kanda sheds a tear. And, as he closes the Gate, Allen promises Alma that the Order won't bother him anymore.
The Ark safely sends both Alma and Kanda to Mater, where Alma regains enough consciousness to remark that he feels Allen's Noah side, and that he pities him. He then screams out in pain as the Dark Matter acts up again, and when Kanda turns to him, Alma asks Kanda to let him die naturally and to not use Innocence, feeling like he deserves to suffer; even though he hates the Black Order, he feels guilty for killing the former members of the Asia Branch. Shortly after, Kanda witnesses the specters of Alma and the woman walking off hand in hand. The illusionary lotus plants bloom in front of him, and before they leave, Kanda hears "I love you, Yu". Alma and the woman sink into the mud the lotus flowers are growing from, and Kanda smiles as the soul passes on.
Appearance and Personality
Alma Karma is a young man of Asian descent. As a Second Exorcist and child, his hair was dark, short and unruly, with two longer clumps framing his face. He also had thick eyebrows and a thin, scar-like marking across the bridge of his nose. After he was heavily injured by Kanda when they were both children, his body was recovered by the Order, who placed seals on him to keep him unconscious but alive. This process, along with Kanda's assault, resulted in his body, which aged as time passed, becoming heavily scarred and marred with tattoos on his wrists, ankles and stomach. In this state, the left side of his head was covered in overlapping scars, while on the right side his hair, which had lightened, became excessively long.
After becoming an Akuma, several of the tattoos on Alma's body integrated more into his Akuma form, their coloring changing and becoming incorporated with several new markings. His limbs also lost their human attributes somewhat, the skin ridging in some areas and his knees becoming more joint-like. As his transformation into his Akuma form became more complete, his hair snapped off to its original length, the scars on his face healed, and he gained tear-like markings underneath his eyes.
In his previous life, before he had been turned into a Second Exorcist, Alma had been a young woman with long hair worn up in a ponytail with a band of cloth wrapped around the base, near her scalp, and an Alice band, with two clumps left to frame her face. As an Exorcist, her uniform was a long dress and a waist-length jacket with a high collar, and she is vaguely seen wielding a staff-life weapon.
Initially, Alma is seen as a happy and bubbly, if very lonely, young man. Having woken before his fellow Second Exorcist Yu Kanda, he would often spend his free time in the Second Exorcist birthing chamber, talking to the 'sleeping' Second Exorcists and telling them about his daily life to try to coax them into waking. Hoping they would all wake and become his friends, he memorized the names assigned to all of the 'sleeping' Second Exorcists and called them all by name while talking to them. Alma was the first to meet Kanda after he had awoken, admitting he was a bit shy while telling Kanda his (Kanda's) name and introducing himself.
Not expecting Kanda to be so antisocial, Alma was easily hurt and enraged when Kanda called him names and shunned him, leading to them both getting into frequent fights. Despite Kanda's attitude, Alma would continue trying to make friends with him. It was only after they fought in the Second Exorcist birthing chamber and became unable to move from bloodloss, both of them already weak from their daily synchronization tests, that Alma really began to bond with Kanda.
When Alma learned that Kanda was to be euthanized, Alma became extremely protective of him, willingly helping Kanda escape while staying behind to face punishment from the CROW. Once he had started remembering his previous life, though, Alma became extremely violent and depressed, synchronizing with his Innocence, slaughtering the entire staff of Laboratory 6, and trying to kill Kanda. He also killed the rest of the 'sleeping' Second Exorcists, not wanting them to be born into the world that waited for them. Hating the Black Order and wanting them to repent for what they had done to him and the other Second Exorcists, Alma wanted to die alongside Kanda.
Upon being revived and having seen Kanda's memories through Wisely's abilities, Alma learned of the connection between himself and Kanda (both of their previous incarnations having been lovers), and Alma became determined to kill himself and Kanda, not wanting Kanda to learn that he was the person he had spent his life looking for and wanting to belong to Kanda forever. When Kanda learned the truth and accepted him anyway, calling him a fool, Alma simply cried.