Hunter X Hunter 2011 – 33

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List of people not to piss off:

1. Killua Zoldyck

I can’t recall the last time I laughed so hard at something non-comedic as I did at the last scene of this episode of H x H.  It wasn’t so much that it was funny, but it was just so bodaciously awesome – off the charts GAR.  This episode was without question Killua’s greatest showcase in the anime so far – not so much because he displayed how insanely strong he is, but he showed just how far he’s come along in terms of self-control and discipline.  Being paired up with Gon has certainly helped, but I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this maturation has coincided with his taking up Nen.

But that’s the end, and there was an awful lot if interesting stuff building up to it.  In the first place I’m finding this whole Nen thing is something like Youtube – you go looking for one thing, you find it, but along the you find something else interesting and chase it down the rabbit hole, and two more interesting things there…  And eventually you’ve daisy-chained together a ridiculous string of videos and the alarm clock is going off (or more likely, Siri’s telling you to wake up).  This time we learned about In – an advanced type of Zetsu that allows the user to totally conceal their Nen aura.  That is, unless the other person knows Gyo – a powerful Ren technique in which the user concentrates their aura into one body part.  In this case the operative body part is the eyes, because that allows the Gyo user to see what would normally be hidden by In.

The practical application of all this comes as Wing-san turns to teaching the boys the secrets Hisoka used in killing poor old Kastro (succeeding where the CIA failed 17 times).  I believe in Wing’s essential goodness, but I trust very little of what he says – because I can’t think of a single instance where he hasn’t withheld valuable information or outright lied.  In this case it was the promise thread he made for Gon – for Gon’s own good and safety – which he imbued with his own Nen such that if Gon broke his promise, the string would have broken and Wing would have known about it.  But hey, Gon kept his word and so did Wing, and the training renewed with a viewing of Hisoka’s fight.

I enjoy the scenes with Zushi and Wing, and not just because Zushi is ridiculously adorable. There’s a lot of subtle character interaction going on  It’s obvious to everyone that Gon and Killua have the talent to surpass Zushi, but the subject is never really raised – Wing is always careful to praise Zushi (and I’m sure it’s genuine in that Zushi is clearly even younger than Gon and Killua after all).  Killua and Gon never throw their mastery in Zushi’s face – they’ve already developed a sort of big brother relationship with him – but Zushi can see them mastering techniques in a day that he trained on for months, and it’s obviously hard on him.  This is an unusual sort of relationship in modern shounen anime, and I like seeing Gon and Killua cast in this role, which is a sort of reversal from what we see with Kurapika and Leorio.

This all sets up the drama of the ep nicely, as the three lowlifes of the 200’s decide they’re going to use Gon and Killua to pad their win totals – specifically Sadaso, in this case.  Gon and Kil are more than willing to fight but they’ve promised Wing they’ll wait till their last eligible day – June 9 and June 10 for Kil and Gon respectively – and it’s obvious that Sadaso has been ducking fights for fear of being whupped, and must fight by May 29.  Their plot to use poor little Zushi as a hostage to get what they want is rather pathetic, but Killua sniffs it out quickly enough and follows– even offering Sadaso a free win as long as he keeps his word and returns Zushi safely.  Sadaso would have been much better off to keep his word, but he gets Gido to threaten Gon using Zushi’s shoe as proof they’ve captured him – and extracts a promise of a fight from Gon, too.

It’s hard to overstate just how well this episode demonstrated Killua’s growth.  Even his simple muttering, “Not killing is hard.  This clean living is tough.” says a lot about the self-awareness he’s developed.  Whatever the reasons, Killua is trying to rise above what he was – a killer, plain and simple – yet he still doesn’t hesitate to take matters into his own hands when necessary.  When Gon and Killua show Wing that they’ve (naturally) mastered Gyo already, he relents on their earlier fight dates – after they tell him a little white lie about the reason – but Gon is still worried that Sadaso, Gido and Riehlvelt will use Zushi against them.  “Don’t worry.” Killua tells him, simply – and those words tell you so much about where the character is at the moment.  I think Killua sees himself as Gon’s protector to some extent – though it’s not a question of greater strength, but the fact that Killua is willing to get his hands dirty in order to spare Gon from having to do so himself.  Kil is willing to walk the darker path so Gon can walk the brighter one – but he still spares Sadaso, not killing him but terrifying him into utter submission.  The depth and breadth of the way he owned Sadaso was breathtaking – it was complete and total, and left absolutely no room for any resistance to survive.  It was certainly no surprise when Sadaso no-showed for their fight – the one Killua was willing to let Sadaso win in a walkover, had he just not gotten greedy.

I’ll say it again – that last scene and this whole episode is what makes shounen such an exhilarating experience when it’s at its best.  The GAR was so thick you could have cut it with a knife – and Killua didn’t even have to use his knife.  Forcing a total submission of will is far more GAR than just killing the enemy, and I think Killua enjoyed the feeling of doing to Sadaso what his brother did to him far more than he would have enjoyed killing him.  This is no boy scout, that’s for sure – he even went for a sort of chibi gangsta look this episode – but Killua is learning to channel his power in less destructive ways, and I think he enjoyed being able to do so in the compassionate act of protecting a defenseless friend in Zushi.  With Gon continuing his own path of unreal growth and mastery of everything he attempts – including Nen – it’s clear that these two are every bit as terrifying as Wing thought they could be.

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Gon & Killua’s Hunterpedia: “Sadaso”

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  1. A

    I will always love the '99 series. It will always hold a special place in my heart for all time.

    But damn, it's at this point that I just have to come out and say it: Out with the old, in with the new. This show is simply outclassing the older anime in nearly every area. I'm love.

    ''Killua enjoyed the feeling of doing to Sadaso what his brother did to him ''

    Hm, I didn't take that he enjoyed it for the pure thrill of threatening someone so much that he wanted to get the point across to Sadaso that Killua was so nonchalant about killing him to the point where he can smile about it.

    But in any case, Sadaso brought this on himself. Killua was more than willing to give the guy the win, no strings attached, and he went ahead and acted dishonorably. Got no one to blame but himself.

    '' this whole Nen thing is something like Youtube''
    '' (or more likely, Siri’s telling you to wake up)''
    ''Hisoka used in killing poor old Kastro (succeeding where the CIA failed 17 times)''

    Oh you.

    And yeah, the whole Gon, Killua and Zushi interactions are pretty fantastic. In a lot of ways, it just goes to show how much these three are acting like kids who don't really have any ill feelings towards each other, and really just hanging around like a bunch of brothers. Great stuff this show.

    FYI, next episode should be the one where Gon has a chance to be GAR as well going by the preview, and according to guides, 35 is where the series starts to shift to a higher gear …

  2. I don't know how much of a higher gear I can take.

  3. l

    It's fun when you think that this is one of the more low-key arcs.

  4. l

    @also: The fact that this isn't on Random Curiosity is utterly ridiculous.

    HxH is one of the best shounens all there. Instead, I see Fairy Tail there for example (which isn't an bad shounen by any means, but it doesn't hold a candle to HxH).

  5. A

    tsk.. someone should really push hxh to randomc. they're missing so much now. especially when the next arc kicks in, the gear will shift to new heights. better be prepared enzo. too bad for rc though. if they can do a mid season post like ft manga, they should at least do it for hxh. enzo can post ep 1 of hxh on rc till it reaches the current episode. that is if they don't want a mid season post. and in terms of how many people will read the post, i don't think there will be any question to that. certainly.

  6. I've certainly thought about trying to push it to happen. But just patrolling that madhouse for manga spoilers would be a full-time job for me!

    Right now blogging H x H is pure joy for me. If I did take it to RC, I think it would be a lot more like work. Given that Summer looks like a breather season for me (the upside to it looking like it will be mediocre at best) I suppose it might be doable.

  7. A

    By the way, Killua changes his clothes many times in the manga. He's kind of the "Barbie" of Togashi.

    Madhouse has been omitting this changes until this chapter. Hope that from now on it follows the manga in this aspect.

  8. They haven't totally omitted them – he's changed a few times.

  9. s

    >_< I forgot that this is a blog and not a forum. Please delete my previous comment, Enzo. Thanks!

    I think Killua sees himself as Gon’s protector to some extent – though it’s not a question of greater strength, but the fact that Killua is willing to get his hands dirty in order to spare Gon from having to do so himself. Kil is willing to walk the darker path so Gon can walk the brighter one

    My feelings~ *sobs* How right you are, Enzo.

    My only complaint on this episode is that they removed the "it's my birthday" line by Killua as a reason why he wanted to fight on that specific date w/c is sooner than Wing intended (and Gon's subsequent look/reaction after hearing it; implying Gon can tell Killua's lying). Adding this scene will help drive the point more that Killua has a recurring "talent" for lying on the spot since viewers has only been made aware of this part of his personality in this arc twice – Gon's recovery and Kastro's autograph – and as the saying goes, "twice a coincidence, three times is a trend".

    The reason why I'm disappointed is because Killua's propensity to lie tied nicely to what will happen in the very near future AND to what I'm hinting about in the Machi-Hisoka talk last episode.

    Overall, a very nice episode.

  10. s

    @Kamen Rider Kekkaishi

    True, he did "lie" to Gon when he told him that Hisoka's fight was boring but for me, it's more like a friend messing/ribbing/teasing another. I sometimes tease others like this and admittedly been teased this way (and fell for it) many, many times. My friends (especially my younger sister) said that the transition from my happy/excited face to a sad/disappointed one is absolutely priceless.

    I said on my earlier post that Killua's "it's my birthday" line helps point his lying talents but it's more than that. The reason why Gon figured out that Killua was also threatened is because of that line. Gon does not (also) intend for Killua to know about the blackmail, so he got mad (also) that they did. They both protective of each other but the reason for that protectiveness differs.

    Enzo also pointed out in his last reviews that Killua knows Gon the best but still, Killua can't figure out completely how Gon's mind works. Gon, on the other hand, knows Killua too well. Remember the airship scene in the Hunter exam? He knows when Killua was telling the truth (he's an assassin from an elite assassin family) or telling a lie (it's my birthday). Gon is frighteningly quite adept at figuring other people's psyche… just like Hisoka.

  11. K

    Killua actually lied in the last episode when he told Gon, Hisoka's fight was boring

  12. A

    I was wondering whether I should watch the original series since I keep hearing reviews of how it is better than the second adaption.

  13. Most of the people I talk to think this one is better – certainly more faithful to the manga. I think it's something people will never agree on, to be honest.

  14. A

    nope. the 2011 series already surpassed the previous series. but do try to watch it and see the difference.

  15. A

    The 99 series has got a more serious atmosphere, but I prefer the 2011 series better because the kiddie look is a cover for how dark the series actually is. It's truer to the look and feel of the manga.

  16. A

    my only gripe with the 2011 version, in my opinion, is that all the fight choreo sucks, wherein the 99 version can give you an adrenaline rush, which is really cool. other than that, the overall quality of the 2011 version is pretty high.

  17. Wow – the fight choreography sucks? Wow, I wouldn't say that myself. It's matter of aesthetics, of course, so pretty subjective.

  18. K

    I disagree as well. I think it's been pretty good

  19. s

    I think you already know what will happen so the impact of that scene lessened compared to the first time you've seen it in action. Fight choreography does not "sucks", it's just "different".

    That being said, in terms of animation of fighting scenes, I favor anime that were done before the digital age. Yes, I'm aware that most scenes were repetitive – most of the times, the background just changed XD – but because it is hand drawn and the imperfectness of these scenes are more obvious, I'm more drawn to it.

    Anime today are more precise and machine-like. It feels cold and impersonal. Because of this, the other elements that make up anime became more important in conveying emotions and human qualities to the scenes.

  20. A

    hmm… okay, i guess it's too much to say it sucks. scratch that. ^^, what i mean is, the animation of the fight scenes in this new version isn't that good compared to the old one. for me, it's not really with the impact of the fight scenes or anything, i don't care if I've seen it (the fight animation) a million times, or how many reboots or versions it would have, as long as it's good, or hopefully exceeds its predecessor, i'd enjoy it. i just wish the 2011 version has a much better fight animation or maybe, could've exceeded the old one, coz on this one, the fights are kinda stiff, and most of it are still frames with some of the art moving or some action lines. Let's say for example, the old Fullmetal Alchemist had great animated fight scenes, but the FMA:Brotherhood exceeded it very well and really made the fight animation so dynamic.

    That's just what I mean. But overall, I'm enjoying this new version, script, pacing, voice acting, and many other things. Can't wait for the upcoming next arc.

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