Hunter X Hunter 2011 – 52

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Finally, someone comes along who can give the Phantom Troupe as good as they get.

There was an awful lot happening in this ep of H x H – as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago there are several different threads in the story at the moment any one of which, on their own, are big enough to be the centerpiece of an arc.  I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen an author so boldly crowd the playing field this way – and he doesn’t mess around in bringing things to a head, either.  The risk is that so much of consequence will be happening concurrently that the threads will overshadow each other and the audience will become desensitized to the GAR – so far that sure isn’t happening for me, but it takes a lot of balls to try and pull it off.

I don’t think there’ll be any question what the headline among headlines will be this time, but another pretty huge event happened – Gon and Killua finally spoke with Kurapika, bringing their arcs literally and figuratively together at long last.  It was a long time coming, and I’m not sure what it was that caused Kurapika to pick up the phone this time – maybe he assumed it was Nostrade – but the upshot of all this is that he can no longer pretend his obsessive quest for revenge is simply his own business.  I think Kurapika was fully aware that he was destroying himself but as long as it was only himself, it was easy enough to tell himself it was for the sake of his tribe and worth it.  Now, with the boys involved, the moral consequences are exponentially greater – and he needs to ask himself if not just his own soul but the lives of two friends, and children at that, are worth the cost.

From their perspective, Killua and Gon are being very true to themselves.  Gon sees things in a direct way by his very nature, never mind his age, but even tortured, complicated Killua has elements of a child’s world view.  Fighting the Spiders is right because the Spiders are evil, and if he’s able to fight he should do so.  The most interesting element for me is that among everything they’ve done, it was Nobunbaga’s grief over Uvogin’s death that most angered Gon.  And it was that even more than Kil’s threat to fight on with or without Kurapika’s help that finally broke Kurapika’s resistance.  I think he realizes now that something he’d hoped to contain and make personal was no longer just his fight.

Speaking of fights though, the highlight of episode would certainly have to be the clash of the titans between Chrollo and the Zoldycks.  It was yet another in a string of epic battles in Madhouse’s H x H, beautifully choreographed and animated, and it was striking how quickly Togashi got right to the point – Zeno and Silva against presumably the strongest of the Spiders, no preamble.  Their meeting was very low-key, almost casual, and then immediately shifted into combat mode – neither side seeming much interested it taking the measure of the other except by battle.  I’d thought perhaps Silva might be the strongest of the Zoldycks, but it’s clear Zeno is still very much the man in charge here – he calls the shots in battle, and he appears to have the stronger array of Nen skills to boot.  He has the attitude to match, immediately shutting the grumbling mafia dons up by pointing out that even if they had their weapons returned to them, he could kill every last one in seven seconds.  And I don’t think he was bragging, either.

Given their track record and buildup, this is a battle where it seems almost inconceivable that either side could lose.  Chrollo is obviously at a two-against-one disadvantage, but his own abilities seem unique – a Specialist who can co-opt the moves of an opponent using his “Bandit’s Secret” book.  But Zeno immediately sees his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, even as Silva is wounded by Chrollo’s poisoned blade in the initial skirmish.  Zeno’s plan is simple – use his awesome powers to pin Chrollo down, at which point Silva uses his own – which seem geared towards a massive frontal attack – to kill Chrollo, even if it means killing his father too.  “Not worth the money” indeed – again, I’ve no doubt the old man isn’t bragging but I also imagine he’d prefer to live, given a choice. 

It seems odd to think of the assassins as the good guys but they are here, in a sense.  It’s hard to imagine Zeno ordering his family to stage a symphony of violence for the reasons Chrollo did – for the Zoldycks killing is merely a job, and the Spiders seem to take a certain relish in it – addicted to the thrill – that the Zoldycks don’t.  It’s also notable that Hisoka seems not to be participating in Chrollo’s orgy of death, though perhaps for entirely different reasons.  Killing randomly and wantonly isn’t fun, and therefore Hisoka likely sees no point in it.  Without the thrill, why bother with the kill?  But the other Spiders are closing in on the building where the Dons and Neon are trapped, and Kurapika is surely fated to face them directly.  I suspect his fate and the boys are inexorably linked as well, especially with Killua’s father and grandfather in the midst of battle meters away from the boy (and another interesting development teased by the preview).  Whether the heroes’ battle with the Spiders will run concurrently with Zeno and Silva’s or even join with it remains to be seen, but it should be a hell of a ride either way.  And if I were Shalnark, I wouldn’t buy any green bananas.

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Gon & Killua’s Hunterpdia: “Shalnark”

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  1. e

    I guess from Hisoka's POV fighting random ordinary mooks must also be pretty boring and uninteresting (btw, nice rhyming up there). If the boys were to join the fight in the other hand…
    Talking about the boys, I really liked the moment when Killua lost his cool on the phone, both for the effect this had on Kurapika and because it shows the part of Kil that cares. Kil, why u so moe you dangerous albino you. *glomps him*

  2. It's funny, because I'd swear Kil actually knows he's moe – he has a certain self-awareness unlike Gon, who's moe because he doesn't know he's moe.

  3. e

    I think you're right, ahah. He most probably knows he's a charming little one I agree. But those moments when his guards drops are the most moe of them all. I get ridiculously overwhelming protective&cuddling urges for the kiddo, his professional skills notwithstanding *headdesk*. Kil, my dear child ;_;. What's with 2-D children lately? My heartstrings!
    About Gon… for me is the pouah of his kokoro and of his green clothes (green happens to be my fav colour since my early childhood crushing on Robin Hood in any incarnation XD). And he has verrrry nice legs *ahem*.

  4. A

    Remember that Killua is a Transmuter–a whimsical liar. Killua knows he's cute or "moe" because he acts that way on purpose.
    Killua is acting cute to try and get his way. However when he DOESN'T get his way it's easy to see his spoiled side come out.

  5. A

    If I grew up in a filthy rich family and was the favorite child, I'd be spoiled too. Killua has more worldly knowledge, experience, and common sense than Gon, but when it comes to dealing with people, he tends to resort to coercion through force or trick them with deceitfulness or his "I'm an innocent child" face.

    Gon in contrast is much better when it comes to empathizing with people and has a certain charm to him due to his naivete.

    They really do make one of the best dynamic duos.

  6. A

    I got zero nitpicks this time. 1999 version didn't give this fight even half the weight it deserved, specially for a final episode. I could barely make an argument for Uvo vs Kurapika last time, but here… hell, just releasing their auras made me feel like some seriously epic stuff was about to happen.

    It's mostly the soundtrack they used for the build-up, I think, which is a big contrast to the godawful tunes from the beginning of the series. On that note, it's great that this ominous latin chanting became Chrollo's theme, but I wish they didn't use it so much.

  7. A

    I think just the opposite. 1999 version fight was way better in everything, shorter but better. Madhouse's animation of this fight has been very bad, robotic movements, static planes, something is wrong with the colour in all the fight…
    I think its pretty sad that a 13 years old version has way better animation than this.

    And all the filler scenes of kurapika? How was he able to find Chrollo without using En? Is he a wizard? And he finds where chrollo is, but "refuses" to fight him because his boss call him? Kurapika never would do this, to him the revenge is the most important thing.

    I didnt like anything in this chapter, 50% bad filler, 50% a bad fight. Very disappointed with this chapter, specially after last week chapter.

  8. A

    I wouldn't say that this version was very bad but I feel like the 1999 version put a greater impression on me when I first saw it.

    To be honest I actually liked the filler scenes with Kurapika XD Actually, I enjoyed all of the filler because it created tension in my opinion. But I have to admit, I thought it was slightly out of character for him to turn away just because his boss called him.

    Then again, now that I think about it, it's not like he wants to get on the bad side of his boss because gaining the boss's trust is key to him moving up in the ranks.

  9. A

    I refuse to argue with someone who didn't point out the missing cellphone call in the middle of the fight. I'm sorry, but calling that a "bad fight" just… it makes me not want to bother.

    1999 version did left a greater impression on me. You could say it's only natural since back then I didn't know what to expect, but I think there's something about watching them nonchalantly unleash all these high-level nen moves with almost no exposition that makes you want to shut up and watch.

    After all, we had never seen genuine nen pros duking it out before except for Uvo vs Kurapika, but that was so one-sided you could barely even call it a fight.

  10. A


    There was no missing cell phone call in the 2011 version. The phone call should occur in the NEXT episode as it does in the manga where the call is in the next chapter.

  11. A

    Actually I think these fillers make perfect sense. How did Kurapika find Chrollo without using Nen ? 1) Don't forget he's a Blacklist Hunter. 2) He's extremely intelligent. 3) Chrollo WANTED to be found, remember the assassin from the previous episode. And Kurapika didn't know for sure there was a Troupe member in the room, he just thought it was possible/likely.

    The fact that Kurapika refuses to fight Chrollo also makes sense, because he doesn't want to lose his job. Killing one member of the Troupe (he didn't know it was the boss) just wasn't worth it, because it's Kurapika's position in the Mafia that allowed him to get close to his targets in the first place. Besides, killing the spiders isn't Kurapika's sole goal : he also wants to find the Scarlet Eyes, which is just impossible without being close to the black market.

  12. A

    I have already said why to me is a bad fight. Because the robotic animation, the static planes, the weird colours…

    Madhouse can do it much much better as they have already show us in previous fights and chapters. And this has to be one of the best fights in the arc, but for some reason, it gives the feel that Madhouse didnt care at all about it. When the animation is that bad that in a normal chapter you have better animation i cant say that the fight is good.
    And also, when last week chapter was awesome, i also expected something good this week. But then, that was not the case, and makes the fight worse in my opinion.

    I didnt point out the missing cellphone call because I think thats going to happen in next week chapter when they repeat the scene before the opening. If in the next chapter they do not do this, i will complain.

    But I am only talking about me and the reasons to why i didnt like the fight and chapter. Every person is different and has different tastes, so i am not trying of convince you or anything else. Im just trying to explain my dissapointment with the chapter.

  13. A

    "Actually I think these fillers make perfect sense. How did Kurapika find Chrollo without using Nen ? 1) Don't forget he's a Blacklist Hunter. 2) He's extremely intelligent. 3) Chrollo WANTED to be found, remember the assassin from the previous episode. And Kurapika didn't know for sure there was a Troupe member in the room, he just thought it was possible/likely."

    1) That only means that he wants to capture criminals, being a Blacklist Hunter doesnt give kurapika special powers. If a hunter wants to be a treasure hunter doesnt mean he is going to found treasures just because he is a treasure hunter.

    2)True, but has nothing to do with the case.

    3)No, Chrollo wanted to be found by the first ones, when he was in the other room. The Zoldick analized the bodies and didnt found anything saying that Chrollo has erased all of his traces, and they are the pros of the pros. So they have to use En tho find Chrollo. I dont understand how kurapika can find Chrollo just by looking atthe bodies, and the Zoldicks cant.

    The fact that Kurapika refuses to fight Chrollo also makes sense, because he doesn't want to lose his job. Killing one member of the Troupe (he didn't know it was the boss) just wasn't worth it, because it's Kurapika's position in the Mafia that allowed him to get close to his targets in the first place. Besides, killing the spiders isn't Kurapika's sole goal : he also wants to find the Scarlet Eyes, which is just impossible without being close to the black market.

    In that situation Kurapika wouldnt lost his job no matter what he does. And if he is fired, plenty members of the mafia would want to hire him. Also he only want the job to find the scarlet eyes and the spider. He has already found the spider and have help from Hisoka, and the scarlet eyes are in the buiding because are going to be auctioned.

    Thats why i am saying that the kurapika filler has no sense.

  14. A

    I agree with you about the fight scene. I was disappointed with this episode. I was expecting something epic by the likes of ep35 and 47. i just watched the original fight of this one again after watching the new one and I felt the excitement more in the original oav version than in this one. the 2011's fight's kinda slow, not that dynamic, the animation here kinda lacking compared to what Madhouse did on their past episodes, and i really hated those parts where they stop a second of the fight just to show the name of the move or something like that. for me, it really ruined the momentum. the lighting as well, okay, the original was dark, which is cool, but the new one doesn't have the lighting styles that they did with ep35 and 47. Madhouse were able to do a great job with the past fights but why didn't they do it here? maybe it's a different animation director? still, i didn't feel my adrenaline pumping when i watched the new version of the fight, unlike, again, ep35 and 47 and of course, the original oav version of this one.

    Well, this is my opinion… oh, well… it's all in the past. i'll just gotta have to look forward for the new episodes. still loving and enjoying the new series version. ^^,

  15. A

    btw, this was a reply to/in agreement with the Anon before the one above mine.

  16. A

    Good Review Enzo! Madhouse did a really good job with this episode.
    What a pity that fans of the 99 version commented on your review like it's ALL about the 99 version. Enzo never watched the old version nor once bring up any comparison, it gets on my nerve reading all these 99 fans taking over any 2011 version review like they's so entitled to.

  17. A

    I dont see fans of the 99 version bashing this version. In fact, the mayority of the arguing is only about Madhouse's version and their good doings and mistakes in the fight, they havent said anything of the 99 version except that someone liked more the fight in 99 version.

    They havent said that 99 version is a masterpiece and madhouse's version is shit. In fact, they have mostly compared this chapter not to 99 version, but with other chapters of Madhouse's version.

    So first try to read what the people write, be respectful, and dont try to start a pointless flame war.

  18. A

    People are just jealous that the 2011 anime is trumping the 1999 anime in popularity. They have nothing left to talk about but the 1999 anime. They're lost without it.

  19. A

    Yeah the way 1999 fans react is like they felt so threatened by the new version (because Zoldyck vs Chrollo fight was the final episode of their beloved adaptation), that they felt the need to exert their relevance by crapping every 2011 reviews and discussion board, crying how much more the old ver is superior and smear the 2011 ver as much as they can. One look at their example videos, I didn't see the supposed 'better' quality at all. You can't really see anything clearly in the old version because the color is so dark, and the structure of 99's episode was just rush and done poorly. The 2011 version has a bigger story to tell and pace the episode nicely to setup the mood and characters. ANY average anime viewers can tell this episode is pretty awesome, in both pacing, directing, actions and story, the quality is consistent and Madhouse's attention to details and storytelling is really good.

  20. A


    The 99 version has 92 chapters. This was the chapter 62, so this wasnt the last chapter. You can say that when the next arc, greed Island, is over.

    The next time you try to Troll at least you could check what you say to not to be so obvious XDDDDDDD

  21. K

    No episode 62 was the last episode of TV series. After came three OVA's. So you should get your facts straight.

  22. A

    All I'd ask is that some bear in mind that there are those of us who *genuinely* feel that the 1999 series is better than the 2011 adaptation, on consideration of both. When some 2011 devotees attempt to actually slate the people themselves who like the series–or who disparage the 1999 series in very personal, hurtful terms–it's almost inevitable that those individuals will militate themselves against those people. That goes too for 1999 fans who kick at anything that 2011 followers cherish. After all, we're dealing with people who love HUNTERxHUNTER in one form or another; it's necessary to pay heed to the fact that there are people who old the series very close to their hearts, and that goes for both sides. I didn't come to the 1999 series until well after I'd become besotted with the manga, but I still feel that the 1999 is that bit better a show than the 2011 one–but a lot of the time it feels like my reasons fall on death ears, like those who appreciate the 2011 version more actively want to find fault on anything that bestows upon *their* version the advantage. I think that's emblematic of a scenario where sides have come to exist outright, where there's no give-and-take or due admiration for the other side. That's down to behaviour, more than any intrinsic weakness in either show.

  23. A

    …1999 fans can comeback with "popularity =/= quality" :/

    Anyway, to the anonymous post above mine, it took me a while to realize what bothered me about your post but I finally figured it out. It's this particular line:

    "I didn't come to the 1999 series until well after I'd become besotted with the manga, but I still feel that the 1999 is that bit better a show than the 2011 one–but a lot of the time it feels like my reasons fall on death ears, like those who appreciate the 2011 version more actively want to find fault on anything that bestows upon *their* version the advantage."

    First of all, are you suggesting that only the 2011 fans are notorious for giving their version the advantage? Both sides do this all the time. Plus, it's not like all 2011 fans are deliberately finding faults of the 1999 version in order to give 2011 an edge. Couldn't it be that some are merely pointing out flaws of the 1999 version in order to illustrate their own reasons for believeing that the 2011 version is better? Just as you do?

    What I'm trying to say is that I hope you aren't quick to judge every 2011 fan as being blind to the faults of their own cherished version.

  24. A

    Who said Kurapika knew Chrono was in the next room? It could be he was merely about to check the room before receiving the phone call then turned back. He could just be getting a feeling there was an enemy in the next room but the episode showed no indication that he actually was 100% sure Chrono was in the next room. As a non 1998 watcher and a non-manga reader, that's how I saw it. I feel really sorry for people who already have seen the 1998 version (or even those who have read the manga). They can't take this anime as it is but always feel the need to compare.

  25. A

    A travesty. What a way to treat one of the most epic fights in the series.

    PS I am not even comparing this to 1999. When I say this episode is shit I have episode 51 and this version's Ubo vs Kurapika in mind. So sod-off with your overdefensiveness 2011 fans.

  26. Both sides need to cool off the personal attacks or I'll stop them myself. This site isn't going to degenerate into the kind of shitfest that's happening at AS and similar places.

  27. H

    While I respect other people's opinions on the fight whether they hated the animation or whatever, I honestly am just baffled at the mixed reception this episode is getting. I thought people would love this akin to episode 35

    The thing that makes me prefer Madhouse's version of this fight over other versions(manga, other anime) is the higher sense of momentum and energy. Throughout the fight I was on the edge of my seat because of the energies clashing between three master nen users. The dodging and running camera angles they showed coupled with the nen powers had my adrenaline pumping all the way to the end with Silva launching his Nen Suns. It also helps Madhouse's artwork and choreography when it comes to fights is very clean.

  28. A

    Hey, I liked 35. That was great.

    But this one… eh.

  29. K

    What does it say that I literally have no idea who will come out on top between Chrollo and the Zoldyck's?

  30. The rarest of all shounen battles, one that's actually suspenseful. Takes me back to Kenshin's Kyoto Arc.

  31. s

    Wooow. People really need to chill out. Anime is for enjoyment, not for bickering like a crowd of 6-year-olds. :/

    I've watched both the '99 and 2011 version of this fight, and they both have their strong points. Why do we have to compare these two all the time and with such spite? What are you gaining from this argument?

    Go rant on twitter or your personal diary somewhere if you have so much spite and hatred inside yourself. Don't voice it all out here and pollute an otherwise happy discussion.

  32. k

    Seriously 2011 is better not becoz of the graphics but the story line, the 1993 series is awesome however, the story line is messed up and likes wasting time for 1hour(?). While 2011 is more understanding more bloody and dangerous and the way of its suspense was totally YEAAAH MEEEN!!!

    People seems like doesnt understand the story of HxH and seriously its orignal story is on the 2011. I hope they would stop bad mouthing for 2011, they dont know how hard to animate. 😐

    I like the old version but i love the new version :3

    anyway cant wait for the movie!!! kyaa XDD

  33. A

    I loved episode 35, 47, and some recent ones, but why is it that I didn't like this one? if I could compare this fight animation with another, I'll say I'll place it together with episode 36, the 2nd half of Gon vs Hisoka. hey, I'm not really bashing the 2011 version. and I know it's better when it comes to story because it's more faithful to the manga. Either way, old or new, it's still Hunter x Hunter and I'm freaking enjoying it. I just wish they would get the animation director that did ep35 and 47 to do all the fight scenes in this series. then again, maybe that's too much to ask.

  34. x

    I sometimes really do wonder who the bad guys in this really are… while it might seem obvious at first that the Phantom Troupe are the baddest of the bad, it's the Mafia of all things Gon & Co have allied with.. and, as far as I can recall, the only people the Troupe actually killed so far were members of the Mafia or people working for the Mafia.

    Now, there is obviously the whole story about Kurapika's tribe and Uvo's seeming disregard for other peoples lives, but those are only things we've been *told* so far, not really shown. Makes you wonder if this really is the whole story, or if the Troupe are actually the good guys in a very good disguise. As far as I can remember they were actually mentioned to be heroes in their home town.

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