Hunter X Hunter 2011 – 55

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With this many iconic characters running around, the hard part with H x H sometimes is figuring out who the star of the episode was.

As always with this series, it’s a mark of its greatness that it can offer an episode with no action in the middle of an action-based arc and not miss a beat, and this one was dripping with tension and the sense of the many bombs waiting to explode.  It’s hard to say who made the greatest impact here, because Gon, Hisoka and Killua all had many signature moments, but that’s not doing justice to Chrollo – and in fact, Kurapika had one of his most interesting episodes yet (more fine work from Sawashiro Miyuki, making we wish she’d play against type more often).

Let’s start with the magnificent bastard, Hisoka.  I think he gets more out of his screen time than anyone in anime – my God, the man has presence.  Hisoka is arguably Togashi’s most unique literary creation, an anti-hero quite unlike any other in manga, and hearing Namikawa Daisuke (who’s also playing Squealer in SSY and was Waver in F/Z – talk about range!) go toe-to-toe with Mamoru Miyano’s Chrollo is one of the most interesting face-offs in recent anime history.  As brought to life by Madhouse Hisoka’s facial expressions tell more story than entire episodes of some series, and his internal monologues this week were especially great – proving that it’s not just scrappy little boys that get him excited, but debonair criminal geniuses too. 

It’s easy to see why Hisoka wants so badly to fight Chrollo, and as speculated here last week he did indeed use his Nen ability to write a fake fortune specifically for the purpose of setting up a possible fight with his obsession.  That he was able to think quickly enough to craft the exact verses he wanted in perhaps the most remarkable thing, but Hisoka has ice water in his veins at all times.  Chrollo is probably the only one clever enough to have figured out the riddle that Hisoka laid out for him – but by appearances he still doesn’t realize he was set up, and doesn’t that make Hisoka even cleverer than he is?

On the opposite side of the spectrum we have Gon and Killua, each of whom were very much in their element this week.  Gon’s straightforward nature leads him to want to fight the Spiders despite the lack of potential gain, which Killua finds illogical.  For Gon it’s about helping out a friend, and trying to bring a little justice to a world sorely in need of it.  He professes to have a plan to procure a copy of Greed Island that doesn’t involve making six billion Jenny in two days, though he won’t share just what the plan is – and Killua is rightfully skeptical.  Gon estimates his chances at “seventy percent”, which falls to sixty when Kil presses him, and Kil figures is really 50-50 (and that might still be generous).

If I had to pick though, I’d have to say Killua was the star of the episode – because he made me laugh hard on more than one occasion, and because the nature of his relationship with Gon has never been more proudly on display.  From the start his irritation at Gon for wanting to take on the Troupe was both amusing and touching, but surely the best part was when Gon was trying to talk Kurpika into accepting their help, and Kil’s internal monologue kept repeating “Turn him down!”  And of course his silent “That’s exactly what he wants to hear!” when Kurapika warns Gon he’ll be risking his life is spot-on.  And this was my favorite moment of the episode.  In addition to the pure comedy gold, though, it’s quite touching to see the extent to which Killua has taken Gon’s protection on as his life’s mission.  They’re the same age and Gon is arguably already stronger in terms of Nen, but Killua clearly sees himself as the wiser big brother here, and protecting Gon – both physically and spiritually – is obviously the first thing he’s found in his life that’s a positive goal, and not a negative one.  Everyone indeed proved the strength of their friendship with Kurapika here, but Killua’s bond with Gon is clearly the strongest in the series.

As they were shared fully this week, here are the prophecies for the remaining “doomed” Spiders:

Pakunoda:

“On a dark night with very little light,
You will face two choices within a very small room
You must choose between pride and betrayal
While the death-bringer hovers near.

Shalnark:

“Do not make any phone calls
When it matters most, you will be unable to reach anyone
It would be unwise to answer the phone,
For the death-bringer will come calling one time in three.”

The battle lines have emerged now, with many different parties pursuing different goals.  Chrollo has decided to stay in York Shin as the best way of foiling Neon’s prophecy, which is exactly what Hisoka – who will be staying put in the hideout – wanted.  Kurapika has laid the nature of his abilities out to the others, and staked his plan on capturing Pakunoda quickly, for obvious reasons  – refusing Gon’s offer to have a Nen blade pointed at his heart to protect Kurapika’s identity.  We finally see – and hear – from Koltopi, whose ability is revealed when Chrollo orders him to create more fake hideouts to foil those who might be watching (as Killua is about to start doing).  And there’s the matter of Greed Island too, which is after all the main character’s main goal here – and the name of the next arc – and let’s not forget about Nobunaga, who still wants to try and recruit Gon to the Spiders.  Machi is nervous about this and senses that the boys are more than they seem – and Chrollo again proves his worth as a leader by recognizing that her intuition is the strongest in the Troupe.  All in all, the pieces are in place for a wildly unpredictable climax over the next several episodes.

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Gon & Killua’s Hunterpedia: “Feitan”

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32 comments

  1. A

    Exactly. Everything that's going to happen is unpredictable.

    Everything might seem a mess sometimes because potential major plots and sub plots tend to scatter everywhere. But somehow Togashi pulls it off as a beautifully laid out story that is no short of excitement, suspense and fun. And downright unpredictable.

  2. A

    The Hisoka and Chrollo faceoff reminded me of Death Note especially with all the rules in controlling someone and the existence of fake rules (or in this case, a fake prophecy). And instead of L versus Light, it's Hisoka versus Chrollo.

  3. A

    Hisoka's not necessarily smarter per se… it takes a lot less effort in hiding the truth than figuring out whodunit. Chrollo would have to be massively smarter than Hisoka to figure him out immediately.

  4. s

    You have a point however Hisoka was not simply "hiding the truth". He was MANIPULATING info to make Chrollo ACT as he wanted him to. So who really is "massively smarter" between the two? The one who got manipulated or the one who did the manipulation?

  5. A

    That's what Chrollo should have said :
    "OK, guys. WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER, I assume that Hisoka's trying to trick us into staying in Yorknew and that he has a second ability, which he used to fake his fortune, so we'll kill Hisoka and then go back to Meteor City. I sincerely hope my guess is true, because if it isn't, we'll lose Shalnark, Pakunoda and Shizuku, the most valuables members of our group.

  6. A

    Well, Chrollo had no reason to know the prediction was fake : the only spider to know about Hisoka's second ability is Machi, and even she doesn't know the full extent of his power (this was ommited in the episode).
    And Killua is still way more powerful than Gon. He's physically much stronger, and he's faster too. He's just as good as Gon in terms of Nen, which means that overall, Killua is the best fighter.

  7. A

    He couldn't know, but given the incongruence between Hisoka's prophecy (leave York Shin and half of the Troupe will die) and everyone else's (stay in York Shin and half of the Troupe will die), he could've suspected something. Of course, that's easier to note as a viewer who has access to all of the information, something Chrollo isn't. Maybe if Machi had told him what she knows about Hisoka's ability beforehand, he could've figured the latter out, but given his position and the information available to him, he did respectably well nonetheless (hence Hisoka's "excitement").

  8. A

    There's no real incongruence between Hisoka's prophecy and the others. It's not like they say "you will die because you stayed in Yorkshin." They just imply that they'll die fighting the red eyed guy. For all they know the "chain guy" would hunt them down in Meteor City and they'd die there. From Chrollo's perspective, Hisoka's prophecy is adding new information, not contradicting anything.

  9. X

    I find Pakunada's prophecy weird. All of the other "doomed" prophecies gave some form of guidance to escape death. Shalnark's one told him not to make phone calls and shizuku's one told her to never be alone. But, pakunada's prophecy simply said "You must choose between pride and betrayal."
    Does this mean she will die no matter what decision she makes? I can't help but feel her prophecy has a higher degree of importance than the rest.

  10. A

    True, in fact her prophecy sounded similar to Hisoka's made up fake one. It never mentioned "scarlet eyes standing next to blood" like Shizuku's death, so maybe Pakunada will encounter something like the 'sword of word" dilemma, like how Uvo died.

  11. A

    I'm pleasantly surprised by the fact that you shared my exact thoughts on this episode! 😀 I also felt that Hisoka and Killua had the best moments within this episode, but I really enjoyed all the character interactions within this episode in general.

    To be honest, I actually liked this episode a lot more than the previous one because of how well all the moments came together. Gon, Kurapika, Leorio, Chrollo, Nobunaga, Machi, and even Squala had their share of the spotlight in addition to Hisoka and Killua, and it was so well-done that I might even claim this as my favorite episode in regards to character interaction. There was just so much going on between so many characters at one time that it was just so wonderful…

    I gotta say though, Gon deserves a special mention because of the way he's characterized. As you already mentioned, Gon is determined to hunt down the Spiders to the point where he already devised a plan for getting Greed Island. From that action alone, you can tell that Gon is dedicated to both causes but by putting greater focus on hunting the Spiders, you can tell he likes to focus everything he's got into one goal at a time. Through his actions, you can also tell that he puts his friends on a higher priority than he does himself. When it came down to hunting for Greed Island (his personal goal)and hunting for the Spiders (Kurapika's goal), he chose to put his on the back-burner for the sake of his friend.

    But I feel tthat the most important piece of characterization comes from what Killua says about him. When Kurapika tells Gon how dangerous the mission will be, Killua states firmly in his mind, "That's excatly what he wants to hear!" When his best friend points out (in his mind) that Gon enjoys the thrill of putting his life on the line, you can't help but notice that Gon is NOT your ordinary happy-go-lucky kid. As a matter of fact, he can be very aggressive and reckless when it comes down to it, as evidenced by his fights against Gido, Wheel-chair guy (forgot his name), and Hisoka…

    Yeah, when it comes to Gon, it's all about the small things which are key in understanding his character. I'm seriously looking forward to Gon's development in the future because Madhouse is doing a fantastic job with identifying all the nuances of his character. :3

  12. H

    How can chibi Gon look so cute yet badass at the same time? XD

  13. Yes, Gon sometimes gets a bit of a short shrift – he's actually the most principled person in the cast, to the point of recklessness. By no means is he just a happy-go-lucky kid, despite appearances. And he has a little bit of Hisoka's lust for danger and the perfect fight in him. It's a dangerous combination, both to himself and to others.

    It's a bit like trying to argue over who would win a game between the '86 Bears and the '73 Dolphins because we just can't know, but my read is that Gon is stronger in terms of innate Nen ability than Killua, and I base that on Wing's reactions when training the both of them. Certainly, there are other respects in which Killua is clearly stronger. Yet I also wonder if there are times when Killua's need to think everything through and assess all the potential dangers might actually prove a detriment, where Gon's plow-ahead determination might be more effective. They certainly complement each other.

  14. A

    Um… what exactly would it mean for Gon to be stronger at Nen anyway? They're in different categories, so it's kind of impossible to compare in the first place. Gon would be better at Enhancement and Killua would be better at Transformation (or however those categories were translated in the version you're watching). I guess since they haven't really developed any Hatsu yet that makes Gon better right now since he specializes in turning Nen into brute strength without needing any "special moves", but Killua's specialty gives him more flexibility once he decides what to do with it. Killua's in the same category as Hisoka and Machi.

  15. A

    "but my read is that Gon is stronger in terms of innate Nen ability than Killua"

    I dont think so. I think Gon has more nen avaliable to use because he is an Enhancer but that is just in cuantity. I think Killua has way better control of his nen than Gon because he is a Transmuter.

    So:
    Gon has more Nen but less ability to control it.
    Kilua has less Nen but more ability to control it.

    I think they are equal in terms of future potential. But now, what makes the diference between them is that Kilua has much more experience, ability, speed but he is controlled by Ilumi. That means he cant put his life on the line like Gon can do because of Ilumis teachings.

  16. A

    I agree with Enzo. He was talking about innate nen ability.

  17. A

    Wing did say they're BOTH 1 in 1 billion talents (or whatever number he used). However, during training in applying nen techniques, Killua's been shown to be a little ahead (ex: seeing all 15 threads where Zushi and Gon saw less). However, Gon has more endurance/strength when it comes to his nen, and as a result, relies on his nen abilities more during combat. Gon's curious and headstrong nature, combined with being a battlephile, is what scared Wing the most, I think.

  18. A

    Future episodes may solidify this argument that Gon has more innate nen potential than Killua. Killua having more experience than Gon in terms of actual combat and training naturally is ahead. But the progress of learning more about nen and it's usefulness Gon's advantage. He is curious and headstrong nature, combined with being a battlephile like what you said gives Gon an edge in learning nen. Unlike Killua, he is always thinking everything through and assess all the potential dangers might actually prove a detriment, where Gon's plow-ahead determination might be more effective. Like what Enzo said.

    Although they are both strong and has lots of potential because they compliment one another.

  19. A

    Again, this is a matter of typing. Nen doesn't reward plowing ahead any more than it does careful planning. Someone like Uvo, while not stupid, just wanted to punch people really hard and got really good at that. Someone like Hisoka though likes weaving elaborate webs to toy with his prey. Is Uvo better at Nen than Hisoka? Is Uvo better at Nen than Chrollo? Better at Nen than Kurapica? Honestly, most Nen users are more of the planner type than the "plow ahead" type.

  20. Vince Lombardi was supposedly at a scouting combine once and watched two young kids run a 40-yard dash (pre-metric, you know). One kid had perfect track form and narrowly beat the other, who's knees and elbows were all over the place and had no form whatsoever. When his assistant coach asked him if he wanted to sign the first kid, supposedly Lombardi said "Hell, no – I want the other kid. He's that good with no idea what he's doing, I can do miracles with him." That was reportedly the signing of Max McGee, who's in the NFL Hall of Fame.

    Might be an apocryphal story, but I think there's a bit of Gon and Killua in there.

  21. s

    Wow. There's an influx of anonymous posters here, eh?

    It's good to see a lot of Killua fans here but even though I like Killua more than Gon, I can say for a fact that Gon's INNATE nen ability is better than Killua. Case in point, learning ZETSU all by himself (albeit unknowingly, in a span of two days at most) to track down AND tail a bloodlusted Hisoka. Practicing Ten in his first nen fight after learning about it a few hours ago AND then applying Zetsu after figuring out how to sense AND dodge the tops more accurately WHILE said fight was ongoing. Using Gyo in the marketplace to track down unique and genuine goods because of a hunch and what he remembered from Wing's lectures.

    And the massive tell of all tells, when did Killua applied what he learned about NEN seamlessly in everyday life or even in a fight?

  22. That's more or less what I was getting at. The thing is, Killua has massive training that isn't even Nen-based to rely upon – Gon acts with Nen instinctively. That he's so impressive (and that he's drawn more of Hisoka's interest) says an awful lot.

  23. A

    True. Exactly what Enzo said. The thing is, Gon can surpass Uvo. You can easily tell based on what has happened so far. For the reasons stated by Shareme. Can Killua surpass Hisoka? Probably not. Can Gon surpass Hisoka in the future? Probably so. That's why Hisoka has his eye on Gon. Not Killua.

  24. A

    I don't want to get into spoiler territory here, but upcoming arcs will show more about the boys' abilities to use nen. To reiterate what others have said, being "strong" in nen is not the end all be all. Hunter is not like a typical shounen series where the person with the most powerful nen is automatically the strongest character in the series. With that said, Gon's innate ability to use nen is better than Killua's, but what we'll see is that the learning curve for the two is about on par. Killua uses his nen a lot differently than Gon does. Where Gon is going to rely on his nen in a fight, Killua is going to use his nen to complement his fighting style. And despite that, I would still say a fight between the two would be about equal.

  25. A

    I just loved Mariya Ise this week. The "turn it down" moment was great.

  26. A

    What exactly IS Miyuki Sawashiro's type?
    Looking through her repertoire no character type stands out. Unless you mean young boys which Kurapica is as well.
    She does have a noticeable twang in her voice but Kurapica has this too.

  27. Sorry, I'm not taking the bait there – I've said my piece on that subject.

  28. A

    I've said my piece on that subject.

    Is it still on the internet somewhere? I've tried to search but haven't come up with much except Space Brothers 3.

    I'd really like to read it.
    Thank you for your time.

  29. A

    Thank you so much.
    I was seriously fearing I'd have to start a Guardian Enzo's Thoughts on Miyuki Sawashiro Compilation Project to understand.

    But I think it's just a matter of misunderstanding what you meant by type.
    I was assuming you meant something like she only voices tsunderes or something.
    I really am truly grateful.

  30. e

    The return of the glowing crotch – the man has schwing no doubt – plus Hisoka got that light in his eyes, not to mention the lips-licking manic smirk. Uh-oh.
    Also, he rocks the green teal tones in this arc. I happen to wear such hues a lot. And this in hindsight is somewhat awkward. And awesome. And awkward. TMI?
    Leaving aside the fashion notes and flashing netherlands, it was a very good and highly entertaining episode, filled with quiet and not-so-quiet tension, a bit of humour and nakama power.
    My favourite moment is maybe Kurapika's line at the end about revealing his secrets 'to put a lot of pressure on you' and Kil's recation to that. Because it worked so well on multiple levels. And because it's rare to see Kura's smile.

  31. A

    I'm so excited for the next episodes!

    I look forward to your reactions to the next highlights of this arc..

    Can't there be two great episodes weekly? :3

    -Seraphim

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