If the format or style of my Hunter X Hunter posts changes at all, it’s not because my affection for the show has diminished in any way whatsoever – trust me. But it’s genuinely, seriously difficult after 70 episodes that maintain such a high quality level to avoid repeating myself. Sheer, rapturous enjoyment? Still a piece of cake. Avoiding sounding like a broken record? Very difficult. All I can really do is jump on the things that stand out from week to week and hope for the best.
First of all, the dodgeball game. It was so epic that it was easy to forget that it was actually only one small step on the way to concluding the “Greed Island” arc (as we’re forcefully reminded of later). But I’ve noticed that Togashi has a very sly method of making one small wedge of every arc the key to setting up the next one. He’s done it in every instance and it seems safe to assume that Razor’s connection with Gon is a precursor of sorts to “Chimaera Ant” and possibly even what comes after.
I confess, given all the water that’s passed under the bridge between the three of them, seeing the boys and Hisoka pull that gattai move was hard to challenge as the highlight of the matchup – though it has plenty of competition. It’s easy to see why Hisoka was so excited to try it (though I’m sure he’d rather have been in the middle). In purely practical terms it was a brilliant stratagem by “idiot” Gon, giving each of them a chance to combine their talents to survive the massive attack Razor was able to muster after drawing all the power of his Nen teammates back into himself. But it also underscores what a fascinating enigma Hisoka is, that Gon would be willing to trust his life to him despite what he knows Hisoka has done (and thought about doing). Hisoka is an antagonist at times and always an anti-hero, but he’s not a villain – or much more than one at least. For all his creepy prurience and obsession with strength, I don’t think it can be doubted that he’s also developed a genuine, honest affection for Gon and Killua. He likes them, plain and simple – they entertain him, and there’s a sort of acknowledgement between he and the boys that a kind of warrior’s code exists between them, despite Hisoka’s well-established talents at deception (which Bisky summarizes neatly for Killua: “There are liars who lie only when there’s a reason to, and liars who lie without reason. You and I are the former – he’s the latter.”).
That final catch was a great example both of the massive talents of the three principals involved and the keen observational skills of Tsezguerra, who continues to quietly establish that he’s a formidable figure and someone to be reckoned with – not least because he’s willing to acknowledge his own weaknesses. Razor is no slouch in that department either – he sees that it was actually Killua who was the key to everything because his role was the most difficult, and required a level of finesse that someone with his experience should never have been able to muster. He and Biscuit both marvel at Killua’s astounding skill – but just when one of the main pair seems to nose in front, the other goes about proving just what a monster he is, and so it is with Gon next. Razor is feeling confident that he can take anything Gon can throw at him, but Gon chooses this moment to reveal that he, too, has been holding back some of his power (no doubt mostly out of concern for Killua’s hands). His subsequent explosion of aura is without doubt the most spectacular we’ve seen in the entire series – both Tsez and Razor can only refer to him as a monster, just as Bisky called Killua earlier.
The marvel of this partnership, of course, is that Gon and Killua’s strengths complement each other so perfectly. Killua’s is the scalpel, and Gon is the axe – but they can both cut just about anything. Gon’s throw, in fact, proves too powerful for Razor to do anything but deflect helplessly back, and all Hisoka has to do is catch it and the game is won. But that’s not what happens, and while Killua later refers to Hisoka’s actions as “stealing the glory” I see it a little differently, and it’s all part of that code I talked about. Gon has literally dropped unconscious as a result of the aura he’s expended, but Hisoka doesn’t want to see him denied of the kind of victory he craves after having poured so much of himself into achieving it. So he uses bungee gum to win the game the way Gon wanted to win it – by knocking Razor out of the court. Hisoka’s act, proving himself just as indispensable a part of the team as the boys, was also his acknowledgment of Gon’s skills and of his fighting spirit.
What happens between the boys and Hisoka now is – fittingly – anyone’s guess. He tells them to contact him whenever they need him, but soon afterwards Phinks contacts him to let him know the Nen cleaner has been found – so what would happen if Gon really did ask for his help and it conflicted with Hisoka’s original goals in Greed Island (or if we’ll ever find out) I can’t say. Meanwhile, as Killua has his hands treated by Bisky, Gon has his one-on-one talk with the defeated Razor. And what Razor tells him is a story that should sound very familiar both to Gon and us, because it strongly echoes that of Gon and Killua. Razor reveals that he was a convicted murderer on death row too, when Ging found him and recruited him – and that it was Ging’s belief in him that allowed him to change his life. “Ging taught me it only takes one person in the entire world that will trust you to save you.” Razor might not have led Gon directly to Ging, but he certainly brought him closer to understanding both his father and himself.
It isn’t long after the dodgeball game that the good guys claim “Patch of Shore” (after a rather moving speech considering it was delivered by a NPC), and it’s almost immediately thereafter that Genthru makes his move. He’s the real enemy in this arc, of course, and he wastes no time in offering Tsezguerra the choice of surrendering “Patch” or his life. In doing so he reveals he’s killed most of the players that were at the meeting several episodes back, which so enrages Gon that he challenges Genthru to reveal himself immediately and fight. Gon’s great strength can also be a great weakness, of course, and Tsez reminds him of this in no uncertain terms. To have challenged Genthru in his own exhausted state, never mind with Hisoka gone and Killua’s hands badly ravaged, was foolish and rash – qualities Gon has exhibited many times, but for which he’s never been reprimanded quite so incisively and fiercely as Tsezguerra reprimands him here.
Fortunately for Gon, Genthru is making the same mistake so many others have made, including Razor – underestimating his strength, and that of Killua. Genthru assumes that it’s Tsezguerra who has the original “Patch of Shore” and that the “three kids” can be dealt with (and “Lucky Alexandrite” taken from) at leisure once Tsez and his party are dead. Teszguerra, being the best in-game strategist of the bunch, reasons that the best course of action is to use that ignorance to draw Genthru away from the boys and Bisky while Killua heals, Gon recovers his aura and a plan to defeat Genthru is conceived. This is why I think Tsez is deceptively formidable – it’s his willingness to acknowledge that it’s only the two little boys who have the power to take Genthru out, not a revered and top-ranked Hunter like himself, that allows him to pursue a path that actually has a chance to succeed.
We’ve reached that classic Togashi moment, that wonderful ability he has to make it feel as if all the elements of the universe are coming together to create a blockbuster conclusion. Tsez and his group promise Gon three weeks to gather strength and figure out a plan, time which Bisky resolves to use to train Gon how to avoid Genthru’s deadly “Little Flower”. Meanwhile the Phantom Troupe is assembled (I would hate to be Abegnane right now), with Hisoka – as always – the mystery man at the center of everything. Where are his loyalties – how will he factor into the final battle? And the preview reveals one more Togashi twist – just what the heck is Kalluto Zoldyck doing in Greed Island? Killua’s reaction when (if) he sees his little brother with the Spiders is going to be interesting, to say the least.
There’s still time to vote in the H x H character poll in the sidebar!
Greed Island Tutorial: Clone