Hunter X Hunter 2011 – 74

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The more things change, the more they stay the same…

It’s a transitional week in anime – in fact due to Spring generally having the biggest slate of new series this is usually the craziest week of the year.  Shows ending, new shows beginning by the dozens, hellos and goodbyes enough to leave a viewer (and certainly a blogger) feeling a little benumbed.  But not for the first time H x H steps up as the voice of continuity – no matter what else is going on I can always, always rely on this series for ridiculous quality and huge levels of entertainment.  Between this series and Chihayafuru, Madhouse was my rock this week (you’ll have to excuse the pun).

But dammit – Gon, you crazy!

I mean, it’s not as if Gon being a bit nuts is anything new really.  When Genthru marvels that someone is insane – not “his” kind of insane – you know that person is out where the buses don’t run.  But I don’t think we’ve seen anything quite like what we saw this week.  I adore Gon – he’s not just a great character for entertainment purposes, but a wholly idealistic and in many ways admirable kid.  Plus, he takes GAR to levels it just doesn’t go very often – his courage and will are staggering.  But a little sense of self-preservation would certainly go a long way if he’s going to have a future.

I can only imagine Bisky and Killua won’t be too happy when Gon tells them what really went down in the fight with The Bomber – and I don’t think he’s capable of lying to them (or anyone for that matter).  Gon’s version of a “great idea” is to get one and nearly both of his arms blown off in order to land a kick to the chin.  In the end of course Gon does use Killua’s plan and Biscuit’s training to win, just as intended, but it’s that damn pride of his that made the journey so painful that even he almost couldn’t bear up to it.

Genthru is just the latest to learn the hard way that Gon simply will not back down.  Hanzo is the most obvious earlier example but there are others, not least among them Hisoka.  The pride that spurs him forward is his strength and his curse, and rather than simply win by trickery he risks everything for the sake of that pride.  But you have to give credit where it’s due – Gon takes risks when it’s his own safety that’s on the line (though sometimes failing to see the hardship they may cause those who love him), and he’s willing to endure whatever comes of it without complaint.  And he never stops giving Genthru the opportunity to give up, though he’s a bit too trusting in that (at the cost of his windpipe).  It’s his willingness to sacrifice his hand – and suffer the agony that comes with it, both shown to us in truly brutal and shocking terms – that allows him to strike when he knows Genthru will be vulnerable, a blow so powerful and fast The Bomber never even sees it strike.

Gon knows, of course, because Bisky has predicted the course of the fight – she’s told Gon Genthru will eventually resort to flooding both hands with Gyo to attack – but what he does with that information can hardly have been what she had in mind.  The finish is pure, unadulterated Gon – the disdain he has for Genthru’s underhanded tactics, the righteous rage he puts into his final Janken attack, and especially the proud and disgusted “Osu!” he rasps through his ruined throat after he lands the finishing blow.  It’s his declaration to the world that size and age don’t matter – only martial spirit does, and no one has more of it than Gon.  He may be crazy, but Gon has more guts than any army.

As for Killua’s plan, in hindsight it all becomes clear (and I don’t mean getting yet one more look at Gold Dust Girl).  The giant rock, the precise counting (one minute for a card to turn into an object), although the gasoline was a bit of a surprise.  What’s interesting is the final part of it – using cloned copies of Breath of Archangel to heal not just Gon, but Genthru and his stooges as well.  It does seem to confirm that Killua is at a very different place in his life at the moment, no matter what he says to Goreinu about being “worse” than The Bomber and his gang.  Apparently Biscuit is OK with that too, and her lust for killing only exists in her JoJo form.

Goreinu’s revelation that he and Tsezguerra have decided to give their cards to Gon (let’s face it, he earned them) signals that “Greed Island” is coming to an end next week (he’s also secured each of them 1 billion Jenny from Battera’s reward).  The final card, “Ruler’s Blessing”, is the 100th – and it will be Gon’s after he can successfully answer a quiz about the restricted slot cards, one last protective measure against a thief or interloper hijacking the contest and winning.  Then it’s onward to “Chimaera Ant”, and to the quest to find Ging.   “Greed Island” is another triumph for Togashi-sensei and for Madhouse – another long arc that feels as if every last detail has been planned out with perfect precision.  Many great shounen are lucky to produce one arc this epic, but Hunter X Hunter is able to do so over and over, and each wildly different from the last.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Greed Island Tutorial: “Transform”

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13 comments

  1. m

    Y no repeated special mentions for biscuit being so… buff…
    she is known to be strong, but don't all anime girls pack a fierce punch while looking pretty? certainly not our biscuit, which really shocked me…

  2. j

    "her JoJo form." Nice one.

    I loved this episode. It's so good to start watching something with expectations high as they can possibly be, and having the episode surpass them. Very few things do that for me. Biscuit has also turned into the perfect dose of moe for me; and her voice actress does a perrrrrrfect job of making each rant/girly cry/macho transformation so hilarious/hilarious/awesome. I'll miss her when this arc ends, but luckily I know it's not the last time we'll see her. I'll be looking forward so much for her next appearance!

    And geez, that Gon vs Genthru showdown was so, so good…

    And that finale, too! I think it's pretty obvious they won't actually fight their way out of there – the preview certainly confirms this – but even so, it was such a cool cliffhanger.

    This series…Thank you anime, thank you…

  3. i

    I hand it Togashi sensei that everytime Gon is in trouble, I want Hisoka to save him. That's just brilliant writing that a character who is a fearsome antagonist most of the time is the person we root for to help save everyone else.

    And Gon is nuts but the whole plan was brilliant although I don't get why Genthru didn't burn to ash after being hit by Gon's fire fist when he was covered in gasoline.

    Expecting a cool end to Greed Island before the dark Chimera Ant arc.

  4. A

    Because Gon's fist isn't actually on fire, it's just his red/orange aura which looks like fire.

  5. Z

    So now that this arc is near its end; how do you rate it comparing to the other arcs?

  6. I was just mulling that over…

    To be honest, all the arcs except the Zoldyck Arc are very, very close for me. I would probably rank this one right on a par with Heaven's Arena at the very top, just because of the consistency and the massive awesomeness of all the Hisoka episodes and the battle with Razor.

  7. m

    I always thought it is odd that Gon and friends are willing to save the life of the Bomber, but they don't give a crap about any of the people still alive that have had bombs planted on them, like that woman in an earlier episode who was in the group of 15 that helped unlock the pirates event.

    Gon and friends could have helped people like her out by either killing Genthru or at least making them aware that Genthru is in their custody.

  8. s

    …like that woman in an earlier episode who was in the group of 15 that helped unlock the pirates event.

    They're already dead. Genthru killed them off while Gon was playing dodgeball. Genthru himself outright says it to Tsez (using the contact card) after the dodgeball event.

  9. f

    Before the fight, Genthru already stated he killed all of those people that were part of the first 15 group to Razor.

  10. e

    While we are at Jojo refs… Is this 'hero loses hand and bit of arm with assorted burns' week? :,)
    Gon, don't do this to my heart too often, I'm starting to get too old you intense kiddo you :,).
    The Archangel's features really reminded me of Leiji Matsumoto's fav lady template. Oh prettiness.
    On to next week! 8D

  11. Don't you think Hisoka would have been orgiastically pleased to see how Gon chose to approach that fight? "Thats-a my boy!"

  12. C

    That fight.

    Was.

    Complete.

    Madness.

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