Hunter X Hunter 2011 – 140

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My God, it’s full of GAR…

Author’s Note: Please be very careful to avoid divulging any information about upcoming events from the manga. When in doubt, don’t post it, even if it’s remotely possible to view it as a minor spoiler. Thanks for your cooperation.

Dear Ging Freecs;

Fuck you.


That man is back.

I admit, Leorio has been an easy character to take for granted (and based on fan polls, it’s not just for me that this is the case).  He’d stand out in the cast of a normal series, but among the endless standouts of Hunter X Hunter Leorio can be swamped a bit.  He’s not flashy, he’s not overpowered, and comparatively speaking he’s easy to figure out.  But that very trait, his straightforward nature, is occasionally what does make Leorio stand out – though it’s fair to say, he’s never had a series of moments quite so stand-outey as he had this week.

All in all, this episode was a veritable fangasm of familiar faces making reappearances after long (or not so long) absences – though I don’t know if you can count Gon in that, as this is all we saw.  Clearly, poor Gon is a very bad shape – so much so that the sole Nen exorcist in the employ of the Hunter Association reacted in horror and declared herself incapable of helping him when she saw the state he was in.  Leave it to Gon – he doesn’t do anything halfway, so if he’s going to screw himself royally he’s going to do it to excess.

Indeed, about all Gon has going for him at this point is friends – but in that respect he’s wealthy, an okanemochi of the first order.  Killua is his greatest and the most obvious, of course, and he’s prominent in this episode.  But it’s Leorio who steals the show, and there are a long list of others who’ve flocked to his bedside.  Some are expected – Bisky, Goreinu, even Tsezguerra (though I do wonder – when did Gon make such a strong impression that Melody would be there, keeping watch?).  Some are a bit surprising, like Hanzo.  But what’s clear is that the unique qualities in Gon that so profoundly impacted Killua that it prompted him to change his entire life impacted others too, many of whom knew Gon for far less time.  When you think about it, the act that led Gon to this terrible state was soundly in-character – it fits perfectly with everything that’s noble and everything that’s infuriating in him.

It’s clear that Killua, while his desperation gambit managed to extract him from under his father’s thumb, is far from being out from under Zoldyck control.  Gotoh is listening in on his conversations – interrupting them when he deems they cross the line of secrecy – and informs Killua that he’s under “Level 4” security.  Basically, Killua is on the shortest possible leash that still allows him to be free to move about – and in the end he decides it will be simpler to have Gotoh tail him and Alluka, and invites Canary along as well.  Ostensibly this is to have a girl around for Alluka’s benefit (neither side is willing to acknowledge the inconsistency is how they refer to Alluka’s gender, but Killua takes great offense to the term “object”) but truthfully, it seems likely Killua wanted an ally by his side in case the shit really goes down.

The degree to which Silva is taking this seriously comes in the person of Tsubone (Tani Ikuko), the fearsome grand dame of the butler corps being assigned to watch Killua (and Gotoh) on this journey.  Tsubone is clearly formidable – she’s the only one who calls Killua “-chan”, she can sweet-talk Alluka, and when she lays down the law Killua meekly defers (“I just realized…  I have problems dealing with Obabas!”).  The key moment here comes when Alluka makes a request from Tsubone – her pinky nail, which she gladly hands over and then goes into hiding with a stern warning that she’ll be close by.  This could hardly have worked out better for Tsubone (apart from the pain) – Alluka is now effectively unable to grant Killua’s (or anyone else’s) wish until Tsubone decides to allow it by reappearing and granting Alluka’s two additional requests.  It’s almost as if Tsubone had planned it this way, and Killua has been played – but at the very least, it’s an ideal situation for Tsubone and it partially ties Killua’s hands.

Meanwhile, Leorio is asserting his personality in a big way at the hospital – obviously frustrated at being unable to help Gon, he vents big-time at Gotoh’s interference when he’s trying to catch up with Killua.  Here Morel (who I actually think would make a great Chairman if he weren’t so allergic to office work) shows his formidable calm and intelligence – he bears Leorio’s abuse with a smile, waits for Leorio to realize his approach isn’t working, and finally takes over the phone and calmly negotiates a deal to meet all the Zoldyck requests for secrecy.  That involves building a private room for Gon in the parking lot (no windows) where the Zoldycks can allow whatever it is that Killua intends to do to take place.

Here’s the thing with Leorio – as I said earlier, he’s easier to figure out than most of the people in this cast of oddballs and exceptional freaks.  But there are times when that makes him the most relatable, because he reacts the way a normal person would react.  Leorio pretty much kicks ass and takes names here – he says the stuff that has to be said and does the stuff than needs to be done.  He’s furious at Kurpika for refusing to answer his phone when Gon is in trouble (this is the first look we’ve had at Kurapika in a long time, and wherever he is he doesn’t look happy).  And he’s even more furious at Ging for being the most callous and insensitive father in the universe.

The election drama is still ongoing at the Association, this time in the form of a general assembly to which Pariston (in a truly garish gold lamé suit) is giving a very Pariston speech.  His joke about Ging seems to cross the line, though – and I was waiting for someone to mention the Hunters that have gone missing when Pariston invites everyone to speak with “no fear of repercussions”.  It’s Leorio who stands up to speak, but he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the election – he’s there to call Ging out for not visiting Gon, and he really lays into him.  Ging’s response?  Gon has many friends, and that should be “sufficient”.  Never mind Leorio’s valid point that just maybe hearing Ging’s voice might rouse Gon from his coma – this is wrong on a purely moral level, and Leorio is more pissed off than we’ve ever seen him.  As he damn well should be.

I’m sure someone with insider information from the manga could make an argument about extenuating circumstances with Ging, reasons for why he’s behaved as he has towards Gon.  Let me state up front I don’t care – Ging is a prick for the way he’s treated Gon and for refusing to visit him now (“Has he asked for me?”  HA!  Lame, Ging-san) and I can think of no better occasion for the unveiling of Leorio’s Nen (Emitter?  Conjurer maybe?) than to deliver a ridiculously satisfying punch to Ging’s smug face.  What a moment – Leorio’s Nen at last, and Ging at last having someone call him out for the miserable bastard he is to his face, while punching it at the same time.  Without a shadow of doubt this is Leorio’s finest hour – an expression of pure common sense thinking and loyalty, two of his hallmarks – and one of the most satisfying moments in the entire series.  It’s game on, now, in every way – and I suspect the party is just getting started.

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  1. N

    And the crowd cheers as Ging falls, priceless….

    I do wonder, however – Alluka (or rather, Nanika) asks for Tsubone's pinky nail, and while it is definitely not as terrible as asking for her brain or spine or anything vital, it's still several levels above asking to be picked up or to play a game. Considering that the last wish she granted was to kiss Killua on the cheek, this seems out of proportion. I can only assume, then, that the conditional element Killua implemented in his wish has it's own cost that's added to the total.
    (If you've read the Manga, please don't spoil my fun and refrain from replying)

  2. F

    I came up to the same conclusion… Maybe we will see some further explaining of Alluka's abillity eventually?

  3. R

    I've read the manga so I won't answer directly, but that's actually something I didn't think about myself when I first read this part.

    I had just assumed that Alluka's requests sometimes vary in strictness from person to person

  4. w

    To be faaair, what Ging said ("has he asked for me?") really is very true to chracter for both Ging and Gon. Gon probably wouldn't want his father to just visit him, Gon wants to find him. Though a loveable scamp he is, Gon is also kind of a prick. I see a lot of Ging in him. And they seem to understand each other oddly well.

    That out of the way; I really don't care either! That punch was just wonderful, and Ging really deserved it. If I recall it's the most competent thing Leeorio's ever done. It looks like Emitter nen to me as well, seems fitting for Leeorio's explosive temper.

  5. I call BS on that, but it's a matter of opinion. How is a kid in a coma supposed to ask for a visit, exactly – and why should it matter to a father whose kid is in critical condition whether he asks or not?

  6. w

    It shouldn't, but Ging is a selfish asshole. Of course Gon can't ask for a visit, but even if he somehow could, do you think he would? I don't. Not in this way.

  7. I think it's fair to debate whether Gon would ask if he could (I'm not so sure he wouldn't, as he's more than earned it) but not whether it should matter.

  8. w

    I don't think it should matter, but I think Gon and Ging would disagree. Gon has definitely earned it, but he's all about the chase. I think he'd have to find his father on his own legs to have done it "right", in his own mind.

  9. S

    I think whemleh is right. He's had people offer to tell him where Ging is, but he's turned them down because he wants to find Ging himself. Given that he looked Hanzo in the eye and spoke so earnestly about finding Ging while his life was on the line, I doubt Gon would ask to see Ging even if he could.

    I guess it's not a manga spoiler, but Togashi confirmed Leorio's Nen type in a databook, and Killua speculated that Leorio was an emitter aaaaaaaaall the way back in York New.

  10. I don't remember Killua saying that, but if you say it happened I'll take your word for it.

  11. G

    I agree with GE. Ging is a terrible father. Maybe he is afraid of visiting Gon for fear the Rat would do something bad to him. We will have to just wait and see how it plays out.My question is this…

    If Ging is such a great hunter why didn't he block that punch or back away from the table?

  12. I would say there are two possibilities. One, he let himself be punched (let the psychoanalysis begin here). Two, Leorio is a better Hunter than we or Ging realize, and Ging was genuinely surprised by that attack.

  13. C

    Leorio's nen type was confirmed as emitter in one of the anime EDs, where they showed a picture of the four main characters at the time, each next to a different corner of the hatsu hexagon.

  14. x

    My first reaction was that there's no way Leorio could hit Ging with such a hugely telegraphed swing. Even the people in the stands were already dodging out of the way of the splinters by the time when Leorio activated his Nen ability.

    Then again…one could make the case that Leori smashed the stand precisely to disguise the fact the he was using a Nen ability(just doing the pose would have been super suspicious, smashing something as part of the pose to activate the ability can disguise that you are activating an ability in the first place). Only someone using Gyo could have seen the path connecting the two…portals(?) with each other, so the earliest Ging would have noticed anything without using Gyo is when the "portal" opened on the table.

    That matches his reaction, as that's pretty much the time he starts to look down. Of course, it'd be easy to argue that this should still be plenty of time to dodge for a hunter of his supposed caliber(and personally I do think he could have dodged it but chose to get hit for whatever reasons), but it's not as clear cut a case as it first seems(or seemed to me).

  15. w

    Wasn't Leeorio considered to be the physically strongest of the original four? I'd wager it's Enzo's option two, and Ging genuinely just didn't expect the punch to be quite so powerful.

  16. K

    In the manga back in the Zoldyck arc, Leorio was shown to be physically stronger than Gon and Kurapika. The anime kind of ignored this part. Who knows at this point though, but he's definitely no slouch.

  17. Apparently there are a number of examples of Leorio being badass from earlier in the manga that the anime chose not to include, for whatever reason. Maybe so that this moment would have even more impact?

  18. S

    At the beginning of episode 39 – you can see, as the narrator describes the six Nen categories, that Leorio's silhouette is behind "Emission".

  19. S

    Honestly I'd like to see Leorio actually fight someone who can dodge bullets and such and not get torn to pieces but I have no faith in Leorio as a fighter he's just not made for it by Yorknew I'm pretty sure Gon and Kura had become quite a bit stronger than Leorio I mean he struggled to learn ten the most basic facet of all nen so yea I don't think he's ever touching anyone combat savvy regardless of how much his punch might hurt….

  20. b

    I mean no disrespect, but i truly hate hearing the bad fathers line in this and DBZ and others. These men are out often times protecting the who world, saving thousands upon thousands of lives, and there are concerns that take precedent over sitting beside an unconscious person. I think the problem is we all live in a comfortable world where don't fight to survive constantly, so we think Ging and Goku should just sit around having dinner and playing catch with their kids while the world goes to hell. Maybe a father going out and doing everything that those two do is enough. Maybe they create dreams instead of happy petty microcosms.

  21. G

    I finally caught up with this show thanks to your recommandations on your Blog and the RC Podcast and I seriously have to thank you for being the only bloger around talking about it because it really is one of the best animes I ever saw.

    I wanted to understand how a shounen manga adaptation could have toped Shin sekai yori on your last year top 10, now I get it and I smell a second number 1 spot this year with episodes like 116 and 135 since they are pretty much 2 of the best episodes of any series ever.

    On that note, it's really nice to see some Leorio and Kurapika once again, as amazing as the chimera ants arc was, some nice characters were still missing from it.

  22. Thanks, and don't sell shounen adaptations short – though H x H really isn't like any other shounen.

    It's too early to know about the year-end list yet but we're three seasons in, and there really hasn't been another series yet that's flat-out blown me away like the Chimera Ant arc did.

  23. G

    Is it my imagination or does Kurapika look older and taller (mature) then when we last saw him?

  24. S

    Different hair style too.

  25. Trick of the camera angle on height. More mature? As much as he scowls, I could see that ageing a face quite a bit. And characters certainly do change in H x H – from the extreme (Knov, instantly) to the subtle (Gon and Killua, over the span of the series).

  26. G

    My bad about my statement concerning the shounens, I only had Bleach, Naruto and the likes in mind when I wrote that. I know shounen, like any other genres, can be great when they are well written. (Rurouni Kenshin is my favorite manga of all time and I do like Magi, FMA, Ao no exorcist and the likes)

  27. Yeah, RK would be on my shortlist for favorite manga ever as well. Both the Kyoto and Jinchu arcs are as good as anything out there, at least not including H x H and even then it's debatable.

    Speaking of which, what a fucking crime that RK still, to this day, can't get a proper faithful and comprehensive adaptation.

  28. S

    Kurapka was 17 in yorknew now he's like 19 it's been about 2 years since the hunter exam, so he is indeed older explaining why he looks more mature.

  29. K

    It hasn't been 2 years. It's been at least a year.

  30. S

    Key word "about"…

  31. S

    By the middle of greed island it had been 1 year so add the time of the chimera ant arc on to that and there you go…

  32. K

    I always loved Leorio. He's probably the most emotional out of the main 4, probably even more than Gon but your in that he's probably a lot more transparent. It's also despite his tendency to yell and scream, he has the biggest heart out of all of them. Killua has certainly improved but I still think Leorio is the best person out of our main heroes.

    Everything he did was just so enjoyable including him eating his phone while yelling at Gotou and Killua reacting to hearing his voice again.

    Also, Leorio's nen type was shown in "Hunting for Dream" he's an emitter.

  33. r

    Alluka is damn adorable. Also, regarding Ging visiting Gon in the hospital, seeing Hanzo there should remind you about Gon's feelings of "accomplishing" things when he feels they are unearned. Remember when Hanzo beat the crap out of him, but he "won" and earned his Hunter license? And Gon was pissed because of that and wanted to turn it down? It's kind of similar. I think Ging is a total dick, but he's a total dick who understands people, and he figures his own son is probably like him (he's kinda right).

  34. C

    So…. Leorio for chairman? All those in favor please proceed to punch a zodiac in the face.

    That scene was awesome, unexpected and hilarious all in one, got the feeling that Ging could have avoid it but decided to take the hit instead.

  35. N

    so, despite the 'no spoilers, no matter how small' banner, you're just gonna go ahead and spoil, because hey, who cares about other people, right?

  36. B

    Yikes. All I said was that there's more to come in the likes of this ep and Leorio gets to do stuff for once. Made sure not to hint at anything specific.

    I don't personally see that as a spoiler but sorry if it didn't agree with you, Enzo.

  37. It's general, yeah. But even if it's just broadly telling people what's going to happen, people who haven't read the manga would still generally rather not know.

  38. b

    This adaptation has done a bad job with Leorio. Overall this adaptation has a regular job.

  39. S

    You know, I've noticed some anime-only watchers getting more of a sense that Leorio is quite witty.

    Altering the testing gate scene to something else may seem cliché, but would it really make sense for the characters to over-train themselves for all that time, while Killua is just stuck within the estate receiving punishment?

    Heck, even a friend of mine seemed none too impressed when he beat the body-building giant at arm wrestling.
    (Also, I had to check back to even know that any of this happened, mind you.)

    So, I wouldn't completely lay it on this adaptation for the viewers not enjoying Leorio's characterization. (Even though I did personally prefer his 1999 counterpart; although, he was borderlining as a goody-two-shoes – almost up there with Gon)
    Really – in the grand scheme, it has always been about him saying things how they are, his goals in the medical field (the former which is what made me like him in the first place), etc.

  40. H

    Tsubone is really great.

  41. e

    Need pointers on obaba troubles? Just ask Livi my dear boy :ppp.
    Tsubone is a pretty formidabile figure though – and the nail ripping aaaaaaaaaah lady I get torture is the Zoldyck's butter to assassination bread but that HURTS D: – . And unlike Canary ( ah Canary I knew there was a reason I had liked you since your first appereance ) I wouldn't bet on her siding with Alluka&Kil vs the rest of the family if things got to a breaking point. On top of that we have Illumi and Hisoka on the fringes. Gah. The worry!
    On the other hand I'm just basking in the glory of Mr. Paladinaito. And of Pariston's suit :,DD. Honorable mention to Morel. We already appreciated his mental prowess. And now… a peek of those hairy legs <3.

    On Melody's presence in Gon's room… well I thought she would be there for Kurapika's sake if anything. The lad seems to be otherwise occupied. And there is only one motive that could supersede checking on a dear friend&comrade in need in his case isn't it?
    On Ging's absence from Gon's room: I do share the sentiment behind Leo's punch. I would have liked at least one more to be delivered :p. But father and son are not named 'Freecs' without reason. And Ging is not the first example of remarkable individual, bad parent. Good thing Aunt Mito was available for the parenting heavy lifting and granting the daily emotional and material needs of the kid…

  42. Are you positing that Kurapika sent Melody there in his stead?

  43. e

    Positing might be too strong of a word. She could very well have gone to the hospital by her own volition. It's either, or, or both imho. —————–>
    My line of thought behind that was more or less this: she has a great amount of empathy. It's very possible she felt a connection with Gon and would act over it either with or without prompting by Kurapica when knowing he's in a coma. If Kurapica is not rushing to Gon's bed the (only plausible) reason must be related to the Kurta clan. Kura is one sensitive soul and Melody knows it. Even if he didn't or couldn't ask for someone he trusted to check on Gon he would probably feel relief in hindsight to know one more friend of his was there with his friend. And given the specific people involved here this could be enough reason for Melody to visit'.

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