Hunter X Hunter 2011 – 141

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List of people not to piss off:

3. Illumi Zoldyck

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.

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is the phrase that keeps popping into my mind as the events of the Election arc play out.  We’re seeing it in evidence all over the map, both in the unfolding Zoldyck family drama and in the election itself.  It starts with Netero’s decision to make Pariston his vice-chairman and builds from there, and it underlies much of what’s happening in this arc.  The complicating factor is that because this is Hunter X Hunter, it’s not straightforward to figure out which category nearly everyone falls into in relation to everyone else – and you can add “neither” and “both” to the list of possibilities.

There are a few unassailable truths here, anchors that we can cling to as the waves of uncertainty wash all around us.  Killua loves Gon, and would do anything up to and including sacrificing himself to save him.  Killua loves Alluka, and is certain (I’m not) that no one else in the Zoldyck Household does.  Leorio is resolutely loyal to his friends and seriously pissed off at the behavior of those he thinks should be but aren’t.  Hisoka wants to have a good time as often and as thoroughly as possible.  Pariston is ambitious to a fault. But what we can’t say for certain outweighs what we can by a wide margin.

The first legal ballot in the Chairman Election is certainly an interesting place to start.  Gon jumped up to four votes, interestingly – the mention by Leorio?  But the big mover is unsurprisingly Leorio himself, who went from zero to third place, with 55 votes.  As for Pariston, he’s at 39% of the vote – so far ahead of the pack that it’s hard to see him losing without a game-changing event.  The list of 16 qualifiers for the runoff is a fascinating one, full of names we don’t know – the top-ranked at #6 being the bizarre Ickshonpe Katocha, a “Single Star Hacker Hunter, living the digital world” who’s yet to cast a vote.  My favorite moment of Beans’ rundown was 10th Place Bisky, though – “The Associations’s mother big sister figure.  More and more people want her to scold them.”

I’m assuming Chekov’s Ickshonpe will assert itself, and Katocha-san will become an important figure in subsequent votes.  And it seems to be that if the other Zodiacs are serious about defeating Pariston, they should really pool all their support behind a single candidate – as most of them are in the runoff and splitting a large number of votes.  But the election really isn’t the main focus here, which is the Zoldyck drama.  Killua is actually watching the recap and Beans’ announcement in the limo with some interest, especially when he sees Leorio using Nen (which he immediately identifies as Emitter).  But that’s quickly forgotten when Illumi intrudes on events in a big way.  The moment Gotoh’s phone rings, the game changes.

If there’s an element that bothers me here, it’s the notion that Illumi could have caused the chain of events that he did without worrying about the possibility that Killua would have died in the accident – that just seems far-fetched to me.  Setting that aside, it’s a great “all Hell breaks loose” kind of moment, where loyalties are revealed and intentions revealed.  Killua deems Gotoh to be more or less on his side after Gotoh uses Illumi’s name to spark enough of a reaction by Amane (Inoue Marina) – who’s revealed to be Tsubone’s granddaughter – to unmask her and by extension Tsubone as loyal to Silva and Zeno and likely not Illumi.  Hisoka goads Illumi into showing his bloodlust by “joking” about killing Killua – an act he likely committed on purpose in order to force Illumi to reveal his presence, and suggesting his own loyalty is ultimately to Gon (and thus in practical terms Killua, for the duration of this mission) rather than Illumi.

We have so many different forces pulling in different directions here it’s hard to tell the players without a scorecard.  Hisoka does of course care for his own life and this has a reason to help Illiumi here, but he genuinely wants Gon to live – he’s helping Illumi for now but as always, holding his cards close to the vest when he’s not trying to kill people with them.  Tsubone and Amane are loyal to Silva and Zeno, both of whom fundamentally prefer Killua to Illumi (as does Tsubone) and on some level Gotoh and Canaria are too, but they’re even more torn by personal loyalty to Killua.

For Killua, the operational truth is this – even if as Amane says she and her grandmother (and thus Zeno and Silva) don’t consider themselves Killua’s enemy here, he considers them his enemy because they don’t consider Alluka part of the family.  And with the Zoldycks that has a rock-hard practical implication – that means it’s open season on Alluka during a mission, because Alluka isn’t considered a family member.  And that means the moment Killua loses close contact with Alluka, Alluka could die.  And let’s not forget that a “little bird” somewhere close to Killua is spying for Illumi – and Illumi thus knows that Killua knows of rules regarding Alluka’s power that he himself does not.

It’s a fascinating tangle, that’s for sure.  We get real introspection from Alluka – who seems extremely simple and childlike for an 11 year-old – for the first time in the form of the “Would things be easier if I were dead?” question.  Both Kil’s response and Alluka’s reaction are powerful – Killua asks “Would it make you said if no one in the world loved you except me?”  The answer of course is no, that actually makes Alluka ecstatically happy because to be loved by Killua is more than enough.  There’s your moment of directness and simplicity amidst all the machinations and deception – sibling love that trumps personal welfare and family politics.

What will Hisoka do here, when the real shit goes down?  For now he’s facing off against Gotou more or less at Illumi’s bidding, the mission being to get the butlers out of the way so a clear shot at killing Alluka can be had.  But even if Hisoka values Illumi as one of his favorite toys, he wants Gon – who seems to be his favorite toy of all – to live.  That means helping Killua (a much-loved toy himself) do what he’s trying to do with Alluka’s power, and that means defying Illumi – and putting his own life at risk.  As wonderful as it is seeing Hisoka in troll and badass mode again, it’s equally welcome to see him put in such an unfamiliar position, and to muse on just what his ultimate intentions are.

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  1. M

    Who were 1 and 2?

  2. 1. Killua Zoldyck and 2. Gon Freecs. Episodes 35 and 47 I think.

  3. s

    33 and 34 actually, during their fights against Sadaso, Gido and Rielvehlt. 47 was Kurapika vs Uvogin.

  4. N

    Honestly, after Leorio's display of badass-ness last week, there's not a single character in this show I would like to piss off and subsequently run into in a dark ally.

  5. S

    The reason I think Illumi could assume Killua wouldn't die from that series of events is because he knows just how well trained all the butlers are (Killua as well) and that their top priority in such a situation would probably be keeping him alive as they seemed to be doing. Not that that's much an excuse, but we are talking about people bending steel girders with their kicks and such and a kid with lightning reaction speeds.

    My favorite part of the whole thing was probably Hisoka just messing around with Illumi. That reaction to asking if he could kill Killua was great. I'm loving getting to see more of the characters that disappeared early on, and then also a peak into other hunters of the organization that are well known (that we have yet to hear of).


  6. s

    Overall, a very entertaining episode, with some good insight into who is actually in the round of the last 16. That Cutie hunter or whatever she was called looked a bit strange to me, but otherwise it's a nice line-up. That was the first time Morel's and Leorio's last name was revealed I think, wasn't it?
    Nice seeing Bisky in that line-up as well. Ikshonpe looks interesting, and I am looking forward to see how much spotlight the other hunters get. Seeing how the Hunter commandments were mentioned (I think while describing Bushidora), I think we're going to get those soon as well?
    Also, a virus hunter named Norton? I see what you did there, Togashi.

    On the other side, things are entertaining as well – it has been long since we've seen Hisoka, eh? It makes me worry about Gotoh since I personally like him a lot, and with Hisoka in a fight it's very likely that somebody's going to die. Let's hope he survives this.

    By the way, could anybody who's read the manga tell me in which chapter that chart with the Zoldyck's appeared, if it appeared at all? I'm interested in what exactly is listed there, even though the episode explained quite a bit already probably.

  7. I know we've seen Leorio's last name, but I thought at the time that Morel's was new information.

    I took a peek, and it's chapter 326. Pretty much unchanged in the anime.

  8. s

    Huh, that's strange. With a name like that I'd normally remember, but Leorio's last name was completely new to me. Are you certain you didn't hear it in one of the movies, perhaps? I watched neither of them, so that might be a likely explanation.

    Ah, and thanks for pointing out the chapter. Will take a look at it later, then.

  9. It's possible you're right – I've always known it but maybe I just read it somewhere early on and remembered it as seeing it revealed in the series.

  10. h

    the car crash scene was extended in the anime and the pillars is an added part,I really dont see killua dying from something like that plus the butlers are there

    and oh hisoka <3

  11. e

    Illumi's eyes as a toy are exactly the same as the real thing D: .
    That family chart is interesting.
    a) I must say I was not expecting 2 out of 3 of those hearts ( the Kil-All [eh] one was a given, not so sure about Mom-Kal and even less sure about Silva-Mom. Pop likes'em deranged it seems :,D ).
    For all their talk of valuable heir and asset to the family no one genuinely loves Kil but Alluka. I'm a bit sad there's no heart for and from Canaria. That was one heart I would have rejoiced to see. *sigh*

    b) I can't remember who the bald person next to Silva is supposed to be. Have we met him before? If not then please don't answer.

    On the little bird: the one I'd bet on as unlikely is Canaria, the most likely Tsubone, the second most likely Amane. The obaba might dislike Miluki&Alluka(and Mom) but she is starkly loyal to the family's ultimate good: Killua's safey is the family's priority. Helping Illumi over saving Alluka is a matter of lesser evil :,D. About Amane: her reaction to Illumi's call.
    Leorio for president? Please no. Office work would smother him and his action doc heart. Honestly Pariston or the Yorkshire lady seem to better equipped for the job.
    But I must admit the groupies' leader is making my wtf amusing scenario sense tingle mwahahah. Looks like Christina Aguilera and Katy Perry's lovechild to me 8D.
    The funny bit for me was Ging's result labelled as 'pity votes'. It just triggered this satisfied evil grin on my face…
    Hisoka vs Goto could go either way. I mean… depending of how convenient in a 'help-Killua-hence-help-Gon' way Hiso deems for the butler to survive vs killing him :,). Cherish your unripe fruits, man.

  12. I'm not sure how to answer that. He appears in the manga (I sometimes read chapters after the corresponding anime episode airs, just for comparison) way way back, but for some reason he never made it into the Madhouse anime. I suppose it's better not to say more, just in case they decide to intro him later.

  13. So I literally post "It's better not to say more" and you post that right on top of it?

  14. S

    Well, but he had a point, it's been mentioned in the anime too, during Zeno's monologue about Netero. And the fact that they casually showed his face in the sheet here means that they… kinda forgot about not including his appearance for whatever reason back then and just rolled with it, giving for granted that we knew who he was. I can't see any deeper reason for them to do it. And after all, if people is curious, better to let them know something that they would be supposed to know anyway rather than have them look for that face on the Wiki or something and risk getting spoiled about much more stuff, I'd say.

  15. After the Kaitou situation I don't think it can be assumed that the character won't be introduced later, at a different point in the story.

  16. n

    Okay this is really easy to miss, but when Hisoka is "joking" about killing Killua, you can see he's making a gesture with his hand. I'm going to have you guess what it means but let's just say the threat probably wasn't the only thing to piss off Illumi.

  17. S

    So it seems. Good eye there, sir:

    However, it's curious because A) it seems a rather rare version of an already not universal sign mostly of European usage, and B) it doesn't seem overtly sexual – just a hearty "fuck you". So I guess it was Hisoka's way of saying he was trolling…? Anyway, the man is clearly very brave or very crazy (probably both XD).

  18. n

    Considering it's coming from Hisoka, I wouldn't put it pass him to mean he joking wants to fuck killua too. Which is more trolling but whatever.

  19. S

    Joking… of course, joking…

  20. e

    As an Italian Hisoka's gesture was a bit funny for me as well. The only occurence of it in my experience so far has always been that passage of the Divine Comedy quoted in the above wiki link ( and yeah while it's an insult there the visual ref is definitely understood as being on the vulvar side rather than the phallic one in our culture. Either way it's a good fit for our ambiguous bloodlusty magician :p).
    Furthermore Hisoka = Inferno's fan? This headcanon is fine with me 8D.

  21. S

    Heh, why would he not be? I mean, it has gruesome violence, a twisted sense of irony, and fart jokes. That's some metal stuff for XIV century literature.
    By the way, if you check the manga chapters where Gon and Killua navigate the internet looking for a copy of Greed Island you can clearly see they're in Italy. There's the Trinitá dei Monti stairs, and just a few pages before or after there's Florence's Brunelleschi Dome. So clearly that's where HXH!Dante was and where he wrote his own Comedy.

  22. e

    Ahah really? One more reason to check out the manga after the end of this anime arc.
    Medieval literature does not get enough credit indeed. Some of my fondest university memories involve my Late Antiquity and Medieval History professor digging up and reading us all sorts of juicy documents and texts for his lessons (and those fabliaux oh my :p. The Tree of D***s was a surreal masterpiece about the 'careful what you wish for' theme).
    Even without going for obscure authors… the Comedy is great but Boccaccio's Decameron is no slouch either. As a whole it's also more accessible and entertaining to a modern 'virgin' reader I believe. It's sanguine dense symbols-ridden ref-crazy poetry vs prose novel. For an Italian native speaker the advantage is that a good part of vocabulary and synthax hasn't changed much in both cases but without explanation notes Dante can be pretty cryptic at times. Flow and understanding go much more hand in hand with Decameron. And its content can get pretty often pretty strong – borderline medieval penny dreadful XDD – , racy, or humorous as well.

  23. h

    that's hanzo not maha

  24. S

    It was more of a quick, yet brutal car-crash in the manga. But, I don't really see even a relatively minor HxH character dying in such an incident so easily.

  25. A

    I don't think Illumi expected that series of car crashes to impact any of the players (maybe Alluka, but definitely not the rest).

    The fact that Tsubone is the only one capable of keeping up with Killua makes me think it's partly because she is needed to transfer the wishing.

    As for the 'little bird' comment….can it mean Canaria? She's the least suspicious right now and has been subdued throughout the crash(though the comment of protecting Killua and Alluka at the beginning would negate that. Maybe).

    Hunter X Hunter is ending, Enzo??? While I don't want this series to become a filler victim, it does sadden me. Though I heard the manga is up again and hopefully a part 2 is in order. The Kurupika tease, which doesn't seem to impact the election arc, is making me anxious for more HxH!!!

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