Hunter X Hunter: Memories x and x Milestones – Episode 19

“Gon’s x True x Strength”

The latter stages of the “Hunter Exam” arc were definitely a peak for Hunter X Hunter – this was the first extended stretch of episodes where the series was really in top form non-stop.  I could have picked any number of standout moments, but Gon’s fight with Hanzo in Episode 19 is another one of those character-defining snapshots in time that also happened to be massively entertaining.

I was rather shocked by the brutality of this episode, which showed Gon – for all his precocious strength and cunning still a kawaii 12 year-old – being brutalized by Hanzo as part of Netero’s twisted selection test by combat.  As is so often the case with H x H implications are flying everywhere, and if you pay attention you can learn a lot about many characters.  From the selection itself we see just what a devious and perverse old man Netero was.  We learn much about Killua and Kurapika from their reactions to seeing what’s happening to Gon.  And even Hanzo – a minor character by any definition – is fascinating to watch as he struggles to understand the mind of the strange boy whose body he’s subjecting to terrible violence, but whose spirit he’s unable to break.

As usual in this arc, it’s Gon about whom we learn the most.  He gambled a lot on Hanzo having both a sense of practicality and decency – which thankfully he did – but that gamble is quintessentially Gon.  This was a debutante party for Gon’s character, his statement of purpose for becoming a Hunter and the depth of his courage and self-belief.  He realizes that Netero’s game isn’t a test of strength but a test of wills, and he believes supremely that his will is stronger than anyone else’s.  And on this day at least, he’s right.



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    Diamond is unbreakable. Sort of. But yeah the marvelous and terrifying child still has a long way to go before learning it the hard way…
    I wonder if this milestone timing is intentional on your part, as – likely? hopefully? – the anime is gonna show at lats some glimpse of 'what now?' about Gon. He shattered, was healed, met his biological father, should meet Kil asap. But after this there's an ocean of possibilities and shapes he could grow into.
    One of his most intriguing aspects of his character for me is that really that absolute faith in himself and determination is to an extent innatural. Or rather, hard to preserve to such an extent beyond early childhood years if you ever had it to begin with. Luckily for the universe this absolute will of his tends to be benevolent :p.

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    *at LEAST some glimpse etc.

  3. I'm not quite sure what you're asking, to be honest. I haven't really been picking these with any particular eye towards what I expect will happen in the final two episodes – just a very limited (painfully) sprinkling of moments that leapt out at me as I reviewed all those episode posts.

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    I wonder if it's an off day for me English language-wise ^_^".
    'He realizes that Netero's game isn't a test of strength but a test of wills, and he believes supremely that his will is stronger than anyone else's. And on this day at least, he's right.' My mind immediately conjured up Gon-san vs Pitou and its aftermath/fallout we just recently saw the resolution of… in part. Plus today is HxH episode day. That's why I asked about the timing being intentional on your part.
    Personally I'm VERY glad the kid is back on his feet but what about how he is inside now beyond the reunion moments? How what happeend with Pitou has changed him now that he is back? What is he going to do? If we could see some more of it before the anime ends that woud be great.
    Hopefully what I meant is a bit more inderstandable now :).

  5. Yeah, I get you now. My answer's still the same though – no conscious intent on my part.

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