“Kurapika’s x Darkest x Hour”
There were many Kurapika-centric episode from this arc that merited a special call-out – he’s the protagonist for most of it, after all. So why this one? I could start by talking about what a great episode it was, but if that was the standard I’d pretty much have to include them all.
I think the key, for me, is that Episode 53 represents the essence of what “York Shin” is so well. This is really a tragedy, and it’s mostly Kurapika’s tragedy. It’s not the annihilation of the Kurta tribe – that’s deep in the past. No, it’s the tragedy of Kurapika losing his soul in the quest for vengeance. This is Togashi twisting another shounen trope to his own nefarious ends, and it’s in this episode that I think we see Kurapika at his low ebb – when he starts to realize just how hollow and self-destructive this quest is, and how unable he is to give it up.
The deliverer of that message is of course Chrollo, and this episode certainly show him off at his most formidable. The fight between Chrollo and not just one but two Zoldycks, Zeno and Silva, is one of the more interesting in the series even if it isn’t as explosive as some. One could interpret Zeno’s words during that battle to imply that if Chrollo had gone all-out, he and his son wouldn’t have been able to win – but at the very least, Chrollo is at least a match for the two of them combined. He’s an absolute beast, and it’s now that we begin to see just why Hisoka is so obsessed with fighting him.