“The x Eccentric x Family”
Of all the episodes that’ve found their way into these posts so far, this one is probably the simplest and most straightforward. There’s no Gon or Killua, almost no Kurapika, and no doubt what the point is – the announce to the world that the Phantom Troupe has arrived.
“York Shin” is no doubt Kurapika’s story, but in hindsight I think it’s actually the Spiders who make the strongest impression. They’d gotten a lot of buildup before Episode #43, but I think it lived up the billing. It was immediately clear as soon as these guys arrived on the scene that nothing was ever going to be quite the same. This was a different sort of threat than we saw in “Hunter Exam”, “Zoldyck Family” or “Heaven’s Arena”, something on a much larger scale – which is ironic, because the involvement of the entire regular cast is mostly dependent on a vendetta that couldn’t be more personal.
There’s a lot of deception to the episode too, of course, but that’s a standard for Togashi this early in an arc. There was a lot more to the Spiders than straight-up villains, though they’re certainly that – as always in H x H things are a lot more complicated than they appear, and the Phantom Troupe will eventually reveal itself to be arguably the closest thing to a traditional family we see in the series, apart from on Whale Island. But that’s for later – for the moment, it’s all about making it clear that the big dogs have arrived, and immovable objects are about to run up against irresistible forces.