Whatever’s going on with Beyond, Ging, Kurapika and co. is a mystery at the moment, and Togashi-sensei shows no signs of returning to it anytime soon (never mind turning to Gon or Killua). This mini-arc could almost be the basis of a straight-to-OVA mini-series (hey, I can dream) – at the very least, it sure would be a shame to never see what Madhouse could do with it, given the chance.
The folks who paid the big bucks for ringside seats are certainly paying an even bigger price in this fight. The carnage in the club boxes looks pretty severe – but even the folks in the nosebleed seats aren’t exempt from being part of Chrollo’s master strategy. One of the things that makes this such an interesting fight is the contrast in approach between the two combatants – Chrollo is all about planning ahead and scientifically dissecting the problem and his opponent. And as we all know, Hisoka isn’t exactly the same.
By any perceptible measure, Chrollo is winning this fight. Certainly if it were being scored as a match by Heaven’s Arena rules (obviously that ship has long since sailed) he’d be well in front. Through “Gallery Fake” and “Order Stamp” he’s actually got most of the crowd trying to “break Hisoka”. And Chrollo is taking advantage of that to choose his moments and score easy hits on his opponent. He’s clearly been preparing for this fight for a long time, and he’s showing off a range of Nen abilities that rivals anything we’ve seen from a human in Hunter X Hunter. Chrollo is truly showing why the Specialist class is probably the most powerful of all.
But you know, somehow, it still feels to me like Hisoka is the one in control. He’s clearly enjoying himself (way too much), because this is what the gloriously twisted creeper lives for – a chance to show off his true strength without feeling like he’s wasting it on an enemy not worthy of it. In the end I think Hisoka has a gift for inspiration that Chrollo lacks, and I still don’t think we’ve ever seen Hisoka’s full bag of tricks. As far as I’m concerned he’s got this – I don’t know how yet (he does seem to land a blow at the end of the chapter), but I just think Hisoka sees around more corners than Chrollo does. I don’t know how much longer Togashi will choose to spend on this epic battle, or whether he plans to tie it into the Dark Continent storyline in any way. But it certainly makes for a riveting spectacle.