Hunter X Hunter – 354


In typical Togashi fashion, the epic pitched battle between two of the most beloved badasses in the series is turning instead into an extended game of cat and mouse.  I don’t think the manga audience is as disturbed as the one at the fight, but there are some definite stirrings of displeasure out there.

This is Togashi.  This is what he does.  He defies expectations because he can, and (I think) also because he’d get bored if he didn’t.  To be surprised by the directions he takes is one thing; to be surprised that he’s surprising you quite another, and one that makes little sense.  It can be frustrating at times but it’s ultimately what makes Togashi-sensei a great mangaka, and Hunter X Hunter a great manga.

What’s really standing out for me in this confrontation is how little actual fighting Chrollo is doing, and how nuts it is that anyone in the audience (including the announcer – “The referee is dead! What a fight!”) has stuck around at all.  Hisoka is using heads as bowling balls and lopping off dozens more as if he’s trimming a hedge, and Chrollo is turning legions of onlookers into his zombie army.  It’s striking just what happens when two insanely powerful foes with no sense of shame whatsoever face off against each other – the way they’re massacring the crowd speaks not of sadism, but abject indifference.  Those people just don’t matter one way or the other (I really hope Wing and Zushi were smart enough to stay away from this bout and watch it on TV).

As for the cat and mouse itself, it’s hard to say who’s actually running ahead at this point.  It’s fascinating to get inside Hisoka’s head this way – Togashi has never put us there for nearly as long as he has these last two chapters.  He is as ever a remarkable tactician and psychological profiler, but Chrollo is managing to stay one step ahead of him. I think it’s clear that Chrollo has a greater diversity of Nen weapons at his disposal, and that Hisoka has a greater array of creativity and reactive tactical genius – the story of this death match will likely be told by which of those advantages ultimately proves decisive.





  1. I would not want to be an animator trying to animate this chapter. Often it takes 4-6 chapters (or more) of a manga to turn into one 22 minute anime episode. This week’s manga will probably take 4-6 anime episodes to explain and show. OK maybe I’m exaggerating but you get the idea.

  2. Also I will be surprised if one of them actually dies in this fight. They are both too good of a character to throw away.

  3. L

    Where did you get 4-6 chapters needed to make a 22 minute episode? Show me one anime that has that type of pacing. Most well paced animes have 2-3 chapters an episode, 1 chapter for bad pacing ( One Piece)

  4. Bleach for one.

  5. Hunter x Hunter usually uses 2-3 chapters per episode(300 chapters/2 = 150 episodes).

  6. You hardly see this level of strategy in manga anywhere, the amount of steps each one of them is thinking ahead is pretty amazing.

  7. C

    Chrollo has to die. The narrative loses too much if Hisoka died, but it would gain a lot from Chrollo’s death. If he dies, the Spiders would be after Hisoka. He would maybe contact Kurapika for help, and also hire Illumi as well. Then he could get involved in the Kaiki war of succession. If Illumi gets somehow dragged in, it would be even more interesting now that Kalluto is also a Spider, so he would be up against his family. Just so many possibilities arise out of Chrollo’s death. If Hisoka died, what would happen?

  8. Y

    I think most of peoples really like Hisoka and that their judgement is biased because of that. Anyway knowing Togashi this won’t be in consideration in the evolution of the plot, I think he will just do what he judge the more interesting. Anyway whoever die in this fight there’ll be some interesting twists I believe, saying that if Chrollo die there will be more opportunities is not a good argument I think. Let just wait and see at this point nobody can predict what will happened, especially with that unpredictable brain of Togashi.

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