Dang it Togashi-sensei, you’re really doing a pretty convincing job of selling the idea that Hisoka is in big trouble, aren’t you? This match has already cost Hisoka an arm and a leg, and he seems to have done nothing to remotely concern Chrollo so far. I still don’t buy it that the indefatigable and indestructible pervert-clown-magician is going down this ignominiously, but we’re probably raching a breaking point either way.
I’m not exactly sure at what point Hisoka lost that leg, but it’s clear that everything that’s happened in this fight has broken according to Chrollo’s plans. That’s what’s really surprising here – not so much that Chrollo has Nen abilities more varied and flexible than Hisoka (that was a given), but that he seems to be winning the strategic battle too. These exploding puppets are only the latest gambit that Hisoka didn’t see coming, and nothing Hisoka has tried seems to have given him a leg up (not that he has one to spare) on Chrollo even for a moment. Things seem pretty grim.
The question, really, is where Hisoka goes from here. His wry “If I’m gonna die anyway…” suggests that he has one last trump to play – if nothing else, perhaps an attempt to take Chrollo out with him. But I have more faith in both Hisoka and Togashi-sensei than that. Hisoka has never been anything less than surprising, and the only surprise here would be if doesn’t surprise us. Hisoka’s reserves of cunning have always appeared inexhaustible, and he seems to enjoy being an overpowered deviant way to much to meekly accept death at the hands of a seemingly stronger opponent. I do think we’re nearing the end here either way, because Hisoka is either dead or he’s about to pull something really outrageous out of his ass. And he’d better, because it looks like that’s what it’s going to take to turn the tide against Chrollo.
There was other major Hunter X Hunter news this week apart from a new chapter. Remember that April Fool’s “joke” by Ishida Sui (Tokyo Ghoul) – that he was writing a H x H spinoff featuring Hisoka’s origin story? Turns out it was no joke – though whether that was the plan all along, I don’t know. Today Ishida-sensei released a 69-page Hisoka chapter, officially sanctioned and approved by Togashi. There’s also an interview with both men (it does seem to contain spoilers about this current fight if the auto-translations are correct, so beware), in which it seems clear that Togashi was pleased with what Ishida came up with. This is a pretty cool development, and I certainly hope both the chapter and the interview are translated because they look like fascinating reading…