We now return you to your regularly scheduled arc.
Well, that was certainly an eventful diversion, wasn’t it? But as expected, after the epic fanservice of Hisoka vs. Chrollo, we return to the “Dark Continent” arc proper. Mind you there are plenty of questions about how all this will tie together – will Hisoka’s hunt for Chrollo and the remaining Spiders lead him to the Black Whale – or at least to cross paths with this arc again? Are Chrollo and his troupe on-board the Whale? And will Gon & Killua intersect with this arc, or is Togashi-sensei simply going to throw away the rulebook in a manner outlandish even for him and completely ignore his two main characters for an entire epic arc?
This chapter is devoted almost entirely to setup and explanation, effectively a re-introduction to the Dark Continent scenario after a lengthy absence in the narrative. All of Kakin is in a partying mood as the great king (trust me, really great) of Kakin boards his massive airship along with his princes and wives, a bunch of bodyguards and VIPs, and a lot of Nen-wielding Hunters and quasi-Hunters acting as wild cards. This is a tinderbox of a situation, obviously, with the intentions of the first prince well known. The Black Whale has something of a cruise ship layout, with the King and the top VIPs on the 1st level, the other VIPs and jewelry-rattlers on the 2nd, and the masses of the common folk on the 3rd-5th. Access between the decks is severely restricted, but it seems the official bodyguards do have right of passage.
Chaos erupts on the lower decks almost immediately, and with those in steerage facing a stark shortage of doctors and medical facilities, it’s only going to get worse. Is Kakin getting exactly what he wants here, or did this all spiral out of control faster and more violently than he intended? Is that chaos related to the presence of the Phantom Troupe, perhaps?
Kurapika, for his part, is primarily concerned with the safety of his own charge. As usual he’s well-prepared and well-dressed, but it seems he’s facing a lot of uncertainties himself. And the strange dark aura he detects emanating from the baby prince’s pram is no small part of that – just who or what is Kurapika’s client? Does he have a similar Nen monster to the King himself? Worst of all perhaps is that thanks to the Hunter Association loosening it’s standards in order to get more bodies on this mission, there are 150 “temporary” Hunters on-board, many of them nursing their own agendas. It’s a royal mess (pun intended) waiting to happen. And knowing Togashi, it figured to be a pretty bloody one.