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Hunter X Hunter 2011 – 117 »« Hunter X Hunter 2011 – 115

Hunter X Hunter 2011 – 116

「フクシュウ×ト×シュウフクン」 (Fukushuu × to × shuufuku)
“Revenge x And x Recovery”

Do I really need to say anything?

I needed some time after watching that episode before I could even begin to give order to my reactions. Not least of which because I was physically shaking when it ended – even now I’m still trembling a bit. It’s truly astonishing that an anime – even this one – could have that effect on me, but the sheer intensity of what went down in the last ten minutes was almost inconceivable. It’s hard for an episode to get off to a much worse start than with a three-and-a-half minute recap, but the rest of it was… I don’t even know. How can I possibly do it justice?

We all know how great a writer Togashi is – and in case you forget for a second, I’m constantly reminding you – but this ep more than most is a testament to how great this anime is. The way the faces – Gon’s, Pitou’s and Killua’s – were drawn. Koujina-sensei’s choice to use no BGM for the last several minutes. Han Megumi’s staggering, career-defining performance as Gon – so much pain, so much rage, so much pure emotion (and Ise Mariya and Fujimura Ayumi’s work as Killua and Pitou, respectively). It was all just so perfect, and the results so powerful – truly, this is the anime every great manga deserves but so damn few ever get. What an achievement by Madhouse.

I have no idea where to begin, what to say and where to end – apart from that, this post is a piece of cake. It’s not as though this moment hasn’t been teased for a ridiculously long time – and the tease so glorious it’s made us love being teased. And in truth, this is still the buildup – we haven’t even had the confrontation yet. But this was a monumental event beyond what any mere fight could aspire to. This was raw, savage, existential despair. It was fear, it was frustration, it was pure rage. And the most powerful and savage moment wasn’t even between Gon and Pitou – it was between Gon and Killua. That seems fitting, somehow.

So what do we have, really? We have Pitou utterly and totally defenseless, and Gon and Killua walking in and finding him in that state, with Doctor Blythe fully engaged. Exactly as I expected, Gon saw what was happening and assumed the worst – because that’s exactly what he should have assumed, based on what he’d seen. Killua – who’d been expecting the other shoe to drop ever since the puzzling news of the King injuring himself – saw past the obvious and desperately tried to put the pieces together as Gon’s rage built. Killua was afraid to say anything to his best friend in that moment, knowing that the wrong choice of words could lead to disaster. Pitou was helpless and desperate. And Gon’s rage grew, and grew, and grew.

Here’s the first thing I want to put out there. Gon wasn’t wrong in the way he reacted. He wasn’t wrong to assume Pitou was up to no good, he wasn’t wrong to be enraged at being told to wait, and he wasn’t wrong not to trust Pitou. And he certainly wasn’t wrong when he was furious at learning that Pitou was healing Komugi, after all that he’d done to Kaitou. None of this is fair, and none of it is right. Pitou hasn’t earned Gon’s trust, and he hasn’t earned Gon’s forbearance. And Gon has earned his anger, and the right to his revenge. But life isn’t fair, and sometimes the right thing – the thing that must be done – isn’t the fair thing.

Sadly, it’s Killua who’s forced to be the bearer of bad news here. As I’ve said as recently as last week, there are times when both Gon and Killua are stripped of their insane strength and revealed as the vulnerable children they still are – but this may be the first occasion when we’ve seen it happen to both of them at the same time. Gon’s loyalty and sense of justice is too pure for anyone but a child to still cling to, and he’s totally unmade by the sheer injustice of this moment. And, childishly, he lashes out at Killua – a classic shoot the messenger scenario – when Killua tries to talk sense to him. Gon didn’t want to hear logic and restraint preached in that moment, and he shouldn’t have had to – but he needed to, and Killua knew it.

Here, Gon was wrong, obviously. The circumstances were extenuating, but he said an incredibly hurtful and terrible thing to Killua – “You have it easy, Killua. You’re perfectly calm… Because you’re not involved.” It may have been the most hurtful thing he could possibly say to Killua, in fact. These two boys are closer than brothers, they’ve suffered and celebrated so much together – yet they understand so little about each other. Killua casually calls Gon “Idiot” and has no idea of the depth of Gon’s thoughts and feelings. And Gon could hardly be more off the mark in saying anything is easy for Killua – his life is a constant battle with himself. And to say “you’re not involved” to Killua, after all this time… It’s brutal, heartbreaking. My heart breaks for both of them in that moment, because of everything that’s at stake and how much each of them are being hurt.

In the end, I think I hurt for Gon more than feel anger towards him because I understand his feelings at this terrible instant. It would be impossible to overstate how much Kaitou means to Gon – he represents Gon’s thus-far fruitless feelings of love for his father, except that Kaitou is kinder and gentler than Ging by a long way, it seems. And Gon blames himself for Kaitou’s plight, because he was so weak that Kaitou had to sacrifice himself for him. Yet Killua deserves so much better – he’s always thinking about Gon’s welfare, always (probably more than Gon needs or wants, in truth) acting as his safety net and voice of reason. The way Killua was framed in that moment – his body quivering slightly, his lip trembling, silent for just a moment… It’s utterly heart-rending. As Gon weeps tears of rage, Killua doesn’t spare himself the luxury of tears – no, the little guy sucks it up, swallows his pain and tells Gon what he needs to hear even if he doesn’t want to hear it. How can you not agonize for him in that moment?

It seems almost sacrilegious to talk about Pitou here, what happened between Gon and Killua was so elemental and powerful. But Pitou’s role in all this is utterly fascinating. What a transformation has taken place as a result of the King’s humble display of trust. All the savagery and playful cruelty is gone from Pitou’s eyes, leaving behind desperation. All must be sacrificed – even Pitou himself – to save Komugi. I’ll say again, I see no reason why Gon in his position should have trusted Pitou here – and frankly, I still don’t trust Pitou. Will he really follow through on his promise to go with Gon and heal Kaitou after an hour spent treating Komugi’s critical injuries? Probably, I suppose – but I’m with Gon on this. Should he really be content with “probably” and “likely” after what Pitou has done to Kaitou – and countless others?

My answer is no – he shouldn’t. But he has to, because Gon, for all his almost-insane amounts of rage and unique view on the world, isn’t a savage. He isn’t crazy, he isn’t cruel, and he’s not a beast. There’s no way this is fair, in any sense of the word. If the situations were reversed Pitou – at least the Pitou from before the events of the last few minutes – wouldn’t hesitate for a moment in taking advantage of the situation. But they’re not reversed, and Gon isn’t Pitou. So he has to wait, and he has to trust – to a point. That’s the burden of being decent rather than being savage and cruel. And Killua has to be the one to bear the brunt of Gon’s fury at the injustice of it. It obviously hurt him very deeply – so much so, in fact, that he seemingly couldn’t bear to be in the same room with Gon once the imminent threat of disaster had passed. And I don’t blame him a bit.

Was this worth all the wait, all the buildup? Oh, hell yes – and not just because that buildup was itself so magnificent. This was powerful stuff, among the best (and probably the most intense) anime I’ve ever seen. There’s still so much happening here, as time has finally starting moving again – - there’s drama in every corner, lives and possibly the fate of humanity on the line. But as a testament to the brilliance of Togashi’s writing, in spite of all that the most compelling storyline is Gon and Killua, and the damage Gon’s cruel words have done to their friendship. I believe what they share is strong enough to withstand this and that they’ll overcome it and become closer than ever as a result, but not before some rough moments – nerves have been left raw and exposed, and there are things left unsaid that will likely have to be brought into the open before they can get past this and move on.



February 12, 2014 at 1:53 am
  • February 12, 2014 at 2:18 amSatyr

    “-at least the Pitou from before the events of the last few minutes-”
    He is still the same sadistic being,he doesn’t give a shit about Komugi nor hasn’t found some kind of “humanity” like you seem to suggest.He maniacally only cares about the king wishes which happen in this case to keep komugi alive.He will go to any length to uphold them,including sacrificing himself,That’s just loyalty.

    • February 12, 2014 at 5:40 amEamonX

      I think there’s some inspiration involved and not just loyalty. If it was simply loyalty, Pitou would not have shed tears when the King asked her to heal Komugi and that he is ‘relying on her.’ We’ve seen the King change and act more human. Pitou could be the same. Although, that doesn’t mean Pitou won’t go back on the promise the moment Komugi is out of danger.

      • February 12, 2014 at 12:02 pmSatyr

        Pitou’s “promise” sounded more like stalling to me.I sincerely doubt he can fix what he has done considering how messed up and warped Kaitou has become mind and body wise.

      • February 12, 2014 at 12:36 pmEH2

        Except this arc has shown how unsynergistic the CA are. Just because the King is evolving doesn’t mean everyone will follow suit – there’s still a big chance that Pitou is stringing them along.

      • February 13, 2014 at 5:54 amGan_HOPE326

        @Satyr: with Kaitou it was different, she literally killed and resurrected him – plus put him under control of her puppetmasters (which is a different Nen power). In this case it’s more what she did with the King’s arm, simple healing.

      • February 13, 2014 at 6:13 amEamonX

        I’m under the assumption that Kite is dead and his body is simply being reanimated by the Puppet-master ability. I mean I doubt Pitou can actually resurrect a dead person. What’s for sure, we saw Kite’s head in her lap meaning he was definitely killed.

      • February 13, 2014 at 9:33 amSatyr

        @Gan_HOPE326 i wasn’t doubting Pitou ability to heal komugi ,i am doubting his ability to bring back Kaitou to his initial state.Pitou promising to help restore Kaitou in exchange for Gon waiting sounded like a lie out of desperation to me.It’s not like Kaitou is just under mind control pitou can just release.Pitou killed him ,tore him apart and turned his corpse into basically a puppet.Fixing a limb or a critical injury is one thing,but revert back some hacked and stitched up mindless zombie to what he was before is a bit too much.

    • February 12, 2014 at 4:59 pmSoulJi

      Pitou does care about Komugi, since she already come in terms to the fact that Komugi is what has shaped Meurem up to this point. And the author’s portrayal of Pitou being like a mother, is not to be taken lightly. Mother’s protection naturally is the purest and honest love there is. And Togashi likes his symbolism.

      • February 12, 2014 at 5:29 pmSatyr

        Pitou cares only about the king well being and wishes.Pitou didn’t interact enough with komugi to develop that kind of “protective love” in my opinion.Komugi is precious to the king therefore Pitou out of extreme loyalty will put his life on the line to protect what is precious to his king.If there is any love involved here,and i’m using a big IF here,it’s toward the king and not toward the object of his attention.
        But anyway i can’t wait for Gon to tear Pitou apart,this whole helping kaito promise smells like BS to me.

  • February 12, 2014 at 3:18 amMisk

    This was so intense, I don’t know where to begin. Really… I’m just speechless. Magnificent.

    • February 12, 2014 at 11:22 amL002

      Agreed, the author threw in one hell of a plot twist for a Shonen genre anime. For Gon to actually have to wait to get his revenge isn’t something you would see.

      To be honest, if someone, like Haru Glory (rave master) was there then I would have imagined that an intense fight would break out between allies.

      • February 12, 2014 at 11:46 amMisk

        Yes, it’s like the villain-good guy positions were switched in this episode. To think we’d be afraid that a main character like Gon would kill an innocent bystander. And ahh, Rave Master ^.^ Good memories…

  • February 12, 2014 at 3:33 amGiorno Giovanna

    In Gon’s position, I would have just finished Pitou off.
    Kurapika’s words of forgetting your rage are very accurate.
    The moment you make a compromise that would acknowledge that there are things more substantial than revenge, like if Gon were easily accepting of waiting 4 hours or so, he would be admitting to himself that his rage was just a momentary lapse of judgment.
    Losing the will to fight against Pitou would easily lead to his death as well, with Pitou’s lack of concern for anything but the fulfillment of the King’s orders.
    I really hope noone here at least complains about the manga faithful pacing.
    I much more welcome an intelligently made pacing than a rushed one where none of the character’s actions or thoughts are explained.

    • February 12, 2014 at 8:47 amKiz

      His rage isn’t gone though..and he still needs a way to fix Kite. Killing Pitou would have been the worst thing for him.

  • February 12, 2014 at 3:52 ammika

    It is scary to see Gon in this state. He was always the innocent kid. I feel Killua’s pain at Gon’s harsh words.

  • February 12, 2014 at 4:07 amAnimora

    Magnificent Absolutely Magnificent, i felt like i was holding my breath the entire episode this was so intense i was dumbfounded and mesmerized; togashi and madhouse have my utmost respect and admiration right now, this is anime gold i’m watching.

  • February 12, 2014 at 4:13 amOid

    Pitou’s gender is even more ambiguous with the comparison to a mother.

  • February 12, 2014 at 4:44 amthedarktower

    so far we’ve seen 116 episodes. surprisingly or not (your choice), without even a drop of doubt, this episode (#116) was the very best among them all. so deep, strong, meaningful. it was so strong to me that I can’t even describe it what it to me.

    sure, some would say we didn’t got much of progress here. but when you get an episode like that..who even cares?
    this is the essence of HxH, its heart. from the very beginning of Gon&Killua relationship and everything they had been through (hunter’s test, Zoldyck arc, heavens arena, phantom troupe, GI and in the beginning of this magnificent arc) this all come to this very episode. and we are still in the climax but not in its peak..this thought is terrifying me, what else HxH gonna do to me.
    that is the difference between a masterpiece and an outstanding series. because when HxH makes your mind so crazy, terrify you, leaving you with open-mouthed for a full episode and you wonder what’s else it got in the bad..it’s unstoppable. it’s a masterpiece. not many series gave you this very feeling. a feeling of masterpiece.

    and I am telling you, seeing this for 20 minutes is so different than reading it in 3-5 chapters. what madhouse did here..it’s something the manga couldn’t. many times, we always say (or being told us) “original is better..go read it, it’s amazing”. but in this very episode, and probably the whole HxH new anime(at least for me)..this is a whole different level than what a manga can do. seriously. I am amazed.

    lastly, applause for Gon’s VA (Han Megumi). she put everything she has into those scenes of Gon’s rage, crying out loud and pain and agony. I admit, I imagined it even more full of rage and higher tone, and I think it was lacking in higher bass or something. but still, she did great job and gave me chills with her performance. applause.

    indeed, Gon wasn’t wrong in his initial assessment that Pito is no good (after what Pito did to Kaito) and his rage is indeed justified. so as his final reaction of crying out loud. watching his agony of “why didn’t you save Kaito but you are saving that woman”. this is a very genuine feeling of Gon’s pain and agony.

    however he did got himself wrong in the middle. it’s true that Killua is the “calm type” and isn’t so emotional as Gon. but saying he isn’t involved in this..when he actually is involved. he was there too. and after all they have been through, especially after Killua finally shows significant changes within him (when he succeeded removing the Nen needle), this is so cruel toward him. now yeah, Gon was blind because of his rage, but when Killua is also in the need for a bit of Gon’s special support toward him..this is cruel.
    but this is what makes the series for what it is. I mean..those intense interactions reflect (not entirely but very good this time) the craziness and dynamic heart of HxH.

    lately I felt like maybe we mourn about HxH too much rather than enjoying. saying “yeah, this will end by the spring/summer” and/or “Togashi is still in Hiatous” or “too much narration”. I think, after an episode like that, HxH proves that it’s going in its own pace and it’s really for our favor only. even if it ends this year, it’s those moments we should enjoy the most.
    I love HxH that way. I can’t wait to see what else there is..of all…this!

    • February 12, 2014 at 2:16 pmWhites

      “this episode (#116) was the very best among them all.”

      It gets better.

      • February 12, 2014 at 8:20 pmEH2

        It gets better so much, it hurts.

  • February 12, 2014 at 5:43 amEamonX

    Could this be another fatal error on the part of the Hunters? First it was Netero not striking at the defenseless King. Now it’s Gon showing mercy before his target too.

    Once Komugi is out of life-threatening zone, what’s there to hold Pitou back from going full-strength?

    Well, 1 hour of waiting means that that Pitou won’t be around the King during that time, so I guess he is fulfilling his mission sort-of.

  • February 12, 2014 at 9:56 amEH2

    Poor Killua.

    I can’t say anything else because of spoilers, but POOR, POOR KILLUA. HOLY SHIT.

  • February 12, 2014 at 11:23 amYoungGun

    I feel so sorry for Killua!!! He was so hurt emotionally, he nearly cried and had to hold back! So much feel in this episode. That was wondefully potrayed

    Gon better make it up to Killua somehow!!

    • February 12, 2014 at 12:53 pmEH2

      I don’t know. Remember Bisky’s warning to Killua? That he had to leave Gon’s side unless he changed? Well I see this as a sign of how right she was. Neither of them are wrong, but their way of doing things is different; and this could mean they can fall apart and even betray each other.

      It’s gonna take a series of developments to bring a definitive answer to that situation, but ohohohohohoho spoilers. I’ll only say that if you think like Guardian Enzo here, you’re in for a really, REALLY damn good part of the story.

      • February 12, 2014 at 2:04 pmJaysus

        Killua’s face when Show Spoiler ▼

        … holy shit.

      • February 12, 2014 at 9:10 pmfrubam

        That reminds me of what Hisoka said WAYYYYY back in the Celestial Tower arc, when he analyzed their personalities. Hisoka also warned Gon about the dangers of Transmuters. I wonder if something is really going to split the two apart D0=…

  • February 12, 2014 at 12:05 pmtomtomr92

    The Tension so High, cant breathe….help!!!!

    loved this episode,i was so scared of Gon in this Ep and omg gota love Pitou she so loyal and cool.

  • February 12, 2014 at 2:06 pmJaysus

    I’ve waited over half a decade for this scene… it was worth it.

  • February 12, 2014 at 2:06 pmNymphetamine2791

    WOW, The feels in this episode, one of the best thus far.

    Looking at how Pitou was at the mercy of Gon all I was thinking about was how she could be an important asset for their faction. However, if she does this all for the king wouldn’t her changing sides due to the fact she’ll do anything to fulfill the king’s order contradict all of this? We’ll see how it plays out I suppose. Outside of that I hope that Palm is okay :\.

    • February 12, 2014 at 2:17 pmLastTywinFan

      She is a ‘HE’, Pitou is a bishounen character.

      • February 12, 2014 at 2:32 pmtomtomr92

        I heard in the manga its a HE but in the anime its a She so either way is fine imo

  • February 12, 2014 at 7:06 pmCorey Lucas

    I started watching the show when it first aired but dropped it cause I couldn’t wait for more episodes. This week I started watching it and THIS show is BEAST. This is on the level of Shonen Jump manga like Rurouni Kenshin, Yu Yu Hakusho (Togashi’s other title), Shaman King, D-Gray-man, Black Cat, and Blue Exorcist. A Shonen manga with an interesting plot that has twists and turns and doesn’t fall into harcore cliches like Bleach, Naruto, Toriko, And a little One Piece (Far better than the other shows i listed). it started off slow but started ramping up around episode 18 to me. I’m addicted to it and trying to catch up quickly.

  • February 12, 2014 at 10:34 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    im a simple dude…so let me just say. SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!

    • February 12, 2014 at 10:41 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      then again…lemme say something else…..its like you say Enzo, with material this good, it had to be! and when i heard the team that was animating…..sHeeeeeeet, then I knew it was gonna be dope……but for me personally ep 111 was the most anticipated, damn i love a good training back story! *but there ARE a few more moments I’m HIGHLY anticipating…good sh!t

      • February 13, 2014 at 5:34 amchaos

        The Netero training episode was the best one yet but 116… Just wow!

  • February 13, 2014 at 8:36 amIndividuo

    Next week: Youpi transforms into Knuckles from Sonic Boom.

  • February 13, 2014 at 3:45 pmyusuke

    Well after the operation, Pitou will be weakened from using nen so Gon kinda still as the upper hand in that case.

  • February 16, 2014 at 10:05 pmCorey Lucas

    Hunter x Hunter is the Breaking Bad of Shonen Jump anime.

    • February 16, 2014 at 11:27 pmGiorno Giovanna

      While I appreciate the sentiment of your statement as praise for this anime, please stop right there.

  • February 17, 2014 at 2:49 pmShirocat

    Can someone clear it up completely for me? Killua is hurt ( excluding the harsh Gon’s words ) because of being the left behind? He has that sad face in the recent episodes and I’m still not sure if I get what bothers him. Does he feel that there is a wall between him and Gon, because of their character difference? Or like you said, Guardian Enzo, in previous post is he just afraid that Gon is changing? And because of it they would have to split soon?

    • February 17, 2014 at 10:17 pmGiorno Giovanna

      It was Gon’s comment to Killua that Killua was lucky because the situation had nothing to do with him, therefore he could stay calm. However, Killua’s motivations in this is clearly to make sure no harm happens to Gon but Gon then said something so harsh towards him that they are clearly motivated by different things due to the suppressed anger.

  • February 28, 2014 at 3:43 pmm0ng

    Saw that coming.. and for others who thought that it is not Gon-like to react that way, well, let’s just say that it is the side effect of being too honest and kind and it is backfiring on him..