「ブジョク × ニハ × セツジョク」 (Bujoku × niwa × Setsujoku)
“Insult × And × Payback”

The torture continues…

At this moment it’s utterly pointless to compare Hunter X Hunter with anything else currently airing. It’s a combination of the fact that H x H is at a ridiculous level and the fact that we’re in the midst of a historically weak season, but I can’t remember a time when the gap between one show and everything else on the schedule was this wide. It’s no exaggeration to say that the only competition for Hunter X Hunter right now is itself.

Of course, that’s some insanely strong competition – the best, in fact. There truly was no way any show could possibly top last week’s episode, which was the best anime episode of the season by a country mile and possibly the best for a very long time. It was one of the three of four most historically spectacular eps in Hunter X Hunter’s historically spectacular run, and one of the most intense anime episodes ever created. There was no way this one was going to top or even match it – and if we know anything about Togashi by now, it’s that he’s smart enough and knows his own talent well enough not to even try.

In keeping with the narrative practice of this arc (though the episode title was a bit of a fake-out), Togashi gives us a staggeringly good setup and then points the camera elsewhere, usually where you least expect it. Gon and Killua are almost entirely absent from this episode and judging by their absence from the preview, it may be a while before we return to the A-plot. That’s sheer agony given how incredible it is and where it was left off, but that’s Hunter X Hunter. We get just a glimpse of Gon and a bit more of Killua, though the latter is fascinating even at that. Meleoron tracks the boy down and reveals himself with an encouraging smile. Meleoron brings Killua up to speed and enlists his help, but what’s interesting here is that he clearly senses Killua is suffering – just when did Meleoron arrive, and how much did he see? Meleoron is such a kind soul, a bro’s bro – whether he’s seen what happened between the boys first hand or simply inferred as much as he could from Killua’s face, he’s clearly determined to help Kil get through it.

Meanwhile, another brief but fascinating encounter is taking place outside. Cheethu has spotted Zeno Zoldyck and (frustrated at not being able to get at Morel) challenged him. Cheethu is Cheethu – a child, yammering on about his cool new ability and oblivious to everything else. It’s obvious Zeno – who ominously says he’s “not in the mood” to fight – is troubled. For the first time as head of the family, he may have killed someone he wasn’t paid to kill. He’s seen great changes in his grandson. Zeno tries to give Cheethu a chance to spare himself, but Cheethu is determined to show off that precious new ability of his and won’t take no for an answer.

I think we all know how a fight between Zeno and Cheethu would have ended up, but Silva makes it a moot point by turning Cheethu’s head into mush (Zeno even tried to warn Cheethu about that). What an ignominious end for Cheethu, shocking in it’s quick and clinical (if messy) nature – but Cheethu was always in over his head amongst the big boys in this story, never able to think on their level. He’s a bit player (his ability not even worth the trouble of revealing) and I think that’s the real point here – this is a battle so epic that only the truly terrifying matter. The most consequential aspect of this encounter for me, in fact, comes when Zeno off-handedly tells his son that Killua seems to have removed Ilumi’s needle, and Silva’s reaction clearly indicates that he’s know about it all along as well. It explains to some extent why both of them were so willing to let Killua walk away and pursue his own path when they did, but it also paints that final conversation – at the time surprisingly warm and sincere – between Silva and Killua is a different and rather cynical light.

Whether the two senior generations of Zoldycks will continue to play a role in this encounter remains to be seen, but for the bulk of the episode the focus turns to Knuckle and Youpi. Morel continues his standoff with the cocooned Shaiapouf, with an increasing sense (which I share) that something isn’t quite right here – it seems odd that Pouf is so willing to be sidelined while his beloved King is in danger. Knuckle successfully evades Youpi’s initial flurry of attacks and manages to lure him into following, but Youpi foils his plan by refusing to chase Knuckle out of the palace. In fact, Youpi is so unconcerned with the “flies” that he passes up a chance to finish off the barely-conscious Shoot – once these opponents are no longer a threat to the King (as he perceives it) they interest Youpi no longer. The only problem I have here is that it’s only later that Youpi considers that killing Shoot might have impacted the strange blight on his shoulder (Hotel Rafflesia), but given what he knows and that he’s a direct and uncomplicated creature, this probably isn’t unreasonable.

The problem here is that Knuckle is every inch the bro that Meleoron is, and Youpi thinking so little of himself and Shoot rubs him entirely the wrong way. This is a mistake (as the Narrator tells us) because if Youpi wants to guard an empty throne room, Knuckle really ought to let sleeping dogs lie. But he doesn’t – no, for Shoot’s sake more even than his own Knuckle determines that he has to land a blow for both of them. He even devises a perfect way to deal with Youpi’s overwhelming power, but the problem is that Youpi keeps leveling up and foiling Knuckle and Shoot’s plans before they have a chance to work. And Youpi is growing increasingly frustrated that no one on the other side of Morel’s smoke cloud is answering his shouts, not to mention that the annoying Potclean and Hotel Rafflesia are still attached to him. This causes yet another level-up, revealing yet another monstrous new form and ability (and knocking the palace off its foundations) – and even in his heightened sense of bro-rage, Knuckle realizes the prudent course of action is to scoop up Shoot, make like an egg and beat it.

That’s where things come to an end – with three minutes having passed since the start of the mission (which means we’ve seen about 130 minutes of screen time over six spellbinding episodes cover a bit more than 3 minutes of narrative time). Again we see the surprising twist where Pitou is effectively helpless, while it’s Youpi and Pouf who seem most frightening. Pouf’s silence in his pupa is ominous, and the growth of Youpi’s menace is pretty terrifying – not only has he exponentially increased his aura based on pure rage, but he seems to have figured out that this is only useful if he’s in-control enough to use it to support the King. The Hunters remain the more cohesive and mutually loyal team (ironically) but the tide of battle seems poised to turn against them at the moment.




  1. I love the glow fx Madhouse adds to Youpi’s new form. His Rage Blast is the single most destructive Hatsu we’ve seen so far. In the manga, the ability’s explosion crater seems significantly larger than Big Bang Impact’s. The anime treatment of Big Bang Impact was over-glorified though.

    49m En
  2. another week has passed…phew?
    those 10 seconds of Gon’s rage at the beginning of the ep, followed by speechless Killua, put me back into HxH’s intense mode I enter every week almost since this arc has started. no, HxH doesn’t allow us to have ‘phew’ and rest. even though this episode wasn’t as terrifying as last week, it keeps looking straight in our eyes.

    I never thought Cheetu would end his life by Zoldyck hands. it was pretty amusing. the fast Cheetu couldn’t run away from Silva even if he were looking.
    but more importantly was Zeno’s feeling. how he said it was “rare experience” and the time compressed (I guess he talked about the time he was around the king, that bizarre scene when the king held Komugi and all). even for someone so experienced like him to feel like that..it indicates how much the whole thing in the palace is even more unique to our heroes. not only to our heroes. it is indeed a rare experience to us, viewers.

    Meleoron smile is indeed of a bro. that smile is really reassuring. proving that Meleoron is truly a friend in the group. of course, Killua is still mixed because of Gon, but I think that smile helped him, even a little, to return to battle mode because he is going to aid the others. as Gon said, the calm type. yeah that’s Killua. but that doesn’t mean it means nothing to him as Gon said.

    the final moments before ED song remind us that multiple battles still continue parallel in the palace. saying that HxH is stepping forward, little by little, to those events.
    (1)I guess we won’t see Gon for a while after the burst of last week. not to mention he is waiting for Pito to heal Komugi, so it will take some time. though I doubt he will calm down after looking at her for an hour.
    (2)nothing new between Pouf and Morel, but when nothing changes, it’s obviously something going on behind the scenes..
    unlike Knuckle, Morel didn’t forget that the guards’ purpose is protecting the king.
    (3)and outside too lively. Youpi released his rage and it’s pure evil (even Welfin is shocked). “WTF is going on” he is asking. well, even though I know what going on, I found myself asking that too, LOL.
    as for Knuckle, well the narrator pointed out mistakes and miscalculations that Knuckle has made. but that’s because Knuckle is who he is. he is driven by his heart.
    there is also King and Netero still riding on the dragon. and others like Ikalgo and Welfin which we barely saw something about them.

    BTW, Ginga Banjou will be Netero’s new VA. a fine choice IMHO. of course it won’t be easy to play Netero. but I believe in him and in madhouse for doing their best they can.

  3. let me say this : THIS SHOW IS THE GREATEST but ….
    first : it is taking way too long to get to the top of it’s mountain
    and i’m really afraid that it will not live up to the hype togashi has created so far
    second : are the hunters going to get reinforcements for this arc ???
    If not , then how the hell are they going to beat the royal guards ” not to mention the king ”
    I do not think that morel in his best could defeat pouf “how about when 30% of him left?”
    and knuckle alone vs youpi ??? is this thing serious ????
    gon and killua vs pitou ??? my mate this is simple power difference !!!
    and no body tell me the ” gon : rage , killua : intelligence ” thing
    these are royal guards we are talking about not some scumbag criminals
    I really want this to end in a reasonable way and so far it doesn’t look like it will
    if the royal guards are as strong as they were portrayed , the hunters might be in some trouble

    1. Like Belias said, trust Togashi. This arc is about to reach its tension peak, and right afterwards comes a REALLY AWESOME return.

      The only thing that could ruin this gem of an arc is if they decide to not find an additional voice actor for when the big moment happens. Manga readers will know what I mean. IT’D BE TOTALLY UNFAIR IF THEY DON’T, and they’d cheapen the weight of the scene completely. Hell, they can ask Koyama Rikiya to help them out.

    1. I know, even the manga didn’t even show it and I was hoping the anime may show it, I guess the author made it very ambigious for eternity. I feel sorry if this guy had a relative back in NGL and even more sorry if there was a mother or lover that, like Colt and Reina, is in a depression like Reina’s mom.

      1. @Misk: This is a shounen anime so what is wrong with expecting a fight? Also all the build up so far is to illustrate and prepare us for the epic clashes to come! Whats wrong with me wanting it to get epic a bit faster than the current slow pace? For your information I have been following the show right from the beginning and HxH is my favourite anime at the momemnt. But just find the pacing to be a bit slow since they entered the palace.

      2. I would have to agree with YoungGun this is a Shounen Anime and it is should be more about fights and less about pacings I am by no means doubting Misk but the pacing is just too much here and I think the only reason for the pacing is nothing more than to stall for the Manga’s return after a hiatus that has lasted for almost two years now.

        K C M
      3. Actually, anime-wise, the pacing is still the same, more or less. They continue adapting 2 to 3 chapters per episode. The manga chapters are exactly this way so it’s really faithful. And even if the manga were to return this very moment, it wouldn’t change the fact that the anime will have to go on a hiatus, eventually.

        And I disagree, not all shounens must be composed of mindless fighting. I personally love the insight into every character’s mind in this arc. It’s brilliant story telling. You see no ass pulls here. Everything is properly developed.

      4. I agree with Misk’s point about the content of the series itself, obviously. But it’s worth repeating – the anime will have to either end or go on hiatus, even if Togashi were to come off hiatus next week (which he obviously isn’t). This is the harsh reality so might as well accept it – there’s no way the manga could stay ahead of the anime without the anime taking an extended break (and no more manga hiatuses). The only other option would be anime-original material, and I can only imagine the amount of bitching that would take place if Madhouse decided to go that route.

        Could there be a secret deal where Togashi has been writing material directly for the anime, which will be revealed shortly? Theoretically – but it would be unlikely and so rare for that to happen in circumstances like these as to effectively be unique. To say that’s unlikely is an understatement of galactic proportions.

      5. Even if Togashi has been writing during the hiatus (which is actually somewhat possible) it wouldn’t all be dumped in one go. WSJ would release a chapter a week like always, drawing it out for the longest possible unbroken run. Why in the world would they want to blow it all out at once when Togashi has been away for so long and is so prone to requiring breaks? He might be stockpiling names just so he doesn’t have to take another hiatus for a while when he comes back, but that won’t help the anime avoid one.

    1. Pacing is perfectly understandable, they’re trying to drag this out as much as possible to maximize the source material. Right now it probably seems “slow” because the 4 separate fights (5 if you count body snatched Flutter) are being set up.

      The true test will be how they pace the actual fights. Personally I’m expecting something like the earlier fight between Knuckle and Gon for pacing.

  4. What’s that image of Gon and Killua under an umbrella in your episode post in LiA Enzo? Can’t comment there since WordPress/OpenID systems and accounts always tell me I don’t own my own account.

  5. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this before.

    I think one of the many reasons that make ep#116 stand out above the rest is because it was actually a “low budget episode”. But you didn’t feel like Madhouse do that while you were watching.

    How Hunter X Hunter do the “narrative episodes” (episode 111?-117) can be a good lesson on how to manage your budget.

    1. Hmm, I did notice that the animation wasn’t on par with earlier episodes. Normally when that happens, it means expect upcoming eps to be ‘animation-heavy’ if you catch my drift.

  6. “At this moment it’s utterly pointless to compare Hunter X Hunter with anything else currently airing. It’s a combination of the fact that H x H is at a ridiculous level and the fact that we’re in the midst of a historically weak season, but I can’t remember a time when the gap between one show and everything else on the schedule was this wide. It’s no exaggeration to say that the only competition for Hunter X Hunter right now is itself.”

    I strongly disagree.

    I love HxH but I have to say… HxH was being AWESOME but now it is just good. Since they started this invasion, the show has not been being as awesome as it was months ago (when they were just preparing for this invasion).

    Right now Log Horizon is being far superior to HxH. And I can say the same about Kuroko’s, Hajime no Ippo, Witch Craft Works, Tokyo Ravens, D-Frag, Space Brothers, Kingdom, Noragami, Sekai Seifuki, Buddy Complex…

    During the last weeks I’ve been having for fun and being more excited about these shows than about HxH.

    Don’t get me wrong, HxH is still good, but right now there are many shows that are having more interesting and exciting episodes.

    1. HxH could be compared to Dexter if everything. Great in the beginning, but slowly turned to shit. HxH had a few good arcs, but everything after Greed Island was sloppy. Everything in the manga after the Chimera Arc was especially fucking stupid. The artwork after Greed Island was pitiful. The plot has holes throughout the series.

      Still, way better than Naruto or Bleach. Not One Piece though.

      And JoJo’s anime mops the floor with all of them. Sorry Guardian Enzo broseph Stardust Crusaders is going to be the best anime this year.

  7. Much better before this arc, but now, with the horrible pacing, this is quite bullSHIT.

    And here we are, without Rukia’s Bankai animated! DAMN, give us the return of Bleach asap, and make a remake of this arc so we can have a DECENT pace, this seems to be DB eternal look into other’s eyes with leaves flyin’ in the air, for God’s sake.

    Pace is one of the most important things in an adaptation, and this show WAS very good at it before this arc… So sad.

    1. Glad I am not the lone opinion about this, pacing has dropped significantly in HxH leading to multiple expisode of little plot developement! It was amazing before…We can only hope things pick up soon.

      1. Yeah, ppl only want to convince themselves that this show is the best, but unfortunately, it was incredible well done before (I was even comparing with the old series, the improvement was astonishing) but now it is not.

        It’s always the same with these japanese animation company’s, except for a little exceptions, they prefer to make episode after episode thinking about money and not just a few, with a REALLY good pacing (something like 1ep:5ch for example), and the best possible adaptation.

        Sad is sad. One Piece anime is now the worst for the same reason. Extension is the WORST possible way of filler (apart from changing the manga storyline, of course).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *