「ブノツヨミ × ト × ブノキワミ」 (Bu no Tsuyomi × to × Bu no Kiwami)
“Great Power × And × Ultimate Power”

“Idiot”, my ass…

I’m not patient or fastidious enough to regularly track who the animation directors for specific episodes of Hunter X Hunter are, but I’m assuming they brought out one of the big guns – Mori Tomoko or Abiru Takahiro, maybe – for this one, and likely next week’s episode as well. Since it moved from Sunday mornings to late-nights roughly 28 episodes ago (my God, how time flies) there has (inevitably) been a bit of a drop-off in the overall visual presentation, but Madhouse has managed to avoid making it particularly noticeable. And without relying on bad CGI too – they’ve been a bit more judicious with the Sasuga animation and substituted creativity where they had to, and saved the ammo for when they really needed it. Like now.

14 weeks may seem like a long time for a callback, but in Hunter X Hunter terms it’s the blink of an eye. That’s how long ago we were witness to Netero’s “Path of Gratitude” (one of the final glorious showcases for Nagai Ichirou), and that path was leading directly to the final scene of this episode. In real-time only mere minutes have passed in those 14 weeks, but such is the alchemy of “Chimera Ant” that time seems a trivial concept – 14 weeks, 10 minutes, 60 years – all that matters is what’s happening on our screens, and the people it’s happening to.

There’s a strong sense of finality now, of impending events of an irrevocable certainty, that earlier episodes in the arc have lacked. In part it’s what we know from common sense and Abiru-san’s tweets that the end really is coming soon (he’s now hinting that the “Chairman Selection” arc may be animated after “Chimera Ant” finishes). For all the twists and turns this arc has taken, all the seemingly minor characters that have made indelible impressions, the circle is palpably narrowing now. Killua (and Palm), Gon (and Pitou – and Pouf), Netero and the King – their time to command the central position in the narrative is clearly upon us. My sense is that the other characters will continue to be important, but more and more in how they directly impact the two main nexus points of the drama – that wrecked hall where Gon continues his staredown with Pitou, and the underground “tomb” where Netero and the King’s destinies are finally being decided.

These two nexus points command the entire episode this week, each for roughly half its length. The first belongs to Gon – and quite measurably, too, since its his will that utterly dominates events in the A-part (in another jaw-dropping performance by Han Megumi). Neferpitou, Shaiapouf and Knuckle are all present (and Meleoron too, for that matter) but it’s Gon that dictates everything. Both Pouf and Pitou reach the same conclusion independently – that Gon is the most dangerous enemy they face. “This boy is becoming quite troublesome.” Pouf grumbles inwardly. “He has the strongest will of all of them.” Pitou (who’s in a way being revealed as a bit of a paper tiger here – a much better bully when the enemy is weak that combatant when they’re strong) is quite unsettled by Gon’s calm and unflinching focus on what he wants, despite Pouf’s taunts. “I must kill him,” Pitou frets, “Or his fangs may reach the King’s throat. I must risk my life… And kill him at any cost.”

What’s striking here is how different things look than they did back when Gon and Knuckle fought, before the return to the NGL. Then Knuckle was the hard but compassionate veteran teaching Gon a harsh but necessary lesson. The sense here, though, is that it’s Knuckle who’s the child and Gon the hardened warrior. Anyone who’s watched or read Hunter X Hunter with any serious interest knows of course that Killua’s “idiot” label never fit Gon in the first place, that in moments of crisis it was usually he who saw the farthest and most clearly. But even as titanic forces like Pouf and Pitou mentally spar with him and try to manipulate him, Gon’s strength here is striking – by his sheer will and cunning he dictates everything that happens, his influence forcing the hand of everyone including Knuckle. He’s not someone to be trifled with, and if Pitou is going to succeed in his betrayal it’s going to be because he’s the stronger fighter, not because Gon is taken by surprise.

Pouf’s efforts are directed at trying to goad Gon into acting unwisely – which fails utterly – and in trying to get Knuckle to give him a clue as to why Youpi has allowed him to live. Pouf is now clearly on the verge of abandoning Youpi as an ally altogether, depending on what he finds out from Knuckle. Gon has seen through Pouf’s subterfuge and knows which direction the King and Netero have gone, and he clues Knuckle into this, clearly suggesting that Knuckle not waste himself in a meaningless fight with a Shaiapouf he’s almost certain is telling the truth about being a clone. But Knuckle will, as always, “do things my way” – though he does deserve credit for not burdening Gon with the unnecessary information that Youpi has revealed a surprising side to himself. In any event Gon seems almost unconcerned about what Knuckle does – his focus is on the moment at-hand, and he won’t be distracted.

Meanwhile, Netero and the King pick up where we left them (actually a few lines of dialogue before we left them). This fight has been building for a long, long time – and while we see only the opening salvo on Netero’s part, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s beautifully drawn, beautifully choreographed and beautifully animated and set to a beautiful soundtrack. The thing about this series is that even if it rarely chooses the path of the epic fight (lord knows we hear enough complaints about that) when it does so, it executes them stupendously. And the fact that they’re so rare makes them all the more impactful when they happen. Neither Netero or the King has yet shown us their strength, because they haven’t needed to. But that’s all changing now.

Netero, to say the least, is a complicated man. His “Path of Gratitude” leads to him expressing his thanks for being allowed to have this fight with the King – a struggle that has already seen the loss of countless lives, including Hunters. It’s very hard to get an exact grasp on Netero here. “When was it that I started waiting for opponents to attack?” he muses to himself. “When was it that I stopped hesitating to be gracious – to take my vanquished opponents’ hands when they bowed their heads in defeat? This cannot be the ultimate power I sought!” That this is what enters the old man’s mind in the middle of the fight of his life says something of the man of whom no less than Zeno Zoldyck said “He has the mind of a plant.” This power he obtained through years of meditation and self-depravation, grounded in the ways of Buddhism, wielded with a serene expression and minimal movement on Netero’s part even as his power devastates the opponent – what does it really mean to him? Is he not, in fact, glad to have the opportunity to fight someone he feels he has no choice but to kill? Has he not most likely spent most of the last 60 years with boredom as his greatest enemy?

Fascinating, fascinating stuff this is. An ageless and inscrutable Netero against a being who’s been alive for a mere matter of weeks, someone who arrogantly believed their own power gave them all the answers and, with astonishing speed, has learned a certain humility. Togashi has clouded the issue as only he can here, made our thoughts and feelings double-back on themselves as they reflexively try and cast this conflict in black-and-white when it clearly refuses to be anything less than shades of grey. For all his strength, Netero’s “99th Hand” seems to have done little more than change the venue of the fight and cause the King to take it seriously – surely a terrifying display of the King’s superiority. Yet Netero seems not at all alarmed that his opponent has suffered barely a scratch. Is it possible that this attack was only designed to accomplish what it did – to take the fight to the “tomb” Netero has prepared, and to get his opponent’s attention?

In a sense, this episode was a microcosm of everything that makes “Chimera Ant” great, and that makes Hunter X Hunter the finest shounen anime of all-time. It showed us both faces of the brilliant coin that this series is – the taut and incredibly tense battle of words and wits that makes you hold your breath, with the child hero proving himself to be terrifyingly “other” as only he can. And the awesome physical struggle between two powerful combatants, immovable objects and irresistible forces, brought to life with such skill as to practically take your breath away. We’ve waited a long time for these two stages and these characters to receive the spotlight, and they’ve met the expectations in every way.




  1. I thought that Gon knew where the king was headed because he actually saw them heading out of the palace, but Pitou mistook it as Gon seeing through Pitou’s plans. But either way works for me. Enjoyed your review as always!
    …mero mero mellow?

  2. I’ve been wanting to ask this for a long time now, ever since the chimera ants evolved and occupied half of the earth causing chaos and mayhem why haven’t some of the world’s best hunters gotten involved in the fight to save mankind from an antichrist bug with the exception of Chairman Netero and some members of the phantom troupe joinning the fight why are we not seeing guys like Razor and his group, Gon’s father, The Zoldyk Family(Killua’s father and grandfather did very little if you ask me). The ones that are really doing the fight are Gon, Killua and Netero. Shoot and Knuckle are weaklings Morel and do a thing without his pipe and that’s making the hunters of the world look lazy.

    K C M
    1. Razor is a criminal who runs the game because of his friendship with Ging. He has no reason to join. Ging himself is god knows where, the Zoldyk family only does something if they feel what they’re getting paid is worth it. The people that were brought along had very useful abilities that contributed to the mission. Knuckle APR, Shoot’s cage, Morel smoke, Knov’s rooms, which would have been a game changer had he stayed.

      kamen rider Dragon
      1. in the end, that’s just specious reasoning. most military tactics revolve around sending your strongest forces to attack. If the Hunter Organization were to send 20 of their strongest hunters, the Queen in theory wouldn’t have enough time to eat and make stronger ants. Sure some would die, but it’s simply a matter of attrition which is the cost of the battle. For story purposes, making that claim is a way for Gon, Killua, and weaker Hunters to be part of the story.

        Also keep in mind the Hunter Organization, who Morel mentioned wasn’t sending their the Hunters they requested, because it was a political move for the Chairman Election. Realistically, if these ants are as dangerous to the world as they say, they wouldn’t mess around like this since, what’s the point to make a political move if there’s no system left to manipulate.

        a box like Hippo
      2. Hippo,

        The world of HxH is unique in that hunters are generally hidden from the rest of the normal people. There are very few of them and they’re off doing whatever they want. Not all of them stay in touch with the Hunter organisation – in fact most don’t because of their special privileges gained when they gain the license.

        Also, as we’ve seen so many times, the world is quite corrupt, unequal, and hypocritical. Whether it’s York Shin City run by mafia, or the world using Meteor City to do their dirty work, or that horrific place Gyro grew up, the NGL he created after, and then the North Korea parody the arc is currently taking place in.

        That’s why Netero can relate to the King when the latter mentions how the world is so unequal and humans have ruined each others’ lives.

        In regards to why Netero just doesn’t bring an army of Hunters with him: If Netero is supposedly the strongest Hunter in the world by far, then the King simply far surpasses that easily as we are told by Colt. Colt estimated that the amount of aura Netero had didn’t even exceed any of the Royal Guard.

        So, if Netero thinks the chances of him beating the King are minimal (and knows that nobody else in the world exceeds him), he then reduces the risk of making the King even stronger by bringing less soldiers with him and only the ones with any tactical advantage such as the unique abilities we’ve seen like APR, Cage, Smoke and Rooms. Gon and Killua were only let in the mission because they had already encountered numerous Chimera ants before and a Royal Guard so had the best experience.

        The King increases obtains the Nen of his victims and his Aura increases. The Queen eats and gives birth to something more powerful. Seeing as the King is almost certain to beat Netero, it’s safe to assume that no matter how large the army of Hunters Netero brings, they’ll only be providing a bigger feast for the King to munch on.

      3. EamonX thanks for the laid out explanation. I don’t necessarily agree with all of it, but you gave me the courtesy with an articulate explanation that didn’t imply I didn’t understand the show, or assume I just wanted regular shounen story arcs like some of the replies I’ve seen on here, which insinuates a number of fallacies. So, much appreciated.

        Though just to clarify, I was simply mentioning standard military tactics, and yes, I know, this is not the same world this show inhabits. I also know that some Hunters are not connected with the Hunter Organization nor want to be found by them either. But I also understand that there are other powerful Hunters that they could get in contact with. Of course, my knowledge of their world is limited to what I’ve seen of both series. However, I feel the inclusion of Killua and Gon in this story arc only makes sense in so far as they’re the main characters and they have to be fit into the story as It wouldn’t be Hunter X Hunter without them. I just don’t feel the reasoning was convincing enough, so it feels like a plot device.

        Also, I get the whole idea that the King and his Guard are super powerful, and that there’d be no point in sending anyone else besides Netero et al. to face them, but I guess my concern is the power structure just seems wildly out of control at this point in the series. If the King and his Guard have what seem to be god-like powers, then to have them beaten in some way eventually makes absolutely no sense. If Netero can barely eclipse the King’s Guard as Colt mentioned, how is it that Gon is probably going to beat Pitou? Or how did Netero even blast Pitou away? That to me, is a consistency issue.

        I’m going to use a comparison rooted in reality, which is of course sort of pointless for this show, but that’s like saying Netero, who is a black belt, can’t beat an opponent, whom is probably a black belt of higher degree, but Gon, who is say a blue belt, somehow can beat this same opponent. In the world of martial arts, that is simply unheard of. As someone who trains in martial arts myself, it’s hard for me to suspend my belief in this case. I’m willing to accept all sorts of crazy ideas in an anime, but with a power structure, there has to be some sort of logic, otherwise it seems like I’m watching the crazy crap that goes on in One Piece. I get anime is full of stories like this, but an anime that is trying to be grounded in realism in some way simply can’t have a power structure like that without it diluting its quality. I feel HxH was a great anime for a long time because it didn’t fall into the same trappings as other shounen, it tried to stay somewhat realistic in a fantastical world.

        That’s my main concern with how this is playing out. I get that’s not how this show works, but it’s something that to me, makes the show not as great as I used to feel it was.

        TL;DR: The show jumped the shark.

        a box like Hippo
      4. – Pitou was blasted away but took no damage at all.
        – No one expected Gon to beat Pitou. Gon, Killua, Morel, Knuckle, Shoot, Meleoron, and Zeno were there only to separate the King from the Royal Guards.
        – If the terrified Knov could state with a dead certainty that the Royal Guards would arrive at the King’s location too late, then the old man clearly has something up his sleeve.

        Boku janai
      5. – Pitou was blasted away but took no damage at all.
        yeah, I know Pitou wasn’t hurt by the attack, but if Pitou’s supposedly more powerful than Netero, a simple blast should not have been as effective. For story telling purposes sure, but in terms of actual superiority, it shouldn’t have worked. It’s like if somehow he were to trick God. that simply doesn’t happen.

        – No one expected Gon to beat Pitou. Gon, Killua, Morel, Knuckle, Shoot, Meleoron, and Zeno were there only to separate the King from the Royal Guards.
        that’s just the feeling I get from the whole situation, which could be totally wrong, that Gon will beat Pitou somehow. It doesn’t seem logical is my point. the short answer is I just haven’t bought into the current power dynamics as everyone else has since there seems to be inconsistencies with the way their power interacts amongst each other.

        I feel that the inherent problem with setting up characters who are too powerful is there’s no real way to believably make them look beatable or fallible without making them look blatantly weak or inexperienced since that should lead in most cases to immediate defeat. and I’m guessing a number of the guard are defeated somehow. if they are defeated by the current cast somehow, then they were never as powerful as they were set up as being. it’s essentially a copout.

        – If the terrified Knov could state with a dead certainty that the Royal Guards would arrive at the King’s location too late, then the old man clearly has something up his sleeve.
        uhm, yeah. I actually found out from a commenter somewhere else what happens, since they wanted to spoil it for everyone (thanks!). I’ll say no more…

        a box like Hippo
      6. Of course, since Gon and Killua are the main characters, their inclusion would never be in question except the fictional circumstance to which you find unconvincing. Remember, Gon and Killua knew nothing of the chimera ants until they met Kite. They never intended to meet Kite in the first place. It was purely circumstantial. They had finally found a strong lead to Ging only to be trolled by him once more. Kite was already on a mission to investigate the chimera ants. Before Gon and Killua left Greed Island, they realized that Greed Island was intended by Ging to train Gon to becoming a better Hunter. Once they left GI and met Kite, they soon realized that Ging had planned for Gon to meet Kite in order to further his skills as a Hunter by going under Kite’s mentoring. It was for this reason that Gon and Killua joined Kite on the mission. Of course at the time, the three of them had no idea just how dangerous the mission would become. The new motivation for Gon to continue with the mission was after he saw what Pitou had done with Kite’s body. Kite, with one less arm, stayed behind to allow Gon and Killua time to escape and it costed him his life (which Gon doesn’t know yet). So Gon wanted revenge for what did Pitou did to Kite, and if possible, a way to restore Kite back to normal.

        “If the King and his Guard have what seem to be god-like powers, then to have them beaten in some way eventually makes absolutely no sense.”
        The interesting aspect about Hunter x Hunter is the way its fights and duels become unconventional. Strategy and quick-thinking dominates a fight just as much as Aura and Nen abilities. Not only does the King have God-like strength, but he also has a genius intellect as we witnessed during his instantaneous growth when playing with Komugi. Perhaps the King can’t ever be defeated normally. Actually this is certain. Only an unconventional method can be used to defeat him. Netero’s aura is no match to the King’s. But Netero has about 100 year of experience. This itself can go a long way.

        “how is it that Gon is probably going to beat Pitou?”
        Honestly, I don’t know. Just like we don’t know how Netero will defeat the King (if he even will be able to). Perhaps it won’t be a normal win. Maybe Gon will go mental and attack Pitou in the Nen-less state she’s/he’s currently in. This isn’t an orthodox shounen where the main character reaches the brink only to stay afloat. Gon could just as easily fall off the brink and do something he’ll regret. Togashi has proven his story is capable of that.

        “Or how did Netero even blast Pitou away?”
        That, I can answer. Netero’s Buddhavista is so damn fast that not even Pitou, a royal guard, could see the strike in time to dodge. MADHOUSE has tried to demonstrate the velocity of the Buddhavista by showing Netero’s arms in ghost images moving by frames. This is supported by the backstory we had many weeks ago where Netero spent like a decade training a punch to be the fastest move in the world. As for why Pitou was thrown away at a high velocity to dozens of miles away… Momentum = Mass x Velocity (lol). Take the mass of the Buddhavista and multiply it by faster-than-sound punch of Netero. A humongous momentum that even has to get the King serious enough to defend himself.

        “otherwise it seems like I’m watching the crazy crap that goes on in One Piece.”
        But I like One Piece… lol. I guess don’t take shounen anime too seriously?

        “I know Pitou wasn’t hurt by the attack, but if Pitou’s supposedly more powerful than Netero, a simple blast should not have been as effective.”
        It was also an Aura Emission attack instead of a Physical Enhanced punch. The aim wasn’t to harm Pitou but to get her/him as far away as possible so Netero and Zeno can reach the King in time. You could say that Netero sacrificed the destructive damage of a Enhanced punch to make the Emission blow much more effective.
        Lastly, Pitou was in mid-air and not on hard ground. It’s likely Pitou would have been able to prevent herself/himself from being thrown back so far if he/she could resist the force using the floor.

        “if they are defeated by the current cast somehow, then they were never as powerful as they were set up as being. it’s essentially a copout.”
        Remember one crucial thing. The King and his Royal Guard have Aura but also skill level. Skill Level is completely different from aura. Skill Level is derived from a Hunter’s natural affinity to an Aura Type and how experienced he/she is. The King and Royal Guard have a crazy AMOUNT of Aura but their skill levels are not that different from Netero. Netero’s skill levels are not too far above Hisoka and Chrollo but he has a much greater amount of Aura than both of them.
        Regardless of any of that, there are a few numerous ways for the Hunters to defeat the God-like chimera ants. Knuckle’s APR would (after some time) force a month-long Zetsu on the ants. Forced Zetsu on the Royal Guard would make them 100% vulnerable to fatal attacks. There’s also Shoot’s Cage. With an effective strategy, Shoot should be able to entrap any of the Royal Guard completely in his cage or at least several limbs.
        Like I mentioned before, unconventional methods are the only way for them to win. A straight up tug-of-war fist fight would be impossible for them.

      7. I’m also in agreement with EamonX about the power level conversation. If you remember earlier in the arc Biscuit was scolding Killua about running away just because someone was more powerful than he was. She talked about how certain conditions could allow for a person who was objectively weaker to defeat someone stronger. That’s really been a major theme of this arc, that pure raw power isn’t everything. Just think about the US Army vs the Viet Cong. The US had more troops, better organization, better technology, but the Vietnamese had home field advantage which allowed them to chase the US out of their country. I think your martial arts example is a little too restrictive as both fighters are forced to play within a certain set of rules meaning all actions are conventional. Again, the US came into Vietnam expecting a conventional war and got anything but.In the same way, the ants expected a conventional fight but the hunters have been fighting with completely unconventional actions.

      8. @Psycho, interesting comparison, though when you boil it down, we’re still talking about human vs. human, so defeat is always a possibility. With the ants’ powers, when you go towards god-like territory, the idea of defeat sounds less plausible.

        also, the US may have had superior technology and troops, but their organization is what bit them in the ass coupled with the Viet Cong’s military tactics and their growing morale issues. The US essentially refused to adjust their military tactics and lost when their tactical organization was cast to the winds. They weren’t prepared for a gorilla war as we know. I don’t think it’s so simple as raw power vs. unconventional warfare issue.

        a box like Hippo
      9. The royal ants might seem godly but they are definitely touchable by the protagonists unlike in Bleach where Aizen simply negates the instant death effect of Soifon’s shikai by the pure bs awesomeness of his spiritual power. In Hunter x Hunter, if the nen conditions are fulfilled, one can expect some effects to happen, even if the opponent’s aura is immense.

        Not a Bleach fan
      10. “The royal ants might seem godly but they are definitely touchable by the protagonists” that makes more sense. I’ve also taken their powers out of context (ie the whole god-like label), so glad it was brought up.

        a box like Hippo
      11. “If they are eaten by the king, his max aura increases.” – sorry, didn’t fully read that specifically until now. was that mentioned in the anime directly? sadly, I must’ve missed it if it was. in any event, that makes a lot more sense in relation to the King’s power.

        a box like Hippo
      12. I think it was told when royal guards and king arived in East Gortea. They killed the bodyguard with nen and king consumed his brain or something and sad that he feels his aura is increasing.

      13. @Urizithar & @hgfdsahjkl now that rings a bell, thanks. I didn’t put it together that he would always increase aura after “eating”.

        nice, just noticed html tagging work!

        a box like Hippo
      14. That’s the interesting part about Togashi’s writing.. It may seem like nonsense at first but eventually, all of it will be explained.. Especially, about the fight between Gon and Pitou.. Just trust him.. 🙂

    2. That’s mainly because Hunters work for personal gains, as is the case of Ging and the Zoldycks. Besides, it was Netero himself who chose his companions for this job. It’s just like kamen rider Dragon said above.

      The vast majority of Hunters do not give a fuck to the world, at least until it mess their lives.

    3. You’re absolutely right about this. It makes no sense for Netero to choose or get sent weaker Hunters to help fight in a war where the world is at stake. the original rationale that the Queen would be able to make stronger soldiers is only accurate if they send a few Hunters at a time rather than just vastly out number them. Of course, it’s a plot device so Killua and Gon will be part of the story, and to include weaker Hunters like Shoot and Knuckle.

      People might argue it doesn’t matter how many they send against the King and his Guard since they’re ridiculously overpowered, but that’s why I feel we’ve entered One Piece territory.

      a box like Hippo
    4. If I recall correctly, didn’t Razor already get killed by the King several episodes ago when he tried to fight back? Either that or it was another buff guy who doesn’t open his eyes.

      1. Okay so It’s probably not razor, but check out episode 93, around 2 minutes in. As the king approaches East Gorteau, there is a masculine man with closed eyes who bears a resemblance to Razor. I seriously thought that was razor, but I guess it was someone else..

    1. https://randomc.net/2013/10/09/hunter-x-hunter-99/

      “The bombshell here, if anything, is that the Hunter Association seems to be screwing up the war – and even more so, that they may be doing it on purpose. That’s what Morel thinks, anyway. The Association is sending different Hunters than what he and Knov requested, “Association Dogs” as he calls them – and Morel theorizes that they may be threatening to cause a government default intentionally letting the Squadron Leaders slip away in an attempt to undermine Chairman Netero, and defeat him in the next election. There’s talk of a Vice-Chairman (the first such talk I can remember) who controls the review board that’s assigning Hunters, who has designs on being Chairman himself (or herself). I know it’s hard to believe people who are in positions of importance could act recklessly and stupidly in an attempt to score political gains for themselves, but Togashi is asking us to be believe it’s possible although we have no real-world examples to draw on…”

      1. we do have plenty of real world examples. The Cuban Missile Crisis is a good example of political gamesmanship with nuclear consequences. It’s really quite scary how close the USSR and the US came to a possible nuclear war over missile placement on a small island.

        a box like Hippo
  3. This episode really steered more into One Piece territory than ever before. Structurally, they’re really padding the episode with too much past footage that it’s a little off-putting. For instance, the scene with Netero and the King preparing for battle has been used three times at this point. I’d be much less disturbed by the trend if they had different animation for this, much like the Endless 8 arc, instead of just repeating the same footage.

    We also have the omniscient narrator overusing the flashbacks device, but then adding in some newer information to those very flashbacks. Like the whole Pouf escaping from Morel’s jail (using the same footage for at least the fourth time), but then revealing he’s trying to see what info Knuckle has from his encounter with Youpi. While I enjoyed those insights, I sort of just want to see the characters actions be the driving narration, as opposed to constantly being told what’s happening and why. Leaving the viewer to figure it out is always better than falling into the device of telling what’s happening and not showing it (show don’t tell!). It’s also a tension killer. There’s plenty of tension between Pitou and Gon’s interactions, but it’s disrupted once the narrator interrupts, and starts explaining everything. Let it build up. Let the character explain the ruse. Let them drive the narration.

    The fight with the King and Netero is really what I’ve feared that this series would eventually fall into. It’s in full One Piece mode now, as the fight, in comparison to their past fight sequences, is pretty ridiculous I’m sorry to say. Netero and his Buddha power is such a departure from previous fights. I guess the mistake here is that they have to show how powerful Netero is, and to do this they go the route of giving him supernatural-like powers. I’m guessing the King’s power is similarly outrageous. Yes they’ve sort of done this before once Nen was introduced, but it’s always seemed slightly more reigned in. Or maybe I’ve just given it pass because the writing was much stronger. All streaks end at some point right?

    The one thing I liked was the call back to Netero’s “Path of Gratitude”. I enjoyed that more as that feels more genuine than fighting with a giant golden Buddha or a small sun on your head.

    So having said all that, let the downvotes begin!

    a box like Hippo
      1. Sorry, just because I have a differing opinion and am offering a critique of the current story doesn’t mean I’m watching the wrong series. Maybe it could mean I have higher expectations of the material since I found it to be so good from the beginning? no, I guess that couldn’t be it.

        maybe instead of downvoting my comment (or others) to death because it wasn’t 100% positive, why not reply and state why you think I’m wrong, or state why you liked it, you know, encourage discussion maybe. and I mean real articulation, and not just towing the line or using strawman arguments of “just trust Togashi”, “you must prefer regular shounen” or “you don’t understand” or “you’re watching the wrong series” etc. that’s not really enlightening, constructive, nor actually addressing the comment or concern.

        Only one person in this show’s comments did this (thanks again EamonX). I see much more nuanced discussion in the other show’s comments that aren’t even for shows this complex or adult. It really seems like a disservice to this show that many of you can’t even take criticism or see that flaws exist. Every show has them. Great shows like HxH, Cowboy Bebop, Now and Then Here and There, Mushi-shi, Haibane Renmei (sort of a random listing)- let’s throw in some live-action stuff too – GoT, Hannibal, Breaking Bad (just to name a few) have flaws.

        but hey whatever, downvote away.

        a box like Hippo
      1. this just proves my point. you specifically see everything that’s not positive as a “complaint”. not everything’s going to be positive. pointing out a flaw or a perceived flaw is not a complaint; it’s criticism. having a thought out explanation of a criticism is not a simple complaint, like this sucks, cause it’s boring is a complaint.

        but since you just want to essentially sling profane replies that’s marginalizing my concerns, there’s no reason to proceed further with you.

        a box like Hippo
    1. Netero’s power is such a departure from previous fights, as you said, because he’s leagues beyond most other nen users / martial artists. It’s kind of made a point that his “path of gratitude” is what’s given him not only his unmatched physical/martial ability, but also the means to become an incredibly powerful nen user. If his massive aura comes from his will and cultivation of his talent, then his hatsu is a no less extravagant display of what he can do with that aura. Using such a statue for combat must be a bitch; emission to form it and manipulation to control it. If he’s an enhancer, it’s all the more impressive. But that asides, it doesn’t actually break any of the rules of the system; he’s always shown to make certain gestures of prayer before making a particular attack – which is obviously a limitation he’s set upon himself (though he may not view it that way), which strengthens its power. As has been repeatedly illustrated, however, his sheer mastery over his mind and body has given himself the ability to do this perfectly in mere fractions of a second.

      This is meant to be a momentous fight between (ostensibly) the two most powerful nen users in the world. It’s meant to show the awe-inducing heights of nen-mastery in all its glory. The mindgames and strategy of HxH battles have always been a distinguishing factor for itself as a shonen, but when two powerhouses face one another with both top-tier intelligence and strength in spades, I think it’s all the more momentous because of that fact.

      But yeah, aside from a bit of padding in order to keep the pacing where they want, I think the show’s still light years away from OP’s sense pacing/padding.

      1. I really enjoyed his Path to Gratitude flashback. I hope to see more of that, though maybe that 2nd movie focuses on that.

        I guess my one gripe with his attack style is I thought the show would never go in that direction. it reminded me too much of Fleet Admiral Sengoku’s Buddha power which was a little outrageous even of that show! that’s just a case of projecting my own sensibilities though.

        a box like Hippo
    2. fordalels is right.. you are watching the wrong show.. It’s not that your expectations are not being met.. It’s just that you’re expecting different things to happen.. It became evident when you started comparing it to other shows.. I say that you’re just being impatient..

      The pacing also annoyed me so I started reading the manga and I assure you, the closure for this arc is DEFINITELY NOT AN ASS PULL..

      I said this and I’ll say it again.. Just trust Togashi..

      I’m not really good with english that’s why I can’t explain my side of the argument just like you do..

      1. “It’s not that your expectations are not being met.. It’s just that you’re expecting different things to happen.” that’s essentially the same thing. criticism is inherently like that, which is being displeased when different things happen that you don’t agree with or expect. it’s just sometimes, a larger portion of the audience may also feel the same way (not here of course).

        “you are watching the wrong show/Just trust Togashi/you’re being impatient”) – I feel those more or less are strawman arguments, as those statements don’t actually address the concerns (pacing mainly at this point) I mentioned, which is what a strawman argument is if you’re unaware of the meaning. it could be as you said, your English isn’t that good, so you’re unable to explain better, but keep in mind, I haven’t had any complaints with this show up until this point (that’s over 100+ episodes I’ve enjoyed), so it’s unfair to say I’m watching the wrong show, or as others have mentioned, I’m saying the show sucks – as those are complete misrepresentations of my viewpoints.

        and without rehashing too much of what I’ve already said, the comparison to One Piece was just for example’s sake, and not actually trying to hold up these two shows to the same standard, (there’s really no comparison in that regard).

        a box like Hippo
    3. Yeah, the pacing has been wrong since the beginning of this arc, but U know, they want money, not making the best anime adaptation ever (as they were almost doing before this Quimera arc…). Sad but c’est la vìe.

  4. One thing I must note is how the mood and tone of Hunter x Hunter is so greatly different from the beginning Hunter Exam arc.

    What seemed like a sunny adventure Gon and his pals were embarking on has turned into a dark nightmare.

  5. @Hippo

    Show Spoiler ▼

    lets take about points at hand

    1-Netero is doing these for his personal satisfaction,yes,he is twisted,you would know more about him
    2-vice chairmain doesnt send the hunters that he is supposed to send,you say ((if these ants are as dangerous to the world as they say, they wouldn’t mess around like this )),oh oh you have no idea about what kind vice chairmain is,that guy is a complete different story,you gotta know about him,next arc
    3-the main goal is to eliminate the king ,you yet to know to what measures Netero’s prepared for that
    4-Netero did call for a top fighter,zeno zoldeck,he commented that he did great efforts to separate the king

  6. Show Spoiler ▼

    as for Netero’s power,yes he dwarfs any other human so far,as for the king,his power being ridiculous is a must and vital point to this arc writing

  7. @Hippo

    spoilers about Netero’s character and vicechairman
    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. at this point I’m not exactly looking forward to the next arc, though I’m hoping it will be a narrative departure from this current one. I’m not willing to give up on the show (it’s till very well done even if I don’t agree with its direction), heck I’ve watched a lot of other crap for a lot longer (Homeland I’m looking at you seasons 2 & 3!)

      a box like Hippo
  8. @EamonX, sure, I’m aware of the story of how Killua and Gon have reached this point, I think my issue was it felt contrived that they’d be part of the plan given what we know about the power of the ants now.

    “Not only does the King have God-like strength, but he also has a genius intellect ”

    if the King has God-like strength, and also has a genius intellect, that’s a combination that should be undefeatable.

    “how is it that Gon is probably going to beat Pitou?”

    the only real way Gon could conceivably win is to attack Pitou now. if they choose some other method, that to me will be too unbelievable.

    “Or how did Netero even blast Pitou away?”/“I know Pitou wasn’t hurt by the attack, but if Pitou’s supposedly more powerful than Netero, a simple blast should not have been as effective.”

    that first part was sort of a rhetorical question in the sense that I knew how he did it, I just find it less credible now that we have an idea of how strong Pitou really is. I don’t know if Pitou is also God-like, but if so, then any explanation is going to be somewhat lacking. But we definitely know, unless Colt is wrong, Pitou is far stronger than Netero. I mean can we even apply story logic to something like that?

    ““otherwise it seems like I’m watching the crazy crap that goes on in One Piece.”
    But I like One Piece… lol. I guess don’t take shounen anime too seriously?”

    One Piece I never took seriously, it just frustrated me that it would pad its episodes blatantly and recycle a ton of old footage. the fights also went on for what seemed like ages, so we’d really be left with like 5-10 mins of new material every episode. I started to not see the types of stories I started watching it for in the first place, so I dropped it. HxH from the start has been compelling, and well written to boot, that I’m obviously holding to a higher standard. maybe I should take it less seriously, but I feel it’s starting to take some of he padding cues from One Piece that it’s frustrating.

    ““if they are defeated by the current cast somehow, then they were never as powerful as they were set up as being. it’s essentially a copout.”
    Remember one crucial thing. The King and his Royal Guard have Aura but also skill level.”

    If the King and his guard have God-like strength when it comes to Aura and Skill, no amount of inexperience or unconventional attack should work, conceivably, especially from the combination of Hunters they have. I just find it hard to believe once we’ve used the label of God-like. it’s either Togashi really doesn’t know what that means (nor do any of us really), or he’s trying to make analogy that gets muddled.

    Also saying Netero is not too far past Chrollo or Hisoka just further shuffles their power structure to the point I’m starting to not want to watch their fights anymore.

    I guess at this point, the way it’s described, Aura is the show’s macguffin. there needs to be a limit on how powerful Aura makes you, it just can’t throw power dynamics into disarray the way it has. It can, but it makes the story way too cartoonish.

    I suppose my issue can be summed up as I don’t agree with the labeling of his power as God-like, as I don’t think we really understand what God-like power really is, so it seems hard to even fathom how that would look, and its portrayal has left much to be wanting, in my case at the very least.

    full disclosure, I’m not religious, in case any of you were wondering since I kept bringing up trying to understand God-like powers. I’m simply using a generic definition of God, which would be to be omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. Of course the King is only the former, but that still in itself sounds ridiculous that someone is trying to fight him who’s not. there’s just no contest. there’s no way to defend that, otherwise, he’s not omnipotent then. that’s the big flaw I see with the portrayal. For the King to lose means he’s not as powerful as they made him out to be. You guys might think it’s possible, but I’m just not buying into it.

    and again, thanks for the explanation, much appreciated. (you too Psycho).

    a box like Hippo
    1. To be fair, the show has never once used “god-like” to describe the King and his Royal Guard. It’s only used by us viewers and fans. God-like should be a more metaphorical and relative term. The ants are of course mortal, vulnerable etc.

      I just think that we are perhaps comparing Nen too much to DBZ’s Chi, or Naruto’s Chakra, or Bleach’s Reiatsu – where the rule is the more ya have, the more powerful ya are.

      I don’t think it’s the same with Nen. For example we have the Aura Types: Enhancement, Transmutation, Conjuration, Emission, Manipulation and Specialization.
      At first we think Enhancement is the best because you’re able to increase the power of your strength, speed, defense and regeneration. But Uvogin was an Enhancer and he met his Achilles heel during his duel with Kurapika. Kurapika’s style of fighting was to learn everything about his opponent and reveal nothing about himself. That way he knew that Uvogin opts for direct & open close-combat. So Kurapika used this to his advantage to wrap his invisible conjured chains around him and Zetsu’d him with Chain Jail. Uvogin clearly had much more Aura, was much stronger, faster and just generally more powerful. But he wasn’t much of a tactical fighter and just really throws everything at his opponent.

      So treat the Chimera ant battles the same. Neferpitou killed Kite but ended up somewhat exhausted and injured. If Netero is stronger than Kite, then he should be able to match Neferpitou in a fight even if his Aura isn’t as massive as Pitou’s.

      Also, to note how experience is big factor in combat. Look at Youpi. During his fight with Knuckle and Shoot he gradually learnt more and more about Nen. At first he felt that his rage was a weakness. Then he thought he could use his enemy’s knowledge of this to his advantage. After that plan failed, he instead harnesses the rage into a controllable form rather than just let it explode. After all this his personality evolved and he gained more respect for the Hunters.

      1. sorry, I did take that out of context (and I meant to post under the original replies). I mentioned below I assumed you guys were talking about something mentioned in the manga and not in the anime. sorry for taking up so much time about that particular point.

        If that’s the case, then I can sort of buy into it now. I just got hung up before, and yeah, it’s a little nitpicky of me, but that can happen.

        I’ve always assumed experience would play a big role in it, but a few times I brought that up a few episodes ago, someone shot it down.

        again, thanks for discussion EamonX.

        a box like Hippo
    2. Just curious, from which episode did you find the label, ‘God-like’? If the King is as strong as God the omnipotence, the Hunters needs to have Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann piloted by One-Punch Man to stand a chance.

      1. sorry, I did take that descriptor out of context. I thought maybe you guys were using it because it came from the manga. I’ll certainly retract what I said about it in regards to that opinion.

        “From no episode, because it never happened. He’s just making stuff up to bolster a never-ending loop argument about why the show sucks.”

        sorry, if it came off like that, but I’m disappointed you just think I’m just saying “the show sucks”. with your in-depth analysis of the show week to week, which I always find well done, I’d thought you’d be able to differentiate actual criticisms of the show from blanket statements like “the show sucks”.

        I think I’ve made it clear I feel the show is compelling and more well-written than many of the other shows out there, including English language ones. I’m only airing how unhappy I am with the development of the current story. I’m in no way trying to convince anyone that they should think the same, but I’m also simply not saying the show sucks.

        a box like Hippo
    3. The names of the Royal Guards do come from Egyptian gods (Nefertem, Shai, and Menthu).

      Regardless of its absence in HxH, you should be careful with the descriptor “god-like” when it comes to Japanese media. There is a tremendous power gap between the Abrahamic God and Shinto gods.

      1. absolutely, and I totally didn’t even think about that difference until you just mentioned it. it’s that Western filter again (mine that is). it’s great food for thought since that completely changes my initial reading on it.

        a box like Hippo
  9. didnt both yupi and pufu emerge victorious by ease,yupi took some time but that’s due to the hunters plan,I don’t see any inconsistency
    as for netero ,he is above the royal guards even if they got more aura,Netero usage is on a whole different level,check yupi being fascinated by how deep nen is

    the real monster here is netero if you compared him to other humans

    1. part of what bothered me was I thought initially that Netero was stronger than the Royal Guards, but a few people weeks ago kept saying I didn’t understand and that if I thought Netero should be able to beat the Guard I was essentially dumb for thinking that. So I assumed that must mean the Guard is way too super powered. that’s probably what confused me more than anything.

      a box like Hippo
      1. actually netero commenting on pitou’s power was an exaggeration same as him putting himself at moru and knov’s level,Togashi left it open so we can decide the power level according to feats and certainly netero is way above moru and knov however pitou is near netero’s level ,that’s my estimation

  10. ((For the King to lose means he’s not as powerful as they made him out to be. You guys might think it’s possible, but I’m just not buying into it))

    huh ?
    did you see any signs of the king losing,netero didnt put a scratch on him
    I agree no human is close to him

    1. I just meant in the more than likely event he loses, as that’s gotta be the outcome I would imagine. But again, I misperceived the King’s actual power, so it won’t seem like a complete stripping of his power if he loses. so nevermind.

      a box like Hippo
  11. ((“Or how did Netero even blast Pitou away?”/“I know Pitou wasn’t hurt by the attack, but if Pitou’s supposedly more powerful than Netero, a simple blast should not have been as effective.))

    huh ,because he strong ,you can’t blast him away

    you got pitou mid-air and he got attacked by powerful blast from the STRONGEST hunter ,what does that got to do by physical strengh,

    1. This current arc has its issues, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a piece of crap. It’s certainly problematic when you watch it in bulk, but week by week it fares a lot better (imo anyhow).

      IThough having said that, I’m willing to give Tagashi plenty of credit for trying this out. For most people it worked well, but for others it seems like it drove them crazy, but in the end, it’s still a ballsy move any way you look at it. an attempt to do something different should be admired even if it’s a failure in some eyes.

      I’m guessing the next arc should return to the normal pacing and narrative structure, so I’m willing to watch it once it returns.

      a box like Hippo
    2. I have the opposite opinion; it went from being a good shonen to my favorite ever with this arc. I’ll just say that even if you hate this arc, it’ll be over relatively soon. At least give it a chance till the end.

  12. A few interesting this that some people may not know that I deduced myself:

    Netro’s Nen is of the 7th Chakra (Crown Chakra, has either a purple aura or white). Associated with this is a blooming flower (signaling spiritual awaking). I found this pretty cool how they really did incorporate the Buddha power in this. Just goes to show you the depth of the show even more.

    I also like how the choir BGM is chanting Kyrie Eleison (Greek for “Lord have mercy”). Even backs up the epic even more. “Lord” probably referring to Netro since he has that godly aura.


  14. For me, definitely, this remake is totally better.
    However, I find the currently airing arc (these whatever ant/bug) kinda boring. The story seems getting slower. The fight scenes are also not as exciting as the other episodes, because i find the narrator destroying the excitement. Why do the narrator explains everything, from the emotions of the characters to the explanation of a characters power. I wanted the smooth and continuous story and action it had with the first episodes. And the hxh 2011 creator should also let the fans think, imagine and feel for the characters on their own.


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