「イカリ×ト×ヒカリ」 (Ikari x to x Hikari)
“Anger x and x Light”

Author’s Note: Please be very careful to avoid divulging any information about upcoming events from the manga. When in doubt, don’t post it – and even if it’s remotely possible to view it as a minor spoiler, please spoiler-tag it. Thanks for your cooperation.


Well, now – that certainly was a thing, wasn’t it.

Before I begin, a confession: I was partially spoiled as to what was going to happen in today’s episode. First by an intentional troll comment here two weeks ago, and then by images on my Twitter. I managed to delete the former without reading the entire thing and avoid long-term exposure to the latter, but it’s one of those “cannot unsee” moments that is what it is – I didn’t know details but I knew what the shock moment of the episode was going to be. It’s one of the hazards of being a blogger and being instantly connected to the rest of the world in the information age. C’est la vie.

Now, on to the moment itself…

As you can imagine, I’ve spent some time processing what happened, which packed a good deal of shock value even with some idea of what was coming. It’s a lot to take in. When you taste a single malt scotch or a wine, you break down the experience – you have the nose, the arrival, the mouth feel, the finish. And these things can often give very different impressions. That’s what this episode has been like for me – it’s felt different at every stage of the experience. The challenge now is to try to make sense of all those conflicting reactions and come up with some sort of cohesive whole, and it’s a difficult one.

I think it’s not a simple matter even to know what criteria to judge this by. There’s the issue of the execution (double entendre intended) itself, firstly. In purely dramatic terms this is a ridiculously huge moment for the entire arc. What kind of satisfaction did it offer as a crescendo for Gon’s role in “Chimera Ant”, and where does it leave him for the rest of it? Then there’s the question of the development itself – does it hold up to Hunter X Hunter’s internal logic (hint: yes)? Does it feel right – does it offer the sense of epic poetry we’ve come to expect? And of course, the matter of how Madhouse and Koujina-sensei fared in adapting it from the page to the screen.

I fully expect this chapter was polarizing when it was published, and I expect it to be polarizing now. Hell, I’m only one person and I’m polarized. I loved it and I hated it, sometimes in the same instant. What I can say with certainty is that as I’ve had time to process what I’ve seen, my feelings have grown more favorable. Why? Because in thinking back on it, seeing what Gon did makes perfect sense both in terms of H x H mythology and in terms of his character. In the moment, that isn’t so immediately obvious – and it doesn’t offer a whole lot of satisfaction for Gon’s arc. It’s a tragic development in every sense, but that fits the Togashi model too – he’s not going to give you what you think you want and what you expect.

Basically, everything Togashi does turns out to be a deconstruction of the shounen genre, and Gon’s power-up is no exception. I think what he’s done here is take the coming-of-age story and savagely, tragically reimagined it in literal terms. What if “coming of age” literally meant fast-forwarding your body in order to win a fight – to throw away your future in order to become a grotesque, horrifying vision of what that future could be? That’s exactly what Gon has done here – he’s sacrificed everything (I won’t say “gambled everything” because from Gon’s perspective, there’s no uncertainty involved) in order to “become strong”. And it’s perfectly in character for him to do so. Gon is reckless, daring and resolutely straightforward in his world-view, and if this is what he thought was necessary, I don’t think he’d hesitate to do it. Especially when he’s in a mind to punish himself for what he sees as his failing Kaitou repeatedly.

In the world of Hunter X Hunter, there are no free rides. Just as surely as in Fullmetal Alchemist, power always comes with a cost – but in H x H, the exchange isn’t always equivalent. There’s the matter of the existential cost, surely, the toll the cultivating and exercising of power takes on the soul. We’ve seen this theme play out over and over in the lives of people like Netero and Killua (and indeed, one of the things that makes Hisoka so terrifying is that he seems immune to this effect). But there’s also the material sacrifices that must be made – be it life energy, Nen, or even a part of the body itself. We’ve seen the sacrifice of the right arm over and over – Gon himself in Greed Island, Hisoka in his fight with Kastro, Meruem, Pitou, Netero, Kurapika, Kaitou – this is no coincidence, surely, but a conscious decision by Togashi to try and hammer the image into our minds (though just why is subject to debate).

The arc that “Chimera Ant” harkens back to here is “York Shin”, the one with which it shares the most thematically and stylistically. There are strong echoes of Kurapika’s arc in Gon’s (despite the warnings of his master, Wing), starting with the fact that we saw the spiritual toll the life of revenge was taking on Kurapika. But we also saw the nature of Nen and the imposition of conditions – how these can increase the Nen user’s power dramatically. The stronger the condition – be it a limitation on when and how a power can be used or a punishment that will be accepted if a vow is broken – the more the power can increase. Kurapika was so desperate to wreak his vengeance on the Phantom Troupe that he imposed a series of conditions strictly for the purpose of doing so, and in the process gave himself the ability to come very close to achieving his goal. In Gon’s case, it appears his vows and conditions were even more specific and his sacrifices even greater – and he’s certainly the more powerful Nen user to begin with. And the result is a terrible, awesome thing.

So in the end, I think we have a development that’s the culmination of all that’s come before it, and a thoroughly in-character decision by Gon. This is Togashi’s world, and in that world when the main character achieves the ultimate power-up it’s not a moment of triumph but of tragedy. This episode is not about what Gon has gained, but about what he’s lost. In Hunter X Hunter, there are – to repeat – no free rides. When a young child enters the ruthless and terrible world that Gon has entered, it breaks him. The Gon we saw at the end of “Greed Island” was at a personal apex – resolutely loyal to his friends, triumphant over a field of skilled and experienced adults, progressing on his personal journey. This is Gon at his nadir – his innocence shattered, his unique and alien worldview having led him to a point of personal desolation and ruin. He simply lacks the experience and perspective to survive this ordeal intact, and what we see here is the result.

Given all that, as inevitable as all this seems and as much pathos is involved, it’s hard to feel a sense of satisfaction. Pitou is dead (even that inspires somewhat conflicted emotions) but so is the Gon we knew. Togashi hasn’t given us a triumph of good over evil or a noble sacrifice, but what at best feels like a necessary tragedy. Hunter X Hunter’s world has always been this harsh and cruel, but never has it felt so hopeless. Neferpitou was, in the end, acting in a way that was true to himself – and when he said “I’m sorry to say I have to kill you now” I actually believed him – like Youpi, I think Pitou has shown itself to be capable of spiritual growth. And his loyalty to The King is so great that even after death, Pitou’s Terpsichora ability animates his own corpse, using it to try and kill the Gon Pitou has recognized as equal or greater to Meruem in strength. This costs Gon his arm, and would have cost him his life if Killua hadn’t intervened.

The matter of Killua’s role in this episode is not to be overlooked. Poor, sweet Killua – he has experience and perspective that offers him a small measure of protection that Gon lacks, but the irony is that he’s emotionally even more innocent than Gon in spite of it – and it’s his love for Gon that’s his greatest vulnerability (and strength). When Palm takes custody of Komugi (Killua now trusts her implicitly) he’s free to race to Gon’s side – but he arrives only in time to see the shocking image of the adult Gon landing blow after blow on the already-dead Neferpitou. Killua will never, ever give up on Gon under any circumstances – but this Gon has already given up on himself. He’s paid the terrible price necessary to achieve his transformation, and he’s deemed himself unworthy to live on as he was. He’s relieved, in fact, to have suffered the same injury that Kaitou did – and he mistakenly believes that it would give Kaitou satisfaction to see what Gon has done both to himself and to Pitou.

So let’s deal with the last of those two major questions – where this leaves Gon in terms of the story, and the quality of the adaptation. The latter is easy – stupendous. The new music pieces and the way they and the familiar ones were used, the vocal performances (I’m out of superlatives for Han Megumi), the choreography and animation – it’s unassailable. This is not an episode centered around an epic fight like #35-36 or #126 – there really isn’t much of a fight here at all. The result is clear from the moment Gon undergoes his transformation, and he and Neferpitou both know it. The mastery is not in massive combat sequences, but in portraying the terrible and tragic nature of what’s happening. Ironically in the end it’s only Pitou who can feel any sense of satisfaction – because he knows what Gon has sacrificed in order to kill him, and he can be glad to trade his own life for what he sees as the safety of The King.

I don’t know just where this leaves Gon (and Killua, for that matter). I don’t know exactly what happens at the end when we see a huge explosion – some kind of Nen feedback loop perhaps, a system overload caused by the titanic nature of Gon’s inherent Nen power and the magnitude of his conditions, or simply his enhanced Janken. Gon surely isn’t dead but it’s hard to imagine he’s going to be in any condition to impact events back at the palace – and I can say with 100% confidence that if Killua is faced with the choice of staying with Gon or contributing to a fight that could save the world, he’ll stay with Gon. That struggle – be it physical or otherwise – will surely take place, and I suspect it will be that rather than Gon’s plight which is the next focus for the series. But the question of Gon and Killua’s role in the conclusion of “Chimera Ant” – and whether Gon’s personal arc will be given any kind of benedictory moment – remains a complete mystery. And that alone is proof that Togashi remains a writer of singular talent and complete fearlessness.




  1. First, let me get my one pet peeve out of the way, which is the recycling of material from last week. That was 2 whole mins of just the same stuff. I get that they need to use padding, but I wish there was another way.

    Okay, now with that out of the way, let’s get to the episode. a simplistic way of looking at it is Gon (Gon Banner?) literally hulked out (he sort of looked like a buffed up version of the dude with the flat top from Kid N’ Play!). If we look at it deeper, we see Gon sacrificed something (besides his arm) to obtain this power (possibly his own nen or life force). How this will affect him after, we’ll have to wait and see.

    So here’s my one caveat with this and it’s significant, as it takes away from how well I think the “fight” was executed: Gon powering up to equal the King, in Pitou’s estimation, is still a Deus ex Machina. It comes out of nowhere, unless in the manga there’s a little more setup, and this sort of goes back to my initial criticism of the nen system. Where are the limits? it feels like there are limitations unless the plot demands otherwise. I know they’ve said Gon is “special”, but that’s really just too vague. For all the praise this gets for not following typical shounen structure, this seemed very shounen to me.

    Having said that, I loved the way they used it and it made the outcome believable (even if it comes off as a DexM). it implies there will be serious consequences to what Gon did. and this is what separates HxH from your “typical shounen”, the execution. there’s an emotional resonance that regular shounen (though my experience is limited) just can’t attain. The fights aren’t just supposed to be awesome, they’re very well layered. From Pitou’s acceptance that he/she has lost even before the first strike to Gon’s slowly massing rage, but then there’s clearly a monstrous quality to what Gon has done and what he needed to do to “win”, and it shows when he takes it too far at the end where he loses control of his power. Then we have Killua’s reaction to hulked out Gon and their subsequent interactions which illustrate just how well their relationship is written.

    One last note about HxH and its relation to shounen. I think it’s sort of a disservice to keep saying this is not your “typical shounen” – which I’m guilty of in this very post. As a genre, sure, it falls into shounen, but I just don’t view it as that anymore. It’s similar to the praise the show Hannibal receives of “I can’t believe it’s a network show”. HxH has gone far beyond what shounen are capable of and belongs in its own class, so we should stop insulting it by keeping it within the stereotypical shounen constraints it’s broken free of long ago.

    some thoughts:

    Killua to Pouf: “Get lost, scumbag!” damn right.

    Gon, gather that ball of rage up young man.

    this wasn’t a fight, it was a massacre. Pitou just got destroyed.

    too bad they couldn’t get one “GON SMASH!” in there. copyrighted!

    Gon, that’s not how Kite taught you!

    I wonder if he’ll be armless as the story progresses. He keeps losing an arm doesn’t he? Parallels to Finn from Adventure Time? and does that make Killua his Jake?! who’s BMO then?!

    Gon literally goes atomic at the end.

    Gon is going, going, gone!

    a box like Hippo
      1. I remember Wing saying that, but it’d be tough to say (at least imo) that that was a foreshadowing to this. I don’t know if we’ve seen Nen used in this way yet, to at least show some sort of a trend, but while I felt it was a little artificial, its execution made all the difference. Perhaps they explain it as something Gon imposed upon himself with conditions as opposed to it just happening as it was portrayed.

        a box like Hippo
      2. Show Spoiler ▼

        You can’t do spoilers within spoilers :-/

      3. ok , i’ll be getting a few tons of downvotes for this
        that is mind over matter right there !!
        Gon just went super mega god mode and you say it is logical ???
        and people , instead of bashing my face , how about a conversation for god’s sake ??

    1. “this gets for not following typical shounen structure, this seemed very shounen to me.”
      I don’t understand how a series can be shounen and not shounen at the same time, that doesn’t make sense.

      1. I was referring to all the praise it gets for breaking out of typical shounen stereotypes, but this particular development felt like it was still part of that very genre (of course, your mileage may vary). but even so, I don’t feel one cancels out the other.

        a box like Hippo
    2. The reasoning for it not to be Deus Ex Machina is that both Gon and Killua hit the genetic lottery. They have that 1 in 100 million chance to be Nen monsters. People from Nobunaga to Hisoka to Biscuit to Pitou himself all comment on the rapid progression of the boys and their limitless potentials.

      It’s also established that Nen users who make a vow tied with strong emotions can exceed their personal limits as long as they don’t break the vow. The stronger the punishment for breaking the vow, the more power a Nen user can unearth. An example is Kurapika, his hax chain will only work on the spiders and if were to use it on anyone else he dies.

      The third thing is that Gon is crazy. He doesn’t really care what happens to him as long as he can accomplish a goal he’s established. In his fight against the bomber, the only way to win was to lose a hand, he does not hesitate and does just that. When he wants Hisoka’s badge, he goes and gets it, even though he knows Hisoka could had murdered him at any time. He also does not freak out like a typical shounen lead when people die around him. When Killua pulled out the heart of the mass murderer in the hunter exam, Gon wasn’t fazed at all. Once he decides to trust you, he doesn’t back down. When he decided to trust Meleoron, a Chimera captain, he’s trust is so genuine that even Meleoron finds this extremely strange.

      So Gon is crazy and has a ton of potential. This is where the “power up” comes into play. He makes a vow to sacrifice everything in order to get enough power to kill Pitou. This is achieved by aging his body to a point in the future where his Nen and physical level can obliterate Pitou. His vow is: give me enough power to kill Pitou and I will give up everything.

      This isn’t a typical Shounin power up fueled by needing to protect a friend or the power of love. After this power up there will be massive consequences, not a few days off and everything will be back to normal + the use of the power up at the MC’s disposal. This is a power up fueled by the pure hatred he’s been holding in since he saw Kite’s animated corpse. The fact that he looks silly with the hair and clothes that don’t fit points to just how wrong this is. This isn’t normal. This is what happens when the MC goes to the dark side. Although he’s only met Kite a few times, he hold placed Kite on his list of people he would sacrifice himself for at any cost.

      If a typical Nen user like the arrow guy who gets fed to Chimera queen tried this they would utterly fail. He would not have the resolve to fully sacrifice himself to achieve a victory and he does not have the huge potential Gon has. This is something akin to chairman’s last fight with the king. He pretty much sacrifices everything and gains a huge body and a final attack, Zero Hand. The king is on another level altogether and just tanks it. This is the chairman’s limit. If the arrow guy even could do something like this, he would still get stomped by most lower tier chimera’s. He would be like Netaro using zero hand on a lower tier chimera whose on a completely other level.

      1. “His vow is: give me enough power to kill Pitou and I will give up everything.” ok, that’s something I interpreted as just a vain hope he had, as opposed to a Nen condition he set up, though I forget, isn’t that specific to Specialists (my memory of the rule set is hazy)? But that would explain his transformation better (I’m assuming they’ll go into it more next week).

        and I didn’t forget the 1 in a 100 million comment Wing made, but I just don’t see it as a foretelling that this is something that is possible with Nen (from what we’ve seen so far, so this sets a precedent), which is why it felt like it came out of nowhere. You all might think/understand that implication (and that’s fine), but to me, that seems too vague a reference point (which is fine too, we can disagree). My feeling is it’s so ambiguous, anything could then be possible if we use that as a condition of what Gon/Killua are capable of.

        Technically speaking, although I don’t agree, something can still be considered a DexM even if it’s setup (according to Tv Tropes anyway). Just found that out a few weeks ago.

        a box like Hippo
      2. if as u say this is no power gain without consequences then gon must die in order to achieve such power ??? if he doesn’t then good luck with the consequence thing
        and even dying falls short of explaining it but it is a start

      3. To hippo, I don’t think the 1 in 100 million explanation regarding gon and killua as to why they can gain so much power vague. Gon and killua have proven time and time again that they have tremendous growth potential, and everyone around them have commented on that. Making a nen pact to exponentially raise your power makes sense because it’s been done before, but gon’s condition, conviction, and talent gave him the power to defeat pitou. There were many factors as to how he was able to use that power, and as we explore the implications of his sacrifice, it will become more clear that his power certainly did not come from nowhere.

      1. These chapters were as those so-called “cinematic Bleach chapters”. It can be done in a few minutes of anime… If you want.

        If you don’t, well. That’s called Extension, and it’s one type of filler. One of the worst. You can watch Dragon Ball anime and suffer it.

        This episode hardly advance 3 chapters (2.7 or so). Look back Greed Island, where you easily have episodes covering 4+ chaps (with MUCH MORE CONTENT than this).

        It’s just Extension, they are doing it all along this Quimera Arc, to make more anime episodes & more money. Not making the best adaptation, but just the one gives them more profit. Triste, demo c’est la vìe.

  2. “let’s go somewhere else, i don’t want to destroy this place” Said the executioner to his soon to be victim.
    That was quite the beat down. Bloody hell, Pitou died without shoes lol

    1. Poor Pitou killed Kite when he/she was like one day old. In the civilized world, he/she would be tried in a juvenile court instead of getting beaten to pulp in a deep, dark forest.

      Bodoro's Avenger
      1. its amazing to me how many people ignore that Pitou didnt like, run into Kite and randomly decide to kill him because evil. Kite was an aggressor. Kite killed a tons of chimera ants, and the only reason he ever ran into Pitou was because he was intentionally heading towards the Nest. To kill the Queen. The queen that Pitou was literally born and built to defend.

        Im not defending Pitou for killing Kite, but come on, its a LOT more complex then just “Pitou killed Kite therfore they deserve death lol”

  3. Gon in super saiyajin mode ! That was awesome. What annoys me is how can Pitou survive after his head got crushed? That is a little ridiculous since how can his nen ability still active when the head is no longer there? I don’t agree with that plot device from Togashi at all. Why can’t Gon just crush Pitou cleanly ? Ever the reliable friend, if Killua wasn’t there Gon would have been killed by the Pitou corpse. But, I would hate if Gon lose his arm 🙁

    1. Pitou had a self aware nen ability, Pitou needed only to give it an order and it would continue to work even without his/her input, this is why Pitou could control soldiers al over the contry without personal input. This was Pitous ability as a specialist nen user.

      So, when Pitou summoned Terpsichora before his death, it was given the order to kill Gon at all costs, and even in death, Pitou’s lingering will to protect the king, and the order given allow it to move his now headless, dead body, in search of completing it’s final task.

      Long story short, Pitou Didn’t survive his/her head being crushed. Terpsichora is a puppet master, and used Pitou’s dead body by it’s own will to launch the attacks.

    2. Remember how the Phantom Troupe decided not to pursue Kurapika after he Judgment Chained Chrollo because the nen of a dead person can become stronger.

      Pitou’s resurrection is actually my favorite moment of this uber episode, partly due to the genius juxtaposition of the sublime piano rendering of Hyori Ittai and the grotesque imagery of blood dripping down from Pitou’s headless body.

  4. I want to confess my love to the people of Madhouse who work on this adaptation. Even if they’re also male. I don’t care. Then I’ll just be bi-sexual. Or maybe Hunter-sexual.

  5. When killua tried to save gon from pitou’s attack, I felt like gon could of dodged it without killua. I saw it as a reference to kite sacrificing his arm because if he moved, gon and killua would of been hurt. Either that, or gon chose to take the attack as retribution for his own sin of letting kite lose his arm and ultimately his life. There are different ways to interpret it though and I’m unsure what really happened.

    Victory, but at a tragic cost. I don’t think gon will lose his nen forever, but I do wonder what his sacrifice fully entails. There really are no miracles in this world, only a cruel reality.

      1. For a split second, I thought Gon was a goner when Killua dived in to save him. But then I thought that’d even be too bold for this show to pull off. It certainly would make poetic sense, and I thought Kurapika dying at the end of Yorkshin would’ve made the same poetic sense (though the end it chose was also satisfactory to me). Having said that, what consequence could Gon have if not losing his life or Nen completely for it to feel like the consequences matter? Is an arm enough? is his permanence in his new state enough of a price? As mentioned, we need to see what happens next week before we can make a full assessment.

        a box like Hippo
      2. Dragon, would losing your men or losing your life be the only way to acquire power? Kurapika gained immeasurable power in a short time span to defeat his enemies, at the coat of physical and mental exhaustion after a delay. Gon has gained far more deadly power at most likely a far more terrible cost. I personally believe he will live. Sacrifice does not always mean death, even in the world of hunter x hunter. Also, his conditions and his convictions also greatly influence his power, don’t forget that. As hippo mentioned, when we learn the full circumstances of his power, then we can make a full assessment.

      3. you do realize that kurapika did not gain this much power right ???
        gon basically became the strongest person in the universe ” other universes too maybe ? ”
        and do you care to explain what other sacrifice you can make other than your life and nen for such powers ???

      4. I agree with Dragon on this one. Whatever Kurapika did wasn’t even in the same league as Gon’s Nen transition, heck, it’s not not even in the same ballpark (gotta keep the baseball analogies flowing), or maybe even planet. At the very least, Kurapika’s Nen powers were explained right after the Nen system dynamics were revealed. It also helped his Specialist powers aren’t a huge leap for him (comparatively speaking), specifically with his red eye condition. Gon’s has yet to be explained, so yeah, let’s wait on that, but comparatively it’s a tall order to fill.

        a box like Hippo
    1. I thought Gon was gonna die too, when those monochrome scenes began (perhaps because I had been fake-spoiled). Now that I’ve seen what really happened, I can finally rest my brain from “what the fuck’s gonna happen now without the MC” and crazy resurrection theories.

      Also, Togashi seems to be fond of torn-arm body horror, just like CLAMP with eyes.

  6. Nicely done madhouse..although i was a little surprised that the animators didnt use the brushstroke Effect that was used in the manga to depict gons blows…awsome none the less..i have not been letdown once by this adaptation….most positive thing ive said ALL YEAR

    BROOKLYN otaku
  7. we have finally hit the ” naruto / fairy tail ” zones this very episode …
    and I really do not like these zones
    let me explain what this means : you do not go naruto zone when you can’t explain how you got this sudden power spike , YOU GO NARUTO ZONE WHEN YOU OBTAIN THE DAMN POWER SPIKE !!!!
    explainations are not important , you have intentions of killing the ants in a believable way ??? DO NOT GIVE THEM LEGENDARY POWERS AND CLAIM THEM TO BE THE STRONGEST CREATURES IN EXISTENCE ….
    so , nobody has ever sacrificed his life to obtain one final power spike ??? really ?
    so neteryo sacrifices his whole nen to scratch the king , he must suck , because gon can do better despite being a 13 year old kid …
    to people saying we didn’t hit the average anime thing this episode : go watch bleach and see what final getsuga tenshou has to say about this

  8. Yep this episode is very polarizing. I myself was also polarized by it too, Enzo. lol

    It did initially feel like a just-in-time insta-boost power-up “emotions awaken superpower” moment that sort of came out of nowhere.

    HxH prides itself at taking the unorthodox route in shounen, especially in the fights. But alas, even Togashi had to come to this.

    Not to say this episode was not exhilarating. It was shocking, exciting and breathtaking. My heart continually pounded throughout. But it was still a Goku awakening his Super Saiyan moment.

    I’ll try to reserve my full judgement till we have more explanation, and witness the full extent of the consequences. But so far, I have very mixed feelings. It’s when you hold an anime like HxH to higher standards than normal (because of how great it is) that these moments can come under a lot of criticism.

    Let’s just hope Togashi won’t pull a stunt like this again lol.

    1. FINALLY !! you my friend , you ….
      this is exactly my point , if it happened in other anime i would be totally fine but not in this one
      just 4 days ago my friends went ” pitou is so dead , gon is the MC so he will get superpowers of some sort ” i went ” not in this world , this is a logical world where you do not get powers just because you want/need them ” …

    2. @EamonX
      lol.. Super Saiyan Moment?.. haha.. You really should reserve your full judgement..

      Try to understand the condition that Gon made so you could stop saying all those things.. 🙂

      1. @mong my friend
        i have said in a comment before that explanations about such powers are just stick ups
        getting this thing already ruins it
        just like when it happens in other anime and just like when they explain how that happened
        i want to make an example , but first : have you seen No Game No Life ?

      2. “lol.. Super Saiyan Moment?.. haha.. You really should reserve your full judgement..”

        Yeah, I’m pretty sure there’ll be dire consequences for Gon. Still, this sort of power-up is well-known used plot device used by tons of anime.
        I will reserve judgement till we know more. I do hope that the information we’ll get will be satisfactory enough.

        In other topics, I kinda miss Hisoka now. It’s been such a long time since we saw him. I kinda hope that Chrollo will appear in the arc(s) after this too. There are 2 Nen exorcists that we know of at the moment. The dude from Greed Island, and the female Chimera Ant that fled during the Palace attack. There’s definitely an important reason why that Ant was introduced as an exorcist and it’s most likely to do with Chrollo gaining his Nen back. And seeing how she’s actually quite weak (apparently weaker than Welfin who’s weaker than Ikalgo) then she’ll be no trouble for the Troupe.

      1. OH MY GOD.. AT LAST.. somebody got it!!… It just Gon doing his thing, but x1000000 , at an extreme level thats all..

        anyway.. it was an awesome episode, it was worth the wait.. excellent job..

  9. I just want to make a comment, I’ve only recently started reading your posts on hunter, and could I just say, that your thoughts on this ep, is so on point and I agree completely. I just finished watching it, and like you, had it partially spoilt (on instagram of all places) and I am still in a state of shock and dramatically speaking, so scared for the next ep, I tried to avoid reading any of the comments in the slight chance there could be a tiny spoiler, but yes I just wanted to say thanks for having these posts, its a great way for someone like me to process everything while reading your posts.

    1. Thanks – I appreciate that. I wish I could guarantee these comments would be a spoiler-free zone, but I can’t – all I can do is rely on people’s decency and do my best to poke around in the dark and delete or tag spoilers without reading them. I can’t ask any of the other writers for help here, as I’m the only one following either the H x H anime or manga, and I’m not willing or able time-wise to exactingly patrol the comments for spoilers I don’t want to see in the first place.

    1. Yeah I just found out the manga has continued. But wasn’t it scheduled to resume again next Monday? Then again, the earlier the better.

      The 13th Chairman Election Arc was announced for the anime a few days ago as well as its cast. I just hope the anime can continue following the manga without stopping though that seems very unlikely given how close we are and its reputation for fast pacing.

  10. just a question out of curiosity : does Pouf have any offensive abilities ???
    does he have any useful ones at all ??? isn’t he supposed to be super strong or so ???
    did not see much of him except for turning himself into flies and shape shifting
    have I missed anything ???

      1. wow , nice reply there
        but seriously , has he attacked anybody yet ??? has he done anything other than spy or fool pitou over the phone ??
        i believe he is the only royal guard not to participate in any battle

      2. It’s safe to assume that Pouf, like the rest of the royal guard has an insane amount of Aura and could probably cut off Kite’s arm without too much effort like Pitou. When he wanted to kill Killua and Komugi he made his fingers together into a sharp point similar to how Pitou does.

        But as of now, Pouf is a lot weaker – at least half of his strength was consumed to revive the King. Probably more. His current state makes him now a more realistic target to defeat for the Hunters. Not to mention he has APR on him now. It’s probably only a matter of minutes till his Nen will be sealed with Zetsu.

        And Youpi. Well he’s chibi now. I doubt he’s even strong enough to match up against Knuckle.

      3. completely with you dude about the aura thing
        but skill wise , he has no offensive ones at all as far as i have seen
        he is more utility oriented i guess , which makes him a ” not a threat ” vs the hunters

    1. How is not a threat? Killua really only has the most useful ability against his clones since he can just burn. But then there is also his scales and his ability to change his appearance. Those are pretty damn useful abilities.

      kamen rider Dragon
    2. Pouf doesn’t seem to have any actual offensive abilities persay, but that’s far from saying he’s not a threat- the separation ability is a pretty insanely good defensive ability; it means he’s pretty close to invincible unless you find a way of locating the main body. And the hypnotic scales have a lot of potential to ruin your day if used properly.

      And he has that pseudo-mind reading ability as well, which makes him very difficult to plan for. And, yes, his aura and generic power boost that come with it are nothing to sneeze at.

      That said, he probably is the overall weakest Royal Guard.

      1. i totally get you , but offensively speaking he does not offer much
        i do realize he is a master tactician , but i do not see him 1 vs 1 with any hunter and win
        he offers a lot to the ants side , just no fancy powers

  11. Oh gosh, gosh, gosh…

    What can I say about this episode?

    It was amazing… it was everything I thought it would be…

    If I could take something from 2 recent anime shows, Gundam Unicorn and No Game No Life, and something I personally believe in: that humanity’s worth lies in our potential, Togashi really does play this card very often in his works so the “Deus Ex Machina” rant that’s being repeated here doesn’t really apply since this sudden power-up is definitely in the realm of possibility… one must only think of the cost though, since when it comes to condition-bound Nen techniques, there’s always a catch.

    But, I feel like there’s something missing in the discussion right now, and that is the “ethicality” of this fight. If one really thinks about it, Gon’s actions are totally one-sided and selfish, since 1.) Kaitou fought intending to kill Pitou, so no one’s in the right 2.) Gon not getting what he wanted threw a tantrum… of “I will kill you” 3.) We see that there’s something seriously wrong with Gon’s mentality 4.) etc. Getting to my point, I personally don’t like Gon as a hero as I like Killua. The latter, at the very least, knows his demons and fights them… whereas the former has psychopathic tendencies (beating a corpse)…

    Ah, but the episode was a sight to behold! I’d say it was one of my most anticipated manga chapters to be animated, and it did not disappoint. But I, for one, am still on the fence on whether or not this is the “best” HxH episode thus far or does the King vs Netero fight still trump it?

    Having said everything… HXH restarted already :3 YEAHHHHHH!

  12. I think Pitou underestimates the strength of her king due to her overprotectiveness as a Royal Guard (plus she never see post-Gungi or post-Rose Meruem in action.) Given how easily Adult Gon loses his arm, he has to be able to critically injure Meruem in one blow or be devoured (which will nullify any harm he manages to inflict on the King.) I highly doubt Gon’s attack is significantly more powerful than Zero Hand (the entirety of Chairman Netero’s aura) which only gives the King cuts and bruises. To destroy Meruem, Gon needs to be more powerful than a point-blank nuke blast.

    (Crime and Punishment)
    1. Wow, I was ninja’d.

      But yeah, Pitou does not have any knowledge about the real combat ability of Meruem. He evolved during the fight against Netero, and even more after his “ressurection”.

  13. Show Spoiler ▼

  14. That wasn’t a fight. That was an execution.

    I have to be honest, I was thrown, and not in a good way, when Gon achieved his power-up with Pitou saying his power was “now equal to the king’s.” I’ll have to assume Pitou wasn’t exaggerating (well, I’m sure Pitou meant pre-evolved King), and it just felt OFF for me to see Gon jump up that many more levels in one sitting.

    But I agree, it’s no celebration. Power-ups in most other shounen also see that that character also grows as a person, which is inspiring. Gon definitely did not “grow up” here. It comes off as something dead depressing.

  15. After reading TV Tropes extensively (checking to see if I just had the wrong idea of a DexM), Gon’s sudden/implied power up seems like at best it falls into the category of a Chekov’s Hobby (maybe even Chekov’s Skill, very similar) and at worst, Superpower Lottery, with DexM sort of the middle ground. It all really depends on how effective you thought the foreshadowing was (or lack thereof).

    I’ll just leave these here:

    a box like Hippo
    1. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume 1. no one read these links 2. you did and your reading comprehension needs work or 3. you don’t think standard rules apply to HxH (if that’s the case, then Togahsi can do no wrong in your eyes even if he’s covered in blood with a dead body nearby).

      if you had read these links you would see that even from what many feel is proper foreshadowing or setup, this still fits these definitions in a few ways:

      “Wing said Gon is a 1 in a 100 million talent/other characters talk of his limitless potential/Gon is crazy and very talented so he could enhance his power exponentially/etc.”

      “Chekhov’s Hobby
      Whenever you prepare for a story you don’t want any plot point to come across as an Ass Pull. But depending on the needs of the story you don’t want to spend more time than necessary to establish a vital skill a character may possess that will prove useful, such as an establishing scene that will be used as a Chekhov’s Skill.

      The solution? Establish the skill of the character through dialogue only. It isn’t much, but it gets the job done in much the same way. …”

      We’ve never seen Gon training this move, and Kurapika’s skill isn’t even remotely close to what he did (and is explained thoroughly). It’s established Biscuit’s power isn’t the same as what Gon did, so we’ve never seen anything quite like it, and so we can only refer to the mentioned verbal setups.

      From the Ass Pull entry, but more to do with DexM:
      In cases where a character suddenly gets a new skill without explanation, it’s usually explained away as a Chekhov’s Classroom or Chekhov’s Skill, except the audience never saw the character attending the lecture in question, or any prior examples of him or her using, or even training that skill.
      An Ass Pull used to resolve an unwinnable situation for the protagonists is a Deus ex Machina.

      The above feels applicable because Gon’s power up seems like a new skill. Forget whether it is indeed his Enhancer Nen powering up, as that hasn’t been established from what we’ve seen, we’re just theorizing that (or manga readers already know that but has little relation to what the anime viewers know at this point).

      Deus ex Machina

      A Deus Ex Machina is when some new event, character, ability, or object solves a seemingly unsolvable problem in a sudden, unexpected way

      Note that there are a number of requirements for a sudden plot development to be a Deus Ex Machina:
      Deus Ex Machina are solutions. They are never unexpected developments that make things worse, nor sudden twists that only change the understanding of a story.
      Deus Ex Machina are sudden or unexpected. This means that even if they are featured or referenced earlier in the story, they do not change the course of nor appear to be a viable solution to the plotline they eventually “solve”.
      The problem a Deus Ex Machina fixes must be portrayed as unsolvable or hopeless. If the problem could be solved with a bit of common sense or other type of simple intervention, the solution is not a Deus Ex Machina no matter how unexpected it may seem.

      This seems to fit a few of the requirements (referenced earlier, is a solution to a hopeless/unwinnable situation/doesn’t change the course or understanding of the story), it’s not perfect, but enough that one can reasonably say, sure, it fits.

      I’m not going to bother going over Superpower Lottery as I don’t really think it falls into that myself, as others may.

      anyhow, I doubt anyone’s going to see it any other way or change their minds even based on this, not that I’m trying to convince anyone, just trying to get you to understand my viewpoint and how I came to it (not that it really matters), nor do I think many of you will bother reading this).

      in the end, I don’t really think this takes away from the rest of the episode. So what, it came off a bit out of nowhere, it’s not really that big of a deal. I can still appreciate the execution of the storyline regardless.

      a box like Hippo
  16. https://randomc.net/image/Hunter%20X%20Hunter/Hunter%20X%20Hunter%20-%20130%20-%20Large%2022.jpg



    It’s such a complicated feeling to see this part get animated. Everything was done so well. The art, the animation, the music. They could have gotten a different VA for Gon at this part though. No offense to Han Megumi but the voice doesn’t fit the body. Or maybe that was the point with the disjoint feeling of the voice to the body.
    The whole powerup thing did come out so suddenly but it properly followed the rules of Nen. And the repercussions for it are pretty grave. Some might not agree but I don’t want to make a fuss out of it.

    And never thought I’d be able to move the HxH manga entry in my MAL from On-Hold to Reading again. New chapter out today.
    Plus voice cast getting announced for the next arc that they will also cover.
    What an awesome time to be a fan of this show.

  17. Tragic! (Gon and not Pitou)

    Was kinda in shock after seeing Gon all powered-up and still trying to process the aftermath of his decision to give up all for the power.

    1. Pitou is equally tragic, imho. It’s like you spend your early life enjoying violence but your main goal is to do whatever is best for your boss. Then your boss fells in love and you too have an epiphany and you learn to protect the weak. Just as you are on the path to become a better person, your life ends abruptly because of a prank call from a mischievous co-worker who wants your boss for himself.

      Evening Elephant
      1. Pitou healed Komugi because the king told him to do so. And he shed tears from the trust the King placed on him, not for an epiphany of “saving the weak”.

        Anyway, I understand why so many fans wanted her evangelized Naruto-style instead of massacred.

  18. Wow my heart was in my throat the entire episode. Gon, what a tragic character. To fall so, it hurts so much.

    The moment he says ” If this is the end……I’ll use everything” made me sink. His eyes clouding up as if to give into the hopelessness. I just can’t see Gon mentally recovering from this, let alone physically.

    And Killua…dear Kill. You must be so mentally shattered. I can’t see either of these two geting involved withe the Queen. They’ve been KO’d

  19. Its not an Deus Ex Machina.. or something out of Togashi’s ass ala Bleach, Gon is an Enhancer,and a VERY talented one.. just like Wing said: he is 1 in 100 million.

    He didnt aged or anything like that.. he just enhanced his body to be able to defeat Pitou.

    Its just like what Biscuit do.. BUT.. in reverse.. thats all..

  20. What an awesome intensity in this episode. The art style, the music and sounds effects all gives the feeling of someting very very wrong about this power-up.

    Especially the discordant noises as he went for his first Rock…cause that screeching sounds really shows that he uses his power full of hate, rage and lost of life.

    As for deus ex machina. Power-ups always come in stressful life-or-death situations. In RL, adrenaline helps you to push you beyond your limits. In gon’s case, his nen respondent to his fatalistic mindset and rage. For Goku, it was the death of his friend ,for Gon, the confirmed death of his friend. Unlike Goku, Gon will suffer, suffer so badly as he is not meant to have this power for a long, long time.

    1. You’re correct, there are real life instances where people get adrenaline spikes to do things they didn’t think possible, ie. mother moving car with bare hands, but it’s certainly not in the same category with what Gon did. There are limits to what the adrenaline spike will do, like you’ll never be able to move a building or lift past a certain amount of weight. A car is doable, it’s within the realm of possibility and the limitations of what your body can handle.

      a box like Hippo
      1. doubt anyone will see this at this point, but I found the downvote to be amusing, as the downvote doesn’t stop the statement from being true. just like science, your agreement is not needed for it to remain true. smh.

        a box like Hippo
    1. Yes, the resolution would of been widely different. Perhaps pitou would be more reluctant to tell gon kite is unrecoverable (pitou may have lied about that since he longer had a reason to heal kite if he believed komugi was safe, or it was the truth, open to interpretation). Pitou healing his arm and declaring his killing intent were the tipping points for the now broken gon to unleash everything he has to kill him. Gon may not of had to use his power to fight at that moment if pitou didn’t instigate a fight, although he may have had to reveal his power eventually.

  21. This episode felt wrong. Not because of Gon’s power up, but because of Gon’s motivation. This is mainly because the anime fucked up Kaito and Gon’s backstory.
    – Manga Kaito was Gon’s first Hunter acquaintance and childhood idol.
    – Anime Kaito was just some random Ging disciple that Gon teleported to.
    Gon’s extreme grief and subsequent self-sacrificing power-up is much more justified in the manga, but feels cheap if you only watch the anime or only consider the anime’s canon. Kaito actually taught Gon a lot more in the manga, so Gon’s utterance of “just as Kaito taught me” is much more logical.

    Also, this episode dragged on way too long and covered way too little, but that’s a problem with the whole anime adaptation in general. Pitou never meekly followed Gon out into the woods too…ugh.

    1. I doubt there’s any question manga’s are different from their anime adaptations. Every single book I’ve read that’s been adapted is NEVER up to par with it’s live action(not even Bladerunner, which falls comically short from Philip K Dicks vision. But still remains a sci fi classic).

      Anywho I do recall Kaito speaking about Gon and his childhood in the anime, albeit very short. It implied, very loosely, that Kaito was around for Gons youth where Gin was not. But I agree to a certain extent the ep does feel wrong. Perhaps we didn’t get enough Kaito/Gon backstory. There’s strong love from Gon, but why? Their time together in the anime was very brief. Interesting.

    2. Comment 100! woo hoo!

      anyhow, just wanted to add, yes, there was a brief scene of Kite and Gon in the beginning of the series, and yes I agree, it got short shrift so we don’t really get a good idea of their earlier relationship, which makes what’s happening now seem sort of crazy comparatively.

      I’ve mentioned before, the original series fleshed it out pretty well that I would recommend people go back and watch the first few episodes of it just for some extra story layering. There’s a lot of extra side stories this version left out, that while not significant, just add a little more depth to the overall story. Very enjoyable stuff.

      a box like Hippo
    1. That’s honestly the point Togashi is trying to make with this arc. Humans, as a species overall at least, are nasty. If we win over the chimera ants it wont be because we are kinder or “better” or have some nonexistent moral high ground. It’ll be because humans are actually far, far more monstrous then the chimera ants are. We stomp out anything that threatens us. We are the cruelest creatures on this planet. Netero shows it in his fight with Meruem, and now Gon shows it here with Pitou.

  22. This was a great episode. I thought so when I first saw it and feel it even more so no that I’ve had some time to mull it over. But even more notable is that this is probably Enzo’s best Hunter x Hunter post as of jet and I can’t help but be glad for that.

    A lot of his posts in the episodes Enzo calls monumental are filled with comparisons and call-backs but this post is really just all about the episode itself and surprisingly that says a whole lot more about this episode and its relative place in the series than all the meta postings.

  23. Oh my God…that was all I could say throughout watching this episode. That’s actually all I can say about it because I don’t know how else I can talk about what happened. All I know is that i really hope the anime will continue into the next arc to see if Gon and be at piece with what he’s done. Oh, and that Pouf dies a slow, painful death.

  24. You know you’re watching a classic when an episode leaves you absolutely startled, even having read the manga long ago and knowing what was going to happen.

    I hadn’t feel this since the Euphinator incident and Kaiji.

Leave a Reply

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