「(テジナシ × ト× ヒツジ」 (Tejinashi × to × Hitsuji)
“Magician × And × Butler”

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.

List of people not to piss off:

3. Illumi Zoldyck

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is the phrase that keeps popping into my mind as the events of the Election arc play out. We’re seeing it in evidence all over the map, both in the unfolding Zoldyck family drama and in the election itself. It starts with Netero’s decision to make Pariston his vice-chairman and builds from there, and it underlies much of what’s happening in this arc. The complicating factor is that because this is Hunter X Hunter, it’s not straightforward to figure out which category nearly everyone falls into in relation to everyone else – and you can add “neither” and “both” to the list of possibilities.

There are a few unassailable truths here, anchors that we can cling to as the waves of uncertainty wash all around us. Killua loves Gon, and would do anything up to and including sacrificing himself to save him. Killua loves Alluka, and is certain (I’m not) that no one else in the Zoldyck Household does. Leorio is resolutely loyal to his friends and seriously pissed off at the behavior of those he thinks should be but aren’t. Hisoka wants to have a good time as often and as thoroughly as possible. Pariston is ambitious to a fault. But what we can’t say for certain outweighs what we can by a wide margin.

The first legal ballot in the Chairman Election is certainly an interesting place to start. Gon jumped up to four votes, interestingly – the mention by Leorio? But the big mover is unsurprisingly Leorio himself, who went from zero to third place, with 55 votes. As for Pariston, he’s at 39% of the vote – so far ahead of the pack that it’s hard to see him losing without a game-changing event. The list of 16 qualifiers for the runoff is a fascinating one, full of names we don’t know – the top-ranked at #6 being the bizarre Ickshonpe Katocha, a “Single Star Hacker Hunter, living the digital world” who’s yet to cast a vote. My favorite moment of Beans’ rundown was 10th Place Bisky, though – “The Associations’s mother big sister figure. More and more people want her to scold them.”

I’m assuming Chekov’s Ickshonpe will assert itself, and Katocha-san will become an important figure in subsequent votes. And it seems to be that if the other Zodiacs are serious about defeating Pariston, they should really pool all their support behind a single candidate – as most of them are in the runoff and splitting a large number of votes. But the election really isn’t the main focus here, which is the Zoldyck drama. Killua is actually watching the recap and Beans’ announcement in the limo with some interest, especially when he sees Leorio using Nen (which he immediately identifies as Emitter). But that’s quickly forgotten when Illumi intrudes on events in a big way. The moment Gotoh’s phone rings, the game changes.

If there’s an element that bothers me here, it’s the notion that Illumi could have caused the chain of events that he did without worrying about the possibility that Killua would have died in the accident – that just seems far-fetched to me. Setting that aside, it’s a great “all Hell breaks loose” kind of moment, where loyalties are revealed and intentions revealed. Killua deems Gotoh to be more or less on his side after Gotoh uses Illumi’s name to spark enough of a reaction by Amane (Inoue Marina) – who’s revealed to be Tsubone’s granddaughter – to unmask her and by extension Tsubone as loyal to Silva and Zeno and likely not Illumi. Hisoka goads Illumi into showing his bloodlust by “joking” about killing Killua – an act he likely committed on purpose in order to force Illumi to reveal his presence, and suggesting his own loyalty is ultimately to Gon (and thus in practical terms Killua, for the duration of this mission) rather than Illumi.

We have so many different forces pulling in different directions here it’s hard to tell the players without a scorecard. Hisoka does of course care for his own life and this has a reason to help Illiumi here, but he genuinely wants Gon to live – he’s helping Illumi for now but as always, playing his cards close to the vest when he’s not trying to kill people with them. Tsubone and Amane are loyal to Silva and Zeno, both of whom fundamentally prefer Killua to Illumi (as does Tsubone) and on some level Gotoh and Canaria are too, but they’re even more torn by personal loyalty to Killua.

For Killua, the operational truth is this – even if as Amane says she and her grandmother (and thus Zeno and Silva) don’t consider themselves Killua’s enemy here, he considers them his enemy because they don’t consider Alluka part of the family. And with the Zoldycks that has a rock-hard practical implication – that means it’s open season on Alluka during a mission, because Alluka isn’t considered a family member. And that means the moment Killua loses close contact with Alluka, Alluka could die. And let’s not forget that a “little bird” somewhere close to Killua is spying for Illumi – and Illumi thus knows that Killua knows of rules regarding Alluka’s power that he himself does not.

It’s a fascinating tangle, that’s for sure. We get real introspection from Alluka – who seems extremely simple and childlike for an 11 year-old – for the first time in the form of the “Would things be easier if I were dead?” question. Both Kil’s response and Alluka’s reaction are powerful – Killua asks “Would it make you said if no one in the world loved you except me?” The answer of course is no, that actually makes Alluka ecstatically happy because to be loved by Killua is more than enough. There’s your moment of directness and simplicity amidst all the machinations and deception – sibling love that trumps personal welfare and family politics.

What will Hisoka do here, when the real shit goes down? For now he’s facing off against Gotou more or less at Illumi’s bidding, the mission being to get the butlers out of the way so a clear shot at killing Alluka can be had. But even if Hisoka values Illumi as one of his favorite toys, he wants Gon – who seems to be his favorite toy of all – to live. That means helping Killua (a much-loved toy himself) do what he’s trying to do with Alluka’s power, and that means defying Illumi – and putting his own life at risk. As wonderful as it is seeing Hisoka in troll and badass mode again, it’s equally welcome to see him put in such an unfamiliar position, and to muse on just what his ultimate intentions are.




  1. Just a random question: In itself, what does the chairman specifically do in terms of organizing and leading the hunter organization?

    Based on the episode, one of my favorite scenes were the ones involving Hisoka. Its always so priceless whenever Hisoka involves himself in these situations but he always put his personal interests first.

    1. From what we have seen so far, the chairman is responsible for the following:

      – Overseeing the Hunter exam
      – Mediating between the Hunter Association and the government
      – Assigning difficult missions to the appropriate Hunters
      – Being the face of the Hunter Association to represent/promote the status

      1. I think it’s obvious Hisoka does value Illumi he rated him the highest at the Association HQ. And he’s even said that Illumi is more messed up than he is. Who knows why he pals around with him though, it’s a weird relationship for sure.

        kamen rider Dragon
  2. From the article: “If there’s an element that bothers me here, it’s the notion that Illumi could have caused the chain of events that he did without worrying about the possibility that Killua would have died in the accident – that just seems far-fetched to me.”

    I am glad you brought that up. My guess is that his true objective was to get them out of the car. This way he could send Hisoka down there to take out the butlers. I am worried for Gotoh!!! Next episode will be a great fight!

    Really enjoying this new story arc. Don’t get me wrong, the former Ant arc was truly epic but it was a bit too dark for my tastes and went a bit long (for me). Now the show is getting back to the humor and we get to see more of the ‘original’ cast (like Leorio!)

    Rick Anime
  3. The chase scene looked right outta Final Destination.
    Also, today I learned that a Mercedes limo can go off-road better than any rally car. However its armor plating can’t withstand steel rods.

  4. Ya seemed to me the butlers were always going to protect Kill, and knowing how powerful they have to be to serve the Zoldyck’s they can hold their own. So to get them out of the car and seperate them. Divide and conquer is illumi’s plan.

    but who on earth is the little bird? Even Tsubone knew about Kills god speed and that only just happened and in the middle of a battle with a royal guard…..could it be the Milluki with his hacking prowess?

    These faces! Hisoka and even Illumi….hillarious. This is turning out to be a fascinating arc. How is it possible to continue to deliver such great plot arc after arc after arc!?

  5. Damn, this could be the first time we see Hisoka going all out. Back during the Hunter Exam, he wasn’t breaking a sweat. Gon’s duel saw Hisoka holding back a lot. And during Greed Island, Hisoka was merely playing a game.

    Gotoh is no doubt a very powerful and experienced Nen user so this time we’re seeing Hisoka fighting more seriously.

      1. Doubtful. It looked like he was just putting on a show for the spectators. Machi mentioned it too. And Hisoka wanted to figure out what Castro’s power was albeit in a reckless manner.

      2. Hard to say, really. He certainly was putting on a show for the crowd, but I don’t think that’s mutually exclusive with going all out for him.

        Similarly, I think he was reasonably serious in Greed Island. He was treating it as a game, but no more than he treats everything as a game.

        It’s my belief that to get Hisoka to stop playing around, you’d basically have to have already won the fight.

  6. I think Madhouse miscolors Silva as Machi in the dolls image. The hair style is Silva’s. The doll is adjacent to Zeno doll. The cloth color in the manga is dark, which is the color of Silva’s costume (Machi’s usual costume has a blank coloring in the manga).



    Even with all his teasing, I personally don’t think Hisoka views Machi as a toy. The way he interacts with her is probably the closest thing to heterosexual affection a psychotic clown can display.

    Zombie Pitou
      1. I doubt Hisoka has ever seen Ging in person yet Ging doll is there. I think the doll collection also includes powerful fighters Hisoka knows their existence but (probably) never meet in person such as Ging and the Zoldyck patriarchs.

        Another reason why I think the doll is Silva is the elliptical shape of its head, especially compared to the other dolls. Machi’s head should be more circular (may be the shape of Kurapika doll’s head).

        Zombie Pitou
      1. If Phantom Rouge is meh (which it is I think), The Last Mission is super meh. The only good point I can think of in tLM is SPOILER! that we get to see Gon once again use a fishing rod to fight. Honestly, both HxH movies have been a huge disappointment for me, they contrast so heavily in term of story quality with what we are used to have with HxH.

  7. My theory on the election is Pariston will win, but will be forced to take a vice chairman he doesn’t like (to keep him in check just like Netero did) by one (or more) of the zodiacs who will change their vote as long as he fulfills that requirement. and that may have been Ging’s plan all along!

    and yes, that car crash sequence was ridiculous.

    and poor Alluka, I feel pretty bad for the way she’s been treated by everyone outside of Killua.

    Impel Down Hippo
    1. Nah, Leorio is going to win. It seems obvious now. His instant and unexpected fame took him to third place. Most likely, Cheadle & co are going to try and use that to their advantage to defeat Pariston.

      1. In my opinion, I’m not so sure that Leorio is going to win. It would be really interesting to see him battle it out, but so far Leorio hasn’t shown any motivation to become chairman. He simply confronted Gon’s dad for being a douche and gave him a good punch, but he didn’t do it to become popular. That being said, an election seems right into Leorio’s alley of expertise, it’ll be amusing to see what he does.

      2. Hippo, you forget that Pariston has not secured a majority i.e. less than 50%. Though near impossible, it’s still a possibility Leo could somehow gather all or most of the remaining votes.

      3. EamonX

        Pariston may not have 50% of the votes, but he has just about 200 more votes than the 2nd or 3rd place finisher. I suppose everyone could in theory pool all their votes for someone else like Leorio, but that doesn’t seem likely. Sure it could happen, but we haven’t seen anything that would get his votes up that much besides punching Ging. I’m guessing he’ll have to do something else spectacular for other voters to switch their votes.

        Impel Down Hippo
  8. Something bothers about Killua and Alluka. If Killua loves his sister so much, why did he wait to have to use her before trying to free her from her prison? Why did it become an objective for him the exact moment he needed her in order to heal Gon? If he trully loves her, why did he spent the 130ish last episodes like she did not even existed? You could explain it by the fact that Killua needed a very good reason to even be allowed to SEE her but even then, I think he is intelligent enough to make something up.

    Just to be clear: I am not doubting that Killua is saying the truth when he says that he loves Alluka. My point is that as a story, and especially for the story quality we are used to have with HxH, I find it kind of a stretch. Anyone have the same impressions?

    1. I sort of see what you’re saying, and one could certainly make the argument that it’s plot driven, but we should remember Killua episode 3 (or 4?) was a far different Killua than he is now. He still had that needle in his head, and when Gon had met him, he was essentially a cold-blooded assassin/was in the process of becoming one. Gon is what helped him change into the caring Killua we see now. and in real-time, he’s been a little busy to go back – York Shin, Greed Island, Chimera Ant, and I guess whenever Phantom Rouge took place (a little after York Shin?) is when he got that needle out, and could thus freely into evolve to the Killua of today.

      Impel Down Hippo
      1. The needle and the fact that Kilua has grown through the story are both satisfying explanations. I am not buying the idea that Kilua was too “occupied” to save his sister though. No way that following Gon to Greed Island is more important than Alluka (at least for Killua in its current state).

      2. maybe busy was the wrong word, but all those events happened to his character so quickly that he got swept away in them that he didn’t have time to think. the aftermath of Chimera Ant just happened to coincide with his needing her help (whether or not you buy into that, your mileage may vary). and he did have that throw away line when he went down to the vault of “I can’t believe I left you down here for so long.” or something to that effect that showed his past actions concerning Alluka horrified his current self.

        Impel Down Hippo
      3. Ok Hippo, you convinced me there :). I am still wondering though if the author had Alluka in mind since the beginning of the series or if she is an afterthought that happened to fit relatively well in the world he already created…

      4. I’d like to think Togahsi had Alluka in mind when he started the series since we’ve always known there was a fifth “brother” when they introduced the Zoldych family way back when.

        Impel Down Hippo
    2. I also believe we’re (wrongly) believing that all of the “conditions” as
      far as Alluka’s power have been revealed in the story line – we should
      know better after all we’ve watched in the H×H world…

      My theory is that she must somehow participate in this process of freeing her,
      and maybe the conditions have to be just right for this to happen, and they
      didn’t exist earlier. And, Killua, as has been mentioned, has grown much, too.

      Definitely lovin’ it so far…

      1. I don’t believe her powers are the direct source of the reason she is emprisonned… she was locked in a room because the Zoldycks put her there out of fear for her powers. I don’t understand your comment.

        Also don’t get me wrong, I love this new arc and the change of tone it brings after the chimera ants! I was just pointing out something that was bothering me in the story (probably the first time it happened for me in this anime).

      2. @Gintoki – n.p. It’s all good discussion.

        What I was trying to say is that I believe there are more “conditions”
        to Alluka’s power than the story has revealed to its audience to date.
        But Killua knows what they are but hasn’t revealed them to his family
        because they have insincere agendas for her: One wants to control her,
        one wants to kill her, one wants to use her wish for a new computer, etc.

        Killua is the only one who truly loves her and sees her as a family member.
        I really like the way things are slowly being built up in this arc, too.


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