「会長 x と x 放出」 (Kaichou x to x Houshutsu)
Chairman × And × Release””
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.
I’m beginning to think my request to Nanika would be “Make Hunter X Hunter go on forever.”
This isn’t getting any easier, I can promise you. When you find yourself tearing up during the opening credits, that’s a bad sign – and the next two weeks are going to be pretty rocky. It’s just hard to accept that this series is really ending, not just because three years is an enormously long time to bond with any set of fictional characters, but because Hunter X Hunter is so unique in anime. There just aren’t shows that do what it’s done for this long – it simply doesn’t happen. I know Madhouse is going to give H x H the sendoff it deserves because they’ve done pretty much everything brilliantly with this series, but that’s not going to make the moment any easier.
I can say with certainty that Hunter X Hunter continues to defy expectations right up to the end, which is fitting because Togashi is at heart a troll, and that’s why he writes great troll characters. Last week’s preview was a bit of a misdirection, because I certainly didn’t expect Gon’s tears to be accompanied by “Because of me, Kaitou turned into a little girl!” I could see where the reunion between father and son would be anti-climactic for some, because it certainly didn’t follow the conventional path. But since when do we wish Hunter X Hunter would follow the conventional path?
In reflecting back on that scene, it strikes me that Gon’s reunion with Leorio was much more like a father-son reunion – which is fitting, because Leorio (among others) is much more like a father to Gon than Ging is. Gon doesn’t call Ging “Dad”, and that’s as it should be – Ging isn’t his father in anything but the biological sense. And their reunion was much more reflective of the image of Ging that Gon had built up in his mind than any traditional paternal role – Gon was upset that he’d let Ging down by causing Kaitou to die, by not being strong enough. If he was upset because his father had avoided him for his entire life and never even visited him in the hospital, he didn’t betray it – but one suspects there was a whisper of that in Gon’s tears.
Let the record show, my heart is with the assembled Hunters who called Ging out for the douchebag of a dad he is, and it galled me to see Gon apologizing to Ging when it should have been the other way around. But the funny thing is, for all that their relationship is bizarre you can still see that they’re father and son in the way each of them is discomfited and unsettled by being in each other’s presence – no matter how much both of them try to pretend their biological relationship doesn’t matter, it does.
Togashi defuses the tension of the moment with a lot of humor, and keeps the focus on Ging’s command to Gon about how to apologize to a friend (and it’s not Kaitou with whom we’re going to see it most powerfully followed – Gon is fully aware that he has unfinished business with his most important friend) but the fact is, Ging was already planning on escaping before Gon could return from the errand he was sending him on and it was only the angered intervention of the other Hunters that momentarily at least caused him to relent. The most heartbreaking part of all this to me is the way Gon reveals just how much of a child he still is, his eagerness when he tentatively asks if he might speak more with Ging after he gets back – as if that were some onerous request. It’s very good that Gon has the friends he does, because I don’t think his relationship with his father is ever going to be emotionally rewarding, and Ging certainly isn’t going to be a mentor to see his son through into adulthood.
Once again Togashi ties in Gon’s drama with that of the election, which is still foremost on the minds of Pariston and Cheadle. Cheadle sees opportunity here, to try and exploit Gon’s adorableness and popularity to create an emotional groundswell for Leorio – but as usual Pariston is many steps ahead of her. He intercedes and effectively asks Gon to be the one to choose the next Chairman, recognizing both that in the heat of the moment his choice will sway the voters and that he’s likely to choose Pariston. He tells Gon Netero is on an “extended vacation” (I’m surprised he didn’t say “gone to a farm in the country to play with other Hunters”) – an obvious lie Cheadle might have stepped in and corrected but didn’t. Maybe it’s better that Gon doesn’t have the guilt of Netero’s death to deal with on top of everything else just at this moment, but the truth is still going to hit him hard when he hears it.
It’s not a surprise when Gon chooses Pariston – he’s shocked even to hear that Leorio is running, and Leorio (truthfully) denies any interest in being Chairman. Gon’s reasoning is perfectly Gon – that’s not Leorio’s dream, and it’s more important that he follow it than become Chairman. And it’s no surprise that afterwards, the vote is lopsided for Pariston (72.1%). What Pariston does next is a surprise on some level – hell, even Ging admits he didn’t see it coming – but in a sense, perfectly in-character. He appoints Cheadle (not Mizaistom, who he’d earlier touted as the best candidate when it suited his manipulations) as his Vice-chairman, then resigns. The master manipulator, a troll to the end. In the final analysis, Pariston really did have no interest in dealing with the headache of being Chairman, just as Ging said – he just wanted to manipulate the process and have a good time.
If you look at the “Election” arc as a story of manipulators in Pariston and Illumi, this seems to be the difference – with Illumi, the manipulation is directed towards the goal of gathering as much power as possible. With Pariston conventional power is irrelevant – the power he enjoys is the ability to mess with people, to pull their strings for its own sake. There doesn’t have to be a reason for it. It’s clear there was an understanding between he and Netero on a very deep level – that the two of them are more alike than those like Cheadle would care to admit. For now Pariston is content to leave the Chairmanship as a tainted prize for Cheadle, but with a promise that if she lets things get boring, he’s going to take her down – and it’s one that if I were in her shoes I would take very seriously. In a sense Pariston is even more dangerous than Illumi because it’s his lack of ambition that makes him powerful – ultimately the actions of someone like Illumi can be predicted more easily than someone like Pariston, because he has a specific and conventional goal in mind.
In fact, Togashi has saved the biggest emotional moments of the episode not for Gon and Ging, but for Killua and Alluka (and Nanika). There’s a certain inherent limitation to this for me, as I don’t have the long-fostered investment in this relationship that I do with Gon and Killua or Leorio, or even Ging – whose presence has always been a major part of the series, even when he wasn’t present. And there’s still a bit too much of the plot device in Alluka’s character – Alluka’s nature is not easy to justify within the series’ mythology (at least not without a better explanation than Togashi has provided), and Alluka’s power is a bit too convenient for the purposes of what Togashi needed to accomplish in this arc to be fully believable.
If the scenes between siblings are not as emotionally powerful for me as the true blockbusters of the series, they still pack a punch. For me it’s less about the relationship than about Killua himself and what it says about him. It seems Killua has indeed left Gon’s side before he woke, at least nominally to deal with Illumi – though it seems very likely he also simply wasn’t ready to deal with that moment. As Illumi theorizes about the nature of Something’s power, Killua and Alluka wait inside the pop-up hospital for his arrival. There’s no confirmation that Illumi’s theory – the crucial element of which is that when Killua (and likely only Killua) issues commands instead of making wishes, there is no resultant cost to be paid – is correct. But the lack of denial makes me suspect he’s effectively on-point. And with the ability to manipulate this power Killua is basically omnipotent – which makes Illumi that much more desperate to in-turn control Killua.
It must be said that we have no reason to suspect that if he’d wanted to, Killua couldn’t have simply ordered Nanika to kill Illumi – to erase his entire existence. But instead, he orders Nanika to send Illumi home, leaving him as a potentially deadly threat to the life he hopes to lead with Alluka at his side. Killua still views Illumi as a brother, and as we now know he’s one of the most sentimental people in the cast. That’s what makes his next order all the more agonizing for him – he commands Nanika to never appear again, convinced it’s the best thing for Alluka’s happiness. This despite Nanika’s repeated declarations of love for Killua – as “Killua”, not “Onii-chan”. It rips Killua’s heart out to do this, but by now Killua must have more scar tissue than heart left, given how many times he’s done that to himself.
In the end it’s Alluka who convinces Killua of the error of his ways. The message here seems to be that Nanika is very much as “real” as Alluka is – that where the true sibling begins and ends is not so easy to see. Was Nanika created by Alluka as a way to try and please Killua, to earn his love, as Killua theorizes? Who knows – there are still far more questions than answers with this character(s). The point is that here and now, both Alluka and Nanika are real and both love Killua – and that Alluka considers Nanika a separate and distinct person, and one whose feelings are worth caring about. In the end Killua – as usual in his post-needle form – elects the more difficult and dangerous but potentially rewarding course, that of allowing both Alluka and Nanika to exist in the visible world. There’s far more to this story than what’s happened so far, though how much of it we’ll see depends on Togashi-sensei’s health.
All of this – Leorio, Ging, Alluka, the Chairman election, Hisoka and Illumi – all of it is preamble to what’s indisputably the main event of this arc. That of course is the reunion of Gon and Killua, and to say that it’s a crucial moment for Hunter X Hunter is an understatement of biblical proportions. If the quest for an absent Ging was the literal driver of the series, the relationship between these two remarkable children is its heart and soul, a real and tangible thing, present through almost all of the story. Really, there can be no more deferring to bigger things ahead, no more deflection – for Hunter X Hunter, even as it continues in manga form, this is the climax. That makes next week’s episode fundamentally different than every one that’s come before, and given what this series has already delivered that thought is hard to wrap my head around. Even when I think I know what to expect from H x H I’m often surprised, and next week I don’t even know what to expect. The only thing I can be sure of it that it’s going to be an emotional experience that’s going to hit like a ton of bricks, and no amount of steeling myself for the moment is going to dull the impact.
What did Gon realise when it struck him that Ging used the word “again” as in “he’ll smack you again”?
that he was there watching them
Flipping Ging. So he continues to troll us and Gon. He was THERE when Kite first met Gon as a kid???
Ah I was wondering along those lines. That’s crazy
I don’t think we can assume Ging was there. Ging and Kaitou are friends – you don’t think Kaitou would have reported back on that meeting?
Yeh you’re right. They did show the scene where he thanks Kite for punching him.
I feel that once the last episode of Hunter × Hunter 2011 has aired, I’m going to burst out crying like Show Spoiler ▼
all over again. I better brace myself.
As always, I appreciate the coverage given by Guardian Enzo and Random Curiosity on a series that is a must-watch for those who have not yet done so already.
Long-time appreciate-r, first time poster.
My weekly routine after watching Hunter,is to rush to RC to get your take on the episode.
Thank you so much for your insightful posts, Enzo! Your coverage is one-of-a-kind. Will definitely miss your take on the series.
That’s very kind of you Maria, thank you. I can say with complete honesty that it’s been a pleasure blogging this show, and that its absence is going to leave a crater in my anime life.
Is this …. really … coming to .. an end ????
I need Nanika to erase my memory so i can go back and re-watch it from Episode 1 …..
looks like Killua finally figured out he had another sibling
This. This is the section where my eyes getting teary. T_T the reality of the condition is not always a good thing. Killua knows that if Nanika exist, Alluka would always be in danger however, on the other aspect, Allluka herself does hold Nanika to be the same level as herself. Together as a human beings who like their doting brother.
I really wishes that Togashi will allow us to see more of their development here in the future.
I feel like Killua should make one final wish, that Alluka and Something become two separate, whole people, almost like setting a genie free from his lamp; they deserve that much. maybe that’s what he’ll wish for in the end.
Has anyone noticed how Phinks, of the Spiders, was there? I was hoping Ging would indeed get a more interesting challenge instead of some one-sided massacre on his rather “beloved fans.”
Phinks isn’t a Hunter, so most likely Madhouse was just saving a few Yen on character models.
And here I was overthinking things too much. I mean, as we saw how friendly Kalluto and Phinks were during the Ant Arc, I had thought that Kalluto had brought Phinks with him. As she “swears to get his brother back,” I had imagined Kalluto would bring someone that Killia had trouble defeating in the past, as we now saw Illumi failing. Then the worst case scenario is how Kalluto would give Alluka to the spiders, thus separating Killia and Alluka forever, I mean some wish granting power is likely something the Spiders want. Of course, we don’t know which brother she is referring to, so it could mean either Killia or Alluka. But, judging from the preview, there isn’t that much of a plot twist.
You do know that Kalluto is indisputably a boy, right?
U do know Enzo, everything that is cute and moe is girl right?^_^
Maybe Phinks took Shalnarks advice and became a Hunter Offscreen. (But yeah probably just cost saving.)
I never thought that a pair of scribbled eyes could make me so emotional.
For so long, the goal of Hunter x Hunter has always been the reunion of Gon and his father. I wonder what awaits…
>>I’m beginning to think my request to Nanika would be “Make Hunter X Hunter go on forever.”
You should ask somehing like “Make Togashi Sensei immortal, and relieve him of all that troubles that usually make him put the manga on hiatus.”
Two episodes left. If the anime continues to adapt two manga chapters per episode, the anime will end at chapter 340 which is less ideal as a conclusion compared to the end of chapter 339.
I’m surprised I’m only realizing this now but, the Hunters Association really is one massive daredevils’ club. For a while I was thinking hunters like Hisoka are more of an outlier than the norm, but that’s not right is it? What is Hisoka if not one big adrenaline junkie (with a penchant for murder)? Then that puts him on the same boat as Netero, Ging, and even Pariston.
What separates the Association then, from groups like the Phantom Troupe, is that its more on the ethical, legal side of things (but only SLIGHTLY just). I bet the Association’s founders just wanted to build up an organization to support their dangerous hobbies, and that meant its members had to be just as dangerous too. And that meant governments would take notice and hire them for dangerous jobs. So it snowballed into a powerful, international organization of very strong people. After that, people with more “practical” wants (money, influence, etc.) started applying too.
Hunters like Teradein and Illumi then, aren’t really HUNTER Hunters. Cheadle isn’t too, though she certainly does mean well.
What is with all this feel here.T_T
That interaction between Killua and Nanika is making my eyes teary here.T_T
This episode really felt like the beginning of a countdown to the end :<
I was expecting Gon to be more angry w/ Ging, but now that I think about it, that wouldn't be very realistic. Gon continues to be a character whose mind works in mysterious ways.
Somebody should make a “Trololo” clip of Paristroll.
Killua to Something, “Make me strong enough to protect you.”
Interesting as that would be obvious. Maybe Killua already is…
Dunno what I’m gonna do once this finishes. Maybe they’ll pick it
up again in a couple of seasons, I sure hope so!
He’d transform into Killua-san.
So yeah… Where’s Kurapika?
There’s still the final rule that Killua mentioned before. But I guess we might never know what it is.
But seriously, as long as you “command” Nanika, he/she won’t make someone else fulfill costly requests?
What is the technical difference between a wish and a command?
what killua explained is the final rule , that commanding Nanika is the thing
I do think this works only if killua commands her , because he said if his family finds out the final rule they will stick needles in him
But instead the family lifted restrictions. Somehow I don’t think it’s the final rule but if it is, a little anticlimactic there.
Man this show is just so deep. sigh, wish the other shows I’ve been watching from the summer season were of this same caliber. Most of the other anime are decent in their own ways but they tend to rely on all kinds of anime cliches. This show just kept it real. I guess after this show ends I will have to pick another ‘ongoing’ series to watch. but will always miss this one…
I would ask Nanika to make togashi sensei less lazy. but the cost would probably be too high.
Yeah, the snarky comments get funnier every time I read them.
there is one positive, the end of the election arc is a very good stopping point where you dont really feel everything got left hanging
on the other hand the little we got from the dark continent arc, is already phenomenally epic, the setup, the players etc.
It promises to be yet another incredibly good arc, which makes his Hiatuses so painful
That is why I believe that laziness is not the reason for his breaks, he could end HXH anytime he wants if he’s lazy.
He wants to work but something is preventing him
The story is just breath taking. I will always want more Gon and the gang. Can’t wait til start a re-watch in the future. The connections of family and friendship are boundless here and come on all the trolling is the best part. Hunter x Hunter will end in style with tears shed from beginning to end and I will love every moment of it.
I haven’t watched this episode yet but I’m happy to know that Gon have already seen his father – and that he didn’t run away. My husband said it’s a great episode.