「スクイ×ト×ミライ」 (Sukui x to x Mirai)
“Salvation × And × Future”

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 suppose the only surprise by now would be if Hunter X Hunter didn’t surprise me. So I guess this episode was unsurprising…

It was very hard to bring myself to start this episode. I expected that, but when the time came it was even worse than I expected. The reason is obvious – watching brings me that much closer to Hunter X Hunter being over, and I’m still struggling to wrap my head around Hunter X Hunter being over. In a real sense, too, this episode strikes me as the finale rather than the literal one – I knew that going in even without having read the manga, but I feel more strongly than every after having watched it that I was right.

I’ll save the real summation stuff for next week – not that I could hope to do justice to three years of brilliance in a few clumsy paragraphs. There’s plenty to chew on in the episode itself, and for me at least it’s one that carries some bittersweet elements – not everything here was as I imagined it or wanted it to be. But Togashi has certainly earned the right to take this story where he thinks best, and he’s never been predictable in any respect.

Raise your hands, non-manga readers, if you expected the first third of the episode to focus on Koala. This is a classic Togashi misdirection – tease the hell out of a huge event in the series canon, then turn the camera on- what, a character from the fourth tier? Fifth? To even call Koala a major supporting character would be a stretch – he’s been absent for a year of episodes, and wasn’t even a high-ranking member of the Chimera hierarchy, just a foot soldier. A really interesting one, yes, but never one who gave reason to suspect he was going to have the moments he had this week.

Just as classically Togashi is that he made Koala’s part of the episode utterly compelling (though Horiuchi Kenyuu deserves a lot of credit too) – in fact, I would argue the best part of the episode (which is in itself bittersweet for me). In effect, what we have here is the de facto final episode of the “Chimera Ant” arc after the final episode of the “Election” arc. This feels right to me – that story was so huge and changed everything in Hunter X Hunter so fundamentally that it needed an additional epilogue. My initial thought was that Koala might have been Gyro all along, but no – he was an anonymous hitman likely working for him. And the picture he paints of the scenes we saw play out with his character changes their meaning substantially.

There were always strong Buddhist themes in “Chimera Ant”, but Koala lays them out far more literally than they had been before. He’s effectively confessing his sins, and doing so to a now startlingly grown-up Kaitou (now played by Satake Uki, the full-time idol who plays Q.T. on Space Dandy). It’s a reflection on the events of “Chimera Ant” but just as much a philosophical musing on life in general – on the meaning of individual identity, on the Buddhist notion of death and rebirth, on duty and courage. Koala’s judgment on himself is harsh, although he tried in his own way to act with compassion. Kaitou’s solution is for Koala to dedicate his life to her/him, to spend every day apologizing and making amends rather than run away and live out his days in self-recrimination.

The upshot of all this, of course, is the arrival of Gon on the scene. Apologies are certainly the theme of this episode, and Gon is doing as Ging ordered – apologizing to Kaitou for what he sees as his failures in battle. It’s clear here that Kaitou has retained the essential kindness he had as a human – for Gon there are no accusations or condemnations, merely forgiveness. Or rather, the declaration that Gon did nothing to Kaitou that needed forgiving. “It looks like we both needed more training” is Kaitou’s summation – and this applies to more than simply doing battle with Pitou. That in itself is a quintessentially Buddhist statement.

At this point I was starting to grow a bit uneasy that more time hadn’t been allotted to Gon and Killua’s reunion which, after all, could be argued to be the true climax of the entire series. I’m going to be honest here and say I wanted more out of this than I got. I’m not saying I’m right and Togashi is wrong, only that for me the final third of this episode left me somewhat unfulfilled – that’s on me, not him. We didn’t see Gon and Killua’s reunion – it happened off-screen. Gon’s apology was brief and more comic than anything (though that too could have happened out of sight, in addition to what we saw). The lighting, music and cinematography were perfect – Madhouse couldn’t possibly have done more than they did. But Togashi-sensei chose to make this a minimalist moment rather than a cathartic one.

In the end, I chalk this up to “boys will be boys”. Hunter X Hunter is a shounen like no other, but it still fundamentally acts as a deconstruction of pure shounen tropes. Gon and Killua are 12 year-old boys (or 13, or whatever they are in the story by now) and they handled this moment like young boys would. There was no hugging, there were no tears, not even a truly heartfelt moment of apology from Gon – that’s just not the guy way. Like most boys these two would rather show their vulnerable side to anyone rather than their best friend. But after seeing what Gon’s careless words had done to Killua, I thought this moment would transcend those rules – that much at least seemed to have been earned. One could argue that something more overtly emotional would have been out of character for both Gon and Killua, and I can’t say that would be wrong. But if there was ever a moment that justified going out of character, this would have been it.

There’s also the practical matter of where this leaves the story as far as Gon and Killua. Ging has unsurprisingly ditched Gon again, but this time he’s left a note – “Find me on top of the World Tree“. This is a massive tree, 1,784 meters tall – taller than any man-made structure – and Gon sets out to climb it and find his father one more time. That Killua should step aside here isn’t a surprise – at this point it’s clear than this moment has to be Gon and Ging’s alone. But for the two of them to truly go their separate ways – that, too, feels a little hollow after how much they’ve sacrificed in order to stay together. There’s no question they’ll meet again – Alluka says as much – but even if it’s a classic boyish front for Killua to tell Gon he’s now “second place” to Alluka, it’s sad to see the end of their arcs framed as Gon choosing Ging over Killua and Killua choosing Alluka over Gon. It clearly isn’t as simple as that, and family does matter – but for me at least it’s quite a melancholy way to end their journey together (and indeed, their faces reflect that they do too).

For the conclusion of the episode – and in many ways of the series itself – I have nothing but praise. This of course is anime-original, and perhaps that’s why it expresses so much more emotion than what came before – a photo montage of a few of the indelible images of the last three years set to the third (not the first, interestingly, though I think the correct choice) ED. And perhaps most importantly, the return of the traditional preview music and voice-overs by Gon and Killua for the first time since before everything became dark and terrible. There’s still the matter of next week’s final episode (how truly painful it is to type that), but for me I suspect that preview will always serve as the spiritual conclusion of Hunter X Hunter.

Please stop by Lost in America for a very special series to commemorate three amazing years of Hunter X Hunter: Memories x and x Milestones. And don’t forget the LiA Fall 2014 Season Preview and Poll is posted!


ED10 Sequence

ED10: 「REASON」 by (YUZU)



    1. Dude, as someone that have sisters your statement here is horribly offensive.

      You are literally implying that people can call their female siblings “hoes”. Hopefully you don’t have any sisters if not you are a horrible brother.

      1. I see he’s clearly joking, but that sort of joke perpetuates a lot of the crappy behavior we see towards women today. not to get all SJWer on y’all, but even little things like that add to the way we treat half of the population. to say it’s just a joke, and no one got hurt or to lighten up, just does a disservice to not only the women we interact with daily, but our very own families of mothers, sisters, and daughters. to act without consideration starts with a joke and can turn into some very harmful actions or beliefs. I’m not going to lie, I find some of those jokes funny, but I understand how harmful they can be, and just imagine how it feels for a young women to be surrounded by this environment and what it does to them growing up. it might be easy for some to say they should lighten or toughen up, but that’s easy to say when your very existence isn’t the butt of a joke, every day.

        Impel Down Hippo
      2. I don’t think saying as much is being “a shining knight defending a damsel in distress”, but simply stating a harsh truth about this world. we make jokes about things we probably should think twice about making, be it gender, race, sexual orientation, rape, domestic abuse, etc, and most, if not all, just has a long loaded history. and if someone doesn’t say something once in while, people will think it’s ok – not that this was the most harmful thing I’ve read, certainly not – but sometimes the shitty things will be ok too if people don’t say something about the seemingly innocuous things. sometimes silence is just as good as agreement as they say.

        having said that, I don’t think there’s a problem with making a joke, but I think there’s an issue when someone says to lighten up, cause that completely marginalizes all the shitty things done to women (or to whomever is the butt of the joke) when someone says it’s not a big deal. make the joke and know it’s a crass thing to do, and don’t try and hide behind the it’s just a joke defense so lighten up.

        and all the downvotes for the serious side of this makes me a little sad for the world, so when I see guys out there using #NotAllMen, I can only think, “Not all, but a helluva a lot.”

        plus it only reinforces the bad rap Anime and its viewers get. you want to be treated better, then start treating your own community better, cause this ain’t just a boys club anymore. I know some of you are young, but there’s no time like the present to start.

        downvote away.

        Impel Down Hippo
      1. There was an interesting article about the whole Ray Rice issue, and if anyone’s unfamiliar, he’s a black NFL player who was caught on video punching out his fiancee in an elevator. The angle of the article was that it’s absolutely atrocious the way many black men were defending Ray Rice’s actions, but when things like Ferguson or Trayvon Martin happen, the mothers and sisters and girlfriends are out there, standing in unison defending their men.

        And to reiterate again, saying as much doesn’t mean you’re being chivalrous or coming to anyone’s rescue (or being a SJW or feminist or overly sensitive for that matter), it’s just being a decent human being. it’s sad that people decry decency (or honesty for that matter) as being weak or too sensitive these days. and I’m not doing anything bold by saying these things on a semi-anonymous internet board, nor was any real person getting attacked, so it’s depressing that’s what some people automatically use as an supposed insult. I’d rather be seen as chivalrous, as opposed to being seen as a misogynist.

        Impel Down Hippo
  1. I disagree with you, Gon’s and Killua’s reunion was done perfectly.
    Togashi hit the reset button on Kaito’s death and on Gon’s health (even though Kaito is now a girl and we just don’t know how healthy Gon really is), in the end they are alive and well. I’m not really complaining, I’m glad they are ok, but if they weren’t, it wouldn’t be that… bad? I don’t know the right word to use here, I wouldn’t be upset either.
    Anyway, if he had hit the reset button on Gon’s and Killua’s relationship I’d be pretty damn pissed. Gon’s been a cunt, a huge one. The episode ended showing that both realize their friendship won’t be and isn’t the same, there’s this new taste, it’s sour, it’s ‘tainted’ (not that this is bad, it’s how it is, you fight and disagree even with your best buddy).

    And that montage got me by the balls, I’m a weakling for stuff like that, really liked the music.
    Oh, and if you think it’s bad for you, think about manga readers that would find comfort in the anime during hiatuses… Now we don’t have that anymore, back to re-reads! And now some re-watches too (:

  2. Pretty anticlimactic but what can you expect. Three years of awsome is hard to close. Either way it was truly a sad sight to see so little of Kills and Gon but they cant be together forever. HxH is ridding into the sunset with chin held high.

    1. well, what could you do? Technically the story is still on-going & Madhouse had always been very faithful to the manga.

      As far as the manga is concerned, this is just another closing chapter.

  3. Im was totally with the “minimalist” gon, killua reunion. I mean they had their time already *roll montage* now it time for grand NEW horizons ,chat with Trolldad “i totally stole that”,and see the outsideworld with little bro. And mooooooore!!! I thought dat closure was perfect…plus enjoyed the koala, kaito stuff …i musta been really stoned reading that whole kaito resurrection apology part,LOL i thought he was dead.. well lets finish strong!!!,
    Been dying to see thisnext last episode animated!!!! HYPE LEVEL OVER 5000!!!!

    BROOKLYN otaku
  4. If there ever is a good reason to rewatch Hunter x Hunter, one of them would be to see how Gon and Killua have survived through the strangest and most challenging of foes and obstacles, yet their friendship keeps on developing.

    I think in terms of their last reunion before seeing each other off, I think Gon and Killua made the right choice by just simply saying their goodbyes with smiles on their faces; the fight between Gon and Pitou truly showed how Gon hurt Killua when Gon was prepared to die alone, but somewhere in my mind, I think both of them understand that since it had already happened, there was no point to brood over that one dark moment, and instead follow what Ging said to Gon: to promise to do things differently. Of course there’s no guarantee, I feel Gon and Killua respect each other too much as friends to be emotional at their departure when eventually they’ll be meeting each other with open arms.

    Random thought: Although Gon treats Mito kind of like a mother, I’m curious if Togashi will ever explore and expand on her background; Ging doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to become expressive with his emotions, but how did Gon’s mother make Ging fall in love with her when he enjoys being a hunter almost more than anything?

    1. Like you need a reason? ;-P I can think of a hundred, and my rewatch starts next week…

      I think it’s a jump to assume Ging was in love with Gon’s mother – all we know for sure is that he spent a night with her. I’d certainly like to see a little further exposition on that score, but there’s something very touching about Gon’s insistence that he doesn’t need to know, because Mito has him amply covered on the mom front.

      1. I do think it’s touching that Gon insists Mito is his mom, and that’s all there is to it for him, but it’s also a little insensitive. It’s not like he knows the circumstances behind why she’s not around. maybe she died and cared for him greatly? again, it’s all in Ging’s court so to speak to explain this, but of course Gon wants to see him, even though he clearly abandoned him, so it’s a little hypocritical (or a lot) of Gon’s part to say she doesn’t matter, yet Ging does.

        I’m sure Togashi probably has something up his sleeve about this though.

        Impel Down Hippo
      2. I don’t think it’s insensitive at all, and it’s also perfectly Gon. The living matter, not the dead. Mito is the one who was there with him every day growing up, and Ging is alive and even left a (trollish) message behind. I don’t think Gon would see it as insensitive because his mother is gone. I’m sure he’s curious, but Mito’s feelings are more important.

      3. I certainly agree in regards to Gon, but that doesn’t change that he’s being a hypocrite about it (unless he knows something we don’t about his mother). Having said that, it’s certainly understandable, as he has no information to go on except his reality, and I’m definitely not saying Mito should matter less to him or that she means less because she’s not his biological mom, she’s his de facto mom, no two ways about it, but it’s the way he treats Ging which makes his perception of his mother to be kind of insensitive, at least to me, and I don’t think him acknowledging his mom in the future would take anything away from Mito.

        Impel Down Hippo
  5. Killua is probably still mad at Gon and doesn’t want to show it. It was a traumatic experience for the both of them. Truthfully, Killua is choosing to leave Gon rather than being forced to. Killua said he wouldn’t forgive Gon for what he did this time, thus, they had to part.

  6. “I’m going to be honest here and say I wanted more out of this than I got.”

    I feel the same. Even though Gon was an a***, I would never have thought they would go their seperate ways that easily. Not with all the stuff they’ve been through together. It was soooo anticlimatic, that I really felt empty afterwards. If I remember correctly Togashi went on hiatus again after this chapter so that was really hard. I also cant say that I am okay with this like you do. Every episode I saw after having read this chapter I always had to think about how it would end and how this scene somehow just doesnt do justice to all the struggle. It was just disappointing.
    Well, maybe, in the faaaar away future when we see those two reunite, it wont seem that way, but for the end of this show (and I cant count the few manga chapters yet that continue the story), its really frustrating. But I guess Alluka is kinda “OP”, so that taking her/him along would ruin the story.

    1. I certainly don’t think we can ignore the possibility that there was a more heartfelt apology offscreen – but of course, Togashi has given us no way to know for sure. And even if there was, that really isn’t all that satisfying. I think Togashi has something planned for Gon and Killua, and he’s always thinking many moves ahead. But it all comes down to his health, I suppose.

      It does seem as if Togashi has written himself into a corner a bit with Alluka. I never quite bought into the character as much as the other players in this series – just a bit too convenient for plot purposes, and it was almost as if Togashi was funnelling all the overt emotion he didn’t put into Gon and Killua’s relationship into Killua and Alluka’s. Because of the nature of Alluka’s power, Togashi almost has to separate Alluka and Killua is Killua is ever to go back to traveling with Gon again.

    2. Well , I really like Alluka , BUT she is here for pure plot purposes
      she was really really needed to cure Gon ” DEUS EX MACHINA maybe ??” but her existence now is very difficult to handle
      It would be ok if they left her out of their adventures , but if a something really dangerous happens what would be the excuse to leave her out of it ???
      Now that Killua has a way to break every boundary known in that world I think togashi must be really careful where he goes with this

    3. Actually I thought Gon and Killua’s parting was fine.

      Killua has a brother/sister that he was made to forget about for many years due to Illumi’s needle. It’s only natural that he’d want to spend time that he lost with him/her.

      Also, from what I can understand, it appears the next arc is primarily focused on Kurapika with Killua not appearing at all. And minimal focus on Gon and Leorio. Clearly, Togashi wanted Gon and Killua’s parting to set up the scene for a new story.

      Also, it was foreshadowed earlier in the Chimera Ant arc that Killua would leave Gon, only not the same reason as he initially thought.

  7. The Koala was a pleasant surprise, I knew he was too colorful to simply disappear.

    The “new” Kaitou, on the other hand, turned out to be a disappointment. Too didactic for my taste, not über-cool like before. And where is Colt? Not needed for babysitting anymore? 🙁

    Of course, the most obviously absent person is Hisoka. Last time we saw him he was going to kill everyone and his brother/sister. I wonder if he shows up next week…

  8. To those who want to continue the manga after the anime ends

    – The DC arc starts at Chapter 340 (the final chapter before the long hiatus).
    – There are two Kurapika Special chapters to promote the first film.
    – The chapters released in 2014 so far are 341-349. I highly suggest the official Viz translation for these (unless you read Japanese) as MangaStream translation is more atrocious than usual.

    New Age Koala
  9. Enzo, it’s been a good ride. Thanks for blogging this.

    With Gon and Ging’s meeting, and Chimera Kite speaking to Gon, it feels like the show has finally come full circle. And to end it, with Gon and Killua’s parting.

    The premise of the story was Gon searching for his father. Killua joined Gon in his search and both got stronger in the process. Makes you wonder how the story will go forth from now.

  10. The parting of Gon and Killua couldnt have been better in my opinion. Its just the way boys are. When somethings really bothering you, just wrap it in a comical remark, to get it of your chest. Very recognizable stuff

  11. I was definitely a little surprised they went with Koala for such a long time, but I liked the metaphysical angle of it. I thought perhaps they could have edited it down a touch since timing wise it did strike me as odd that they’d fill what is the essentially the finale with it. I wonder how much they took that into consideration.

    I’m on the fence about the the Kite and Gon resets. Sort of just takes the significance away from the past by cheapening it to an extent, specifically with Gon, as he’s gotten no real character development in terms of learning from his mistakes (he just continues doing what he wants). and Kite’s dead, no he…she’s alive! I feel like it’s a weird retcon.

    also Gon imo, should have at least hugged Nanika! Damn you boy, hug her hug her! She saved your life, fool!

    Impel Down Hippo
  12. I’m confused by the Koala. He shot some girl apparently. But now the new Kite (Kaitou) looks like that girl. I don’t understand? Koala didn’t kill Kaitou so why does he have to spend the rest of his life apologizing to Kaitou? If someone can clear this up for me I’d appreciate it

    This has been such a good series and a great blog to read too…

    Rick Anime

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