The rare surprised Hisoka., in his natural habitat

“Explosion”

Poor Hisoka looks like he could really use a hand…

I’ve seen some sentiment that this fight is starting to drag, and I sort of get that. Heck, knowing Togashi-sensei this is probably the point where he flips back to the “Dark Continent” arc without a word of explanation. This is what he does – he handles narrative in an intentionally vexing and even obstinate way. If you want a big fight, he’s going to give you 15 pages of explanation. But I think this was the chapter where it really started to gel together.

It strikes me that Chrollo vs. Hisoka is in many ways almost a perfect battle of contrasts. Let’s set aside who the most “powerful” Nen users are, because that’s inherently subjective. But I don’t think there’s any question that Chrollo’s ability is the most complex of any human we’ve met. It’s fitting that a book is central to his arsenal, because it takes a book to explain it. Hisoka’s power, by contrast, is almost alarmingly simple. He has essentially just two abilities – Bungee Gum and Texture Surprise – that he’s absolutely maximized, and pairs them with a seemingly limitless cunning and competitive drive. One tends to think of Hisoka as wildly complex because of his deceitful nature and the contrast he presents with Gon, but compared to Chrollo he’s very direct indeed.

I found it very amusing that Togashi has Hisoka note how surprising it was that the audience was remaining so clam, given that it’s something the readers have been on about in droves. I guess they’re Togashi fans too, and really want to see this play out – but damn, does it carry a price. Once Chrollo cleverly uses the PA system to broadcast “Break Hisoka” to his copies en masse, Hisoka employs the defensive strategy of using Bungee Gum to create a kind of human hammer (the track event kind) which he uses to create a swathe of gore in a wide circle around him. But the copies just keep coming, oblivious to the ring announcer’s entreaties to stay calm (HA!) and wait for help to arrive.

I worry a bit for Hisoka here, because Togashi is doing a good job of selling the narrative that he’s in big trouble. And that’s certainly true when Chrollo seems to blow Hisoka’s hand to bits on the final page, and there’s no Machi around to fix it this time. I wouldn’t put it past Hisoka to have somehow used that as a ruse, and certainly not to become an even more dangerous fighter even if he’s actually lost an appendage. But there’s no denying things look bad for him for now.

That’s about all that looks bad in the chapter – the artwork is absolutely stunning here, certainly the best of any of the “Deathmatch” mini-arc. I don’t want to speculate on what’s going on with the mechanics of creating these chapters, but there’s a definite look to this one that suggests Togashi had less help in drawing the key panels – whether that be from assistants or a certain Sailor Senshi…

Whatever you guys paid for those tickets, it was too much

17 Comments

      1. Doubt it. Chrollo could stand his own against the Zoldycks, he can definitely stand his own against Hisoka. The reason he chose Heaven’s Arena as the stage for their fight is because it goes hand-in-hand with his abilities. He knows it gives him a great advantage.

        EamonX
      2. Nah, I don’t see it. I mean, Hisoka is probably going to win in the end even playing in an environment ideally suited to Chrollo’s abilities. Take away Chrollo’s option to incorporate onlookers into his strategy and I don’t think he’d stand much of a chance.

      3. I agree with Enzo here. The Zoldyck family and Hisoka… It’s not that they’re in different leagues, it’s that they’re immensely different in methods. Perhaps only Illumi would give either Chrollo or Hisoka any trouble, but if Chrollo could stand a chance against Silva and Zeno, I bet both veterans would think it very foolish to go against Hisoka, regardless of whether they have a chance to win in the end.

        ElHuesudoII
  1. Hisoka should lose this , the difference is ridiculous between them , I seriously dont want him to win in a typical anime fashion (cuz logically he just cant , seriously , he can win this )

    Urahara
    1. Why not? Fights in HxH have always been decided by how creativity the respective sides use their powers and about deceiving one’s opponent, both areas where both sides in this fight excel, Chloro with complex plans, strategies and variety of powers and Hisoka with deception and creative use of his extremely flexible powers. The way I see it this fight could go either way and what matters most is who falls into the most and worst traps first.

      Argon85
      1. Yup.

        If it comes down to which one is more cunning and which one has more inspiration to call on in the heat of the moment, I think that’s Hisoka. And I think it would be perfectly consistent with the universe Togashi has created if he were to use those qualities to win this.

  2. I am afraid that Hisoka probably would win the fight because if something happens to Chrollo, it will impact the whole story greatly. I wonder what would be the next steps for the phantom troupe. On the other hand, no one would give a sh*t if Hisoka dies.

    Vivace
  3. that the cube’s white axis is the top and the green axis is the front, which is it’s “master” orientation. Therefore no matter what you do, a block’s side that is in the same direction as the white axis is considered “top”.

  4. This Luke’s Lobster gig is far and away the best thing that’s happened to my native New York since my family spent summers on Orr’s Island out in Casco Bay when I was a kid. We’d gorge on fresh lobster we cooked on driftwood and dried seaweed in holes of the paleolitch rocks above roaring tides. We’d sleep it off back in the shade on fragrant pine needles. You can live that way too without even leaving town if you make the easy, inexpensive trek to Luke’s Lobster. Tell ‘em Jimza sent you.

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