So after Killua and Gon have some fun on the island, and Mito terrifies Gon with her treatment of his licence, things get serious and we finally find out how Gon ended up on the island with Mito. We learn very little about Gon’s father other than his name and that he left a box for Gon. Let’s be honest though, it is a good think Killua is around or else Gon would still be staring at the thing. Going on to the next episode to hear the rest of the tape.
Review Episode 38:
Okay, Gon’s father is a jerk. Honest, at least, but a jerk.
Still, you have to appreciate how thoroughly he’s hidden his tracks. If he wasn’t hiding them from his son it would be kind of cute.
So Gon and Killua have had nearly two episodes of having to use extended brain power and I think the strain may well be near to killing them. So cute watching them try to figure things out. Again, Gon on his own would have been completely stuck so it’s probably a good thing the two are continuing to act together, though I somehow doubt involving Killua’s brother is a good idea.
What was that? This episode just had so much packed into it that it was like you couldn’t stop to catch your breath. They learn the last stage of their whole training thing and its revealed that Wing was actually also giving Gon the last stage of his Hunter’s exam, so congratulations this time you pass for real (unless there’s some other secret hidden test that they just haven’t told us about yet). Still, all of that rapidly takes a back seat to the Gon vs Hisoka fight coming up.
Anyway, the fight starts and while the end of it is going to be tragic (I’m already flinching at the thought of the next episode), we got one of those rare perfect moments in anime. Gon finally landed a clean punch on Hisoka’s face and it was as satisfying as you would expect it to be.
Still, time to start running Gon. Very, very fast, I’d suggest.
Review Episode 36:
Okay, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Hisoka actually used some self-restraint for once. That was nice of him, for a sadist.
However, Gon did still get beaten quite soundly and the only reason he was still standing at the end was because the ref was calling points quickly and Hisoka was still kind of playing.
The take-away from this is that two episodes ago I said I was more or less over the arena. We then have a really fantastic fight between two characters that’s been brewing for awhile, Gon finally getting to return Hisoka’s number plate, and even though he lost he’s now happy to go home and show off his Hunter’s Licence so great fight and story progression and we’re leaving the arena. Awesome progress for two episodes.
Why is it when Killua says not to worry, I start to worry? Still, the events this episode were not unexpected and I kind of wondered why coercion to fight hadn’t come up earlier. Essentially, Gon’s 2 months of non-training have come to an end and now he and Killua are apparently determined to set speed records for learning everything because amazingly enough being the protagonist means you just can. While I appreciate we aren’t stuck here for months in training it’s a little ridiculous. Though, Killua’s solution in the end was somewhat more peaceful than I expected.
Review Episode 35:
Okay, peaceful may not have been the best way to describe Killua’s solution. It was, however, effective. From that little game Gon and Killua now each have three wins and Hisoka has finally told Gon that he can pick the time for their fight. I’m not sure if that’s actually an achievement or not.
And given some of the things happening in this arena in all the fights why on earth is the commentator bothering to say something is unbelievable at this point?
The only real negative here is the fights are getting a little samey and I’m kind of hoping we move away from the arena soon because as cute as Gon and Killua are I’m not a big fan of arena matches in any anime.
“This is a shady, highly frowned upon method” that Wing is about to use anyway to power up Killua and Gon and ensure they get back to floor 200 before midnight. Well, one of the consistent themes of this story is that Gon kind of gets through things so I guess this was to be expected. Still, doesn’t look like his first fight is going well. Might all be worth it just for that view from his room, because that looked amazing.
Review Episode 30:
Gon’s first fight in the 200’s went about as well as expected. Is it wrong that I enjoy his occasional defeats? They happen so rarely that it actually seems novel watching Gon get smacked down a little. Anyway, Wing pretty much tells him that if he breaks his promise again he won’t train him anymore so now he’s got to wait for his injury to recover before he can continue and Killua decides to wait for him. So we jump to Kurapika who is discovering that passing the exam and ‘passing the exam’ are two entirely separate things, so I guess he’s about to power up as well.
I did have to completely agree with Killua’s assessment of Gon in this episode though. Gon likes the rush. He gets caught in the moment and genuinely enjoys fighting. It’s kind of great that he brings youthful enthusiasm to the arena rather than blind hatred or rage but you have to wonder how far he can get with that mindset.
So after everything Gon and the others have done essentially Killua is just going to walk out to meet them. This just kind of seems like entirely wasted space. I mean sure, we get to meet Killua’s family and realise they are all incredibly crazy in unique and interesting ways, but that hardly seems like compensation for two episodes of essential dungeon crashing just to have the gate open and the Princess walk out on her own (sorry, Killua, I know you aren’t actually a damsel in distress). Of course, they haven’t actually met up yet, so we’ll see what the next drama is going to be.
Review Episode 25:
Okay, so after not meeting last episode they both just end up in the same place and after a game we’re all reunited and its fine. Really not sure what the whole point of this story was but Killua is back and Gon and Killua are still pretty adorable together. Actually, the last five minutes of the episode were fantastic watching the two of them plan their next steps. Though Gon not using his licence, or the money, is going to get old really quick so lets hope he gets over that sooner rather than later. And really? Picking a fight with Hisoka? That does not seem like a smart survival instinct.
Gon is still pretty angry this episode which is a nice change of character for him. Admittedly, its a little bit like Jekyl and Hyde with the two aspects of his personality not really connecting well at the moment, but at least its a switch from happy-go-lucky every single episode.
Once again this show makes me question its internal logic where a family of assassins are famous enough that there’s a tour bus to the gate of their estate but we’ll just move right on past that. These guys take security pretty seriously which leaves me wondering how Gon and friends will actually get in and find Killua.
Review Episode 23:
So, time for a training sequence and then through the gate? And didn’t Gon’s arm heal itself in fairly record time? Anyway, we’re finally moving into the estate and Gon is doing a really good dictionary definition of persistent. This episode feels kind of fillery. It is advancing the plot but really they’ve just dropped a whole bunch of obstacles between the characters and the goal to stretch this sequence out. None of the obstacles feel like they have real purpose (unless all that strength training is going to be called on again in later story arcs). That isn’t to say the episode was bad, it just didn’t really do much other than progress us closer to Killua and they could have done that by putting less things between Gon and Killua in the first place.
Okay, when they set up these matches I was not expecting Killua to be the one who lost. Nor was I expecting a “I’m your brother” reveal so there we go. Two surprises in one episode. Still, the moment below broke my heart just a little bit.
He’s so cute. You know, for a trained killer. He just wants to be friends.
Anyway, Gon’s reaction at the end of the episode was perfect and I loved that the narrator felt the need to tell us twice that Gon was angry. Just in case we missed that from the way he marched down the hallway and kicked in the door. Of course, Gon being angry is a new state of affairs so maybe they just wanted to make sure we got it.
Review Episode 21:
They weren’t kidding when they said Gon was angry. And now we have all kinds of modern conveniences including ninja who use email. But anyway… I’ve given up trying to figure out if this is based on any particular time period because it just seems so incredibly mixed. Anyway, these two are really creepy still.
So that’s the exam done, except the final line of the episode makes it clear it isn’t. You know, for all the supposed perks of being a hunter, there are way too many hoops to jump through in this application process. But hey, we’re off to rescue Killua, maybe, so that should be fun.
The fourth phase is finally ends though the snakes give them a little bit of trouble. Not as much as they should because apparently Gon is super-human. Evidenced by being able to hold his breath an impossibly long time and carrying three people simultaneously.
I do get that this is an anime but I genuinely have to question how we are supposed to ever worry about these characters when they seem pretty indestructible. Unless they are an exam extra in which case you can get dropped to the bottom of the gorge without a word being said. Anyway, I’m not sure I like where those interview questions are leading but I guess we’ll find out in the next episode what the final phase is all about.
Review Episode 19:
Okay that was unnecessarily heavy. I watch a lot of fairly dark shows but when watching a show like this the last thing you expect is pretty much something that amounts to torture of an eleven year old, and levity at the end of the episode or not doesn’t make that sit any better. It’s kind of all about expectations. Watching something you know is going to be dark means you are pretty immune to the affect of it whereas in this case it kind of hit me off guard.
That aside, Gon is an idiot but apparently that’s enough for him to get by this time. Though part of me kind of wisher Leorio and Kurapika had run into the fray. So, broken arm, severe bruising (though realistically should be internal bleeding given the beating he took), and a head wound aside, Gon technically won his round and so should technically have passed the exam. Wonder how that will play out next episode.
Hisoka is really creeping me out right now which is why I’m kind of impressed with both Kurapika and Gon in this episode as they both had confrontations with Hisoka where they didn’t curl into a ball and cry. Seriously, I think that would be an appropriate reaction for having to deal with him.
I love that even though Gon had his moment, after all that training and all that effort, immediately after he had the wind taken from his sails. So far Gon has had an incredibly easy ride and given his age and inexperience it seems that set backs like these should be occurring more often. Still, Hisoka is seriously creepy.
Review Episode 17:
Killua continues to be my favourite character in this show. I love how laid back he is during the early part of this episode and how he still takes the time to mess with the bald guy by switching the tags before he throws them. From Killua’s point of view this gained him nothing but the amusement of messing with someone.
On the other hand, Gon reuniting with Leorio and Kurapika was kind of bland. The only thing I really took from the following sequence is Gon has not instantly recovered from his set back last episode and that’s nice to see him developing a bit. I’m not overly concerned about the snake trap because given the sheer number of episodes still to come, I somehow doubt they are about to get killed.
Part of me is a little concerned about how little regard some of these characters have had for their surroundings. Small details like the last 24 numbers and who owns each one seem to have passed a few of our characters by. Given some of their feats of concentration and observation that seems like a major oversight.
Anyway, to progress to the final stage of the exam Gon has to get 6 points. Admittedly, the easiest way to get 6 points is to collect your targets badge (given its worth 3 points and your own is 3 points) but was there ever an explanation that said that couldn’t just steal three other random badges. Given who Gon’s target is, that seems like the far safer course. Or maybe I just look for loop holes and they aren’t supposed to get the points that way. Anyway, not a huge amount happened here as we seemed to be transition from the previous challenge into the new one, but I look forward to the upcoming episodes.
Review Episode 15:
Should I feel bad that my plan was the same as Hisoka’s? I mean, he is not a great person and he plans on just taking three random tags. Anyway, blood sniffing butterflies? Really?
I guess it saved us watching Gon walk around cluelessly for half an hour. Not that it mattered given once he found Hisoka he just kind of crept in the bushes for the rest of the episode. Fortunately, Leorio and Kurapika picked up a lot of the slack this episode.
It was kind of satisfying to see Tonpa finally get crushed and the monkey guy had never left much of an impression so there was no issue there. Actually, I’m more thinking to what will happen next with Hisoka about to target Leorio and Kurapika.
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