41 CommentsTwelve Days / By Shinmaru /

12 Days of Anime #12: One Solid Hit

This is the second of The Cart Driver’s 12 Days posts today. It is also the coolest so far, because it’s about Hunter x Hunter and not Future Diary.


For a long time, the remake of Hunter x Hunter was often good, but never great. Maybe there would be pacing issues, or the sound design would be inappropriate for what the show was trying to communicate, or the animation would be shoddy where it should not have been. I still enjoyed it, because Hunter x Hunter is an excellent shonen story, but the remake wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. For a few months now, however, Hunter x Hunter has been on an absolute tear, and the conclusion to the short Heavens Arena arc is where it started.

Hisoka is not the only antagonist in Hunter x Hunter (and in this arc we get the first glimpse of the Phantom Troupe to which Hisoka belongs), but up until this point, he is the bar by which Gon measures his progress. Gon is a strong kid, but Hisoka wipes the floor with him during the Hunter Exam. Hisoka humiliates Gon and takes a fat crap on Gon’s successful steal of Hisoka’s badge by beating the piss out of Gon and allowing Gon to keep the badge for the points he’ll earn. “I’ll take this badge back only when you can hit me,” Hisoka taunts.

Fast forward to Heavens Arena. Gon and Killua have to learn Nen in record time simply so that Hisoka will allow them to fight. Gon battles his way to the top until he actually wins enough for Hisoka to consider him an interesting diversion. When they finally meet in battle, Hisoka further belittles Gon by saying he will stand in one spot while fighting Gon and not step even an inch away. Hisoka respects Gon only enough to give him a token fight — he doesn’t believe anything will happen at all.

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Then the fight happens, and it’s amazing. It’s not about beating Hisoka; Gon knows he has nowhere near the skill or power required to do that yet. But avenging the act of disrespect that has been burning inside him since the Hunter Exam? Yes, Gon can do that, and he does do that. Everything Gon does leads up to the moment where he gives Hisoka one good punch and defiantly returns the badge he’s been carrying with him since the Hunter Exam.

This is the moment where I unequivocally believed the Hunter x Hunter remake did something that surpassed the original anime. Without a doubt, this is a better fight than the older Hisoka/Gon battle: The weight of the moves, the fluidity of the animation, the fight cinematography and choreography, the sound design and the big punch at the end are all flat-out better here. The series has topped itself since then, but this is the moment where everything first came together to produce something truly special.

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  1. Posted December 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Hear, fucking hear.

    • Posted December 14, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      lol, I knew you would approve!

  2. Karry
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Someone actually watches that show ? Huh.

    • Posted December 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      Many people watch it!

    • leokiko
      Posted December 14, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      Better than everything you are watching right now xD

      • Mr. Anon
        Posted December 15, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

        Well except JoJo. And possibly Tempest and Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun. But yeah definitely better than all that other shit.

      • Billish
        Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:36 am | Permalink

        Only Jojo from this list, and only because Jojo.

  3. Posted December 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff. I watched the first fight and thought it was pretty interesting. On a side note, I just noticed this was the second 12 days post, but is listed as #12. Just wanted to point it out. Happy Holidays, man.

    • Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      That’s because Scamp, Inushinde and I are all making separate lists of 12! I realize it’ll be a bit confusing, but we’re aiming for specific times each of us will be posting each day, so hopefully that will create enough consistency to eliminate the confusion lol.

  4. Scamp
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Future Diary > Hunter X Hunter

    • Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Oh, Scamp, do you enjoy being so wrong?

    • leokiko
      Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      That was a pretty funny joke you made there.

    • Posted December 14, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

      The Irishman speaks the truth!

    • Posted December 15, 2012 at 1:56 am | Permalink


    • XXL
      Posted December 15, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Future Diary is a horribly written piece of shit with Yuno as its only redemptive value. I read the entire manga and my first thought at the end of “wow, what a fucking waste of time”.

      Granted I’ve not watched the anime so who knows, maybe that’s better.

  5. Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    That whole minute of silence and just watching Gon and Hisoka duke it out. Just glorious.

    • Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      Yes, that silence at the end really sells the impact for me. It’s perfect.

      • XXL
        Posted December 15, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        For me, it’s the slight narrowing of Hisoka’s eyes as they slowly roll over to face Gon. Chills down my spine, every fucking time. But of course that silence is gorgeous.

  6. hint
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Coolest. This one solid punch is enough to K.O every single posts coming from the other 2 till the last day. Kid-ding!

  7. Billish
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Here’s to witnessing how any of your remaining eleven posts top this one! HxH sets the bar a little high :)

    • Posted December 14, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

      Haha, I traditionally give little thought to ordering when I do these posts.

      • Billish
        Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:38 am | Permalink

        So Hisoka’s shinypeen won’t be # 1? For shame

      • XXL
        Posted December 15, 2012 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        I know, it’s an absolute disgrace. Shinmaru will have to make up for that by featuring it prominently in every single HxH blog post from now on.

  8. Posted December 15, 2012 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    What makes this even better for me is that almost nobody was able to touch Hisoka before now. That one other guy from Heaven’s Arena had to train for years in a ridiculous style just to pull off what Gon did that day.

    • Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      It’s a good thing that Hisoka killed him, because Kastro probably would have been pissed seeing someone as young as Gon making so much progress so quickly, haha.

  9. Posted December 15, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Whenever I come to rewatch this scene (which is more often than you’d think), I can’t help but pick my jaw off the floor each and every time and stand in awe of the blinding perfection that is that fight. Just wow.

  10. fathomlessblue
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    I’m getting turned on. Schwing!

    • XXL
      Posted December 15, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Damn, you stole my line.

    • Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      ooh baby

  11. Posted December 15, 2012 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    Well, I WAS trying to decide which HxH moment to put on my list. You seem to have made my decision for me. An awesome post for an awesome moment. That fight scene was absolutely PERFECT. Everything just comes together in exactly the right way.

    I really like how Hunters KNOWS the scope of its fights. It’s not about Gon trying to win and beat everyone and be the best Hunter ever. He knows his limits, and he knows that’s stupid. He’s not going to pull some crazy new power out of thin air. He uses what he already has in the best way that he can to accomplish a reasonable goal that he knows he can achieve. Only once he’s reached that stage to his satisfaction and feels comfortable with his level of progress does he set his sights higher.

    Also, Hunter x Hunter > Future Diary.

    • Posted December 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, Hunter x Hunter is weird in that the protagonists often train simply so that they can actually FIGHT their enemies — it’s not until Greed Island that Gon and Killua start getting on some sort of higher level (not sure how much further they progress after that, of course).

  12. Taka
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    If I were to actually make a 12 days thing on Digiboy’s site I’m fairly certain our choice of topic would coincide more often than not.

  13. Stef
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    The single greatest fight of the year in terms of execution, animation, sound and above all, catharsis.

    Makes you think how much more impact it would have had if the episodes prior to this were as great. They weren’t bad, mind you-they were pretty good. I’m just thinking Breaking Bad levels of tension and build-up.

    • Posted December 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Haha, Breaking Bad levels of tension is a lot to ask from anime!

  14. Posted December 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    There’s something missing on the remake compared to the original. And that is the sense of seriousness, I think it’s because the old Hisoka is much better or the visuals here although much better lacks the “fierce” look

    • Posted December 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s been plenty serious after this point, but yeah, before this, the original definitely has a more serious, down to earth feel than the remake.

  15. TheVoid
    Posted December 16, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the show since I one of the episodes in the tens. Though I seriously think the show didn’t recap episodes. Thank goodness they stopped doing that.

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