30 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 106 – Aura Black as Night

hunter-x-hunter-knov-scared

FOR KIDS!!!!!!!!!

This episode, guys. Yeesh. I thought the tension last episode while Knov started his sneaking mission was good, but god damn. Everything in Knov’s part of the episode shows the physical and psychological toll of going against these super-powerful Chimera Ants. It’s easy to forget, since they’ve mostly been hanging out and playing games and whatnot for a while now, but these are some fucking scary creatures. Even having only observed them from afar, Knov knows that if he’s caught, he has no chance of surviving. That’s it. Every move has to be precise. Every precaution must be taken. Knov has to be as aware as possible while simultaneously diminishing his own presence as much as he can. I imagine that physical paradox must be what be what makes Knov so exhausted and on edge as he makes his way into the palace.

The mood built is so good. All the general shots of Knov serve to build a general sense of claustrophobia, even during the parts where he’s outside gathering his thoughts. (Being surrounded by trees bearing soon-to-be Chimera Ants will do that.) I also like the narration; it’s often a cheap way to build tension, but it works for me here. The way Knov goes through the plan step-by-step as he approaches the palace seems as if it’s as much for his benefit as it for the audience — he’s trying to calm himself down and keep focused on his goal, trying to keep the fear of failure out of his mind as best he can. Shinichiro Miki sells this perfectly; his whole run this episode has to be one of the best vocal performances in the entire series thus far. The subtle fear and distress in his voice do so much to push the tension that much further since before now Knov had always been so cool and calculating.

And, of course, I would be remiss to not mention everything after Knov experiences Neferpitou’s terrifying aura firsthand. His total breakdown is heartbreaking, but in a weird way it’s also a testament to how strong Knov is — he still has enough courage to place the final portal and get out of the palace before Neferpitou senses him. But damn. The fear in Knov’s eyes. His disheveled appearance. The way his voice teeters on the edge of total defeat. It makes me wonder how the others will react when they get a taste of that same fear. Knov wonders how Gon and Killua can carry on after being enveloped in that feeling of despair, but aside from being generally crazy, I think Gon and Killua can push forward because they are so young. Knov and Morel are set in their ways and patterns. They know their limits better than anyone else. Gon and Killua? There’s still room for them to grow. They don’t look at their own strength and wonder if it’s enough to defeat the Chimera Ants — they just get strong enough to do so.

hunter-x-hunter-knov-scream

At least Knov gets a cool moment before his breakdown. Good to know his portals aren’t just for sneaking around. I wonder if this ant’s head just plopped into one of Knov’s rooms, or if it disappeared to some other hellish dimension? Knov keeping as quiet as possible while sneaking the ant’s body away is cool, too, and I like the touch of leaving the shoes behind so that they don’t create tracks that can be followed. Knov is thinking of everything!

Part of the plan seems to be in place, thankfully. Palm is the other part of the plan. I was a bit confused after the conclusion of the previous episode, since it seemed to indicate that Palm might be acting on her own to help out in some way, but no, her presence is also part of the plot. Good for her. I’m not entirely sure how she’ll be able to get close to the King and his cohorts without getting brutally murdered, though. Considering how they noted that the time during which Neferpitou’s En was down would be the perfect time to launch a plot, they’ll probably be extra careful about anyone wandering near the King. His new playmate will probably be the only person allowed to get close to him at all.

That’s a bridge to be crossed when they get to it, though. Palm still has to escape, after all. (She is a good actress, by the way. Who would actually blush when face-to-face with that creepy government stooge?) There seemed to be a lot of focus on the drink Palm provided, but that almost seems too obvious a way to knock out that creeper. Then again, I suppose she could Nen it so that there’s nothing to be detected in the drink itself? Who the hell would want to live in this world, again??

hunter-x-hunter-paradise

Nothing much else to say. I just thought this was a cool shot. I also like this guy’s weird suburban world that he has crafted for all the women he’s imported via human trafficking. A creepy clash there.

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30 Comments

  1. Pusswookie
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I like to think that Knov has a room full of heads somewhere, just like The Governor from The Walking Dead.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted November 29, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      I hope they’re neatly organized.

  2. gedata
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what the decapitated ant felt upon suddenly finding himself in some random empty room with no body.

    • Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:38 am | Permalink

      “Gee, I hope this isn’t the part where I get killed by the intru-“.

      • Shinmaru
        Posted November 29, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        lolololololol

  3. Kenjeran
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Well, it’s possible that Knov is in Zetsu state while infiltrating the castle so that his aura can’t be detected, which makes him very sensitive against other nen aura. No wonder he gets overwhelmed by terrible aura that Pouf emit.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted November 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, it’s probably scary enough without being all that sensitive to Nen; can’t imagine how overwhelming it would be in that state!

  4. ApplePies
    Posted November 28, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    That was Pufu`s En just so you know. I agree that was an amazing episode and Knov`s VAs performance was amazing! There are even more dramatic scenes later in the arc and I can’t wait to see how the VAs do with those.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted November 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Really? So I guess those images of Neferpitou were based on Knov’s assumptions? Or was it more like she just appeared as an example of a Royal Guard? Like, “How could Gon and Killua get that close to an aura that horrible and still want to fight?”

    • ApplePies
      Posted December 1, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Yeah that was the reason. Pitou had to turn off her nen to heal Komungi remember? Pufu offered to take her place while that took happened. It was brought up on the previous episode lol.

      • Shinmaru
        Posted December 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Remember: Never doubt my ability to forget things.

  5. Posted November 29, 2013 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    That was a bloody brilliant performance by Miki. I cannot think of a moment this strong in anime from this year, at least. Really looking forward seeing more.

    I guess this is where I say it gets better? How does it feel to haven’t read the manga?

    • Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:36 am | Permalink

      It should feel good for you. I mentioned in a post from the last related article how awful the art is at times…

      http://www.mangahere.com/manga/hunter_x_hunter/v24/c249/

      Being the sole artist AND writer really takes a toll on some people, especially since it is supposed to be a weekly manga. Hunter X Hunter is lucky as this adaption is going strong and not taking anything out of the original work (judging from the first 90-so episodes I watched). Then there’s color, smooth animation, sound… Curse my impatience >_<

    • Posted November 29, 2013 at 1:36 am | Permalink

      Oh, and it does gets better.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted November 29, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      It’s definitely getting more interesting with the wrinkles being thrown in like Komugi, and this infiltration plot has been excellent.

    • Posted December 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Let’s just say that 2014 is The Year Of Shit Getting Real in this anime.

  6. gedata
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    “and I like the touch of leaving the shoes behind so that they don’t create tracks that can be followed“
    if he was really thinking, he would`ve teleported them away, that way he`d leave no evidence, and he wouldn`t have to lose a pair of shoes.

    • Pusswookie
      Posted November 29, 2013 at 5:37 am | Permalink

      Right? I actually thought that was pretty amateurish.

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted November 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Goes more to say how effin’ freaked out he was, I guess. I don’t remember now whether the shoes become a plot point later or not.

      • Shinmaru
        Posted November 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        The one way I could see them being a plot point is that one of the Royal Guard — doesn’t matter which — stumbles upon them and infers that someone had infiltrated the palace. Then maybe they can sense Nen or whatever and by scouring the palace, they find the portals. (I have no idea whether they are actually detectable or not.) If they’re found, the ants still have that one ant who can dispel Nen, and she could possibly get rid of all the entrances and exits … or leave a specific entrance so that the ants know where all intruders will show up, and thus set a trap for them.

  7. kamen rider Dragon
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    Suddenly Knov’s chosen hide and seek ability makes sense. He seems to be more easily flustered than Morel who seems to thrive on danger.

    Anyway Hunter x Hunter shows why it’s ahead of the pack of Shonen jump shows.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted November 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      To be fair, Morel hasn’t come in that close contact with anyone that horrible yet. Knov and Morel had basically the same reaction when they evaluated Neferpitou from a distance. Leol is strong, but if he’s comparable in strength to Cheetu, even if he’s a bit tougher, then Morel’s definitely not going to freak out over that.

  8. Canary Paint
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    I truly look forward to this show every week, but I am getting nervous now that the chimera any arc seems to be reaching a climax. Can the show stay this good? I hope it does for another 100 episodes or so.

    Echoing the blog post, the tension in the empty palace, the appearance of Neferpitou’s nasty ass aura, and Knov finally having a nervous breakdown of sorts reimpressed me with the nearly insurmountable task ahead of them.

    One small disappointment for the show as a whole… That Gon never developed some kind of fishing pole nen power ;-p

    • Shinmaru
      Posted November 29, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Maybe he will eventually! Gon always seems to have some silly trick up his sleeve.

  9. Gunslinger
    Posted November 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Guys just a query here. Do you know any other bloggers doing HxH stuff because I can only find shinmaru and guardian enzo? Seems kinda sad considering how awesome this show is.

    • ShigyC
      Posted December 2, 2013 at 3:11 am | Permalink

      I usually say this, but – I know, right!?

      • Shinmaru
        Posted December 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        I am no help here, because I don’t read nearly as much as I probably should anymore, haha.

  10. Nazaren
    Posted September 16, 2014 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I know this about nine months late, as I’m marathoning this in hopes of finishing it just before last episode drops, but holy shit was this episode tense!

    There were so many times I thought Knov was done for, with all the sighs of relief and peculiar framing of shots; I felt like a nervous wreck. Suspense usually doesn’t affect me much, but this… this show just jumped up another level.

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