This is definitely the point where people who enjoyed the original Hunter x Hunter must stop hoping the remake will grow to be like the original. And, honestly, I am perfectly fine with that. (Having not read the manga, I of course cannot speculate on how close or far this show is striking to that, but I’d wager that people should stop having expectations there, too.)
The scene where Killua rips the heart out of the mass murderer’s chest is a prime example of the new Hunter x Hunter striking a different tone with the same material. On a practical level, the show airs in the morning in Japan — prime time for children — so of course the show cannot be too violent and bloody (though I think it’s kind of a small miracle that the show is as dark as it is). The way the remake stands at the precipice of violence while not diving headlong into it both keep the creators somewhat safe from potentially outraged parents and gives the violence a noticeably different tone than the original series, which fits in with how the remake has this weirdly lighthearted tone in what is kind of a fucked-up world.
Mostly I refer to the bag in which Killua keeps the mass murderer’s heart. In the original, Killua does basically the same thing, and the initial result is about as violent. However, the heart is also shown pumping away in full view, whereupon Killua just straight up crushes it into a bloody mess. To me, this is where the original and remake have something in common: This action, and the murderer’s reaction to it, comes off as darkly comic. The reaction to it is less “Wow, Killua just killed that man — he’s a murderer!” and more “HOLY FUCKING SHIT, HE RIPPED THAT GUY’S HEART OUT . . . AND IS IT STILL BEATING?! AHAHAHAHA”
This seems intentional. The guy’s heart continues to beat, and he actually reaches for it, as if getting the heart back into his body will keep him alive. And when the guy’s heart stops, he dies, too, as if there is still some sort of connection between him and his heart. That is some stone cold black humor right there; I laughed my ass off when I saw it for the first time, and I laughed here, too. And — this is where the bag comes in — I may have laughed more here. The very fact that Killua has a bag ready in which to deposit this dude’s heart is hilarious in and of itself. Again, as a practicality, the bag exists to hide the heart from the (presumably child-dominated) audience. But it adds another weird twist of humor to what is supposed to be a somber action.
Killua putting the bag back in the murderer’s palm is kind of hilarious, too. It’s less a sign of respect than it is Killua saying, “Yeah, I totally don’t need this stupid thing anymore. Here you go!” And then Killua immediately challenges the second-most dangerous opponent to come get some, and seems disappointed when he doesn’t take the bait. Oh, Killua, you are so delightfully bloodthirsty. But the funniest reaction of all is probably from Gon, who could not give less of a shit that his new best friend is a psychopathic murder, and immediately wants to pass the time with him by playing games. Gon, you are just as crazy as Killua.
Contrast this tone with the original series: While the heart-ripping has that somewhat humorous twist I wrote about earlier, it’s definitely played much more seriously. (You can watch it here if you’re curious. It’s at about 19:00 in the video.) The music is the track in the original series reserved for exciting, dangerous action. The “ohhhhhhhh fuuuuuuuuuuuck” reactions are drawn out just a bit more. And while the dialogue afterward is largely the same, Killua’s facial expressions and the way he is framed mark him less as a psychopathic, playful child (like the remake) and more as a badass in miniature. Much like most of the original, the same events are played off as more somber and serious. That’s the divide between the two series, and I doubt it will be something that is reconciled, for better or worse.
Also, Leorio is a god damn pervert.