33 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 111 – A Monster Was Born

hunter-x-hunter-netero-attackNetero: 110 years old and throwing around the Royal Guard like it’s nothing. Never look down on someone that old in a shounen series. They’ve lived that long for a reason. (And that reason is they can kick your ass whenever they damn well please.)

It’s amazing that Hunter x Hunter can spit out such a great episode where relatively little happens. Let’s break it down: Netero and Zeno Zoldyck (TEAM OLD MAN!!!) drop in from the sky and stir up some chaos, the other team of Hunters sneaks into the manor and runs into Youpi, and there’s an extended flashback to underscore how ridiculously powerful and focused Netero is. All in all, not much progression.

But the execution! Slow motion is overused in general, but it works really well here to show both the heightened senses of all parties involved in this assassination attempt, and also to demonstrate the otherworldly power of Netero’s Nen ability. The speed of Netero’s movement is emphasized twice in this episode: the first time when the narrator mentions that Netero is able to set up and unleash his attack in the time between when Neferpitou sets up and starts to use her attack, and the second time when in Netero’s (relative) youth he is able to do his 10,000 punch ritual in under an hour and breaks the sound barrier with his fists. It’s that context that gives actual impact to the slow motion and makes it more than a neat stylistic device.

Netero is almost like a wrathful god, except you can’t really visibly piss him off enough to know if he’s wrecking your shit because he needs to get something done, or because you really have enraged him. He’s had that inner peace for a long time; Netero’s backstory and appearance has a lot of obvious Buddhist stuff going on that even an ignoramus like me can notice. (Netero seeking enlightenment, his meditative poses, the elongated earlobes that are a part of Buddhist iconography and so on.) I won’t embarrass myself by trying to comment on that with any depth, because I lack the knowledge to do so, but it does lend him an air of godliness to me (though there’s probably a better way to describe it). So much of Hunter x Hunter is about people trying to master their abilities; this is someone who awakened his true ability long ago and turned it into routine. And not the bad kind of routine where he lazily sleepwalks through the fighting moves he knows; rather, it’s the kind of routine where Netero can whip this shit out as an instant reaction. That’s the value of experience.

And remember, when he first appeared on the scene in this arc, Netero said he’s roughly half as strong now as he was at his peak. I can’t even fathom that. Also, we know Netero is strong because his flashback is like a martial arts origin story in short form. I can’t be the only one who was like “OHHHHH SHIT” when he busted out one of those sonic boom punches.

hunter-x-hunter-neferpitou-scary-face

Even Neferpitou’s scary face isn’t intimidating enough to scare Netero.

I am a bit surprised that Netero and his hired hand, Zeno, took such a direct route to the front. As I wrote before, I figured it would be up to the main Hunter group to foment chaos inside the Chimera Ant headquarters and split up the Royal Guard so that Netero would have an easier time of laying the smack down on the King one-on-one. But I suppose this works, too! They need to actually get to the King in the first place, so I guess an all-out surprise assault to get in there and draw him out works as well as anything. Netero doesn’t seem particularly interested in wasting time with the Royal Guard, anyway.

Meeting Youpi so early is definitely a surprise for everyone, and not a particularly welcome one, but they would have run into the Royal Guard at some point, anyway, so better to do so when they can get the jump on them in some way. Youpi’s probably surprised enough that one or two of the team can take him on and distract them while the others scramble elsewhere. If I had to bet, I would say Morel will take him on since he was the one most like “Yo, I’m ready to lay down my life here, it’s cool.” Who knows, though? I didn’t watch the next episode preview this week since several people on Twitter told me there’s a gigantic spoiler in it, and I don’t want to risk seeing that.

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33 Comments

  1. Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I really liked the choice to stage so much of this episode from Pitou’s perspective. They didn’t want Netero to come across as “awesome” – they wanted him to come across as TERRIFYING. And those shots of the lights raining over the compound… beautiful stuff.

    I also liked the short interlude with Zeno musing on his friend’s powers pretty much directly to the audience. This arc’s been doing all sorts of fun mini-experiments like that.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Yep, Netero descending from the heavens on the back of a Nen dragon, floating in the sky and whacking fools with giant energy hands. If that isn’t the behavior of a scary dude with godlike powers, I don’t know what is. And looking at it from Neferpitou’s perspective is even more meaningful because for so much of this arc, she has been exactly the type of monster to Gon and Killua that Netero could be compared to her.

      • C
        Posted January 8, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        Well Pitou was never was afraid of him just shocked at his power. Netero’s attack did not hurt her after all. The problem was that it sent her flying and she has to fall to the ground before she can get back in the fight.

      • Shinmaru
        Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Still, it takes someone pretty powerful to even do that to her. And I’m sure Netero didn’t even go all out with that attack.

  2. gedata
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    “You’ve made a bad move, little ant.”

    BAD MOVE

    Man that scene. Didn’t take long for Netero to wipe that toothy smile of Pitou’s face (a fraction of a second!)

    • Pusswookie
      Posted January 8, 2014 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      “You done goofed, small insect.”

      I thought the scene with the Energizer Dragon descending through the clouds, reflected light dancing in Pitou’s eyes, was pretty awesome myself.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      The “little ant” bit makes that line so dope.

  3. Posted January 8, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Is it me, or does the Neferpitou face look funny instead of scary?

    • Pusswookie
      Posted January 8, 2014 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, agreed.
      Would still bang though.

      • il-Palazzo
        Posted January 9, 2014 at 2:01 am | Permalink

        No BJ though.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      It looks funny when you isolate it and look at it from the safety of your computer!

    • Posted January 10, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      I refuse to accept the gender change from the manga. Not listening (reading), na na na na na.

  4. Posted January 8, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    THIS EPISODE

    IT FINALLY HAPPENED

    MADHOUSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE <3

    What did you think of the narrating, Shin? It's going to be common from now on.

    • gedata
      Posted January 8, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      Has it gotten better yet?

      • Posted January 9, 2014 at 12:22 am | Permalink

        IT GETS EVEN BETTER

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      Some times it was interesting and added stuff to the scene, and other times I thought it was explaining things that were obvious just by watching the scene.

  5. Jaysus
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Finally! After years of waiting… I finally get to see this animated. After so many hiatuses, there were times I thought that this arc would never even be finished, let alone animated.

    BTW – the nen dragon attack was in the OP. When I first saw that OP, I was amazed at how many spoilers it had in it. Hell, it even gives away the biggest WTF moment of the entire arc. I guess you wouldn’t notice it if you didn’t know already though.

    • Mr. Anon
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      This is why I don’t watch openings or next episode previews ever. Fucking spoilers always

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      I only half pay attention to the OP at this point, haha.

  6. ApplePies
    Posted January 8, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Another excellent episode. I don’t know why but the way this episode was paced and because most of it was character introspections made it remind me a lot of the last two episode of Evangelion. Maybe that’s just me though.

    What did you think of Pitous actors performance? I think she did a well voice switching her voice from passive curiosity to one with a sense of urgency and danger when things got serious. Really great performance to me.

    Bring on next week!

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, really good performance from Ayumi Fujimura this week!

    • gedata
      Posted January 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      This is the first time we’ve heard Pitou getting all flustered like right? Lol. Such is the power of Netero.

  7. Cepech
    Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    Oh god I was born to watch Netero’s flash back!

    AND THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING. The ant’s arc begins at vol 18 and it ends at vol 30, AND WE ARE AT THE MIDDLE OF VOL 25!!

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      So roughly six-and-a-half volumes has translated to 30+ episodes? So there’s probably like 20+ episodes remaining! Pretty crazy.

  8. Kenjeran
    Posted January 9, 2014 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Now I would like to see how the entire episode will play without the slow motion (and flashback)

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      It would last like three minutes.

  9. Billish
    Posted January 9, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Since the next episode previews have generally been kinda spoilery, I’d just stop watching entirely from now. I love how the rest of this arc plays out but watching it from a different medium, I wish I was as unexpecting as those whom haven’t read the manga.

    And sadly I don’t think I can comment much either to risk spoilers. All I can say is… I’m looking forward to the battles and the inevitable twists! Lol ><

    Oh, and the obligatory…

    GO TEAM OLD MAN AND TEAM KILLUON!~!~!

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Will do!

  10. Roz JC
    Posted January 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    If anyone here watches Toriko, did anyone think that Food Honour took inspiration from Netero’s routine?

    • Taka
      Posted January 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      I’m behind but yes totally yes.
      I think it’s kind of Zen Buddhist thing though.
      It’s rather funny how it fits in with giving thanks for food.

  11. C
    Posted January 9, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    For fun Pitou’s somewhat weird Character Song came out.

  12. R1CK_D0M
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    anyone else notice that the moth dude is up and about this episode with no explanation at all? last ep he was still out like a light. Unless I missed something

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