29 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 112 – ;-;

hunter-x-hunter-gon-youpi-scary-faces

Youpi is pretty damn scary, but Gon with that look in his eyes is quite fearsome, as well. Two monsters getting ready to duke it out. Or so Youpi would think.

What can I say? This episode takes some of the most abused shonen storytelling devices — endless bouts of narration and stretching moments into a ridiculous time frame — and still wrings as much tension as possible from the events. That high adrenaline with everyone operating at peak intensity is as good an excuse for the slowness (in terms of in-show time used) of the action as any. The narration I’m not quite as hot on. It does provide good information every so often (the bit about Youpi’s biological makeup and how it plays into his psychology and reaction time is particularly informative), but it also falls into the trap of explaining things that are fairly obvious just by actually watching the episode (Pitou bulking up her legs to launch herself toward the King at greater speed).

I’m generally forgiving of this sort of thing, because I think that when used well, this sort of narration can provide an extra oomph to the tension (see: Kaiji), but nobody likes being told about what they can see plainly for themselves, yeah? Kids aren’t that dumb. (I wonder how many kids actually stay up to watch Hunter x Hunter?)

hunter-x-hunter-king-komugi-injured

But enough of what meager things I didn’t care for in the episode and, ultimately, nobody wants to talk about, anyway. How about this?!?!?! Not gonna lie, my heart tightened up when I saw this. Even without the emotional context, it’s such a crazy powerful image. Those blacks, whites and greys contrasting with that crimson blood. That black mask on the King. The drip of blood just before everything comes into frame. That slow pull back. THE SILENCE. So fucking good, SO FUCKING GOOD. If this isn’t on my 12 Days list this year, it will be because it got usurped by something equally good or better from this show, or because I am a massive idiot and forgot because that’s what I do. Considering how great this show is and what a total dumbass I can be, either possibility would not be shocking.

Anyway, going back to the above image for a moment! I didn’t think about this while watching the episode because I was too swept up in EMOTIONS, but while staring at it just now, I couldn’t help but be struck by its stark resemblance to that old standby subject of Christian art, the Pieta. For those who don’t know, the Pieta is the Virgin Mary cradling the body of Jesus Christ after that whole business with the crucifixion. Have a look at Michelangelo’s sculpture of the Pieta for visual context. Different artists tend to render the pose in varying ways, but it’s the same basic idea all around.

So … is the story moving Komugi into Christ Figure territory? It’s not as if it wouldn’t make sense in the context of the story — Komugi comes from humble beginnings, seems to think only of other people, and her kindness has a dramatic effect on the King, softening his heart in extraordinary ways. (Though the process remains incomplete for now.) What better way to seal the deal than by having her “die” and be resurrected? (Hopefully she is not quite dead yet. Pitou has displayed aptitude for raising the dead, but that didn’t turn out so well for Kite.) Whatever its literary application, it makes for a hell of a striking image. I could stare at that shit all day.

Really, what I am saying is that Komugi is our Lord and Savior, and we should all worship at her altar right now. Drop whatever silly gods you do or don’t worship, get on your knees and pray to Komugi Above. Amen.

hunter-x-hunter-youpi-is-freaky

But enough of that, here’s Youpi being creepier and more terrifying than before. Eyes everywhere makes monsters so much more disgusting. I think it’s the feeling that they could be looking at you no matter where you are in relation to them. I wouldn’t want Youpi checking me out wherever.

Ugh, there’s just too much good stuff going on. I can’t be rational about it anymore. I loved the story looping back a bit just before the Dragon Dive busted through the roof, leading to a nice “WAIT OH NO” moment just before it actually happens in this episode. I love Shoot gathering his courage and running headlong at Youpi. I love Knuckle getting in that sneaky invisible punch and confusing the shit out of Youpi. And I’m damn well going to love Netero and the King THROWING DOWN OH MY GOD. Not a good sign for Netero that his sympathy for the King has grown a bit, though …

hunter-x-hunter-an-incredible-monsterAN INCREDIBLE MONSTER

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29 Comments

  1. Posted January 15, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    AND IT GETS BEEEEEEETTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  2. Posted January 15, 2014 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t know narrating was abused in shounen manga, though. Maybe it’s because Hunter x Hunter’s is so vastly different than the one found in, say, One Piece and as a result feels unique.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 17, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      I can’t comment on manga much, given my lack of experience with it; I was speaking mainly about anime.

  3. BP
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Such an incredible episode. The emotions that come with Komugi, my god, SO GREAT. Every anime that claims to have an air of action about them really needs to take note of hunter x hunter, although you know, it was bound to succeed, the manga material does a lot of the work by itself.

    But in terms of animation, my god, I mean clearly this must have been a cheap episode to produce. With the slow motion and a lot of scenes focusing on the faces of characters and their reactions, supported with the simple voiceovers. Everyone in this damn industry really needs to take note. Splurge on CG and the most ridiculously beautiful background art as much as you want, but it just cannot compete. The slow motion is just really taking the manga material and turning it into the most intense adaption. I’m sure i’m not the only fan who sped through this entire manga arc; chapter after chapter. I believe this is how it’s intended to be experienced, calmly and progressively, to heighten the intensity and make sure we get the most thrilling ride. I could really go on and on about how much i’m enjoying this long-awaited adaption.

    Those ep previews tho… best to avoid them.

    • shytende
      Posted January 15, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      Well, seeing it happens in the preview didn’t reduced the impact.
      Actually, it may have augmented it, because of the sentiment of implacability and inevitability produced by it.

  4. HybridMBL
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    http://i.imgur.com/Zdp575V.jpg

    As much as I love Komugi, Pitou is my one and only cat/ant overlord

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 16, 2014 at 12:49 am | Permalink

      Haha, is that for real? TOGASHI, YOU GLORIOUS BASTARD

    • C
      Posted January 16, 2014 at 2:40 am | Permalink

      Yes it is real.

  5. Mr. Anon
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    That scene was the best thing I’ve seen in anime in a long time. What an amazing show.

  6. gedata
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one who thought when Pitou was about to make the leap:

    “Thunder-Thighs are on the loose
    Thunder-Thighs are here”

  7. Posted January 16, 2014 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    Yep, that scene with Komugi & the King had me FLIPPING MY SHIT last night on twitter. That was the scene I had to keep myself from spoiling to you last night. The moment it went silent I immediately though: “oh god shin is going to love this.”

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      You were correct! Wish I had watched it beforehand, though.

  8. il-Palazzo
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Love Youpi’s train of thought.
    {Someone hit me and I didn’t see where from.} = {Need more eyes.}

    Sure, he still won’t be able to see them. But at least he would realize that his enemy is invisible if he got hit again.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      More eyes solves everything.

  9. Canary Paint
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    Just adding to the chorus…
    Komugi and King scene – yes
    Shoot pulling it together – yes
    Pitou’s red-eyed facial expressions – yes
    anything with Knuckle in it – yes

    A couple of questions…
    Why was Pitou crying?
    Where did I’m-a-fucking-squid-already Ant go? Did I miss something obvious?

    I hope they have a nice reaction from Cthulu Jr. when he can finally see Knuckle’s interest rate monkey on him. I guess I should say cat not monkey since every weird animal in anime is a cat ;-)

    • il-Palazzo
      Posted January 16, 2014 at 4:04 am | Permalink

      “Where did I’m-a-fucking-squid-already Ant go? Did I miss something obvious?”

      He’s in dragonfly ant’s corpse. Last time we see he ran the other way away from Gon’s group because, as they said while planing, his duty is not to confront the king or the royal guards but to locate Palm.

      • Canary Paint
        Posted January 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. That was the question that had slipped my mind: why was the dragonfly with them? I guess I could have put one and one together on that one.

      • Shinmaru
        Posted January 17, 2014 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, you can see him running away at the beginning when everything unfolds.

    • C
      Posted January 16, 2014 at 5:28 am | Permalink

      Why Pitou was crying see my post below.

      • Canary Paint
        Posted January 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Thanks!

  10. C
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    They cut out a part of the narration that talked about Pitou’s crying. It was implied that Pitou was crying because the King had never put so much faith in her before.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 17, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      I prefer the ambiguous approach that the anime takes here. There are many plausible reasons why she could be crying.

  11. Pusswookie
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Those time warping yellow arrows have gotten so much screen time and I can’t even figure out who voices them :/

    Also, Horeey Shit I can’t wait for the next few episodes :D

  12. hint
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Holy shit. When i read this part i thought the translation to anime would be impossible. I couldn’t see this working without those texts. Also the narrator must be the most well paid. ç

  13. C
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah someone did the math for how long it would take for APR to shut off Youpi’s nen with Knuckles rough estimate of Youpi having 700000 aura. A grand total of 14 minutes if neither Knuckle or Youpi hit each other again.

    Also the Manga has a little clock that shows how much times has passed. Currently less then 5 seconds have happened with the Youpi fight.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 17, 2014 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Man, I kind of wish we had a little clock …

  14. fathomlessblue
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    The narration, while excessive, honestly didn’t bother me as much as it normally would. Both it and the internal dialogue were clearly making up for incredibly small frame of time that’s taken place in the last two episodes, and the near lack of actual speaking lines. I mean other than Pouf’s “Your Majesty!” screech that continued from last week, the first line of dialogue was the King ordering/asking/begging Pitou for help, 19 minutes in. I kinda get what they were going for, with the attack on the palace between treated like a slow, but intense chess match, complete with both the player’s thoughts and external commentary. There could stand to be less of it, but it didn’t bother me nearly as much as, say, the last episode of Jojo’s, where quick and frantic actions were continuously broken up excessive and unnecessarily extravagant (even by regular Jojo standards) pseudo-science explanations.

    Anyway, that scene…

    my tears….

    flowing…

    like waterfalls…

  15. Sarif
    Posted January 17, 2014 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    Wow the slow pace of the last two episodes is so painful. I enjoy the content but the way they drag out ever half millimeter movement is disgusting.

  16. Taka
    Posted January 17, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    My brain went insane during the King/Infiltrators scene. The silence of the Komugi scene was striking but what really got my mind turning was the scene after that.

    It got me thinking about just how much has the King changed? Ten episodes he might have just ripped their heads off right there but I wondered if the moment Komugi got injured he realized what was going on. He might have realized that Netero and Co. were perfectly justified in their attack on the castle for the things he had done, but at the same time he is justifiably enraged that Komugi was injured in the process. Meanwhile Netero and company realize that the King isn’t necessarily the monster they thought he was (which makes the title of the episode and the last line ironic) but he still carried out the atrocities he has. Even Pitou gets in on it a little bit. Pitou is fluctuating between frightened and dumbfounded but I wonder if in that moment when she begins crying its because of empathy for the king and realization that the relationship with Komugi wasn’t as destructive as she thought…or was just as destructive but still not a bad thing. After all if, as was posited above, Pitou’s crying was because the King had put so much trust in her, we can see this as a direct result of his relationship with Komugi. Thus what is quite possibly the happiest moment of Pitou’s life is the result of the change within the King. The possible conflicting emotions of the scene going on between all the characters present is just incredible.

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