18 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 118 – Lightning Returns

hunter-x-hunter-lightning-bolt-of-stupid-punning

Usually it takes me a few minutes to crap out a proper title for a post, but this time inspiration struck quickly … like a bolt of lightning! Do ho ho ho ho ho.

This short skirmish is a nice example of everything good about Hunter x Hunter battles. Serious props to Youpi for coming up with a nice, simple plot to get one over on Knuckle by using the literary person’s best friend: irony. Knuckle thinks that he is taking advantage of Youpi’s anger to get some good shots in, but it’s actually his own hot-headedness that clouds his judgment and causes him to rush in for vengeance without fully understanding Youpi’s power and his control over it. Good on Youpi for being self-aware enough to take advantage of other people’s perceptions of him for his own benefit. He showed goofs like me: just because you’re straightforward, doesn’t mean you can’t be clever every so often. It didn’t totally work out for him, but that’s not really his fault.

Killua’s interference, meanwhile, is something I would have expected and called bullshit on in basically any other shonen series, but I got pulled in hook, like and sinker here. The setup is perfect: Shoot is dying, so we have Knuckle going out to avenge him, but then the story pulls the bait-and-switch by having Knuckle die and Shoot surviving. It would definitely be a good gut punch. During that whole monologue where Knuckle talks about how he’s going to beat the shit out of Youpi and then slowly realizes his goose may be cooked — while the audience is fully aware that Youpi is playing possum until the last possible moment — the thought in my head wasn’t, “Someone’s going to save him, I know it,” but rather, “Good lord, I hope someone saves him!”

hunter-x-hunter-blooming-rose

Then the blooming rose comes in and blooms — a popular visual icon of blood shed — and it promptly wilts. By this point, I was freaking out, because, you know, Knuckle is pretty cool. And then, zap! Lightning. What’s great about this is how the show respects the audience enough to let them put the pieces together without being too obvious about it. Since we know Killua was hanging out with Meleoron when Youpi went kaboom initially, it’s not difficult to put two and two together and figure out that Killua uses Meleoron’s power to get close enough to Youpi to strike at the perfect opportunity. We get a little nudge in that direction as Youpi analyzes the situation from his point of view and realizes it’s similar to when Knuckle hit him with his attack during the first skirmish in the main hall. Meleoron is never shown, however.

It’s nothing huge, but it goes to show how a lot of shows do so much hand-holding that it’s remarkable when something lets off of it a little. Jeez, though, Gon and Killua have come a long way. It wasn’t that long ago that Shoot and Knuckle beat them into the ground to earn the right to go on this mission in the first place. Now Gon is going head-to-head with Neferpitou and Killua is making a shocking entrance for a battle with Youpi while Knuckle and Shoot get the hell out of Dodge to recover. If I weren’t convinced that this fight is going to be totally badass, and if I didn’t love Knuckle cheering about smacking Youpi around and whooping it up ala Gon at Heavens Arena way back when, I might be miffed. But I am just glad to see Knuckle among the living.

hunter-x-hunter-lobster-guns

Meanwhile, LOBSTER GUNS. This whole arc has been great for stupid powers. It’s beautiful.

I was confused about why the passcode system for the elevator came into play when our gun-toting buddy was going back up and not when he went back down, but I went back to the episode where the elevator was introduced, and the narrator specifically says that the passcode is necessary only when you’re ascending rather than descending. So despite the fact that I complained about too much hand-holding in anime, I’m an idiot who can’t remember a specific detail about this important elevator that was introduced two episodes ago.

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18 Comments

  1. Posted February 26, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I was right there with Knuckle this time, which I think is partially a testament to how well this show handles pacing – the mad dash down at Youpi, into Knuckle’s slow-time “oh shit,” back into the panicked run away, really helped stick me in his headspace.

    Also, it was pretty great seeing Knuckle actually notice the slow motion everyone’s been living in for the last fifteen episodes or so. Well played, HxH.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted March 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Everyone exists in the time dilation of Gunbuster.

  2. Sarif
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Three minutes…. Three minutes….

    • C
      Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      Five now

      • Shinmaru
        Posted March 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        And yet Hunter x Hunter is still paced faster than Dragon Ball Z.

      • Posted March 4, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        And STILL paced faster than Saint Seiya.

  3. MoonOwl
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    >Rose

    Dat foreshadowing (you’ll see).

    • Shinmaru
      Posted March 2, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Oh boy …

  4. DAI_OXI
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    They totally got me, I thought Knuckle was done for. So when lightening struck, I had about the same expression on my face that Youpi had.

    lol all exaggeration aside that was pretty awesome.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted March 2, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Saaaaaaaaaaaame

  5. shytende
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    My thoughts : wait.. no.. no ! no ! NOO!

    …YES ! Fricking Yes !

  6. Sataniel
    Posted February 27, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    And here I hoped that Knuckle will die.

    The whole slow-pacing thing was cool at the beginning but now I’m growing tired of it. It kills the dynamicism of the ambush.

    • fordalelz
      Posted February 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Says a guy with an avatar from the slowest anime in the story of mankind.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted March 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Hoping Knuckle would die, what a monster.

  7. hint
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Knuckle is really lucky. He has already faced death against Gon´s Jajanken by lowering his guard thinking he could dodge it and now when he was trying to take advantage of Youpi´s rage.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted March 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Third time’s a charm, maybe? I hope not!

  8. Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Lobster guy reminds me of Space Pirates from the 2D Metroid games.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted March 2, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      CAN’T UNSEE

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