20 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 121 – NOOOOOO KNUCKLE NOOOOOOO

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Before Knuckle revealed his deeper reasoning for letting Youpi go (which makes sense in context, even if it’s not a choice a lot of people would make), I reacted to him like he was a good guy wrestling character getting duped by the bad guy even though the audience is like “NO YOU FOOL” the entire time. He’s even shocked when Youpi is all “lol sucker bye” as if Youpi wasn’t going to ditch them the entire time. His stated mission is to protect the King! He’s got no time for the soldier ants. Knuckle, you silly, even if your decisions make sense within the context of your sense of honor and justice.

Anyway, before I get to the rest of this post, I just wanted to mention that I will be at Anime Boston again this year. It’s Friday through Sunday (though I’m arriving tomorrow to settle in), and I’ll periodically broadcast my whereabouts on Twitter because I can’t go a few minutes at conventions without telling people about the dumb things I am doing. (Rest assured that I never do anything intelligent at cons, and neither does anyone else.) I actually wasn’t going to go again, because flying across the country is expensive, but I was lured by the promise of JAM Project. In case you care, I will also be at SakuraCon in a month, because flying to Seattle is much less expensive than flying to Boston.

Back to this episode. The continued emphasis on shifting opinions regarding the Ants once their humanity is glimpsed continues to be interesting. Usually in this sort of situation, the hero holds back on killing/standing their ground on this hostage situation is because they don’t want to become “like the villain.” It’s a black-and-white situation. Here, though, even if I’m reacting like, “NO KNUCKLE WHYYYYYYYYYY,” he’s not letting Youpi go for precisely that reason. It’s a different twist on the idea: Morel’s condition plays into it — as the narrator makes clear by pointing out the mental connection between Morel and Shoot — but it’s Youpi’s words from before that push Knuckle more in the direction he takes. Youpi sees and fights Knuckle and his comrades as equals even though Youpi is vastly more powerful than them. There’s a sense of honor in him; it’s just that honor is dedicated toward protecting the King from all threats. Knuckle’s crew was a threat before. Now it’s not, so Youpi hightails it. No malice. No hatred. Just doing what he has to do.

It’s one of those classic “if we found ourselves on the same side we probably could have been friends or rivals” type of situations. I don’t know if Knuckle necessarily senses good in Youpi, but the fact that he doesn’t view him as bad even after ripping Shoot to pieces and nearly killing Morel speaks volumes. It’s that code of honor that is the essence of Knuckle’s humanity. It’s that same sort of humanity Knuckle feels in Youpi. What really pushes this idea is at the end when Knuckle decides to stay and says that Youpi isn’t the only Royal Guard around. If it had been Pouf in Youpi’s position, would Knuckle have given Pouf the same consideration? Maybe not. (Obviously it’s a different situation, because the leverage of Knuckle’s APR is absent.)

It’s an interesting complexity. The smart thing with the limited information that they have is to hold ground and beat Youpi when he eventually runs out of Nen. That’s what they’ve been waiting for the whole time. But people don’t always do what is “smart” or the statistically most rational thing. Emotions come into play, whether we want them to or not. Knuckle has proven time and again to be an emotional dude. He judges based on feeling. This makes sense to him.

And as it turns out, it doesn’t matter too much since Netero is able to isolate the King, so the Royal Guard won’t get to him quickly anyway. If the King wins and decides to destroy them, well, that’s probably going to happen, whether the Royal Guard is around or not.

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Poor Knov. Poor, poor Knov. ;-;

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20 Comments

  1. ApplePies
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Youpi let them live because he respected them as warriors this gets stated in the manga several times. I don’t know why the anime left out that dialog box but if they were good enough to almost beat him finishing them off so they couldn’t get to the King would be the responsible thing to do but he developed into a strong warrior with respect for braveness during the fight. His development as a person in this arc almost beats the King for me in all honesty.

    Also if Knuckle came at Youpi one on one it would have been a death with for Knuckle so keep that in mind.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted March 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      I think the anime implies that well enough. Youpi says their bravery in the face of overwhelming odds is impressive, and after Youpi ditches them, there’s the inner monologue about Youpi’s conflicted feelings regarding all the rage and such.

      • Canary Paint
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Yeah… I got that impression, and I have never read the manga.

      • ApplePies
        Posted March 27, 2014 at 12:09 am | Permalink

        My bad I thought your post implied you didn’t notice that in the anime. Sorry.

  2. Cobrah
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Seeing Knov look like that is breaking my heart. He used to be such a cool guy…

    Also, Killua just chilling by an electrical outlet to recharge was pretty great.

    • Posted March 20, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      And great voicework by Shinichiro Miki again, btw.

    • Canary Paint
      Posted March 21, 2014 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Will Palm still have a crush on a hairless, broken Knov?

    • Shinmaru
      Posted March 25, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Poor, poor Knov. He’s still doing the best he can. ;-;

      And, yes, Killua recharging at an outlet is pretty great. I could see him having the problem people have at conventions, though. Namely, what if there isn’t an outlet around?!

  3. gedata
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Surprised you didn’t mention Youpi’s fucked up gun (I think it’s a gun) arm. That there thing is freaky.

    • C
      Posted March 19, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      It’s a gun. He can shoot Rage explosions with it.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted March 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Everything involving Youpi warping that body is freaky.

  4. C
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Another Reason I would also give them for giving up is that they had no idea of how close they were to beating Youpi. For all they knew He could have kept this up for another hour.

    • blackice85
      Posted March 20, 2014 at 12:53 am | Permalink

      Also how much of Youpi’s abilities are tied into his aura? He could still be quite a threat even if he couldn’t use nen anymore. It would still be a gamble IMO.

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted March 20, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      APR adds 10% every ten seconds. One hour is 3600 seconds = 360 increases. Namely, after one hour APR would have displayed 1.1^360 = 8e14 times as much Nen. That’s one hundred thousand billion times. It was already displaying numbers in the hundred thousands, so that would be around 10 billion billions of Nen units. That much energy would probably mean he should just collapse on a black hole and destroy the universe by merely existing.

      • Cirith
        Posted March 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Yeah and if he attacked Knuckle he would only pay back aura he would have to repay more than several 10k worth of aura every 10 seconds to reverse the growth against an opponent doing his best to avoid damage aided by someone with stealth nen. Not impossible but at the end the odds were in Knuckles favour if he were willing to sacrifice his mentor and I’m sure he knew it.

        Without nen, well I doubt he could win without nen against a nen user, I’m sure he is sturdier than a human but taking nen attacks without nen…

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted March 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        I think the smartest thing to do would have been if Meleoron had got the drift and grabbed onto Potclean. Then Youpi could have believed that Knuckle had dispelled it and just left… and of course Knuckle could pursue and finish the job. Of course this would have been an incredibly sneaky and dastardly way of winning. Which would have been perfectly okay with me but with Knuckle… eh.

        It’s funny that someone with such a strong sense of warrior honour would choose a power that works better with underhanded, cowardly strategies.

      • Posted March 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        That leaves me wondering if Meleobro’s power works with nen-made beings like Potclean.

      • Cirith
        Posted March 20, 2014 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        It hid Potclean too when Knuckle was invisible. No idea about the other way around.

      • C
        Posted March 20, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        Remember that Youpi when he was going to get a direct hit on Knuckle he was not only going to pay back his loan he was going to kill him as well. If Knuckle had fought Youpi even with APR he would be pretty screwed as the build up of interest would have been going away quickly.

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:07 am | Permalink

        Back then the debit was WAY lower, so Youpi could repay everything AND kill Knuckle in one hit. It wouldn’t be that easy probably this way around, plus Knuckle should try to stay out of harm’s way anyway.

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