42 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 131 – The OP Has Never Been Less Appropriate

hunter-x-hunter-gon-grown-up-and-crying

Like, who the fuck cracked a smile even ONCE during this episode, much less “again”? I can’t smile even when you grant me permission, Hunter x Hunter OP.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty, I’ll allow the manga readers — those horrible bastards who knew this was coming and cackled to themselves each week as innocent anime watchers flailed headlong into sheer despair — bask in the tears they themselves surely shed whenever this part of the manga came out. (Was this arc still going on when the remake started? Seems like it could have been given all the hiatuses.) Don’t worry, I’ll wait until you get your fill. OK, tears still going … and done. I think that’s enough.

What sticks out to me immediately is that this episode takes what would normally be the “OH MAN SO BADASS” moment in a shonen manga and makes it horrible and terrifying. In a vacuum, you’ve got Gon going beyond his limits and achieving the pinnacle of his strength. There’s one of the villain’s top lieutenants, who says directly to Gon that he will die, and who also attacks Gon all sneaky-like. Gon retaliates with domination and the super ultimate version of his main attack and finally destroys the creature who tortured and killed his mentor. All that wonderful catharsis and comeuppance wrapped up in a neat bow.

Of course, this doesn’t take place in a vacuum. We have all that horrible, troubling context to consider. In a normal story, the hero going so far as to risk their power to save the day would be played as something admirable. They’re saving the world! It’s a noble sacrifice. What’s the noble cause that has earned Gon’s sacrifice? It’s not as if “saving humanity” is on his mind right now. Getting revenge for Kite, sure, but it’s more a meaningless gesture than it is noble. Gon stands in front of the tree after having pounded Pitou’s skull into Chimera Ant goop, and the tears still flow. He “finishes the job” and is still miserable. Only more suffering gets through to Gon, because of the deep, despairing guilt he still feels for watching and running away as Kite was originally decimated.

If you look at it from a different angle, it’s Pitou making the “noble sacrifice.” Gon is a clear threat to the King — to whom Pitou has absolute devotion — but Pitou deduces that Gon is sacrificing everything for this power and cannot use it again. So Pitou takes the bullet for the King. A life for a life. Pitou is the one acting on conviction, regardless of whether we believe in or support the feelings and reason behind those convictions.

That’s something for the character introduced as an inhuman monster who lopped the arm off the beloved mentor character.

hunter-x-hunter-gon-transformed

Going back to the issue of context, I like how this episode plays with callbacks to earlier parts of the series. The first obvious one is Gon’s transformation: Even before Killua mentions it, Gon’s body and the way his clothes fit him is clearly meant to evoke Biscuit in her “real” state. But where Biscuit’s transformation is meant to be slightly humorous and a badass moment when she whoops on the Bomber’s accomplice in Greed Island, Gon’s transformation is much more unnerving. The dark, bloody aura and the shadows that initially cover Gon make his new appearance something unnatural, as if he’s made a dark deal to acquire this power. Without context, a taller, more muscular Gon fitting into his childish clothing is comical; with context, it’s a bit terrifying. Keeping Gon’s voice the same is a good touch. With a deeper, more masculine voice (which I definitely expected), there might be the slightest hint of “MAN, THIS IS SO COOL.” Nope. Hearing Gon’s normal voice made me reject it that much more, like “GON, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

The other obvious moment is Gon getting his arm lopped off ala Kite, which is heartbreaking because that seems like the one thing in this episode that makes Gon happy. He gets to share in some of the pain Kite suffered for which Gon, in his mind, was responsible. It’s his path to redemption. God. This kid needs a yearlong hug. Like, literally, someone hugging him 24/7 for an entire year. You can probably squeeze Killua in there, as well. That kid needs AT LEAST half a year of constant hugging. I think we all need a hug after this episode.

Group hug, everyone.

hunter-x-hunter-gon-adult-body

Allow me an awful joke to break our collective sadness: Gon is all grown up AND he’s likely to lose his Nen powers? The sound you hear in the background is Hisoka’s clown cock drooping in despair.

hisokaspenisglowswithanawesomepower

May you glow proud again one day, old friend.

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42 Comments

  1. gedata
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    The Day Little Hissy went Flacid is indeed a mournful one

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      A moment of silence for Hisoka’s best, most sensitive friend.

  2. shytende
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    That’s exactly what I thought when I saw the OP after the recap.
    Then it went even more wrong.

    So… 4 more episodes to go. How worse can it be ?

    At this point, I wouldn’t even be surprised if they find a way to makes us sorry for effing Pouf.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      HOW MUCH DESPAIR IS LEFT

  3. gedata
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink
  4. Tricerabortion
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    If you’re talking about callbacks in this episode, I found it interesting that when we see a bloodied and lifeless Pitou, she’s sitting in front of a tree in much the same way that she was whilst cradling Kite’s severed head with a cheeky grin on her face at the end of the episode where Kite was first killed.

    Edit: The guy above me just beat me to it :_;

  5. Mr. Anon
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    This episode was beyond amazing. I was literally shaking at the end. And not the fake literally. I was actually this upset at Gon going off the deep end like this.

    What a magnificent show. It’s not easy to affect me emotionally like this.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, at this point this is the best shonen anime I’ve ever seen in a walk.

  6. Anony
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    There was certainly a lot of callbacks in this episode

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

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      That is really awesome. I definitely wouldn’t have noticed some of those unless I rewatched the series, haha.

  7. Conor Brennan
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I read the manga, I knew this was coming. I thought they would space it out over 2 episodes because it’s such a pinnacle moment. But no, they just went here you go have it all. Just amazing, my imagined version was way worse. Multiple viewings were required. When Gon said “First comes rock”… goosebumps!…

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Gon busting out the ultimate version of that attack, but it still keeping its childish roots, is creepy as hell.

  8. Amoura
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    I did not cry during the episode itself but tears rolled down my face when I saw Pitou and Gon charging against each other at the beginning and the end of the ED.

  9. blackice85
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Bandai was waiting for this episode to air before unveiling their upcoming model of Gon.

    http://p-bandai.jp/gashadepa/item-1000089731/

    • tales_of_chris
      Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:49 am | Permalink

      ……I need this.

    • il-Palazzo
      Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:06 am | Permalink

      That probably won’t fit any shelf ever, but I need to buy it.

    • Someone Else
      Posted May 29, 2014 at 4:18 am | Permalink

      The timing was too perfect for the release of this thing

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      I feel like this figure is going to kill someone.

  10. Jaysus
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    The glorious reveal of Gon-san.

  11. Rite of Passage
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one who finds Gon straddling on top of Pitou (whose cleavage is impaled by his severed arm) and saying goodnight to be rather erotic?

  12. Pusswookie
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Gon throwing his severed arm through Pitou’s torso was metal as fuck.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      It was pretty nuts, yes.

  13. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    This is perfection… been waiting for this episode for two and a half years ;_; (sorry, I KNEW but just played along with your happy words <3)

  14. Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    Man. Earlier today I got sad remembering in detail when I accidentally stepped on a kitten 15 years ago. And now I read this.

    I would’ve preferred the voice change. This is like hearing Goku’s Japanese voice in DBZ.

    P.S. IT GETS FEELIER.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      There’s a dissonance in both, but I like it in Hunter x Hunter. It’s meant to be weird and unsettling. In Dragon Ball Z, it’s meant — I think — to highlight Goku’s childishness/innocence, but it just sounds odd lol

  15. SENSEISHUN
    Posted May 28, 2014 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    If only Hisoka was in this episode.

    • Canary Paint
      Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:12 am | Permalink

      Hisoka would be defeated by overwhelming pleasure at the mere hint of all this.

      • Langer
        Posted May 29, 2014 at 3:54 am | Permalink

        The things he could do with that severed arm.

        There’s the real reason why Gon wanted to destroy everything.

  16. Posted May 29, 2014 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    I actually think the fact that Gon-san still doesn’t sound like a “man” and just a kid in an adult’s body adds to the false sense of maturity in the same way that his small teenager clothes look silly on someone of that size.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Yes, exactly.

  17. rubberluffy
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    There’s even a slight hint from way back when Wing told Gon not to take a shortcut to power like Kurapika did. Did he recognize Gon’s selfishness and impulsive wild-like nature could lead to something like this?

    Gon did it anyway, in a much worse way than Kurapika did. Even after all that time of Wing and Biscuit hammering a respect for the “basics” into him, it was all for nothing when he was truly at the end of his rope. I can understand that. When pushed to the breaking point, you can easily forget things you know. All your experiences and things you’ve learned can be just out of sight.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      I’d say something like this is something nobody could foresee. I bet Gon didn’t even do it knowingly. It was anger and despair that drove his instincts in this direction.

  18. Canary Paint
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 2:18 am | Permalink

    This whole episode was so crazy I was simply beside myself the whole time. Fucking hell… Where do we go from here? What a story…

    At the beginning of the episode as Gon was hulking out, I was imagining Gon’s thoughts: “Alright, MOtherfuckers! This is for every motherfucking time I was disappointed by my dick dad who is so gifted as to be unimpeachable but was still a dick dad and instead of being angry about it I tried to be all shounen warrior postive hero attitude about it!!!!! AAHHHHAAAHHH!!!”

  19. R1CK_D0M
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    man like…if I didn’t see the next ep preview I would have sworn this to be the last episode, or maybe the one before an epilogue.

    also: for kids

  20. hint
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I think this is a fanmade gif that appeared when this adaptation was still a dream for us.
    http://0-media-cdn.foolz.us/ffuuka/board/a/image/1337/04/1337041627727.gif

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Oh wow, that’s really cool!

  21. Gan_HOPE326
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I actually skipped the OP entirely this episode. Not only because I knew what was going to happen but also because the cold opening already made it inappropriate enough. “YOU CAN SMILE AGAIN” my ass. When I can’t smile over the MC killing a vicious catgirl monster by impaling her with his own severed arm, you know shit’s gotten terribly real.

  22. fordalels
    Posted May 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    13 Going on 30: The Anime

    • DAI_OXI
      Posted May 30, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      It’s more like an extreme version of the ten year bazooka from reborn.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Jennifer Garner with that hair lol

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