It’s such a small thing, but I love that the remake adds the ridiculous shonen touch of smoke lifting from Gotoh’s hands because he is flipping coins so quickly. This is the type of detail you’d never see in the original series because so much of it was straight and serious, sometimes to great success and other times to failure (which I discussed a bit last week). Whether the remake is of the same quality as the original is debatable, but at the very least, little details like this make the new Hunter x Hunter fun to watch.
I remember liking this episode in the original because Gotoh is the type of archetypal character where you see him and immediately know what he’s all about. There’s a menace to him, and you believe he could kill any of these three intruders if he wanted, but in true Hunter x Hunter fashion he simply wants to play a coin-flipping game. (He’s like Anton Chigurh before Anton Chigurh. No word on whether he’s hiding a cattle gun somewhere.) For such a short scene where you basically know that the heroes will make it through just fine (it’s just a coin game, after all), it’s surprisingly tense.
Also the bit where Gon cuts his eyelid to reduce the swelling totally made me flinch. Maybe it’s just recency bias talking (which would be funny, considering I saw the original barely half a year ago), but I don’t remember it being that straightforwardly violent in the original. In fact, after writing that sentence, I quickly checked the original episode, and it’s nowhere near that bad. The violence is hidden, but in a clumsy way that looks kind of silly rather than leaves the audience’s imagination to fill in the blanks. This is one detail where the remake is less of a “kids show” than the original! I actually would have flinched if this were an “adult” series, too . . .
So Gotoh says he is simply keeping Gon and his friends entertained until Killua shows up, but everyone is pretty much aware this is a lie, even though they’re quick to let it go. I kind of like the idea of a butler who gauges his respect of people on whether they’re aware enough to win his games. Maybe he values Killua’s happiness enough that he wouldn’t have killed them for being terrible failures, but he would have been pretty damn disappointed. Perhaps even disappointed enough to kill them for not being worthy friends for Killua. Hm.
Also if you like Leorio and Kurapika, hope you don’t go too far into withdrawal, because you won’t be seeing either of them for a while! Then again, at the pace this series is going on, maybe it won’t be that long before they show up again. Well, before Kurapika shows up again, anyway. But, yeah, I’m pretty sure this is the point in the series where Gon and Killua grab hold of the reins and become The Main Characters. Kurapika and Leorio are pretty much awesome sideshows from here on out, which is sad because they’re both awesome in their own ways (and the former is a massive part of the best arc in the series I’ve seen).