10 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 39 – Chain of Fools

Kurapika is just a tad more unhinged than during the Hunter Exam.

From what I’ve seen, though, I would argue that this is closer to the real Kurapika than who we see during the exam. Despite his initial inclination toward being a loner, Kurapika is able to connect with Gon, Leorio and Killua during the trials they face. This is likely the first time since the Kurta were slaughtered that Kurapika has been able to connect with anyone. For a time, he is able to at least put his ultimate mission in the back of his mind and focus on a mutual goal, although of course he cannot forget it entirely, since it is the entire reason he is getting a Hunter License in the first place.

Now that Kurapika is on his own again and without the Hunter Exam to distract them, however, he is more intense and focused. Everyone has gone their separate ways. All that remains now for Kurapika is vengeance. It’s a dark, terrible feeling that briefly leaves Kurapika only when he once again has something with which he can distract himself — Nen. It is through interaction with another and learning that Kurapika can lose himself in something other than bloodshed.

The weather and settings during the first part of this episode are clearly used to show this: when Kurapika first leaves the employment agency, the city is cold and dark. He then travels to the forest, which is wide and boundless. Trees open up to more trees and shadows. The camera’s focus is fixated on Kurapika; the forest itself becomes difficult to see. When Kurapika is attacked and bested easily by the man who is to become his teacher, the rain pours hard, matching the frustration and rage in Kurapika. Then, finally, when Kurapika is learning Nen, which will open the path to his vengeance, the forest is calm and still. Sunlight filters softly through the trees and brushes against the ground.

Yeah, this is probably the closest Kurapika will get to actually being happy during this arc. It’s all anger and vengeance and shit from here on out, folks.

What I like about it, though, is that Kurapika’s anger is not empty, boring angst. Kurapika is not going to wallow in despair over the plight of his people. He is long past that point. The story will go into more detail on this later, so I won’t dwell on this point, but it’s really interesting how clear-eyed Kurapika is when it comes to his desire for vengeance. That’s one of the main traits that attracts me to this arc: there’s a self-awareness to the vengeance that interests me more than blind vengeance.

The episode also touches more on the intricacies of Nen, which becomes quite important for Kurapika. This is the point where Nen got interesting for me, where the thought put into the system becomes clear. It’s interesting that the first real step of Nen mastery is accepting who you are — trying to overstep your bounds and denying your natural inclinations results in wasting one’s potential. The only out comes through terrible hardship, and even that isn’t a guarantee for shifting to the rarest Nen alignment. It’s a mostly fair system, and even some stuff that pops up later that could be called bullshit at least has more reasonable explanations than in other shounen series that heavily feature similar types of powers.

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  1. Posted July 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Oh yeah, shit’s finally about to go down. Just took them 38 episodes to do so! This is what we’ve been waiting for.
    Anyway, just as promised, the director toned down the colors quite a bit. Instead of being radiant like shit, the visuals are now a pleasure to watch. Color me positively surprised.
    The music has gotten some darker tones, too.

    Then again, no words on the rest of the episode? You know, the other employees got some more screentime than in the manga which was like fanservice to me. Still, the kiss thing was just way too ridiculous to swallow. They also couldn’t help but write her ability all over the screen again. I just hope they won’t be doing that for the rest of the show.

    • Posted July 16, 2012 at 5:03 am | Permalink

      I’m really interested to see how the remake will approach this arc, because it really could not have been more in the original series’ wheelhouse.

      I didn’t write anything about the other employees because there will be more about them in the future. Don’t want to splooge too early on what could be a topic in a future post!

  2. Taka
    Posted July 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad the show is getting back to Kurapika and Leorio. I’m sure Gon’s quest to find his father is great and all, but I think Kurapika (and possibly Leeorio) are more compelling characters based on their primary motivations. Though the chemistry between Hisoka and Gon has certainly been fun to watch. So yeah, I’m ready for Kurapika to straight up murder some folks.

    • Posted July 16, 2012 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      lol, Kurapika, yes, but we’ll probably still be light on Leorio. Poor guy shows up in the middle at earliest, I believe.

  3. Styx
    Posted July 16, 2012 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I’m curious as to how Madhouse is going to be handling the level of violence that is so prevalent throughout the entirety of the Yorkshin Arc. I know the butler in the mansion is supposed to die, but the Nippon adaptation actually took that bit out. Looking at the end of this episode, it looks like he’s about to. Time will tell, I guess!

    • Posted July 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      I’m curious, too, but despite misgivings about the remake being “kiddy,” there has been a certain level of violence. I think this arc will be fine.

  4. Posted July 16, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I haven’t read the stuff that happens later on, but this felt like a good episode for establishing the finer points of Kurapika’s character. I understood from early on how there was a fierce level of hatred and desire for vengeance deep within him, but now that’s finally coming out in the open, and I can’t wait to watch him really start to wreck shit.

    • Posted July 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Oh, just wait until he actually gets close to the Phantom Troupe.

  5. Posted July 16, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    So basically, this is the Quentin Tarantino arc?


    • Posted July 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Sort of! It definitely reminded me of a serious crime thriller when I watched the arc in the original series. Gon and Killua’s part will be a bit more lightearted, at least until they eventually catch up with Kurapika (spoilers!).

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