As Mira said on Twitter: Hunter x Hunter‘s doing the SHAFT pose!
Even though I enjoy the events of this episode, it’s disappointing because it’s not one of the ones Madhouse went wild on. There are some good individual moments like the neck snap above (the accompanying crunch made me cringe) and whatnot, but all the stills and speed lines during Uvogin’s curb stomping of the Mafia put a damper on that scene. The bit when Franklin guns down everyone in the audience has that problem, too. It’s at least still an awesome moment, because you know something crazy is going down since Franklin and Feitan are brazen enough to march in on the auction and let loose in front of basically the entire Mafia.
And there’s the extra bonus of Franklin in a suit with those long, droopy earlobes.
Getting back to the presentation, this episode does get it half right: the affair feels suitably bloody and dangerous. The giant pool of blood in the middle of the auction hall following Franklin and Feitan’s attack is a particularly striking image. It turns especially enjoyable when paired with how utterly nonchalant Shizuku is about cleaning up the mess afterward. She just sucks up everything in her Nen-powered vacuum — blood, bodies and bounty. Anything goes here! It’s those little inhuman touches that make the Spiders seem so dangerous. In a world that’s long been established as being frightfully savage and brutal and littered with maniacs, this crew is stocked with people who just don’t give a shit.
We as an audience don’t even know what they have to gain from this exercise. It isn’t money, because Chrollo makes it clear they don’t give a fuck about that. It’s not a traditional sense of power, because they don’t care about that, either. Maybe they just like the thrill of busting such a secure place? Or maybe . . . they have no reason at all. They just do it.
That was a bit of a tangent. As far as blood and violence goes, Madhouse actually gets away with more than I figured they would. Obviously it wouldn’t be ridiculously grotesque, but the blood spray when Uvogin launches the rock through the sniper’s head? That one dude getting plastered with Nen bullets and going out with a headshot? The neck snap? Feitan decapitating that one guy is pretty good, too, even with the cheat of the vacuum covering it up. There’s plenty to satiate the blood lust you fine folks possess. It’s just a shame that the animation (such as it is) couldn’t quite keep up. I can only hope Madhouse is saving up for what’s to come. I can handle an animation sacrifice if it pays off well down the road.
The other thing I did not like about this episode is way too much clumsy exposition in the middle. The show frames it as best as it can with Uvogin explaining to Chrollo the information they got by interrogating folks, but it all strikes me as information the Spiders would already know. They are a well-prepared group, and it’s not like they slack on the information gathering front. It provides a break between the bloody action in the beginning and the end; however, it’s a bit leisurely for my liking. The stuff that interested me most is: 1) the Spiders use smart phones — more modern technology! and 2) in the Hunter x Hunter version of the world, North America looks like a cow.