Imagine going to Las Vegas and seeing Hisoka as your blackjack dealer.
This episode makes me super curious about what would happen if Hisoka fought Kurapika right now. Like many things regarding Hisoka, his membership in the Spiders is a bit of an enigma. For all intents and purposes, Hisoka is a member of the Phantom Troupe. The exact nature of his “replacement” of the old No. 4 is left unclear. It can probably be assumed that Hisoka killed the dude to gain entry into the Troupe. Even if some of them find Hisoka untrustworthy, the other Spiders believe Hisoka to be a legitimate member.
But Hisoka himself doesn’t mark himself as a member of the Troupe. His fake tattoo is representative of that: he is a Spider in appearance only. He doesn’t care about the other Spiders at all and willingly offers to sell them out to Kurapika so that it will be easier to achieve his true goal of fighting Chrollo. This activity is Hisoka in a nutshell: he tells the truth to sell a lie. His membership in the Phantom Troupe is both fact and fiction. But would Nen believe the fact or the fiction?
We know Kurapika’s chain works only on Spiders. If he were to use his power on someone who isn’t a Spider, then he would die immediately. That is the price he pays for the power. I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I think Hisoka may have confirmed that the Phantom Troupe’s assault on the Kurta clan occurred before his time. While Hisoka may be a Spider to Kurapika, he has no reason to actually fight Hisoka, which is a dangerous prospect even with the chains. And Hisoka being so willing to make a deal with Kurapika is a nice, clean way to avoid the conundrum of Hisoka’s uncertain membership in the Phantom Troupe clashing with Kurapika’s distinct, specific Nen power.
Still, it’s tantalizing to think about, yes? Maybe it’s one of those questions that is best left unanswered, though, because either answer would be disappointing from my end. Either it doesn’t work and Kurapika dies, or itdoes work and Hisoka is captured. Our favorite perverted clown is best when he’s wild and free!
On the bad side of things, I — and I imagine many of you, as well — was disappointed in the “battle” between the Spiders and the remaining Shadow Beasts. I understand that there’s only so much time and budget to go around, but what’s done here is one of my most hated cheap tricks: teasing a big scene/battle, cutting away to something else and then cutting back to the aftermath. It’s rarely done in an interesting way. We’re supposed to be like, “Wow, the Spiders totally wrecked the Shadow Beasts — they sure are strong!” However, it just makes me irritated that these cool-looking Shadow Beasts are introduced, only to have them all offed offscreen. I wanted to see bat dude fly around and do stuff! Come on!
One thing I did like from later in the episode: the Spiders in Mafia suits. They all looked pretty awesome! Seeing Phinks put on his Egyptian headgear afterward made me realize that the ’99 anime series did downplay some of the stranger elements of this world to an extent. It covered up Franklin’s ears, Phinks never wore his pharaoh helmet, things like that. It’s not as if the ’99 series whitewashed the weirdness of the world, or anything, but I think some little details may have been eliminated/altered to fit a more serious, down-to-Earth tone, which is fine. Those creators were free to interpret the story however they pleased. But the world of Hunter x Hunter is equal parts danger and WTF.
It’s a dude plunging his hand through your chest and then donning a pharaoh helmet. It’s a girl murdering powerful man-beasts and then sucking poison out from a comrade using a vacuum. It’s a creepy clown who uses hearts in text messages being possibly the most dangerous man in the world.
Really, does anything scream danger and WTF more than this?