Haha, I love everyone’s reaction to Neon saying, “Oh no, the leader is dead?! . . . Did he get the mummy? I really wanted to buy that!” and completely forgetting about Dalzollene because she doesn’t give even the slightest shit about him. Guess they forgot they were working for a totally spoiled, self-absorbed Mafia princess. Her every whim and desire has been catered to since she was born. The girl collects body parts as a hobby and everyone around Neon just lets her do it. Of course, Kurapika and the others have but a few seconds to appreciate how royally screwed up this is before they have to get back to the business of not getting murdered by the Phantom Troupe.
Alas, it is a crazy corrupt world out there, as evidenced by how easily Shalnark is able to find out where the daughter of the Nostrade family leader is staying. Sure, the information is on a website accessible only by Hunters, and sure, you apparently have to pay out your ass to get said information, but the fact that such sensitive information is there to be bought at all is pretty messed up! You’d think a big Mafia family would be more protective of information involving the location of the daughter of their leader, who also happens to be their biggest cash cow. Perhaps the Nostrade family never thought anyone would be brazen enough to take such bold action. This is what happens when you are not a paranoid wreck. Keep those tinfoil hats on, Nostrades!
Meanwhile, Kurapika is juggling a ton of shit as the new leader of this ragtag group of bodyguards. One thing the ’99 series did that I love is show how this ordeal weighs heavily on Kurapika. The animators are excellent at showing Kurapika’s increasing mental and physical exhaustion while executing his long-awaited revenge plot against the Spiders. Also, Kurapika’s original seiyuu, Yuki Kaida, does some great, subtle voice work where you can hear Kurapika barely keeping it together and doing his damnedest to stay focused and sharp. It’s a simple, striking way to show Kurapika pushed to his limit. I’d be quite pleased if the remake could pull of something similar!
Just in case you forgot Hunter x Hunter has some weird fucking character designs. If you didn’t think you’d get an eyeful of this dude in this post, then clearly you have not been reading my ramblings long enough. Watching this episode with my boy, Vuc, was hilarious, because literally every time this pale, superbuff guy with the bulbous crotch appeared onscreen he’d scream, “What the fuck?!” My favorite part of the design by far is the bowtie. Nobody takes bowties seriously — only dorky English professors wear them. So why not use them as the cherry on top of a ridiculously, giant-crotched sundae? Once again, I must state how much I love how batshit insane the world of Hunter x Hunter is.
Getting back to other crazy folk in the Hunter x Hunter world, I enjoyed the scene with Kurapika and Hisoka. We’re back to the understated, scheming Hisoka here: he’s totally upfront with Kurapika about what he wants out of their partnership. Kurapika wants revenge; Hisoka wants better access to Chrollo. Hisoka will feed Kurapika information, who will then use it to get the upper hand on the Spiders. That will be sorely needed, too, because it’s only a matter of time before they cop onto Kurapika’s power.
It’s a solid example of the morally gray aspect of Kurapika’s quest. Hisoka is a terrible, cold-blooded killer, even among the populous of this world. Aligning with such a horrible person would be unthinkable in many stories, but Kurapika goes along with him. Why? The revenge means that much to him. The ’99 series did a good job of exploring that aspect of Kurapika; hopefully the remake is able to get that across well.