14 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 47 – Revenge

Madhouse brought the big guns here, not just in terms of animation, but also in the pacing and progression of the battle between Kurapika and Uvogin.

We’ve got a strong, classic tone set in the beginning, with Kurapika and Uvogin feeling each other out before the battle begins. Just as he does with Hisoka, Kurapika asks Uvogin if he was there when the Spiders slaughtered the Kurta. Uvogin gives an expected response: he doesn’t remember them at all, but the slaughter did happen while he was in the group, so he probably had something to do with it. It’s easy to see that Uvogin is a dude who lives in the moment — he’s only interested in the battle now and in the future. If he’s defeated you, you’re already forgotten. If you can’t test Uvogin’s abilities any further, then what use are you to him?

It’s also established that both fighters are utterly confident in their abilities — Kurapika so much so that he not only takes the opportunity to taunt Uvogin, but he also takes clear pleasure in doing so. It’s a risky strategy. There are very few who would be brazen enough to take on a heavy duty dude like Uvogin when he’s calm, much less raging and looking to save face by mashing someone into a fine paste. The slim upside, of course, is that the rage will dilute Uvogin’s focus just enough that there will be an opening. Only an expert fighter could possibly take advantage of such a slim opening, which should tell you how confident Kurapika is in his abilities, especially since he’s already had an opportunity to see what Uvogin can do. Also love the difference between the two in their pre-fight dick wagging (so to speak): Uvogin lets loose with an impressive display clearly meant to intimidate Kurapika; however, Kurapika calmly builds his energy and waits for the right moment to strike.

From there, both Uvogin and Kurapika start the fight off strong with the big power moves — Uvogin with his pure physicality and energy, and Kurapika with his chain attacks. It’s an awesome showcase for the animators, even better than the Hisoka/Gon fight from a few months back. Uvogin sliding down the cliff with glee after avoiding one of Kurapika’s strikes is quite the fun moment, and I love how each of Kurapika’s chain attacks is animated. There’s a real grace and beauty to the movements of the chain, such that it’s actually kind of shocking when it hits as heavily as it does.

After that initial flurry, the pace slows a bit as Kurapika chips away at Uvogin and sets up the pieces for his plan. It’s almost ridiculous how confident Kurapika is in his strategy and execution: this isn’t even a battle for him so much as a test of his abilities. Kurapika has all the advantages, because he has seen Uvogin fight and knows what he can do; meanwhile, Uvogin knows one thing Kurapika’s chains can do, but he doesn’t know the myriad ways they can be employed, which leads to his downfall. Then Kurapika becomes super detached and clinical as he breaks down what Uvogin can and cannot do against him. Kurapika can be damaged by Uvogin’s strikes; however, if defended well, they’re not so debilitating that they can’t be healed. Uvogin — the strongest physically of the Spiders — cannot break out of the chains, which attests to the strength of Kurapika’s resolve. Kurapika’s hand-to-hand strikes can pierce even the toughest defense. And, perhaps most important of all, can set his own attacks with specific conditions against the Spiders.

It’s a slow, brutal process watching Kurapika figure this out. The big moment is during Kurapika’s outburst against Uvogin — Kurapika is still struggling with what he believes he has to do. He wants to avenge his people, but this cold, brutal violence still pains him. Even when brutalizing someone he hates with all his heart, Kurapika can’t help but feel something while he does it. As Mira points out, the very nature of Kurapika’s character means he can’t enjoy battle the way Gon or Killua can. Kurapika tests his abilities not because he wants to see how far he can push his limits, but because he needs to know the best way to fulfill his vengeance. Kurapika’s path is possibly the harshest of anyone in the series.

As down as some have been with the remake, there’s no doubt that this is an expertly crafted episode. My only problem is that the development with Kurapika’s eyes is kinda bullshit (and I felt the same way when it happened in the ’99 anime, too). The chain power I could accept because there are clear limitations and sacrifice with that power. It’s not something that is unleashed without limitations. The eye power, though . . . yeah, that is some broken ass shonen shit. The one intriguing part for me is that, I think, the actual nature of the Kurta’s eyes is unknown. Are the eyes themselves responsible for the aura power-up? Or are they merely a symptom of a power within the Kurta? That’s still not enough for me to not call bullshit, though.

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  1. Posted September 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Specialists don’t fit into the Nen system nicely which was kind of the point. They are abilities that can’t be put into the 5 others so Togashi just gave a category for anything else that isn’t Enh/Emi/Manip/Conj/Trans.

    Kurapika’s eyes give him his 100% and Chrollo’s abilities are arguably as powerful as Kurapika’s, once that gets revealed. However the thing about their Specialist powers is they have a price tag/limitations attached to them. Kurapika can’t stay in that state for too long or he’s screwed and Chrollo has like 5 or 6 conditions that need to be fulfilled before he can activate/use his

    If you think they’re overpowered Shinmaru just wait until you meet a villian in the Chimera Ants Arc who is also a Specialist, that person is truly terrifying with the powers Togashi gave him(her?).

    • Posted September 18, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      I think I know who you’re talking about and I have to agree with you, in comparison to that Kurapika’s a lightweight.

    • Posted September 19, 2012 at 2:17 am | Permalink

      Was that point about specialists elaborated on in the ’99 anime? I like to think I’d remember something like that lol.

  2. Posted September 18, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    The animation here was extraordinary. I’m always impressed whenever Madhouse brings out the big guns, but this one in particular left me in awe. I had to rewatch a couple of times too. The attention to how Kurapika’s chain moves is commendable too.

    Kurapika’s aura getting stronger after his eyes turn red is quite the mystery, I have no idea how his heritage plays into this but it does hint that Kurta weren’t ordinary people at all. Yes it does seem Kurapika’s overpowered but thankfully in HxH that isn’t necessarily the crux.

    • Posted September 19, 2012 at 2:23 am | Permalink

      Too bad it’s unlikely we’ll find out that much about the Kurta since they’re all dead. Oops! Unless they left behind some sort of tome or something.

  3. Oni Hibiki
    Posted September 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if the Kurta were all specialist when angered. Which would make sense given Uvo’s description of them.

    • Posted September 19, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

      You’d think the Spiders wouldn’t have killed them so easily if they were all Specialists … then again, it’s a group of super strong fighters, and we don’t know much about how the battle went.

      • Anca
        Posted September 20, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        We do know that it wasn’t THAT memorable.

  4. Posted September 19, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Oh man this was the perfect time for Madhouse to pull out the stops and they just nailed the animation that episode. Every blow had a massive impact, and the chains were so fluid – it was especially cool because chains flying through the air like that aren’t really something you see animated all that much. HxH has some pretty interesting weapon choices that it makes work surprisingly well.

    This episode really bummed me out. Partly because Kurapika was so brutal and conflicted in his approach, and partly because it really hit home that all of the Spiders are probably going to end up dead, and I don’t want to see any of them go, cold-blooded killers though they may be (actually that’s probably about half the reason). Dangit, Togashi, stop making your bad guys so likable.

    Hmm… if the Kurtas’ eyes end up being responsible for the power up, it’d be interesting if that was part of the reason why they’re so sought after.

    This was a pretty awesome episode. Looking forward to seeing more of Gon, Leorio and Killua next week, too.

    • Posted September 19, 2012 at 2:30 am | Permalink

      Well, from what I’ve heard about later Hunter x Hunter arcs, even if all the Spiders end up dying, it won’t be for a long ass time.

  5. Posted September 19, 2012 at 2:31 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I think shonen should just disallow special eyes altogether. Or maybe anime in general, considering what I know about Type-MOON.

    Watching Kurapika fight was very different than watching any of the others. I feel like he has the same rage as someone like Gon, but he channels it into his attacks rather than letting it pour out. He also seems to embody the old martial arts mantra of never letting yourself have any wasted movements.

    • Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      There’s probably some mythological tie-in to eye powers and such. It’s too pervasive in anime to not have a background in something like that.

  6. Taka
    Posted September 20, 2012 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    I knew after watching this episode that I was glad there was at least one anime currently airing that I was following religiously. I may have let half a dozen other shows fall to the wayside; being 1 or 2 or more episodes behind, but I’ve been consistent with HxH every Sunday and Madhouse has rewarded my loyalty in spades. This episode was easily one of the best of the year in my mind. Most of the shit that airs can only dream of having an episode that blends an intense, morally ambigous story with electifying animation.

    • Posted September 21, 2012 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Yep, agreed, although I am totally shit at remembering specific episodes, so I’d have a tough time comparing it to other heavyweight episodes of the year.

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