So although I wasn’t huge on the beginning of Hunter x Hunter, this was one of the parts I liked — where the viewer really gets to see Hisoka in action.
Hisoka is a dangerous man. That much is clear from the start. But he separates from “normal” dangerous to “crazy” dangerous with how he toys with the main characters. It’s apparent that he could kill them any time he wants. Hisoka beats the shit out of Leorio with ease, and although Gon gets the jump on him, it’s not long before Hisoka has Gon in his clutches. But he doesn’t kill him. Why? Because, as Kurapika later explains, Hisoka senses that Gon can become someone greater, and therefore more worthwhile to kill. It’s more fun to kill someone who will push you to your limit, right?
This isn’t markedly different behavior from many shounen villains. They’re always concerned with their rivals pushing their powers to the highest level. With Hisoka, though . . . it’s just a bit more unsettling. Hisoka often likens Gon and his friends to unripened fruit — he wants to wait until they blossom before snuffing the life out of their eyes. And the way he looks everyone up and down, measuring them with his eyes while he describes how amazing it will be when he is finally able to destroy them . . . it’s enough to give me the shivers. I joked repeatedly about Hisoka being a creep and a pedophile while watching the original series, but I don’t see how anyone could not think that while watching it!
Can’t be too sure just from watching this episode, but it seems like that aspect of Hisoka may be toned down, which would be a shame because it’s one of the main things that makes Hisoka such a creepy, memorable villain. He still comes across as different here, I think: It’s tough for a tall, smiling jester to not stand out in some way, especially when he’s beating the piss out of everyone surrounding him. At the same time, though, it’s that characterization that helps build the sense that there’s something off about this world. It’s yet another sign that Gon has left the safety of his island and jumped into a brutal, ruthless place. Gon is scared in this adaptation, and I believe him, but you could really feel the fear in the first series. Then again, Gon will have plenty more opportunities to be crushed with fear by Hisoka later in the series . . .
But, hey, look, there actually is blood, after all! Wowsers!
I’m guessing this episode is more or less faithful to the manga, at least when it concerns what actually happens in it, correct? I suppose the people behind the original series didn’t care for all these crazy shounen animals, then, haha. When that giant tortoise with the enormous strawberries growing out of its shell comes out of nowhere, I was like, “WAT”. Then you have the giant frog, that dickhead crow (I LOL’d at that) and the
Butterfree butterfly with hypnosis. Oh, and the mushrooms. Those damn mushrooms. Fungi will not suffer being stepped upon without retribution. I wonder if the rest of the world will have all that craziness in it? Seeing that makes it clear how much the original series altered without fundamentally changing the direction of the story.
Although, man, I know I want this giant ass tortoise.