25 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 51 – Requiem for a Bro

By law after Gary Oldman in The Professional, every villain must pretend to be a conductor at some point.

How many ways each week can I write that Hunter x Hunter is excellent? I had fallen hard for the series long before this point when I watched the ’99 version, and yet it still found new ways to up the ante and become more incredible. That feeling has not diminished now that I am watching the remake. I’d more than likely feel the same way if I read the manga even after seeing the story played out twice in animated form. This the feeling of watching a well thought out, tightly plotted story play out, expertly manipulated by someone utterly confident in the strings he’s pulling.

Take, for instance, what could be the weak point of this episode’s writing: the massive coincidence that Chrollo Lucifer, of all people, is the one who happens upon Neon Nostrade. It is indeed a huge convenience for the plot; that simply cannot be denied. However, I and the several people who watched the episode with me, accepted it at face value and didn’t react in any substantial except for, “Whoa!” at the reveal that it’s the Bossman himself who picks up Neon. Why? I can’t speak for them, but for me, the Spiders have been built in such a way they can do these things. They have access to information that lets them know what Neon looks like. They’re spread out across the city looking for her and anyone connected to the Nostrade family. I’m sure none of them expects to actually find her — after all, wouldn’t someone of such importance be under lock and key? — but they’re all sharp-eyed enough to recognize her immediately should they happen upon her.

So is this a huge contrivance? Of course it is. Is it executed that way? Not at all. In fact, the confidence Chrollo exudes almost suggests that this was part of his plan the entire time. He’s improvising, of course, because happening upon Neon is an enormous stroke of luck, but you wouldn’t know it based upon his attitude in this episode. That’s also the confidence Togashi exuded while penning this whole arc, I bet.

The characterization of Chrollo is really fascinating, too. I wrote a bit last week about how some of the Spiders reacted to Uvogin’s death and how that contributes to their characterization. Chrollo’s single tear for Uvogin, to me, contributes to the framing of Chrollo as the perfect leader for the Spiders. He leads by example, even when none of his comrades are around to see it — he genuinely cares for their lives, and only their lives. The moment we’re seeing here is the point Chrollo realizes, yes, Uvogin is truly dead. It really hurts him. Even though he is the leader of the Spiders, he sees himself as no more important than anyone else. When Gon asks Nobunaga why he can cry so much for his friend but think nothing of killing another person, well, it’s because the Spiders have created a world where they need care only about each other and nobody else. They do everything for each other and only each other. Only someone like Chrollo who cares deeply for them all could inspire such powerful, disparate individuals to gather.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t write about the excellent requiem scene before closing out this post. It’s awesome to see all the Spiders in action — Franklin, Feitan and Phinks using their abilities to wreak as much direct havoc as possible, and Machi and Shalnark working from the shadows with their powers to confuse and destroy the Mafia. And, of course, Pakunoda blasting away with guns. (Side note: she’s arguably the ballsiest member of the group. Obviously she’s physically adept because she’s a Nen user, but her interrogation ability is her main Nen power. She really is just getting in there and blasting away at the Mafia with a pair of pistols.) This scene and the heist at the auction house are really the only opportunities we’ve received to see the Phantom Troupe in action as a group. It’s pretty damn cool.

Also, those fucking Indoor Fish! Honestly, I totally forgot about them, and the scene at the end surprised me and creeped me out as much as it did the folks with whom I watched the episode. What a frightening concept. And the image of that dude with large chunks of his body bitten away, going insane as he wondered when he would be allowed to die . . . really chilling. Yikes.

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25 Comments

  1. Posted October 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    For whatever reason I always put off watching HxH despite how much I say how amazing it is. I always say “Eh, I’ll get to it later” then I marathon like three episodes and am all “DAMN HxH IS AWESOME”. I did this after all the hub bub on Twitter about episode 51. I really should just watch HxH when it’s released

    • Posted October 15, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, it’s awesome to watch from week to week, but at the same time, tons of people prefer to marathon shonen stuff, so I can’t really fault you there.

  2. Gunslinger
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Some of the best things about Hunter x Hunter is the absolute variety of powers these characters have. No simple fireballs and ray blasts. They’re unique, have rules, limitations and simply awesome.

    • Posted October 15, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      Yep, and very few feel totally overpowered because of the rules that go along with them. Compare that to, say, Naruto, where you also have a variety of powers, but there are a few that are clearly FAR greater than the others, and the supposed rules and limits built into those powers have been tampered with time and again, to the point where they’re meaningless.

  3. Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    What kind of person comes up with an ability like Indoor Fish? Sounds like the nen user Chrollo got this from was a sadistic freak that’d make Urobuchi blush.

    • Posted October 16, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      Yeah, it’s pretty fucked up!

    • Chipp12
      Posted October 16, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Nope, it won’t.

  4. Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    God dying by those Indoor Fish!!

    I was blown away by this episode moreso than my other favorite episodes(16,35,47). The characterization of Chrollo in this episode was the absolute highlight for me. This episode shows why Chrollo is the leader of the PT and why all the other members devote themselves to the Troupe.

    I find it especially intriguing how during all of the Requiem, Hisoka isn’t participating in it but just staring at Yorknew with a serious expression for a change. No orgasm or excited face but an intent almost somber face. I interpret that part as Hisoka not killing because it doesn’t fit his style and he sees no point in killing since his only goal is to fight Chrollo Lucilfer.

    • Posted October 16, 2012 at 1:25 am | Permalink

      Yeah, while Hisoka loves to fight, he has shown time and again that he prefers to fight those who at least approach his level. The Mafia — outside of Kurapika, that is — has shown repeatedly that it’s no match for any of the Spiders. Hisoka probably figures he’d just bore himself if he were to fight.

  5. Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    I think if kurapika was able to pinpoint neon using nen, it would also be possible for then to do so in their side. The spiders are calculative to an extent, so chorollo finding neon is not a mere coincidence. They did their homework.

    • Posted October 16, 2012 at 1:28 am | Permalink

      Ah, yeah, you make a good point there — it isn’t shown, but it wouldn’t surprise me if someone in the Spiders has that ability. Maybe even Chrollo himself can do that. Perhaps Togashi thought that if he showed a relative Nen newbie like Kurapika doing it, then the reader would infer that a Spider could do it, as well.

  6. matrixEXO
    Posted October 16, 2012 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Shinmaru, while it wasn’t entirely appropriate for this episode…. Iexpected to at least see the “Hisoka’s Shiny Thing” pic. You disappoint me.

    (On that note, I’m shocked at myself for looking forward to it.)

    • Posted October 16, 2012 at 1:29 am | Permalink

      Hahaha, first of all, I could not be more proud that I am now known for showing that screenshot. Secondly, I thought about sneaking it in but decided not to at the last second. We’ll see Hisoka’s shining member soon enough, though, you can count on that!

      • Posted October 16, 2012 at 3:47 am | Permalink

        You can’t just use it every week, or it’ll lose its impact. You need to save it for when we least expect it, and then BAM! Magnificent Glowing Hisoka Crotch.

    • danchou fan
      Posted October 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Shinmaru did well in not showing that crotch shot. This IS the Danchou episode. No fodder clowns allowed!

  7. XXL
    Posted October 16, 2012 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    Did chunks of assassin flesh fall from the nen fish as they dissipated? No? Then this episode is and always will be inferior to the manga.

    Nah, I’m kidding. Mamoru Miyano’s voice acting in this episode is godly and really helps to sell Kuroro’s character and motivation. (His grieving face was more convincing in the manga; here it looks just slightly forced, but that’s probably just me and my, say, ten years of constantly rereading the manga talking, so don’t mind me.) The close up of his face at the end was gorgeously rendered. Ahh, really reminds me of why he was always one of the most charismatic characters in this series.

    They didn’t show Hisoka’s deliciously hippie pumps though. Sad.

    But yeah, I was really impressed by the attention to detail in the animation this episode. The moment where they showed the faces of the ryodan in that split screen was just chilling. Good one, Madhouse.

    AND NOW, TIME FOR GON AND KILLUA’S HUNTERPEDIA /shoots self

    • Posted October 16, 2012 at 3:27 am | Permalink

      hahaha you had me fooled for a moment with that opening sentence. Well played.

      And, yeah, after the seriousness of the ending and the music playing through the ED, the sudden transition to the Hunterpedia segment is definitely jarring. At least a cool member of the Troupe is highlighted this week.

    • Langer
      Posted October 16, 2012 at 4:16 am | Permalink

      to be fair, there’s probably an ad right after the “Coming up” message between the hunterpedia bits…imagine if Morning Rescue or something just jumped in right after that ED (those Japanese ads can be pretty freaky so it could be even be worse)

    • danchou fan
      Posted October 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Glad to see you back XXL. I’ve always liked reading your thoughts. Don’t mind the haters!

  8. danchou fan
    Posted October 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Just want to say that Danchou meeting Neon is not a plot contrivance; he had planned it all along. Remember the Ryodan’s first auction attack? The treasures were moved as if someone tipped the Mafia of the Ryodan. Danchou was sure that there wasn’t a traitor among them, so how did it happen? I’m sure he wanted to get to the bottom of this. If their mission now were compromised, then who’s to say that next one, or the one after that won’t be? He had to know.

    Now, since Danchou is Danchou and he is god (okay, don’t mind my fangirling =>), he eventually learned why: the mafia is connected to a particular seer in the person of Neon Nostrade. Knowing what we know about Danchou’s ability, I’m sure he was delighted about this discovery. An ability to foresee the future with 100% accuracy, owned by a spoiled kid who can easily be manipulated? If he didn’t have the chance while Neon was in York Shin, then I’m sure as hell he will do so after. There’s no way he will let this opportunity go. But he was definitely lucky he found her before all hell broke loose.

    Madhouse made a mistake by making it seem like Danchou learned about Kurapica only after Ubo’s death. He had his eyes on her much earlier.

    • danchou fan
      Posted October 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      By the way, finding Neon is probably just child’s play for Danchou. It’s a hunter thing. Noob-in-nen Gon is expected MF Ging of all people. (Well yeah Danchou isn’t a hunter but you get my point.)

      • Posted October 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        And should Gon find Ging (I honestly don’t know if he does, because he didn’t when I stopped), it’s really going to be because Ging decides it’s cool for Gon to find him.

  9. Billish
    Posted October 17, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I need to rewatch the 99′ version of this episode(s) to confirm, but, it seemed to me that the plot and depiction was almost exactly the same as the former. Whereas I was easily able to tell the difference between former episodes adaptations, watching this I felt that I was simply rewatching the 99′ version. Though, as with the 99′ version, this episode fuckin’ rocked, no matter, mainly for the reasons you posit here. Also, best moment in the series… next week!!!! asgdhsaigohadsg

  10. Infamous
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Please someone tell me,what was the name of the song when chrollo is conducting the requiem?Please,I have been searching all over for this!

    • Sataniel
      Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      It’s Mozart’s Lacrimosa.

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