15 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 53 – Kurapika’s in Despair

Didn’t quite expect the episode to end right here, though I can see why it did. It’s definitely a low point for Kurapika; although he should be happy the Phantom Troupe is “dead,” he can’t be satisfied with that. The deaths of the Spiders are not all he seeks — they have to die by his hands. If not, then what is the point of everything he has done up until now? This is something highly personal for Kurapika. It’s not something he wants to do, as evidenced by his speech to Uvogin. He doesn’t take pleasure in killing, not even killing someone like Uvogin who slaughtered his people and basically forgot all about it. And yet, it’s something Kurapika believes he has to do to properly avenge the murder of the Kurta clan.

And now, as far as Kurapika knows, that’s gone. Reason for living: poof. No more. This stuff and what’s to come are actually some of my favorite moments involving Kurapika in the story. This is really the first time the veil of revenge has been lifted from Kurapika and anyone is allowed to see just how truly heavy this burden is for him. Look at his eyes when he’s speaking with Melody — half worn out and half dead. And it’s rubbed in his face even more because he has to buy what he believes are the eyes of one of the members of his clan and deliver them to two people who aren’t really so great. Working for Nostrade was an evil Kurapika accepted to get closer to the Spiders; now, it’s a humiliation. It’s definitely a powerful moment for Kurapika, and a nice bit of dramatic irony for the audience, particularly after Hisoka’s attempted phone call.

Just as an aside, for whatever reason I really enjoy hearing voice actors when their characters are physically and emotionally drained. For instance, Yuki Kaida during the original Hunter x Hunter is excellent during this part of the story. Her acting really conveys how awful this really is for Kurapika without going over the top with it. Or Reiko Yasuhara in Now and Then, Here and There whenever her character, Abelia, interacts with Hamdo. With everyone else, she’s tough and hard because she has to be; however, with Hamdo, she still cares about him despite what an utter lunatic he is, and when she speaks with him, that facade is gone. All that’s left is her care slowly breaking down. It’s a truly amazing performance that has stuck with me from the moment I heard it.

So, yeah, with that in mind, I’m really looking forward to Miyuki Sawashiro’s acting in the upcoming episodes!

Enough of that emotional stuff — how about some cold blooded murder?! This whole sequence rocks, but the simple shot of Hisoka lighting this mafia dude’s cigarette followed by Machi stringing him up and hanging him is so efficiently brutal. I know I was like, “Ohhh . . . oh my god!” at the sight of his legs twitching as he died. Good lord. I like that Hisoka didn’t really have to be there, either. He’s just amused by the sight of something dying horribly, I bet. Such a cruel clown.

My other favorite detail in this episode is the auctioneer’s eyes as Shalnark controls him during the auction. Right when the audience sees him, they have to be like, “OK, there is something that is just not right about this guy!” You know Shalnark is in control immediately — nobody’s eyes are that dilated and happy, especially when they are doing something dull like auctioneering. Does anyone actually have fun during an auction? Maybe if you actually buy something rare. I can’t imagine it would be that fun to actually sell shit, particularly if you’re selling someone else’s shit.

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15 Comments

  1. Shiara
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Kurapika’s picture above is really heartbreaking. Actually, I think that’s the only expression of him that was drawn well. Most of his shots had this black gradient over his face which is quite ineffective.

    Love the review btw!

    • Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I have to say the black gradient only works with a certain style of drawing. The art here is a bit too clean for that to be effective. If this were, say, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, it would work better.

  2. Billish
    Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I was surprised and a little confused by Kurapica’s decision to stick with Neon as opposed to hunting down the Spiders. I feel his ‘job’ was a cheap way of keeping him from the Zoldyeck vs. Chrollo battle. It does serve for the upcoming arc that his identity as the Chain User hasn’t been revealed, it just feels a little uneasy.

    • Anca
      Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      I was surprised nobody realised he was the Chain User when he went into the auction house to bid – I mean, his bright clothes must have been incredibly eye-catching in a room full of black suits, and having to raise his chain covered hand to bid…

      • foxxie
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 1:51 am | Permalink

        I was wondering that too, specially when kurapika went to pick up the eyes and paku was right next to them, how could she not noticed? it will always be a mystery I guess

      • XXL
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 1:59 am | Permalink

        I’m assuming he normally uses In to conceal his chains from other nen users. We just get to see it, because, well, we’re the audience, aren’t we?

      • Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        Yes, this is basically what I was going to say. He points out during his fight with Uvogin that he uses In to conceal his chains.

    • Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      I don’t have that big a problem with this, if only because Kurapika still has to keep up appearances with his employer. He’s strong, but remember, his chain isn’t nearly as useful against other people as it is against the Spiders. Making an enemy of any wing of the mafia without having some support would be a bad idea.

      • Billish
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        Fair enough. And anyways, I / we don’t have to worry about him holding back any more.

  3. Mr. Anon
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Just as an aside, for whatever reason I really enjoy hearing voice actors when their characters are physically and emotionally drained.

    I love this, before you came along I was always disappointed how Scamp has zero appreciation for voice acting.

    • Posted October 31, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Well, we all know Scamp is a big frumpy grumpy.

  4. Taka
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    Dunno why Kurapika didn’t use Gyo. Did he honestly believe the phantom troupe members could be killed with bullets after fighting Uvogin? Chrollo is one thing he was fighting crazy powerful assassins but didn’t they show Machi straight up full of bullet holes? I don’t usually nitpick this way but I hate shows that use “misunderstandings” as plot devices. I feel like Kurapika would want to be absolutely sure.

    • Posted November 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      I actually did think about this for a bit. My only explanation is that he was too shocked to think clearly.

  5. matrixEXO
    Posted November 3, 2012 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    So hopefully next week we get to see some Hisoka’s certain member pic being slipped in right?

  6. Pusswookie
    Posted April 21, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    For a bit there I wondered why Hisoka had a lighter in the first place. I guess even he sparks one up now and again.
    I don’t mean cigarettes.

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