16 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 55 – The Trickster

Oh, Hisoka, you tricksy, tricksy bastard.

Hisoka really is a clever dude. They make a big show of how strong he is, and also how god damn creepy he is, but there’s a sharp mind under all that madness. It’s easy to see that he’s been observing every member of the group whenever he can. Even though he doesn’t know all their powers (I think he’s telling the truth when he says he didn’t know Koltopi’s ability until that day), Hisoka has watched his fellow Spiders whenever he could and sussed out their personalities. Hisoka knows he can get the ball rolling by exploiting Nobunaga’s friendship with Uvogin — just produce one kernel of doubt, and Nobunaga will rush in demanding answers.

And, of course, Hisoka is the one controlling those answers.

It’s almost scary how accurate Hisoka is regarding Kurapika’s Nen powers considering Kurapika told him nothing. (And why would he? There is no reason to trust Hisoka any more than he has to.) It’s a clever narrative sleight of hand — we know Kurapika’s powers, but the Spiders do not, so when Hisoka gives an explanation eerily reminiscent of what Kurapika could actually do, it’s easy to believe Hisoka. But, of course, it’s all a ruse to give the Spiders just enough information to give them pause, but not so much that they’re scared off and decide to risk everything by leaving anyway.

How do we account for Hisoka guessing Kurapika’s powers so well? It’s not such a stretch, in my mind; actually, I don’t think Hisoka was guessing at Kurapika’s powers at all. We can assume Hisoka is well practiced with Nen. He knows many tricks and how far Nen can be pushed, and he would of course be aware of Nen’s system of rules and conditions. As we know from the Zoldycks fight against Chrollo, knowledge of conditions that must be fulfilled to use certain powers — and conditions that can be applied with certain powers — isn’t a secret to practiced warriors. So Hisoka simply conjures a vague, reasonable sounding condition that allows the Spiders to fill in the blanks and convince themselves.

That’s the true brilliance of Hisoka’s plan: He barely has to do anything. All he needs to do is pretend there’s something holding him back from discussing Kurapika with the group. Because Kurapika has killed Uvogin, the Spiders have enough respect for his abilities that it’s not too big a stretch to think he could get the jump on Hisoka somehow. And, really, all Hisoka does is say, “Nope” while Chrollo extrapolates and figures out Kurapika’s powers from there. Because Chrollo’s words hold so much sway with the rest of the group, he is basically convincing them as well. Hisoka using the group’s thoughtfulness and tendency toward logical thought against them is damn brilliant.

Given a choice between two contradictory predictions (half the group dies if they fight the chain user, and half the group dies if they leave the city), Hisoka prods the Spiders toward the result that benefits him most. He even inadvertently makes it more difficult for Kurapika to battle the Spiders, because they more or less know one of his abilities. Everything comes up Hisoka here.

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16 Comments

  1. Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    How could you NOT use the new screenshot of Hisoka’s glowing crotch in this review? XD

    You’ve been using the one from the first ED for ages now, it’s time for a new angle of our favorite clown

    • matrixEXO
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      The old one did a much better job of pandora boxing Hisoka’s crotch. The new one, not so.

    • XXL
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      Which shots, exactly are you talking about? I’m sorry, I’ve seen so many versions of Hisoka’s crotch throughout the episodes that they’re all blurring together right now…

    • Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:05 am | Permalink

      I have to use the crotch during the most super special occasions.

  2. Taka
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Evvverrything’s commming up Hisoka!

  3. blackice85
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Haha wow, I don’t know if Hisoka will be able to hold back much longer, looked like he was ready to orgasm.

  4. Billish
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    I love the way this direction of the series portrays Hisoka. His dual face shots are both hilarious and creepy. His villainy is so ambiguous and yet fitting in the whole.

    Besides Hisoka, having read the manga, from week to week I am excited more by the prospect of an animated Chimera Ants Arc. Though it is far in the future, I would just like to project to those of you who haven’t read it, we have something great to look forward to!

    • blackice85
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:33 am | Permalink

      Oh I am, I remember thinking ‘meh’ after the first episode but now I look forward to this the most each week. I’m glad there is another material already available to keep the series going.

      • Billish
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        Hopefully Togashi picks it up again soon tho. Like, for the love of God, this writer takes ridiculously long breaks. I imagine something like this will get sorted out in the future (or has already been), but it’d be nice to know for sure that he plans to write again and for how long and such and such and such

    • Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:06 am | Permalink

      I’ve heard a bit about that arc and am really looking forward to seeing it animated. It has a fair amount of the Spider action, right?

      • XXL
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high. They DO show up, but, well, let’s just say they are far from the being the main focus. Or even the secondary or tertiary or quaternary focus. They’re like guest stars, how about that.

        Also, the Chimera Ant arc is one of the most divisive arcs in fandom. Some love it, some hate it. Again, don’t get your hopes up.

      • Posted November 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        OK, gotcha!

      • Billish
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        It has a whole lot of everything action. XXL is correct, but there’s at least one reason that divides the fandom that won’t be an issue if they were to animate it. That, of course, is the animation itself. The opening of the arc was drawn with what seems like a shard of lead or something; just terrible pictures.

        I also think the fact of it being adapted itself rectifies many of the problems the arc has such as odd direction at times and inconcise exposition at others.

    • XXL
      Posted November 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      For me, I’m looking forward to how this anime is going to handle Hisoka in the GI arc. You know which scene I mean. :D

  5. Adreme
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I have to say every single time Kurapika talks he becomes more and more my favorite character in this series. He foils Gon so well that everything he says is just solid gold and I find myself laughing more than I probably should.

    • Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:10 am | Permalink

      Yeah, he was pretty much my favorite character during the original series. His archetype can be so lame when it’s not pulled off correctly (see Sasuke Uchiha), but Kurapika is about as good as you can make his type of character.

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