The best teachers are the craziest teachers, obviously.
Hunter x Hunter is blazing through Greed Island at a ferocious pace so far, and it’s actually making me enjoy the arc this time around! (Or, perhaps, my expectations are more reasonable. Maybe it is a bit of both!) We’re already through the contents of that first Greed Island OVA and the first episode of the second OVA. Now that’s some streamlined storytelling. Much as I’ve enjoyed Gon and Killua dicking around and Biscuit turning into a drill sergeant, this really is the least interesting portion of Greed Island, though from the looks of the preview, the next episode may start getting into some of the better stuff. We shall see!
Still, that doesn’t mean there isn’t enjoyable stuff in this episode. Gon and Killua came into this game to have some fun, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to get serious and learn a thing or two. The quick pace of this episode actually does Gon and Killua a service: It shows how smart and adaptive they are to the scenarios Biscuit throws at them and lends better credence to Biscuit’s evaluation of them as raw minerals that can be polished into gleaming jewels. There’s not even a whole minute spent on Gon and Killua trying to attack Binolt head on; Gon and Killua quickly learn that even when tired, Binolt has fearsome power, and that they should team up to wear him down until they can attune themselves to Binolt’s reactions and offense and better counter him.
Also, there’s a lot of rock punching, which is always fun. Whenever he needs to execute a strategy, Gon always seems to look for something that he can punch.
I can’t recall many times that I’ve seen scissors used as a blatant phallic symbol. This strikes me as odd, especially since anime is rife with dick objects.
The one problem with the quick pacing is that Binolt ends up looking like a bit of a joke. (Well, more of a joke than a man who eats hair and attacks with scissors already is, anyway.) He’s taken down by Biscuit rather quickly, which is easy to accept since Biscuit has already proven herself to be a powerhouse. There’s a lot of talk about how strong Binolt is; to his credit, he holds off Gon and Killua in the beginning even while recovering from what was surely a rough ass hit from Biscuit. This is the strongest point in his favor and basically the most effort the episode expends on displaying Binolt’s strength rather than talking about it. However, my gripe isn’t too weighty since Binolt is 1) an obvious stepping stone in Gon and Killua’s training, and 2) a pretty lame character in the first place.
When I watched this episode with some good folks, we all laughed at Binolt’s backstory. It’s really quite ridiculous — the rich folks young Binolt meets are like they stepped out of a Kaiji nightmare. “Oh no, this poor, wretched whelp touched my purse! Let’s beat the living shit out of him! Why oh why did you take me to the slums, dear?!” This is so absurd that I have to believe it’s not meant to be taken seriously at all. Binolt is sympathetic solely because Gon is adorable and wants to be friends with everyone. Also because as a kid he looks like a stop-motion character drawn into traditional animation.