What a crock of shit about not touching either Gon or Killua during their little game. The evidence is right here, old man! He pushes off not once, but twice in this episode. Nice work setting up the ground rules and then flagrantly violating them!
This is one of the episodes I enjoyed during the early part of the original series, and it’s still fun here. It’s a concept that pops up repeatedly in Hunter x Hunter: Gon and Killua think they are totally awesome, and then a character shows up and demonstrates that they are not actually the hot shit they believe. In this case, Netero shows Gon and Killua that despite their advanced physical abilities, a real hunter can make that look like an 8-player deathmatch in Perfect Dark. Folks in the Hunter x Hunter universe also like to use games to test ability — with restrictions on the tester, of course. That’s probably a normal shonen thing, come to think of it (makes sense, considering the target audience), but it can be fun when done correctly.
But I will say that I enjoyed this a bit less than the episode in the original series for a couple of reasons: 1) The quick pacing works a bit to the episode’s disadvantage, but in a different way than one might expect. If I remember correctly, the original episode was similarly paced — some quick action, a bit of talking, more action, rinse and repeat. It didn’t really slow down that much. However, the original basically dedicates an entire episode to this game — the episode before this has everyone boarding the airship and all the stuff with Tonpa in the beginning, mixed in with an anime-original plot that sees its conclusion in the game episode. There’s more time to work with the game in the original series, and thus, the payoff is just a bit better.
The other aspect of this episode that bugs me is that the game is confined to the one room for the duration. In the original, the game takes place in the same room much of the time, but after Killua quits, Netero and Gon continue the game around the ship, which is when Gon focuses all his energy on forcing Netero to use his right hand to protect the ball. The change of scenery provides much more opportunity to strategize and surprise Netero, and the way in which Gon forces Netero to use his right hand feels a bit more natural and like Gon truly earns that small victory. In the remake, it happens just a bit too quickly for me — the victory feels comparatively hollow.
But, again, I still enjoyed it. A fun way to pass the time, I say!
I did LOL at Killua being like, “I would have killed that old man to get that ball!” Oh, good ol’ crazy Killua. The two Hunter x Hunter series establish Killua’s darkness in slightly different ways — in the original, it’s the point of the payoff in the anime-original story, which focuses on the daughter of someone who was killed in an assassination mission spearheaded by Killua’s family. Here, well, you see that Killua straight up murders two unlucky folks to let off some steam after being trolled by Netero! It’s toned down (the fact of the Hunter x Hunter remake’s younger target audience is well apparent by this point), but the fact of murder is still there, which will hopefully keep later stuff interesting.
So after seven episodes, the remake is basically through with everything I was lukewarm on in the original series. I can’t say for sure that the next episode will be really good, but it is the point in the original where I started to dig the story. Hopefully this is where Madhouse starts to put the brakes on the pacing a bit and milk the story a bit more. I don’t think they could burn through the next bit in a single episode, anyway. If they did, it would probably be awful . . .