Man, it’s pretty crazy how the remake has turned me around on Greed Island. It’s hitting all the same beats as the OVA, but the feeling is coming across to me in a much stronger way. I love how this children’s game has been made super serious, and it works, because it’s not actually about playing a game; rather, it’s about Gon recognizing that his dad has personally picked someone to represent a wall for Gon to climb. Gon doesn’t want a cheap victory against Razor, because that would mean he ducked the challenge that Ging expected him to overcome. Even if he didn’t have that as motivation, though, Gon is the type of kid who wouldn’t be able to resist meeting that challenge after coming so close to catching Razor’s strike.
I also love Gon’s reaction to Razor receiving the ball and dissipating most of the kinetic energy after Gon wallops the shit out it. Even though Gon is trying his best to defeat Razor, he’s not frustrated when Razor repels his attack; instead, he’s impressed by how god damn awesome Razor is. Gon still reacts like a little kid! It’s neat that the series keeps that in mind. This is still a world of wonder for Gon, even though it is likewise filled with danger. Razor would absolutely kill Gon given the opportunity, since Ging requested that Razor not take it easy on Gon. However, that doesn’t matter to Gon. What does matter is that Razor uses Nen in a way that Gon has not seen before, and that’s pretty damn cool.
But, yes, even though this is pretty cool, it is indeed also dangerous. Goreinu gets knocked the fuck out. Killua gets lucky and dodges a strike that may have killed him. Biscuit barely dodges the same strike, which singes her dress. Friggin’ Hisoka catches a head-on strike with his Bungee Gum, and it still breaks two of his fingers, even with protective Nen! Speaking of, man, the shots of broken fingers and mauled hands in this episode made me cringe. Hisoka’s broken fingers are gross enough, but poor Killua’s hands look like they are rotting away. Having a trustful friendship in a shonen anime kind of sucks! Trust means taking the chance that your hands might explode when your best friend punches a dodgeball out of your grip.
I don’t have too much else to say about this episode expect to admire the execution of all this ridiculous action. It’s not all detailed animation and movement; there are plenty of uses of speed lines and such, but it’s masked about as well as one could ask for. The sheer style gets across the power and danger — I mean, look at that dodgeball! It’s on fire! I wonder if it’s still as weighty as it is when Razor applied his Nen to the ball and made it as if he’s throwing a cannonball. I hope so. It’s more fun to imagine Gon is punching a cannonball at Razor; after all, that is the analogy Tsezguerra uses to describe the attack.