And so the heralded dodgeball match comes to a close. It’s a bit funny how similar this is to the opening of the latest JoJo, in that you have the antagonist making an ultimate last stand while the heroes counter it with awesomeness. I’m actually sad to see this dodgeball game end! It’s interesting, because it comes off like an unorthodox shonen battle due to how it’s framed, but it plays out like many other battles in Hunter x Hunter. The main difference is that the rules make the boundaries more explicit. This is very much a traditional Hunter x Hunter battle with all the give-and-take and strategy expected. That’s something I didn’t totally realize the first time I saw it, because I was too busy with thoughts like, “wtf dodgeball” and “why the HELL does this still look like Gundam SEED“.
The ending is definitely good and set up pretty well beforehand with the talk about Gon having just enough energy to let loose one final strike. Then Razor shows how ridiculously strong he is by whacking the ball back after Gon hits it with his Super Saiyan punch. That ball had to have been moving crazy fast by that point. If Madhouse had inserted sound effects suggesting the ball had broken the sound barrier, I totally would have accepted it without question. Then Hisoka wins the day with his Bungee Gum, which is really just about unfair. The only thing keeping it fair is that someone could be physically stronger than Hisoka and yank the ball out the Bungee Gum. That’s about it; otherwise, Hisoka can dominate the ball like no other.
I’m gonna miss Razor, especially the Razor with the mullet from the flashback with Ging. It takes a confident man to walk around with a haircut like that. I’ll always wonder how he would have done matched up against the Spiders. Obviously they would overwhelm him eventually, because they are all crazy strong Nen users, but it would be interesting to see how long he lasts. What if it came down to Razor against Phinks? Now that’s a fight I’d love to watch.
So now begins the preparations to battle the Bomber. I’m excited and not excited at the same time. Let’s address the latter first: The Bomber is just an OK villain. He certainly pales in comparison to the Spiders, who are so varied, interesting and weird. This guy’s just a crazy dude with glasses who likes to make stuff explode. Not a bad villain, per se, but not particularly complex or fun, either. At the same time, though, I know how the battle plays out, and it’s pretty damn good. The ending especially is quite memorable. If I liked it in that shit show of an OVA, it’ll probably tear the house down in this version.