Oh yeah, it’s definitely been a while since we’ve seen this side of Killua. I really like how the respective battles each flow according to the respective fighting styles of each combatant. You’ve got Killua, who makes quick work of his opponent through efficient attacks that quickly decimate her limbs, and through deception, after which he goes for the fast kill. Kite has grace and agility on his side and works his opponent into a frenzy while he calmly blows him away with his Nen weapon. Then there’s Gon, baiting his Ant so that he can wreck him with the power strike, but he throws a bit of a curveball in at the end; still, he’s not totally experienced yet, so Kite has to give Gon a bit of help with the Ant’s final sneak attack at the end.
I really love the running theme of Kite being this crazy, hardened survivalist giving Gon and Killua tips for staying alive. It gives a nice spin to some normal shonen fighting situations. For instance, the whole “don’t look away” thing would normally be used for something like you have to feel the other person’s suffering so that it can power up your heart even more in battle!! But here Kite is all, “Don’t close your eyes, because those fuckers might chuck shit at you, and that’s not cool.” Or when Yunju is stomping his “pets,” normally the drama would be played up like crazy, but while there’s definitely drama here, Kite plays it matter of factly by telling Gon to stay back, because rushing in is what the Ants what them to do.
Kite warned them: they’re stepping into Hell. Ain’t no time to fuck around with emotions and stuff when their lives are on the line. The Ants are going to do anything they can to defeat them. Making mistakes isn’t an option. Killua’s got this down pat, but Gon still has learning to do since he’s the Enhancer and thus tends a bit toward brute force over thought at the moment — note how Kite mostly addresses Gon when he’s doling out lessons. Gon’s use of the scissors in his attack does show that he is approaching his power more thoughtfully, though. Gotta take advantage when your opponent doesn’t know what’s coming!
Yes, Kite, teach me about the mistakes of my youth– I MEAN WHAT NOTHING
One subtle bit of comedy I like is during the fight between Gon and that Ant with all the arms. He starts off buried in his thoughts, trying to work a proper strategy to fight Gon without getting killed in the process. He keeps going back and forth, convincing himself that his initial plan was good before reworking and tweaking it. Yunju gets impatient and fights Kite; when that battle is over, we go back to the other battle, only to see that the Ant is still thinking through his fight strategy while Gon is standing there, charging his attack, implying that this has been going on the whole time. It gave me a good chuckle, and I appreciate that the show doesn’t go out of its way to highlight it or point out that it’s supposed to be funny. It just lets the moment breathe on its own.
That might be the last bit of comedy we get for a while, though, particularly considering the ending, where something we’ve all speculated on has come to fruition: The Chimera Ants can indeed learn Nen, and Rammot is ready to fuck some people up. (In the preview there’s even a brief shot of him getting ornery with Colt, which I imagine will not go down well at all.) It seems kind of bullshit that Rammot learns it just because, whereas it took Gon, Killua and others a great deal more time to do so even when they themselves were outliers. It’s obviously not unheard of for people to learn Nen on their own — I assume that’s how most of the more villainous characters in the series went about it — but still. Not a dealbreaker for me, but still something to swallow.
I wonder how far the story will go with it, though. I can’t imagine it will stop at giving the Ants Nen power ups simply to have enhanced strength and such. Will they master it to the point where they can develop unique powers? I’m really interested in that. Whatever the case, Kite, Gon and Killua aren’t going to have an easy march to the Chimera Ant nest now.