Knuckle and his forthrightness were already pretty moe in the previous episode, but he gained a ton of moe points in this one. A good Hunter is well-liked by animals, indeed! He should travel everywhere with a troupe of puppies. That is, unless the Chimera Ants would eat said puppies; in that case, they should stay home.
Gon and Killua have climbed a tall cliff just to get to this point, but it’s clear there’s much more work to do since Knuckle is not fighting the two very seriously yet. At most, he’s using a bit of energy to block Gon and Killua’s attacks. There’s still no indication of what Knuckle’s Nen ability is, and I doubt he’ll use it unless it’s absolutely necessary. Knuckle seems like the type who prefers throwing down with his fists, anyway. Then, of course, there’s still Shoot waiting in the wings. He’s the wild card here; Knuckle is earnest enough to call out his opponents for a face-to-face battle, but Killua’s initial analysis of their battle situation is at least partially correct since Shoot intends on being sneaky from the looks of it.
And again, Gon and Killua are at a disadvantage due to the grueling training enforced by Biscuit. Gon and Killua could be in any sort of physical condition when they battle Chimera Ants, so it makes sense for Biscuit to train them for fighting when they’re in their worst possible state (that doesn’t include broken/lopped off limbs or whatever). It helps immensely that Knuckle is a fair-minded person. He obviously wants to go to NGL badly and fight the Chimera Ants, but he’s also willing to follow the rules of Netero’s game to the letter and give Gon and Killua as many opportunities as they desire to defeat him within the time limit. If it were up to Shoot, I’d expect he’d have Gon and Killua killed/incapacitated as quickly as possible. (This is, of course, without knowing anything about the man.)
But, hey, no way to say it will turn out exactly like that. Knuckle has a magnetic personality; he even won over someone who wants to kill him! Plus, anyone who references Ashita no Joe when he’s knocked out can’t be a bad person, right?!
Just as interesting is the all too brief look into the chaos Netero, Morel and Knov are fomenting among the Chimera Ants. For now they’re succeeding: Neferpitou is too busy playing mad scientist, Shaiapouf is off doing who knows what, and the various ant squadrons are walking around with their chests puffed out because they’re getting in on that sweet Nen action. So they’re all walking around like they own the forest, until Morel Silent Hills them with fog and Knov brings them into Cube where Netero can interrogate them and beat the shit out of them as he likes. The trio even knows that traps are up next and will likely be able to avoid them without much trouble. The real problem is when the Royal Guard finally gets tired of Ants disappearing and decides to quash the problem once and for all. Might be a while before that happens, though, as long as these dudes stay clear of the “castle” while thinning out the herd.
This makes me more curious than ever to see what Netero can do. He’s definitely not wasting his power on these scrub Ants, because fuck them, but still. Maybe he’s interrogating them by forcing them into the types of games he played with Gon and Killua on the ship way back when. Can’t you just imagine him mocking a frustrated Ant who just wants to steal a basketball from him? Poor monster.
Have some Knuckle tears to finish off this post.