Haha, Gon and Killua pissing off Knuckle is a riot. Maybe they’re banking on him getting a bit too emotional from those cheap shots at him? Entertaining as this is, that doesn’t seem like something to gamble on to me, but maybe they noticed something while Knuckle whooped them every night. Outside of the very beginning, though, Knuckle seems calm enough — he’s even identified two large weaknesses with Gon’s Janken Punch.
One obvious weakness is that Gon isn’t really mobile while he’s charging. Knuckle straight up says that if Gon tries to charge his energy for the attack, then he will put the kibosh on that immediately. If you’re wondering why nobody else has considered this strategy before, well, maybe they did not possess the Nen strength to protect themselves while simultaneously attacking Gon? Knuckle has demonstrated that while protecting himself, he can take one of Gon’s punches at partial strength (albeit at still great risk to himself), which is what it would be at with Knuckle using his speed to close the gap and strike Gon. The other weakness from my view is that Gon’s main attacks both have limited range. Knuckle doesn’t know about the Scissors move yet, but its range is still not huge. What does Gon have against someone who can pepper him from long range? This is why Gon still needs Killua right now to maximize his potential.
There is still a potential trump card, though. If I remember correctly, during his training on Greed Island, Gon was working on ranged Nen attacks. He just never got that far with it, because he still lacked the necessary polish to properly control a ranged attack and make it powerful enough to be worth using. Well, Gon developed his Scissors attack offscreen, so why not a ranged attack? That said, even with a ranged attack he can pull out of nowhere, it won’t be easy to fell Knuckle. He’s already shown that he’s a quick thinker and not the emotional, dopey meathead he seems like when he’s first introduced. Whatever the outcome, this battle will be damn entertaining, I bet!
Then there’s this curveball with Shoot McMahon. If he’s such a coward, then how the hell did he become a Hunter?! (Note: This is not an invitation to answer that question, particularly if the series itself will address that at some point.) He definitely has some aptitude, or else he wouldn’t have become a student to someone like Morel, nor would Morel have such confidence in him and Knuckle were Shoot some fucking loser who never fought. But maybe all of Morel’s confidence is in Knuckle. Who knows? All will be revealed soon, I’m sure. Just seems like a bit of a roadblock to be a coward when you want to get into NGL and fight some Chimera Ants!
Meanwhile, Morel, Knov and Netero are still whittling away at the ant squadrons and making some of the people in charge sweat a little. Netero in particular seems to be having a good time with this, the crazy old man. That pile of Chimera Ant corpses is the payment required to get the old dude back into fighting shape — as if he already isn’t in superb shape. Yikes. Also, the detail might have slipped past me before, but did the series show Morel and Netero with cell phones before now? Quite amusing how they slipped those past the the folks at customs, though the country is probably in chaos at the moment, so it may have been quite a bit easier than normal to get your advanced technology into the country. Or maybe they simply sneaked in, because fuck it, who cares about causing an international incident at this point? If they can’t sneak into the country with whatever they want, then they’re clearly not good enough to infiltrate Chimera Ant headquarters, yeah?
Oh, Gon, such a ladies man at such a young age. This would probably be super weird and creepy if I weren’t convinced that Palm isn’t going to do anything at all, and she weren’t already pretty weird, anyway. And the other big event of the episode? The last of the Queen’s Royal Guard has arrived! Voiced by good ol’ Gendo Ikari himself, Fumihiko Tachiki. There’s also what appears to be Shaiapouf’s power: Controlling bodies with his mad violin skills. And it appears as if he’s controlling Kite’s body at the moment? Dick move, man. Dick move.