Man, I was all set to write about what a smart cookie Gon is during his battle with Knuckle when all of a sudden Biske-chama starts lobbing giant truth grenades at Killua. God damn! Gon got roughed up physically, but Biscuit tore Killua a new one mentally. That’s the difference in mental training between Gon and Killua at the moment — Knuckle is telling Gon stuff he already knows, while Biscuit is telling Killua stuff he needs to hear.
The great part about Biscuit initiating the teardown of Killua’s walls is that all her criticisms are easily observable tendencies in Killua throughout the series. Gon is clearly established as the scrapper. He jumps in on all the really dangerous fights without hesitation, to the point where he is reckless. Obviously there are going to be situations where jumping in and throwing down without thinking is incredibly disadvantageous. At the same time, as Knuckle comments on, what experience Gon does have is from staring death in the eyes several times over. He would not be the fighter he is now without that recklessness, for better or worse. Meanwhile, it seems as if Killua is all too happy to play second banana to Gon at times. He always needs a plan, and if even the slightest thing goes wrong, he bails. Few are the times where Killua has fought when he wasn’t totally sure he would win. And ever since teaming up with Gon, Killua’s inner monologues are almost entirely consumed with evaluating the strengths of his opponents in ways that almost belittle his own — it’s almost as if Biscuit can read Killua’s mind when she says he assumes the worst case scenario at all times!
Obviously being cautious is not inherently a bad thing. Look back to the Yorkshin Arc, for instance. Every member of the Phantom Troupe was — and likely still is — several times more powerful than Gon and Killua. Rushing in and trying to match them blow-for-blow would be tantamount to suicide. But being cautious to the point where one waits solely for the perfect opportunity to act before doing so is silly as well. Gon isn’t acting blindly when he battles Knuckle; rather, he’s working to create his own advantages in the heat of battle, despite the fact that Knuckle is the stronger fighter. Gon is taking a shit situation where Knuckle knows his move’s weaknesses and turning it into opportunities for victory. That’s the kind of thing Killua can’t do at the moment, because he’s so consumed with plotting out his battles beforehand and playing them out in a safe space.
That worked with Genthru, but really, you can think of him as like Greed Island itself — a game, a simulation. There were elements in that game Killua, Gon and Biscuit could use to create the most advantageous opportunity for themselves. They can’t do that in NGL. The Chimera Ants control the playing field. Nobody can even approach their headquarters without Neferpitou being instantly aware of it. Netero, Morel and Knov are whittling down the Chimera Ant forces as much as they can, but eventually they will have to strike. There’s no room to be wishy-washy. That’s ultimately what Biscuit is teaching Killua. He fears failure, because in the world of assassins, failure means death — either physical death or death of reputation. Removing that fear of death and calculated risk taking is what Killua needs most.
That in turn highlights Gon’s development even more. From the beginning, Gon has been portrayed as a hothead who isn’t really book smart, but the danger there is assuming that means Gon is stupid. He’s far from that; his instincts make him quite intelligent. With every battle he’s in, Gon comes to know himself, his strengths and weaknesses just a bit more, and this gives him a better perspective on tinkering with his approach to fights. Knuckle is right when he says Gon needs experience — the more experience with varied situations, the more opportunities there are to evaluate strengths and weaknesses and for Gon to tweak his approach. That’s why Killua does himself such a disservice by letting Gon take the lead so much. It’s like Pokemon: There’s only so much training available. Eventually Gon is going to come up against someone who has every conceivable advantage against him. What’s Killua going to do when he doesn’t have the strength to match?
Biske-chama abs > Mikasa abs