30 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 90 – Gon Should Never Buy a House or a New Car


Poor kid. He was never meant to deal with the intricacies of loans and interest.

The beginning of the Killua/Shoot fight throws an interesting twist into the mix — it’s heavily implied that Illumi’s “curse” on Killua is not merely psychological, but also has a physical element to it that activates when Killua attempts to go against Illumi’s mental triggers. Killua tries to fight it, but finds that his body won’t respond the way he wants, and then parts of it shut down completely. (I am assuming that the haze we see over Killua’s left eye is merely a convenient visual marker for the benefit of the audience and isn’t something Shoot can see, since he never addresses it during the episode.) I would imagine this is some weird Nen power Illumi has, though if that’s the case, it strikes me as odd that Killua wouldn’t sense it; that is, unless it’s buried so deep within Killua that he simply can’t sense it. I still don’t have a total handle on how everything is supposed to operate here!

I’m really digging the theme of mental barriers in the battle between Killua and Shoot. Killua of course has his literal mental barrier, but Shoot also has his own barrier that goes beyond the cowardice he displays when he initially tracks Gon and Killua. Shoot is an interesting sort of pseudo-pacifist — he can attack only those who he believes unequivocally deserve it. So I guess if Shoot saw Killua kick a puppy or something, he’d have no qualms beating the shit out of him. What kind of asshole kicks a puppy around, right? This probably leads to Shoot having to jump through some interesting mental hoops to justify attacking someone. Here, Shoot takes a different angle on the idea of “deserving”; he’s able to give his all, because to Killua and Gon, a victory where their opponent holds back is no victory at all. The Ants won’t hold back — why should Knuckle and Shoot? Therefore, Shoot has no qualms with fighting Killua, because it’s precisely what Killua desires.


Also, what the hell, Shoot’s weird hands and shit. There’s still very little idea about what else Shoot has up his (invisible) sleeves, because he spends much of this episode chasing Killua down and whacking him with the disembodied hands. The man’s carrying around a lantern or cage or whatever the hell that is, which has a purpose that hasn’t been touched upon at all yet. I’m guessing Chimera Ant is the part where Togashi said, “Fuck it, I’m going all out with this Nen business” and decided to think up tons of weird powers. (Maybe he’d been reading a ton of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in his spare time.) There have been cool powers up to this point, but not too much that’s really outrageous. Now he have Knov creating a pocket world to put shit in, Morel’s smoke fog, whatever Shoot’s power ends up being, and Knuckle’s aura lender. I’m sure what’s to come will be even crazier.

Knuckle’s power is an interesting idea. At first glance it seems like something that is totally broken, given that Knuckle is invulnerable to physical strikes until all the aura he has lended out is returned to him. However, it strikes me that this power is most useful against opponents who are about equal in strength to Knuckle or clearly weaker than him. They are the ones who will have the most difficulty returning the aura in full. People who are more powerful than Knuckle, on the other hand, will be able to “pay him back” quicker, and whatever advantage comes from Knuckle’s power is quickly rendered moot. Unless, of course, the person is far slower than Knuckle, but it’s basically been a given so far that if you’re a powerful Nen user, you’re also pretty damn fast.

But, yes, against Gon? This power is incredibly useful. I’m really looking forward to seeing if Gon can think of a quick way to pay Knuckle back in full. Against Neferpitou? I don’t think it’s quite as useful, but I dunno, Knuckle’s probably smart enough to prove me wrong in some way. Who knows?


Anyway, here’s a picture of shirtless Knuckle. Aww yeah.

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  1. Loz
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I was under the impression that the side of killua’s face/ haze over his eye was the direct result of shoots attack. I mean when he hits him, we see some sort of aura flow across killua’s face right?

    Also shoot physical (attached body) attacka are all directed at killua’s left side, and I would assume this is deliberate if he has already activated some form of attack that has affected killuas range of vision.

    Attacking ones blindside. The art of the sucker punch.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted July 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Hm, I went back and watched the fight just now, and I think those are reasonable observations you’re making. I probably got too caught up with Illumi’s words affecting Killua’s resolve and Killua being initially slow to react (which I gather is more psychological than physical in this case).

      • Dree
        Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

        It’s totally Shoots power.

      • Langer
        Posted July 30, 2013 at 3:40 am | Permalink

        Well, you know how the blurry the lines between physical and psychological can become.

        I suggest we send Gon and Killia back to Illumi-sensei for training. One will be in the test group (physical), while the other can be in the control group (psychological) and see if we can tell the difference afterwards…for science.

  2. Jaysus
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Knuckle uses “Math.”

    It’s super effective!


    • Pusswookie
      Posted July 30, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Yeah the whole time I watched that I was thinking “Knuckle uses financing, it’s super effective.”

      “Gon tries to attack, but is confused and hurts himself.”

  3. zleihsh
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I just paied off my student loans ~3 wks ago, now I’m broke, soooo not interest in seeing these interest rates. Yes, his Nen is a nightmare indeed!! T_T

    • Shinmaru
      Posted July 30, 2013 at 2:18 am | Permalink

      Well, at least you’ve paid off your loans! But, yeah, I feel you.

  4. Cirith
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    We already have seen Illumis power. He can poke people with needles! I think he works as an acupuncturist, killing is just his weekend hobby.

    PS:Gon really should take some math lessons.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted July 30, 2013 at 2:17 am | Permalink

      Who knows what other icky powers he could have up his sleeve!

  5. Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I like how Togashi designed an opponent who’s basically the perfect sparring partner for Killua as he attempts to work out his own mental blocks. He’s stronger than Killua, but clearly kind of an emotional wreck, what with his serious fear of opponents and very specific requirements for fighting people. That “a C in good condition can beat a B in mediocre shape” stuff is getting immediately addressed.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted July 30, 2013 at 2:14 am | Permalink

      Pretty much! Knuckle and Shoot are basically designed to be perfect for Gon and Killua’s growth.

  6. C
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    A thing to be noted about Knuckle’s power. While it’s not as useful against people much stronger then him it’s still really good. Knuckle can just fight defensively and stall. Even if his opponent sends more aura back to Knuckle then Knuckle can send to him the interest would still result in gain for Knuckle.

    It’s pretty much a perfect power for him as the way his power works both him and his opponent won’t get hurt and he takes them down non lethally.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted July 30, 2013 at 2:13 am | Permalink

      Ah, yes, I should have taken the interest into account — he would be getting more aura back than he receives no matter what. I do wonder if he gets damaged if he receives an attack that pays off the aura interest but still has aura to spare. That could be one way an (obviously incredibly powerful) enemy could work around it.

    • Mr. Anon
      Posted July 31, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if Knuckle’s ability could actually backfire on him. Say your debt is at 200 and you punch Knuckle for 300, does Knuckle now have a 100 debt to you, are you invulnerable to his attacks, and does he have to pay interest? Nen is the kind of power that can have interesting drawbacks (consider Kurapika’s self-imposed limitations or the Nen eater guy’s little critters following him around), so I could certainly see this happening.

      • Shinmaru
        Posted August 2, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        I think that the nature of Knuckle’s power means he doesn’t go into debt to anyone; rather, the attack would just damage him.

  7. gedata
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    “Maybe he’d been reading a ton of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure in his spare time”

    It wouldn’t be the first time he took inspiration from that Crazy Diamond Araki. As I understand, you’re watching Yu Yu Hakusho, there’s a part were it’s very apparent were Togashi channeled his inner Jojo fan into his writing, so much so that he actually had to deny allegations plagiarism.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted August 2, 2013 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      Really? I just finished the Dark Tournament arc. Is it before or after that?

      • gedata
        Posted August 2, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        I think it’s right after

  8. gedata
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink
  9. Dilys
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I think Killua’s eye is now stored inside the cage.

  10. Stef
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    I believe the subs say Shoot’s power activates when he has to fight, not when he thinks someone deserves it. Quite the difference in character interpretation here.

    Knuckle’s explanation of his power was a bit too flat to be as funny as it should have been. I know the point is to drown Gon and the audience in numbers, and the juxtaposition of Knuckle’s bad guy attitude and the intentionally obvious “debt is bad, kids!” message is the source of the comedy, but I was getting bored by the end.

    His power is totally broken though, as others here have remarked. It was pretty much designed to give Gon a hard time, but would be pretty useless against a stronger opponent. (Unless he can, like, flee and let his power do the rest, but that’d be both overpowered and against character.)

    • Clinton
      Posted July 30, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Not at all Knuckle trained his speed more then anything else for a reason. To stall his opponent.

      I will say this Knuckle’s ability has one limitation in it that allows it to not be totally broken.

      • Stef
        Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Thanks for clearing that out. I thought we had seen everything about his power.

  11. Pusswookie
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Hisoka and Shoot need to find each other and make the ultimate magician act.

  12. NormalMar
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    The yo yos are back! Yeah!!!

  13. Someone Else
    Posted July 31, 2013 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    So…Knuckle is not an enhancer? I thought he was based on personality nen that Hisoka use to know what their specialties are

    It’s starting to come together when Killua’s father says that he’ll return someday and this must be it, the day when Killua will leave Gon to save himself

    • Clinton
      Posted August 1, 2013 at 1:29 am | Permalink

      He is an Emitter like Leorio and Pokkle.

      This is the personality type for them.

      Emitters are impatient and not detail-oriented. Many of them are quick-tempered and hot-blooded. They resemble the Enhancers in building their impulsivity, but the difference with them, they probably tend to calm down and forget easier.

      Knuckle is close to enhancement on the chart so he can use those skills at a decent level as well.

  14. Dree
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Oh cool thing I found. The song that played at the end of the episode during Killua’s fight with Shoot was his character song.

  15. R1CK_D0M
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I’d assume that killua’s left eye has something to do with Shoot rather than Illumi, though I don’t remember. Probably something with Shoot’s cage and that nen power? (like anything he touches with his hands is trapped in the cage).

    Rather Illumi’s affect on Killua’s physical reactions is probably very psychological. Like an imprinted instinct to run that if you try to reject, only results in your reactions being slower because you have to actively yell at yourself not to do something you’d naturally do

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