In a weird way, this show is starting to remind me a little of this obscure American comic, MISTER A. Essentially, the strip starred a superhero devised by Spider-Man’s co-creator, Steve Ditko, as a mouthpiece for his extreme and uncompromising objectivist beliefs. Supposedly, he kept trying to insert these values into Spidey’s adventures, but Marvel Comics kept refusing to allow their star character to go down such… unusual philosophical directions.
Eventually, Ditko would go on to work in the independents where, uninhibited by editorial restrictions, he was free to craft a strip that was less superheroic serial and more illustrated treatise. As you’d expect, the titular Mister A was a personification of objectivism (Rorschach from WATCHMEN is a milder tribute to him, FYI) who didn’t adventure so much as just solve situations designed to serve his rhetorical point.
I’ve drawn this extended comparison because I’m really tickled by the notion that HUNTER X HUNTER might actually be a platform for Togashi to explore… potentially intense notions that he might’ve only gotten to hint at in YU YU HAKUSHO. While I was already playing with this idea after Tonpa’s admission of sabotage, the illustrated monologue he goes on here (about the inherent treachery of the ‘Rule by Majority’ system) really makes it seem like Togashi is trying to weave a larger point about competent people being weighed down by incompetent peers.
And the drawn-out bet about our blue bad guy’s state of consciousness only just strengthens this theory. While you can certainly make the case that Togashi is trying to mix his heroes’ conflicts up by throwing challenges at them which can’t be solved with punches and kicks, it still doesn’t seem coincidental that the most consistent threats to Gon’s band are quitters.
These aren’t fearsome and mighty bullies like Toguro or Shinobu: these are weasels trying to cheat our heroes out of victory because they possess no worthwhile talents themselves. And if Tonpa continues to bedevil them like this, it’ll all but prove my theory.
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|