Again, it’s all further evidence to substantiate my theory that Togashi must have a serious sporting background to complement his cartooning skills. The morals about competition which are taught in this episode truly seem like they’re coming from a guy who’s learned hard lessons from real experience; not somebody who’s just parroting platitudes he found in some sports manga he’s read.
Kurapika’s duel with the fraudulent gangster obviously speaks to the real nature of poseurs and anybody who barks so loud that you can be quite sure that their bite isn't so bad. When I was on the wrestling team in high school, the opponents who grappled the worst were almost always the guys who made snarly faces before the match or pointedly showed off their scary tattoos. So yeah, that speaks to my own experiences.
Gon’s duel, on the other hand, has a more complicated message perhaps...
It seems to say that if you’re entering into a competition where your opponent is exploiting gaps in the rules to his advantage, then it’s perfectly honorable to find other omissions that'll help you out, in turn. Maybe more specifically: if your opponent’s using a corner of the game that works to his strengths, then you’re well within rights to find another corner that plays to yours. If he’s smarter, and he’s using slight-of-hand to fool you into agreeing to use a trick candle, then you can go ahead and use your superior physique to run up and blow his candle right out. Nobody said it was against the rules, did they?
Again, that second notion isn’t as simple as “Winners never cheat” or “Hard work always wins,” and that’s because it’s a real lesson, not a cliche. I guess that undercurrent is part of why this show so often works in spite of itself.
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|