Oh, c’mon… if we’re going to skip over any challenges in this labyrinth, why does it need to be the DUCK TALES-esque mine chase and the hopscotch board where the squares collapse down into a horrifying abyss? I would’ve loved to have watched that stuff. Why couldn’t we have sped up the episode-long passages of characters bargaining over the durability of candles?
The obvious answer, of course, is that it’s a lot easier (and far less expensive) to animate characters talking out a logic problem than it is to render them physically navigating giant, tangible puzzle. The less obvious answer, perhaps, is that Togashi simply finds the battles of wits to be more interesting, creatively, than the more visually dynamic ones. Judging by what some of you Vicers have said about how, in later volumes of the manga, pages upon pages will be devoted to just laying out the rules and points systems of games, I suspect that this is an early glimpse of Togashi veering away from the more crowd-pleasing sensibility of YU YU HAKUSHO and moving closer to his own interests.
That said, I still dug the creativity exhibited by the ‘third option’ that Gon’s band seizes in the final challenge (out-of-the-box thinking!). Though, I’ve still got to chuckle about how their logic basically boils down to the same go-to that any RPG’er reaches for when his dungeon master tells him there’s an obstacle ahead. “Well, why can’t I just smash through it?”
(I guess, in loftier terms, you’d call that a Gordian Knot solution).
To put a cap on my speculations about the show’s philosophical underpinnings (for now, anyway), the fact that Gon makes a point to carry Tonpa along really quashes any possibility of this an objectivist agenda. I wasn’t even suggesting that it was an objectivist parable, anyway: I was merely noting that it seemed like a thinly-veiled platform for Togashi to dramatize his own personal philosophy, much like Ditko did with MISTER A. It was also worth noting that the recurring villain of this arc has been the sort of non-contributive leech that would’ve fit right into the bottom of Randian schema. But, again, Gon’s selfless aide of that same leech really eliminates any potential celebration of selfishness here... so perhaps we ought to squint in a different direction?
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|