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HUNTER X HUNTER #17 Says that Cheating is Cool?

Episode #17 - - Watch & Learn. Is he a role model?

Snakes! I hate snakes. Don’t you hate snakes, too? Ah…

Ah… ah-ha… after a certain point, a given fight shonen story gets difficult to comment on. Sure, it’s still plenty enjoyable to watch, don’t get me wrong. But when we get to a stage like this - - well past Point A, and still a ways from Point Z - - it’s harder to come up with something compelling to say about the character’s journey from Point G to Point H. It’s hard not to reach, and it’s hard not to simply get into plot description. And half the time, I feel like I should just be doing a blow-by-blow on the fights.

So please, bear with me…

Having watched enough horror movies to be smart about this, Gon, Leorio and Kurapika decide that they’d do better by working together. They chase after one of their target’s tags as a group and, ironically, this is the exact same tactic that’s been used by Gon’s foes and the creeps that stalk Killua in this episode. As in, it’s the exact same trick they play.

However, it’s more-or-less presented as underhanded cheating when the bad guys do it, but sensible strategy when the good guys play at it. Maybe there’s a discussion to be had about double standards, but I think it’s more relevant to remark on how the show regularly skirts a question of appropriateness that’s maybe more… unusual in a show like this.

Look, no bones about it, it gets creepy for a moment to watch these grown men in hoodies and turned-down baseball caps explicitly stalking a blonde kid with a skateboard in the woods. Watching Killua kick the shit out of those dudes is that much more cathartic for it, of course, so I get the feeling that Togashi really just got to a point in his career where he lost any reservations about pushing readers' buttons. Why hesitate about building sympathy and tension for your leads when you can just cut straight to it with the most extreme plot ingredients, right?

(I also think he intentionally gives the stupidest-looking costumes to his incidental villains to see what his audience will put up with, but that's neither her nor there).

Watch this episode, “Trap X In The X Hole" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

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
KingSolomonon Nov. 11, 2013 at 1:05 p.m.

I have a question, I can understand you running out of things to say based per episode but why don't you do what you did with yu yu hakuso and just watch a few episodes then write your commentary? Either way I know I will enjoy and have a good thoughtful read.

Lurkeroon Nov. 11, 2013 at 3:19 p.m.

I don't think Hunter x Hunter has a double standard, but I have seen later episodes so I know more about the series at this point. The enemies later on are much more clearly evil than the early episodes.

I only don't like how a 12 year old child can defeat grown men with ease. Sometimes their size is mentioned as a disadvantage but for the most part the children have little trouble. Suspension of disbelief is in order I guess.

Top8caton Nov. 11, 2013 at 11:37 p.m.

Have you ever thought of doing Vlogs, Doug Walker did it with Avatar to quite some success. After watching it, you click record and share your thoughts in their rawest form, then let youtube do the grunt work. Short, quick, and probably more entertaining for you as well as the reader. You could also lump them in two-three episode chunks and potentially only have to put out one a week.

Gives readers a steady schedule, and you more time and flexibility. Just and idea, (almost)never hurts to try.

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