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).
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|