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HUNTER X HUNTER #21 Talks About Real Life

Episode #21 - - Watch & Learn. Real people here!

Hah! Of course the Hunter Exams aren’t over yet! What kind of show would we be watching if they weren’t? Shonen is the homestead of the perpetually dangling plot thread!

And yet again, I’m astounded over how Togashi is able to use an off-handed comment and a plot after-thought (that’s really what Killua’s rescue seems like) to keep us watching. There’s no arch foe left to defeat, nor lingering, world-endangering threat - - hell, even the main thrust of this arc is over - - but we’re still going to be watching for another five episodes, at least.

Actually, if I were to pick apart Togashi’s technique: when the man wants to make a deep point, he doesn’t mince words, and his thoughts are down-to-Earth and applicable. This comes into even sharper relief since I was just griping about KILL LA KILL’s latest episode veering a little too far into the eye-roll-inducing lane of vague, philosophical dialog that too many anime shows take too-long pit stops in. Gon’s anger with Illumi is coming from a real place, and his message is clear…

“Don’t ever mess with my friends, and don’t you dare put words into his mouth about who deserves my friendship, you piece of shit.”

It’s still a little amusing to see these sentiments coming from this cute little moppet. Gon pretty much looks like an adult character wearing a younger skin (to borrow some parlance from the vidya games), but it feels like he’s voicing points that Togashi’s actually had to voice himself. These aren’t immaterial ideals he’s parroting from a textbook.

That’s just my conjecture - - maybe Togashi’s just pulling all of this out of his butt, and he’s simply gotten good at making it sound authentic - - but I’m just constantly struggling to understand how the man can send such mixed signals so compellingly.

Watch, Some × Brother × Trouble" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode.

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
Lurkeroon Dec. 4, 2013 at 6:58 a.m.

Gon really shouldn't be a young child. His character is written sort of like Goku. A kind heart with a mature sense of peace and righteousness. Sometimes his character doesn't match his experiences at all.

Donwunon Dec. 4, 2013 at 7:05 a.m.

It's going to be interesting to see what you think of this so called unfinished hunter exam once you find out what it involves....it's a pretty foundational plot element for the rest of the series...no spoilers!

bigz007on Dec. 4, 2013 at 3:43 p.m.

@Lurkero said:

Gon really shouldn't be a young child. His character is written sort of like Goku. A kind heart with a mature sense of peace and righteousness. Sometimes his character doesn't match his experiences at all.

You mean like every other protagonist? (i.e. Luffy, Ichigo, Naruto, Tsuna, Natsu, Edward Elric...) - 95% of them at least

All of them have a kind heart with a mature sense of peace and righteousness, and they also tend to be stupid from time to time.

Marshal Victory is online on Dec. 4, 2013 at 7:40 p.m.

Woot finaly up to where i left off now i can watch an learn to ! Now to make room for the veiwing . fall 2013 anime season has been full of great titles for me.

zaldaron Dec. 4, 2013 at 11:14 p.m.

You really need to get over having to have everything spelled out completely symbolism is not bad...go read Grapes of Wrath ok? You do read besides Comics right....?

Top8caton Dec. 5, 2013 at 12:13 p.m.

@bigz007 said:

@Lurkero said:

Gon really shouldn't be a young child. His character is written sort of like Goku. A kind heart with a mature sense of peace and righteousness. Sometimes his character doesn't match his experiences at all.

You mean like every other protagonist? (i.e. Luffy, Ichigo, Naruto, Tsuna, Natsu, Edward Elric...) - 95% of them at least

All of them have a kind heart with a mature sense of peace and righteousness, and they also tend to be stupid from time to time.

Save Gon's character never comes across as stupid, naive, but not stupid. He's a bit more complex than I think you give him credit for. Gon's the type that seems to always understand the gravity of a situation even before he's out matched, and his world seems to always let you know that he is, and reacts as such. He seems to always know who he needs to fight and what he needs to do without it seeming like a comicbook or powerlevel ability. Not to spoil anything, but the way they handle the world and how Gon and Killa interact with it comes across as genuine in a way that those other shows or characters are unable to.

I don't know how, but somewho the world always feels grounded and real. Even with all of the silliness going on, and it's not because of the blood, fighting, and dead bodies. It (imo) comes from Togashi's ability to take the seemingly simple( well used character trait/background/plot) and make it feel like there's weight to it.

bigz007on Dec. 5, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.

@Top8cat said:

@bigz007 said:

@Lurkero said:

Gon really shouldn't be a young child. His character is written sort of like Goku. A kind heart with a mature sense of peace and righteousness. Sometimes his character doesn't match his experiences at all.

You mean like every other protagonist? (i.e. Luffy, Ichigo, Naruto, Tsuna, Natsu, Edward Elric...) - 95% of them at least

All of them have a kind heart with a mature sense of peace and righteousness, and they also tend to be stupid from time to time.

Save Gon's character never comes across as stupid, naive, but not stupid. He's a bit more complex than I think you give him credit for. Gon's the type that seems to always understand the gravity of a situation even before he's out matched, and his world seems to always let you know that he is, and reacts as such. He seems to always know who he needs to fight and what he needs to do without it seeming like a comicbook or powerlevel ability. Not to spoil anything, but the way they handle the world and how Gon and Killa interact with it comes across as genuine in a way that those other shows or characters are unable to.

I don't know how, but somewho the world always feels grounded and real. Even with all of the silliness going on, and it's not because of the blood, fighting, and dead bodies. It (imo) comes from Togashi's ability to take the seemingly simple( well used character trait/background/plot) and make it feel like there's weight to it.

It seems that you didn't watch much of this show. I'm not talking about his combat strategy, he is in fact a true genius in that field. I'm talking about the smallest things, there is countless of times when Killua (or someone else for that matter) need to explain something to him two-three times because he just doesn't get things. I'm not trying to insult him, but he is just that type of character.

Lurkeroon Dec. 5, 2013 at 7:17 p.m.

@bigz007 said:

@Lurkero said:

Gon really shouldn't be a young child. His character is written sort of like Goku. A kind heart with a mature sense of peace and righteousness. Sometimes his character doesn't match his experiences at all.

You mean like every other protagonist? (i.e. Luffy, Ichigo, Naruto, Tsuna, Natsu, Edward Elric...) - 95% of them at least

All of them have a kind heart with a mature sense of peace and righteousness, and they also tend to be stupid from time to time.

I think you are giving those characters too much credit, especially Naruto. When I said mature sense of righteousness I didn't mean a basic desire to help friends.

Throughout the series Gon and Killua frequently point out fallacies in people's motivations that are beyond what one would expect a 12 year old with little life experience to understand (at least in Gon's case, Killua has experienced a lot). Often when Gon acts stupid it feels more like the author trying to make a joke rather than the character legitimately being dumb.

Edward Elric acted foolish a lot of times but the story started off with him being a well read and knowledgeable child. Natsu, Naruto, and Luffy are just dumb and powerful (note: in my opinion).

Destinyheroknighton Dec. 5, 2013 at 7:55 p.m.

@Lurkero:

When I said mature sense of righteousness I didn't mean a basic desire to help friends.

Luffy basic desire go a little past just friends, he also fight for his ideals and his sense of justice. But I agree that Luffy is dumb and the only reason he still alive is his crew

bigz007on Dec. 5, 2013 at 11:51 p.m.

@Lurkero said:

Often when Gon acts stupid it feels more like the author trying to make a joke rather than the character legitimately being dumb.

You can't just ignore certain action of a character just because the author is trying to make a joke on his behalf. Everything that he does is a part of his character. If the author wants to make him dumb at times (not all the time ofc) then by making that "joke" the character becomes dumb. He is what he is.

@Destinyheroknight said:

@Lurkero:

When I said mature sense of righteousness I didn't mean a basic desire to help friends.

Luffy basic desire go a little past just friends, he also fight for his ideals and his sense of justice. But I agree that Luffy is dumb and the only reason he still alive is his crew

Agreed!

Lurkeroon Dec. 6, 2013 at 4:43 a.m.

@bigz007 said:

@Lurkero said:

Often when Gon acts stupid it feels more like the author trying to make a joke rather than the character legitimately being dumb.

You can't just ignore certain action of a character just because the author is trying to make a joke on his behalf. Everything that he does is a part of his character. If the author wants to make him dumb at times (not all the time ofc) then by making that "joke" the character becomes dumb. He is what he is.

That's why I used Edward Elric as an example. I think a strong case can be made that his character is not dumb, but the writer often wants to make jokes so at times Edward would act goofy or foolish even if readers would expect him to be knowledgeable about something.

I get your point though. The closest American analogy I can think of right now is Lisa Simpson from the Simpsons. She has more knowledge and understanding of the world than most adult characters on the show, but since she is supposed to be a 7 year old the writers occasionally have moments where she is clueless. A character with that much knowledge and perceived experience would be unlikely to not be able to comprehend the problems of a 7 year old child.

I understand why Gon was written as a child, but I just don't think the things he says or does match someone with his experience. This is the case with many young anime characters. They are written young but behave as if they are experienced.

bigz007on Dec. 6, 2013 at 5:25 a.m.

@Lurkero: Sure, Gon doesn't have the amount of experience like Killua, but that doesn't make him inexperienced. Before the beginning of his journey he spend a lot of his time catching wild beasts, and that part of him wasn't shown in 2011 version of the series.

Killua got a mayor part of his experience during his training with his dad/brother, and Gon got his experience during those wild beast hunts.

Top8caton Dec. 6, 2013 at 9:05 p.m.

@bigz007:

I'm currently up to date, so I guess I'll just have to disagree with you.

bigz007on Dec. 7, 2013 at 1:33 a.m.

@Top8cat: I never said everyone have to agree with me, it's just my opinion on what I saw by watching both 1999 and 2011 version of the series.

I know that almost everyone thinks of Gon as inexperienced, but the person who passed the Hunter exam in his first try, the person who fight his way through the Heavens Arena with ease (even Killua was amazed with his record stats), the person who got himself into trouble with Spider Gang and lived, the person who cleared the unbeatable Greed Island game, etc... is NOT inexperienced in my opinion.

Kino88on Dec. 11, 2013 at 6:06 p.m.
I am now officially hooked on this show, I especially like how Hisoka actually wants Gon to grow up before killing him, I just find that so unusual for a psycho path like him, yet somehow the way craves it so badly makes him that much creepier, Also just how far reaching is this exam?

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