Semi-haunted cassette players? I’ve truly seen it all, now…
‘Nen’ is starting to seem like the halfway point Togashi found between chi and ectoplasm. If I’m understanding it correctly, anyway. With enough training, a Hunter can build up his life force and command it to do… pretty much anything, as long as he concentrates hard enough.
In most other shows, that’d translate to hurled fireballs and not much else; but you can see a bit of the paranormal research that probably went into YU YU HAKUSHO creeping over here. Ectoplasm is basically a “fool’s good” for matter at large - - allowing spirits to make manifestations of anything - - and Nen is more-or-less wrapping that up into a martial art.
The other side (pun intended) of that, of course, is that ghostly manifestations are also supposed to be physical manifestations of feelings or ideas. Is a victim angry over being murdered? Then she represents that anger in bleeding walls, pungent smells, et cetera. Here, the show continues Gon’s many tests of virtue as Ging designs this Nen trap to essentially force his son to own the decisions he makes.
Do you want to learn about your father? Then listen on, right now. Don’t want to hear about your mother at this moment? Then you should never want to - - and you’ll never get to, because this tape is getting erased. It’s a rather pointed lesson, especially in an era where you can almost always “re-do” things; and there’s a sharp irony to Ging imparting this just after he’s admitted that he was irresponsible about fatherhood.
While we’re on that subject, I do find it amusing that the show’s only now circled back on that classic pillar of the Monomyth- - Reconciliation with the Father. Normally, the Hero’s Journey starts with that being out of place. This almost feels like Togashi abruptly realized, “Oh shit! I should maybe put some subtext beneath this big, long story about a kickass homeschooler...”
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|