So Nen classifications are basically the Meyers-Briggs personality types of a fight shonen, huh? Meeting with your guidance counselor has to be a lot more kick ass in this world...
I have to think that X-MEN’s long-in-coming success story had something to do with its premise actually being that far ahead of the curve. What does that have to do with HUNTER X HUNTER? Well, when I watch these shows, I can’t help but think a lot about where they fit into the greater evolution of shonen adventures (broad definition superheroics by another name, I say). And just like how the leads of these shows seemed to evolve to encompass both comedy and drama (see my long-winded editorial on the subject), I can’t help but think that mangaka gradually realized that a catch-all, deus ex machina cause for powers was a better creative enabler than coming up with new, unrelated explanations for each hero or villain’s abilities (see also: ONE PIECE's magical fruits).
To wit, having all the important figures in HUNTER X HUNTER get their powers from Nen works the same way as having all the diverse X-Men get empowered by the same mutation. Shouldn’t there be a world of difference, say, between being able to hear somebody’s heartbeat and being able to move objects with invisible threads of goo?
Hey - - don’t think too much about it! It’s Nen, all right? It’s always just Nen.
Of course, one major difference is that X-Men has always been more about the ensemble, and HUNTER X HUNTER doggedly stresses that it has two leads, only. That’s what makes this arc a little intriguing. You know a show is comfortable about having all the time in the world to tell its story (as the remake of a recent, super-successful serial might ) when it can set an entire arc aside for one supporting character (Kurapika) and not worry about being labeled filler.
To be totally honest, I think Kurapika’s a dull character without much to differentiate him. That said, if his gambling tactics resemble his creator’s, at all, I’d really hate to ever play poker against Togashi!
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|