If there’s a dial that measures the filler quotient of any given episode, I have to think it was rather furiously licking the red during most of episode #43. 'Filler' is when the focus shifts to supporting characters and other incidental characters that you don’t care about, no? Well, the Phantom Troupe never got a clear and proper introduction, so it was tough feeling for them this time (let alone keeping track of a single member’s name).
Again, going back to YU YU HAKUSHO and all the random tag teams that were introduced during the “Dark Tournament” arc, I have to think that Togashi plays a game with himself every time he introduces a new group of bad guys. How lame can he make their designs and still get away with it? I was thinking about that a lot when the Shadow Beasts were taking up precious screen time. Sure, the way the one Phantom Trouper patiently kills them, one after another, was alternately kickass and wickedly funny; but the portions where they all get into exhaustive detail about their powers felt seriously padded.
And what’s another word for padding? Oh, right. Filler.
There were definitely some nuggets of prime meat scattered throughout the filler, don’t get me wrong. The sheer absurdity of these bad guys mowing all the gangsters down until there’s pretty much a river of strawberry jam is too metal not to get into. And the image of that whole mess getting sucked up with a magic vacuum was too absurd not to find amusing. And the 30-episodes-in-the-making callback/payback about Kurapika’s hatred for the Spider Gang was actually quite satisfying (don't forget, kids - - there's actually some pathos to this character!)
However, the pace is so slow, and the excessive expositional lines are so numerous, that I almost wish there were a third version of this series that tightened the pacing even further. Sheesh.
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|