One of the more subtle (?) signs of an animation studio straining on a production schedule…?
Characters starting to repeat entire dialog passages, verbatim, at the show’s commercial breaks. Certainly, I understand that such semi-recaps are needed to catch viewers up when they’re watching on TV, week to week. However, when you’re streaming in chunks (like I am), it becomes more obvious that - - after you subtract the intro, outro, title cards and, of course, the repeated scenes - - there’s actually only about 18 minutes of content per episode
I don’t disparage the show too much for doing this. It’s a necessity of pumping programming out at this rate, and it certainly could be worse. But being more aware of how these little things add up has… motivated me to speed up the pace of my catch-up. This “Yorknew” arc has been more deliberately paced, of course, so it works just as well.
Anyway, Kurapika’s detailed explanation of the tactics he uses against Uyogin and the Phantom Troupe here further supports my earlier observation about Nen essentially being a weaponized ectoplasm. Sure, both substances are semi-invisible goo that can be shaped into anything imaginable. What’s more to the point, though, is that these masters can shape Nen to manifest emotions, ideas and, yes, even principles.
Just as a vengeful ghost might curse an heirloom (like, say, a tape recorder) to express his anguish to whomever possesses the thing, so too do we see Kurapika essentially turn his ideal of just vengeance into a weapon. The imaginary chains he wields become realer and stronger because they are figuratively and literally wrapped around his heart. They will break if he ever breaks his word.
Looking at the show in the longer view, all those tests of virtue during “Hunter Exam” really now look like introductory lessons which are now being joined with the intermediary “Nen” concepts explicated in “Heaven’s Arena.” Togashi has essentially structured the series like a class syllabus… and I can’t believe I’m typing this… but it's kind of brilliant.
On a less... theoretical note, I can only imagine how much joy Togashi gets out of designing situations that Gon wouldn't ever walk into if he had a lick of common sense. Seriously, going into business with an arm wrestling booker with mob connections is about on the level of playing pool with a ringer who suddenly wants to raise the cash stakes. What would else would you expect from a kid who doesn't know the figurative meaning of a 'mole,' right?
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|