No use in leaving any remainders whilst dividing the rest of this arc, no? If there are eight episodes left of “Yorknew,” I might as well just finish it off in a couple four-episode chunks. I... don’t know… if I’ll be able to keep that pace for the next arc, but I’m anxious to tie this one off. Brace yourself!
Considering how much screen time the Phantom Troupe takes up in this stretch, I have to guess that Togashi has benefited from being as pragmatic about his creative urge as I’ve inferred Oda to be. A mangaka’s obviously got more varied characters, premises and themes than he has time to play with, right? Business sternly favors branding, though; and to build a brand, you’re better served by putting out a single series continuously instead of starting up different titles.
So, how does a sensible cartoonist get around such a bind without going stir crazy?
Well… he basically just goes ahead and does all those varied series under the same title.
This is to say, I can very easily picture a PHANTOM TROUPE series that has nothing to do with HUNTER X HUNTER. Certainly, the Nen stuff and web of vendettas all fit in with the series’ mythos, so far - - but all these gloomy, complicated yakuza machinations are such a far cry from the boyish fun of previous arcs that they might as well be a whole universe away. It’s not a gradual transition that feels that natural, mind you. Hell, it’s so abrupt that the series has to abandon its peppy fanfare for one episode’s outro in favor of the Troupe’s dire orchestral theme!
Nearly 20 hours of screen time logged, and I’m still continually confounded by this show. Please don’t ask me to explain who was double-crossing whom (and by what means - - eesh), during that whole virtuoso assassination montage. I could barely keep track myself.
Maybe we aren’t even supposed to know. It’s always been about the characters, not the plot specifics, no? And to that end, I’ll give legit compliments to the show for “getting mature” about how Kurapika reacts to the Trouper’s ‘deaths.’ We see countless quests for vengeances in these types of stories, but they all push forward the conceit that revenge is ever satisfying. It’s actually quite powerful to see this kid grappling with the emptiness he feels, now that he’s technically gotten payback, but it wasn’t his doing.
The show’s always been about living by your principles and stated intentions, right? Well, watch this guy suddenly have to make good on his lofty talk about reclaiming his people’s precious heirloom, when all along, deep down in his (chained-up, Nen-bound) heart, he really just wanted payback. As far thematic points go, those are some concrete terms with real weight.
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|