Wasn’t there an important detail stressed, somewhere at the onset of this arc, about “Greed Island” players not being able to leave the game until they beat it? Wasn’t that another of the all-chips-in decision points that have typified the series?
And yet, Killua can just step out for a stroll at the Hunter Exams...?
I rode the HxH praise train earlier this week, but I’ve never ignored the other, less pleasant edge to this show’s obsession with rules. At the end of the day, what does it really matter if Gon can summon 30POW (or whatever the measure was) around his fist, as opposed to 50POW (or whatever it was) ? Let's be real - - isn’t a given power only ever powerful as the plot needs it to be at a given moment? Sure, it’d matter if this actually were a video game, but c’mon… it’s a show.
Or maybe that’s Togashi’s biggest feint here? Other shows dabble with the game-gets-real conceit: he takes it far enough that, at times, the show actually does get as tedious as watching somebody else play a game.
Let's take stock: of the four arcs we’ve gone through, three have literally been about these characters training. No injustices to right, only achievements to reach. No villains to vanquish, only opponents to outscore. Certainly, all shonen shows are about the leads doing that in some way - - completing challenges, learning lessons, accumulating skills, leveling up, etc - - but this one pulls away any pretense cloaking it.
I’d say there’s something bold about that, but that’d be me at my most relativistic.
HxH’s better qualities were definitely not shining through during this stretch, and it was real hard to hold my interest. Once again, I feel like I’m watching a creator see how long he can toy with an audience. In this case, it’s Togashi testing the patience of an audience who came to watch good guys battle bad guys (perhaps?), and instead found hours upon hours of game tutorials (albeit often entertaining ones).
Watch "A × Hard × Master?" and "Strengthen × And × Threaten" and "Evil Fist × And × Rock-Paper-Scissors" and "Strategy × And × Scheme" decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode.
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|