Anime Vice News

HUNTER X HUNTER #63 + 66 Might as Well Be A Game Manual

Episode #63 + 66 -- W & L. I'm watching... and learning?

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
Donwunon March 20, 2014 at 9:04 a.m.

Yeah, as you've mentioned before this attention to detail....just...bores you i guess and on paper it probably should bore most but i have to go against ya on this again and state for the most part hxh presents it mechanics in a very thought provoking and vicarious way mostly because it's presented to these children who are in awe of the possibilities and revelations each step of their adventure takes them

Togashi has a way of writing these training sessions from both a teacher and student perspective that always intrigues me and again it's explained so seriously and in such detail that i find myself as the viewer completely engaged and captivated as the characters grow....it's never been boring for me at all

Now, i'm not saying Togashi is reinventing the shounen wheel by any means but for some reason i feel he crafts these arcs from such an unconventional yet familiar angle most people will either end up loving this show or hating it

I'm just now catching up with the chimera ant arc and again it's great writing but it's got more of what you've seen from the get-go here Tom so yeah, it's just Togashi's style wiith this series.....and honestly i think it's the best series running

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