HUNTER X HUNTER regularly demonstrates the tremendous gulf between how a plot sounds on paper... and how it plays on screen. If told you that that this stretch largely concerned a high stakes dodgeball game then, boy, you’d have a very different mental image of how it actually worked out.
Episodes #67-68 are more-or-less dispensable. I’ll admit to zoning out, somewhere around when Killua got his card album halfway filled up in those episodes. So it was almost a little startling to suddenly find myself in the thick of the aforementioned ball dodging. To be honest… it’s a bit less fun than you’d think.
That’s not to say it isn’t fun a lot of the time. There’s something so delightfully absurd about applying shonen kickass to recess games (who knew Rock-Paper-Scissor was an empowering mantra?) that I couldn’t help but smile as Gon got so into the game. But whenever that lil’ moppet went on to break down the strategy of dodgeball in the intricate way this show does, the charm really outlived its welcome. It’s a shame, too, because the notion of demons playing this particular sport is just a hoot.
To address the elephant in the room: Hisoka is one of the creepiest characters in anime. And not in a cool way. While getting his POV as he eyes Gon and Killua is skin-crawling, I’m more unsettled by the ‘fan service’ bathing scene where he gets to show off his abs. Why? Because when I was searching for screengrabs for this episode, I discovered that there’s a fairly active section of HxH fandom who adore this asshole and love to tumbl about him like he’s the pretty boy of the cast. Apparently, a lot of girls took that ‘schwing’ moment as ‘fan service’ on the order of the aforementioned six-pack pose-down.
It’s easier to stomach the notion of a grown-up bad guy getting… excited when he fights the young heroes if it’s part of an overall litany of bad behavior intended to make you hate him more. When anybody takes that as cute ‘fan service,’ by any measure, it recalls how grotesquely out of touch HETALIA’s fangirl following was.
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|