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HUNTER X HUNTER #8 - - Watch & Learn

The real enemy lurks behind those eyes. Just look.

Now, this is what I’ve been waiting for…

If you’ll indulge an analogy relating to the focus on games in Togashi’s oeuvre, I’d say that the first few episodes have been like playing… Uno, or some such, while this one feels like we’re finally on AMERICAN GLADIATORS. Which is to say - - this adventure has finally grown some teeth to complement its whimsy. Instead of feeling like I'm indulging something that's good-natured, but still generally harmless, I was finally just swept in the tension of all the varied twists and turns that our heroes run through here.

Hell, seeing Gon’s crew stand together on the precipice of that bottomless pit, united as comrades-in-arms, pleasingly reminded me of Yusuke and his Spirited Detectives during the video game portion of the “Chapter Black” saga in YU YU HAKUSHO.

The stand-out of the episode was absolutely the part where Tonpa suddenly starts channeling his chi in anticipation for his duel with the convict (screen cap shown above!). If there’s something fundamental amusing about the sight anybody powering up, that something is doubly amusing when a hitherto useless schlub abruptly starts busting that secret and terrifying technique out.

Actually, at the risk of reading too far into things (who? me?), I can’t help but wonder if Togashi might be weaving in semi-objectivist subtext here about the true enemies being insipid norms who conspire to weigh life’s true achievers down.

Think about it - - this episode centers on the heroes being bound by the “will of majority,” right? As soon as they get grouped with this jobber, his very presence muddles their achievements. The same heel who once tried to poison them with spiked soda is now intentionally quitting on them when he’s counted on. He's that much of weasel that he isn't threatening them through any direct, respectable means. And he goes on to explicitly state that he’s just trying to sabotage any potential Hunters out of spite because he know he’ll never be qualified, himself.

For any respectable sportsmen, the worst adversary isn't a worthy opponent. It's an underhanded, bottom feeding cheater... just like our pal, Tonpa.

Watch this episode, Solution × Is × Majority Rules?" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

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
rubberluffyon Sept. 18, 2013 at 8:31 a.m.

Tonpa is an interesting early antagonist solely for the fact that he manages to roadblock the protags not by being stronger, but by having more experience coupled with pretty much no shame.

Marshal Victory is online on Sept. 18, 2013 at 12:55 p.m.

@rubberluffy: I agree with that. Those with no shame as a genral rule do the most harm to any game or civilization.Quick look at politics will prove this.

Tom um ya missed part on the mostly harmless thing here. people have died in the test up to this point.Harmless for the main characters true tho.

Tonpa is what in my game circles form years ago as a Spoiler. Hes the kinda cat who would buddy with ya then during the tornoment back stab you cause he could.Then shamelessly look you in the eye ,Upset that your upset at him cause " its just a game".Years ago we ran into people like this in Magic the Gathering tournaments.

THe sname Spoiler came about cause they love to spoil others games, their fun is causing you not to have fun.Out of the game tho they seem normal enuff.So they dont fall under the nomral a-hole catagory.They dont mesure up to Heel catagory from wrestling either.

zaldaron Sept. 19, 2013 at 8:37 a.m.

And notice how much better this episode is because you had all the previous episodes where he was not doing anything really dangerous but you got to know and care about him on a very deep level.

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