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HUNTER X HUNTER #86 + 90 is Just the Worst Filler Ever

#86 + 90 -- Watch & Learn. Let's all take a break, now...!

Oh yeah, that’s absolutely the way to keep the tension mounting in your huge shonen war epic. The heroes can just walk out of this dangerous occupied territory and take their time, sparring against a schmuck with a pompadour who was very probably trained by Dan Hibiki. Give that five episodes worth of space. It’ll really escalate the sense of danger.

This was the first time I gave in to the temptation to fast forward. I put the player on 8X speed and watched 110 odds minutes of redundancies fly by. It was wonderful. Like I unlocked some Nen ability. I read some plot summaries afterward, to make sure I didn’t miss anything important and - - nope! - - there was nothing in the actual show itself which wasn’t adequately covered in the micro recaps at the top of each episode.

“Greed Island” may have explicitly tried to be a like a video game, but this is the first time I’ve run into an arc (or ‘mini-arc’ or whatever) which felt exactly like playing some inconsequential side quest in an RPG. Need to get your XP up for the next level? Here, go chat up the NPC with the pompadour and grind on some little challenges that have no bearing on the rest of the story.

When I first started writing for this site, I had trouble wrapping my head around the notion of ‘filler.’ I don’t care if this is portion is beat-for-beat from the manga: every second of screentime concerned with Knuckle and Shoot is textbook filler. It’s stuffing in the turkey, fat on the steak - - padding that creates the illusion that a weekly serial has got a story to tell, week to week.

Yes, I know that you all warned me about this. I still like HUNTER X HUNTER, on the whole, but - - I can’t believe I’m actually saying this now - - but you really do have to power through the bland parts to get to the juicy parts. And, good lord, was this bland...

Don't even bother watching these episodes. Just read my comments on the previous episode and skip ahead in the arc.

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 April 17, 2014 at 6:17 a.m.

lol...just lol...smh

Didn't bother me as much but yeah it's on a pretty slow go.....and things will sorta start-stop like this throughout so...buckle in :)

MAKE SURE you get Sam in on the Vice Pit when you go over this arc cause i know he was keeping up with this arc and had quite a different opinion than you have right now....if i remember correctly...either way been a while with no Sammy boy

Marshal Victoryon April 17, 2014 at 9:29 a.m.

Um introduction of a major character or two is filler? Err um hmm. Not sure what to say here err " opinions vary" fits I supose.

Maybe a few days break from anime might be in order.Palette cleanser so to speek? Needless to say disagree here that this felt like filler. Slow yes. Filler no.

Oddly enuff I really thought Tom would like Knuckle as he is a throwback type character that would fit in the shows writer other well know series. Skiping the episodes ya missed what he is an just got what he looks like.Plus bits about Pam etc that play out so well later on.

Edit: Crap now parts with this characters later on will be deemed "filler " to?

jj_jacksonon April 17, 2014 at 10:09 a.m.

Yea um i wouldn't say it was filler either. Knuckle and shoot are two major characters in this arc and i hope that summary you read kinda explained a little bit about their nen abilities since they will more or less become important in the final well at least knuckles..

But yes it was slow this arc has a green light red light method i swear. when its good ITS GOOD. and when its slow its SLOW. Its going to happen often so buckle up.

sickVisionz moderator on April 17, 2014 at 10:56 a.m.
Oh yeah, that’s absolutely the way to keep the tension mounting in your huge shonen war epic. The heroes can just walk out of this dangerous occupied territory and take their time, sparring against a schmuck with a pompadour who was very probably trained by Dan Hibiki. Give that five episodes worth of space. It’ll really escalate the sense of danger.

Totally how I felt about this part of the arc and Knuckle in general.

Yes, I know that you all warned me about this.

No... no. This is not the dreaded part. If you think this is bad, brace yourself. This is brisk and expedient compared to what's to come.

Hunter x Hunter was like a breath of fresh air in the shonen genre for a while but it's kinda getting rid of it. There are times where I've felt and you've said that they manage to twist tropes enough to be surprisingly entertaining, especially when you read it on paper then compare it to how it's executed. Maybe it redeems itself but it feels like the writer has run out of ways to twist tropes and now the series is just everything bad about shonen. Hunter has gone from something I loved and anticipated to now I haven't watched this week's episode, I don't have any interest in watching it, and I'm contemplating if this is the point where I call it quits with the series.

Kino88on April 17, 2014 at 11:16 a.m.
Nooooooo!!!!!! This arc has been so amazing!! Not more filler!!! Why?!
Marshal Victoryon April 17, 2014 at 2:14 p.m.

@Kino88: Tom should have said padding ..or even slow but filler its not. Slow but it pays off later with built character dynamics an background.

jj_jacksonon April 17, 2014 at 2:45 p.m.

And BTW knuckle reminds me of kuwabarwra from yu yu hakusho i just dont understand the dislike for him lol maybe its just me but hes a great fighter just too soft.

Marshal Victoryon April 17, 2014 at 4:46 p.m.

@jj_jackson: yeah thats who I was hinting at. Knuckle an Shoot end up with more character than give by a sumery discription.

Lurkeroon April 17, 2014 at 7:19 p.m.

Perhaps not "filler" in the general sense, but Knuckle's introduction was straight padding. These few episodes are the equivalent of the hyperbolic time chamber in Dragonball Z. This is the point that broke me and I would wait 5-10 episodes before checking to see what was going on in Hunter X Hunter.

And Tom, the worst has yet to come.

Kino88on April 18, 2014 at 8:47 a.m.
Yeah these episodes sucked hard, like really hard,

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