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HUNTER X HUNTER #91 Presents Ultra-Violence with a Soft Touch

#91 -- Watch & Learn. Now, who hate this scamp?

Spread a little thin this week because of conventions, so I don’t have time to cover the usual five-episode-chunk. Frankly, we had more plot in this one episode than that entire, interminable mini-arc with Knuckle, so it works out just as well…

Anyway, it’s episodes like this which make me wonder if we’re due for some PLUTO-style reinterpretation of this story arc in twenty years or so. That manga found more mature significance lying in some ASTRO BOY story from long ago, and I can’t help but feel like there’s plenty of deeper thematic material bubbling beneath the surface here. Granted, that feeling is largely the result of Togashi employing a number of intentionally mollifying conceits that let him get away with a lot of dark stuff in a show that’s labeled for young boys, but...

As several of you have observed, Gon and Killua are basically adult leads who are dressed as kids. That’s abundantly clear when they have that tearful scene about finally understanding weakness. I'm sorry, but even by fantasy standards, that's a thought that's simply beyond the ken of a 10-year-old. Likewise, the villains can commit any number of horrific atrocities without going too far because, at all times, they just look patently ridiculous. The scene where the King casually murders a whole family hits a little softer because he’s wearing this silly turtleshell bowler hat.

Still, there’s something about the… nature of the Chimera Ants. There’s this whole procession of how they’re born, fully-sentient, with distinct personalities that constantly clash on ideologies. Why is it that Colt has a sense of restraint and honor that the others don’t? Why do some swear allegiance to the King, while others remain loyal to the Queen? Would they be having these argument if they didn’t suddenly choose to give themselves names? And so on…

The short answer is that Togashi knows that conflict holds interest, and having the villains argue among themselves leads to more drama and complications. However, he probably didn’t want to bother with working out some involved reason for how they came together, so here you are. Whether he stumbled upon on them, or slyly wanted to hint at them, the questions are there…

…and they’re far more interesting than watching another training round with Knuckle.

Watch "The Strong X and X the Week” and decide for yourself, then read my comments about the previous episode.

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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
Kino88on April 25, 2014 at 3:16 p.m.
Yay!, I was worried you left this show, Any who, I've made it to episode 100, and For what it's worth there has not been anything As bad as the knuckle arc thing, atleast not yet, also dose anyone Else think the King looks a bit like a cross between Freiza and Cell from DBZ?,
Lurkeroon April 25, 2014 at 3:50 p.m.

This is where I started to fall away from HxH. While it was nice to have a diverse set of enemies and conflict spread all over the place, the plot just wasn't sticking together. At this point the Chimera Ants had proven themselves to be extremely powerful to the point where some of them were born being stronger than 97% of all hunters.

This is when I expected an all out war and some impressive huntering, but that didn't happen.

sickVisionz moderator on April 25, 2014 at 4:53 p.m.

@Lurkero said:

This is when I expected an all out war and some impressive huntering, but that didn't happen.

Yup yup.

jj_jacksonon April 25, 2014 at 8:11 p.m.

I think your gonna find the Chimera ant king to be interesting to say the least. Actually all 4 the king and the royal guard are pretty interesting later on

Marshal Victoryon April 26, 2014 at 8:47 a.m.

@sickVisionz said:

@Lurkero said:

This is when I expected an all out war and some impressive huntering, but that didn't happen.

Yup yup.

Nope Nope. It did happen just not at the pace as most would like. Later parts of the arch would compaire at times with the Movie The Dirty Dozen. An some of the later fights with the ants an hunters are epic. An it takes place on what looks like a war torn battlefield.

sickVisionz moderator on April 26, 2014 at 2:46 p.m.

@Marshal Victory said:

It did happen...

Nah, it didn't. I was expecting a lot. All I've gotten so far is like 30 seconds of Kilua kicking ass vs Octopus loser crying and failing, Knuckle being lame as usual, the cat chick not even fighting, nothing with the King, Gon sitting, Smoke dude not doing anything, butterfly man going chibi and running away from the fight

I mean, if that's your definition of "an all out war and some impressive huntering" then so be it. It's not mine. I haven't seen anything on par with the early stuff in this arc from like 20 episodes back and certainly nothing that matches up with some of the battles in York New or the little tower tournament thing with Gon vs Hisoka.

Marshal Victoryon April 26, 2014 at 3:40 p.m.

@sickVisionz: Yeah it did . See your skipping all the prep before the fights. But see I am still watching so I know what happens to the king. I know about fights that Knuckle has an how " the smoke guy" hunted down an killed some ant officers.

But as stated before opinions vary.But um ya missed a lot some where along the line.

See also to mistake ya made was expecting where the story should go.Great way to never be happy with a show.Also theres a lot more fights than you mentioned to. If the pace was to slow for ya is one thing. Saying things did not happen when they did ( an perhaps you did not watch them ) is another.

So what episode did you quit at?

Lurkeroon April 27, 2014 at 7:55 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: The problem is that there are a bunch of small remote battles going on. Typical for an action shonen anime, but not exciting for the situation the protagonists are currently experiencing. When things are this dangerous I would have expected more Hunters to show themselves. I am not expected Togashi to have plotted out an entire war on the scale that Naruto did, but the way the protagonists are approaching the situation is underwhelming. Perhaps some people may be entertained by characters training and meditating in the middle of a war, but that is something I did not like. Admittedly I lost attention during many parts, but I am confident that those parts would not change my opinion because most of the time it was characters sitting around. Sometimes planning, and sometimes thinking, but rarely getting much done.

Marshal Victoryon April 27, 2014 at 8:38 p.m.

@Lurkero: By no means would I say your opinion is wrong. For you it may well be right. But the overall war has had many battles, recons, even squad based battles. The training aspect of the arc with the squad an recon parts really do remind me of The Dirty Dozen.

Now to your point of bringing more hunters to the table. That would work if they could not be used to make the ant army stronger.As it progresses one of the hunters does get captured an transformed. We have ants regaining their memory an aid the hunters, an we even have some bad guys hunt the ants.

They ( the powers that be) can not let more weeker hunters go in an die an help build up the ants. So the best go in an do what they can do. An if that goes south bombs away .The squad is going in for multiple reasons. To try an regain the other hunters humanity. To save humans that are in that country the king is in. Because if they cant take him down then the powers that be would wipe the country off the map.

My problem with the arch is pace goes fast slow fast slow slow slow slower.But then again some of the slowest parts have been epic like for me. Few shows that slow down this much are entertaining but this one for me has been great.But its not for every one sure. An if you expect something else then no matter how good this is it would be a less than ones expectations.

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