Oh, it’s easy to list a countless number of evil villains, sinister antagonists and diabolical big bad’s, but I’m starting to see that ‘comfort’ is actually the greatest enemy super heroes. And it’s just as much of a threat to the storytellers creating them...
Watch enough of these shows, and it’s clear that the key to making a serial successfully compelling is a constant state of urgency. The heroes need to always be fighting stronger foes, with the odds stacked against them, and the clock must be ever ticking down for the safety of imperiled innocents. In other words, stakes. Doing that requires discipline as a storyteller, and I reckon that most complaints fans have with superheroic fiction - - on either side of the Pacific - - stem from the creators drifting too far from that sense of urgency.
Have you ever complained about an American comic being impenetrable due to its complicated continuity? That’s really the result of the creators getting overly focused on organizing their lore, and drifting too far away from telling a story with stakes.
And that’s exactly what’s going on in this arc. You have a crew who’s so comfortable in the success of their show - - because they’re coming off a previous show that already won over viewers - - that they’re basically just hanging out. Whatever sense of danger built up by the rise of the Chimera Ant Queen has been spent. And these characters aren't even fun to hang out with, like the cast of ONE PIECE.
I step back from these ten episodes and can’t quantify what’s taking up all the real estate. The King breaks from his evil campaign to play Go against some random girl with a runny nose? The heroes take three hours of screen time to plot a raid they haven’t gone through with yet? There’s exactly one interesting scene - - the volcanic battle with the lion chimera. The rest is taken up by scenes of heroes and villains just sort-of ambling along. There’s no sense of urgency. No danger. No stakes. The show's comfortable in itself.
It’d be bearable if HxH were parodying tropes, like DBZ often did - - but I don’t think that’s Togashi’s game here. If there’s any joke here, it’s on us, and he’s the only one in on it. I’m going to power through the remaining episodes, until I’m caught up, because I pledged to do that. I don’t expect to stick around, viewing it week-to-week after that, though.
If this ‘saga’ isn’t wrapped up by then… well… then my sympathies to whoever’s slogged through this over the past year. If ever a show needed a hiatus, this would be it.
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|