Anime Vice News

The Secret Scheme of HUNTER X HUNTER #33 + 34

Episode #33 + 34 -- Watch & Learn. The bad guys are silly!

Given the staggering amount of material I still need to get through before I’ll even have the hope of catching up, going two-for-one in these write-ups seems necessary.

At least for the rest of this arc, anyway. We’ll see how it works…

Looking at this series in the longer view, I think one of the more subtle methods to Togashi’s madness is to pit Gon and Killua against bad guys who are either laughably ridiculous or handicapped in some way (or both, at once, sometimes). Why do that? Well, because the heroes are so young that watching them go against all these grown-up villains can get uncomfortable to watch. Especially over these two episodes, when the boys’ opponents are using very manipulative intimidation tactics and delivering threats to their doorsteps.

On the one hand, you question the appropriateness when this stuff starts veering close to a PSA about ‘strangers.’ On the other hand, it’s in the best interest of a thriller to be constantly imperiling its lead, and ratcheting the tension, so...

Togashi gets to have his cake and eat it, too, by carefully diffusing the threat level with his character designs. These are B-list bad guys who wouldn’t give adult heroes much trouble. For crying out loud , one’s bound to a wheelchair and the other’s a double amputee who literally has to hop around on a single peg leg. Even the A-leaguer Hisoka - - the one who gets creepily excited about threatening kids - - looks like a walking Crazy 8’s card. They're rotten, but none of them look threatening the slightest.

This didn't happen on a whim. I’m sure Togashi was very calculated about it. Hell, knowing how seriously he takes power levels and stats, he probably worked it out such that Gon and Killua aren’t even the underdogs. We can pump our fists when Killua shows these guys what real back-alley intimidation looks like, and Gon gets absolutely savage in his use of a fishing rod... and not feel guilty about any of it.

Watch "An X Empty x Threat" and "Power x To X Avenge" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the last episode.

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 Feb. 11, 2014 at 1:36 p.m.

That's right Tom double up....don't make it sound like a chore..we know you're diggin it

...but seriously the next arc (which you're petty close to btw) completely shifts gears and i doubt you will even stop at 2x speed at that point - from Shounen to Seinen...and then back to Shounen again (Greed Island)

Lurkeroon Feb. 11, 2014 at 3:46 p.m.

Hisoka's creepy excitement is one of the best parts of the series.

I also get a laugh out of adults fighting children as if it's normal behavior. You'd think at some point someone would ask to see their parents.

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 11, 2014 at 3:59 p.m.

Eh not sure about this. They are nasty people the 3. An they have lost limbs because of the welcome an the tornaments. Dont forget to Killua is well a killer. Hes a assassin. Thats why he can pull off some of what he does. Especialy the intimidation.

rubberluffyon Feb. 14, 2014 at 6:10 p.m.

The '99 anime actually changed it so the 3 dudes weren't actually disabled, which is a weird decision, considering that being crippled by Nen baptism is an actual thing in the series.

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