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.
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|