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Villains Shouldn't Get Any Scarier in HUNTER X HUNTER #16 - - Watch & Learn

Episode #16 - - Watch & Learn. Yeah, I'd be hiding in a tree, too.

Y’know, I’ve complained that Hisoka’s Royal Flush Gang outfit looks too silly but, man, I realize now that if it were any less silly, these episodes would probably be far creepier. Whenever you’re pitting junior heroes against grown-up villains, there’s always a question about what’s appropriate for their interactions. Well, when the villain you’re talking about is a sadistic killer who likes to smack his lips in gratification, then… well… the line’s even more difficult to walk.

The somewhat uncomfortable tension I talked about last time escalates into this episode, culminating with a real nail biter at the end. We see Gon grab his arch rival’s number and escape his wrath, but he always seems so thoroughly outclassed that he’s really only doing all of this by the very skin of his teeth.

(Come to think of it, that’s another recurring theme for Togashi : faux bouts with big bads that end with the showing of false mercy).

At this point, it’s become pretty clear that the Hunter trials will take up the remainder of the season. We might not even get that far beyond this deadly Secret Santa game by the end. And honestly, by this point, I don’t mind that. I still have to believe, though, that Togashi expressed intent with this whole series was to keep things as simple as he could. You want to talk about protracted origin stories? How about 26 episodes devoted to our lead merely qualifying to be a hero?

It’s something that would’ve been frustrating when I had a less experience with long-form shonen series. But now that I have the proper context, and my expectations are properly aligned, I can see more of the value of a hero show keeping its terms as focused as this has.

Watch this episode, “Defeat X And X Disgrace" here and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.

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
KingSolomonon Nov. 5, 2013 at 10 a.m.

I would like to agree with you tom, but reading and watching the later stuff... things get seriously complicated. I want to say more but I don't want to spoil much but this was a really great episode its sort of the one that got me hooked on the show.

rubberluffyon Nov. 5, 2013 at 10:06 a.m.

Hisoka is a great antagonist, solely because he's not outright villainous, but he is incredibly selfish and somewhat unpredictable. Even if you completely get in his way, if you put on a good enough show for him you might get to stay alive. But if you put on too good of a show, he might find it fun to just kill you right there. The series does a good job of making him legitimately frightening even without him running around violently murdering everyone.

Donwunon Nov. 5, 2013 at 1:34 p.m.

As I said last week this is one of the two times this reboot didn’t quite handle things as well as the previous version…and in the second instance it is yet again a very crucial confrontation with Gon

In the previous version, the aftermath of this ordeal had Gon completely out for the count…powerless and scrounging to recover.

I remember being shocked and impressed with how they brutally portrayed this incident and how it really mentally affected Gon. This was done marvellously and it really helped to clarify the seriousness of the hunter exam as well as showing you how to really perceive Hisoka as an antagonist

This remake version cuts out those key elements and all your left with is Gon just wallowing under a tree in bitter silence…..which to me is VERY weak in comparison and leaves me feeling more disconnected with the situation in all tbh

Now to look from the outside of things, this probably will not be the biggest deal to first time viewers of the franchise but to me I was very disappointed at this clear re-write to this crucial moment…..and to be honest I must stress it was much more about character development than anything else that was lost when you compare how these two are presented in comparison

Later, my second (and last) quarm with this reboot is much more understandable as that is a toned done version of an EXTREMELY VIOLENT scene with Gon which I understood a reason to edit down / soften for audiences this time around

Roldanon Nov. 5, 2013 at 2:10 p.m.

@Donwun said:

As I said last week this is one of the two times this reboot didn’t quite handle things as well as the previous version…and in the second instance it is yet again a very crucial confrontation with Gon

In the previous version, the aftermath of this ordeal had Gon completely out for the count…powerless and scrounging to recover.

I remember being shocked and impressed with how they brutally portrayed this incident and how it really mentally affected Gon. This was done marvellously and it really helped to clarify the seriousness of the hunter exam as well as showing you how to really perceive Hisoka as an antagonist

This remake version cuts out those key elements and all your left with is Gon just wallowing under a tree in bitter silence…..which to me is VERY weak in comparison and leaves me feeling more disconnected with the situation in all tbh

Now to look from the outside of things, this probably will not be the biggest deal to first time viewers of the franchise but to me I was very disappointed at this clear re-write to this crucial moment…..and to be honest I must stress it was much more about character development than anything else that was lost when you compare how these two are presented in comparison

Later, my second (and last) quarm with this reboot is much more understandable as that is a toned done version of an EXTREMELY VIOLENT scene with Gon which I understood a reason to edit down / soften for audiences this time around

They didn't cut out anything, these part you keep bringing up were just filler to lengthen the gap between the '99 and the manga. The fact is that the manga and the anime was pretty close at that time, which is why pacing of the old series is much slower. The new one follows the manga a lot closer, especially in tone, which i think the '99 series got wrong sometimes, especially this part your mentioning.

It's fine believing the '99 series had things superior to the new one, I really liked the boat episodes but don't hate on it because it follows the manga closer. And let's be honest, the remake's gonna end up better the '99 series anyways, especially after the Hunter Exam arc.

Donwunon Nov. 5, 2013 at 3:08 p.m.
They didn't cut out anything, these part you keep bringing up were just filler to lengthen the gap between the '99 and the manga.

- I completely disagree that what was skimmed over here was just simplly filler, most people i know who watched this reboot when it aired agreed with me but hey like i've said before this is just ONE of TWO instances in the entire reboot where i personally had a quarm with and on the whole this reboot is clearly the superior

i watched both versions of the encounter back to back before i even wrote that as well....soo...yeah i noticed the cut

That's just my thoughts on the matter...my opinion

rubberluffyon Nov. 5, 2013 at 3:42 p.m.

@Donwun said:

They didn't cut out anything, these part you keep bringing up were just filler to lengthen the gap between the '99 and the manga.

- I completely disagree that what was skimmed over here was just simplly filler, most people i know who watched this reboot when it aired agreed with me but hey like i've said before this is just ONE of TWO instances in the entire reboot where i personally had a quarm with and on the whole this reboot is clearly the superior

i watched both versions of the encounter back to back before i even wrote that as well....soo...yeah i noticed the cut

That's just my thoughts on the matter...my opinion

The 2011 series didn't change anything. The '99 series did.

Donwunon Nov. 5, 2013 at 4:39 p.m.

- I don't remember comparing the 99 version against the manga at all...

and that still doesn't change the fact that I prefer how the 99 version handled this particular incident....am i causing confusion with that statement / opinion? ...just because a newer version is closer to the manga does not make an earlier version any more irrelevant...well not for me anyway.......take the 2003 fma series for example....still a good series albeit different from the manga / brotherhood

Besides when was it a crime to disagree upon how something has been presented in different incarnation...come on now guys....again...just how i feel about it!

Roldanon Nov. 5, 2013 at 5:05 p.m.

@Donwun said:

- I don't remember comparing the 99 version against the manga at all...

and that still doesn't change the fact that I prefer how the 99 version handled this particular incident....am i causing confusion with that statement / opinion? ...just because a newer version is closer to the manga does not make an earlier version any more irrelevant...well not for me anyway.......take the 2003 fma series for example....still a good series albeit different from the manga / brotherhood

Besides when was it a crime to disagree upon how something has been presented in different incarnation...come on now guys....again...just how i feel about it!

Well here's my problem when you say this:

Now to look from the outside of things, this probably will not be the biggest deal to first time viewers of the franchise but to me I was very disappointed at this clear re-write to this crucial moment…..and to be honest I must stress it was much more about character development than anything else that was lost when you compare how these two are presented in comparison

You called it a re-write to to a crucial moment, which me and rubberluffy is pointing out to you that it's not, but that 99 series used that moment to fill out some time because of the closeness to the manga it was atm. No one's really condemning you for liking it.

Donwunon Nov. 5, 2013 at 6:23 p.m.

- fair enough

zaldaron Nov. 5, 2013 at 7:48 p.m.

@Roldan: As you should think of each incarnation as seperate you can certainly say this new version is a rewrite of the old 99 version, and honestly if the older version is more dramatic/violent less kid friendly I would probably like it better to. Simply because something is closer or farther away from the manga does not in and of itself make it any more authentic or better. The manga is in no way the end all or be all of anime and certainly shouldn't simply by being the manga have a enshrined position...

sickVisionz moderator on Nov. 6, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.

I think you're getting near or have just entered where the series really takes off and gets great. Anyways, the talk of what's appropriate and inappropriate between grown villains and kid heroes makes me interested to see how you'll take the infamous schwing battle between Gon and Hisoka.

Top8caton Nov. 6, 2013 at 8:39 p.m.

This was the episode that hooked me, sadly as good as this series can be(at least so far), I don't think it quite lives up to the tension and atmosphere I felt watching this episode, at least not without relying on tired tropes.

Rosarita_Cisneroson Nov. 10, 2013 at 4:54 p.m.

Love it!

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