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.
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|