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What's Consistent About HUNTER X HUNTER #143 -- Special Review

Episode #143 -- Special Review. Checking back in with the most thorough fight shonen ever.

I had ambivalent feelings, walking away from the ‘Chimera Ant’ saga. It wasn’t that I disliked HxH; I was just frustrated that these appealing characters weren’t in a plot they deserved.

When that happened, I realized my reluctance was a result of one part of the shonen formula. Specifically, when the first dozen-or-so episodes are basically a P&R campaign to make you like the characters so much, you’ll feel a sense of obligation to them, and will keep watching even when the rest of the show isn’t working.

So here we are. Even after I said I was done with HxH for good, I’m still curious to check up on Gon and Killua. And the funny part? This one episode is a fairly neat distillation of Togashi’s approach to the series on the whole....

  1. We open with a thorough breakdown on the multi-tiered voting process which the Hunters’ new leaders are being elected through. Whether it’s a placement exam or a demonic martial arts tournament, there is literally no elimination process (for lack of better term?) whose minutia doesn’t hold Togashi’s deepest interest.
  2. We check in on a muscular, old woman with sharp pig tails and the power to turn into a PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE cast member. Again, I have to think that that Togashi amuses himself by coming up with the silliest gimmicks for characters, and testing how seriously he can get viewers to take them.
  3. We reach a rising action with Killua and the zombies on the road that puts the kid in an intense moral conundrum. And it seems to dramatically hinge on the semantics of the situation. While the blow-by-blow tactics can get old, Togashi has a real talent of putting the heroes into tense conflicts where they have to make real, hard decisions (even when the situation sounds boring on paper).

(And if this girl Killua's so affectionately protecting isn’t meant to be his girlfriend, then she can stand right next to Biscuit in the hilarious, cooties-averse tradition of eternally-potential love interests in shonen).

Did I think this episode was actually any good? Well, like I said, that question’s almost irrelevant, now. The show is it what it is, and it’s amusing to appreciate the consistency of that.

It was nice to see Gon and Killua again, though...

Watch "Sun X and X Claw" and decide for yourself.

jj_jacksonon Aug. 27, 2014 at 9:59 a.m.

The person killua is protecting is his brother/sister. But yes togashi's love of I guess advanced rules and games have always been consistent and present and each arc. Its probably gotten to the point where if he came out with another anime/manga id be able to tell right away it was him or not.

im glad this series doesn't have any love interest I believe its something it can do with out. This anime focuses clearly on the story which I appreciate.

You know what's funny coming into the chimera ant arc I thought to myself "urgh this sounds so lame I'm gonna hate this, a whole arc about freaking bugs!!" But that arc turned out to have some of the most memorable moments in the series.

rubberluffyon Aug. 27, 2014 at 12:27 p.m.

Yeah, Alluka is Killua's...well, everyone BUT Killua refers to Alluka using male pronouns (or just dehumanizing "it" or "thing"), and only Killua refers to Alluka using female pronouns, so it can be kind of confusing. But to Killua, Alluka is his adorable younger sister, and to Illumi Alluka is a dangerous thing that could destroy their family. You also missed a lot of the rules explaining how Alluka works, in that she grants wishes after you fulfill her requests, and the severity of the wish determines the severity of the requests the next person gets, and failing to fulfill 3 requests causes you and your closest loved one to die horrifically. Killua is exempt from some rules, and keeps a few others a secret from his family, though.

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 27, 2014 at 9:59 p.m.

"The show is it what it is" sigh if only ya had that type of attitude during the ant arc.Why you would have seen some really long but rather emotional bits that you do not see in anime much. Villains becoming main characters. Maybe even come to under stand how some of us enjoyed the...

Good on you for seeing the problem. Bane of all reviewers is to review something as what they want, not what it is.

katmicon Aug. 28, 2014 at 4:27 a.m.

i like how thorough hunter is, the way Togashi allows us to see what is going through each character's mind and the way he narrates and explains the rules and procedures of everything; it makes the series more compelling, even though in most other shows it would irritate me.

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