Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hunter X Hunter 2011 - 24

[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.47_[2012.03.24_22.05.44] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.55_[2012.03.24_22.15.52] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.24_[2012.03.24_22.24.08]

Between Hunter X Hunter and Chihayafuru, Madhouse is having one amazing season.  I don’t know if I’ll put it on a par with its Spring of five years ago with Oh! Edo Rocket and Dennou Coil, but it’s damn close.

There’s certainly no shounen out there quite like H x H, and as with Hikaru no Go, I’m left to wonder how, as a pretty serious anime and manga fan, these series never penetrated deeper than the outer fringes of my fan consciousness.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased not to have the baggage from the earlier anime that would prevent me from seeing this retelling as the stellar piece of animation that it is, but I marvel at how I could not have realized for so long that these gems were out there (well, I didn't watch Seirei no Moribito until 2009, so anything is possible).

What an utterly fascinating little piece of storytelling this episode was.  I can honestly say that very little of what what on inside the Zoldyck mansion went as I expected.  It’s a more general fact with the series on the whole but most obvious with this clan of assassins – it’s hard to know when the good guys are really good and the bad guys are really evil.  It all starts with Killua, himself, and what a weird and scary little scamp he is.  As his own brother Miluki tells their grandfather Zeno (80 year-old Ohtake Hiroshi) he’s probably the most talented member of the Zoldych family ever – in fact, it’s revealed that he could have broken free of the chains and freed himself whenever he wanted.  But where cold control seems to be the buzzword of the Zoldyck clan, Killua clearly is driven by emotion.  He’s capable of affection and empathy – but it seems to me that this also makes him the most dangerous (and certainly unpredictable) member of the family, by far.  Hisoka certainly knows this – I wonder if Gon does, too.

Part of Killua’s softer side is revealed through the flashback to the arrival of Canary (Kumai Motoko) who, as it turns out, isn’t actually dead but only stunned (what was it that Kikyou shot her with, anyway?).  This seems to have been 9 year-old Killua’s first venture at forming a friendship, but even here there’s a sense of menace to his encounter with the girl on the eve of her destruction of Sequant and his gang, as if his mild irritation at her for already knowing the “Rhythm Echo” could easily turn murderous at the drop of a hat.  This also seems to be the first time he realized fully how high the barriers between himself and a normal relationship were, and of how insanely jealous and paranoid his mother becomes at the mere though that her Kil would actually have a friend.

By far the highlight of the ep for me, though, was the conversation between Killua and his father Silva.  First off Silva is played by Yamadera Kouichi, and one of the things I love about this series is how it brings legends like Yamdera (among his many roles are Spike from Cowboy Bebop, Ginjuro from Oh! Edo Rocket, Ryouji from NGE and Captain Herlock) back to our screens.  Silva is wonderful in this scene but Ise Mariya as Kil is awfully good, too.  Of all the family members we’ve met, Silva stands out.  He’s a fearsome physical specimen, dwarfing his 12 year-old son, but there’s a shocking amount of tenderness in their conversation.  Silva says things a real father would say, appears to show real affection for his son, and clearly understands the feelings that are causing the boy to behave the way he is.  He even encourages Killua to pursue his heart for the moment, insisting only that Killua swear a blood oath never to betray his friends, and grants him his freedom.

I’ve been mulling over that scene and the one that followed it – when a horrified Kikyou confronted Silva and he shot her down – since the episode ended, and I confess I’m still not sure what to make of it.  It was pretty heartbreaking to see the way Killua’s tough exterior melted under Silva’s fatherly kindness, and he turned into a nattering little boy as he told his father of his adventures.  What percentage of Silva’s performance was just that, a performance?  10%?  50%? 100%?  Silva is obviously manipulating his son with the larger goal of testing his worthiness to head the family and molding him to the purpose, but is there any sincerity there at all – was any of that warmth, humor and gentleness actually expressive of a father who loves his son?  Or was Silva simply abusing the boy in a much more subtle and damaging way that Miluki was, as he hung chained in a cell?  It says something about Togashi-sensei’s writing here that I’m on quicksand when it comes to answering that question.

I want to briefly touch base on spoilers, as some blog readers have expressed their concern as related specifically to H x H.  Please bear in mind that not just myself, but many LiA readers have not seen the 1999 series or read the manga, and keep the spoilers in the comments to a minimum.  I certainly don’t want to discourage the discussion in any way, as it’s been some of the liveliest and most interesting accompanying any of the shows I blog.  I’ll just ask everyone to show a little caution when discussing specifics of the story that have not been revealed in this telling of the story yet.

[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.24_[2012.03.24_22.10.21] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.52_[2012.03.24_22.11.49] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.42_[2012.03.24_22.12.39]
[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.58_[2012.03.24_22.12.56] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.06_[2012.03.24_22.13.04] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.37_[2012.03.24_22.13.34]
[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.13_[2012.03.24_22.14.11] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.48_[2012.03.24_22.14.45] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.04_[2012.03.24_22.15.01]
[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.45_[2012.03.24_22.16.55] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.18_[2012.03.24_22.19.02] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_15.28_[2012.03.24_22.19.12]
[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.40_[2012.03.24_22.20.24] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.21_[2012.03.24_22.21.05] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.38_[2012.03.24_22.21.22]
[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.56_[2012.03.24_22.21.40] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.24_[2012.03.24_22.22.08] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.53_[2012.03.24_22.22.37]
[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.38_[2012.03.24_22.23.22] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.26_[2012.03.24_22.24.10] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 24 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.32_[2012.03.24_22.25.33]


10 comments:

  1. Yey! I'm excited for the next arc, along with the new OP. It's going to be a blast! Enzo, you'll know what Kikyou shot in the next arc. Probably. :)

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  2. Killua's head is the size of his dads HAND lol :P

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  3. Damn, they're really ramping it up now.
    Blood, dark coloring and atmosphere and the music.
    It's so different from when this started. Seems like they were just testing the waters in the first few episodes and then proceeded to change it bit by bit.
    I heard the ratings for this are pretty good. I'm proud Madhouse.
    Pretty great episode. Next episode should be awesome with the butlers.
    Them butlers will really give Gon and the others a run for their money.

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    Replies
    1. ''I'm proud Madhouse.''

      Yeah, even if they go bankrupt, we will still remember them for all the great shows they gave us over the years.

      Rock on, Madhouse.

      Delete
  4. F*cking Meteor City dude. Mentioned so early....

    Great episode.

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  5. ''Between Hunter X Hunter and Chihayafuru, Madhouse is having one amazing season. I don’t know if I’ll put it on a par with its Spring of five years ago with Oh! Edo Rocket and Dennou Coil, but it’s damn close.''

    Let's hope that they survive for long to finish this show at least lol :(

    Well then, guess this answers your question on whether or not Kil was the only member of the Zoldyck who can be called normal.

    I have to say, the only part about this episode that I felt was better in the '99 version was the scene where Kil was threating Mil (I loved the usage of the lightning in that scene), other than that, I can safely say that this was on par if not better than the older anime.

    Personally, I loved the scene between Syliva and Kil. At first the dim light and dark atmosphere gives the entire scene a very foreboding aura, almost like Kil is going to get tortured in a different manner than his previous ordeal, like he was at the end of the Hunter exam. Then, when we cut back to it again, and see the father and son talk, it's more like a camping trip where they are just sitting by the fire and telling stories. Fantastic stuff.

    ''I’ve been mulling over that scene and the one that followed it – when a horrified Kikyou confronted Silva and he shot her down – since the episode ended, and I confess I’m still not sure what to make of it. It was pretty heartbreaking to see the way Killua’s tough exterior melted under Silva’s fatherly kindness, and he turned into a nattering little boy as he told his father of his adventures. What percentage of Silva’s performance was just that, a performance? 10%? 50%? 100%? Silva is obviously manipulating his son with the larger goal of testing his worthiness to head the family and molding him to the purpose, but is there any sincerity there at all – was any of that warmth, humor and gentleness actually expressive of a father who loves his son? Or was Silva simply abusing the boy in a much more subtle and damaging way that Miluki was, as he hung chained in a cell? It says something about Togashi-sensei’s writing here that I’m on quicksand when it comes to answering that question.''

    This was a topic of intense discussion between myself and a group of friends back when we first watched the first anime, and seeing how it played out here, I stand by the same opinion: It's a mix of both, but more of the former than the latter. I do think that Silva does care and love Kil as his son and even trusts that he will return one day to take the position of the head, but realizes that the current methods they are using to get him to be a suitable head isn't working out (the more forceful they are, the more Kil is going to resist) so he decides to let him do what he wants, taking a more supportive position since it would the best for him to get closer to his son so that he would eventually succeeded him.

    Or at least, that's the way I see it. One of my friends was 100% certain that Silva was messing around with Kil, and that everything he had done was just an act. So you never know with this series ...

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  6. I was really looking forward to this episode to begin with, since I'm absolutely fascinated by the Zoldyck family members, but it turned out so much better than I had thought it would. The soundtrack to this episode was brilliant -- I had to go back and watch the scene with Killua's mum behind the tree quite a few times just to get the chills from the music.

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  7. My reading of Silva has always been that he's a lot like Illumi but thinks longer term. Remember when Illumi gave that big speech about how Killua could never have any friends because he'll always be thinking about how to kill them? Likewise Silva believes that through both nature and nurture Killua has no choice but to be an assassin.

    However, unlike Illumi who wants to discourage Killua from from experimenting, Silva has faith that his son will eventually come back. It may take years, it may take decades, but by letting Killua go out into the world without restriction, Killua will have no choice but to realize that he doesn't belong anywhere else. And then he'll come back home by his own free will, for real this time. Because he's the son of a Zoldyck.

    In that sense, it's sort of sinister, but it's not really manipulative. It's just trust, pure and simple. An evil, perverted trust in one's family.

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  8. "There’s certainly no shounen out there quite like H x H, and as with Hikaru no Go, I’m left to wonder how, as a pretty serious anime and manga fan, these series never penetrated deeper than the outer fringes of my fan consciousness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased not to have the baggage from the earlier anime that would prevent me from seeing this retelling as the stellar piece of animation that it is, but I marvel at how I could not have realized for so long that these gems were out there (well, I didn't watch Seirei no Moribito until 2009, so anything is possible)."

    To be honest, I'm so glad that you didn't watch it because now we get to see you blog it. Actually, I didn't know why this series was never as popular as it should've been in an international level because it was the talk of the town in our country (even people who didn't watch anime, watched it!), and I was thinking if I was only one of the few that considered this a great show. I'm glad I wasn't. Anyway, hope to read more of your blogs! (BTW, I'm still so sad that Chihayafuru ended, and I am going to order the Dvds and mangas after I type this haha!) Thanks a lot for a wonderful read!

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  9. I've done a HxH mini-marathon this weekend. Seeing as between AO's wait for the final episodes and the carryovers I had finally a manageable amount of series to watch I thought this was the prefect moment to finally check out this series. Too many tantalizing posts to resist ;D.
    I'm familiar with the Level E anime and manga already (and I loved both... I just wished they animated the manga epilogue as well), but I'm completely virgin territory with HxH so to speak. And going by some of the comments for this version not having previous baggage seems a good thing if not a planned move.
    This specific episode had a few moments that really stuck with me, along with the most unsettling feeling and impressive scenes since episode 16 ( 1) oh, Hisoka. That oh-so-pretty-purple bloodlust aura burst of yours scaring all living things nearby on the island. Myself included. Even with such a release - like steam from a safety pressure valve ? The man knows himself - there was still plenty left. Yikes. Hisoka has his wealth of creepy-intriguing-disturbing-hard to watch-thought-provoking-exciting moments in latter episodes, but this is the one where he made me jump on my seat 2) Gon in the tree. What are you thinking young cub? )
    Really, Kil's family is both creepy and yet... pitiful. The males in the families seem to be in check (sort of) and to have found a comfort zone in their twisted dynamics, but Kikyou seems so completely - or simply more openly? - broken.
    Then comes the father-son bonding scene and I'm still puzzling over it. But it's a wonderful scenes, so layered in every aspect.

    You've sold another fan to HxH Enzo. Gotta catch us all.



    ReplyDelete