A x Brutal x Battlefield
Assault x And x Impact
Fake x And x Psyche
Fortunes x Aren’t x Right?
Allies x And x Lies
Alright, so I’m not sure at all how I’m going to attempt to do 5 episod- haha I already have and I didn’t care. I am immensely saddened by my inability to write about these earlier though, since after watching them in bulk, they are surprise surprise really really good.
The first two episodes of the pack are largely Chrollo centric, and fittingly enough, they show us why exactly this enigma is the leader of the Phantom Troupe. If I had to describe it, which I guess I do, then A x Brutal x Battlefield gives us some semblance as to who Chrollo is. His conversation with Neon is surprisingly sober, as they speak of death and the after-life. Visibly melancholic over Uvo’s death, this is the man who leads the world’s most dangerous group of thieves.
It is incredibly haunting. The entire last 5 or 6 minutes of the episode are pulled off with incredible class. Nevermind that the verse of the poem of his future is repeated ad infitum, this is where Chrollo solidified himself as more than just the figure head. In contrast to his low-key demeanor in the episode’s first half, this is Chrollo as a conductor of a murderous macabre symphony. Also, if you read my post on episode 50? Yeah, Hunting For Your Dream is great, but continuing the chants into the credits is a nice touch.
Assualt x And x Impact then demonstrates the other side of Chrollo we’re just dying to know. If Hisoka considers him an equal, how strong is this guy exactly? With his fight against the two Zoldycks, we can lay to rest that he is indeed STRONG. This may just also be our first fight amongst perhaps the top players in HxH. And it does it show! Zoldyck the elder who takes the mantle in the fight clearly proves his extensive wealth of experience, exposing the truth behind Chrollo’s power in Specialized Nen in but an instant. Speaking of instants, this may be the first case where the introduction of a nen ability with the fancy title, Zoldyck the elder’s, almost dragged me out of the moment. The impact of the fight isn’t really up there with say Gon vs Hisoka, or the slaughter of Uvo at Kurapika’s hands, but it works as a sample of what’s to come.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the fight only becomes apparent in Fake x And x Psyche, where the result of Zoldyck the Junior’s massive Nen attack left all participants only a little worse for wear. Chrollo had enlisted Illumi to kill the Ten Dons, who were the employers of the two Zoldycks fighting Chrollo. So with their employer dead, there was no reason to kill Chrollo. They, unlike the likes of battle lusty Hisoka, have no attachment to the thrill of a fight. But the most intriguing aspect comes when he reveals that if Chrollo were fighting at full capacity, the victor of the match is up in the air. So while have a grasp of what Chrollo can do, we have no clue as to how far his skills go. Effective!
Shifting the focus off the villain for a moment, the rest of the episode features largely on the aftermath of the large scale Phantom Troupe attack. As it appears, many members of the Troupe are found dead, including Chrollo himself! This is all apparently thanks to Troupe member Kortopi, who I think actually gets his first line this episode? What exactly do you have to say little freaky thing? “Okay.”? Congrats Kortopi, that’s incredible, great hearing from you! With the ability to duplicate inanimate objects, crafting a mass of dead Troupers was apparently something he could do. With this news spreading throughout the mafia community, it appears as if the Phantom Troupe is finally defeated, and Kurapika is at a loss for words. That guy is totally distraught, and now that the situation is over, finally contacts Gon and co.
And good god, suddenly we get Kurapika’s first real smile in EONS in Fortunes x Aren’t x Right?. Phew. There. We now finally have the entire gang together, and it feels splendid. There’s such a change in demeanor as Kurapika meets Gon and Killua again. After last episodes events, and well basically the entire York Shin arc, this must be the first relief he’s felt in a while. However as dramatic irony would have it, nothing’s over by a long shot.
The conversation between friends leads to two larger points, the first of which is that the information Kurapika has unloaded on the crew is incredibly dangerous thanks to the existence of Pakunoda. The second comes after a short intermission in a remote place outside the city.
Here in the Phantom Troupe base, the thieves are almost about ready to head home, their business at the auction almost complete. However Nobunaga is being difficult, so Chrollo gives a concrete reason as to why they should leave with Neon’s fortune predicting ability. What we can gleam from his prediction of Nobunaga’s future is that 5 more members of Troupe are likely to die. They repeat the process with Shizuku, and her very short 2 verse poem reveals that she’ll be one of them. In addition to that, apparently Shalnark and Pakunoda will be victims as well. This. This interests me. If I’m not totes dumb right now, Pakunoda will likely become quite a crucial portion of how York Shin continues from this moment onwards. Not only is she the most dangerous member to Kurapika’s group, she’s one of the predicted dead Troupers. Unless it’s a red herring, Pakunoda is gonna play a larger role in the coming episodes.
Also, I like how casually Shalnark speaks of his own life.
Regardless, the interpretation of these fortunes suggests that if the Troupe were to fight the Chain user, they would suffer serious causalities. Even Nobunaga appears to agree. So of course with decisions moving smoothly, it’s time for Hisoka to throw in his lot. With his ulterior motives, it’s to his best interest that the spiders remain in the city.
And so back with Gon and crew, we arrive at our second point; Hisoka revealing the truth to Kurapika of the Phantom Troupe’s fate. With his mortal enemies still alive, Kurapika is back in action to fight, and as the next episodes reveals, with the aid of his dear friends. Allies x And x Lies is very much of a continuation of Kurapika’s eventual decision to include Gon Killua and Leorio in his plans, as well as a finish to the situation in the Phantom Troupe base. Here Hisoka manipulates his fortune with his Nen, hiding his initially incriminating one.. His revised fortune does reveal that he’s been selling Phantom Troupe secrets, yet the trick is that the fortune implies it’s due to threat on his life eg. “If you do not tell me Phantom Troupe secrets, you will die. If you tell the Phantom Troupe about this, you will die.” Of course, nothing like that actually exists, but with this nuances of Hisoka’s revised fortune, it would appear that the best course of action for the Troupe is to start in town and search for the Chain user.
So now we finally have Kurapika working in a group against the Phantom Troupe with Pakunoda as the big target, while the Phantom Troupe is now working as a collective against the Chain user. Exciting times are in store. (⊙‿⊙✿)