Pirates x And x Guesses
A x Heated x Showdown
Guts x And x Courage
Bargain x And x Deal
Chase x And x Chance
Oh to think they would top Hisoka naked so soon. What a wondrous anime.
Alright, let’s get the first episode out of the way, since it’s fairly simple. In essence, Hisoka recruited! But the spices given make it incredible. We have an entire scene at the City of Love, which boils down to romance manga/anime cliches galore. Togashi is a total geek once again. If it didn’t in the way of his work, I would love him for it. Killua also has an entire extreme ponderment wonderment pwonderment moment, and Hisoka plays the kid for a fool. Always great. But most importantly. Most importantly of all, Hisoka was naked this episode. And Madhouse made the scene perfect. I had been spoiled to the manga equivalent of the scene beforehand, and while I prefer it due to how cleverly it uses the comic medium, the subtle movement of Gon and Killua’s eyes as Hisoka… ripens… was beautiful.
But then onto the main event! After finding and showing up Tsezguerra, along with grabbing along some random mooks who only want out of the game, we have a team of 15 to take on Razor and his lackeys in various sports. This time around, it proves fairly easy as Tsezguerra’s subordinates make quick work of the first three challenges, and with nine participants capable of victory, Razor deems it necessary to begin a different activity. And what else would it be than the apparently infamous 8 on 8 dodgeball game! I gotta admit. I was severely under prepared for just how grand these few episodes bubbled up to be. In a strong series, these few episodes are among the strongest consecutive portions.
So! On one side we have Razor along with 7 conjured beasts! On other, Gon Killua and Biscuit, Hisoka, Tzesguerra, along with Goreinu and his two conjured apes. And it starts off like all proper games of dodgeball, with the first few players caught off-guard and taken out immediately. Setting up a few of his Nen beasts out of bound, Razor manages to scare Goreinu out of the field and strikes Tsezguerra in the back with what might as well have been a cannon ball. Goes to show that while Gon and Killua have limited experience, simple task which are pure show of skill are right up their alley. Oh well, you’ve realized your weaknesses Tsezguerra. Count your losses and be happy you’re still alive. Many don’t receive that pittance!
Next up we have time for the kids to show how far they’ve grown during Greed Island. Hisoka steps up first though, demonstrating why he’s such a figure to be feared. His bungee gum ability, for something that sounds as deceptively weak as One Piece’s Luffy’s rubber powers, is versatile in all the best ways. Particularly here as he can simple rebound the ball to himself after every successful hit, although Razor doesn’t let it slide for long as his Nen beasts combine, together strong enough to prevent Hisoka from returning the ball. It’s strategy like this that makes me love the show, gives it such a pleasant nuance that’s hard not to appreciate. All for dodgeball, no less. More so when it gives Gon the chance to apply what he’s learned with Biscuit, using Ken and then Ko to stop Razor’s murderball.
It doesn’t work. Knocks him right out of his little booties :]
He’s aware where exactly he went wrong though. (not using any nen on his legs, thus lacking the vital grip on the ground to keep from flying) And using the team’s Back, he’s on the inside of the court once more. Our team attempts to make Razor use up his Back as well, using Goreinu’s fairly cool Nen abilities, but it backfires as Razor’s own beasts sacrifice themselves to keep Razor on the court. So Goreinu is knock right and proper with a blow to the face. Thankfully it wasn’t from Razor himself, or else much of a face wouldn’t be left.
Speaking of left, Razor then pulls of a throw which rightfully freaks Killua out. And it brings about one of my favorite little moments in the entire match, another cool scene between Gon and Killua. As the throw was essentially a fake-out flying at Killua then making a sharp turn left when it gets to him, it was intended to take out Biscuit and Hisoka to his left. It hits Bisky’s dress so out she goes! However if Killua had dodged left instead of right, he probably would have died then and there. Killua and Hisoka, in favor of avoiding Razor’s throws, plan to avoid them to their best ability. But Gon isn’t so keen on flaking out, perfectly understanding that Killua barely survived. Pissed that they the admin could so easily destroy them, Gon has to beat the guy at his own game. Though while I see that as a definite part of his reasoning, you can also consider that Gon has a tendency to always want to win in his straightforward fashion; always using rock. But personally, there’s no real shame in winning by avoiding the ball, since that could just as easily be somebody else’s paper or scissors. Though when somebody does challenge you in a certain way, there’s definitely that satisfaction in beating them on the same terms they place on themselves. Razor doesn’t even attempt to dodge the ball once during the entire match.
Naturally, Gon has the strength to back up his bluster. With a game like dodgeball, where you keep the ball as long as you want while the opponents wait, the kid has all the time in the world to dig into his insane power reserves. And man, if given the time, the Rock portion of his technique nearly rivals Razor’s shots. It’s clearly not as effective in actual combat situations due to preparation time, but even a weakened version of such punch packs quite some heat. The dodgeball is entertaining, in fact taking a dodgeball game this far is super cool in and of itself, but man, we’re also getting some neat snippets of what the boys can really do. Not to mention the entire team working on these gorgeous episodes, because WHOA THAT IS SOME PRETTY EYE CANDY AND ALSO NEAT-O MUSIC. Brings the whole experience to the next level, ramping up with every consecutive throw (punch) Gon makes.
With a little help from Hisoka, Gon’s second punch manages to make Razor use his Back, but as things are looking up, there’s always something to bring you back down to Earth. Gon uses insane amounts of power in his attacks. Power like that needs support to be used properly, and only somebody as close Killua can properly burden the brunt. But naturally, using his hands as a barrel to Gon’s gun, they’re ravaged after second shot. It’s a nice touch to mention how he could be protecting his hands with Nen, but since he doesn’t know the right technique, he couldn’t do so with diminishing the power of the shot. In a relationship this dear though, Killua’s willing to go the full way support Gon. And in turn, Gon accepts the selfishness in his actions, and trusts Killua 100%, going as far as to say he couldn’t rely on anybody but Killua when using his full strength. The best compliments, these two are. The moment is highlighted not only by defining how important the two are to each other, but soundtrack once again does wonders; an instrumental version of the ending theme makes for a surprisingly emotional bg track.
And finally. The coup de grace. Razor calls in his defeated Nen beasts, leaving him at full strength and with the ball. But what’s this gorgeous things going on the other side of the court. Could it possibly be… gattai? The very best. All while reminding us how these three (mostly Gon and Killua) are outright monstrous. This is the best. Using their skills cumulatively they manage to safely catch Razor’s spike, and now we only have the very best to offer. Because the music is turned to the MAX with possibly the most exciting possible track one could ever have for a dodgeball game, and Gon goes all out in a display the puts all the previous throws to shame. And it simply the best there is. Like back when Gon and Killua were tracing the Spiders, I had to rewatch this scene a couple of times out of respect for how quality it all was.
What a beautiful, beautiful game. Truly, does the aftermath even matter at this point? No, I would think not.
Suck it, Ging.