Hunter x Hunter Episode 87

Promise x And x Reunion


dooofJust look at that face there. Yes, right there above this. Tell me that isn’t a face which is absolutely tired of everything in life.

You know, these cheerier breether episodes are exactly what we needed for this arc. We know that in time we’ll properly return to morose battleground of the chimera ants, facing extreme danger and tragedy, but for now, having some Gon and Killua train with Biscuit, meet other hunters who want into NGL, and interact with others with smiles on their faces is the kind of fun times we need.

If only to destroy those smiles with sad times later.

Speaking of hunters met, this time we properly delve into the hunter that is Knuckle Bine. Having swiftly, albeit not effortlessly, completed the first step of their training, Gon and Killua are ready for the next. Beat Knuckle. Without further celebration or even a moment to rest, they boys are pitted against the Bancho hunter. Seeing as loss is determined by if ones token is taken, they can try as many times as they want as long as their token isn’t taken from them. Get the tokens, and run if loss is imminent, combined three hours of ren training is declared to be their daily regimen. And they’ll keep doing it and doing it until they win. It’s a surefire way for the boys to fight constantly while still not forfeiting their chance to get into NGL. And as later extrapolated upon, a victory here is bound to give the boys a boost in confidence which in turn would further their Nen growth.

Knuckle Bine, however, is a formidable man! He will not back down, and he will never yield! As straightforward as a delinquent who’s all mush on the inside as it gets, and he’s pretty great for it. His entire first exchange with kids is full of gusto and hidden soft sides, down to actual freaking tears when he notes that the boys are trying to fight him while totally exhausted. For all of his banchou toughness, it’s his kind inner self which defines him. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the major reason why he was prevented from joining the punitive force, as his major goal is not to exterminate the ants, but as a Beast Hunter see if all of the Chimera Ants should be destroyed. And that in itself leads to some interesting possibilities with what’s been set-up so far.

All that’s left is pure white Banchou ash.

As Kaito constantly established in NGL, the Chimera Ants are ruthless and death awaits around every corner. These are creatures which actively set out to consume humans, and as such need to be put down in risk of wordwide genocide. Kaito even makes mental note of whether Gon would be able to face an Ant who displays desirable human traits. But that’s exactly it right there. Taking any sort of empathy on them could mean certain death, however if there were Ants which do not threaten humanity, killing them would be entirely different from killing those who are a legitmate threat. The growing eccentrities of the Ants could cause any sort of change toward the more humane, particularly for Ants like Colt who still have very strong underlying connections to their human life. Now, Knuckle obviously isn’t aware of the situation in NGL, and he was left behind for a reason, but that same reason isn’t invalid both in the reality of the situation and as a general philosophy. Life-threatening on his part, but not wrong.

And that’s where further hunter philosophy comes in. Without the strength behind your convictions, hunters don’t get much of a say in the matter. Hunters are pursuers, not prey. They need to have the ability to chase what they believe in, or else they’re hot air or running away. Gon and Killua can’t argue Knuckle’s comments about them, since they don’t have the ability to argue back yet. While this was purely about fighting cabality, it extends to their right to go to NGL, and how hunters view the world. Morel’s views from an episode or two ago support this. Once you back down, give up, you’ve lost the right to your stake in the matter, you become a failure as a hunter. In fact, all of the elite hunters seem to subscribe to this line of thought. Which is why it’s important for both Morel’s students and the boys to prove their worth now, to see if they’re capable of being pro hunters and joining the NGL strike force.

The pro hunter handbook says to dress up for combat like you mean business.

The pro hunter handbook says to dress up for combat like you mean business.

We shift back to the events in NGL as the punitive force has begun to enact their strategy against the Chimera Ants. Going based off what they said last time, they plan to take the long route of slowly picking of the Ants one by one; Morel discombobulates them with his smoke, Knov drags them off into some sort of hammer space I’d assume, and in there Chairman Netero promptly gives them a physical course in pain. Goes to show pro hunters really are good at hunting. Naturally, the organized portion of the Ants aren’t blind enough to not notice this, but even as they attempt to provide counter measures, the punitive force is clearly a step ahead and well aware of what the Ants are likely thinking. All the while, Chairman Netero is clearly thinking.

This is all so boring to him. This old man is the best. He’s clearly exceedingly strong, however he’s got very few people within the ballpark of his abilities. He treats most matters playfully, even as he assessed Neferpitou’s strength he had a jovial tone about him, and he’s got a penchant for making things more interesting, even if he has to handicap himself in order to make that happen. These are the calling cards of somebody who wants to face an equal or better yet somebody stronger, to have a serious challenge from them. I’m having a hard time interpreting Netero’s behavior as anything else. And if this is true. He wants something to pop up and make things go wrong. The Chairman is the very best.

Now with Gon and Killua fighting Knuckle, we have a panning shot to Shoot McMahon who clearly has something in store for the boys. And I have to wonder about this guy. What’s keeping him back? Gon and Killua simply don’t have the strength and have to prove that their able to keep going on against the Chimera Ants and not run away (Killua in particular). Knuckle has a soft heart, so he has to be able to fight the Ants regardless of his nature. So there’s bound to be some sort of inherent factor to Shoot which prevents him from being able to join the punitive force. Next week will likely divulge into that, since I doubt this set-up will end with him simply having needed to defeat the boys without any other sort of reason for it.  As for the last character who wants to join the punitive force, Palm…

I don’t know about Palm.
Who knows about Palm.


2 thoughts on “Hunter x Hunter Episode 87

  1. I missed your reviews. Glad to see you’re back.

    I agree, this change of tone was needed. The darkness and pain is more apreciated when there are some lighthearted moments.

    • Haha, legit appreciate the sentiment, and I’m glad to be back to doing these.

      And exactly. Contrast is incredibly important; constant sadness is dull. Gon and his shining self make it really easy and natural for HxH to return to that sort of material as well. It’s a sweet balance we’ve got here.

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