Compassion x And x Strength
This ain’t the most fluid fight we’ve had so far. It employs a whole lot of that pseudo-animation junk which makes a scene as if it’s moving (flowing clothes, moving camera), but falls short of the best stuff we’re used to from HxH. And it reaches into territory where some of the explanation provided might well be better unexplained. Still. There’s something wholly enjoyable about the battle regardless. Be it that the previous qualms are pretty understandable for this being a training segment in a long running show, or that the characters involved are simply on the level where I enjoy their dynamics together. And I think with Knuckle on the scene, the latter is absolutely the case.
While Gon is a good-natured kid who can very much be denoted as the “light”, he’s a kid who knows what serious business is all about. Losing is one thing (which he’d definitely be upset with), but winning against an opponent who purposely held back is another. He clearly isn’t the type to kill others, but it’s that level of seriousness, of risking oneself, that he sees necessary for both a real battle and for those aiming to go to NGL. And that’s where Knuckle is really interesting, as an enemy who for all intents and purposes is on the same side as Gon, the human side, yet his gentleness is what keeps him from meeting Gon with the same willingness to put his all out there. Part of it simply is that he knows he’s on a stronger level than Gon, and putting Gon out full force could ruin him permanently. But that’s how it is. Gon recognizes this and fights, while Knuckle has been doing his most to not crush Gon.
As it is though, Knuckle is cool with me. And the more I watch, the more I’m convinced that his role in this arc won’t end so soon after the final confrontation. The same likely with Shoot. The main reasons why the two aren’t in NGL currently is due to their personal weaknesses. Although I’m not entirely sure how the final day will eventually pan out, if the weaknesses are overcome, it may still mean a ticket to NGL. This goes for all participants here though, and may in fact apply more to Gon and Killua. As it is, I’ve grown convinced of the power Knuckle possesses. This guy is strong, and a professional hunter despite his faults, with a power we’ve yet to see. And with his mental condition heightened by Gon’s spirit, I’m seeing his (and probably Shoot’s) victory as a likely result. Gon’s goal of getting another chance to fight the Ants isn’t going to end here, but losing might not be the final chance he has.
But with as much talk about Gon I could have here, Killua is the one who lands in the most precarious position. His problem has been apparent and built up for a long while, not just in the Chimera Ant arc, but for most of HxH. And while Killua has be somewhat aware of it clearly, it takes a direct lesson from Bisky to beat it over his head. Killua is unwilling to risk himself. For any opponent he deems stronger than himself, or even when he’s up against somebody against whom he has debatable chances of victory, his mindset enters escape mode. The source of it all is naturally the twisted love he received from a family source, nurturing Killua into who he is. It’s not his fault, but to break away from such an implanted mindset is beyond tough. If he can’t accomplish it though, Bisky gives the ultimate warning that one day Killua will absolutely leave Gon to die. And for Killua, that’s terrifying.
The thing about Hunter x Hunter is that to win in a fight, you don’t have to be the strongest. Being the strongest certainly helps your chances, but it doesn’t guarantee a thing. Bisky extrapolates that the state of mind is just as important, if not more so as it could potentially allow for a stronger opponent to fall to a weaker one. This is exceedingly true with Nen involved. Every Nen power can react differently to another, so while somebody with incredible Nen may appear stronger than anybody (eg. Uvogin), a certain other person may well be one of the few who can counter this person, despite being otherwise weaker (Kurapika). But if one fights with the intent to run away, their mental condition decreases to the minimum and their possibility at victory is sealed away.
And so with Bisky running for her life, the final day is upon the boys and Morau/Morel’s students, and if this build-up is any indication, what we have next is bound to be quality.