Magic x Of x Despair
Anger x And x Light
Gon. You’re not alright.
Like. Gon. You are really not alright. This is what it’s all been building up to, with a sort of sinister tension whenever Gon’s glazed over, near dead eyes appear on screen. You were motivated as all hell, but you were totally motivated in the wrong way. But that’s the tragedy here, and the loss, not of the battle, but loss of himself that he quickly pushes himself into. We have Meruem who has continued to gain more to his identity, and we even have Killua who continues to forge his connections with other people. In turn, we have Gon who at this points, was entirely ready to throw it all away.
And when he comes face to face with unfortunate truths, he’s pushed to that point of no return.
It’s a scene that runs on a little long. The pacing of this show has always been somewhat slow (though this has it’s positives), but here it pushes Gon’s internal crisis into unnecessarily lengthy territory. Seeing Gon’s two major emotions fight at each other (duality, ho!) is spectacular, and even more so given the nature of this very arc. Spreading out this mental “fight” feels like it loses some of the distress factor before leading to Gon’s eventual emptiness. The latter which is perhaps more suited to a slower ordeal, but hey. In the end, the scene is still one which serves it’s purpose, and all around a strong one regardless of a nagging issue which could well just be my own personal view on the situation. Seeing Gon hopelessly watch Pitou heal themselves, which nearly drudges up some false hope, is powerful. Having Gon’s guilt and anger be at odds with each other is powerful. Neferpitou is powerful. And it all leads to the real event which has been a long time coming.
To put 131 simply.
It’s an episode where you can lose sense of where you are.
Not some dumb metaphysical experience, but like. While watching, you might get so into it you might forget to breathe for a moment. So intently focused on what’s going on that little else matters until the episode hits its tragic end. Because that’s what this episode undeniably is, a tragedy. Gon may have had a power-up this episode which allowed him to defeat his foe, but this isn’t put in the light of something kickass (although having some kickass animation was good). Gon’s transformation in the first point brings up alarm bells of what he’s even doing, and seeing him in his strange adult-like appearance afterwards brings up the question what in the world is he doing. This is even framed by Neferpitou, mind racing at what did Gon do to grows his power high enough to be able beat his way through this conflict.
Hunter x Hunter’s Nen works on a system we should well know by now. Restrictions bring about more power. These restrictions vary in type, be it through adding steps required to use ones power or going deep down on the scale, restricting ones power to be used only on certain few enemies or else may death take them. Gon’s restriction is beyond that, taking only the latter option into account. To defeat Neferpitou here and now, he’s agreed to use up the immense potential he has in life. This is as suicidal as it gets for Gon. This isn’t his regular level of selfishness. His heart is set on killing Neferpitou, and he is going to give up all of himself to accomplish this.
In this tragedy, what we get is an incredibly short beat-down of Neferpitou, followed by what may be my favorite line of the episode, that being Neferpitou’s gratitude of being Gon’s target, rather than him aiming for the king instead. Neferpitou is a character I wish we could have seen more (totally not going to deny they’re a favorite of sorts), but going from start to end for them, that’s some resolution for their duty. Juxtaposing said earlier line with Neferpitou’s less than flattering facial rearrangement was wonderful.
Gon relentlessly beats down Pitou (while Killua kind of brilliantly only sees some sort of continuous charge and release of power from the distance). Killua arrives to see Gon become who he has, while Pitou’s corpse is beneath him, face fully rearranged out of existence. Pitou’s devotion and puppet abilities continue after death (something that we’ve known can happen thanks to Phinks), and in a surprise strike, Gon receives some sort of redemption in his mind, losing an arm like Kaito did during the initial encounter. And finally, we get dismembered arm into headless corpse, and finally blast of energy from a stumped arm to seal this final encounter. Killua is horrified. Gon strikes.