A video by TheLostChaper popped up on my meda feed, and with it the euphoric glee of watching someone assess in detail some enjoyable anime.
Go check it out, subscribe and see what you think before reading into my assessment of it.
While I enjoyed the format and the questions it posed. The content had some holes in it. My inner writer just had to jump up and say something!
While there is good merit with this video, there are many parts that just don’t add up.
You’re explanation of these “Rules” makes sense until Minute mark 4:01. “There is not a single fight where the viewer isn’t given 100% of the information”. The viewer is NOT given all the information. I didn’t see the nen lines from Hisoka until after the fight. The Kastro VS Hisoka fight is intentionally filled with seemingly impossible holes. If a completely new viewer where to watch, they would question the impossibility. That is an excellent way to tell a story, but hardly comparable to the rest of the Hunter X Hunter story writing.
From a writing standpoint the audience gains this from that fight:
A: We get a full demonstration of the more powerful parts of nen Wing was trying to explain/hide.
B: This is the first time we get a good glimpse at what Hisoka can really do. The audience knew that Hisoka was powerful before, but never knew why. This fight cemented it.
C: Hisoka is a trickster by nature. He operates with deception and cunning to surpass his challenges.
Kastro WAS more powerful than Hisoka, but only because of the surprise ability he had. Kastro had years to prepare for his fight with Hisoka. From what I can deduce, Hisoka had to have a nasty reputation. So Kastro decides that the best way to fight a trickster is to deceive him. He learned a powerful technique that he naturally had a difficulty with. It worked, for a short period of time, if he had pressed the offense rather than trying to play it safe, Kastro would have won. Kastro VS Hisoka was a fight of deceit from both ends. The only other fight to reach this depth of manipulation will come with Chrollo Vs Hisoka.
Next up is your assessment of the Greed Island arc. Yes, the rules were complicated… But never used to fool us. None of the conflicts even came close to the complexity of the Kastro VS Hisoka fight, because nobody ever needed to. Sure, the cards made the fights shift to a different direction, but did it really? We witness that Hisoka does plainly well in the game without taking the time to learn the card system. Brute force is still trumps any of the complexities created by the Island. The dodgeball game has the most arguably deceptive complexity to it, and yet only a few of the card/game rules came into play. This is not a good example of writing that fools the viewer.
Next is your comparison of “writing trickery” to Gon. It seems to might have overlooked some of the earlier aspects of Gon, mainly his character development points. It is true that Gon has some similarities to the stereotypical “Good Guy” but the sudden shift in his character was not a deception or Togashi trying to trick us. Let’s take a look at a few aspects of Gon that could allow for such a change:
A: Gon is a child. He has not reached the mental maturity of the adults around him. His power allows him to compete and interact with adults, but he will still think simplistically like a child.
B: Gon lacks foresight. This is made painfully clear in episode two when questioned by the old woman. Gon is not the type of person to think around or forward, his thoughts are in the now. When you claim that Gon intentionally put his friends in danger? More than likely he wasn’t thinking of it at the time and was focused on what was in front of him.
C: Because of the two previous aspects, this makes Gon morally flexible. It’s not that he doesn’t care if a person is good or evil, is more likely that he wants them to prove it first. You can claim you’re a killer, murderer, trickster, but until you SHOW Gon, he won’t care.
Wing and Zepile’s assessment of Gon can be explain with this analogy: Gon is a baby with a loaded pistol, who can shoot on the same level as a competitive sportsman. Yeah, it’s pretty cool to watch a baby shoot a gun, but there are so many bad things that could happen with that situation. It makes sense that they are uneasy with Gon.
This “truth” about Gon in the ant arc is because of something that not many people get to witness. It’s what happens when you have a person who is extremely solid or flexible in willpower, and you break them. Everyone has a breaking point. Gon hit his at the death of Kite. And people who are as strong mentally as Gon, fall HARD. The only reason I’ve seen this is my work in a mental institution, it doesn’t happen often.
These aspects of the characters and the shape of the story were not to fool the viewer. The Kastro Vs Hisoka fight is the only good example of that. The rest of it is well designed characters and complex yet fluid story line.
Well written Anime is difficult to find. Hunter X Hunter is well written by my standards and you should go check it out. Rant over!
–Silver the Bard: “If you haven’t heard from me, assume I’m dead and avenge me.”