Anime Review: Hunter X Hunter – 35 & 36
The Heaven’s Arena arc comes to a close.
Following Gon’s last two fights with the Rookie Crushers, Wing has determined that it’s time for Gon and Killua to learn the last of the major principles of Nen. With only Hatsu left to learn, Wing breaks down the various categories contained within Hatsu and how Nen abilities are broken down and how each individual falls into one category or another. The explanation is long-winded, but provides an in-depth look at the risks and benefits of mastering the category each belongs to, with examples from the previous fights that they have either taken part in or witnessed. Despite the slow pacing of this portion of the episode, it still provides the necessary background info to help understand Nen abilities as a whole and to use this information for future reference against the other Nen users down the line.
Now with Hatsu and the categories of Nen users explained, Wing provides Gon, Killua and Zushi the method of determining which they all fall into. Wing personally demonstrates which category he belongs to, which is the Enhancers. The three disciples follow suit and it’s determined that Gon is an Enhancer as well, while Zushi falls into Manipulators, and Killua falls into Transmuters. With their Hatsu training underway, the episode uses its middle section simply for training in anticipation for the fight between Gon and Hisoka. Again, the episode takes its sweet time in building up the fight which nearly lost me, even including the remarkable display of Gon’s abnormal result in his Hatsu test.
When the fight does finally take place, Gon jumps straight into top gear, attempting to catch Hisoka off guard. The fight starts off relatively one-sided in favour of the more experienced and skilled Hisoka, but Gon manages to end the episode off on a high note by landing a critical punch on Hisoka’s face thanks to a combination of speed and tactics. With the episode ending off on a high note for Gon, audiences are left with a sense that Gon just may be able to pull off the unimaginable in winning this fight against Hisoka, but as with his previous fight against Kastro, things never appear the way they do against Hisoka.
The fight is upbeat and brings a nice change of pace to the slow build up that this episode focused on for the majority of its run time. This provides a pure entertainment factor that has been lacking in recent episodes, but how this fight will continue and how Gon will overcome such a fearsome opponent is left to be seen.
Following Gon’s clean critical hit, the episode starts off with a clear nod to the Hunter Exam where Hisoka made a deal with Gon, stating that when he is able to land a hit on him he would take back his pin. This allows Heaven’s Arena arc to come full circle, with Gon accomplishing several of his immediate goals following the Hunter Exam. He has now repaid his debt to Hisoka by returning his pin and in doing so has gained the strength necessary to be recognized by Hisoka. Now all that’s left to be seen in this episode is if he can defeat Hisoka here and now in Heaven’s Arena.
As expected of a fight that includes a fighter of Hisoka’s ability, he is easily just toying around with Gon which grounds the audience’s expectations of the fight. Seeing how easily Hisoka just played around with Kastro during his previous fight, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he once again toys with his current opponent in Gon. It was only through his arrogance, as pointed out by Killua earlier, that Gon was able to land his critical hit to score two points. There’s a brief moment of hilarity as Hisoka once again uses this fight as a lesson to teach Gon their difference in strength. While that may come off as a mentoring aspect, we know that Hisoka does this to provide himself with yet another toy to play with down the line.
That leads to one point that still bothers me to this day. That is how Hisoka’s character comes off as a bit of a pedophile, especially during this fight in which much of his dialogue insinuates a sense of eroticism that he takes in during these fights with his toys. It didn’t bother me at first, but it becomes overbearing as the creators amp it up as the fight progresses. It’s just more of a relief that Hisoka decides to end the fight and allow Gon to grow further before he chooses to fight him once again with their lives on the line.
With that, the Heaven’s Arena arc ends with Gon and Killua graduating from Wing’s Nen teachings. It’s revealed that learning Nen was in fact part of the Hunter Exam and now that Gon had passed, he is a full fledged Hunter. Then, Gon decides to return home with Killua tagging along as a nice reprieve before the next major fight.
GO Rating: (both episodes) 3.5/5
Back home to Whale Island