Gon might have lost all reason, but is all hope lost as well?
Story/Art: Yoshihiro Togashi
Translation/Adaptation: Lillian Olsen
What They Say
Have fused with his royal guards, the Chimera Ant King arises more powerful than ever, but with no memory of his past. Now all bets are off, as friends and foes alike scramble to deal with the immensely powerful King. When Gon realizes how much devastation the war with the Chimera Ants has caused, he spends all his Nen power on a final, desperate gambit. It may give him the strength he needs…but at what cost?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Chimera Ant arc has been a long, grueling battle for everyone involved. The standing members of the battle have been cut down in number and energy, and now were reaching the breaking point for all involved.
Netero’s gambit in the last volume looked like it was going to give everyone a chance to kill the King and save the rest of the fighters from destruction. That deathblow just served to force his general’s to give part of themselves to heal him up. The unforeseen side effect of the massive explosion and rebuilding was a bit of temporal amnesia, and Pouf sees the King’s lapse of memory as a chance to remove Komugi from the picture.
This begins the chase which last most of the volume, where Killua and the turncoat ants play a game of keep-away involving themselves, Komugi, and the Generals. It plays up the strengths of the remaining fighters, but it also feels like their stalling for time, which is exactly what they’re doing. Almost too late does Killua and the others realize Netero failed and they have to tell the Hunter Organization leaders to resort to Plan B. Plan B being nuke the place from orbit, of course.
Meanwhile, Gon has finally lead Pitou to the place where he left the broken body of the hunter once known as Kite. It’s here that Gon realizes true defeat, as Pitou tells him that Kite can’t be healed. I do wonder what would have happened if Pitou hadn’t gotten the faked call from Pouf, would he have continued to stall for time? What follows is a breakdown the likes of which we haven’t seen from Gon. He doesn’t give in to rage and despair so much as he embraces that desperation and burns off all of his power in one startling transformation. (Seriously, check out that hair!)
While Gon’s transformation is similar to that of Netero’s, the fight between Gon and Pitou lacks the beauty and poetry of Netero’s and the King’s match. Here it’s just fierce, bloody, and terrifying. Gon holds nothing back, and it ends almost and swiftly as it began, but not without serious repercussions, the lasting effects of which we don’t know at this point. Even Killua, who can easily grasp what Gon must have done, isn’t sure what to make of his friend when he find him. He just drags him out of there.
Pouf can’t hide the truth from the King forever. Eventually the King realizes part of what he felt was missing and demands to know the truth. We’re left on that cliffhanger, with Komugi perhaps the only thing stopping an Ant apocalypse. That is, if the King can find her.
While not as epic or hard hitting as the previous volume, there are still shocking developments happening in this volume of Hunter x Hunter. The good guys are severely outmatched, and Gon’s desperate and tortured all-out attack on Pitou is brutal and surreal to watch. In the end, it looks like the only thing that will save everyone from the King’s wrath is the chimera coming to grasp with his human emotions. The next volume should provide an intense ending to this long and bloody war, hopefully it delivers.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: January 1st, 2013