Weekly Reflections 02
Once again there are a few shows that just stand out from the crowd for me, all had wonderful episodes this week, you can certainly tell that a lot of series are starting to build to their finales now……spoilers are a given.
I was so, so pleased with this episode! It had the emotional punch I was looking for – the conflict swirling in Gon’s heart and Neferpitou’s desperation to fulfil her orders from the King – it all comes together into this fantastically tense episode. We basically stand with Killua, looking at this scene mostly objectively and with our hearts breaking for what Gon is going through. Throughout Hunter x Hunter Gon has had this glimmer of insanity and obsession to his character and it fully comes to the fore in this episode. His desire to avenge and/or restore Kite has become an all consuming whirlpool of rage, all of which is being directed at Pitou.
It is fascinating to see Pitou, who we know is ridiculously powerful, cower in front of Gon’s fury. It is also rather interesting to see a Chimera Ant who has shown very little regard for human life, appeal to Gon’s humanity to allow her to save Komugi’s life. It is this kind of greyness to Hunter x Hunter’s morality that really makes me love the series. The Chimera Ants aren’t all painted as being evil that must be eradicated – they are definitely a very real threat to humanity, but there are plenty of ants that have elements of good to them and even some that have come over to the humans side.
In the same way Gon appears to be very close to allowing his thirst for revenge override his normal compassion and allow Komugi to die so he can fight Pitou. Even having Killua point out that it was probably their side’s Dragon Dive attack that originally injured her, falls on mostly deaf ears such is Gon’s single-minded obsession. Throughout the episode his demeanour see-saws between white hot anger & frustration, and cool, simmering rage. This Gon is a far-cry from the happy-go-lucky Gon we’re normally presented with, and the worry swimming in Killua’s eyes adds to the concern that Gon is falling into an abyss he will find it difficult to return from. This show is just superb.
Well this series certainly loves heaping twists upon its twists! I have to admit that I didn’t see the latest revelation that Ryuuko is Ragyo’s other, discarded daughter coming. I figured it out before the full reveal at the end of the episode (they were hardly being subtle with the hints throughout the flashbacks), but it never entered my head before that. It does make sense in hindsight, Satsuki & Ryuuko’s character arcs both mirror each other to a large extent, but it still blindsided me – which is a good thing!
Ragyo proving exceptionally difficult to kill, curb-stomping Satsuki and then donning Junketsu, all made for a very entertaining episode. I am mystified by how Satsuki thought equipping her army with Life Fibres in order to fight Life Fibres was a good idea – it seems completely contradictory to me, unless you have a sentient Life Fibre like Senketsu who agrees with your agenda. Satsuki’s force of will may be strong, but it is just arrogance to assume that that alone would be enough to beat Ragyo.
Speaking of Ragyo, dear lord that woman is terrifying! Treating your newborn daughter as an experimental subject and then just throwing the child down the garbage chute when she proves a “failure”!? I suppose this is the kind of power mad mind that starts to aspire to divinity – Ragyo really puts herself on an entirely different level to others, even her own daughters. Really looking forward to seeing where the show goes next!
Okay I’m enjoying this show a lot once again. Having the series come full circle and bring back all the original characters and the ridiculous office supply weapons was a joy – it felt like a return to what I enjoyed about SamFlam to start with, even if the ridiculous enemies are still there. I laughed my arse off at the Prime Minister’s hilarious gold armoured suit, powered by his approval ratings. It was just so stupid, yet fitting that I couldn’t help but love the very idea of it – those with the most approving ears do indeed get to craft the most commonly accepted version of the “truth”. And then we get a new enemy – Alien Flamenco……so next is adventures IN SPACE!? Well sure why not? As long as we continue to have all our old favourites present and accounted for I’m game for anything!
Speaking of which Goto’s “Samurai Policeman” killed me – more Goto being awesome please!
With Manaka thankfully still asleep, this episode ended up being Chisaki centric – which meant it was basically all about the complicated shipping this series revels in. The above screenshot will give you an indication of what my favoured ship is! While I really like Kaname and think he is the one character who has gotten most screwed over in this series, I don’t think he’s a good match with Chisaki – especially not now that she has five years of unique life experience on him. Chisaki spent her childhood with Kaname and Hikari, but she has grown up with Tsumugu and they have a very natural feeling relationship.
Likewise with Chisaki’s continued crush on Hikari which just seems to be her being attracted to his direct attitude and strong will. Chisaki is a bit wishy-washy about things at times, and her obession with change is a indication of how she feels a bit directionless without something to anchor her. As a child that anchor was Hikari who has always seemed to know what he wants from life. Tsumugu then quietly filled that role for Chisaki while she was cut off from her childhood friends just by always being there for her – I don’t think Chisaki quite realises that yet, but it is abundantly clear to Kaname as an outside observer which is why he has been so antagonistic with Tsumugu.
I don’t often get swept up in the shipping aspect of love polygons, but all the characters in Nagi no Asukara have become really interesting to watch interact, which means I’m really enjoying all the ship clashes at the moment. Wonder how long they’ll keep Manaka asleep – she’ll throw a massive spanner in the works when she starts talking again!
Space Dandy is mainly here because of that bloody awesome surfing in space scene right at the end of the episode. It is scenes like that that really really make me enjoy this series. It doesn’t have the meaty characterisation or overarching plot to make an all time favourite, but it certainly has the entertainment value and directorial flair to make it a very enjoyable show in the here and now. I really do enjoy shows that revel in their stupidity.