The third phase is conducted by a Blacklist Hunter named Lippo, warden of Trick Tower. Lippo’s method introduces a new take on the Hunter exam. The rules are deceivingly simple and straightfoward, the candidates are required to reach the bottom of the tower within 72 hours. This wouldn’t be HxH if we didn’t make things extra complicated though, Lippo offers his prisoners a year off their sentences for every hour they stall the candidates. This guy is not to be taken lightly, it’s apparent that he finds delight in placing people in psychologically vexing situations. By giving both sides strong motivations, it creates tension that wouldn’t be there if Lippo didn’t make a deal with his prisoners.
Gon and his gang take the third phase under the condition of ‘the majority rule’ where everyone can vote anonymously to arrive at a decision. Notice how this is given to the five people who all enter through trap doors of close proximity. It seems that this is a calculated move from Lippo, who probably assumes that those who have formed a bond will most likely enter through doors near each other after having discovered them.
I’m glad to be blogging Hunter x Hunter this season, it gives me a lot of opportunities to pick apart the creative world Togashi has set up for us to immerse ourselves in. Here’s a Blacklist Hunter, who makes a shitload of money and all he does is get himself a tower constructed for the sake of fucking with people and his prisoners. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m convinced Lippo owns the place so you just have to wonder about the people in this show.
The thing is, the characters are all very aware of the consequences. ‘Failing’ the exam is more like ‘being eaten by a monster’ or ‘killed after 60 hours of torture’. This exam is meant for those who truly have the desire to become a Hunter. I’d like to think that the reason no one gives a crap about who dies and who doesn’t is because most of them have already decided to risk their lives, and that’s why the conversation before everyone activates the trap door says a lot about the mindset our characters are in.
This episode surprised in a way that I didn’t expect it to finish so quickly! Very well paced for an episode that had so much talking in it. It was properly done exposition. The remake also deserves praise for its comedic timing and capturing Togashi’s twisted sense of humor. Its aesthetics often betray the content itself which frequently leads to unexpectedly disturbing and frightening moments such as this:
Ironically, Tonpa’s embarrassing stunt had its advantages. The team managed to save time and with him out of the way, those who actually want to pass the exam are left more motivated than ever.