Hunter x Hunter 20 – He Who Surrenders, Loses.

The final phase proves to be a battle of wills, a truly devious set up by none other than the Chairman himself.

Knocked out after his fight with Hanzo, Gon wakes up and finds out that the exam has ended and he’s been asleep for almost 24 hours. The rest of the exam is told through flashback, courtesy of Satotsu.

Killua’s defeat may have come as a surprise, but upon introspection the key here is to believe Gon’s words in episode 19. This is a battle of wills, strength and intellect matter but the true basis here is whether or not you’re capable of fighting for what you want to achieve despite all adversities.

Netero created the exam in hopes of weeding out that one candidate that didn’t want it as much as the others. He explicitly said that there would only be one loser. Had Killua forfeited and lost to Illumi he would’ve still had a chance to take on either Leorio or Bodoro.     Instead of taking that chance, he purposely disqualifies himself and leaves.

Quick Thoughts on Illumi, Killua and Nekojiru

While I originally intended to talk about this in a separate post, I thought: “Oh, what the hell. I’m just going to talk about it now. Just..a little bit…” Self-restraint? Pshaw!

Anyone who’s heard of Cat Soup, would immediately think of the the surreal and artistic OVA. Essentially an animated silent film, it tells of a young cat who travels to strange distant lands in order to retrieve his sister’s soul.

There’s a lesser known 27 episode series called Nekojiru Gekijou featuring the same characters. This time it’s more focused on black humor and shock tactics. The cat family is a litter higher up on the food chain, and the siblings are selfish and cruel children who eat and kill whoever they feel like (usually pigs).

An episode called Tanuki Hunting tells of the siblings Nyanko and Nyatta meeting a Tanuki named Ponkita who is seen fishing for food because his father has abandoned them so he had to support his sister and mother. He’s about to say what kind of animal he is but Nyanko’s father shoots him so they have have Tanuki ramen. You’re probably wondering, “What the hell are you talking about?”Let’s just say this the best way to simplify how the Zoldyck family or at least how Illumi thinks of ‘other people’.

Illumi seems a lot like these cats and the vacant eyes both project these character’s disconnection with the outside world. In Illumi’s eyes, there’s him and there’s his family, everyone else is either a ‘tanuki’ or a ‘pig’. As much as I’d like to talk more about the similarities between these works, everything else is going to be very spoiler-ish.

He Was Destined to Lose

With the exception of Killua being unable to be friends with anyone, Illumi was right about Killua enjoying the thrill of killing. This is how he was brought up by his family. His name alludes to the soul of a killer, even the affectionate nickname ‘Kil’ from Illumi is a heavy reminder of everything that Killua is. Killing is supposed to be second nature to him.

But Leorio, being the voice of reason– urged him to fight Illumi. He, Kurapika and Hanzo promised that they wouldn’t allow Illumi to kill Gon. Killua couldn’t place his trust in anyone and he knew he couldn’t defeat Illumi on his own. Unlike Gon who was insane enough to force Hanzo into admitting defeat, Killua couldn’t risk anything. He couldn’t even entertain the idea again after Illumi started his psychological attack.

From a logical standpoint, Killua would be right. The chances for victory are slim. But the idea of being a Hunter is discovering the unknown, and Killua doesn’t have that spark in him because it’s been forced out of him by his own family. His inability to venture towards uncertainty will work against him but it’s the same thing that will protect him against opponents that are stronger than him. It’s a twisted form of love that has crippled his potential.

Disqualifying himself was something he had to do, if his family told him it was time to get a license then he’d go back and do the exam. While it was clear that Killua wasn’t in the right state of mind, he did exactly what I think his family wanted him to do. While Leorio and Pokkle may have qualified thanks to lady luck, Killua was the first one to crumble under pressure and quit.

Never Forget Bodoro


I like to think about side characters. The less I know about them, the better. Some people seem to be wondering why Killua had to kill Bodoro of all people? It was either him or Leorio. Killua had to kill someone, and or poor martial art practicing Bodoro was the scapegoat.

In the eyes of the creators, I’d like to speculate it’s something sadder. Remember when Bodoro said he didn’t want to fight Killua or Gon because they were children? Well, I consider it painfully ironic that it was Killua who stabbed him in the back.

I see Bodoro as a man with a family and/or a highly respected teacher.  No one knows what Hisoka whispered to him that day, but I can imagine him threatening to kill Bodoro’s family or his students. I say this because at this phase of the exam it’d take more than just a simple death threat to shatter his resolve. That’s why Bodoro’s death haunts me. This guy, was the least developed but he strikes me as a traditional good guy. I feel bad that he had to be killed, and you should too. Killua just robbed a family of its father and a martial arts school of its teacher.

Farewell noble Bodoro, you lived by your principles.


End Notes:

Great music this week and the art direction was top notch. The opening dream sequence with Gon and Ging did well to set the tone of the episode. Gon’s walking and running scenes were animated beautifully, Hisoka vs. Bodoro was a treat to watch as well. Hunter x Hunter excels in creating some very emotional scenes without relying on cheesy melodrama. The intense scenes were coupled with somber musical pieces which strengthened the impact of these moments. 20 episodes in and I have to say the remake has established the fact that these aren’t the same guys from the ’99 versions. These are vastly different characters, and I like how the children (Gon and Killua) are actually being treated like kids.

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  1. beautifully said. i really don’t know what else to say esp since its 2 am and i really need to sleep. you had me thinking of this scene in new perspectives and i really like that.

  2. The connection between Illumi and Nekojiru’s works is fascinating! She is definitely the kind of writer whom I could see Togashi being influenced by.

    • Same here. I’m actually hoping to write a longer post on it someday, because if I wrote my thoughts here now there’d be a lot of spoilers!

  3. I remember when I first saw killua killing bodoro, I was a child when I saw it, and I was like oh shit! he killed that man o__o, but now just like you said I felt truly sorry for bodoro, I thought no one felt that and I was wondering, am I strange for feeling sorry for a man who we have barely seen?? I don’t know why but since the previous episode I was like oh no killua is gonna kill him but maybe it was because he remind me of, like you said, a good person with family…

    • I feel the same way for most of the deaths in Hunter x Hunter, I think that’s the creator’s way of making us feel bad for these people. Someone’s death isn’t made that big of a deal and to me, that’s very sad. Poor Bodoro.


    It would be cool if they ever encounted a relative of his or something

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