Hunter x Hunter 23 – One Big Happy Dysfunctional Family

It would a crime not to talk about this brilliantly executed episode.

There’s always a bit of controversy following every Hunter x Hunter episode.

That’s some excellent foreshadowing there.

It’s always fascinating to see how groups of different people work together in popular media. Hunter x Hunter is one of those few series that places a lot of attention towards organizations and groups. Remember the part during the Hunter exam’s third phase, the trick tower? The lesson was “Majority rules”, and the oppression of the minority never leads to good results. But that’s when we’re teaming up people we consider as ‘strangers’ right?

A Morbidly Fascinating Family

What makes the Zoldycks different is that their bond is through blood, they’re a family. The family is considered the very basic foundation of society. It’s where children are raised and taught to socialize. The anime places them in a situation where the abusive behavior is due to the family’s choice of profession, but put that aside and we have what¬†possibly could be they very epitome of a dysfunctional family.

Looking at the children in the Zoldyck family, it’s apparent that none of them have ever grown up ‘healthily’. Illumi is the ‘good son’ who has to go and discipline his younger siblings, Killua is rebellious (and has little to no respect towards his mother), Milluki displays envy and a desire to be recognized (administrating the punishment on Killua himself) while Kalluto is the quiet one (although the preview hints on some fondness for Killua).

I like the selection of VAs this time around. Junko Iwao is wonderful as Kikyou, she masterfully portrays Kikyou as a mother who tries to maintain composure but is obviously unhinged. Milluki’s VA makes him sound childish…one of the more intriguing choices regarding this adaptation. The child-like voice contrasts with his appearances and adds a layer of vulnerability and insecurity to an otherwise easily despicable character.

Perhaps I don’t watch as much anime, or read as much manga but it’s nice to see where nearly all the members of a dysfunctional family are treated as characters and not mere narrative devices.

Servitude 

This week we see a confrontation between Kanaria (an apprentice butler) and Gon. This is the second time manages to force an enemy to submission using sheer will power. It’s this charm that makes his words reach his enemy. Kurapika and Leorio know what Gon is capable of, they’ve seen him fight with Hanzo, he has something in him that can sway people.

When Kanaria asks why the two aren’t helping Gon, it shows their faces painted with the same determination we see in Gon. It really conveyed what Togashi was going for in the manga.

Kanaria’s plea, asking Killua to be ‘saved’ is a way to break her cold exterior and show the kind of compassion she has for him. It’s in these instances where Hunter x Hunter shines. The scene eradicates the obvious borders between master and servant. This wouldn’t have been possible had Gon not been in the picture.

I always say that Hunter x Hunter is both a celebration and criticism of humanity, this scene is one that fits the former.

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4 Comments

  1. The last part with Kanaria was beautifully executed, giving me high hopes about the upcoming arcs.

    The only thing they ruined was Leorio. It was supposed his time to shine!

    • I could also feel this massive shift in the mood in the series as well. I’m quite optimistic myself.

      Yeah, I remember he was supposed to be physically stronger than Kurapika and Gon. It’s was an odd choice to have all three of them open the door. I hope Leorio gets his chance soon. ;_;

  2. Very, very smart analysis of the Zoldyck family. I’m really glad to see bloggers talking about them in this fashion. You’re exactly right.

    • Thank you! Gee, now I’m flattered because i LOVE your analyses I read on psgels’ blog.

      I look at the family and almost every child in the Zoldyck is a representation or amalgamation of the seven basic roles children display when in a dysfunctional family.

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