Hunter x Hunter 44 – In Which Mankind Reigns Superior Once Again

So classy…

Uvo’s character design roughly resembles a man of the wild, a prehistoric man even. ¬†Given that he’s against three other men who took it upon themselves to not only base their abilities on an animal, but to make themselves look like them– the fight between Uvo and the Shadow Beasts almost feels like an allegory to man’s dominance over all living creatures. This makes sense in a way where earlier the mafia Uvo crushes is compared to ants.

What lead to the Shadow Beast’s demise isn’t just Uvo’s raw strength but his ability to think on the spot. What he says in the line above doesn’t just refer to eating people’s faces in half. In the short amount of time his enemies spent torturing him, Uvo devised a strategy.

In the world of Hunter x Hunter, it doesn’t take too long for the hunter to become the hunted. Taking into consideration the cannibalism that occurs early in this episode (Uvo does eat a part of Leech’s head after all) as well as mafia men collecting human body parts, life is cheap and it sure isn’t equal. It’s a tough theme to incorporate in a shounen anime, but it’s there.

This episode has yet to fully explain Kurapika’s nen abilities, so I’ll carefully thread the subject matter for non-manga readers.The concept of nen is rather thoroughly explained during the Heaven’s Arena, but what of the restrictions? When Kurapika uses Chain Jail, it is revealed that using this on someone who isn’t a Phantom Troupe member would kill him immediately, but this is the same restriction that makes this technique so powerful. After having Kurapika sacrifice so much to attain this strength, it does kind of make sense. But how does nen measure one’s resolve? Just some food for thought.

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  1. Great attention to detail! Hunter x Hunter has been a surprising joy these past couple of seasons, and I have yet to be disappointed by a single episode. The man vs. nature theme in 44 really jumps out clearly to me now, which also serves to highlight the higher mental faculties that nen users have over the average human being. Like you say, life isn’t equal, and even those who put in the time and effort aren’t guaranteed to survive, as the four shadow beasts so aptly demonstrate.

    • Glad to hear you’re enjoying the show so far! I’m impressed with how Madhouse is handling the dark subject matter. What makes nen users in HxH so frightening is that everyone is using their abilities to suit their own purposes, there’s little concern towards the common man. This message seems to perfectly suit the coming of age story unfolding before us.

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