Hunter x Hunter 80 – The Most Upsetting Sunday Cartoon

[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 80 [720p].mkv_snapshot_07.53_[2013.05.19_23.09.33]

This episode will kill something inside you, perhaps it’s the spark of hope you always carried in your heart.

We’ve come a long way since the bright colored days of the Hunter Exam arc, and this episode makes me yearn for those days once again. This episode proves the purpose of the fillers weaved into the overall narrative, we get to see who these people are and we get a better understanding of the ongoings surrounding NGL. Hunter x Hunter builds up these characters, they’re more than an afterthought.

The first half introduces Gyro we get a more intimate view of a world Togashi has only hinted at during the course of the series. His story is told entirely in black and white, laden with grimy noise and grain that take over the screen.  It’s a great example of how to achieve mood with a few colors and an awareness of space. The sparseness of the visuals evoke the feeling of isolation, the central theme to Gyro’s story. Yes, a SHOUNEN sunday morning cartoon is showing you what good artistic direction is.

[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 80 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.48_[2013.05.19_21.11.56] - Copy [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 80 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.57_[2013.05.19_21.09.13] - Copy

Gyro’s circumstances led him to rule NGL, and the prospect of him being eaten by the queen leads to a very scary thought. Even Chimera Ant Yunju regrets not having eaten him. This is important because the only people who experience some twisted kind of ‘rebirth’ in the series are the humans eaten by the Queen herself.

The second half deals with Pokkle’s team and them discovering the events that have transpired in NGL. Suffice to say, the next few minutes of this episode are grueling and exhausting to watch. The utter helplessness of the situation makes it hard to watch, even for a manga reader who should be armed with the knowledge of what’s to come. That knowledge doesn’t do shit, it just makes the journey more agonizing. The build up really serves its purpose here, we know who Ponzu and Pokkle are and we get small hints as to what kind of relationship they have.

[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 79 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.53_[2013.05.12_21.23.14]

Never forget.

Pokkle being unable to protect two of his comrades, and Ponzu trying to find help to the best of her abilities struck a chord with me, and all it took was a few seconds of her resting her head on Pokkle’s back while he talks about his dream.

Kaito, Killua and Gon witnessing the aftermath doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Their faces as they look at what’s left of Ponzu clearly tell that even as professional Hunters, they’re unnerved by the aftermath.

It’s funny how Hunter x Hunter can be just as horrific or even more so than other shows in airing in later timeslots. Fears of censorship have been pushed aside and now we’re seeing what Madhouse is truly capable of.

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  1. My brother watched this last Sunday, I have something else to do so when I peeked to see what he’s watching, I just got to see the part where the archer is fighting the spider-ish guy. I thought “Awesome! I haven’t read the manga, so this guy might win and be more awesome! They might help Gon’s group!” Then he was knocked out and the girl, running away to get help, I then thought “Yes! She’s thinking positive that the guy might not be eaten yet!” Then she was killed. I said to my brother that the girl got horrible death, then he said “Just wait then you’ll see the archer get it worse. They’ll open his brain and extract information about nen.”
    Then, I don’t feel like watching the whole thing yet.

  2. Great review for this episode, was kind of a shock to me and very hard to keep watching since they start the story of the Queen ant, remind me of “Once Upon a Time in the West” when the director Sergio Leone in order to show how “bad” his Villain is, that he had a entire family kill (two Children’s and his father) every time I watch this movie I have to skip that scene

    In Hunter x Hunter is getting very dark and difficult for me to keep watching it, but I hope is gonna get better, in stories like this I always remember this Quote for “the return of The King”

    “Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.
    Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
    Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
    Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

    Thanks for your review and God Bless


  3. This episode covered much about the Chimera Ants’ army and how they dealt with the Army of the said “King”. And obviously, in addition to the weird character designs of minor characters, I bet Yoshihiro Togashi enjoyed doing all the designs of the different chimera ants. I’m just touched that even though Colt is a chimera ant resulted from a synthesized chimera ant and human cells, he still holds great honor on his side. Just look at how he managed to ignore the life of his human side’s mother when they were targeting a village and when he doesn’t want any children to be captured or be eaten.

  4. Gyro’s history was just too cruel. This episode was really interesting. Looks like even the hybrids have enemies lurking in the shadows. Innocents still dying as food… It’s time hunters get seriously involved.

  5. When will you cover another ep again? that was a long wait till you covered another HxH ep.. XD

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