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Thoughts on TotallyNotMark's Analysis of Hunter x Hunter #5: Greed Island Arc (pt.1)
TotallyNotMark is anime analyzer on Youtube. Popular for his Dragon Ball Analysis videos, he expanded to other anime series since 2020.
I liked TotallyNotMark's analysis style. His newbie perspective is entertaining and since he knows good writing. I'm amazed at the nuances he picks up on his first watch-through. So when he began his Hunter x Hunter reviews, I decided to follow him arc by arc writing my thoughts on his work.
This is the 5th part of my thoughts series. This part focuses on Greed Island Arc, which is vastly different than the brutal arc before it.
In preparatioin for this one, I wrote my "Bias Regarding GREED ISLAND Arc" in which I explain why I like the setting. That article offers more insight on my takes on TotallyNotMark in this one, but reading it isn't required. If you're ready, let's jump into the game world:
The video starts with JoyStation logo, what a good introduction to a review of MMORPG-based arc.
Greed Island is my favorite arc if you exclude Meruem parts of the next arc. The premise is good and even the weakest parts of this arc hit home to me. Just the fact that I designed a world like Greed Island before watching it is a huge reason I like it.
I didn't know they changed the staff with Greed Island OVA series. I watched the 2011-version only of the arc, and didn't feel the need to go back to the 1999-version. "Because of the change in direction, many fans don't consider it part of the original series." Nice to know.
TotallyNotMark says at 4:40 that "Gon proves in every scene how perceptive he is." This remark felt funny even though it's true. "Gon remember elements that he can apply to a later problem."
I didn't even consider the significance of Gon's remark "Ging not being the seller," until I heard this!
The plan to not buy the game but to work with whoever buys it is really smart, considering Gon and Killua know they have (little-to-)no chance of actually winning the auction.
The Killua's brother segment (6:10-6:55) "Togashi uses Milluki just to make him lose again and again trying to win one of the Greed Island games." This is a writing quirk I love about Togashi. He uses characters we know, in ways that fit their characterization even when they don't offer any narrative pay-off. It's a risky writing style but it adds realism to the world when you think about it.
7:00 Kurapika basically married Chains!
"Which suggests that Kurapika didn't conjure a Shovel for the purpose of burying Uvo, but he brought one in advance." I wish I touched on this "Shovel" bit in my third article too, because I'm a part of the fandom that thinks the same it's awesomely funny!!
TotallyNotMark described Gon and Killua's power-up strategies in this way: "They decided to lean into their past traumas from their family life." I love that description.
#FunFact: Killua's electricity power is only possible in the world on Nen to someone with a background like his, which makes it more awesome.
As Gon goes to the world, the video shows a Manga page from Ch.127. Oh, this manga page! I remember myself reading it, but I only appreciate it now seeing it on TotallyNotMark's video.
He says at 9:30 "I'm honestly so jealous I want to be there. But honestly not, because I'll probably almost definitely die." Perfect Comment on the first scene we saw in Greed Island!
At 10:02: "Welcome to Hating Ging Freecks Every Week" by TotallyNotMark:
"Welcome Gon. This is the game I made with my friends. Go ahead and enjoy. If you thought there'd be any clue to help you find me... Too bad. I just wanted to show off our game. Now you're stuck in this game until you find the item that lets you out. Enjoy the game." --- Best Worst Dad Ging.
...and Gon told killua:
"Yeah, Ging told me to enjoy the game." --- Best Broken Son: Gon.
TotallyNotMark thinks that if that's the only thing Gon thought was worth repeating from his father's words, it says a lot about his character. That's brutal...
Also, notice he always says Ging and never "father."
After starting the game, Gon and Killua are introduced to the Meta-game and the other characters playing Greed Island:
Since the objective is to collect all the limited cards in the game...
Some players strategy is to kill other players to free up cards.
Others work to pile up cards so other players won't have the opportunity to get them.
I never thought of it in the way TotallyNotMark explained it, but it seems the game was designed this way on purpose in-universe.
TotallyNotMark views the character Gon completely differently than the way I view him. While I agree that Gon is only angry about people not enjoying the game, I don't think he does that because of denial this time. In my view: He genuinely thinks that they play the game wrong, and would've said that even if his father wasn't involved in making it.
THE GAME! Believe me or not, I had an idea for a game that worked like Greed Island years before watching that specific arc in the anime. (But it was already in the manga by the time I came with my own version.) GREED ISLAND is my favorite setting in Hunter x Hunter world!
...I'm totally against TotallyNotMark on the game aspect. (See the rant at 14:01-16:10,) My favorite thing about this arc is that Togashi goes out of his way, (and the story way too,) to teach us how the game works. Not necessarily good for storytelling, but it's amazingly original.
I wish there was more artwork for the cards though... That might've made reading it for its own fun enjoyable.
"This game isn't Virtual Reality. It's taking place in the real world."Wham Line!
I agree with everything said about Bisky. Watch the parts between 18:03 - 19:21! It's exactly how would I describe her character and impact on the story.
Biscuit tells the kids to fight the guy she just beat & he dies if he loses against them. "Gon shows no Malice for the guy despite what Bisky said about him." CONGRATS!! YOU GOT ANOTHER PIECE OF GON's MORALITY PUZZLE!
The Training Arc is my favorite part of Greed Island. (I say that about everything here, right? This is my favorite to re-watch then.)
TotallyNotMark states that "Whenever you feeling you get too much exposition, it's always an indication of something awesome being around the corner." To be honest, that's an observation I never made myself and I can't stop thinking of examples from my recent memory right.
"Greed Island, if played in the correct order, naturally makes the player stronger." Bisky thinks that Ging made this game to make Gon stronger. Well, that's probably true...
I love how Togashi introduces many plots then ends some of them in the swiftest way possible. As explained in the video at 22:00... This author gets bored really fast and I love that!
"This game isn't a virtual reality. It's set in the real world." That twist is TotallyNotMark's favorite, and it's mine too. This was spoiled on me before watching the arc, but I was mind-blown by how casually it was revealed.
TotallyNotMark's comments on Razor 23:42 "He also seems to know Ging, so this arc wasn't a waste of time after all." We'll come back to this later.
Killua gets his license deservedly briefly~ "It took me longer to get here, than it took to get the license."
"Chrollo Lucifer." That's another wham line. Also what Mark says at 26:26 that Chrollo is surely(?) drawn with different materials, is something I can't unsee, and now I notice & waster time to appreciate Chrollo's art while I'm looking for images for this post and probably every post from now on... Nice!!
TotallyNotMark didn't mention it here, but Kurapika's phone call with Gon and the rest is one of my favorite parts of Greed Island. Neon can't tell the future anymore, and Nostrade family is done. What will Kurapika do?
Now Hisoka joins the game, and I want to know.
I don't have a lot to comment on TotallyNotMark's outro except that I'm so excited for what he has to see in the second portion.
I loved TotallyNotMark's introduction to this part of the story that I really enjoyed, and I had fun listening to him even on the parts I disagreed a lot with. Now I have a reader who enjoys this series of articles, (on Hive at least.) I'm excited more for TotallyNotMark's opinion on the second half of Greed Island.
The second half of Greed Island is slower, but it offers a deeper look on the main character's minds. The payoff of their training will be shown in a more direct way. Also, Razor is best Game Master!
I take too long in each of those articles so I hope not to take as long in the remaining reviews.
First image is the video's thumbnail. Subsequent images are taken from the Manga-scans of this portion of the story.
This article is a cross-post here on Read.cash and Hive's Ecency. Different images used there.