TotallyNotMark is Youtuber specializing in #anime analysis. Popular for his Dragon Ball videos, he expanded to other anime series since 2020. He's currently reviewing Berserk after the sad news of the death of its author.
TotallyNotMark notices a lot of the nuances in his first watch-through, that I miss. He's also good at writing analysis, so his insight on good writing is fascinating to me. I'm following his Hunter x Hunter reviews on arc-by-arc-basis, and below is my article reviewing his 6th review, of the series' fifth arc.
This is a continuation of my thoughts on TotallyNotMark's Greed Island Arc review. In the previous part, we joined Gon and Killua in a video game, trained a lot, Killua went to the Hunter Exam and got his license, and finally we learned that Hisoka joined the fun under the alias: Chrollo Lucifer. This time, we'll be playing Dodge Ball, with Razor and Tag with the Bomber!
The Review Video:
While I see some sense in TotallyNotMark statement in the opening section of his review, that many parts of Greed Island don't use the mechanic of the world, I do think Togashi uses the setting quite well. It never bothered me...
Just knowing they're in a game world, changes the characters' perspective on things.
The game gave Gon and Killua a non-lethal reason to start training. A good reason for their teacher to be there, and a way to measure their progress. (Cards are ranked by the difficulty of obtaining them.)
In retrospect, the game setting reveals things about Gon and Killua's personality you wouldn't have gotten anywhere else while having an interesting story at the same time. Like Gon's attention to detail even when speaking to NPCs, and how Gon and Killua behave when they don't have an urgent goal to adhere to.
I agree that Togashi could've used the setting better, but that's not necessary to create a good story. One example I want to give is Sword Art Online, every arc up to introduce a different setting to the story. These settings aren't used to enhance the narrative most of the time, but it doesn't make the story nor the setting any less interesting to me.
The comparison between the movies Sing and Zootopia at 3:40 put the thought into perspective, so I thank TotallyNotMark for that. I still don't fully agree, as I think an interesting setting itself even if not used correctly, still deserves praise as a setting.
(5:05 - 6:44) I love the way TotallyNotMark. compared the structure o Greed Island and its effect on the story to previous arcs. When he puts it this way, he's right. Greed Island is a waiting room. There's not a lot of progress, just a lot of lore. I can understand why it seems boring if that's the case.
I think TotallyNotMark demands too much focus in the story direction that many weekly Mangaka can't afford to spare in their writing.
It's okay to have a side-story arc like the events happening in Greed Island. I also think that the true purpose of this arc is to have Gon and Killua develop their friendship further. As someone explained in a video praising the arc. This setting was the perfect place to do so away from the world.
TotallyNotMark looked back at some of the scenes in the first half and realized that they don't affect the overall story of Greed Island. I think that might be the case, but using the Phantom Troupe's role in this arc as an example isn't a good idea. From a structure perspective, they're used to introduce some rules of the game, introduce Razor to the reader and be the reason for Hisoka's involvement! Maybe it's only context, but it's also an efficient use of characters, isn't it?
I totally agree with this review on Razor! He's my favorite part of this arc!!
The first attempt failed, (quite intentionally,) but at least we got Hisoka on the team now. That scene (8:28) was so uncomfortable... I totally understand TotallyNotMark's "Why though?"
Dodge Ball = Best Shonen Moment in Hunter X Hunter!! (This is only because most of the best moments in this series are more fit to Seinen Manga than a Shonen one...)
The Dodge Ball match was the perfect challenge for Gon. Both from personality and ability points. I like how TotallyNotMark points out that the author uses all the personality traits & powers of the characters involved to add impact to the scene. Gon's tenacity and even Hisoka's Bungee Gum are used for the final point. This was really the best part of the arc, and I'm including the ending that TotallyNotMark loves so much.
The thing about Killua's hands during the match was messed up. It shows Gon's trust in his best friend, and Killua appreciates that so much. Hence why the scene is uplifting. (12:54.) However, it's also a sign of Gon's worst flaw: He doesn't care about his well-being and is willing to drag his friends down with him to some extent.
15:27: I think most of us felt down when we had to return to Greed Island after the Dodge Ball match ended. Razor felt like a Final Boss material, and Bomber is a terrible DLC Boss. Still, I'm enjoying the lore the rest of the arc provided us, so I didn't mind it so much.
Contrasting Gon and Bomber is really interesting, but I never thought of the example at 17:00 of the video. I thought Gon was a good person to get this card by being kind, but I never contrasted this with Bomber's action of getting the cards by swindling.
One Piece and Hunter x Hunter are written differently so I agree with what's being said here: (17:30 - 19:00.)
I would still recommend one to the fans of the other because they're different.
I also agree that Togashi didn't write the Bomber as skillfully as Oda does his villains, but you can't compare a writer's weakness against another's strength. Hunter x Hunter is more realistic in its portrayals of the antagonists. Its subtlety is its strength!
19:55: "It used and was necessitated by the rules of the game." That's what I expected you to say at this part.
I really love the part where Gon acts so crazy that he makes the Bomber (who killed hundreds of people) step back in fear.
TotallyNotMark knows this by now, but he mistakenly implies in the video that Biksy enhanced her body to be this strong and big. In fact, Bisky's adult form is her true form, and her child form is unexplained usage of Nen that made her look younger after wishing it.
One fan theory regarding this is that she's doing Specialist Hatsu ability. (Or became one at some point in her life.) This result can't be achieved with the 5 other categories of Nen.
It's strange but moments like when Gon had to choose which cards to take really take you off-guard with how much sense it makes. After all, Gon isn't known for his intelligence... It seems Gon is only smart when it's tied to his direct goals. He comes with the most creative solutions to unsolvable problems.
23:25: "Hello Mr. Chapter 1."
Meeting Kite after so long? Amazing~
Meeting Kite while expecting to meet Ging? Not so much~
One of the most interesting things about this arc's ending is the meeting between Kite and Gon. (Too bad for people who only watched the 2011 version, but it's explained later, I guess...) This directly leads to the Chimera Ants arc which in my opinion is the best arc in the
That's all for today's article!
The next part is Chimera Ant's arc. As of this writing, I watched a few minutes of the review video for it. TotallyNotMark's videos offer interesting insights, so I'm excited to see his reaction the some of the scenes in that arc.
These articles take too long to write and publish, but I hope to finish the remaining TotallyNotMark's reviews.
The 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 were used there.
For more Hunter x Hunter:
Read my thoughts on TotallyNotMark's Hunter Exam Arc Review.
Read my thoughts on his Heavens Arena Arc Review.
The two parts of York New City Arc and Here.
Thoughts on the first part of Greed Island & the article explaining my Bias toward this arc.