C&C - Hunter x Hunter - "Past × And × Future" [6/22] (SERIES FINALE)

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veemonjosh

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Characters:


Gon Freecss
Voiced by: Erica Mendez
Gon is a young boy from Whale Island who became a Hunter to venture the world and find his father. His quest eventually led him to meet a Hunter named Kite and become involved with a battle against a destructive species known as Chimera Ants. The war against the Ants was long with many casualties, including Kite, which drove Gon to the breaking point in which he sacrificed his ability to use Nen to gain a temporary boost of power strong enough to take out one of the Ant King’s Royal Guard. In the aftermath, he fell into a coma with life-threatening injuries, but finally recovered thanks to Killua and Alluka. He parted with Killua, who’s gone on his own journey, and is preparing to scale the World Tree and speak with his father.


Ging Freecss
Voiced by: Marc Diraison
A Double-Star Ruins Hunter and Gon's father, Ging is shy and stubborn, but has a childlike enthusiasm, being carefree and eccentric. No matter how impossible something may seem, Ging always goes for a goal, making sure to enjoy the journey along the way. Due to his constant travels, and his own personality, Ging hasn’t seen Gon since his son was a baby. But he left various clues along the way, preparing Gon for the day they’d eventually meet, which they finally have. Now he has one last challenge for Gon, to scale the World Tree.



Episode 148
"Past × And × Future"
Chapters adapted: 338-339

Last time:
Gon apologized to Kite for not being strong enough to save him. Kite told him they'll always be friends and that he should go get to know his dad. Gon returned to the Election Hall, only to find a note that Ging had gone to the World Tree. Gon, Killua, and Alluka journeyed to the World Tree, where Killua revealed Alluka's powers to Gon. Killua vowed to protect his sister and said farewell to Gon, promising they'll meet again. Gon in turn promised to introduce Killua to Ging when they met again.

This time:
Gon climbs to the top of the World Tree where Ging is expecting him, and the two finally have a heart to heart talk.

Notes:
  • This is the final episode of the Hunter x Hunter (2011) anime. There are no plans for the anime to return at this time, largely due to the fact that the next saga is still going in the manga thanks to Togashi’s infamous hiatuses.
    • If you’d like to read the next arc, the “Dark Continent Expedition Arc”, it starts with the final chapter of volume 32, chapter 340, and runs to chapter 348 in volume 33. The current manga arc, the “Succession Contest Arc”, starts on chapter 349 and is still going with the most recent, chapter 390.
  • Keep an eye out in the opening minutes of this episode for a magazine cover with a cameo of a character from another Madhouse anime, which was the series which replaced the HxH anime in its Japanese timeslot. This same series aired on Toonami years ago (I did the talkbacks for that too), and, funnily enough, here it was the show that HxH replaced.
  • The chapters which this episode covers can be found in volume 32 of the manga release.
  • Toonami ran a poll this past week to pick a fan favorite Hunter x Hunter episode, which will reair next week. The winner is episode 135, the episode where Meruem and Komungi died.
  • Episodes 1-99 are currently available across five Bluray/DVD sets from Viz Media. The sixth set, containing episodes 100-123, will be out August 13th. The two movies, “Phantom Rouge” and “The Last Mission”, are also now available.
  • And to part with, I just want to thank you all for participating in these talkback threads over the last three years. This is certainly the longest series I’ve ever done talkbacks for, and I’m glad I was able to do them. Farewell Gon, until we can smile again.
 
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Gold Guy

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I'll be sad to see the series go; it was among my favorites of the recent Toonami shows. But it's been a great journey. Hopefully, one day the anime can continue (and Toonami can pick it up).
 

Mr. Anime

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Goodbye once more, Hunter x Hunter anime. While I'll never be convinced that you are the "Greatest series to come out of Shonen Jump ever" and find your constant subversions and deconstructions at times to be deeply frustrating when you were good like this arc we close out on, you were really good.

Now please finish the manga sometime next decade, Togashi.
 
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Yojimbo

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Fitting end with Ging and Gon swapping stories. Ging's advice was also perfect as a way to end the anime and because Gon's already been doing it more or less.

Nice bonus to learn about Ging's archaeology project as it was hinted about long ago after the Hunter exam.

The meowing chicks and mama bird was classic HxH. lol.

Kurapika's been busy getting his peoples' eyes back. That was a church he was in?

I guess from this point, I'll post some thoughts in the manga talkback once I up read on the next arcs.

I read there were 2 movies, too. Any good?
 
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PicardMan

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HunterXHunter just accomplished something, lasting roughly 140 episodes without being taken off Toonami. Not even YuYu Hakusho could do that. I'm surprised that this show was as successful as it was considering how it's like. This wasn't a pure battle shonen. Sure, it had battle shonen elements, but it also had elements of adventure, drama, thriller, sometimes horror, and other elements. Only Heaven's Arena was a pure battle shonen arc. Years after airing, cons are filled with 30 year olds cosplaying as Gon and Killua. At least the hardcores have been in love with the show, but it seems that casuals are at least aware of the show and it's ratings did well through most of the show except for a slump during the chimera ant arc. This is definitely one of the best shows of the modern Toonami block and Toonami feels pretty empty without it.
 

Yojimbo

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Mostly standard Shonen stuff. I'd say the second film is worth watching just for the amazing animation alone. But both films slightly suffer for dealing with themes that the show would handle later (and better).
Noted. And from what I've been able to ascertain, they're canon stories, right?
 

veemonjosh

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Comicbook.com ran an article about the dub ending, with some parting words from the dub voice actors.

Noted. And from what I've been able to ascertain, they're canon stories, right?
The first one is semi-canon; There's flashback scenes that provide new information on Kurapika's past, which are based on a two chapter special that Togashi made around the same time. Otherwise, they're very difficult to place in canon due to the tight narrative between arcs.

If you were to insert them, "Phantom Rouge" would be set after the Yorknew arc but before Gon and Killua enter Greed Island, while "The Last Mission" would be after they meet Kite but before they arrive at the NGL.
 
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WickedChild

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Not knowing how this scene played out in the manga, it's hard to say if it would work, but based on what we learned in this finale, it seems like it would've been a better use of time to have this final mini-arc setting up a future adventure to this "new world" Ging described, than spending all this time on an ultimately pointless political plot. Not only would this do a lot more to leave the viewer wanting more, knowing there is a whole lot more to explore, but it's also a better overall way to close the current series - knowing we've seen most of what's to see in the "known" world, but there's all this more out there if we ever want to come back to it.

Not to mention it's a convenient way to leave some of the unanswered questions hanging - we can just assume, for example, that Nanika probably comes from this same world, like the ants and the world tree. I don't know if the manga actually goes this direction, but it seems like it's the sensible direction if Togashi really wants to keep it going for a long time, especially after teasing it at what's basically the major turning point of the series.

As for Ging himself, I get his whole live-for-the-moment attitude, but the next logical question Gon should have asked is "if that's how you want to live, then why did you have a kid?" I was hoping that would lead to some info on Gon's mom, but I guess Gon's not interested in that too much. I mean I get it - meeting Ging doesn't really matter in the end because what really matters is the friends and experiences Gon gained in his quest to find Ging. But...having a goal is kinda important too, and having reached his initial goal, these questions should be important to Gon.

Ging's seeming indifference to Gon at the beginning of the series is the primary narrative thrust, and at this point we should have learned something that made Ging's decision more understandable on a human level. But if all we're left with is this idea that the journey is SO much more important than the destination that Ging truly never cared about Gon from the beginning (cause he just wanted to get to his next adventure), and Gon in return is so unconcerned about this that he doesn't even ask about his mom...that's not a very satisfying arc and leaves Ging ultimately as unrelatable as he seemed from the beginning. And Gon is well on his way to being just as unrelatable as his dad. Which makes me the view less eager to follow Gon on further adventures.

And holy crap I totally forgot about Aunt Mito! I guess she was too busy folding laundry to visit Gon in the hospital...
 

Yojimbo

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There's actually several things throughout this election arc, that sets up things for the next arc that continues in the manga. What Ging wants is just the most obvious one. Trust me, they spend a lot of time setting it up in the next several chapters...

Well, if Gon's mom has gone this long in the series without a mention, she's a super villain. :p
 
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Endeavor24

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And just like that another series that I fond of ended. I will give the show credit on giving us an ending that satisfying especially with Ging. I was so sure we will never see Gon meet Ging and definitely not this soon but we got exactly that. The show started with Gon wanted to meet his father and it ended with him achieving his goal. Sure there are other pilot threads unresolved but I more than okay thinking this is the ending act one so to speak.

As for Gon, he might be my favorite protagonist in any show in regards to how he is handled. At first, he is a character type that you have seen countless times, but as the show goes on you see signs that there is something wrong with him, even before he threatened to murder a helpless blind girl.

Anyone who likes this show I recommend you watch this video.
Its a great analysis video on Gon's morality that points out several subtle clues that I missed while on first viewing. It highlights how carefully crafted the character was by the author and why he is one of the more unique shounen protagonists.
 

PicardMan

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I have heard rumors that the chairman election arc was inspired by real life political events occurring at the time it was written.
 

Light Lucario

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Not knowing how this scene played out in the manga, it's hard to say if it would work, but based on what we learned in this finale, it seems like it would've been a better use of time to have this final mini-arc setting up a future adventure to this "new world" Ging described, than spending all this time on an ultimately pointless political plot. Not only would this do a lot more to leave the viewer wanting more, knowing there is a whole lot more to explore, but it's also a better overall way to close the current series - knowing we've seen most of what's to see in the "known" world, but there's all this more out there if we ever want to come back to it.
I don't think I'd call the political plot pointless. It seemed like buildup for future arcs, especially with Pariston, and unfortunately, the anime just isn't able to cover the payoff for that buildup yet. That is a big problem with ending the series on this arc. They didn't really have much of a choice. They couldn't really give Hunter x Hunter an anime only ending simply because there were too many unresolved plot threads to do that, but it does make the experience more frustrating for anime only watchers.

WickedChild said:
As for Ging himself, I get his whole live-for-the-moment attitude, but the next logical question Gon should have asked is "if that's how you want to live, then why did you have a kid?" I was hoping that would lead to some info on Gon's mom, but I guess Gon's not interested in that too much. I mean I get it - meeting Ging doesn't really matter in the end because what really matters is the friends and experiences Gon gained in his quest to find Ging. But...having a goal is kinda important too, and having reached his initial goal, these questions should be important to Gon.
They already made it clear that Gon wasn't interested in learning about his birth mother. Gon stopped Ging's recording right before talking about her because Gon sees Aunt Mito as his mother. I remember that scene caused some backlash here for similar reasons, but I never really thought it was a problem. It really isn't that different from kids choosing to not learn about their birth parents because they're happy with their adopted parents. For some people, learning about their birth parents would be important for them, but that wouldn't be the case for other people. Gon doesn't need to know about his mother when he's happy with his Aunt Mito as his mother figure. Gon suddenly asking why Ging decided to have a kid would be kind of out of character for him. Finding out why Ging had a kid with someone and who or possibly where his mother is wouldn't be important to Gon.

WickedChild said:
Ging's seeming indifference to Gon at the beginning of the series is the primary narrative thrust, and at this point we should have learned something that made Ging's decision more understandable on a human level. But if all we're left with is this idea that the journey is SO much more important than the destination that Ging truly never cared about Gon from the beginning (cause he just wanted to get to his next adventure), and Gon in return is so unconcerned about this that he doesn't even ask about his mom...that's not a very satisfying arc and leaves Ging ultimately as unrelatable as he seemed from the beginning. And Gon is well on his way to being just as unrelatable as his dad. Which makes me the view less eager to follow Gon on further adventures.
I don't think that the series was ever particularly interested in making Ging more understandable or relatable. He was a goal for Gon to reach towards, but he never came off as a particularly good person. That seemed especially clear during this arc when he had no desire to go see Gon, was indifferent towards the whole election and was planning to leave after he thought he knew how the election would turn out. Even their positive interactions during this episode didn't really drastically improve my opinion on Ging as a person or a father.

I also don't know if this makes Gon unrelatable mainly because he was never interested in learning about something like his mother or what led to his birth. He wanted to learn more about Ging and be able to meet him, but that was about it. Gon being unconcerned that Ging may never have actually cared about him and that he didn't ask about his mother is pretty fitting for his character.

WickedChild said:
And holy crap I totally forgot about Aunt Mito! I guess she was too busy folding laundry to visit Gon in the hospital...
To be fair, I don't know if any of the Hunters would have contacted her to be aware of Gon's critical condition or what her presence would have added. There were already a lot of characters who Gon met over the course of the series trying to help him, but Gon didn't interact with almost any of them, which makes the inclusion of many supporting characters kind of feel like hallow fanservice. I'm still upset that Biscuit didn't get a chance to talk to Gon after he healed and especially that he didn't get a farewell with Leorio.

Anyway, I thought that this episode was pretty good. The World Tree was just beautiful and I liked how there were some highlights of the series as Gon started to get to the climbing point of the tree. I Gon's interactions with Ging were a lot more positive than I expected them to be. Ging always looking for what he doesn't have does fit with his personality. He seems interested in only chasing after something he doesn't want and then moves onto the next thing. That's basically how he treated the election too. I liked the message behind Ging's story. The real treasure were all the friends Gon made along the way. That is a sweet message, especially for the series finale. I wasn't surprised by the buildup for the Dark Continent. I heard about that for quite some time, so it was expected that there would be some buildup for it here.

I was kind of surprised with how well Gon and Ging clicked with each other, but it does make sense. I think that they have similar personalities. Ging is more blatantly self-centered compared to Gon, but Gon usually is focused on helping himself or his friends. If it doesn't affect his friends, then he doesn't usually get that upset. If he had no personal connection to Kite, Gon wouldn't have gone to such length to avenge him. I don't think that Gon is completely selfish and he does care about other people, but I think he also simply goes for whatever he doesn't have. Perhaps not to the extreme extent that Ging goes for, but I think Gon has a more subtle kind of version of that kind of self satisfaction. Plus, he would be happy to finally meet Ging after all this time. I still don't think that Ging comes off as a good person or especially a good father, but to be fair, the show never tried to paint him as either one. I just think having them connect well with their first conversation was nice and fitting for their personalities.

I was annoyed that all Gon had from that power up was a small scar. I honestly forgot that he even lost an arm during the fight, so that seemed a bit frustrating. I'm aware of some of the spoilers of future arcs, but for anime viewers, that makes the whole situation much less meaningful and impactful when the anime indicates that Gon only has a small scar that he can easily over up as a result of that power up.

It was really cool to see a lot of characters featured in the ending credits while the full version of the opening played. I was quite surprised to see where Kurapika was all this time. I don't know if he found more of his people's eyes or if he was guarding them for a job. I still don't like that Leorio didn't get a farewell with Gon and Killua, but at least he was in contact with Killua. Seeing that Meruem and Komugi were still holding hands even in death was far more heartbreaking than I could have expected. I didn't think that Gon would be back with Kite and his group, but I didn't think he would stay with Ging either. They probably just made an agreement to meet again sometime, which would be fitting for both of them. Repeating that same message about the side quests might be more important than what you're hunting for was still a nice note to end the series on.

I'll save my thoughts on the series as a whole for another post, so I'll talk about this arc. The Election arc might be the most mixed Hunter x Hunter arc for me. There are plenty of good moments and aspect to the arc. After what feels like ages, Leorio gets some screentime. Punching Ging was immensely satisfying to see, but I also love his desperate plea for everyone to save Gon and his emotional reunion upon seeing that Gon was okay. It was some of his best moments in the series, which admittedly he doesn't have a lot of to begin with considering how he doesn't really appear that often, and helped to make up for not appearing in ages. The race to save Gon was intense, especially with nearly everyone trying to stop Killua from using Alluka's powers. Despite how Alluka came out of nowhere, I liked Killua's relationship with his sister. It was nice to see him have a positive relationship with one of his family members and he does truly care about her. The election itself was also pretty engaging since I didn't know how it would turn out or change the Hunters Association. It ended rather anticlimactically, but I suspect that is primarily because we don't see the aftermath of the election or what will happen with Pariston.

While I like Killua's relationship with Alluka, I wish she was mentioned or hinted at before they needed an instant fix it button to heal Gon. The rules for her powers at first sounded like a reasonable way for her to not become completely overpowered, but that kind of goes out the window once they introduced the difference between a wish and an order. Not to mention there were already a lot of rules in place, so it was kind of hard to follow everything clearly. This is especially problematic when they now potentially have a way to undo any serious life threatening damage within the main cast without having any consequence. Not sealing away Nanika was an unexpected twist and a part of me likes it, but at the same time, it could potentially render any tension moot when Killua just needs to order for Nanika to heal someone to save them.

Few of the Zodiac members even stand out despite this being introduced in this arc. This admittedly doesn't bother me that much when there was already quite a bit to do within this relatively short arc, but I do think it contributes to the issue of introducing a bunch of new characters all at once. I'm not even sure if the Zodiacs were mentioned or hinted at earlier either. I don't think that the arc itself was rushed. There were times where I thought it was moving a bit too slowly with all of the buildup and exposition, especially about Alluka's powers. However, I do think that the resolution to the arc was rushed. Despite how many supporting characters throughout the series were there to help Gon, he didn't interact with them on screen. Having them appear does kind of feel fitting as a last arc for the anime kind of way, but it doesn't really mean much if they don't get a chance to talk to Gon. The least they could have done was have some of the more key supporting characters who had important relationships with Gon interact with him briefly after he recovered. While I liked Leorio's hearfelt relief to see that Gon was alive, it was quite strange and upsetting that he didn't say goodbye to Gon before going back to studying.

Ideally, I think having one or maybe two episodes devoted to the aftermath of Gon's recovery and meeting up with characters who were there to help him would have helped a lot. I would have preferred that over devoting half an episode to a random Chimera Ant. I still have mixed feelings on Kite being reincarnated, but that could be part of more setup for future arcs. This also would have made the transition from the election to Gon going towards the World Tree feel much more natural, or at least less jarring. I also would have preferred a good reason as to why Gon and Killua went their separate ways. I wouldn't be surprised if it worked a bit better with the anime than the manga simply because the main duo going their separate ways right before the series finale kind of makes sense. I was just expecting more of a reason for why they'd go their separate ways or more buildup instead of having it just happen all of a sudden.

The biggest problem with the Election arc isn't really a flaw of the arc itself. It is providing setup for future arcs and plot threads that haven't been animated yet, or possibly haven't even been written yet in the manga. Seeing the payoff for this buildup wouldn't fix everything about the Election arc, but I think that not getting to see the next arc compounds the flaws of this arc to make it more frustrating for anime viewers. Gon being able to meet Ging does give the anime a full circle kind of feeling. Gon started out the series wanting to meet his father, so ending after they had met is kind of fitting and works as a good stopping point. It just doesn't work as a series finale and that's not the arc's fault, or the anime's fault for that matter. They were kind of in a tough spot. They obviously couldn't create an anime only ending for Hunter x Hunter. There would be too many plot threads left unresolved for them to consider that and the chances are pretty good there would have been backlash from fans if they tried to end the storyline themselves. Ending on the Chimera Ant arc would have been too depressing as well. Ending with an arc that effectively further wraps up the Chimera Ant arc while also setting up new storylines for future arcs at the same time was really their only option, especially when it does end the series on a more positive/upbeat note than it could have otherwise.

It might not be that frustrating for anime fans if this series' nickname wasn't Hiatus x Hiatus. Because of all the frequent breaks the series takes, there's not much for them to adapt, even though this series ended years ago, and it's really hard to say when there could possibly be a continuation given this inconsistent release schedule. I'm kind of surprised that the manga is still going on in Shonen Jump with all of this frequent breaks instead of moving it to another magazine or canceling it altogether. Although, I think that the manga volumes still sell pretty well, so that might give them more of a reason to keep the series in their magazine. I'll have to take some time to figure how where I'd rank the Election arc among the other arcs in the series. It certainly isn't a bad arc, but it does feel rather mixed for multiple reasons. Being able to see the payoff for all of this new setup would certainly improve the arc in a few ways for me, but I don't think it would make it one of my favorite arcs in the series either.
 
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Lawren22

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Shonen Jump made a special deal with Togashi after YYH. He was disappointed that he couldn't deconstruct the characters the way they wanted and wouldn't let him takes breaks despite his health issues so he said that he wouldn't write another long series for them unless he was allowed to do almost anything he wanted with the stroy and characters and could take breaks whenever he wanted. Do to the success of YYH ,they decide to agree to his terms. That's why they will not cancel HxH( well that and becuse when a volume comes out it does to better than most of their other series)
 

Yojimbo

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They already made it clear that Gon wasn't interested in learning about his birth mother. Gon stopped Ging's recording right before talking about her because Gon sees Aunt Mito as his mother. I remember that scene caused some backlash here for similar reasons, but I never really thought it was a problem. It really isn't that different from kids choosing to not learn about their birth parents because they're happy with their adopted parents. For some people, learning about their birth parents would be important for them, but that wouldn't be the case for other people. Gon doesn't need to know about his mother when he's happy with his Aunt Mito as his mother figure. Gon suddenly asking why Ging decided to have a kid would be kind of out of character for him. Finding out why Ging had a kid with someone and who or possibly where his mother is wouldn't be important to Gon.

I also don't know if this makes Gon unrelatable mainly because he was never interested in learning about something like his mother or what led to his birth.
True, but I'm all for a surprise like she's also a revered member in the Hunter's Association or randomly shows up as a replacement member in the Phantom Troupe.
 

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