Original Airdate: January 29th, 2012
Toonami Airdate: August 20th, 2016
Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Hunter x Hunter recap! Since I don’t have anything witty or important to say, let’s just get on with the show!
As Gon continues to feel frustrated over his encounter with Hisoka in the last episode, we shift focus onto Killua to see what he’s up to. He seems to be walking in the woods by himself, but he’s also being watched by Imori. Killua, aware of his presence, begins to approach him and challenges him to a fight. Imori then starts to worry about what will happen if he retreats or not, mainly worrying about being scolded by his brothers. Just then, his brothers show up to, you guesses it, scold him about not wanting to fight Killua. Still reluctant to fight, Imori decides to fight Killua anyway, since he has his brothers to back him up if he ever gets in trouble. He kicks Killua out of the way to try and stop him, but Killua gets back up without any scratches almost immediately and was able to snatch Imori’s badge without him noticing. Shocked at Killua’s abilities, the three brothers team up to try and unleash their attack formation onto Killua, but he’s able to outspeed any of them and holds one of the brothers hostage until he gets badge 199 from the other one. After getting the badge he wanted, Killua throws the other two off in the distance, making them harder to find. While the two badges were flying, Hanzo (aka, the other superpowered baldy on the block), who was watching Killa while the fight was going down, is able to grab one of them mid-flight, but it turns out to be the wrong number, since Killua switched the two badges prior to tossing them. As Hanzo is giving up on the hunt, Killua starts looking for Gon to see how he’s doing.
Meanwhile, Kurapika and Leorio are thinking out their strategy for obtaining the next badge. Leorio suggests looking at the starting point for the applicant, and Kurapika agrees with the suggestion, since there’s only a day left of the phase anyway. As they continue plotting, Gon comes out from the tree to assist them with their hunt for Leorio’s target badge. Gon asks who he’s looking for, and Leorio tells him that he’s looking for #256, Ponzu. Since Ponzu is known for using chemical weapons, Kurapika gets the idea to have Gon track her down using the scent of her chemicals. After a montage of Gon and the crew looking for Ponzu, they’re able to come across a cave where she’s hiding, and Leorio tells Gon and Kurapika to stay back while he goes after Ponzu himself. Kurapika tells Leorio that if he doesn’t hear from him within 30 minutes, they’re coming in regardless of what he says. Leorio initially rejects their help, but after they refused to leave, Leorio accepts their help anyway and has them hold onto his briefcase, just in case (no pun intended). At the end of the cave, he encounters Bourbon and Ponzu. She tells Leorio that even if he’s able to beat her, he’ll never be able to leave. As the 30 minutes are approaching, Gon and Kurapika start to worry about Leorio, and just shortly after showing their concerns, Leorio yells at the two not to come into the cave. Worried, the two dash into the cave anyway to see Leorio lying on the floor covered in snake bites. The poison isn’t too strong, but the sheer amount of bites were enough to paralyze and leave Leorio in a critical condition. The two try to get him out of the cave, but Ponzu tells them that they’re trapped by an army of snakes that were summoned by Bourbon earlier to protect the place. Kurapika tries to reason with Bourbon to disarm the trap, but he already died by his own trap earlier, leaving them trapped in the cave by the end of the episode.
The first half of the episode wasn’t anything special. While it was entertaining to see Killua beat the three brothers and I was amused by Hanzo getting the wrong number, the real meat of this episode lies with the second half, which was actually pretty good, especially towards the end. This episode does a really good job at building tension for the next episode by raising the stakes really freakin’ high. Not only are they trapped in a cave without any means of escaping, but Leorio’s life is also on the line. Yeah, Gon and his super-human abilities are most likely going to find a way for everyone to make it out alive, but it helps that he has to rely on his wits to find clever ways out of tough situations instead of pulling something out of his ass at the last minute, so you still don’t know how they’re gonna make it out, which is what makes Hunter x Hunter such an enjoyable and fresh experience compared to other shonen anime. I give this episode 8 snake traps out of 10