Original Airdate: February 5th, 2012
Toonami Airdate: August 27th, 2016
Hello everybody, and welcome to another recap of Hunter x Hunter! Last time, our heroes got trapped in a cave of snakes, Bourbon Whiskey is dead, and they have one episode to get out. Let’s see how they’ll manage to get out of this slithery situation (I tried with the pun).
Continuing from the events of the last episode, Ponzu reveals that she was responsible for killing Bourbon, but she won’t say how she did it. Kurapika tries to approach Bourbon’s corpse for the antidote, but the snakes are still guarding him and won’t let anyone touch him. Kurapika then notices that Bourbon died from anaphylactic shock, or for those who have somehow never taken a health class, an extreme allergic reaction to bee stings. So basically, Ponzu killed Bourbon by reenacting everyone’s favorite scene from The Wicker Man, which was what lead her to the cave in the first place. Ponzu tells everyone to give up and wait for the comite to rescue them, but Kurapika refuses to risk letting Leorio die from the poisoning, so him and Gon try to see how they can get out. Gon then decides to risk his life to retrieve the antidote from Bourbon, and although he gets bitten by the snakes, he sucessfully finds the antidote and gives it to Kurapika. He then gives the antidote to both Leorio and Gon, which cures them from the poisoning. After recovering from his injuries, Gon offers to give her Bourbon’s badge if she lets him have the sleeping gas. His plan is to put the snakes asleep and run out of there while everyone’s holding their breath. Of course, with Gon’s superhuman senses, he’s able to hold his breath for up to 9 minutes and can escape without falling asleep. Once they finally escape from the cave, Gon leaves the badge with Ponzu, and he takes her badge to give to Leorio, thus putting an end to the fourth phase of the exam.
At the end of the exam, all of the applicants are called to the dock so that the 9 remaining applicants can proceed to the fifth and final phase of the exam. What is this final phase, you may ask? Well, since Togashi has a thing for putting tournament arcs in his manga (see: Yu Yu Hakusho), the final phase will be, you guessed it, a tournament. Later on the airship, the chairman asks to interview each applicant one at a time to see who they do and don’t want to fight, starting with Hisoka. From this interview, we learn that Hisoka wants to become a hunter so he can commit homicide without any legal repercussions and that he’s a pedo for Killua in particular. After everyone finishes their interviews, the chairman finishes drawing out the brackets, and every one of the examiners is shocked by his choices of ordering this. Meanwhile, Gon and Kurapika start having a conversation about what happened back on the island with Hisoka, and how Gon was angry about not being strong enough to take him on. He said that after that moment, he looked for Kurapika and Leorio because he didn’t want to take on the rest of that phase alone. To comfort him, Kurapika thanks Gon for everything he did to save the gang, and the episode ends on that sweet note.
Boy, this episode was amazing! Not only did it have a strong first half with a satisfying conclusion to the fourth phase, but we also got a genuinely heartwarming scene with Gon and Kurapika near the end of the episode. Up to this point, Gon and Killua’s chemistry was kept separate from Kurapika and Leorio’s, which isn’t a bad thing by any means, but it was nice to see Kurapika having a conversation with Gon and being there for him when he needed it the most. If you’re wondering why people think Sasuke from Naruto is an inferior clone of Kurapika, just watch episodes like this, and you’ll see why he works so well as a character with a tragic past, because he doesn’t let that define his personality. I’ll probably go into this more later down the line when we get into the more Kurapika-centric episodes, but overall, this was a very nice episode. I give it 9 BEEEEES NOT THE BEEEEEES out of 10.