Original Airdate: February 19, 2012 and March 4th, 2012
Toonami Airdate: September 17th, 2016 and September 24th, 2016
Hello everyone, and welcome to a very interesting Hunter x Hunter recap. If you’re wondering why I’m doing two episodes this week instead of one, it’s because school work + internet crapping out + other project for Surreal Resolution = not enough time to get the episode 20 recap out on time, so to make up for lost time, here’s a double recap of both episodes.
After waking up from a dream, Gon is greeted by Satotz, who congratulates him on passing the Hunter Exam. Gon is initially reluctant about taking his Hunter license, but Satotz tells him that he can do whatever he wants with the badge, but he won’t be able to retake the exam next year due to him already passing the exam once. Gon then decides to accept his win, and then asks Satotz about how the final phase is going so far. He tells Gon that the exams have already finished while he was passed out, and that it was Killua who ended up failing the exams. Gon asks how Killua failed, and Satotz goes on to tell Gon about the events that lead up to Killua’s disqualification.
After Gon was knocked out and declared the winner, Killua asks Hanzo why he let Gon win when he could’ve easily made him surrender, and he said that Gon was too determined to be completely knocked down, so he eventually just let him win. Afterwards, the second match of the exam, Kurapika vs Hisoka, begins. After a little bit of fighting, Hisoka whispers something into Kurapika’s ear, and then forefits the match, leaving Kurapika shocked. Nobody knows what Hisoka said to him, but it’ll be brought up again later in the series, so don’t worry about that plot thread going unresolved.
A few fights later, we get to Killua’s fight between Gittarackur, or as you may know better know him, Pinhead Larry. As Killua approaches him, he removes the pins from his face and reveals himself to be Illumi, Killua’s older brother. After revealing his true form, Illumi tells Killua that he wasn’t allowed to be a hunter and that he should just become an assassin instead, and then goes on to mentally f**k with Killua by telling him that he’s only useful for killing people, incapable of making friends with Gon, and that he’ll eventually want to kill him because he’s a killing machine by nature. After hearing Illumi’s speech, Leorio tries to motivate Killua by telling him that Gon already thinks of him as a friend, regardless of what his brother said. Illumi responds to this by threatening to kill Gon so that he doesn’t get in the way. The gang blocks the way to prevent Illumi from entering the room, but he then gets the idea to pass the exam so that he can freely kill Gon without any fear of failing the exam. He then challenges Killua to a fight, but he is unable to move and then surrenders to his older brother. He tells Killua that he was never going to kill Gon, but he wanted to test him to see if he was capable of fighting him. Illumi then passes the exam, and Killua is left in his mentally unstable state, to the point where during Leorio’s fight with him, he killed Bodoro and got himself disqualified, leading us to where we are now. We then cut to Gon walking towards the conference room to confront Illumi and make him apologize for what he did to Killua, thus ending this episode. Now onto episode 21!
Continuing from where the last episode left off, Illumi refuses to apologize for breaking Killua, so Gon grabs Illumi’s arm and tells him that he doesn’t deserve to be Killua’s older brother. Illumi says that Gon is making it sound like he kidnapped Killua, and Gon explains that Killua was manipulated by Illumi, which is just as bad as kidnapping to him. Netero then interrupts their conversation to tell them that this conference was meant to discuss whether it was fair to disqualify Killua under these circumstances, which leads into the continuation of the conference. Kurapika mentions that Illumi might’ve hypnotized Killua into murdering Bodoro, noting that he had been acting strangely after their conversation. Leorio then brings up that because Killua was technically assisting Leorio, that means he should be disqualified instead. Netero then shoots down these claims by saying that there were no clear signs of hypnotism at play and that there was no real reason for Killua to assist Leorio in the fight due to both fighters being about equal in their abilities. Pokkle then butts in to ask Kurapika what Hisoka whispered into his ear earlier, which he refuses to answer. After everyone starts arguing, Gon interrupts everyone to tell them that all this arguing is pointless and that the only thing that matters is that everyone won, which leads into everyone finally getting their Hunter License.
After the orientation, Gon confronts Illumi once again to ask him where Killua is. He initially refuses to give Gon his location, but after Kurapika and Leorio arrive to back him up, Illumi gives in and tells them that Killua is back home at Kukuroo Mountain. After Gon and the gang leave, Hisoka appears behind Illumi to question why he just gave away his location like that. Illumi responds by telling him that everyone in the area knows where they’re at anyway, so there’s no harm in telling Gon that information. Illumi tells Hisoka that he should probably get rid of Gon before he becomes more powerful, but Hisoka tells him that he wants to kill him first, and not until he’s reached his full potential.
Back to Gon and friends, Leorio asks Kurapika if he knows where Kukuroo Mountain is, and Kurapika says he doesn’t know, but they can look it up on the internet later. Hanzo then bids his farewells to the applicants, as does Pokkle, also apologizing for the way he acted towards Kurapika. After the applicants bid their farewells, Satotz gives the Hunter License to Gon and then proceeds to tell him the story of a hunter who was extremely well-known for restoring old ruins. The hunter in question was Ging Freecss, Gon’s father. After Satotz told Gon about how much he admired Ging, he heads back to the lobby to look up the location of Kukuroo Mountain and immediately orders plane tickets. On the way to the airport, however, the taxi driver is stuck in traffic, so in order to not miss their flight, the gang jumps out of the taxi and runs to the airport, bringing back memories of the first phase of the exams. The episode ends with Satotz alluding to the fact that there is actually more to the Hunter Exams than what Gon thinks there is, and that the exams have only just begun.
As far as arc finales go, this is a fantastic way to go out. They not only do a great job at setting up the premise for the next arc, but they’re also great episodes in their own right. Killua’s characterization in this episode was spot-on, and they perfectly captured the struggle of his family not wanting him to do something other than killing people because they raised him to believe that the only value he has as a human being is as a cold-blooded killing machine. I also really like how Gon’s character has developed in these episodes, having him become less stubborn and putting his duties as a hunter ahead of his desire for a fair fight. So overall, great episodes, and a pretty solid arc overall. Can’t wait for the next few arcs, because believe me, it’s going to be crazy! I give these episodes 9 douchebag siblings out of 10.