Review: Hunter X Hunter Election Arc- It’s Departure Time

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Synopsis: With the battle against the Chimera Ants over and Gon on the verge of death after his sacrifice, Killua seeks to heal him by using the powers of the youngest Zoldyck sibling, Alluka. However when Illumi learns of Killua’s plan he partners up with Hisoka to stop him. Meanwhile after Netero’s death, the Hunter Association decides to hold an election to decide the next Chairman, which finally brings Ging into the picture. As the rescue mission and the election begin to overlap with each other, the final chapter of Gon’s journey unfolds.

Review

Most fans of the manga had seen this moment coming from the moment the reboot was first announced but we’ve at last come to the end of the journey for Hunter X Hunter (well the anime at any rate).  It’s been a solid run run for the series and one filled with many high points and very minimal lows compared to others of the shonen genre. Though while most series would go out in a much more spectacular (if sometimes too overblown for their own good) fashion, the Election Arc is a much lighter and more heartfelt story than the look into the evils of human nature that is the Chimera Ant arc. In spite of that though the arc delivers not only another good tale from Togashi, but a proper sendoff for the anime run as a whole.

With Gon out of commission thanks to his insane power-up in the Chimera Ant arc, Killua takes over as the protagonist of this particular story and fittingly so. After discovering that even the best Nen healers aren’t capable of helping Gon, Killua goes to seek out the help of his younger sister Alluka, who has the ability to grant wishes at a price. The price for these wishes can have some pretty devastating effects and it allows the audience to get a better look at some of the inner workings of the  Zoldyck family when it’s made clear how far they are willing to go keep Alluka’s powers both under control and secret from the rest of the world. Illumi in particular is the most desperate, and when he learns that Killua wants to use those powers to heal Gon, he fears he may be caught in the backlash and plots to stop him with Hisoka in tow.  Killua on the other hand, doesn’t see Alluka as just a tool and while he ultimately wants to heal Gon, he wants to save Alluka as well, and it signifies his first real step towards finding his own reasons to live besides helping Gon.

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 And to think you missed out on so many potential battle orgasms during the Ant arc. Sucks to be you Hisoka

On the other end of things. The Hunter Association calls together it’s highest ranking members known as the Zodiac,which includes Ging, to figure out what to do about deciding on a new chairman and decide to hold a general election involving all Hunters. When Ging decides to opt himself out of the running however, it brings the vice-chairman, Partison into the lead for victory. Partison himself is a very interesting character, and one who is difficult for both the other character and the audience to get a read on, as he’s the kind of person who’s not so much out to win as he is to screw with everyone else’s chance of winning and finds joy in hindering others. Of course none of the other Zodiacs really want someone so twisted running things, so they decide to make sure to do whatever it takes to make sure anyone but him is the victor.

These two seemingly separate storylines come to a crossroad when Leorio makes his triumphant return to the series and inadvertently makes himself a top candidate when he punches out Ging after unsuccessfully convincing him to see Gon. From there the other Zodiacs work to make the reluctant Leorio the winner of the election, as the rest of the organization goes after Illumi when he starts involving civilians in his plans. Despite most of what’s been laid out however, the arc is mostly devoid of any major conflicts outside one fight scene(sorry you had to be our sole victim Gohtou). In the end Illumi isn’t so much defeated as he is set back, and for all of Pariston’s trolling, even he is ultimately revealed to be less of an antagonist and more of a rebel rousing troublemaker as he concedes to have someone better suited lead things when it’s made clear he’s actually going to win.

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The moment we waited the entire series for…

Instead where the real heart of the arc lies is in Gon and Killua having finally come to the end of their respective journeys. After being healed and reconciling with the reborn Kite, (whose revival is controversial to be sure but somewhat needed to highlight the pointlessness of Gon’s sacrifice in the Chimera Ant Arc) finally gets the chance to have a real talk with Ging. Killua on the other hand has finally found his path in safeguarding Alluka and plans devote his life to protecting her. Though the two boys part on good terms, the strain on their relationship after the events of the previous arc is something that has taken it’s toll, and they both have their own individual journeys to set out on now. In many ways this could be considered as proper an ending as you could get.

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 Good luck you two

Of course this isn’t quite the actual climax to the story. The true ending comes in Gon’s heart-to-heart with Ging as Gon reflects over his journey and Ging tells that there’s a whole lot more adventure to be had and a greater world to explore, but that the detours towards getting there matter more than the actual destination. Though the show doesn’t end on an actual cliffhanger, more obsessive fans might ask, “what about Kurapica avenging his clan?”, “what about Hisoka fighting Chrollo?”, or “what about IIlumi still wanting to use Alluka?”, as there are certainly a few loose ends. The truth though, is that Hunter X Hunter isn’t really about any of those things.

For all of Togashi’s masterful writing and his ability to connect things together really well, Hunter X Hunter has never been about defeating some evil tyrant, saving the world from doom or some otherwise clear end goal (okay so that second one DID technically happen but you get the idea). Hunter X Hunter is ultimately about the journey moreso than the destination and it’s a journey filled with the friendships, tragedy and challenges that come with it. The travels of life never truly end and thus it’s fitting that much like life itself, that as Gon departs from his current journey, his next one is just about to begin.

The show has delivered on a magnificent run and has been a joy to  watch from week to week as it consistently pumped out great content. This arc may not have ended things in as big of away as most would come to expect of a shonen series but the impact remains the same if not stronger. Perhaps someday Togashi will write enough material for a continuation but for now this is enough. Until the next journey starts, it’s departure time for this adventure. Farewell.

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Overall: 8.9/10 

Available for streaming on Crunchyroll

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