HxH 96: Survivor: Villains vs. Villains

Hunter x Hunter episode 96 review

HxH 96

The Phantom Troupe are not good guys. There has been nothing in canon to suggest otherwise. If you add in the movie that was released a couple months back, you could say they are even bigger villains than we thought. In other words, there should be no circumstances of which we would be cheering for them.

But we’re supposed to. It’s the Ants vs. the Phantom Troupe, and the viewer is supposed to favor the Troupe. How do I know this? Well, that’s kind of obvious, but everything is framed to make the Troupe look sympathetic, while making the Ants look villainous. The dialogue always makes the Ants look evil. Thus we’re supposed to cheer on the Troupe.

If I were to use an example, it’s kind of like how Fox News always tries to make President Trump look good. (Or, on the other hand, how NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and ESPN, to name a few, always try to make President Trump look bad.) So we’re biased toward the Troupe, and against the Ants.

But the problem with this is that we’ve seen the Troupe’s actions. They aren’t good guys. They killed an entire room of men and then vacuumed up their blood. Not to mention that they killed Kurapika’s whole clan. They aren’t “morally ambiguous” as I heard one person call them. They are totally evil. We shouldn’t be cheering for them under any circumstances.

Here’s the kicker: the episode was flat-out boring. The battles were uninteresting, the dialogue was throwaway, and the fact is that we left what was at least a somewhat interesting cliffhanger for this. This is just about the point where Hunter x Hunter loses its way. There’s still a particular character who I’m dying to hear her voice, because that might make or break the arc, but as for now, Hunter x Hunter is sliding into mediocrity.

Character of the episode: Feitan

Episode rating (out of four stars): *1/2

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