12 Days of Christmas – Day 8 – Chained by Fashion
The characters in Hunter x Hunter make killing a form of art. We got our first glimpses of this back when Hisoka started pulling out his magic tricks, but in the most recently animated arc we got introduced to the rest of the Phantom Troupe. This is a group that could only be held together because the members are different enough to complement each other and get through just about anything. These differences even show up in their methods of killing, from the guy who massacres whole rooms with bullets that are fired from his hands to Chrollo, who likes to put as much effort into tearing apart one person as he can. But even after seeing each member show off their skills (…except Mummy Boxer…) the character who impressed me the most in this arc was still Kurapika. Through him we get to see that even if someone doesn’t want to kill, they can still make it into art.
Kurapika’s whole character arc is centered on revenge. He wants the Phantom Troupe to pay for all the crimes they have committed, of course, but above all he wants to honour the memory of his fallen clan. He knows that murder is not something he wants to take part in, which separates him from people like the Troupe who kill without second thought. He still prepared himself for having to kill, and in fact he based his entire style of Nen around how he can keep both his honour and his ability to murder. The primary focus of his chains is not meant to be killing at all, but restraining. The normal chains keep the Troupe member from acting out and the Judgement Chain restricts their movements even without him around. Only by the explicit choice of the Troupe members that have been chained up can they finally die.
It is Kurapika’s conviction to his cause that makes him such an interesting person to watch. Even with the rules imposed on him by his Nen, he could still easily kill the people he chains with instructions like “You must die within the next five seconds or you will die.” Instead he makes it so that the decisions of the Phantom Troupe personally decide their fates, so they truly do have to answer for those decisions. As this arc shows, restricting the Troupe is a much harsher punishment than simply killing them. When Uvogin knew he would die, he accepted that fate without a second thought. When Chrollo was forbidden from using Nen or contacting his allies, you could tell this was his worst case scenario. Stranded on top of a mountain range with everything he ever knew out of his reach. And Kurapika knew this.
This is how a character like him can make his revenge into an art form. He claims that the Troupe should die, and having seen their actions for myself, I can definitely agree. But what he really wants is for them to pay, and he has both the tools and the creativity to make them. As Chrollo wanders the world looking for something to do, I hope he comes to realize the kind of vicious person he helped to create.
Posted on December 22, 2012, in 12 Days of Christmas, Blog Carnival, Hunter x Hunter and tagged 12 Days of Christmas, Hunter x Hunter, Kurapika, manga, shonen. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.