So I spent all afternoon last week on a Hunter X Hunter marathon. I last tasted the thrill of this anime a decade ago and I was glad the feeling didn't change a bit. I still favor Killua of all the other characters (his cunning and no-nonsense take on things still speak to me like that old fave shirt we all have). On the other hand, I have developed this newfound liking for Gon; the kid's persistence is something I will never have, thus, it's a wonder to me.
Unlike the Tagalog-dubbed mess I used to endure back then watching it on GMA7, I now have the luxury to watch Hunter X Hunter in HD and with no commercials in my lappy. I know I said the thrill is still there but little did I know I will be realizing something new after watching episode 104: Did the four characters just represent the 4 phases of my personal struggle to find myself?
I was the loud and obnoxious kid that everybody loves to see fail or humiliated in the playground or during family gathering. I totally deserve it. The tactlessness I 'used' to have often puts people in a humiliating situation especially when I do it with everyone around. Mom disciplined me in ways I've become too accustomed with pinches and death stares they don't affect me anymore. The instinct to emphasize my presence was a mile stronger. Also, I was burning with curiosity that asking questions is the only release.
I was not really mean or negative, mom said, but I had this habit of speaking uncomfortable truths to people's face. Instinctively, that was my way of getting attention, and I was hated by the adults for that. The consequences are always hard; I had tasted the extent of being ignored to a point I doubt my existence. Also, I don't get respect. These may be too deep for a kid, but adults always underestimate our perceptive resonance. I'm glad I outphased that phase.
Everytime I see Leorio being loud and stupid, I kinda hated him because he reminded me of those days. Lol. Though his caring heart makes up for that and I've learned to respect his character.
So, after a disastrous start at life, the impact has had me calmed down but bitter. Calmed down because hormones have kicked in and I become conscious of myself and how people would view me. Bitter because I was impatient they still treat me with the bias of my old self even when I toned down a bit in the 'tactless' department. I was a kid back then, OK? One day I gave up and retreated to this place inside of me and promised to be better while detaching myself from the world. I read, observed, and tested things that would eventually contribute to my renewal as a person.
I realized getting attention was a child's game; I craved respect this time. I just want to be treated in a way how I treat others, and I started with respect. But it is way harder to command than attention. I know months of showing this new persona wouldn't impact in a way I wanted it to be. Soon, the practice became a habit, and the habit became a character. One day I woke up and people were nicer to me. More attentive every time I open my mouth. Friendlier. It's working!
Kurapika's I-will-accomplish-my-mission-and-will-ignore-everyone pattern spoke to me during his Nen training and the eventual war with the Phantom Troupe. It was really hard to be alone in a journey, but to him it's better than being with people who'll become distractions sooner or later. I'm glad he's softened a little bit and realized the burden is much manageable with trusted friends around.
After the triumphant cleansing I made in my high school years, college had become the happiest era of my life. I made new friends, discovered some hidden abilities, and was excelling in academics for the first time. People are coming to me for advice and company, and I was more than willing. I sometimes see the wreck that I was when some of my friends get embroiled in disagreements because of clashing personalities and being childish.
I realized maturity varies with each people and respect is as universal as ever with resolving these matters. I'd say college was the pinnacle of my character development. All the hard times during my character development were worth it.
Gon's spirit was pure and people are drawn towards it. He's friends with everyone including his enemies, which makes his character either enviable or relate-able. Also, I share Gon's animosity with Math, so connecting with him was a breeze.
When you thought you've become at peace with the world, life gives yet a new challenge. Friends come and go and you're left to find your own destiny. I was reaching mid-20s and priorities do really change. What do I want to become? Do I really want to spend life as a corporate slave? I don't want to settle down without seeing the world.
As cliche as it sound, but I was stuck in the hunter exam and couldn't pass because I was being a pussy with all these fears of failure and painful death. What-ifs didn't make things better.
Killua has been trained to become an efficient killer. His skills are of a prodigy and his destiny was laid down by those who bore him. His being lost is so relate-able it didn't take me 3 seconds to connect with him and label him as a 'favorite' in the anime. I just connect with this kid on a level only those who experienced the same longing of carving one's destiny could relate.
Anime may be for kids, the adults say. But if it's this good, then I'd like to be a kid every time that opening credit plays.