Reaction Shots: KHR! 204

August 4, 2008 at 12:57 am (Animanga) (, , )

My mission, as I chose to accept it: to not be an incoherent flailing fangirly adherent of His Great Holiness Hibari Kyouya And His Asskicking Abilities, Or Maybe Just His Ass School of KHR! Chapter Commentary. You see I am already having trouble!

Anyway, spoilers abound etc.

(WARNING: ends with, not incoherent fangirling, but incoherent ranting. And the chapter started out so well, too.)

1. When last we saw Hibari, he’d decided that he hated Genkishi so much he was going to render himself essentially weaponless, because without rings he can’t use his boxes and without boxes he can’t even access his tonfas and without tonfas he doesn’t even have the basic weaponry of his foolish teenage days.

On the other hand, we’ve already seen Hibari’s future self kick ridiculous amounts of ass, to the point that people are whining about him saving the day and stealing the thunder from the younger set (see: Yamamoto and his ignominious faceplant). Making Hibari use up all his firepower now, however, bizarrely reasoned, at least deprives him of a good deal of his power: essentially it depowers him and forces him back to a level comparable to his younger cohorts. One does wonder why he chose to do it, though. Does he really hate Mist users that much? Does he really hate Genkishi that much?

2. Evidence Amano Akira is female (so far the most concrete answer to the question that I’ve seen is, general fan consensus is that Amano’s female): the rings. FYI, hands look hot with rings. On paper — well, screen — at least.

3. WHY, HIBARI, WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS? I KNOW YOU’RE A BIT OF AN IMPULSIVE FOOL. BUT WHY WOULD YOU CRIPPLE YOUR POWER SOOOO?

4. “I will bring in a world you have never seen before…and destroy you.” (quote from the very end of Chapter 203, Hibari)

Considering what the Reversed Needle Sphere Form is (and I’m writing it that way because putting :Reversed at the end, colon and all, is way more awkward to read, type, and say), that statement actually makes sense. Mist users work by redirection and trickery, and rely heavily on their flames, boxes, tridents, hell eyes, doubles, etc. in order to do so. Naturally this uses up quite a bit of power, right? (see: Mukuro collapsing into Chrome after his illusion-fight with Mammon…the power he used doesn’t totally have to be from manifesting himself, it could plausibly be also from the scale of the battle, no matter how outwardly effortless it seemed to e for him). Illusion and Mist users (one supposes they are one and the same) also fight from afar, staying OUT of melee combat as much as possible (see: Mammon’s outcry at Mukuro’s trident-use; “An illusinist who resorts to hand-to-hand combat is heresy!” One must assume that Genkishi and to a lesser extent Mukuro are mavericks in this regard.)

But Hibari’s Reversed Needle Sphere Form upends that–by removing the ability for flames to exist or be used in a set space, the people within are forced to rely on hand-to-hand combat skills only, which incidentally is also Hibari’s forte (he uses his porcupine, yes, but as with Ryohei his box animal may be seen as purely supplementary: his actual attacks are generally born of his own hands). One would assume that a Mist user caught in the Reversed Sphere is at a severe disadvantage. To use WoW and I guess general MMO terms: it’s like trapping a caster and a warrior in a box — and the caster’s all out of mana.

Of course, Genkishi presumably earned the Knight part of his Phantom Knight title because he’s good with swords as well as making walls appear, so perhaps Hibari’s gamble might not pay off so well after all. But as with making Hibari destroying his own rings and box — the goal of the Reversed Needle Sphere Form is to even the playing field.

5. Jesus Christ Hibari doesn’t make stuff easy on ANYONE, does he? Least of all himself. That boy’s got arrogance in spades. (Is he trying to make up, in some small way, for his easy defeat at Mukuro’s hands ten years ago? Genkishi’s also a Mist user who sometimes condescends to hand-to-hand combat…and Mukuro’s still walking free with all limbs and motor functions intact.)

6. “I’m on a tight schedule,” Hibari says…

The Millefiore at first report to Shouichi that they don’t know whether he’s an ally or enemy to the Vongola. We think he’s an ally; we’ve seen him aid Tsuna achieve the next tier of power with his gloves, we’ve seen him volunteer to fight a horde of descending Millefiore. Alone, without witnesses. And we’ve seen him return alone, and basically untouched.

What if he isn’t? What if that schedule is to rendezvous with a liaison with Millefiore even higher up than Shouichi. Such as, oh say…Byakuran?

Granted we don’t have any actual evidence for this. But how stylish would it be if, after beating Genkishi’s face into the ground, he bends down to Yamamoto…and instead of helping him up, takes the Ring of Rain off his unconscious finger?

Unlikely, but…we’ll just have to see.

7. All hail Genkishi, Captain of the Obvious.

Now quit wasting oxygen and just FIGHT, damn it.

8. I just remembered what this Reversed Needle Sphere Form reminds me of. Tousen and his mushroom cloud thingy, from Bleach. The one that deprives one of all senses, and the one that Zaraki totally pwns.

9. “Spettrale Nudiblanc’s illusion isn’t something to compensate for my sword skill…it’s something to hide my over powerful sword skill with!” Or something.

Okay, what? So not only does he have uber l33t mindfuck abilities, he’s a master swordsman. Well, we knew the master swordsman part, but it could easily have been an illusion. Genkishi’s sword skills AREN’T born of illusion? But isn’t very good melee skill sort of…you know…contradictory to very good ranged fighting skill? See, it’s not just a question of him being overpowered — and he is, I’d expect this kind of duality from a big bad like Byakuran, not relative small fry like Genkishi — it’s a question of him having two totally different skill sets, and apparently mastering both.

I mean, it would be more palatable if, say, we have some evidence that Genkishi’s illusions aren’t really all that (which could’ve been interesting: if illusions are his thing, why are they so crappy?). But his illusions are solid enough to knock Yamamoto out and, if Genkishi’s to be believed, kill him from the force of impact. Genkishi’s all about honorable duels and evening the playing field and what have you, and he conceals his sword skills behind the antithesis of physical combat? He whips out his non-sword-skills during a sword duel? He’s not honorable, man. He’s a fucking hypocrite. Which I guess makes him more complex (clearly he’s skilled at doublethink — betraying the Giglio Nero was an act of treason and a beneficial act to the famiglia as a whole). But good fucking god.

(And now watch me defend my favorite character who does the exact same thing!)

But with Mukuro, who also has this — illusionary and physical combat skill — it’s not quite the same contradiction, because both have a common point of origin, his eye. And both have a common explanation — his reliving of past lives. Plus, he clearly identifies himself with a preference for illusion and as an extension possession/mind control; most of his major battles and actions feature Mukuro primarily playing to those skill sets (eg. possessing Lancia, fighting Mammon). His use of hand-to-hand combat is shown as a kind of stopgap measure, clearly secondary to his illusionary/possession skills — he only whips them out when he’s losing. First to Tsuna, in Kokuyo Land, and then to Mammon. Well, with Mammon it’s because he started out at a disadvantage, having to fight his way to dominance in their battle after Chrome was so easily dominated by Mammon and it’s not as dirty as I make it sound, promise.

So I just. What? Genkishi, not only are you ridiculously OP, you’re a fucking dirty liar and two-faced skank.

Which, well, is probably because he’s a villain. But still — make up your damn mind, Amano. Is Genkishi a Mist-using illusionist, or is he a badass swordsman? The two skill sets are not exactly mutually inclusive.

10. OKAY, JUST, WHAT?

Iris is clearly a racist and sexist character. I mean, what the fuck, man. What have we learned about the world from this chapter? Black women are evil and also, sluts. Lazy too; she doesn’t even do her own fighting.

Let’s not even get into her Death Stalk Unit and their animalistic vocalisations and lucha libre look (what have we learned about the world from this chapter, part two? Hispanics are dumb and lazy?). They have to be whipped before they get to work on Tsuna and Spanner.

WHY. DO. I. KEEP. READING. THIS. MANGA?

CRAPPY TREATMENT OF FEMALE CHARACTERS ASIDE JUST, THIS IS THE LAST STRAW, THIS SHOULD BE THE LAST STRAW BUT I KNOW I’M GOING TO KEEP READING BECAUSE, HIBARI AND MUKURO! BUT GOOD FUCKING GOD, KHR! SHALL HENCEFORTH BE KNOWN AS THE SHOUNEN MANGA OF DEEP, DEEP SHAME AS A RATIONAL HUMAN BEING BECAUSE.

WHAT THE FUCKING SHIT IN HELL IS UP WITH THIS CRAP, AMANO? KIDS READ THIS STUFF! AND NOT JUST JAPANESE KIDS, AMERICAN KIDS, BRITISH KIDS, ANY KID WHO CAN GET THEIR HANDS ON ILLEGAL SCANLATIONS. YOU SHOULD NOT BE BEING PAID TO WRITE THIS SORT OF OUTDATED, OFFENSIVE SHIT IN THIS DAY AND AGE, LEAST OF ALL IN A MEDIUM THAT IS AIMED AT ADOLESCENTS AND I’M RUNNING OUT OF WAYS TO EMPHASIZE MY WORDS CAN YOU TELL?

NOTE TO THE INTERNET: IRIS AND HER DEATH STALK SQUAD AREN’T REALLY THAT FUNNY. AT ALL.

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