I think that you've all realized that every one of the antagonists in this series is psychologically disturbed in some way, but did you also realize that the protagonists are as well?
The reason why I bring this up is because I've just realized that a very important scene in the series has somewhat been lost due to translation errors. The Viz media editions make this more apparent, but I'll go into a little bit of detail.
So Gon has never flinched in the face of an older opponent. Every person he fights, he does it fearlessly and without caution. Even when facing psychopathic killers, he defeats them each time. But stop and realize the situation--Gon is twelve. He's a prodigy for sure, but there aren't any other professional Hunters that are his age (aside from Killua, whom has special circumstances). From where does he get this bravery?
Genthru. The primary antagonist of the Greed Island arc; Genthru was a threat not only because of his abilities, but also his disposition.
He's crazy and he knows it. He has no empathy for others and you can't trust anything that he says. Genthru is a dangerous person to fight, but Gon does it valiantly. However, the damage that Gon receives is completely out of proportion to what it was intended to be. The trio (Gon, Killua, and Biscuit) prepared incessantly for two weeks before fighting Genthru. Killua and Biscuit only received minor injuries, so why did Gon take such a beating? His pride.
He forgoes sticking to the plan to defeat Genthru using his own abilities, like he's got something to prove. Gon's weakness is his biggest insecurity; the sheer notion causes his flaws to exemplify themselves tenfold. However, everyone has a breaking point, right? But not Gon. Later in the fight, he sacrifices his left hand without a second thought in order to get one hit in on Genthru.
That is literally insane. And Genthru agrees.
That last panel is supposed to be taken as literally as possible. Gon's psyche is twisted. Granted, the other protagonists all are crazy too--in their own ways. But Togashi is very smart for introducing Gon's problems in this way. Before, his stubbornness was presented as a charming sort of plucky bravery mixed with naïveté. Those are typical traits belonging to Shonen protagonists and we love them for it. But Togashi is trying to turn the formula onto its head.
Hmm, I have to say the "crazy" part has always been my favorite thing about Gon (who is my favorite Hunter x Hunter character), that combined with how seemingly innocent and cute he is. I always jokingly liken Gon's tenacity to that of a 12 year old Rocky Balboa.
Also hi this is my first post here, I thought a thread about Gon would an appropriate place to start.
Gon seems like a pretty standard Shonen hero at first but I think you hit the nail on the head for why he's just so special to me and other Gon fans I'm sur, great analysis.
What I love about HxH is that maybe it's the most realistic manga I've seen
I mean, take away the Nen, the antropomorphic ants and monsters....and you have real world stuff
Assassins for hire, modern day gladiator underground tournaments, terrorists, human experimentation, etc. All of these (and even more and more twisted things) are part of our world, but we hardly acknowledge it.
Of course Gon is twisted, but all hunters are supposed to be...plus, he's a feral child, his veiws on right or wrong are of course fucked up
Popo i really like the way you present things and bring your point across. It's really evident that Gon is not your typical protagonists but at the same time Togashi points out that everyone isn't perfect or i should say everyone is unique in their own way. You pointed out that Killua isn't just some cold hearted assassin but also one of the most caring and nicest characters in HxH. Gon could be friendly and innocent but sometimes he could also be self absorbed and reckless. HxH has lots of dialogue and narrative so it's easy for some people to overlook such details you point out.
Keep up the good work, i really enjoy reading your posts! =]]
Seriously, Popo. This is a very nice thread you made here. And your analysis is on target. I will post my opinion about Gon later.
I actually think Gon is high deep character. Most people would say that He's the typical Shounen Hero. He's not. I think Killua is the closest one to be a typical hero since He's the most normal guy in HxH so far.
Gon is a wild kid. He raised himself as an animal. That means that He will be pacific with those who are pacific to him, but He will prove He's more dangerous if anything threatens his spot. He kinda shows all the time how superior (Even if He recognize He's weaker) he is. It's an obvious OCD, the worst one. He must prove himself He can do more, he can achieve more. He's not competitive openly in that sense, but He pushes himself harder than anyone to be more. More what, you may ask? More anything. In whatever challenge He gets his hands to.
That's the reason He helped Kurapika and Leorio, the reason why He went to find Killua, the reason why He fought Hisoka, the reason why He went against the Ryodan. Sure, friendship was also a reason but it wasn't for sure the solely motivation.
Excellent post, Popo.
who knows how to rip out people's hearts, drink poison without dying,
use his body as a electrical conductor to electrocute others without
killing himself. Killua isn't normal.
If you want more normal it would of been Leorio.
You're taking "normal" as "normal skills" and I'm referring as "normal psyche". It's not the same. Not even close.
I think Togashi did a great job in portraying Gon as he is. He slowly build his character up until he reached his “climax” in the Ant Arc. Gon's ruthlessness towards Komugi is actually nothing more then a logical conclusion or rather an evolution of his character, it was already stated many times that Gon is indeed a dangerous person. Let's take a look at the root of this, IMO it all started in the Hunter exam, when he first encountered Hisoka.
It's there were he experienced that kind of feeling for the first time and wasn't able to distinguish it. Many people would have tried to save one's life instead of “enjoying” the sensation of death itself.
In the Heaven's Arena when he was fighting against the spinning dude, it's where Gon for the first time was consciously embracing his almost approaching death. By discovering his Zetsu and using himself as an sacrificial lamb in order to find a proper strategy against his opponent. That showed how far Gon would go to attain victory. In other words this incident just shows that Gon doesn't value his own life, like one should. He is someone that puts his pride over his own life, that's the kind of person Gon is.
In York Shin City Zepairu summarized Gon's personality really well and on point. Gon simply doesn't give a damn about what is good or bad, as long as it doesn't involve him or his friends directly like in Kaito's case. So what does that make Gon then? Is he really the light that he is supposed to be like Killua mentioned it. I certainly don't think so.
On Greed Island after ending their sparring training at the expense of risking his own life against Binolt, Gon let him roam free again. Because he was helpful for his progress as a Hunter even though he knew that he was a serial killer. That also further proved that Gon isn't your average shounen main character because Gon isn't the type of person, who cares about morales and he doesn't judge people based on their "work", habits etc. simple as that.
In Gon's eyes only the here and now counts. So in this sense he is pretty much like Illumi who has a give and take relationship with his father, according to the Zoldyck's family diagram. Now, Illumi's words back then makes some serious sense both are the "same" in that regard.
Now, it's time for my favourite part of the manga, when Gon's evolution started to take it's form in a way where he was almost not recognizable. At least, for many readers but to me it's where phase 1 ended and phase 2 of his evolution begins. As I have already said, Gon's threat was a logical conclusion of his character.
He is still a 12 or 13 year old boy, who gets affected by his surroundings in this sense he is like, Uriel mentioned a wild animal, that quickly adapts to his environment.
Through the “loss” of Kaito his character no... more his stubbornness reached an extreme that is in accordance with his character. That said I don't think that Gon is the light like Killua mentioned he is rather the most greyish person that, I've ever encountered in a manga. I stated that phase 2 of his character development has already started with the latest chapter. Some people don't know how much Ging's word mean to Gon. It was really necessary for Gon to hear these words because this way Gon will truly walk towards the path of light, while not letting go of his dark side, which was the first part of his character development (his various experience until now, especially in being a hostage).
At the end of the series Gon will be as I've already mentioned the most greyish person in shounen history he will become too whole like Zepairu mentioned!!! In addition it wouldn't surprise me, if Gon dies at the end of the series at all because that is like a personality trait of his to seek dangerous situation, where he puts his life on the line. With this, I'm done with my analysis.
Wow, really nice analysis. From seeing this.. Gon isn't Black and White he's definitely a thousands shades of gray. It must have taken you a great deal of time. I really much appreciate your post. Most people don't realize all these subtleties which actually does a lot on how the character is developed. Theres a lot to digest in HxH so most things can get overlooked. I honestly read through HxH so fast that i didn't seem to recognize most of these attributes. Which i'm at fault because i am an impatient guy when it comes to great manga's such as HxH. Thx again for your post!! =]
Well, to be fair if gon was normal in any plausible way the manga would not exist. He would not have spent his childhood playing with flesh eating critters and instead he would have gone to school with other normal kids his age and perhaps grow up to be a fisherman as most people in his island or perhaps make it to some middle management position.... Gon is more along the lines of feral though, I think the "monster" description he has been given a few times fits him better. Another important point made several times in the manga is that outside of murder gon does not himself see things as being good or bad, he simply takes it as what it is and learns from it (he scared the shit out of meleoron that way and bisk and wing pointed out the dangers of being "flawless").