Screw the dark continent. Forget Ging and Pariston. Who cares what Killua or Gon are doing right now. That stuff may or may not be resolved in the future. Hell, the series may not come back, as HxH enters another hiatus. However, Togashi left on quite a high note. I don’t know if anyone noted the references in the chapter to our own world, but they way the Kakin nation was introduced and described by their leader, Hoicoro, was almost identical to the way some believe China views itself and others view China. More to the point, this comparison provides a new theme for Togashi to potentially explore in a potential “Dark Continent” Arc, that could have themes equal on scale to the “Chimera Ant” arc, but are far easier for a reader, especially in Japan, to embrace.
Quite frankly, Togashi did a half assed job even trying to give this chapter any subtext at all, and he probably wanted it that way. The King of Kakin was a blatant ethnic parody. The V5 agreement to which the Kakin nation was a part of is clearly an analogy for the five permanent members of the United Nations (to which China is a member, and if you didn’t know that, go back to ninth grade). The change in the nation’s name and cutting ties with the past is clearly alludes to China between the 20’s and 70’s, and the reforms mentioned later in the chapter are a clear reference to China’s economic reforms starting in the 1980’s. The King of Kakin even refers to his nation as a developing nation that doesn’t want to have to be a part of the system set up 200 years ago. To compare, China refers to itself as a developing nation, and if you read any articles on the subject, they clearly have contempt for the current international system. Then of course, what does the “dark continent” stand for, as it has to stand for something? An easy answer would be oil, as the chapter mentioned resources, but I suppose it could easily mean space. The fact is, it doesn’t matter. Kakin wants it, and other nations presumably don’t want them to.
Now for the fun part.
1 – It would seem other nations have employed the Zodiacs to stop Beyond Netero and Kakin (again, this means China), setting up the potential for an epic confrontation.
2- Amazingly, this chapter was able to include references to many people wanting to join Kakin in the quest for more resources, food, power, and new ideas – Pariston and Ging included.
3 – Assuming that Beyond Netero and the Kakin nation (China) are the “evil” in this chapter, let’s assume that the Zodiacs, and the established nations (Japan), are “good”. Yet, the ideas but forth by Beyond Netero, such as advancing society and exploration, are universally respected, which Togashi made a point to make clear.
This is where the fun part of his social commentary skills come together, as it seems he is a setting up a message to the West, and Japan specifically (I will use the Japan example in this post, as that is likely who Togashi is targeting). Japan, has, for some time now, been criticized as being too shut in economically( in contrast to the 80’s) and against change. China, on the other hand, through their reforms, began slowly at first, but now with increasing speed, opening up to the rest of world, and is now challenging the established order.
Now for the politically incorrect part of this post – Do we belive that Beyond Netero is in it for the adventure, or is he only after getting resources by any means necessary? To draw analogies to our world. Do we believe China really wants to make the world better, or are the Chinese using veiled language (any many believe that they are) to draw in followers (as in pont Number 2 above) (nations in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and South/Central America) to just get what they want. Clearly, Beyond Netero looks evil, so I’ll leave that decision to you.
More importantly though, what point was Togashi making about Japan in this chapter. Sure, Kakin (aka the Chinese) may be evil, but they’re adventurous, open, and trying new things, which in turn has helped them acquire new resources and grow their bottom line, something the West and Japan have had trouble doing.
Then of course, the potential for battle between the Netero’s forces (China and a lot of the Third World) and the Zodiac (America and the EU). Togashi has a way of using anti climaxes, and probably will here. But you have to wonder. Two fairly evenly matched groups, with fairly different ideologies fighting for access, or lack there off, to an area that may hold the future of mankind’s prosperity.
So I ask you one question. Can you imagine the moral questions we will be asked should the series return from hiatus. But then again, you should already know, we’re already facing them everyday.