Shipping: Gon x Killua (Hunter x Hunter)
Have I ever mentioned how I’m a fujoshi on the inside?
Many people have told that they like Hunter x Hunter. This is great to hear because HxH is awesome. Unfortunately, these same people tell me that they like the show because it is a “subversive” and “intelligent” shonen and frequently cite the Yorkshin arc as the best arc.
I don’t understand these people. Honestly, I watch this show for the two little boys in it.
I’m not kidding you. Sometimes, for whatever reason, I do interpret two characters as ambiguously gay. It’s not quite the same thing as shipping exactly, but I do find Gon and Killua interesting to watch, so I guess the point is moot. Their friendship is the heart of the anime, and however you interpret their relationship, I would say it’s definitely more important than all the other plot elements put together, except for Gon’s quest to find his father. It’s one of the most powerful friendships I’ve ever seen in anime – and I’ll freely admit it: they’ve even moved me to tears.
To non-yaoi fans, what I have to say might sound like I’m corrupting the nature of their friendship by interpreting it as “ambiguously gay”. But yaoi fans will probably understand exactly what I’m talking about. The canon and the headcanon are two separate things, after all. It doesn’t mean I misinterpret the themes and relationships entirely, but rather I think of it as just a possibility I entertain. What it does prove is that I’ve thought about their relationship from more than just one angle.
Gon and Killua in canon
The relationship we see in the anime between Gon and Killua is one of co-dependence. It is simultaneously sweet, boyish and heartbreaking.
Gon is the light while Killua is a dark. As friends, they just click from the moment they met. Always have.
But the longer their friendship goes on, the more it takes on degrees of shadow. Killua perceives Gon as his saviour and sees it has his duty to protect his innocence because, in his own mind, he has already gone too far. The truth is that Gon is much cleverer and wiser than how others generally perceive him, so I’m not sure to what extent he realises how much Killua puts him on a pedestal, but his ideals are just so pervasive that one can’t help wanting to believe in him anyway. He believes that he and Killua will always be together, and no matter how much Killua wants this to be true, he does not think it will turn out that way.
In fact, Biscuit tells him the cutting truth: Because of his assassin upbringing, Killua will one day leave Gon behind to die.
That’s the crux of their friendship. That’s what breaks my heart: Killua’s own fear and self-disgust, even as his best friend lights up his existence. While Gon is good at making friends wherever he goes, Killua only really has Gon, and it’s only after meeting him that he’s been able to open up to others. He is a twisted child and there is no excusing that, but does that really deny him the right to friendship? Killua is certainly a better person now than he ever was before, choosing not to kill whenever he can help it.
See, I don’t want to see these two boys parting ways. Maybe temporarily, in order for them to gain perspective on their friendships, but not forever. That would be too sad. And just the idea of Killua leaving Gon behind to die – a tragic but scarily plausible scenario – would break my heart entirely.
There is no doubt to me that these boys love each other unconditionally, and it would actually be disturbing to me if they were revealed in the story to be gay. Not because I have anything against gays (I don’t) but because it wouldn’t fit how their relationship is meant to be a portrayal of boyish innocence.
But here’s my personal interpretation, for what it’s worth: I think Togashi left this open. He’s not averse to depicting gay relationships – Sensui and Itsuki from Yu Yu Hakusho are gay, according to him. Their sexuality was not important to their characterisations and neither does it have to be for Gon and Killua. If they are gay, it wouldn’t change much.
I see Killua’s feelings for Gon in particular as something stronger than anything he would ever feel for a girl. It’s “shonen ai”, in the purest sense. A strong attachment to another young male that he may eventually outgrow with puberty. We do see signs of him getting jealous over Gon, like his reaction to his date with Palm. It’s not portrayed as romantic, but his feelings do come off as somewhat unhealthy and obsessive, as if Gon is his only reason for living. Subtext of that level is pretty hard to ignore.
With all of that intellectual-sounding justification over and done with, let me get to what I really wanted to say about Gon and Killua:
GNDINGIJBNDJNFIJNDK THEY’RE SO FREAKING ADORABLE WHY CAN’T THEY BE FRIENDS FOREVERRRRRRRRRRR
WHEN KILLUA GOT TAKEN AWAY BY ILLUMI AND GON JUST STRAIGHT AWAY VOWED TO FIND HIM OH MY GOD I JUST CAN’T
HRRRRRNNNGGGHH THESE TWO MUNCHKINS AND THEIR SQUISHINESS
So as you can see, as an anime fan not only do I like little girls, I also like little boys.
why did I put that in bold