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Wednesday, August 30, 2023

7 Phantom Troupe Mistakes In Hunter x Hunter Manga [2023]

Team Spiders in Kakin Ship showing Illumi, Kalluto, Machi, Feitan, Franklin, Nobunaga, Bonolenov, Phinks and Chrollo Lucilfer

Albeit strategically clever, many of the Phantom Troupe's actions and decisions have put them in perilous situations. In the Succession War sub-arc of the Dark Continent phase, we spotted more Team Spider slips that could lead to more dangers and, possibly, their demise.

With ten strong members, the Phantom Troupe (Gen'ei Ryodan) remains a force that can obliterate mafia gangs and match even the most dreaded organizations in the entire series. Their reputation as thieves and killers gained them both abhorrence and esteem from different groups.

Still, misjudgment, missteps, and even the slightest hesitation could cost lives. We aim to enumerate and rank the biggest blunders Gen'ei Ryodan has committed so far, which have put them in unfavorable conditions and will likely cost them some of their members' lives.

#7 - Allowing A Possible Snake To Join The Group

Fear isn't a predicament for powerful people. That said, recklessness may be a side effect of being strong. Lacking a sense of dread blurs one's viewpoint, missing out on deciphering potential dangers beyond scope. 

It might be Chrollo Lucilfer's overconfidence in his abilities, or it could be that he's suicidal after the death of his old friend and one of the group's founding members, Shalnark. However, the best reflection of his situation is that he may have miscalculated the conceivable hazards of letting Illumi Zoldyck into their exclusive circle.

Our best reference to Chrollo's trust in Illumi is the massacre of The Ten Dons. If we recall, the Phantom Trouble leader hired him to kill the Zoldyck patriarch's clients, preventing a more disastrous Chrollo vs. Zeno and Silva battle. Illumi fulfilled his contract, which may be a big score for Chrollo's heart.

However, being a freelance agent, Illumi was later hired by Hisoka to help the latter escape the hideout so he could eventually meet with Chrollo. This instance should raise a red flag for someone taking extreme caution. But it may be enough to let it pass if Illumi disclosed his abilities to Chrollo as a pre-joining condition.

Illumi may be a lying turncoat. That is, if the Illumi Zoldyck who boarded the ship is not a disguised Hisoka. Either way, Chrollo is at the risk of being backstabbed, making it a mistake that further complicates a puzzle his original team is trying to solve.

#6 - Not Recruiting More Trustworthy Allies

Dealing with feuding mafia families, finding their way up the higher tiers of the ship, hunting Hisoka's head, and possibly encountering powerful Nen users while on a heist — the Phantom Troupe has a lot of work to do.

Hiring a strong and trustworthy ally with direct connections to older Kakin Princes or the king is necessary so they won't need to accept the side quest of dealing with Morena and her underlings. While they can easily work their way up by forging coalitions with the Xi-Yu family, like what they're doing now, the team could have spent their time together doing something else.

It could have been nice to enjoy the show and wait for the right moment to strike. Instead, Chrollo and his team had to act as mainstays and stand at the center of this brewing rumble. What an inconvenient spot to be in!

#5 - Members Still Going Solo Despite The Danger

Although a tight-knit group, there is a clear issue of stubbornness from within. This inflexibility neglects the chain of command, and from the earlier Hunter x Hunter series, Spiders are supposed to go on teams of two or three.

Machi, Franklin, and the leader Chrollo Lucilfer initially went on their way as a lone explorer. Given the uselessness of Machi's ability once constricted by Bungee Gum, she chose to wander by herself. On the other hand, a long-range fighter, Franklin, sat in a tight cafeteria with powerless bystanders. It was great to hear that Nobunaga's team has plans to meet him, but can they make it in time?

Meanwhile, Chrollo decided to head-hunt alone with a boring and out-of-character strategy. Before he could go far, Shizuku and Bonolenov tagged along. `If they had not been in contact, these two would look like sitting ducks against Hisoka's Bungee Gum. Also, isn't it encouraging the practice of neglecting the chain of command if the leader made himself exempted from the rules at such a critical time?

#4 - Unbalanced Team-Up At The Ship

Like in many cliché horror movies, this group of targets had to split up. The initial mini Spider teams created by this are the following:

Phinks, Feitan, and Nobunaga

Without their blades, Feitan and Nobunaga will be at a combat disadvantage. They needed a protector who could fight 100%, even without a weapon. Phinks is indeed the best candidate for this. However, with weaker and slower team members, isn't it a bit unstrategic for him to babysit swordsmen who could pick up a knife or anything sharp when necessary?

Illumi and Kalluto

It makes sense for the Zoldycks to stick with each other. Partnering Illumi with a weaker Spider is a scarier plan, given the likelihood of a newbie's betrayal. Strength and efficiency-wise, this is a good combination, and it'd be better this way.

But what if Illumi turns out to be someone else? Read our article Where is Hisoka and let us know your thoughts about our theory.

Loners Machi and Franklin

Machi is better partnered with Nobunaga, as seen in the Phantom Rogue movie. Franklin will be an ideal addition to both teams. However, these two supports chose to go solo, which makes no sense.

Chrollo, Shizuku, and Bonolenov

Shizuku struggled with a Chimera Ant lieutenant who shoots sticky webs. Had it been Hisoka who cared more about killing than impressing a wanna-be queen ant, the battle would have been over in an instant. Shizuku knew this and decided to team up with someone who could better use her abilities than relying on her thinking. It was a good call!

Bonolenov, on the other hand, confessed that he couldn't make great use of his abilities due to his lack of battle strategy. Calling for Chrollo's help best suits him, though he might end up like Kortopi and Shalnark once Hisoka finds him and Shizuku alone. 

While Chrollo can play a better game with Deme-chan and Battle Cantabile, their combination is weak without a force to shield them. This is where the brawl-type Phinks should be. Franklin may be a good option, but his build is too noticeable for Chrollo's disguise playbook.

#3 - Shizuku's Display Of Bad Memory Or A Case Of Denial?

What if we tell everyone that Chrollo shouldn't have been caught by Kurapika? 

If they thwarted the Kurta's plan, Pakunoda wouldn't have to sacrifice her life. Chrollo wouldn't need Hisoka's help to find an exorcist. He wouldn't owe Hisoka a fight. If they did, the outcomes would have been different.

So, where did it all go wrong?

The answer is Shizuku. If it's a case of poor memory or denial because she lost an arm wrestling fight to a kid (pre-G.I. training Gon), there's no way for us to know. But we are 100% sure that Shizuku messed it up, and the unfortunate events that followed are all because of her. 

Read our article about it: Shizuku to be blamed for Chrollo's capture?

#2 - Machi's Pity For The Dead... Or For Hisoka?

Machi's angst for Hisoka goes beyond many realms after what he did to her friends. However, this wasn't the case after the latter's fight with Chrollo Lucilfer.

The pink-haired spider spoke to Hisoka's corpse and attempted to patch him up so he wouldn't look so hideous. Did she pity him?

The Phantom Troupe's back story uncovered many things about the original members of Genei Ryodan: 

  • Pakunoda was bilingual.
  • Uvogin, Phinks, and Feitan bullied Chrollo and Shalnark.
  • Chrollo's first ability is voice-changing.
  • Machi can see aura while she's still a child.
  • Machi felt so sad for their dead friend and wondered if dying hurt.

While the last fact we cited justifies Machi's treatment of Hisoka's dead body, we don't know if she should react to the latter's resurrection as she did in the manga. There's an air of relief that her ex-colleague found a way to cheat death. 

Woah. Is she attracted to him? Did she threaten him before with empty words?

After he got up, Machi talked casually with the zombie as if nothing happened and carelessly turned her back on him. This is something she would regret for the rest of her life.

With two friends to protect, Machi shouldn't have let her guard down. It's not rocket science to fathom that Hisoka would be vengeful after his first loss in a death match. Where are her suspicions, a.k.a. "hunches" when she needs it?

Instead of trying to fix Hisoka's face, she should have dismembered his head. Fortunately, Hisoka still flirted with Machi to pay for her way of teasing with a tight Bungee Gum hug. She could have died there.

#1 - Chrollo Lucilfer And Others Not Practicing The Double Tap Rule

Chrollo after learning about Shalnark and Kortopi's death.

After a huge explosion in Heaven's Arena, it was presumed that Machi recovered Hisoka's body before someone else took him. The clown looked awful, but as Shalnark has stated, he didn't die from the blast or severe burns. Instead, it was the lamest cause of death for an incredibly strong fighter — suffocation.

Chrollo Lucilfer's call with Shalnark confirmed that he checked on his subordinates. However, it was too irresponsible for a leader not to bury or torch Hisoka's body himself. 

It's safe to assume that Lucilfer underestimated his assailed challenger. Had he gone for the head or at least checked what the remains looked like after the fight, he would have noticed that Hisoka was up to something. 

While Chrollo carries the biggest regrets here, Shalnark and Kortopi's deaths also burden Machi. Their failure to execute Zombieland's golden rule, which is to "double-tap," cost them two members with highly valued abilities.

The Spiders Must Survive

With the looming Battle Royale about to take place soon, the population of the ship may be reduced to half. It's hard to deny the possibility that some Genei Ryodan members may be included in the death list, especially if they commit more and more blunders. However, we hope for the best for them. After all, Otaku Fantasy is Team Spiders!

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