Gon and the 5 Stages of Grief. An in-depth Analysis

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD

Do not read this post if you haven’t watch Hunter X Hunter Chimera Ant Arc. Actually you will need to have watched Hunter x Hunter since the beginning to truly understand this post.

Gon transformation in Hunter x Hunter Episode 131 – Anger X And X Light, that made his body mature around 20+ years and most likely made him the most powerful person in the world, could had only be achieved if he had gone through 4 of the 5 stages of grief multiple times. Let’s analyse each stage explaining why everything build toward a catastrophic anger.

Stage: Denial

Gon completely denies Kite dead and in this case his usual positive attitude plays a big role in clouding his reasonable judgment (if he actually had one to begin with) .

Kite Loses Arm
Pitou attacks Kite ferociously cutting down his right arm. Episode 85 – Light X And X Dark

After witnessing Pitou attack on Kite and having felt her sinister aura Killua, always calmed and collected, immediately concluded that Kite couldn’t have possibly survive the fight with Pitou. He even said to Netero, Morel and Knov that he can’t see any of them defeating that thing. On the other hand Gon starts to develop a very strong state of mind clearly determined in believing Kite couldn’t have possibly be defeated by Pitou. This marks the start of Gon denial stage.

Gon telling Killua Kite is Alive

He even convinced Killua that Kite was still alive and they should hurry back to save him. At that point Gon assumed Kite was just hiding from the Chimera Ants and he convinced himself that, do to Kite injury, he would not be able to do anything. Gon saw himself as the hero that will rescue Kite from his imprisonment. All he needed to do was get stronger.

Stage: Depression

Gon Frustrated Weakness
“I never knew how frustrating weakness could be” - Gon, Episode 91 - The Strong X and X The Weak

Gon becomes frustrated to the point of a momentary depression because he couldn’t beat Knuckle and felt overwhelmed with his own weakness, which prevented him from saving Kite the second time they went to NGL. Note that in the definition of the depression stage (see references below) the depression comes from the realisation of losing someone, but in the case of Gon he is depressed because he is too weak to do anything to save Kite.

Gon Getting Over his Frustration
Gon screams with passion to get over his frustration.

Gon quickly gets over his depression by simply shifting his belief that Kite will be saved by Knuckle and the other Hunters. All he had to do on his end is become stronger to not disappoint Kite when he comes back.

Stage: Denial

After witnessing Kite puppet-like condition Gon holds strong to his denial of Kite being dead, but this time though he shifted his denial from having to rescue Kite to finding a way to get him back to normal. By now Gon had went through the denial stage twice by just changing the conditions so he doesn’t have to acknowledge Kite really is dead (he is in complete denial).

Gon Hugs Kite
Gon hugs Kite apologising for him being in that state. Episode 95 – Grudge X And X Dread
Gon I want that one myself

Stage: Anger

Gon focused all his anger towards Pitou blaming her for getting Kite the way he was (like a marionette). His previous weakness is compensated with a hate so deep that grants him catastrophic power.

Gon Jajanken to Morel

All Gon had to do was focus all his hate toward Pitou to unleash a power fuelled completely by rage and anger. Even Morel got scared when watching Gon’s attack.

Stage: Bargaining

Gon feels incredibly helpless with an overwhelming amount of guilt. He finally accepted (after two denials) that Kite truly is dead. Even still (true to the bargaining stage) he tries to negotiate a way out of his loss by assuming several “What if…” statements and blaming himself for the loss:

Gon crying over Kite dead

If I haven’t gone with him Kite wouldn’t have died…

It was because I tagged along…

It was really my fault…

It’s my fault that Kite is…

No… It isn’t my fault Pitou’s the one who killed him! Not me!

But it was me…it was me…I killed Kite

Help…someone help.

Gon ask Pitou to heal Kite

After blaming himself and assuming Pitou would use Doctor Blythe to heal Kite after she healed her arm Gon finally accepted reality which leads to…

Stage: Anger (an absurd amount of it)

Gon goes through the stage of anger once again, but this time, after finally accepting Kite truly is dead, the amount of anger toward Pitou is so huge that made Gon level up to level a trillion. All the conditions were met to awaken this power and the amount of hate and anger was so absurd that Gon simply didn’t care if that was his end. As long as he could completely obliterate Pitou from the face of the Earth he will comes to terms with his suicidal decision.

Gon Aura Transform
"I’ll kill you Pitou!!!!" - Gon Episode 131 – Anger X And X Light

After having massacred Pitou and going through the stages of grief multiple times Gon was overwhelmed with an extreme sadness of finishing the job the way Kite taught him, but without being able to save him. Even after an undead Pitou cut his right arm Gon felt somewhat redeemed and could at least die after achieving his mission.

Gon Adult Confused

Stage: Acceptance

Thanks to Killua and Alluka, Gon came back from certain dead and was able to reach the final stage, acceptance. Although in this case is completely different because Kite didn’t actually died, he well….ummmmm….turned into a little girl.

Girl Kite with Gon

What is interesting here is the acceptance applies to both Gon and Kite because neither of them had the training required to defeat Pitou without dying. So after cheating dead they just needed to accept that they should move on, now as true friends that will help each other in the future.

Conclusion

Gon going through all grief stages to reach his transformation were so amazingly builded that when it happened on episode 131 it simply was a masterpiece. It didn’t happened because plot convenience (I’m looking at your Fairy Tail!!!), it happened because everything build to that point. What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts and theories. Would love to discuss details I didn’t see.

Resources

Reddit Discussion

I'm quite happy redditors liked my analysis. This post took me a while to write.

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