Within the anatomy of a shonen anime, the mentor figure is a key element who presents themselves as a guiding light for our young and inexperienced protagonists. Alongside our favorite main characters, the mentor figure can become just as popular, and oftentimes captures the hearts of viewers with their eccentric or remarkable character traits. Some examples of this figure include Jiraiya from Naruto, All Might from My Hero Academia, Satoru Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen, Kisuke Urahara from Bleach, and Koro-sensei from Assassination Classroom.
Oh, and I forgot to mention this blonde-haired looking girl – a character who completely took Hunter x Hunter fans by surprise by not only playing on the common lolly trope that sharon is known for, but also becoming a lovable mentor, guiding the way for our main duo of Gon and Killua in Greed Island.
While this is absolutely no shade at Wing, as I believed him to be a well-written character perfectly placed to initiate the boys into learning the basics of Nen during the Heavens Arena arc, to me, he lacked any sort of defining character trait or notable differentiator that would warrant placing him in the list of great shonen mentors I just named.
So not only did I think that it was a pleasant surprise to see Biscuit come along and fill that role missing from this amazing series, I actually think it was the final element that was missing from Hunter x Hunter’s shonen formula at the time. But this blog isn’t about analyzing what this quote-unquote “shonen formula” is, per se. However, I’d be really interested in making a blog on this in the future. Type hashtag shonen analysis in the comments if you’d like to see me discuss the inner workings of shonen anime as a whole.
This blog is to discuss what makes a mentor figure great in anime and how Biscuit Krueger fills this role beautifully, placing her among the greatest mentors that anime has to offer. So sit back, relax, grab some popcorn or candy, or whatever your snack of choice may be, as we discuss the mentor character traits that make this treasure hunter one to remember.
What’s up, anime fanbase? Welcome back to Anime Analysis, a channel dedicated to discussing and analyzing all things anime has to offer. One of the key themes present throughout all shonen anime is the concept of growth and development in one way or another. Without this, the show would be incredibly stale and leave nothing for the viewer to look up to, nor would the characters have much development or goals to strive for, making things pretty boring pretty quickly, in my opinion.
So, we’re taking a look at Biscuit’s role in comparison to the characteristics of the great shonen mentor, pinpointing exactly why she is, in fact, an incredible teacher and strengthens the already incredible series of Hunter x Hunter. If you would like to see more Hunter x Hunter analysis similar to this, or you have any other anime you’d like to see me cover, smash that thumbs up button and leave your suggestions in the comments down below.
So without any further delay, we’re getting right into it. Across anime and fiction, the mentor figure, and notably good ones, show three characteristics that make them particularly stand out. The first is that they strive for autonomy, not only for their students but also for themselves. While in the story of Hunter x Hunter, this goes without saying, as hunters can essentially pursue whatever their key interests are, the only stipulation is that they must hunt something. But take, for example, Satoru Gojo in the story of Jujutsu Kaisen.
While he isn’t in the highest position of authority, he truly wants his students to be free of the world, in which he believes is corrupted by the higher-ups in Jujutsu authority. Given that it’s incredibly stagnant and its members are staunch advocates for old-fashioned ideals, the good mentor breaks this mold and gives our main protagonist leeway to blaze their own trails.
The second trait is that mentor figures strive for knowledge and for a better understanding of the world around them. Typically, this is why mentor figures in anime and fiction are often depicted as old or seasoned veterans with years of experience to give the viewer context to what the world has looked like when they were younger and possibly more naive.
The third and final trait is that the mentor figure works to build a better future and rectify wrongdoings in the world that have happened in the past. This typically coincides with the shonen theme of ushering in a new generation, a coming-of-age story, or essentially blazing a trail for a new cast of characters.
Think of Jiraiya from Naruto; he was well aware of the cycle of hatred plaguing the ninja world. Through all of his experiences through Naruto, he hoped to end this cycle of suffering to issue in a new age of shinobi. Though not as explicit as some of the forefront anime mentors we think of, it can be extrapolated that Biscuit demonstrates these three key mentor traits in the little time we get to spend with her.
Being the embodiment of femininity within the world of Hunter x Hunter, Biscuit is obsessed with training new and talented students as she likens it to polishing diamonds in the rough or something along those lines. In staying true to this goal, she unrelentingly pushes her students to the limit to achieve not only their potential but also their autonomy in the process.
As explained before in many of my Hunter x Hunter blogs, the world of Nen is a complex but beautiful one. I believe that only through one’s struggles and grappling with each of its individually difficult techniques can one completely master their abilities and find which Nen-hatsu suits them the most.
In a lot of ways, I like to compare Nen to someone’s fingerprint; it is truly your own and something that only you can replicate. Biscuit’s stern and serious approach towards training her students helps to strengthen this autonomy and sense of self. This is evident in Bisky’s entire training program, from starting with the basics of Nen like Ko, Gyo, Ken, and Shu. She does very little hand-holding and lets Gon and Killua figure things out themselves before delving into affinity type-specific training.
And let’s be real, it was Biscuit who told Gon that rock-paper-scissors was based on martial arts, leading to his well-known and simple Hatsu, Ja Janken. So that, in and of itself, deserves a punch of merit in my opinion.
Beyond her personal relationships with her students, it’s clear that her sphere of influence extends far beyond this to the Hunter x Hunter world at large. Alongside her countless years of experience, it has shown that Biscuit is a very involved member of the Hunter Association and is held in incredibly high regard by many of its members. This can be shown when she enters the Hunter Election as a candidate to be the next Chairwoman.
I believe that Biscuit is the purest form of a Hunter in every sense of the word. As she not only wants to discover all the precious gems in the world, she is fascinated with cultivating young talent and is truly disappointed when she sees talent go to waste. This shows that Biscuit is truly immersed in the Hunter culture at large.
Related to this, while Biscuit doesn’t necessarily want to change a specific aspect of the Hunter Hunter world, she almost acts as a matriarchal figure to the Hunter community, training new Nen users and wholeheartedly looking out for them and caring for them. This emotion truly shows when she pities the fact that Killua’s Nen ability could only be obtained through a great deal of torture or when Gon is fighting for his life after his battle with Pitou.
In whatever way you look at it, you can’t deny that through her devilishly devious persona, there lies a mature and caring mentor who will always stand by her student’s side and foster their growth to the absolute best of her ability. So with all this being said, crafting a good mentor in anime can be really challenging, as the writer has to take into consideration the many things I listed above. And of course, mentor figures vary from series to series and what their core themes embody.
But these were some of my thoughts on Biscuit Krueger, our favorite money-loving Hunter. What were your initial thoughts on this character? Did you think she was a great mentor figure? What kind of themes did Biscuit show to you that you believe she embodies the most? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below.
If you enjoyed this, I have a growing list of Hunter Hunter blogs in which I take characters and analyze a specific theme that’s prevalent throughout their character arc. I’d love for you to check it out. For those that made it to the end, thank you all so much for reading, and I hope this helps to spark thoughts on not only Biscuit but the mentor figure at large. Until next time, stay curious, anime fam!
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.