Secondly, for those of you who watch Hunter X Hunter, I would like to compare Killua and Gon to Knuckle and Shoot and to Morel and Knov.
Killua, as shown in the picture, is prone to over-thinking things due to his ninja training, and possibly due to genetic predisposition.
Gon, by contrast, is optimistic, cheerful, and full of friendly joviality for everyone he meets; he is particularly loved by animals.
Shoot is actually filled with fear and considers himself to be a coward.
Knuckle is a blunt, blustery, but kind man; he is loved by animals.
Knov eventually shows great vulnerability to fear.
Morel is a big, muscular, hard-hitting guy who is nonetheless confident, so he acts rather kindly.
All of these characters are “good guys,” and the fearful ones may have considerable redeeming qualities, but I think the author is in love with the theme that true strength leads to confident kindness. I approve: that’s a good theme, and so far as I can tell, it’s true about the real world as well as shonen stories.
At this point, the reader is invited to claim that I am overthinking a child’s cartoon, to which I respond with Killua’s rebuttal, as seen in the illustration.
I have great respect for the author, but I think his characters are more than a little derivative. It is as though he really likes the idea of a kind, confident, muscular guy and his fearful best-friend, so he keeps repeating this pair of characters.