Suffice to say, I cannot explain Hunter X Hunter (2011) in just a few words. I’m a little late on the hype because I waited for the remake to finish before I could watch it as a whole; but anyway, right now, I’m on the verge of extracting my feelings to all of you after watching yet again a fantastic shounen anime.
I’ll just let you know that I’ve watched the first series before the remake and I might give off some short comparison between the two in some parts of my review (please do not get annoyed). However, that does not mean that the other is superior to the other. Don’t worry; I will not give any spoilers.
ELEMENTS OF THE STORY
PLOT - It’s tiring to even say the synopsis so I’ll have to get to the point. I loved how the author arranged the arcs in an organized way. It isn’t confusing and you will definitely have fun trying to remember those moments. Also, you can actually tell which part is which. Lastly, every arc is enjoyable and encouraging to see in their most valuable way. Let me describe each of those.
1. Hunter Exam – It is one of the most highlighted events in the lives of the 4 characters; Gon, Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio. For the most part, in this event you will see more action, less dramatic happenings and a lot more challenges that you could think of. Just participating in the exam is horrifying.
2. Zoldyck Family – Killua is quite peculiar but more so, his family is also strange but a lot more. In this arc, there will be more tests that the comrades will face that are as difficult as the vicious Hunter Exam.
3. Heavens Arena and Nen – This one is as far as I’m concerned, one of the most entertaining part of the show. I can recall how the characters experienced hell in Heavens Arena (ironic right?) expect more short battles and exciting kicks of the main characters. You will definitely enjoy most of the fights in this show. Oh, and they will learn a new skill that is pretty badass.
4. Auction and Phantom Rogue – a group that Kurapika serves as a mortal enemy. The four friends face the horrifying and powerful thieves or were they assassins? They are a bit of both. You will witness more bloodshed and nail-biting as Kurapika et al gamble their lives on defeating the most terrifying criminals that can defeat thousands of armies.
5. Greed Island – If you love a good real life video game, I guess you will appreciate this arc. Gon believes that this game has a clue on seeing his Dad so along with Killua and a bunch of new friends, they will win this game and complete the requirements needed. I guess this arc gives the two a no sweat battle.
6. Chimera Ants – One word, disturbing. And another one, it’s disgusting. The characters travel on to the next phase of their lives as they discover a new organism in a country, they are called, Chimera ants. You might already have an idea on what a chimera is if you’ve watched the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise. Chimeras are animals infused with human personalities and maybe bodies. Some may look like pure animals but in a way, they look a little evolved. Ants and the human race will get to combat on who will snatch the spot on the top of the food chain. Unexpected deaths will rise and most especially, it has a touch of drama behind it. I really cried in some parts. This arc also helped in honing the development of the characters.
7. Election and Alluka – This one has less fights. It’s more of a relaxed part of the show. There are minimal battles because of the aftermath on the Chimera Ants match. This arc has more logical thinking and it is also risky. Tears and blood will be shed but for the most part, the ending will cap a new beginning for all of the characters.
The explanation may not be too long for you guys to understand but I suppose this is my vivid description for most of the relevant parts of the story.
For the sudden comparison, Hunter X Hunter 2011 is better in delivering the story. It has a fast pacing of the turnover of events which is quite more pleasing to use that the old anime. At first, before encountering Hunter X Hunter 2011, I was devastated when I learned that they cut a bunch of funny and entertaining scenes from the manga that was shown from the 1999 series; for example, the famous sushi episode, where it was hard for the characters to please the examiner. On the other hand, I was awakened by the fact that it wasn’t important and either way, the story would’ve advanced even without that part. There is also the fact that it took almost 30 episodes to air the Hunter Exam from the old anime while, in the remake it only took 20 or less episodes. You can never get bored with the both of them but if you’ve already watched the 1999 version, I guess you will understand that fast paced is much superior. However, with the chimera arc, it took like 60 or more episodes to actually visualized and explains the battle. Anyway, the story was longer than in the 1999 version which only ended until the Greed Island arc.
SETTING and ENDING - The settings of the show gave a fulfilling representation of the bizarre yet colorful life of hunters. You will see the vast changes of one arc from the other. I think the bright and refined color of the backgrounds made the show more interesting to watch. The ending was just… WOW. There is no word to explain it. Yeah, somehow it didn’t satisfy the ending for the other characters but I guess it turned out pretty awesome. Thank you, Togashi Yoshihiro. You and your brilliance will shine forever! I hope the story continues on in the manga!
CHARACTERS – I’m not supposed to take this in a long explanation but I guess I’ll have to say it. Hunter X Hunter has a lot of wide ranged characters. You can actually see the depth and differences between personalities and distinguish them just by looking at their faces. The character design was just flawless in terms of personality but in appearance… not so much. I guess most of the main characters are built up with flat development. Gon Freecs have almost no change with his personality which is predictable but the only development he had to encounter is his hatred and his powers. This one took place in the chimera ant arc. You can see how he changed from the sweetest and kindest character in the story, well, he still is. On the other hand, his emotions changed as he meets new villains and disappointments. The thrill is in with Gon. Leorio is also a flat character. He is aggressively stupid and a bit fond of women. ‘Til the very end, he is the epitome of a stupid and weak hunter but he knows how to overcome that with the help of his friends. Kuapika has a minimal development like Gon. He has potential in yielding his powers and he gets even stronger than before because of revenge. Kurapika is always level-headed but as the story goes on, he cannot control the hidden anguish inside his heart. To be honest, Killua has the most development out of all the characters. He was once a good child, following the demands of his family but as he grew, he realized that there were more treasured people outside of the world. His realization with the world and the discovery that he gathers each time he spends with Gon, helps him to grow and advance into a different person. For the villains, Hisoka is the oddest and scariest of all. I can’t even figure out his true motive. He could be an enemy or an ally. He’s just so confusing and there is no telling whether he is going to kill Gon or not. The other character that caught my attention would be, Meruem. He is a round character for he develops a sensibility inside of him that gives him a sturdy ideology between people and ants.
SOUND – The opening does not condemn me at all. I think the song is a bit off for me. It isn’t my taste and I’m sorry for the comparison but, 1999 version wins when it comes to the opening song. Ohayo will always be my favorite anime song. On the bright side, the 2011 version did great on background music. I enjoy watching the show because of the OST. For the voice dub, I prefer Japanese because the 1999 English dub was just BAD. Notable voices captured my attention such as Sawashiro Miyuki who has the most recognizable voice in the show and Miyano Mamoru. The rest did a really good work.
ANIMATION – Madhouse is in charge of mostly dark anime series like Nana, Death Note and so on. They are an expertise when producing a dark feel to the show; at the same time, producing an amusing side as well. I love their flexibility when it comes to shows. I hope they serve as an example to other production staff as well. Oh, and they make good chibis. What else, I gues this one has a vibrant color than the old series. I have an issue with Hisoka’s hair, Killua’s fashion sense, and other stuff but I guess both versions are weird in their own ways.
ENJOYMENT and OVERALL
I definitely had a nice catch with this one. Hunter X Hunter makes a lot of surprises and changes. It has potential in seeking selected audiences with its dark themed and it is full of action. It has everything what a shonen anime makes or represents. Cool characters caring for their friends, anonymous and surprising villains, funny moments, decent quotes and a lot more. I guess I’m writing too much adlib. My favorite parts of this anime (I’m acting like a kid right now I’m sorry) are the Bromance of Gon and Killua, Kurapika’s successful yet failing vengeance, Leorio’s motivation with his friends, Hisoka’s peculiarity, and strong hunters.. especially, the chairman. I’m quite relieved that this ranked 94 in popularity because sometimes popular shows are the most awful ones *coughs*, Fairy Tail, *coughs*, Kuroko no Basuke, *coughs*, so many more. Nevertheless, please watch this awesome anime. Mind you, both versions are both recommendable, I’m sure you will enjoy both shows at a high rate. I’m even running out of words on how to describe it. You’ll get hooked and will be hooked with this exceptional, special, extraordinary, incomparable, outstanding, remarkable, amazing, unique… Fuck! I need a thesaurus! Please Watch Hunter X Hunter 2011!