Synonyms: HxH (2011)
Japanese: HUNTERxHUNTER (2011)
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 2, 2011 to Sep 24, 2014
Duration: 23 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 9.151 (scored by 102563 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular TagsNo tags found
Oct 2, 2014
HxH is about a young boy named Gon who embarks on a journey to find his father. After learning that his father left him at a young age to become a Hunter, Gon decides to follow in his footsteps not only to find him, but also to see what was so special about the profession that made his father choose it over him. Although a story of finding one's father is simple, it is the path that is taken towards this end that makes the series truly special. HxH is made up of several arcs that are all extremely well-written, which brings me to the best part of the series, the writing. Hunter x Hunter (2011) boasts one of the finest writing in the world of shonen; the depth and flow of the story, enthralling characterizations, strong dialogue and impressive world-building are all crafted into a fascinating tale that can absorb viewers into lengthy marathons.
The amount of variety that is packed into HxH's story is also very impressive. HxH successfully dabbles in several genres in six story arcs tackling survival, fighting tournaments, crime thriller, virtual realities, war and politics. Not only that, the series is also able to undergo significant tonal shifts with ease (light to dark and vice versa). Sometimes, these shifts in tone occur after an arc ends though other times, it even occurs mid-arc. Another thing about HxH is that its arcs are connected with one another, with each arc naturally following the one before it. This creates a natural transition that highlights what the series really is, a journey. As for pacing and development, they are excellent. For the most part, HxH is very well paced. The series does a fantastic job at keeping its viewers engaged, time will fly by as you watch most episodes and you'll find yourself breezing through the show. Excluding two recap episodes, HxH has no filler episodes. Due to this, story progression is solid with the plot moving forward with each episode.
Although HxH initially gives off a light hearted impression, it gives off a good one. Not the kind of “light heartedness” that makes you say “this is childish and below me” but the kind that appeals to everyone. HxH gives off that classic and charming shonen vibe that has been lost in recent years, and it does so with its head held up high. Eventually though, the series takes a dark turn. Although most HxH story arcs are light hearted, both Yorknew and the Chimera Ant arc are two of the best and darkest arcs shonen has to offer. Yorknew can be described as a dark thriller in a big city. The central theme of the arc is revenge and it is similar to Death Note in terms of thrill and atmosphere. On the other hand, the Chimera Ants arc can be described as an attempt by the Hunters Association to control an outbreak of a dangerous man-eating species. It is the darkest and most thematically powerful arc in the series tackling themes such as identity, human nature and survival of the fittest. The arc has drawn comparisons to Yu Yu Hakusho’s Chapter Black for its seinen-like nature and is similar to Shingeki no Kyojin, where the protagonists experience a strong sense of despair in the face of a vastly superior, hostile species. The series undergoes major tonal shifts in both arcs with the color palette, music, atmosphere and amount of violence changing significantly.
However, what sets the series apart from other battle anime is its unorthodoxy and unpredictability. Shonen tropes and storytelling methods are undermined throughout the series. The main character for example, Gon, fails more than he succeeds. Power-ups based on emotion or willpower are non-existent and fighting in the series is radically different from other battle anime. The main protagonist is not the main focus of every arc either. At certain points in the series, you could even say that Gon has taken a supporting role, especially during the later portions of the CA arc where he isn't given as much focus due to the grand scope of the story. The standard battle anime formula of “lose-train-win” is also undermined. Although there is training, it does not always translate to a victory, nor does it propel the protagonists over or to the same level as their main adversaries in terms of strength. For the most part, the protagonists assume the underdog role. Although they have incredible potential, they are still kids who have a lot to learn. In terms of storytelling, unpredictable developments are commonplace. One thing that continues to amaze me with this show is how it leads viewers into thinking that the story will progress in this direction, only to change course and arrive at a completely different outcome. A good example of this would be the series' arcs which often end in an anti-climatic manner. Basically, there are a lot of scenes and story developments that you won’t see coming because they defy conventional shonen storytelling or are unpredictable in their own right.
The series' unorthodoxy can also be seen in its fights which are primarily cerebral. In addition to being well-executed, HxH fights are smart and involve a lot of strategy. Raw power is a factor but it is not the factor that decides battle outcomes, actual power (nen abilities), experience and strategy are all taken into account. If a main character is outclassed by an opponent in all or most categories, he is likely to lose. Moreover, main characters are not given any special treatment in combat. This smart approach to fighting is further enhanced by nen, a unique and complex power system held by defined rules. The concept of nen, its principles, aura types and many applications on the battlefield reveal the huge amount of thought that was put into it. I still remember having to pause episodes, even research a bit during its introduction, just to digest it in its entirety.
The appearance and writing of the series also create an effect of cognitive dissonance, the simplistic look of the show mentally conflicts with the brilliance and unorthodoxy of its writing. As new viewers delve deeper into HxH, they realize that there is much more to the show than its cover art and synopsis suggest. Expectations of the series being immature, simple or generic are progressively overturned as the show reveals its surprising underbelly.
As for sound, HxH has a line of great soundtracks that started off decent but got better as the series progressed. With the exception of a few minor characters, the voice acting in this series is excellent. As a person who has never seen the old series it’s hard to believe that these aren't the original voices because they fit extremely well, especially those of Gon, Killua and Hisoka whose voice actors do a perfect job of capturing their characters.
HxH also has great art and animation. It amazes me how a long-running series like HxH delivers consistent quality animation episode after episode, especially during the fights. The series does a great job of capturing facial expressions and everything from the lighting, shading and colors adjust perfectly depending on the mood of the scene or the tone of the arc. As one reviewer (nagaiyume) said, the bright colors of the show might need some getting used to, though it is usually fans of the old series who have this problem. Personally, I think it fits the show perfectly. It adds to the charm of the series by complementing its sense of adventure, uplifting atmosphere and unique appeal as a shonen that looks simple but is actually remarkably deep.
Although HxH’s primary strength lies in its writing, its characters come pretty damn close. HxH has a huge cast of characters. They have quirks, dreams, inner demons, world views and overall, really likable personalities. To top it off, most of them don’t follow generic character archetypes. Although some may initially come across as “generic”, these assumptions are gradually undermined as the series progresses.
If there's one thing I want to emphasize in the character department it would be the series main villains. When it comes to characters, this is where the show shines the brightest. HxH villains are extremely well-written (with the exception of the Bomber who won't apply to most of what I'll say below). Not only are their characterizations independently impressive, they are also distinct from one another; no two villains are the same. This distinctness does not only apply within the series but outside of it. You won't find another Hisoka, Chrollo or Ant King in any other anime. This is what makes HxH villains so compelling, in addition to having really impressive characterizations, they are also original. Although I excluded one out of the four main villains from most of what I wrote above, all HxH villains do have one thing in common. Each villain strikes fear into audience, the series does a good job of establishing the level of danger these characters bring to the story and our protagonists.
However, while HxH is a great series it isn't perfect. The series doesn't have a strong start, it takes three episodes for show to get going. I've seen a lot of people drop HxH early and it sucks because the first two episodes don't capture the series at all. Things start to get mildly interesting in the third episode, after that, the series just gets better and better. HxH also suffers from occasional BGM misuse. There are odd sound choices for some scenes. Sometimes they don’t really fit, other times they don’t fit it all. Lastly, the Chimera Ant arc also has minor issues with both Togashi and Madhouse to blame. Togashi’s fault lies in his writing during the middle of the CA arc which I think, pales in comparison to the rest of the series. HxH has made a name for itself for holding a consistent high level throughout its run; it’s a series that’s just so engaging and easy to marathon. However, I believe this consistency took a hit mid-CA arc (due to handling of the story and pacing) specifically, episodes 89-98. Don’t get me wrong though, I think there are a fair number of good episodes within that 9-episode stretch but unfortunately, they are surrounded by mediocre episodes that break the consistency of an otherwise exceptional arc. Madhouse’s fault lies in its adaption of the manga chapters comprising episodes 113 and 115, which were dragged out in order to have episode 116 handled by their best animation team. Episode 113 was actually well paced except for one atrocious sequence while episode 115 as a whole was generally poorly paced.
A clarification about the "slowed down pacing" of Chimera Ant arc:
If you’ve been reading up about HxH, you’ve probably seen some people complain about the “poor pacing” during the “narration heavy episodes” of the CA arc. Well if you’re wondering how much truth is there to this statement and were going to ask me about it, my answer would be it depends.
At episode 111, the palace invasion (climax of the CA arc) begins and narration begins to play a huge role in episodes in order to (1) pack a whole level of depth into the story and (2) increase dramatic tension. Rather than a high octane "action fest" people would expect from a shonen arc climax, the palace invasion takes a psychological heavy route wherein a character’s thoughts and mental state are given more focus than the actual action. This psychological focus together with the narration slows down the pace considerably in the sense that episodes begin to cover a lot less in narrative time. However, despite this “slowed down pace”, the pacing of these episodes remain solid with good amount of manga chapters being covered during each of these episodes and the duration of scenes being on point (except for episodes 113 and 115 which I mentioned earlier in this review).
In the end, it depends if the narration works on you or not. If you like the psychological approach and experience an increase in suspense then you’ll have no problems with the pacing and are in for one helluvah of a ride. However, if you don’t like the psychological approach and feel that the narrator’s heavy presence breaks your immersion then you’re in for a grueling experience. Of course, there are other combinations such as liking the psychological route but not feeling the immersion or maybe the narration just didn't work on you completely. Well, if this happens to be the case then you’ll end up with mixed feelings. On the bright side, most people who end up watching the invasion end up enjoying the narration. However, if you happen to be one of the good number of people who end up not liking the narration don’t worry, only episodes 111-118 of the palace invasion have heavy narration. After episode 118, the narration begins to decrease and episodes eventually reach a point where they are “back to normal”.
Heads up to people looking for action:
Although I love the fighting aspect of the series and consider it to be a strong plus, I’ll leave this out there for the sake of subjectivity. HxH does not cater to everyone. Although fights in the series are well-executed, they are also short (1-10 minutes) and happen less in comparison to other battle anime. Moreover, the focus on strategy in battles might be off putting to people who prefer fights with more brawn and less brain. If you're expecting an action heavy series like Yu Yu Hakusho then you will be disappointed. This is because HxH is a series that relies on its story to reel in viewers. Personally, I think this is how fighting in shonen should be done. Fighting should be able to entertain and also make you think. It shouldn't drag on for too long at the expense of the story without leaving you underwhelmed.
Hunter x Hunter (2011) is an intelligent battle anime with a fantastic story, excellent characters and fights that involve a lot of strategy. Separating it from most of its genre, the series subverts shonen tropes and boasts unpredictable plot progressions that make it truly unique.
Story: 10/10 (Outstanding)
Characters: 10/10 (Outstanding)
Art: 9/10 (Great)
Sound: 8/10 (Great but occasionally misused)
Enjoyment: 10/10 (Extremely high)
Overall: 10/10 (Masterpiece) read more
Sep 23, 2014
I don’t have words enough to describe what was this 148 episodes for me.
I'll not spend this review talking about the Synopsis, because It’s right here on MAL.
I need to tell you, why you must watch this masterpiece, and what it represents to me.
First of all I’m gonna talk about the final episode. I felt Joy, sadness, angry (Togashi hurry up with the manga! hahah), and of course, satisfaction. Satisfaction because I heard my friends (you NEED to watch it), because it wasn’t time wasted, because those 148 episodes, and the nights that I spent watching, were worth, really. Hunter x Hunter is a complex anime, a peculiar story, something that, certainly, will mix up with your feelings, with your thoughts, with your conception of a Shonen.
What do I mean? It’s not that simple. But I’ll try to clarify: Don’t think that you’re about to find predictable arcs. Don't think that the heroes gonna always beat the villains (In some parts of the story... nobody wins). Don’t think that training and good skills can ensure that you'll defeat an enemy, sometimes you'll need more than that. Behold what humans can be (and Togashi show us really well in Chimera Ant Arc). Behold what friendship can be, in all it’s complexity. You’re not gonna see in this anime that kind of Main Character that is AWESOME for no reason, no training. Togashi will make you understand the personality of the characters and their powers. Power, I mean, Nen or aura (vital energy), similar to what we see in other shonens like, Dragon Ball (Ki) or Naruto (Chakra). It's presented to us really well how the "Nen system" works. The explanations are long in some episodes, but simple to understand.
Talking now about the animation: Hunter x Hunter is breathtaking . Indeed, it can be said that Madhouse did an excellent job with the remake . I was amazed with what I saw in some episodes. I confess that many of them I've watched over and over again, just to observe the details of the animation, and not only what was happening in the story ( Episode 131 I’ve watched 4 times ). In the end , I'm grateful that Madhouse animated Hunter x Hunter from the beginning .
The characters.. oh they are unique, really. It's quite impressive how Togashi gave to them a variety of personalities. You'll not gonna enjoy only the four main characters (although many consider that the main are Gon and Killua, since the story focuses more on the two of them from a certain phase). Hunter x Hunter have a significant character development on the supporting ones too, and, of course in the villains (you'll love them, believe me). I don't have a favorite character in this show. It's impossible to choose one. Watch it and you'll experience what I'm saying.
You mean this show has nothing bad?
Yes it has.
1) The worst thing in this show is: It ended.
Okay, joking aside, I think is the worst part is the beginning. You have to watch 4 or 5 episodes to feel in the mood to still watching. Many people just gave up in the first episodes. I can ensure you, go on and watch it til the end.
Particularly I don’t like so much The Hunter Exam Arc, the first arc of the story. If you compare with the other arcs it’s really not the best one. I have in my heart this two arcs: Chimera Ant Arc and Yorknew city Arc.
The second thing many fans of the show complains a LOT, is the Opening song. Why? 148 episodes, different openings, but... THE SAME SONG. For me it wasn't a problem at all. I love the song, and... I think I watched the opening “one hundred and forty-eight” times and I sang it. Hahaha. But I really wanted to see a new song too.
The third thing is totally my personal opinion: the narrator. Your first contact with him will be in the begining of the early episodes. He will explain what is a Hunter.
The narration it's something that we don't see a lot in other animes. I like it, it's brilliant and I totally understand that this add gives the anime the suspense and it's particular style.
The advantage of having a narrator, in my opinion, is the ''observer factor''. Instead of exploring the point of view of all the characters, we have that peculiar element that seems to know everything and adds important information to the audience.
But, eventually, the narrator annoys me, specially in the Chimera ant Arc. I mean: we see what's going on, it's not necessary an explanation!
Of course that the ''narration effect'' will depend on the way you receive it. Sometimes will give that "slow motion" you'll need to absorb what's going on, but in a few episodes it's really overused.
In conclusion, I have to thank above all, you Togashi Yoshihiro. You're brilliant. You can make unique characters, outstanding plots. You still go on, and on, in successive hiatus in the manga, and everyone complains a lot (even me), but then what you show to us is so amazing that makes it worth waiting. Thank you for exist and for this awesome masterpiece.
For you that didn't watch it yet, do not be fooled by the first few episodes or with the synopsis. Both of them will give you the impression that you're about to see a generic shounen. Insist. This is a kind of anime that in each episode everything seems to evolve: the story, the setting, the characters. You will be hooked, unable to stop watching .
And then my friend, you will start to feel pain. Yes, pain, when you realize that you're at the 100º episode and there is only 48 episodes left.
Embrace this adventure called Hunter x Hunter! xD read more
Sep 28, 2014
Hunter x Hunter 2011 is incredibly well appreciated within the myanimelist community, however it never managed to grow a fanbase as large as the ones from other popular Shounen Series like Fairy Tail, Naruto, Bleach... Maybe it's because the series is much younger and I sincerely hope that one time HxH will be as popular as Naruto, because it just deserves it so much. I’ve never seen a better Shounen Series, no a better Anime series before. Hunter x Hunter deserves every single praise it gets. It takes Shounen to a whole new level.
At first glance, I wasn’t too excited to watch Hunter x Hunter, in fact I even wanted to drop the Series after 3 episodes. Everything seemed like your stereotypical Shounen with an annoying protagonist in a scenario, where everything is happy throughout and the fights being overly predictable all the time. Oh, how wrong I was.
As I’ve already mentioned, the story of HxH looks like the one of every single Shounen and it seems, that it won’t offer new elements and topics. My thoughts were completely vanished before the tenth episode. Although the main idea of the young boy Gon trying to become Hunter and finding his father is very simple, the story gets incredibly deep and complex from time to time. The writing is spectacular throughout, the path’s taken by the main characters to achieve their goals are incredibly creative and unpredictable, every arc offers new topics and even new genres, which couldn’t be attached any better. In conclusion, HxH is the most marathonable Anime I’ve seen so far.
The fighting system “Nen” is very complex and offers near to a thousand different possibilities to fight. There are almost no emotion based Power-Ups in this Anime and if there are some most fights are decided by pure tactics, which makes the fights so interesting, at least for me.
The story is divided in many different story arcs, like almost every long running Shounen. As I’ve already mentioned, almost every arc sets up things differently. For example, the first arc “Hunter exam” and the “Greed Island” arc have much of an adventure feeling, while arc the fourth arc “Yorknew City” emphasizes much on thriller elements. Most of the arcs take a while to get things set up, for example the “Chimera Ant” arc takes a while to get things set up perfectly, to finish in the most epic way possible with the best use of the genre “Drama” I’ve ever experienced.
The pacing in Hunter x Hunter is very fast in general. Just compare the amount of chapters the Manga has in comparison to the amount of episodes. That means no fillers at all (if you don’t count the two summery episodes near the beginning), no stupid fanservice, just straight forward Story, which is perfect in my book.
The Animation is nearly perfect, that just shows how good Madhouse Animations are in general. The consistent Animation throughout this long Series seriously amazes me. Characters Design is top notch, backgrounds fit the scenery and atmosphere almost every time and facial expressions are done right. I don’t know what specifically is criticize able in this section.
Concerning the Sound, HxH offers a variety of different soundtracks, with true masterpieces in it. Soundtrack wise the Series offered nothing really memorable in the first episodes, but it got better and better when the story progressed, with scenes which couldn’t be accompanied with a certain soundtrack any better. The voice actors did a very good job overall, especially the ones of Gon and Hisoka, which just fit their character perfectly in every scene.
Besides the perfect writing, the second big strength of HxH are the characters and especially their development. Starting with the main character, Gon, his development is absolutely impressive in any way. In contrast to almost every other protagonist in a Shounen Series, Gon fails more than he succeeds and learns from his mistakes. The second main character, Killua, is written perfectly and his backgrounds, intensions etc. are very interesting. The other two members of the starting crew are Kurapika and Leorio, both having their own intentions, good development and understandable backgrounds as well.
However the biggest strength of HxH character wise are the antagonists. They’re written so perfectly and unique, you just can’t hate them. You won’t find another Hisoka, Kuroro or Meruem in another Anime, they’re just too unique and likeable.
Overall, I have to say I’m simply impressed by Hunter x Hunter in every regard, it’s definitely the best Anime I’ve seen so far and it won’t be easy to fill the void after the Series ended. If you look for a Shounen, which is outstanding in terms of writing, story progression, character development and uniqueness, you have to watch Hunter x Hunter. While it has some weaknesses and rather mediocre episodes from time to time, those little mistakes can easily be overlooked due to the overall extremely high quality of all the other ones.
Dec 30, 2014
Now, I shall ACTUALLY explain....
Story (10/10): Gon Freecss is a 12 year old boy, and an aspiring hunter with a taste for adventure. Sound familiar, eh? His father, Ging, left the newborn Gon, without leaving many clues to where the father had ventured to. Sound even more familiar, eh? Well don't assume that this is like any other cliched storyline, because it's far from it. Throughout his journey, he gains the acquaintance of Leorio (an aspiring doctor), Kurapika (a special-eyed boy enveloped in a deep vengeance for the killers of his tribe), and soon enough Gon's closest friend, Killua (a member of the highest skilled assassin-family, showing the most potential). Throughout the group's journey, each of the character's story play an essential role in driving the plot forward, and oh how the plot thickens.
The story is constantly evolving and constantly moving, sparing no slack in pace. If you hate filler, you will love this show especially. It will constantly keep you hooked. If you've just started the series, keep watching I tell you, keep watching. It keeps getting better.
Art (10/10): Now I'm no art aficionado, but I can tell when too bright is too bright and too dark is too dark. All I can is that it's well balance and is pleasing to the eye. Now it's not seizure-inducing like NGNL, but it get's the job done in an enjoyable manner. The palette, uh, looks nice, and uh, stuff. Yeah. There's no "you're trying too hard" to be expected in the artistic representation of Hunter x Hunter. Edit: and once you get to the end of the Chimera Ant arc, I give you my solemn word: you will not be disappointed with the conglomeration of art and sound and the overall feeling. No spoilers.
*Sound (10/10): Now this is my FAVORITE part. Part of what makes a series whole is the great sounds that go on behind it. I absolutely adore the music that went on behind the story. It did what I find other series have a hard time perfecting. When intrigue is being produced, music that correctly suits the situation will be presented, and in turn your intrigue will be piqued. When you're on the edge of your seat biting your nails, music adds to that experience. I believe it sets a tone for the story, and does it in an extremely efficient way. However, the only fault is that the music does not fit perfectly sometimes, but it isn't enough to irritate someone. It still gets the job done, and helps steep one's mind into the story further. And possible the BEST part of the sound portion of HxH is the inclusion of Gustav Holst's "Jupiter" from "The Planets." It's a beautiful song and it's inclusion in the series legit made me shed a tear m8.
Characters (10/10): No stone is left unturned in the realm of character development. Every character has a specific motive driving them and the drive to accomplish it. There's an explanation for every character's purpose -- and then it develops farther and farther. Think of Gon, the main character, as the main line. As Gon progresses, new characters come into contact with him, creating an infrastructure of development, moving forward at the same pace as Gon. The development only expands around Gon at the same time as Gon ventures about.
Enjoyment (10/10): Need I explain my enjoyment further? The rating clearly declares my sentiment towards the series. The only thing that I DON'T enjoy is that the series is ending at only 148 episodes. That's right, only. By the time you go through the 145 episodes I've gone through, you'll feel how I feel to realize that there's only 148. 148 does not do this series justice. All I, as well as I'm sure anyone else who has ventured through the series thus far feels is that there should be more. and more. and more. and more. There's much more to be explored! Given, there are only 350 chapters (at the moment) of the manga, and the anime finishes quite close. My only hope, and I'm sure I speak for many others, is that the series picks up maybe even a year or 2 later, when there is more of the manga for the anime to run off of -- and not take 10 years to reboot and recontinue. All I can say is we want more, and more is an understatement.
TL;DR - Watch Hunter x Hunter (2011) past the first season, instantaneously become addicted, and see why this underrated series should be not underrated nor overrated, but rated with high regard. You will not be disappointed. Just watch it. 10/10.
PS. People who give this show less than a 9 eat children. read more
May 16, 2015
I loved this anime; the plot, characters and overall anime was amazing; which left me confused when I learned that a lot of my fellow anime watchers didn't like it; and one of the main reason was that 'it looked childish,' and can I just confirm that, this anime is far from it!
I don't want to spoil anyone, so this bit may come across a little vague; but I'll try my best! Anyway, the story line was great, as far as I know, there wasn't any glaringly obvious plot holes and the plotline was beautifully developed. Compared to other ~long~ animes (animes which have over 50 episodes) all episodes were relevant and didn't contain much 'filler' episodes; or at least, that's what it felt like. The main story line never diverged and kept true to its main point which was, the protagonist, 'Gon' trying to find his father. As with most animes, there are also sub-plots and the subplots were also masterfully done; they were never too 'powerful' that it feels like the main 'quest' have been forgotten; they were enjoyable, yet, to the point.
Going back to the 'childish' thing going on, it is far from it; the anime as a whole is gripping and is very dark; (quite similar to Puella Madoka Magica, where the art style may seem bright and friendly; but the plot is a monster of feels and tears and anything in between). It is a great balance of light-hearted as we see the characters build close bonds with each other, to the comedic antics of other characters to the sorrowful and regrettable deaths of some. To those of you who are seeking romance, well, there is also romance in there.
In all honestly, one of the main reasons for my confusion as to why Hunter X Hunter isn't as popular as other animes (such as Naruto, One Piece and Bleach) is the plot. Hunter X Hunter's plot is ultimately told better, clearer and with much more catharsis than others I know. It has all the elements in it and memorable characters that a fantastic anime needs and a good plotline to boot without too much fan service (there are some, but not overwhelmingly so, that it ruins the show) It is immersive and will leave you speechless.
So, the art... I believe the art is one of the reasons, many 'modern' otakus out there tend to scroll by due to the fact that the front cover conveys a very sweet, bright and happy anime; in which all Hunter X Hunter watchers know that it isn't true.
The dynamic art style creates a great contrast between its 'happy' episodes and episodes where there is carnage everywhere; which , for me, creates a stronger impact when one watches it.
Before, someone questions me about it, yes. Yes I have seen the 1999 version of the anime; and it's also good, however, I do prefer the 2011 version. In all honesty, the anime is just as good either versions; so, go for the art style you prefer! The only reason (and it can be seen as quite silly, I know) that I prefer the 2011 version is probably that the characters' eyes are more defined and I find that incredibly alluring and absolutely beautiful.
I'm going to be honest with you here, I'm a 'watch the opening songs and ending songs once and skip it after that' kind of watcher; so, I don't really have much to say on this topic, however, for the times I've heard it, I actually liked it and I usually don't pay mind to most anime songs. the use of music while watching the episodes are done well and match the atmosphere of whatever the character is doing at the time.
Oh my gosh! I can not emphasize enough how wonderful the characters are! First of all, there is a plethora of characters which are well-developed and break the most of the character tropes. The intense, complicated backstories alone is enough to hook you in.
The characters' aesthetics are drawn wonderfully, but the personalities that go with these faces are on another stupendous level. The way the protagonists develop and affect each other is slow, yet fluid. There's no rush nor is there any 'unnatural', suddenly-this-happened-and-I-don't-know-how things occurring during character developments.
All characters have a role and all of them are relevant. Even the villains. And for me, that's rare.
In most animes I've watched, villains are usually just there to be villains; there usually isn't any development on their part; once evil. always evil. In the case of Hunter X Hunter, however, the villains are gloriously well-developed and it is obvious that they are well thought out. before watching this, there wasn't a single villain that I didn't want to get killed as they are usually very two dimensional; however, this series had THE villain. The villain that you knew has their faults and will probably deserve the death that comes to them, but then, something happens and, dear Oedipus, suddenly; you just want to desperately save them! (y'all know who I'm talking about...)
I feel as if I don't have enough eloquence to tell you how amazing these characters are, but, they are amazing! Don't just take my word for it, watch it!!
As for the rating...The ONLY reason I gave this a '9' is that, I felt as if my favourite character didn't have enough screen time; but then again, he's kinda like an anti-hero so, maybe it isn't as unjustified as I think it is.
Enjoyment? Are you kidding me? For me, this was a masterpiece!!!! Even without the popcorn, hotdogs and candy I managed to consume during I watched it; and that's saying a lot! I like my food, ya know?
In all seriousness though, It's gripping and immersive. the amount of empathy, sorrow and laughter you'll share with these characters will be unreal. let me tell you now, that this is the only anime I have watched and actually cried over a character. That's saying a lot! I don't cry. Ever. Well, at least not when watching something.
I love it. It's one of those 'classics,' ya know? It never gets old and will never get old. I still think that this should have a greater fan base and I will be forever confused and shocked as to why it doesn't. It is definitely in my top 10 and possibly top 5 and I'm not easily impressed.
Definitely has a high 're-watch' rating as I've re-watched this at least 5 times already. It's one of those go-to animes when you want something good and familiar and something that you know won't let you down.
I recommend it to everyone; especially if you have good taste in anime. ;)
Oct 4, 2014
The story starts with Gon, a 12-year-old boy who sets out for a journey to find his father and his first step is to become a Hunter. A Hunter is an individual who has enough luck and talent to pass the Hunter exam. A Hunter specializes in something, can be practically anything, you name it. A Hunter lives by a power system called Nen in a universe that cleverly reflects the dark side of our real world.
Essentially, the word Hunter isn't special but when it's combined with a well-designed power system and universe, it means infinite possibilities and I have to say Yoshihiro Togashi brilliantly executes that.
This series has all shounen elements but doesn't follow generic shounen patterns. It begins simple but gradually gets more complex and very unpredictable. A journey of the protagonist and his friends to achieve their goals is as reasonable and realistic as it can get. It has many details, takes time and consists of both success and failure. The MCs don't get a privilege to have special powers or suddenly get stronger for no reasons. They train and evolve as the story progresses. On the other hand, the antagonists don't just act out of pure evil. Their reasons are justifiable in different perspectives.
HxH has 7 arcs. Each one is related but has its own conflict and uniqueness. My personal favorite is the Yorknew arc from episode 39-58. After each arc, the concept of Hunter is explored bit by bit and you will keep getting a bigger picture of the whole Hunter universe. The atmosphere varies from a light-hearted shounen to one of the darkest seinen to fit each arc so it keeps things fresh and intriguing. Each fight is mostly strategic-based and relatively short. It's clever and never defies the logic of Nen.
Apart from the story, the best thing about the series is the characters. For me, characters make or break the show and HxH characters are top-notch. They really make the series shine.
Most, if not, all characters and their relationships are realistic because they are imperfect. Not only the MCs, many supporting characters have also undergone substantial amount of development through the course of the series. Most of them are round characters with distinctive personalities, appearances, backgrounds, powers, ambitions and the ability to think. Their actions are driven by their own judgement as an individual, not what the plot requires them to do so it's very easy to sympathize with them, even the antagonists.
In term of production, HxH has unique art style with great and very consistent animation for a series that has over 100 episodes. The pacing is satisfying because there are no fillers at all. Voice actors and actresses are suitable for each character. OP, ED and OST are quite good even if there is only one opening song so far.
As for the negatives, there isn't a major problem in the series and all the minor ones i.e. change of narration style and slow pacing in 6th arc, repetitive op song, long absence of a character etc. didn't bother me as much. If anything, I think the only reason you shouldn't watch HxH now is because the story doesn't end yet. Despite a somewhat satisfying conclusion, you could call these 148 episodes a season one and honestly, you will not get a season two, not anytime soon considering the hiatus history of Togashi.
All in all, Hunter x Hunter (2011) exceeds all my expectations. I would recommend this series to anyone, especially a shounen fan, because I think it's one of a very few anime that is truly remarkable, well-executed and very enjoyable. Watch it and you will understand why this anime deserves its rank. read more
May 10, 2015
Over the past few months, the popularity for Hunter X Hunter (2011) has become increasingly large, with depictions of it being the best Shounen anime in years, and what can I say, that might just be true. This review may contain spoilers, so please beware!
On numerous occasions, I have come across people who have looked at the cover and synopsis of Hunter x Hunter, and said, "looks pretty generic and boring to me." This is then made them not watch the show, but boy are they missing out. The main plot focuses on Gon Freecs, a young 12 year old boy who was abandoned by his father at a very young age. For years, Gon has wondered why his father left him, and where did he journey off too? This then pushes Gon to strive to find his dad, and ask him about the life of being a Hunter, and what made him want to do it. The basis of the story sounds fairly simple, but in reality it is actually quite complex. Over the course of the show, we see Gon embark on different vigorous tasks, ranging from competing in an exam to become a fully fledged Hunter, to fighting mutant Chimera Ant's which challenge the very fate of the Hunter universe. What really makes the story of Hunter X Hunter stand out, is the level of depth and complexity Togashi (the writer) makes it out to be. There is no easy way to go about these ruthless challenges that Gon and his friends face, which will therefore put their very lives on the line, to accomplish what they really desire. As most of the time, our main characters are severely underpowered, they must use strategic engagements in order to gain the upper hand when it comes to conflicts throughout each story arc. This is one of the ways in what makes Hunter X Hunter shine from other Shounen! For a show that is 148 episodes long, I feel that the different arc's we saw were very detailed and imaginative, and not once was I watching a dull moment where I did not understand the basis of what is going on. This is because of the level of detail that Togashi goes into with the story. There are several moments in the show that will leave you on the edge of your seat, as you gasp for air from the break-taking ideas that the writer puts across to you. The writing is some of the best work I have seen in years, and I think that it will remain this was for several years to come. With the exception of the first 3 episodes, the story never quite bored me once, and started off as this generic Shounen that we have all seen before, but evolved into this masterful piece of work that will leave your mind to ponder as to what you just watched.
The story is also vastly presented through the narrative. Notable moments in the show have the events clearly explained to them, as doing this is able to help the watcher understand more than they would have originally thought, without this narrative. By doing this, it allows the audience to conjure their own ideas up of the events, and what the characters were going through at this point in time. The cognitive approach on the story is once to be thankful for, as this is the key reason that makes HxH's story stand out from other shounen with it's unorthodoxy plot. The way in which themes and the world is presented is quite impressive, and the things you can take away from this show make it that much better to come back to in the future. Story - 10/10
Now onto the characters, and for me, these are the highlights of the show. We have our 4 main protagonists, Gon, Killua, Kurapika and Leorio. I will be speaking about all four in this review, plus a general overview of the villains.
Gon starts of as your typical Shounen protagonist, very simple minded, energetic and with this sense for adventure. He grew up with nature all round him, always wondering about the world that he may never get to visit. Sound's familiar? Well, not for long. Throughout the course of the show, we see Gon develop as a character, he experiences things that no young boy should ever have to undergo. He risks his life to save his close friends, and even to the extent of risking his form of power in an attempt to stop evil from corrupting the world. At times, he may seem dim witted, but he can be very strategic when he has to be. He will understand a situation, and successfully form a plan around this, to outsmart the opposing side. As being an underpowered character most of the time, Gon must rely on his wits to guide him to victory. This is where he truly shines and casts himself away from the other Shounen protagonists. Instead of screaming at the top of his lungs for strength, or relying on the power of friendship to save him, he must think for himself, which allows to develop his personality and persona, to the extent of not even being considered a Shounen character. This is why the watcher is able to become to fond of Gon, because of the events that he undergoes, and must successfully think for himself. Gon loses more than he wins in the show, and he is able to learn from these harsh experiences he encountered, and thus develop his understanding of the world he lives in. His evolution throughout the show is actually quite chilling to think about, considering his young age.
Now we have Killua, who Gon meets around episode 4. He is a young boy, the same age as Gon who grew up in a family of assassins, where abuse and torture were normal procedures for him to undergo. He would be punished daily for not abiding by his parent's rules. He has also had a rather large influence from his brother Illumi. We are very early on in the show able to understand that Killua has had these ideals drilled into his mind from Illumi that "you should flee from battle if your opponent is stronger". This does not allow Killua to have a free mind and restricts him from choosing his own decisions in life. This gives Killua a very dark and depressing background, but this also allows him to converse with Gon even more. They both had very different childhood's, and Killua has always wanted to know what it's like to live a normal life, where you are not told what you must do, and can think for yourself. Killua is evidently more intelligent than Gon, he always is able to understand a situation, and will know how to act upon it. This is most likely from the training he has had as an assassin from his family. What really makes the watcher bond with Killua, is his undying friendship with Gon. Very quickly they are able to have a normal conversation, as if they have been friends for many years. They are able to feel each other's pain and struggle, and will work together to overcome life-threatening situations. What makes Killua my favourite character, is the fact that there is always something that is ominous about him. You feel as if there is a piece of information which you still don't know about Killua, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Killua has always wanted a free life, where he can make his own choices, and with his adventure with Gon, he is able to do that.
Now onto Kurapika. We don't see much of Kurapika in the later half of the show, but what we do see of him, is pretty damn amazing. He is the last sole survivor of the Kurta clan, which are famous for their scarlet eyes which turn this colour when angered, or provoked. This is what made the downfall of his clan, as they would be sold for extremely high prices, because of the rarity of them. This sends Kurapika on a quest for vengeance, to annihilate the people who murdered his clan, and to also retrieve all of the eyes of his defeated brethren. We mostly see Kurapika stand out in the Yorknew City arc, where it can be considered that he is the main character! The whole of this arc is centred around the confrontation between Kurapika, and the Phantom Troupe, who are the people who murdered his clan. We are able to see him develop massively as a character at this point of the show, as he is finally able to reveal his true intentions and place them into action. Though we do not see Kurapika as much as Gon or Killua, I still feel he is a very developed character, for the lack of screen time he was given.
We probably see the least of Leorio out of the four main protagonists. He is a young adult, with an aspiring future of become a doctor and treat patients who require care free of charge. He is also very materialistic, with a thirst for money and greed, however this does not outshine his main intention. We see Leorio over the course of the show multiple times, and he is always there for his friends, extremely in the final arc, where he really shines out in my opinion. He hates to see his friends in pain, and will do almost anything to help them get back on their feet. He is also very comical at times, which can help lighten the mood a bit, which I thought was a nice touch. Though we do not see much of him, he is still a very enjoyable character to watch, and I think anyone would agree and say the same.
Hunter x Hunter's villains are something special. The villains in this show are so well written, and very distinctive to one another. You will not find villains such as Meruem or Hisoka in other shows. Their characterisation individually is very detailed, and this serves for some of the best villains that anime has to offer these days. The presence they bring to the show is very chilling for the audience, and this serves as a good sense of danger for our main cast of characters to encounter. I had to even consider that at one point, the villain of Meruem was the main character in this part of the show, because of how in depth they focus on him.
Overall, the characters are one of the best things about the show, and there are many more amazing ones to encounter, than the ones I spoke about in this review. Character - 10/10.
Animation and Art-style
What can I say, Madhouse at their best. The animation throughout the show is honestly breath-taking. The fights are very well made, and do not look dull for once second. The animation truly shines at notable scenes throughout the show, especially in the Chimera Ant arc, where some parts are truly eye opening. Madhouse never cease to amaze me with their animation, and Hunter X Hunter is no exception. The art-style is also very crisp and clear. The characters never look dull, and are made to fit in with the atmosphere and backgrounds. Though it's not perfect all of the time, I applaud Madhouse on the consistency of the animation and art - 9.50/10.
The soundtrack to Hunter X Hunter is a great thing to listen to. Though it's nothing ground breaking, the different OST's used throughout the show are amazing and fit the tone of the show, based on the current situation. The show's opening song is the same throughout the course of each episode. Though this would anger/annoy some people, I personally loved the same openings, and was able to feel a sense of nostalgia every time I heard it. The ending's are actually very memorable, and my favourites being 2,3 and 5. I am always comparing other show's endings to the ones in Hunter X Hunter, because of how much I loved them. Overall, the sound to Hunter X Hunter is very enjoyable to listen to. Though it's nothing ground-breaking, it set's the tone of the show very well and is also consistent in quality. Soundtrack- 9/10.
I wish I could give this higher than a 10. The amount of enjoyment I got from this show is pretty unthinkable actually. I walked into this show, thinking that I was going to experience another generic Shounen, boy was I wrong. It turned into something so much more amazing, I did know what to expect throughout the show, because of how many times I have been surprised with the level of detail and consistency that Togashi has to offer. There truly are many memorable moments in the show, and I find myself going back to watch these, just to experience how amazing they were again. Personal Enjoyment- 10/10.
Hunter X Hunter (2011) is a show that redefined the Shounen genre. It has many memorable moments, that are worthy of being the best moments in anime history, and I feel I am safe to say this. The symbolism and narrative aspects in the show are something to applaud, and this is what every anime should look to for guidance when wanting to make a brilliant piece of work. The show was consistent in quality, and the combination of Togashi's masterful writing, with Madhouse's amazing animation and art style, served as the best piece of work I have seen in a LONG TIME. If you generally do not like Shounen anime, because of their cliché and predictable plot's, then Hunter x Hunter is like a breath of fresh air from that, though it does not look like this initially, trust me, it's very apparent later down the road. This show is currently my favourite of all time, and will most likely remain this way for years to come. I am giving Hunter X Hunter (2011) an overall score of 9.80/10, which in theory is rounded to 10. Do not be intimidated by the amount of episodes this show has. I assure you, by the end of the show, you will be wishing that there were more episodes, it's just that amazing. Just got to wait for Togashi to come off hiatus now huh...
Story - 10/10
Character - 10/10
Animation/Artstyle - 9.50/10
Soundtrack - 9.0/10
Personal Enjoyment 10/10
Overall (not calculated) - 9.80/10
Sep 23, 2014
Note: This is to any newcomers to the series. No spoilers in this review.
It has been a long time that I watched an anime that evaluates and explores many aspects of the genre, especially coming from a Shonen demographic anime. While I started watching this series, I was skeptical from the anime by watching the first five episodes, considering that it brings a light-hearted, child-like feel. I stopped watching it for a while because it didn't bring any interesting I found captivating. As time passed by, I doubted myself for not even continuing this series. Many older fans of anime get thrown off by the demographic how anime such as Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Fairy Tail,etc demonstrate a protagonist in search for glory to become someone important and known to others. Antagonists are shown later in the series soon later confronts the hero in a long-dragging, continuous fight. Eventually, the hero will overcome their goal during a long voyage of his traveling with their friends in either constantly wining in every single battle with their closest rivals, having a bigger ambition to accomplish to become "someone" important, or making a difference in their power level in a outrageous moment while being in a ridiculous, near death, battle..These characteristics of what these series provided hindered me from watching a long, ongoing anime from predictable wins and losses from the Shonen heroes. However, one anime takes all these Shonen tropes and throw it out of the window. That anime is Hunter X Hunter.
Story: The premise of the story takes us to a journey in Whale Island with our hero, Gon Freecss, a young 12 year boy who is destined to become a talented hunter just like his father, Ging, who is a legendary hunter known to many. Hunters are highly skilled professional fighters who have the exceptional ability to lure others into a trap at will, find uncommon creatures at sea or land, or search for undiscovered treasures. On his quest, he finds other companions such as Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio who also strived to have the same goal to become the best hunter while they participate in the Hunter Exam. This appears to be like a typical, light-hearted Shonen premise in most cases. The pacing in the beginning of the series can commences very slowly for most people. This creates a hindrance with older audience who are used to Seinen type anime such as Monster, Berserk, Gantz, etc. However, gradually, the development of the story arcs within each episodes creates a further relationship between each character in a more complicated situations. While it appears to be a cheerful, humorous at first, it ultimately alludes how each story links up to create a further character development for a protagonist Shonen hero like Gon to overcome mentally and physically especially in the 6th arc of the series, the Chimera Ants Arc. Over the course of the episodes, the arc steadily deconstructs the elements of the Shonen demographic into a true brutal, psychological nature of what it really means to be a hunter or even a human. As the story progresses within each episode, you will appreciate what the previous arcs has to offer in order to fully understand how the characters feel, hell even the villains' motivations and thoughts as well.
Art/Animation: Madhouse studio did an excellent job adapting Yoshihiro Togashi's (creator of Yu Yu Hakusho) long hiatus manga since 1998 into a more faithful anime adaptation. They keep up with the action orientated sequences fluid into constant beating from facial expression, anticipation, and even suspense. However, some older fans from the 1999 version may disprove of how "colorful" art style that the show presented from facial expression and animation wise. But, I'm not going to go into details with the flame war between two series from 1999 and 2011. They also meticulously improved the quality that the original manga drawing lack into a more vivid, watchable experience. For example, the character designs in the manga are considered poorly drawn due to Togashi's long hiatus since his sickness is very challenging overcome for years. This Conclusively, Madhouse excelled Hunter X Hunter manga into a more faithful adaptation it deserves story wise.
Sound/Music: At first, the opening of the anime really suited to the atmosphere and how really addicted the song can really be. Even though the opening theme, "Departure" by Ono Masatoshi doesn't change arc after arc, the song becomes a tradition that really suits the mood of the show. It appeal repels me from watching every second of the episode that I couldn't stop watching episode after episode without knowing what is going to happen next. It brings such strong anticipation and curiosity to viewers what is the next moment is about to happen. The music sets the setting of traveling and exploring the world of Hunter X Hunter. It gives off how much is there in the world that is undiscovered. In the future, people will looked back and feel nostalgic how the atmosphere suits very well in the HxH universe.
Character: This is where the anime leaves positive note on how well-written the character development really is. While Togashi was writing the manga his hiatus on the manga really makes the story more unique than most Shonen series I witnessed since they emphasis long term fights, rather than a thought-out character development. Gon and Killua are like yin and yang. They build a long, ongoing friendship through the series, learning and knowing their weakness they have to overcome. Not only the main characters have to conquer their own conflicts in each arc, even some minor/supporting characters get screen time in some episode so they wouldn't appear to have a very generic, one dimensional personality. Within each episode, the characters flesh out their morality from what is right or wrong. While in battle, the anime dives into their consciousness on how they can resolve the situation. Tactics and skills play a very important role in the Hunter X Hunter universe. You have to ask yourself, is killing your sworn enemy really going to bring satisfaction for everyone? Can your desire really lead to contentment for your own preservation? These questions lead you to think that the characters are not always what they seemed to be when you start to watch how they first interact each other.
Enjoyment: Personally, I found this anime to be worth of my time, if not the best. Masterfully well-developed writing. Though-out tactics to weaken an opponent rather than random overpowered abilities for no particular reason. The only downside is the pacing might start off slow in the beginning, but Hunter X Hunter truly delivers what a classic Shonen anime can be without dragging its viewers into unnecessary cliché. At first the show starts to grow as an innocent, cheerful child then it matures into a merciless, cold-hearted butcher regarding to the characters' dark past and essential role that will affect them emotionally and ethically later on in the series. Each have their own motives they have to undergo mentally. I enjoy every minute of humor yet complicated growth of each character the series has build to recent episode.
Overall: The anime has surprised me in a so many ways that I just want more from its universe. As of today, the manga is on hiatus due to Togashi's back pains. Who knows when the manga is going to come back? Maybe in two years or even a decade from now. What we know now is that Hunter X Hunter is exceptional to the Shonen tropes that most common anime suffer from. After years of watching anime, I never witnessed of how unforeseen this anime can be from the same demographic as the big 3. For any one that is new to the anime, go watch it now. Be patient and you will gradually be rewarded for one of the best writing you will ever experience in a Shonen anime.
Dec 17, 2014
The premise may not sound entirely enticing, but what you have to realize is that the quest to find his father is simply the basis of a magnificent adventure. This journey is filled with twists and turns with each being more surprising than the last.
Early on, the show already gets pretty dark, so do not let people tell you this show is for children. There is a sufficient amount of comedy though to level out the tone. We also have fights of epic proportions. Fights that will send shivers down your spine. I'd say a good portion of the fights are one-sided slaughters that will either make you say,"Get rekt!" or "Man, I liked that guy."
Believe it or not, but this show knows how to deliver feels. They know exactly what kind of situations will mess with your heart.
One of the greatest things about the plot is the lack of filler. For more than 100 episodes, you get development after development after development. Even the few episodes that totally felt like filler had a role in the plot too. Those pseudo-fillers were created to gradually fill up the suspense and tension then have the next episode go full throttle in development. If a show can utilize fillers to their maximum potential, then you know it's going to be one hell of a show.
In short, the show is a non-stop train of anger, joy, curiosity, pity, sadness, & thrill.
As stated before, one of the biggest reasons as to why people often refuse to watch this show is because they are told it is childish. This belief comes from none other than the art. One look at the main protagonist and they think they're going to be watching some show from 4kids.
Their loss because besides the MC's ridiculously big eyes and a few other things, everything else is superb. The protagonist may not be to your taste, but I'm sure you will find at least one character who will be. Every single character looks neat and different from one another. The expressions are also spot on.
The amazing art isn't only limited to the characters. The fight scenes are visually glorious. The animations of the people's powers are just so nice to look at.
I don't even know where to start with the sound. From the 1st episode to the last, the OP had the same lyrics and beat yet I enjoyed listening to it every time. Not only was the OP that great, what was shown in the OP changed depending on the arc. With their amazing art, they were able to make it seem like they completely changed the op every single arc, but in reality, it was still the same lovable opening.The same goes for the ED. It may seem different, but it's still the same beautiful music we always hear at the end.
As for the rest of the show's sounds, the music during certain events are brilliant. The music blends in perfectly with what's going on. Something scary may be happening and bam super ominous music.
The cast of Hunter x Hunter is god-send. Out of all the characters, there is probably only one character, you're bound to hate. The show is filled with an abundance of villains, but I guarantee you, you will come to love most of them.
The first character we are introduced to is Gon Freecs, he's your typical head-strong, rash, but kind shounen protagonist who has the will power to do things most aren't capable of. He may come off as annoying sometimes, but he's a competent protagonist. You can't hate him considering what he goes through. Also he is fairly young, so his actions shouldn't warrant complete criticism.
Next, we have the deuteragonist, Killua Zoldyck. Personally, I like him more than Gon, but that's just me. For one thing, he has a really interesting background, and as you get to know more and more about it, you realize how well-written Killua is. Despite his dark past, he manages to live life to the fullest. On the outside, he appears to be cruel, but that's just how he was raised. Deep down, he's a caring boy, who just wants someone to pull him out of the abyss and guide him towards light. Not to mention, his cruel side mostly only surfaces when those he holds dear are in a predicament. Killua really is just a young boy with a dark past who wants nothing more than to live a happy life with those he cares for.
Then, there's Kurapika & Leorio. They tend to be treated as the 3rd and 4th protagonist of the show, but they aren't present in a few arcs. Anyways, Kurapika is the type of person who you shouldn't judge by their cover. I mean I thought Kurapika was a girl for a good amount of time. In the group, Kurapika is the voice of reason, he tells them about the consequences of relying too much on emotion. Thing is, that reasoning disappears within the snap of a finger when his past is involved. He tries to remain calm, but if pushed further and further into the corner, he will become someone absolutely hellbent on revenge. Luckily, we have someone to balance out the atmosphere of the group, Leorio. He's somewhat of the comic relief guy. Being relatively old compared to the rest of the group, it's not very surprising that he's used for comedy. From time to time, he has his moments of wisdom as well as total bad-assery.
Last but not least, we got the rest of the cast, all of them are unique and likable in their own way. Take Hisoka for example, a guy you see a lot throughout the series. Mysterious and sadistic, you just can't help, but love him. If you were to know him in real life, you'd probably avoid him at all costs, and that's what makes him so well received. His character is usually the one you hate in a show, but it's the opposite with Hisoka. You spend
quite the amount of time anxiously anticipating for Hisoka's next action because you just want to know what else he has left in store or up his sleeve.
The reason I gave every section a 10 is because Hunter x Hunter truly is a masterpiece. It's dark, funny, sad, & action-packed all at the same time.
Throw in the fact that 99% of the characters are well-written and you got yourself an adventure beyond your wildest dreams. read more
Nov 20, 2014
Let me tell you right now, 148 episodes is not enough. I would give anything for more episodes of arguably the most outstanding series I have ever had the good fortune of watching.
Story - I'm not going to go into detail about the story; you can read the synopsis for that. I'll instead talk about the storytelling itself. The story starts off fairly interesting and grows exponentially more interesting per episode/arc. The author, Togashi, has an amazing sense of pacing; some plots take several episodes to resolve, but so much happens in each episode that it becomes something that enhances the show. The story is also incredibly immersive because of how well Togashi builds the HxH world. As you follow the main characters on their journey, you learn more and more about just how expansive and unique the world is. There's always something new to explore, which really does make the show feel like an adventure.
Each arc varies in tone. The show starts off pretty light, and gradually gets darker. My god does it get darker. Not to imply that the light arcs are inferior; they're still immensely enjoyable. The show just contains many different forms of entertainment. The darker arcs will include scenarios and scenes of such intensity, drama, and action, that you won't understand how anyone could've possibly waited a week for the next episode. Lastly, there's one element in the story that snuck up on me and transformed into something so beautiful and moving that I simply didn't know what to do with myself.
Characters - There are very few ways to adequately describe how brilliantly the author writes such likeable, unique, and interesting characters. And I mean all of them. This is a rare kind of show where every time I see a character come back after not being around, I feel such joy seeing them. Especially the villains - you will love the villains so much that you legitimately will not know who to root for at many parts in the series. The show often develops villains so much that I found myself at times hating a "good guy" just because of what they did to a "bad guy".
Sound - I know this upsets many people but I enjoy watching dubbed anime. However, this is on my short list of shows where the voice acting in Japanese is so good, I'm afraid of a dub being made because I honestly don't think the characters can be done justice. I'm even afraid to watch the original 1999 version because the voice actors are different.
As for the soundtrack, I don't have much to say. The soundtrack fits the show remarkably well, however there's nothing particularly outstanding about it (save for a few episodes, when a "requiem" is played for a certain character for example).
Art - The art studio Madhouse really brought their A-game. Their production of this show is almost paramount to how enjoyable it is. As great as the manga is, it wouldn't have been nearly as enjoyable without the stunning artwork and directing that Madhouse designed.
Enjoyment - This is pretty self-explanatory at this point. If I could erase my knowledge of any anime and watch it from the beginning, it would likely be this one. Hell, at this point I'd gladly watch 30 episodes of pure filler just to see more of the characters and the world.
Regardless of the genres you enjoy, Hunter x Hunter is guaranteed to be a breath of fresh air. Togashi seems to have a penchant to subvert almost every trope and cliche in the book, leaving you guessing at every turn. The result is a brilliant and captivating piece of entertainment, guaranteed to captivate you like almost no other show can. Whatever your answer to the question "what makes a series great?" is, know that Hunter x Hunter has it.
P.S. Hisoka is love, Hisoka is life. read more
Sep 23, 2014
Hunter x Hunter 2011 is a unique beast of a show. It sits in a strange limbo between genres in a space all its own, like some kind of odd Chimera of shounen and seinen. At first glance it appears to be a rather childish show, with an art style composed entirely of cartoonish proportions, large eyes and bright colors, which stems initially from Togashi's manga style. In fact, without any outside input, one would not be wrong to assume it was targeted at children. But under this initial layer of bright colors, and messages of friendship and loyalty, lies a deeper, darker show than anyone could have initially imagined. Questions of what it means to be human, what constitutes a life well-lived, and other topics that would not be out of place in serious adult dramas. One could say that I have stared into the abyss, and I am here to tell you that the abyss has most definitely stared into me.
Story - 10/10. Story telling is really Togashi's specialty. He crafts a continuous and satisfying narrative from start to finish, with excellent pacing, lovable characters, and some entirely unexpected twists along the way. Characters aside, the story itself is fairly straightforward - Gon, the protagonist, wants to become a "Hunter" not for the benefits the title confers, but so he can find his father, who abandoned Gon as an infant so he could follow his own dreams (hence the name of the show - Gon becomes a "Hunter Hunter"). Along the way, Gon encounters a variety of characters that each have their own relative significance, makes friends and enemies, and undergoes any number of trials and adventures. But this straightforward story is presented and executed in such a way that it feels very organic and comfortable. This comfortable feeling serves as a waypoint during the darker points in the story, a lighthouse of sorts to guide one through the moral murkiness and sadness that the story presents.
The story covers what is now a total of 7 story arcs, each with their own self-contained narrative. These arcs vary in length greatly - the shortest covers only 5 episodes, while the largest spans a time-consuming chunk of 61 total episodes - over a third of the entire show. But none of these feel out of place - each one seems to last only as long as it really needs to, and none of them feel as if they left too early, nor that they overstayed their welcome. Given that some episodes take 23 minutes to cover 5 seconds of in-world time, this is a marvel of pacing and narration. Some points are slower than others, particularly the beginning episodes of each arc, but at no point does it feel as if it is dragging. This is due in part to the complete lack of filler content - aside from one "recap" type episode, each episode of the show presents some kind of story-relevant material, so it always feels like the story is moving forward. All of these factors combined come together to create an overarching narrative that feels very much as if it were adhering to the quote at the top of this review - this is a show, and a story, that focus very much on the journey, the PROCESS of going somewhere, instead of on the destination.
Art - 8/10. Madhouse has always been hailed as a studio that produces high-quality work, and this show is no different. It is not always the pinnacle of visual quality, but like the story, the visual quality remains at a very consistent and pleasing level. At no point is it glaringly obvious that they neglected to spread the budget properly. High moments (i.e. the major fight sequences) have appropriately high quality, while those in-between sort of segments maintain a pleasing, but not excessive level of detail.
My one main gripe with the animation of the show is the amount of time dedicated to hand-to-hand combat in the show. In a show that is predominantly about martial artists engaging in battles, there is a somewhat disappointing lack of choreography. Very rarely do you see two characters exchanging blows directly, even if both of them specialize in hand-to-hand melee combat. This is ultimately not enough to knock a point off of the score, but is something I would have liked to see more of.
Sound - 8/10. Much like the art, the sound quality stays at a consistent and pleasing level throughout the entire show. Any complaints here are simply my own personal tastes, i.e. I don't very much enjoy the opening song that is used for the entire show, and some of the background pieces that play during the show feel sometimes out of place. But when the music needs to deliver, it does in spades.
One thing I feel that is worth noting is that the show is obviously very aware of the value of silence. At a few points, there is no music at all, which, I feel, greatly increases the impact of these scenes. Very often now, we see shows that seem to feel as if music must ALWAYS be playing in the background, and when a show goes the opposite direction and uses silence, it creates a wonderful distinction.
Characters - 10/10. If the overall story is the bones of Hunter x Hunter, then the characters are the muscles and organs - the "heart" of the show. These are the elements of a story that allow us to connect with it personally, to draw parallels between the world that a story presents and our own reality. Inhuman or inorganic characters can completely break the immersion of a story, or if it presents characters that we dislike in a way that feels unrealistic. Togashi excels at creating likable and relatable characters, who each have his or her own (relatively) understandable motivations. The characters develop in a meaningful and noticeable way over the course of the story, lending them a definitively human feeling. Morality is very subjective in this show - very few characters fall into a black and white "good vs evil" morality. In fact, I would say that this show does not have a moral "grey area," it has instead a "moral rainbow," a multitude of different motivations and moral scales that interact with each other in an ever-changing spread of different moral hues. We see "good" characters exhibit emotional and perhaps even "evil" behaviors, while at the same time in a different place, our "villains" may be helping to save someone they care about, an action one would normally consider to be a "good" action. I would like to believe that this show does not have heroes and villains - it simply has protagonists and antagonists, two parties working in opposite, but equally understandable and justifiable directions.
Enjoyment - 10/10. I think it would come as no surprise that this is my verdict after the review above, but this is my place to reiterate that I believe this show is a masterpiece of storytelling. To have so many exceptional moments, emotions, and wonderful landmarks packed into 148 episode worth' of show is nothing short of spectacular. Togashi and Madhouse have worked together to create what I think is one of the best stories - not anime, not shows, but stories - of all time. Highly recommended. read more
Dec 7, 2014
To be honest, the art style put me off from watching it, because it's not what I usually like. But, every other aspect of the anime made up for it. After watching a few episodes, I got used to the art and started to like it.
Even though it's a super long anime with 148 episodes, the storyline was always full of surprises. There is a mixture of action, emotion and romance. One moment I was crying, and then the next moment I was filled with tension. This anime contains aspects from all kinds of genres.
Like I said, the art isn't really what I prefer when I watch anime. But, I came to like it after watching a couple of episodes. There are times when the characters look cute; there are times when they look super duper scary. But, overall, the art is quite likeable and I quickly adjusted.
The sound was absolutely amazing. I really liked the OP and even set it as my alarm- it has this really refreshing and powerful feeling. The sound effects throughout the anime was really varied, and I mean this in a good way. Every single scene in the anime was supported by the perfect background music, and this made the storyline even more powerful. But most of all, the sound when people were hurt or killed was really scary. I've lost track of the number of times I cringed from the sound. Basically, the sound really did an excellent job in supporting the anime.
Some of you might be thinking, WHAT? How can you not give a 10 for this section?! Certainly, each and every character deserves a 10+++++ rating. Whether the character was good or bad, I found myself becoming emotionally attached to every single one of them.
Oops this might be a spoiler.. Like Knuckle would say, "Each and every one of them had a good heart."
If someone asked me to pick my favourite character, I don't think I'd be able to. It's just that hard to make a decision.
The reason why I give character a 9, rather than a 10, is because of Gon. There's no doubt he is a super amazing protagonist. However, so many aspects of the anime made me overestimate him. Every time I thought he'd do something great and heroic, he didn't quite live up to what I expected. This probably sounds like a selfish judgement, but it's true.
No doubt about it. I watched 148 episodes in around a week. If that doesn't explain it, then what will? I enjoyed every single bit of the anime.
Hunter x Hunter (2011) is the best~~ read more
Oct 29, 2014
Apr 15, 2015
I was skeptical about starting this series at first, and the fact that the first few episodes were a bit dry didn't help. But I can now say that I am glad that I saw it through to the end.
Story - 10/10
Beginning of the series was a little slow, but once it kicked off, the story started to unravel, revealing all sorts of twists and turns along the way. It was lighthearted one moment and had me on the verge of tears in the next. There was a good mix of action, comedy, romance, and all other sorts of good stuff. The transitions between different arcs was especially good as well, considering how nicely everything flowed together.
Art - 9/10
The art for this show was one of the main reasons I was hesitant to start the series. I told myself that if the plot was good (which it was), then I would continue watching it, despite the art style. But with a few episodes in, I was already in love with the art. Fight scenes were especially pleasing to look at, although certain parts could have been a bit more developed. Facial expressions were also a big part to this show, whether they portrayed happiness, sorrow, or anger.
Sound - 9/10
The soundtrack for this show is exceptional. Switching off from moments of silence to heartfelt orchestrated pieces to just overall intense music, not very much felt out of place. I grew to associate different songs with different characters and there was not really a piece that I disliked. Although some may dislike the opening song because it was the only opening throughout the entire series, I think it was used well. All the ending songs were remarkable as well, especially as the end of each episode nicely transitioned into them.
Characters - 10/10
Heroes and villains alike, each character had a reason to be somewhere at a certain place and time. Seeing the main protagonists go about on their journey and grow as characters was very rewarding. Although there were many, many characters that were introduced, each one was memorable; many made reappearances in different arcs. Seeing the characters' mental states of mind and internal struggles really pulled the show together, showing that not everyone was as powerful or overpowered as they seemed to be. Each one was unique, having different abilities suited to their talents and preferences. Hunter x Hunter has some of the best villains in my opinion, whether I grew to empathize with some or truly just despise others.
Enjoyment - 10/10
I'm very slow when it comes to watching shows as I need time in between episodes and such. But with this series, I zipped through the series in two weeks, which is much faster than I had expected. I couldn't help but keep clicking to each next episode. Although the beginning and some parts in the middle seemed a little slow, it was all done for good reason. Everything seemed to come together, from music to character to story, etc. I really did enjoy this show a lot and am considering to rewatch it after I watch the 1999 version.
Overall - 10/10
If I could give Hunter x Hunter a higher rating, I would. This show has climbed up to the top of my list of favorites and it was an enjoyable ride from start to finish. Despite the big number of episodes, nothing seemed unnecessary and there was little to no fillers, which I find admirable for such a long show. All previous doubts I had for this show disappeared once I started it and it really is a must-see show for everyone. read more
Apr 15, 2015
"If you want to get to know someone, find out what makes them angry."
I'm angry because of the hiatus of this anime, and that makes me an otaku. xD
but I wish Togashi could get better so he can continue writing hxh, and plus he can't write 100% if he force himself to write while sick, I want at it 100% reading the manga and anime. I think he is one of the best writers out there, his other masterpiece yuyu hakusho. This is one hell of an anime it is consistent of every aspect. What's great about this anime is that the equal time of feeling in it. The time to hate, the time to love, and the time to be happy.
The first time I watch this was like ughhh, another typical shounen anime shiznit. I felt like I was gonna drop it in the first episode. But then I just kept pressing the next button and the next. The next thing I knew I was already singing the opening song. Really I hate myself for hating this anime at first. It must be a shounen manga but a shounen manga you have never seen before!
The story 11 but cant give 11 here. At first you might think the flow of the story has no complexity just about a kid who sets out on a journey to find the reason why his father abandoned him to be a hunter. But then he meets this 3 people, one who swore revenge, one who desire riches and one who wants to be released. The four of them together take the hunter exam, and this were this gets serious "Nen" its like an life energy which in chinese called "Chi" similar to chakra. The complexity almost makes you think how can a human think of these? Thousands of fighting styles can be made if you know how to use nen. It is so creative. This is just outstanding no need to say more spoilers just watch it and you will learn why I gave this 11.
Character developement, flashbacks, flow of the story. It was delivered how Togashi wanted it supposed to be. And that what makes Togashi the one of the best writers. Seriously it made me cry, happy, angry, and fell in love with the story of each characters.
The art is magnificent. Character design, backgrounds, and powers. It is well detailed, This is what amazing about madhouse, it was consistent considering this was a long term anime. It is pleasing to the eye. It is cute when you look at it, what makes it good that it is a little childish. If it were more adult looking it thing the show would go gore and horror. I think it is amazing colorful, bright but not to bright well balanced art. It's something you can display on an art museum.
The sound is good but gets better and better when you watch it. The soundtrack in the fighting scenes were the best of the best. It get me get of my feet and feel like rocky. Man, feel like I'm the one fighting. The seiyuu was great, it really fits the art perfectly.
Character oh characters, I don't even no where to begin. Should I begin with the protagonist or the antagonist? Im gonna start with the protagonist, the four protagonist really stroke there story in ma heart *cry* I mean the reasons why they want to be a hunter. Those characters really, they have a special something in themselves not all protagonist has that. It's makes you feel like you the protagonist it self.
The antagonist is well the reason why this story is sosososo goooood! You just can't hate them. Hisoka, Phantom troupe, Meruem what other characters are like them? I don't know how to feel about them, should I hate or love? Damn!
I don't even need to talk about these, should I? I wanted to sleep but I can't, I tell my self another lie "last episode" but then realize that I was doing it again. I even pass out in my desktop watching this anime. It was fun even though got stiff neck it was worth! It is enjoyable, worth 148 episode but hoping for more!
Yeah, you know exaggerating. but at every aspect of this anime it never cease to amaze me. I recommend this if you want to watch a not to mainstream shounen anime. This is a masterpiece. I hope there will be more, T_T I am waiting for you Master Togashi!
May 12, 2015
Nowhere is this more evident than with Hunter X Hunter (2011). On paper it's a standard fare shounen with all the commonalities and tropes that you'd expect from the demographic. But when presented what we get is arguably some of the best materiel you can ever expect from a battle shounen. No it isn't a "masterpiece" like many would constantly proclaim it to be but it certainly reaches ambitious heights very rarely seen with a genre that is usually juvenile at best.
I'll try to refrain from reciting the synopsis:
The story, like I've already stated before, is nothing special. It can easily be summed up as character driven arcs with each core cast having their own objectives they wish to accomplish. What bring these individuals all together is the highly acclaimed job title of "Hunter". The title of Hunter, to save from a long winded explanation, are basically glorified Indiana Jones's positions. Receiving the title and getting the license to be one is like a VIP pass to do whatever the hell you want, may that be bounty "hunting", treasure "hunting", food "hunting", I think you get the gist of it. But the title itself is nothing but a means to an end and obtaining it is only the 1st step for our characters.
Despite Gon being our main protagonist, the story never neglects the core cast that befriends him. Through a given arc we as the audience get a shift in character focus depending on who the storyline corresponds to. Although Gon's journey still remains the overarching one, the others are properly fleshed out to stand on their own without including the MC. For the most part anyway, unfortunately characters like Leorio never got his chance in the spotlight. With each arc and character focus brings it's own themes and conflict. May that be revenge and redemption as found with Kurapika's arc or self acceptance and discovery with Killua's. Each arc explores a given theme, which made the viewing experience to be more enriched. A balance was struck in it's presentation, making it heartwarming when called for it or awe inspiring when it needed to be.
The world building and setting was another area that HxH excelled at. Everything felt well structured and was properly established. This is especially true for the show's fighting system known as "nen". It was extensively explained not only for the sake of the viewer but also to leave no room for asspulls that's normally common with shounens (looking at you Naruto asspull no jutsu). This intricate in-world power mechanics is only 2nd to that of FMA's mechanics behind alchemy. The various ways in which "nen" can be utilized led to some very interesting fights that was entertaining while being well thought out.
The pacing for the series can be best described as a roller coaster ride. The beginning of the ride is simply a slow climb up to get the participant's blood pumping for the intense drop after they reach the summit. HxH knew how to properly set the stage before the main events happen, something many shounens tend to rush. Since we spend time establishing everything from the setting to the characters involved for the given arc, these well written buildup episodes are what help give certain events substance and weigh behind it. It wasn't just tension-less conflicts between characters, it became something that you got invested in.
Of course nothing is perfect and HxH had it's fair share of missteps. One noticeable one can be seen on an overview. While Gon's story tied most of the arcs together, looking at the content of each arc separately shows a lack of unification among them. They simply weren't thematically related or constructed. We go from tournament arc to revenge arc to "stuck in a video game" arc to killer creatures arc. There wasn't any core themes that brought them all together. The transition between them was fine but that never changed the fact that they never quite fit together.
Another issue that arises was with it's themes. It felt like they could of done alot more with the material presented. Prime example being the Chimera arc. they skimmed over it but never explored it. They had the option to use the Chimera Ants in a allegorical way to display themes such as subservience, the human condition and Social Darwinism. Something similar to what they did in Shinsekai Yori and books like Animal Farm. Animals/creatures have always been the perfect proxy for those kind of themes but they never went that route and simply reduced it to cleverly written shounen fights. It was ideas that sounded good but went nowhere or was never brought up at all. No one's expecting a shounen with FMA's level of complexity but it would of certainly been a nice addition.
Also something else that hindered HxH was it's conclusions. Nothing to do with what's presented itself but the limited material the studio had to work with due to the mangaka Togashi's infamous hiatuses. This results in an ending while satisfying, left many plot points and questions unanswered. The story still wraps up nicely but could of been more conclusive.
Animated by Madhouse there should be little question of the show's integrity in terms of animation. Now it isn't anything to write home about or would leave you giving a standing ovation but what HxH have that most long running titles don't is consistency. From beginning to end it never had noticeable hiccups that distracted from the content displayed. It was brightly lit when needed and ominous during times that called for it. A show that new how to manipulate it's color pallet to fit the tone of any given scene. And trying my best not to give away spoilers here but episodes like 36 and 116 were prime examples of this.
Possibly the biggest highlight of the series comes with the characters themselves. If looked at individually very few warrant a character study but as a whole the interactions among them is what stands out. Everyone that's important to the narrative are all given a solid motive to which they strive for. They aren't simply stuck in supporting role, they take an active part in moving the story along. While many of them were fairly common placed archetypes some in particular were actually fleshed out and received actual development. Meruem for example being a character that experienced a catharsis which brought on change in his ideology and perspective in regards to the value of others. This may seem insignificant in other shows but in a genre that reduces villains to being bombastic 1 dimensional megalomaniacs seeing an antagonist with dimensions to his character was very refreshing. Killua being another rare exception for being a character that suffered from an internal strife and inferiority complex. This provided layered characterization to what would normally just be your standard badass. While Gon and a few others remained your dime a dozen characters their organic chemistry is what makes them stand out. (Oh and Hisoka is the best sadistic assassin ever, no this is not debatable, it's a fact lol)
This is a case where the whole was greater than the sum of it's parts. They were an endearing bunch that showed believable interaction among each other.
HxH had its slow pacing during buildups and other issues thematically but it's certainly a show I thoroughly enjoyed. It's been a long time since I was ever immersed into a long running shounen and I honestly thought I had outgrew that demographic. But what HxH did that many failed to do was capture that sense of adventure and admiration I had when I was younger. It felt nostalgic, a feeling of familiarity that I only had as a child when watching Saturday morning cartoons. And to me that was well worth the investment.
HxH is simply a rare breath of fresh air in a genre that has grown stale. It provided well thought out fights, contains a memorable cast and was thoroughly entertaining with lots of jaw dropping highlights. Of course it had it's issues but overall the title had alot more going for it. As someone that has grown tired of shounens I was quite impressed with what HxH had to offer. It was engaging, it was potent and most of all it left me with a sense of satisfaction upon completion.
Jan 30, 2015
Hunter x Hunter is 148 episodes long (so far) and I devoured it in well under a month, a stunning feat personally for someone who can take months to finish a mere 12 episode series.
Each part of this show was so enjoyable that it felt as if only a few minutes had passed before the next installment was ready to be wolfed down.
What makes it so good? "Takes a huge breath"
The art is modern yet attractive, there is absolutely ZERO filler of any kind, each arc has a clear beginning and end with no two saga's feeling quite the same.
The music is wonderful and fits every moment perfectly. The opening and closing credits also contain excellent songs and imagery that change to match the tone of each arc.
The intro's and outro's, rather than being a jumble of random scenes like most shows, give subtle hints as to how the story will unfold. Only as you progress will you be able to appreciate how much thought and intelligence went into making them.
What makes the show truly great though are it's three core tenants; smarts, surprise and variety.
It is cunning and cleverness that often define the victor in this world and right up to the final episode the show was still subverting my expectations with how much wit it had to display.
None of the above would mean anything of course unless you have a great cast of characters to take advantage of, and boy oh boy, Hunter x Hunter has enough of those to fill a dozen epic sized anime's to bursting.
There's so much more detailed praise I'd like to give but I wont because you need to savor all the surprises and excitement for yourself firsthand if you decide to watch it, which I really, really recommend you do.
If you like anime, great stories, or superbly crafted entertainment you simply must watch Hunter x Hunter. It may end up becoming one of your favorite things ever.
It certainly did for me. read more
Dec 2, 2014
Pior to watching Hunter x Hunter, Shonen genre held a stigma for me. Anything that took 100+ episodes to tell a story was either not telling a story very well, or not telling a very good story. This assumption still holds true for many of the genre, in my opinion. Fairy Tail, Naruto, and Bleach, all series that hold a large fanbase, with many, many dedicated fans that love the genre. Not HXH.
Hunter x Hunter has the unique quality of running a full 148 episodes, telling a very good story, and never pulling punches.
CHARACTERS: As said before, I'll keep the spoilers brief.
Gon is a 12 year old boy who wants to be a Hunter. Someone who goes around the world 'Hunting' for something. Gon hunts for his father, someone whom left him at an early age to become a Hunter himself. Wondering how any man could abandon his child, Gon searches to find his Dad, and to experience the wonders of the world that must have driven him away from his child.
As such, he partakes in the Hunter Exams, a brutal and deadly test that culls the weak and rains hell on anyone unprepared. The survivors are granted a Hunter License, which allows them funding, and access to restricted areas for their adventures.
There, he meets Leorio, a man whom only wants to get money from the Hunter Exams
Kirapika, a mysterious young boy whom refuses to speak of his reasons,
Killua, a boy raised from a family of assassins whom befriends Gon,
And Hisoka, an extremely unnerving clown looking fellow who is as mysterious as he is powerful.
Characters aside, the most interesting thing about the story aside from those that partake in it, is the tropes. Or the lack of, more accurately.
Characters are weak. Power-ups aren't easy. Sacrifices are made. Not everyone comes out in one piece when facing someone that is clearly stronger.
I wont talk about the story as much as other reviews, as I want this to be an entirely spoiler free review that doesn't reveal anything from beyond the first arc.
Gon's quests to find his Dad isn't as simple as it seems, and it becomes clear that his father expected him to take the Hunter exam. As such, various barriers are put before him before he can even get on the right track for finding his Dad.
Even more troublesome, Gons friends are often in need of help themselves. Despite this sounding like a round-a-bout plot, the story never loses focus. You will always feel that things are happening for a reason. Moving from point A to point B, with the story moving forward as the characters do. There are no filler arcs, there are no episodes where you feel that nothing important or moving has happened.
This makes Hunter x Hunter much more exciting a watch than other Shonen anime, where many of the arcs seem to be insignificant to the overall plot.
Okay, let me be honest. Two OPs for a 148 series gets boring after a while. Other than a OP that gets old after a while, the ending pieces are godly, and the tracks for scenes always brings a fitting atmosphere to the table. There may have been some scenes where the music choice was off? I don't personally remember any.
Sound effects wise, there's nothing spectacular. They serve their purpose, and do so well enough that they don't detract from the enjoyment of the visuals.
I don't have much to commentate about here. There are rarely any points where the art specifically struck me as something to be held in high regard. The art is solid, no doubt, but it doesn't shine with high budget and fluid action too often.
When it does shine, though, it does so nigh-perfectly. Action packed moments that are animated well show great, and its madhouse animators doing their job right.
Hunter x Hunter made me cry. It made me yell in both anger and confusion, as well as in climatic victory. I'm usually dull faced when I watch anime. I'm easily excited sometimes, but I've cried only 5 or so times at anime. Being able to pull my heart strings like that is, in my opinion, an amazing feat for a writer.
Not only that, but the series had me consistently saying "What's next" only to stare at the episode count in sadness. Since its conclusion, I've taken up the manga, and anxiously await the next chapter.
Please. Watch Hunter x Hunter for 12 episodes or so. If you are not captivated by then, drop it. read more
3 hours ago
I don't understand why Hunter x Hunter doesn't get the attention like many other animes do. It is possibly the best shounen, or even the best anime, of all time.
The show is much different from any other Battle Shounen I've seen, and it doesn't have all of the cliches that I so despise.
The story revolves around Gon Freecss, a young boy who wants to become a Hunter so he can meet his father, who is already one. So he sets off to complete the Hunter's Exam.
The idea of a Hunter, who is pretty much a mercenary, is amazing, because it allows the Story Arcs to be about anything. The roles that other Shounen protagonists play only allow them to be in situations and go to places that are fitting to that role, but with Hunters, the sky's the limit.
Each story arc has a distinct feel to it that separates it from the others.
Initially, the show gives off a light-hearted feel, but by the fourth Arc, it takes a very dark turn. I think it was around the time that guy bit off a chunk of another guy's head.
Anyway, remember how I said that HxH is unlike any other Shounen I've seen? It doesn't use all the tropes that the others do, which allows you to be on the edge of your seat during many of the moments because of the unpredictability of the whole thing. Gon rarely actually wins the battles that he fights. One quote I remember from Knuckle, "You have the potential, but you lack experience!" (if it's wrong, I'm sorry, I was writing it from memory), is true. You can get all the tutoring you want, but if you don't have the experience, you will never get better. All this makes the main characters much more relatable.
Hunter x Hunter is masterfully written from beginning to end, and it kept me gripped. I never got tired of watching it. That is a rare occurrence.
With Madhouse animating this, the art and animation in Hunter x Hunter is fantastic. It's impressive that they were able to keep the art this good for such a long series. Everything from the character expressions, to the animation in the fight scenes is very well done.
The lighting really helped the mood in each area. I got a different feel from each location I was introduced to.
The soundtrack is fantastic. Almost every song fits the mood well, and the sound effects are, for the most part, well executed.
The opening and ending themes are both great. This is one of the few long running animes that has only one opening theme, but honestly, I don't care. departure! is a good song, and it gets you pumped every time you watch. Even though I know next to no Japanese, I can sing the lyrics to it word for word.
While ending 1 and 2 are both good, my favorites have to be 3, 4, and 5. They're just really nice to listen to.
The characters are all phenomenal. While most series have at least one character that I hate in the main cast, I don't hate any of the main four in HxH. Gon, Leorio, Killua, and Kurapika are all extremely well developed and likable characters.
Almost every minor character a memorable in their own way. Each one has a unique design and personality.
The villains are also amazing. Hisoka is one of my favorite anime villains of all time. You just can't find another person like him.
Meruem is a very interesting character as well. He has an amazing development in the second part of the Chimera Ant Arc. You will cry at the end of Episode 135. Trust me.
Hunter x Hunter is filled with amazing characters, great fights, phenomenal story telling, awesome music, and top notch animation. I recommend it to anyone looking to watch a great Battle Shounen.
Mar 15, 2015
HunterXHunter is sorely underrated. Unless I activiely searched it up, or I became lucky, I'd never see anyone recommending it or even commenting about it. I never saw a trace of anyone referring to it even. This might just be from my experience, but HXH seems to have been largely ignored. But I don't feel bad for the anime itself, I feel bad for the people missing out on it. I usually try not to profligate my opinion because I know everyone has a different taste, but this is just such a well-rounded show that I feel you'd have to really try to hate it. Onto the review.
I really understand why this anime is so underwatched. I'm talking from personal experience. Just one look at the cover and you see a generic shonen with odd-looking characters. This is the main reason I avoided it for so long. Next you see that it has 148 episodes. Immediately you think, "That's way too long...it's just another run-on shonen...No thanks." And you avoid it even more. But then one day you look at the top anime lineup on MAL and you notice it is within the top five most highly rated animes. You do a double-take. Suddenly you have to watch it.
And then you do. And what do you find?
An even more generic storyline than you thought it would be. Gon is a kid who wants to become a Hunter and find his dad, he can do things other people can't and is talented, he takes stupid risks and amazes the people around him...Oh heck no. This just screams "I'm a long-running shonen anime, the main character is destined for greatness and he's going to go out on a never-ending journey to find his father, make new friends along the way and show up everyone else around him." Yeah, I had the same exact thoughts. That's why after one episode I put it on hold for two months.
But then I read a review on MAL one day and decided to pick it up again, and what I found was something I thought I'd never find again- a masterpiece. For many many years, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood was my all time favorite anime. But after watching HXH, I found that I couldn't decide between the two and now they are tied for first place. How did I have such a change of heart?
One of the things that makes this anime shine the most is its ability to destroy all of your expectations. Every time I thought I knew what was going to happen, this anime spun everything around and completely surprised me. I never quite knew what was coming next.
Another thing I loved about this anime was its fights. No fight was boring, and more importantly, they were all filled with strategy. There were no annoying shonen fights where it basically goes like this: They encounter an enemy and go all out, trying so hard to defeat it, and the enemy is only a little scuffed up and they've "only used 3%" of their strength. The enemy then beats the crap out of them, and everyone seems to lose their spirit. But then they have an emotional speech about friendship/strength/love and they come up with a whole new powerful move on the spot and wipe out the enemy, who increasingly becomes more and more pathetic.
Yeah, that doesn't happen in HXH. Each battle is thought out and interesting. Also, a lot of battles are actually lost. I can't even count how many times Gon or someone else lost a fight. I remember seeing Gon laid up plenty of times, and no, he wasn't healed by the next episode, his injuries took actual time to heal. Also, people die. There is blood. Unlike Fairy tail, where I can count the number of deaths and appearances of blood on one of my hands, HXH doesn't hold back on either of those, but it doesn't go crazy on them either. (I'm not bashing oh FT, but just for the record it was one of my favorite animes until I watched HXH, then I realzied how...not amazing it was.)
Now onto the characters. They're all awesome, even the enemies. When I try to think of an enemy I hate, I can only think of one but even then he's only really a half-enemy and its my personal opinion on the character. Honesly, they are all amazing. I don't eve have any more to say about them, I've said all I needed to.
The art is great. I don't really pay attention to art usually but it's very nice to look at and it's consistently good.
I don't really pay attention to music, but a lot of it fits the mood perfectly when it plays and I enjoyed it as well.
This is just a little thing, but HXH only has two fillers which you can just skip.
Another great thing is the relationships. The relationships between the characters are enjoyable, especially between Gon and Killua. I admire how well all of the relationships are built, and they all just make you love the characters more. (Also, these same relationships are what caused me to cry on multiple occasions.)
This is getting lengthy so I'll just end it here. I give this show and everything in it a 10. It is a masterpiece and I have yet to find anything better than it. It may seem generic and cliche at first, but it isn't, and you won't regret watching more of it. If you watch this show and by the end of it you dislike it, I'd need to see a very detailed explanation to believe you.
Watch this anime. I feel bad for people who haven't seen it yet.