This stand-alone OVA of Hunter x Hunter, which is the prologue of the 1999 television series, offers a little insight into Gon's childhood and why he decides to become a Hunter. This OVA is a slight shift from the starting of the Hunter x Hunter series, where Gon, Kurapika and Leorio are on their way to become successful Hunters. While on their journey to give the Hunter Examination which is notorious for its low ratio success rate, the three characters are attacked by a giant octopus-type monster. This episode shows us the little fight that happens before the great adventure of the trio in the
world of Hunter x Hunter begins. There's also a scene at the start of the episode where little Gon is saved by Kite as he's being attacked by a wild foxbear. Although it only lasts for a while, it was good to relive the moment that plays a pivotal role in the future Hunter x Hunter series.
This episode came on 1998, before the production of the Hunter x Hunter TV show began so there's little I'll complain about the artwork which is below par, but watchable. The same applies for the background music, insert tunes and voice acting in this show. Although you won't miss out on anything important if you miss this OVA, but if you're planning on starting either the 1999 or 2011 TV series then this Pilot OVA is a good little watch.
I'm gonna say this first off: don't even try to watch this unless you're a big fan of the series, whether it's the 1999 version, the 2011 version, or the manga.
Why? Well, it's more of a 'fan's treasure' if you ask me.
To begin with, the story is the same as the first episode the other two anime (I assume-- at this point, I have only see 2011, though I am planning on watching 1999 soon) but it takes it on in a different way, especially when compared to 2011. The story itself includes more daring escapades compared to 2011, along with more bravery
and jarring events.
The art, while grainy (it was another time when this was made) is well done and animated pretty smoothly.
The sound was decent, with the voice actors doing a good job and the background music very fitting.
The character, however, is what makes this a fan's gold mine. We see aspects of these characters we haven't seen before, whether it be Gon's selfishness that reminds others of his father, or perhaps Mito's annoyed love as Gon leaves just like Ging did, or even Leorio's rude comments and new badassery: this OVA covers a lot of things that 2011 didn't touch, making the characters more real, flawed, and deep, even just in half an hour.
Overall, because of the characters especially (and also because I just love HxH) I enjoyed this a lot.
I would recommend this if you: are a Hunter x Hunter fan, like 'collectibles' or vintage things
I would NOT recommend this if you: do not like Hunter x Hunter, can't stand grainy or 'old-timey' animation