First of all, I am under the assumption that viewers interested to watch this movie have at least a little knowledge or background of the Hunter x Hunter franchise before watching. If not, it might be a little hard to completely get the best experience out of this. But at any rate, enough talk about interest and let's talk about the movie itself. For fans of the ongoing remake series as well as the original Hunter x Hunter, this should be a gift delivered early from Santa.
The movie itself is called Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge. It is a side story rather than
a prequel/sequel. For those who have seen the original series though (at least up to episode 58), there should be enough interest already because the series deals with what the synopsis mentions – the Phantom Troupe. In particular, a young boy with golden hair and scarlet eyes (Kurapika) plays the role of an avenger. He still holds a blood thirsty vengeance against the spiders. However at the same time, he seeks answers to what's happening in the present. It is also noticeable that the movie takes events after the actual Yorknew Arc from the original/remake series. Therefore, expect some surprises as we see old faces return but also new characters pop up.
As for the movie goes, it offers a good balance of comedy and more of that darkness. In terms of comedy, perhaps the brotherly bond of Gon and Killua are the most noticeable. In fact, it is very clear that they share a strong friendship despite coming from very different backgrounds. Gon was raised from a normal family while the latter comes from a family of elite assassins. On the other hand, we also see a more in-depth past of Kurapika. His brotherly bond with a new character in the series can be mirrored with Gon/Killua. In essence, both of their relationships are tied by trust with great values. Additionally, they are even joined together by a new comrade along the way. It's an adventure tale all over again and one that fans of HxH must see.
The plot itself follows as the premise goes although with certain twists. For instance, we see the Phantom Troupe return but in a different way especially in regards of a particular character. Then, there's also the story involving Kurapika and his old teammate whom he once trusted with his life. There are plenty of foreshadowing going on. In particular, some of the little important scenes are shot with more depth in term of music and artwork. Then, there's some of the intertwined arcs where our main characters gets involved with events related to the spiders. They encounter familiar faces while also facing off against a new threat.
Epic is also misused word. If I would used the word epic, I would describe the majority of the movie as such whether it's from the fights, the dialogues, the comedy/darkness, or just a mere character. However, this movie can be summed up with such a single word at several stances. The action scenes are pretty fluid. Most of the are quick paced that combines both physical and psychological aspects. That's also one of the strong points in Hunter x Hunter. The franchise makes usage of the fights to incorporate it into more of a psychological mind game at many instances. In this movie, these mind games comes to fruition especially into the head of Killua. The concept of vengeance, betrayal, and struggle are packaged together that brings out the entertainment at its finest. Even the Phantom Troupe tastes some of that in particular of a member whom once shared a strong bond with.
Despite of the action scenes being well performed, some of them are a bit too quick paced and old fashioned. It would have been better to see some new techniques from the Phantom Troupe but most of them are still what they are. Perhaps it's because they are in a different form that they lack their true power. But at any rate, it's nice to see some of them back again in action mode.
As for characterization goes, the main characters make their stance and presence well known. Obviously, the main focus of the film focuses on Kurapika but it's also nice to see Killua and his side shine when he faces his struggles. Then of course, Hisoka makes his stances with the way he talks and walks. Furthermore, we even see Leorio playing more of a direct role. Considering his lesser screen time during the Yorknew Arc, it's actually refreshing to see his character shine more so. Indeed, the four main characters functions well as a team and together, they take on any challenge they face together.
Visual wise, the series maintains its composure and balance just as well as the remake of Hunter x Hunter. The beautiful landscapes and cities are designed to give off that adventure like feeling. The Phantom Troupe displays their ferocity with their stances. Then, there's are the comedic and lighter toned artwork during the more humorous scenes. As even more so, a particular character gets dressed different for the first time in a way they feel different. The artwork makes the movie somewhat memorable although nothing spectacular. It doesn't incorporate the usage of CGI so expect fluid scenes but again, nothing considered a masterpiece in the arts department.
As for the soundtrack, Hunter x Hunter have been criticized in the past before for its orchestra. In this movie, it reuses some of the OST from the remake. However, it does fit within the series quite well. The VA who plays their roles in this series also did their job well. In particular, Hisoka and Retz's voice tones should be praised for their performance especially for the latter. Considering Retz's gender, the voice of its character must seem to be ambiguous and Hirano Aya portrayed her part quite well. The overall OST is above average but not earth-shattering by technical standards.
All in all, Hunter x Hunter Phantom Rouge is a gift for the fans. Obviously, this gift can be opened and enjoyed by different standards. For me though, I was quite satisfied with the results. If you're a fan of the Yorknew Arc, this is definitely something to keep an eye on. The way it incorporates the usage of its characters again show that the A-class band of thieves is still around. At the time of this movie was being aired, the Yorknew Arc was just reaching its conclusion but we still can't forget about the spiders, can we?
Hunter X Hunter is a series known to many people especially to shonen fans. It's one of those shonen anime that proved that the mainstream shonen genre can also be intelligent yet exciting. Hunter X Hunter has been serialized for a decade now and spawned two anime adaptations, one being a remake. As the popularity of the series rises again because of the remake, the series finally now have a film that many hunter x hunter fans would be excited about. Is this movie worth the hype for us fans? Let's check it out.
Hunter X Hunter phantom rouge is about Kurapika one of the main
characters of the series who wants to take vengeance against The Phantom troupe. A notorious group of criminals whom have massacred kurapika's entire clan, the Kurta clan. Although in search for the troupe and for the eyes of his comrades which is said to be stolen by the the troupe, Kurapika's eyes has been stolen by a another surviving member of the Kurta clan. The whole film's story revolved for kurapika regaining his eyes so to speak. Many of the fans would expect that Kurapika would have the spotlight in this film although the film mostly revolved to both Gon and Killua. Killua probably had the most characterization in this film as he can't still forget his dark past as an assassin and his brother Illumi's word that in the end he would kill his own friend. As weird as it is, this have become one of the most focusing theme in the whole film. Gon is still the typical naive but lovable kid we mostly get to see in the TV series and so he didn't get any development in this film at all. Kurapika is still the same as ever and we did get some background during his childhood along with his blind friend pairo who would only serve as a plot device in this film. Leorio, probably the most forgettable protagonist out of the four, is still forgettable in this movie as usual. He is just there to help his friends and nothing else. Barely any development and didn't even get any spotlight in the fights in the movie. We are introduced to two new characters in this film. Of course, that would be the former number four of the troupe, Omokage who is known as the master puppet god and Rentz, a beautiful girl who is pretends to be a boy. I have to say that i was pretty disappointed at Omokage. Most of Yoshihiro Togashi's villains are all top notch in characterization but here, Omokage comes up to me as only a one-dimensional villain. I also feel that his presence as a villain is unintimidating and underwhelming. Rentz on the other hand interests me and finally a girl who is the same as Gon and Killua's age who is beautiful. She had the potential to be a great character although i feel that her potential has been wasted due to poor execution. Hisoka and some of the notable members of the phantom troupe are here such as Machi and Nobunaga and are badass as usual but had barely any screen time at all which probably also one of my main gripes in this film. So if you're expecting a good phantom troupe awesomeness, i am sorry but you will be disappointed. If this film have only focus more on Kurapika and his relationship with the Kurta clan then i think this movie would have been better. They could also make Leorio to have some spotlight in this film. We always get to see Gon and Killua in the TV series so honestly why focus on them especially Killua? It really felt out of place to be honest.
Hunter X Hunter is also known for having smart and analytical fights. The fights in this movie are mediocre compared to the TV series itself. The fights may entertain a bunch of people but to me i find it boring compared to the TV series. The animation and visual is still the same as the TV series only much smoother in some cases. Nothing spectacular about to be honest and i think it could have been way better considering this is Madhouse. This nothing like the original Fullmetal alchemist where the already good visuals was upgraded higher in it's movie Conqueror's of shamballa. One of my main gripes in the Remake is the soundtrack. It pales in comparison when it comes to the 1999 TV series. Not saying that the soundtrack is that bad, but mediocre when it comes to it's another anime adaptation. Why am i talking about the TV series soundtracks? Because most of the soundtracks in the TV series are also in the film with some new ones with guitar metal madhouse style OST.
In the end Hunter X Hunter: Phantom rouge is a pretty okay film but it's definitely underwhelming. Out of Naruto: Road to Ninja, One Piece Film Z and this, i feel this is the weakest. Most people would probably be disappointed in this film but then again die-hard Hunter X Hunter fans will probably also gonna enjoy this film. I also did enjoyed this film but not that really much that i sometimes wants to sleep into most of the fight scenes. The pacing are fine and i didn't noticed much problem with it. But still, if you are a fan of the TV series and really like it, i'd say go and still give this movie a try and decide for yourself.
This review will be short and shitty, just like the movie.
Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge is about everything which Hunter x Hunter isn't. The story is about this puppeteer who makes puppets based to real people, copying their appearance. Ironically, our main characters Kurapika, Kil, Gon and Leorio also feel like puppets, empty shells, in this movie. All of their personalities have been changed, and all former character development seen in the anime has been turned back to zero + little extra taken away. Not only are they completely different characters, they have been turned into a bunch of weak idiots as well. I don't
bother talking nor spoiling anything about the characters since this anime clearly doesn't have any.
The events were most likely written by a 5-year-old retarded frog-squirrel. The writing is utterly based to coincidences. The characters teleport to each others location all the fucking time. Not literally, but the explanation given could be replaced with the following; "How I got here? Oh, I teleported." And the story would still make sense equally much. Bad guys got beaten by the power of friendship. Motherfucker. Or alternatively with the help of teleporting former villains. The fights are ridiculous and completely lacking brains. You could as well replace the attacks with a bitchslap contest and it would make tactically as much sense.
The animation looks ridiculous. The fights are executed with light effects. They also had to use some shitty cgi to make fish fly and look lame. Mostly to look lame. The art is also different, but this isn't HxH anyway, so I don't have to complain. The sounds are made with a no fricking sense whatsoever. There is a scene where Gon and Killua have to sneak so that one character doesn't notice them. And what did the sound director do? Insert footstep-voices so loud that even my neighbor can the hear the bass. I mean, seriously? No, seriously? This isn't even funny.
Well, I did enjoy few things in this. The references around eyes and main villain's sense for family. That's literally the few. The pacing was also neato as these 1.5hours went pretty fast. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who can't bear with out of character behavior, nor anyone else either, unless you die to hear more about Kurapika.
This movie made me excited the first time I've heard of it. I expected too much especially I faithfully followed Hunter X Hunter 2011. I kind of got disappointed because I gained ONLY 2 THINGS out of watching this. I decided to score it 7.
1. Even though the movie is out of the scrapped chapter made by the mangaka Togashi, the movie has successfully made it seem connected to the show.
2. The setting and plot starts after Yorkshin Arc but before Greed Island Arc.
3. IF YOU JUST WANT TO WATCH IT TO KNOW ABOUT THE BENEFITS I WILL MENTION LATER, you better just read
the manga's special chapter for Kurapika, it's more complete. Just research about Phantom Troupe #4 Omokage if you're interested. And just continue watching the series.
STORY: It's somehow acceptable but lacks excitement and very little to expect.
ART: Same as usual. Some skills like Chrollo's Indoor Fish used higher quality graphics but it feels like the one in the TV series is better.
SOUND: They use the same as what they use in TV series.
CHARACTER: Their personality is being exaggerated or less firm than in the TV series.
ENJOYMENT: I leave the decision to you after you read everything I think here.
1. The movie features the past of Kurapika. But I could say only 99%.
2. The movie features the Phantom Troupe member #4, the one replaced by Hisoka.
1. The rest of the plot seems to be dry.
2. Killua's personality sufferings is there but it seems to be not the Killua you know. I think you better watch Chimera Ant Arc of Hunter X Hunter 2011 if you wanna see the real Killua.
3. Gon in the entire anime and manga series is shown as someone who gets fired up especially when he has a hard time fighting but in the movie, you can barely see this fire.
4. You don't have something to expect about the other Phantom Troupe.
This might not have passed the standards of fans out there including myself, but I'll still look forward for the 2nd movie "Hunter X Hunter: The Last Mission". Hunter X Hunter 2011 series still continues to give us the thrill and the art of fighting with strategies and also the emotional meaning of life. So let's still continue supporting Hunter X Hunter 2011.
Anime movies can usually never hold a candle to their series counterpart. Phantom Rouge, the first movie of the Hunter x Hunter franchise, is no exception. Chronologically, this film takes place immediately after the Yorknew/Phantom Troupe Arc. So before watching this film, be sure to have finished the Yorknew/Phantom Troupe Arc of Hunter x Hunter as this movie pulls from the fact that the viewer has an idea of the characters in that arc and the events that had happened.
With Phantom Rouge's premise of Kurapika's eyes being "stolen" and the involvement of the Phantom Troupe, Phantom Rouge had a lot of potential to create
a very interesting and unique spin-off of the popular Yorknew/Phantom Troupe Arc. However, it follows a simple and predictable formula that relies mostly on action sequences. Although action is not a bad thing by itself, action sequences in movies usually come with deus ex machina that stunt the storytelling. The potential mystery and thrill that the movie sets up also disappear because of conveniently placed plot devices or in other words, the anime original characters.
While the mains are all fine, as Killua gets quite a bit of development, Kurapika gets some backstory, and Gon and Leorio's personalities and behaviors are consistent with the main series, the two new characters introduced, Retz and Omokage, are underdeveloped and underwhelming. In the movie’s 1 hour and 37 minutes, only around 45 minutes were dedicated to Retz or Omokage total. Considering that Omokage is a previous member of the Phantom Troupe, he is expected to be intimidating like the rest of the Spiders but he feels like a stock villain that lacks all the development that the rest of the Phantom Troupe members have. Retz too, could have been an interesting character with very intriguing interactions with Gon and Killua if she was given the time and chance to develop, but as it is, she is just a device to help move the plot forward.
Several inconsistencies also pull the movie back. For instance, characters triumph in battles they would never win in the main series because of their lack of experience/Nen knowledge/power. Hunter x Hunter is known to be a smart battle shounen, but the movie throws away the logic and strategies that are used in the series for more mainstream fights. It isn't horrid by any means as the animation is very fluid and well choreographed but the movie loses some of the Hunter x Hunter magic. The motivational speeches throughout the movie are also elements that would never be included in the main series, which makes some of the interactions between characters seem quite forced and unnatural.
Despite the movie's undoings, the superb sound helps the stunted plot and along with the smooth animation, brings the story and characters to life. Some soundtracks like The Red-Eyed Monster and Way to the Town are variations of OSTs that were used before but they are given a kind of flare that makes them sound novel and fresh. Meanwhile, many of the soundtracks such as The Emperor's Time, To Give a Marionette Life, and most notably, Reason (instrumental and original) are used again in the main series without ever tiring.
Considering where the Hunter x Hunter series is now, this movie was a refreshing watch because Kurapika and Leorio haven’t really appeared since the Yorknew Arc and won’t for a long time. Unfortunately, the two of them are put in the backseat as most of the movie is focused on Gon and Killua and their friendship. Nonetheless, it’s good to see Kurapika and Leorio again, and even Hisoka and the Phantom Troupe. Gon and Killua’s interactions with each other are still very nice to watch too, albeit somewhat redundant.
Overall, more Hunter x Hunter is always welcome since it’s a franchise that deserves it; however, when the producers continue to make Hunter x Hunter movies (which a second movie has already been announced), they would need to do better to keep the quality of their movies consistent with the series. To conclude, Phantom Rouge is an okay watch, it's nothing spectacular but it's still probably worth your time if you like Hunter x Hunter.
I hope my first review helped, if not, please tell me why. Thanks for reading.
I waited until after finishing the TV series before watching this and I'm glad I did. The TV show was utter perfection, whereas this was like watching an extra long, sloppily made episode of HxH. It wasn't terrible by any means. Even the bad episodes of HxH are still good. I still liked it, but it was lacking the excitement and the sense of adventure and just the whole overall feel that the TV series gives you.
The TV series had a very, very strong emotional pull to it. I've watched bucketloads of TV shows and movies over the years (and I mean good ones,
not any of that Adam Sandler/Ben Stiller/Vince Vaughn garbage). Many of the shows I've watched were able to draw me in to the point where I couldn't stop watching and I'd end up watching for 4-5 hours nonstop, however, none of them have had the emotional pulling power that HxH had. When the protagonists were happy, I'd actually feel happy for them. When they were sad, I'd feel terrible. I've never really felt like crying during a movie or a TV show, since I've never been an empathetic person. HxH is the only show that's come close to doing that.
This movie, on the other hand, was severely lacking in the emotional pulling department. It definitely wasn't through lack of trying though. There were scenes that were just as sad as some of the sadder scenes in the TV series, but the emotional pull just wasn't there. That sort of thing unfortunately takes time to kick in. When I first started watching the show, I had no attachment to the characters. It wasn't until I got about a quarter of the way into the series that the show really started to pull me in and I started to feel a strong attachment to the characters.
Had they made this into a 4 or 5 episode mini-arc, this could have been a great addition to the TV series, since by the time this would have aired, they would have been about 60 episodes in and this would have had all the emotional pulling power that the TV series had. As a movie, it hasn't really had the chance to develop any.
I gave the original series a 10. I give this a 7. It probably deserves a 7.5, but MAL doesn't believe in decimal points.
Let's get something straight right off the bat: this is not Hunter x Hunter. It may look like Hunter x Hunter, it may share the same soundtrack, it may have your old favorite characters, but if you are expecting the same masterful writing and style of the anime, you will be sorely disappointed.
The movie takes place directly following the Yorknew City Arc, and I would only recommend this anime to those who have at least seen Hunter x Hunter up to that point (in order to have a more full understanding of the charecter and story). Though, maybe those who haven't
seen the anime will enjoy this movie even more. Not knowing the heights and brilliant characterization of the anime, you may be adequately satisfied with the way the characters are presented in this movie. Don't be fooled though, nowhere in the anime will you find a charecter as one dimensional and boring (honestly) as the main villain in this movie. Hunter x Hunter has always thrived on its ability to create diverse and truly intriguing characters. In the anime, you will find a broad cast of characters, but will struggle to find one alike another. In this movie, however, the main villain (a former member of the Phantom Troupe named Omokage - the one who Hisoka replaced as #4 in the Troupe), has a very interesting ability but a very tired and trope-y persona. He's not "evil", he's just "misguided" - you've seen this one before.
Of course, seeing the member Hisoka replaced is a welcome and interesting backstory, if only it had been done properly. We see the return of the rest of the Phantom Troupe as well. Suffice to say (without spoiling the movie), they are only used as it is convenient to resolve the plot. The same goes for Hisoka (one of the most brilliant and intriguing characters in the anime) as he is only used to swoop in at the last second (out of nowhere, I might add) when things look bleak. I should say, though, that there are at least a few good moments with the Troupe and Hisoka that bring enjoyment.
Alright, so Hisoka and the Phantom Troupe have been reduced to plot devices... and the main villain is uninteresting. But what about the core four? Does the movie at least get that right? Partially. I will start with this, the movie tries *very very* hard to shoehorn Killua's backstory with his brother (Illumi) in, but doesn't really add anything interesting or new to their relationship. It's the usual "don't fight battles you can't win"... "you're born to be a killer"... "you'll only betray and kill your friends" shtick we get in the anime. I'll add, I love the Killua-Illumi dynamic in the anime, and don't mind any of those things I just stated in just stated in the anime, but in the movie it feels very forced. Gon is basically a watered down version of himself, everything he does is relatively consistent with his charecter, but you never see the fire or passion we've come accustomed to with Gon from the anime. Leorio is hardly seen in the movie (he's present, but doesn't get a lot to do). As for Kurapika though...
Kurapika is honestly what saves this movie for me. He's what separates it from being irredeemable to being worth watching (and actually something I would recommend to some people). The movie gets Kurapika right. We get some some really interesting backstory on his life in the Kurta clan. My favorite scene in the entire movie is his flashback sequence as a Kurta. That entire scene felt very much like Hunter x Hunter, and really good Hunter x Hunter at that. His charecter is entirely consistent with the anime, and every scene focusing on Kurapika tends to work better than the others in this movie. His presence saves a predictable, drawn-out story from being completely deficient.
+Backstory for Kurapika
+Excellent characterization of Kurapika
+Ending sequence (I got jitters seeing Kite, even if only for a moment)
-Hisoka and the Phantom Troupe reduced to plot devices
-Watered down Gon
-Slow and drawn out pacing
--Forced Killua/Illumi subplot
--One dimensional/boring villain
Overall: I recommend this movie to fans of Hunter x Hunter who want to see more from Kurapika, and have 90 minutes to kill. But be aware what you are watching is *not* Hunter x Hunter, it is an imitator with a few redeemable qualities.
This will be a short review, since it's all this movie deserves anyways.
When I found out there was a Hunter x Hunter movie, (you see, I only recently started the series) I was overjoyed! However, looking back, I almost regret my feelings of excitement, because this movie was an utter disappointment.
Be warned- I will compare the film to the anime A LOT.
Apparently this movie was made from a scrapped chapter of Hunter x Hunter, written by Yoshihiro Togashi. Surprisingly enough, it seems to fit well, taking place between the Yorkshin City Arc and the Greed Island Arc. (when in reality, there was no
gap between the two arcs). As many other people were, I expected this to be a film completely dedicated to Kurapika and his past. Nooo, this is a Gon and Killua film. Haven't we had enough of those two already? Anyways, moving on. The pacing was alright, nothing too fast or too slow. However, the way the story is executed is poor. The events are cheesy and predictable, and overall it lacks the uniqueness of the TV series.
Art and animation is pretty much subpar to the originals. The backgrounds are bland, the characters aren't drawn very well, and at some points the animation is rigid. Somehow, it manages to feel like Hunter x Hunter, if you get what I mean.
The soundtracks are taken directly from the anime. Personally, I am a fan of the OSTs in the show, so I am happy with the sound. Likewise, all of the original seiyuu from the anime are kept in their respective roles for this film. Overall, great.
It's quite obvious that this is where this film suffers. Are we even watching Gon and Killua, or some other person in their bodies? All the characters are majorly OOC. There is little to no more character development here. I won't go into much detail with them, other than that they aren't really likeable, but I have to mention one of them. Oh yes, I have to mention Killua. This simply is NOT Killua. First, he is an asshole to Retz (another extremely underdeveloped character who has NO significance) because he's jealous, then becomes extremely overprotective of Gon. Finally, he simply abandons Gon to Illumi, because he "doesn't have the right to be his friend." Yeaahhhh. Not one point in this movie did I NOT want to strangle him. Overall, poorly developed and portrayed characters.
Eh, I wouldn't say I liked this movie. Sure, it was entertaining, but it was also a big waste of time. I wouldn't watch this movie again.
Overall, this film lacks the charm of the original, and was a major disappointment to me. It isn't a bad movie, though. If you don't know much about the HxH series as a whole, well, this is a great place to start. However, if you know and love HxH well, and would hate to see your favorite show butchered, just stay away from this movie.
Art/Sound: I'm gonna start with the technical aspects. The animation is pretty good, but it's still not as good as the show. The music... um... well... I don't actually remember it at all. Not like the music from the show which had its extremely stand-out OP and the first, third, 5 and 6th ED as well as the amazing song The World of Adventurers. And I honestly don't remember a single song from this movie. But that's not as important as other aspects like story and characters.
Story/Character: The best parts of this movie are the parts about Kurapika. The scenes explaining Kurapika's backstory and the
scenes with Pairo are certainly the standout scenes due to all the emotional baggage these scenes carry for Kurapika. The other decent parts would have to be the scenes with Killua trying to deal with the idea that he will betray Gon. Maybe that's just how it was for me since I had finished the show and already new how that whole 'Killua betraying Gon' subplot played out in the end and was also trying to figure out at what point during the show had this movie aired, and thought they might be trying to set up the solution to that subplot. The worst parts are the new characters. Retz is lame and once they fin out she's a girl she goes from an at least sort of strong character to a complete damsel in distress. She's like a really bad female OC, but not even as good as that. And Omokage is no where near as good as the rest of the troupe. The great thing about the troupe is that they are all characters who have real motivations. Omokage is just like... I want your eyes because they're pretty and I'm evil. And some of the logic makes no sense. Like, Kurapika's eyes have been removed from his head, and yet he can still see through them... What?
Enjoyment: It's enjoyable. The main four are back together and that's enough to make this movie enjoyable. The main four of Hunter x Hunter are legitimately four of my favorite characters in all of fiction, not even just anime, all of fiction. So watching this movie was worth it just to see them all back to together again. And I also believe they have some of the best chemistry in anime, so all of them together is just fantastic, even if the rest of the movie doesn't live up to Hunter x Hunter standards.
Overall, I'd say watch this movie if you're a fan of Hunter x Hunter. If you watched the show and only had a passing interest in it, or didn't enjoy it, then don't watch this movie. You will not enjoy it. If you really liked or loved the show, then have fun! And I'd say this entire movie is worth watching just to hear Kurapika call the troupe the f-word.
Taking place after the Yorkshin arc and before the Greed Island arc, Phantom Rouge depicts a small scale story in which Gon and Killua encounter the mysterious previous eighth member of the Phantom Troupe. (Don't watch this movie until after finishing the Phantom Troupe/ Yorkshin Arc.)
I actually happen to have really enjoyed this movie despite it's shortcomings. It's nice to have gotten a backstory for Kurapika, and adds more weight to his conflict with the Troupe. The friendship between Gon, Killua and Retz is also heartwarming and there is some comedy in their interactions. (Rest of review contains spoilers for movie)
The villain Omokage actually has
quite a compelling and twisted reason as to his plans, having a warped view of perfection through his dolls, and Retz being one of these dolls is quite tragic, as she despises the plans of her brother. The most compelling aspect of the film has to be Killua's ordeal at the control of Illumi, and his struggle to be trusting in a friend, resulting in a pretty shocking scene where Killua actually attempts suicide for considering himself a broken person, before being saved by Gon.
Overall, this movie has both lighthearted and downright twisted elements, just as HxH should have. The action is ok, and the character's ordeals are very emotionally investing, especially with Killua. This movie gets a 7/10 from me.
As a die-hard Hunter x Hunter fan, I expected this movie for months. Personally, I would say it is an enjoyable mixed bag, in the sense that it might feel like a long gaiden episode that has enough elements to be canon. This is the first in the likely inevitable series of movies (a second one has already been announced). The film follows Gon and Killua in a quest to recover Kurapika's stolen eyes. There are a few new characters but a lot of known faces show up along the way. You might be confused as to where this movie fits in the HXH canon,
and with good reason: the series is so tightly knit that writing a movie that manages to feature new material but that also includes all the four main characters AND the Genei Ryodan is really easy to screw up. If you have been avoiding the trailers and the info on the internet as I did, then you might get lost during the first thirty minutes of the movie, because the characters travel to a town never mentioned before without previous explanation and... well, that's just how side stories work normally. Logic aside, the movie is set right after the York Shin City arc (you probably know that there's no logical time gap between it and the GI arc, but whatever).
The music is for the most part taken directly from the series. This might sound cheap but also gives the movie a sense of consistency with the series. The new themes are awesome and help make the action more memorable, and there are also some new versions of old tunes. The sound is also great, no complaints there.
Animation and art are also consistent with the series, but additional efforts are noticeable, especially during action scenes. There's no abuse of CGI, it's pretty much the same as in the series. There are, however, a few shots that while showing the characters far away from the camera, are noticeable enough to be "quality animation meme"-worthy considering this is a blu-ray release. Still, this is only a minor complaint and doesn't really detract from the enjoyment.
My only major gripe with this movie is the plot, which sometimes loosens the rules of the HxH universe a bit too much and breaks the suspension of desbelief for hardcore fans. The issues are for the most part related to the rules of Nen. There are times when you will think of Gon and Killua: "Wait, can they really do that at their current nen level?" "Can they really survive that?" This feeling is enhanced by the lack of strategy in the battles, a staple and one of the best things in the series. It feels like most of these fights served only to advance the plot or for fan service (some really fit in the "what if-?" scenarios), so don't take them too seriously. On the other hand, you won't get any Naruto-like spoonfeeding due to the lack of strategy. Battles aside, the plot works for the most part, but it's somewhat predictable. There are some convenient coincidences here and there which I guess were included for the sake of better pacing. The tone of the movie is balanced: you can expect some funny moments in the right situations, just like in the series.
The characters are also a point of complaints. The title of the movie might lead you into thinking this movie is about the spiders and Kurapika, but Killua and Gon (yes, Killua more than Gon) get more screentime. Their development is similarly unbalanced: Killua is the closest to a protagonist while Gon shows little development. Retz, a new character, was a nice addition but some unnecessary emphasis is put on her from the beginning and this bugged me throughout the entire movie. Leorio mostly acts as a support character, and the spiders themselves are not that prominent (practically cameos) but they steal the show whenever they appear. The real antagonist, the much hyped Omokage, feels a bit like wasted potential. His motivations feel somewhat generic for a Spider and he really likes to talk about them, so I wasn't 100% sold on him. Still, his very existence is explained in a believable way (he was supposed to be dead in the series). His nen abilities, on the other hand, left me with some questions even after it was explained how they work. Finally, there is some insight into Kurapika's past, but you can find out much more about this by reading the Volume 0 of the manga, which you can find by googling (it was originally given away to those who went to the theatrical release). I encourage you to read it before watching the movie, it complements it and it doesn't give away any major spoilers. Flashback aside, Kurapika feels less important to the plot than he should.
Overall, this movie is a fun ride. It won't make you question the meaning of your life, but it is an enjoyable watch, and totally recommendable for shonen and HxH fans. Just turn your brain off during the fights, they aren't the ones you're used to from the series, though they are still fun and flashy. For the second movie, I'd like to see a prequel story, perhaps related to the origin of the spiders or the adventures of a young Ging or Netero. In my opinion, trying to fit a movie story into the main canon is just WAY TOO difficult.
So I've done watching the whole HxH anime before watching this part but still I can recall what happen before and after. The flow of the story was great it didn't break the flow of the story in the real anime. I love the conflict in the story and the resolution but the only part that I kinda didn't like was the final battle, Gon and Killua fighting the puppet brother of Killua and Leorio and Kurapika fighting his friend I like the part where they are still trying to think of a resolution but I kinda got dissatisfied when just one hit they kill
the puppets I was hoping of some actions before the puppets die but well it wasn't the real battle. I love when the phantom rouge have been present in the last part. I really like them even though they're the bad guys. Enough of the fangirling, over all the story was great. I still got teary-eyed when the movie ends. I miss them especially Killua and Gon, the bond they have was stronger than best friends it was more than a brotherhood.
I never thought Yoshihiro Togashi's wonderful work could be so spoiled in less than two hours. But it was.
"Hunter x Hunter Movie: Phantom Rouge" is the kind of movie I would actually appreciate if I were just looking for something to pass the time. Unfortunately, it is very far from the quality the Hunter x Hunter fans are used to. I had great expectations about this movie and they were all destroyed within minutes. Still, the movie can be a little enjoyable if you forget it should be connected to Hunter x Hunter. Which would pretty strange, to say the least.
STORY - 2
The story is...
meh. I couldn't see Togashi's intelligence in the plot. What disturbed me the most was the way the movie focused much more on Gon and Killua than on Kurapika, who was supposed to be the main character... right? Ok, ok. The movie shows (a bit) of Kurapika’s past. But Sheila (or Shiira) is completely absent! Who is Sheila, you ask. Exactly! She appears in the manga “Kurapika’s Reminiscences”, but was cut from the movie. Because of this exclusion, the scenes about Kurapika’s past aren’t as rich as they could have been. And now, the worst part. SPOILER AHEAD! If you don’t want to read them, jump to “ART”, ok? Gon and Killua fight Uvogin’s phantom doll alone. Let me say it one more time. Gon and Killua fight Uvogin’s phantom doll. Alone. Uvogin. Once known as the strongest member of the Phantom Troupe. Sometimes, protagonism spoils everything in the movie…
ART – 8
I’m ok with the art, except for the unnecessary special effects that made the final battle look kind of boring and the Kuruta’s “cute little white bunny eyes”. When a Kuruta gets angry their eyes become scarlet. That’s what the manga says. In the movie—as well as in the 2011 anime series—when Kurapika gets angry his eyes become pink!
SOUND – 6
The sound was ok. Personally, I prefer the 1999 anime version soundtrack.
CHARACTER – 6
Leorio was amazing in this movie. I love his silly personality. Kurapika was great too. Gon was… just Gon. Killua was kind of… strange. He acts differently in this movie because he is jealous of a little girl who becomes Gon’s new friend. Maybe that could work well in a fanfiction, but not in the canon. Hisoka is Hisoka. Illumi is Illumi. Nothing to complain about them. And the villain is… the villain is… I-I just can’t believe that guy is a Hunter x Hunter character. Bomber did much better in the Greed Island Arc.
ENJOYMENT – 3
Time to be honest. I love Leorio and Kurapika. So I loved all their scenes. But I didn’t like how the movie always focuses on Gon and Killua. Man, they’ve already received too much attention in the regular show. Their protagonism is ridiculous. SPOILER AHEAD (again): How could they fight Phantom Troupe’s members—ok, ok, they were not the real Phantom Troupe’s members, but come on!—as equals?
OVERALL – 4
As a huge Hunter x Hunter fan I expect no less than great stories and character development from the anime and movies. But “Phantom Rouge” story is poor, the characters created for it are bad and Kurapika receives little attention. I don’t recommend it. Of course, some fans will like the movie very much and I will never blame them for that. “Phantom Rouge” has good moments and, as I have said before, it can be enjoyable if you don’t care about its connection with the manga.
Final words: if you are a huge fan of Hunter x Hunter, watch the movie and make up your mind whether it’s good or not. If you just want to have some fun maybe you can find another—more exciting—movie to watch. If you don’t like Hunter x Hunter that much don’t even waste your time. But I really, really, really recommend the manga “Kurapika’s Reminiscences” because it shows Kurapika’s past in an awesome way and Sheila (or Shiira) appears on it!