Jul 10, 2024
Fantasy Hunter follows Xu Mo, a student and avid gamer in the multiverse virtual world known as Brainstation. Xu Mo and his sister, Luo Lan, aspire to become bounty hunters who roam this virtual world, uncovering game bugs, viruses, and solving cases as part of the Phantom Hunters task force. They are drawn into the affairs of the Phantom Hunters after passing the trials to join the task force. When Xu Mo learns of a secret rescue mission involving the Phantom Hunter association, he is compelled to participate to save those whose consciousnesses are trapped in the virtual world.

Story & Character: 2/10
The storyline feels like a poor imitation of Sword Art Online. The concept of being trapped in a game world is overused, and Fantasy Hunter contributes little new to the genre. The pacing is too fast, skipping over the small details that are crucial for seamless transitions between events. This rapid pacing sacrifices depth, leaving most story arcs underdeveloped and forgettable. Conflicts are poorly constructed, with a lack of suspense and antagonists who appear too late to be effective. By the time antagonists are introduced, the series is a chaotic mess, attempting to develop multiple side stories simultaneously.

Characters start with potential, but after the Moon Shadow Village arc, their development stalls, and new characters are introduced arbitrarily. Many side characters, apart from Wei Te, Zui Ci, Luo Lan, Qing Kong, and Xu Mo, exist merely to explain plans and worldly affairs, detracting from the adventure and resulting in poorly developed characters even within Xu Mo's group. The main antagonist and connected characters are hard to grasp due to limited information, and the presence of numerous prophets and deities makes their roles feel insignificant.

Art & Sound: 4/10 & 5/10
The art quality is inconsistent; while the first episode sets a high standard, the quality deteriorates significantly by the end of the series. There is only one notable action scene, less than 32 seconds long, involving Xu Mo and a fox-like prophet. Even this scene suffers from poor animation and character proportions, making it look like a choppy slideshow. However, character designs are generally decent, especially during the Moon Shadow Village mission arc.

The voice acting and sound effects are mediocre. While some effort is noticeable in the soundtrack during fight scenes, particularly those involving Xu Mo, Sorens, or Luo Lan, nothing else stands out.

Overall & Enjoyment: 3/10
I would have been content with another SAO clone featuring an overpowered main character, but instead, we got a convoluted rescue mission series set in a game world. The series concludes with a poorly executed cliffhanger, where much happens, but no significant action occurs. Many action scenes are skipped, showing only the aftermath or static side angles, resulting in a lackluster experience. If you enjoy mystery and don't mind putting extra effort into understanding the story context, this series might appeal to you. However, it falls short in almost every other aspect.
Reviewer’s Rating: 3
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