Director: Koujina, Hiroshi | Air Date: 02/10/2011 | End Date: 24/09/2014 | Overall: Brilliant
I’ve actually completed this series a while back, however wasn’t sure how I was going to go about doing my review. So I held back on it. Now it seems to be a good time do it. With 148 episodes, it was one heck of a ride.
Plot / Synopsis:
“After becoming 12, Gon leaves his home and takes on the task of entering the Hunter exam, notorious for its low success rate and high chance of death to become an official Hunter. He befriends the revenge-driven Kurapika, the doctor-to-be Leorio and the rebellious ex-assassin Killua in the exam, with their friendship prevailing throughout the many trials and threats they come upon taking on the dangerous career of a Hunter”.
Hunter x Hunter 2011 was a remake from the 1999 series. Knowing that a series was already established, Madhouse took a gamble of re-doing something to see if they could extend or even better it. Very little remakes actually do better than the original. So to see the remake do better than the original is pretty surprising. And shows just how talented the team that did the remake is. The manga’ author is notorious for taking large lengths of time off from his work. And he doesn’t seem to be continuing with it (as of writing this review). So it was pretty sad to see the series finish prematurely.
The anime follows the arcs that appear in the manga. This reduces any continuity errors to a minimum. And it follows them as closely as possible. Which is why the remake is a huge hit. It also boasts a fairly moderate assemble of characters.
Gon is pretty much your typical shōnen lead. A kind-hearted, protective of his friends, stubborn, hot-headed at times. Being dense or naive at times. But still loveable to all. For me, Gon pretty much hit his peak at the Greed arc. His development / growth stopped at that point. All his attributes became established. Growth instead gave way to the growing bond of friendship with Killua – which was the best thing. Even during the chimera arc, when he had his “dark moment” Killua didn’t give up on him. Whilst he is loveable, I didn’t find him relatable. His hot-headed moments were frustrating to me. Very cliché, shōnen archetype character. His nen is Enhancement.
Killua however. Coming from a well to do, and well known family of assassins. His whole life has been only that. Knowing the way of the assassin. So to meet Gon, was something he wasn’t expecting. Nor was the friendship, that makes this series. Now Killua got the most character development out of all the main leads. From a spoilt, lonely boy. Who was a prodigy at being an assassin. Who knew all the dark arts from his family. To one who came to care for those around him. Compare that to his screwed up family, especially his older brother Illumi. Who are nothing but cold, and whilst not completely uncaring, didn’t understand Killua or his needs. His strong friendship with Gon is one of the highlights in the series. And it filled in a void that Killua had. However, again I didn’t find him relatable. I think the strongest point for him, was during the Chimera ant / Greed island arc. His nen is Transmutation.
Leorio. I can’t say much for him for the most part. As he got the least development. Mostly used for comic-relief. He did have some shining moments. Especially during the chairman arc. The most notable one was being able to use his nen to punch Ging. That was his strongest point. He does care for Gon a lot. His nen is Emission.
Kurapika. I think he is the most interesting one out of the 4. His clan massacred by a group. The clan that he belongs to, their eyes could turn red when they are agitated or having strong emotions. They were hunted down because their eyes are seen as “valuable” for collectors. He shone the most in Yorknew city arc. He is the most intelligent out of the group. Followed closely by Killua. His character development spiked during the Yorknew city arc. Unfortunately, after that arc we don’t see him till the chairman arc in the manga. He is the only known character to have killed Uvogin. One of the strongest users of nen. Who just happen to be a member of the group that killed Kurapika clan. Without a doubt, Kurapika is a tragic character. His nen is conjuror / specialist.
Point of interest:
- Nen users are broken up in to different categories, based on a simple test. Enhancement, Transmutation, Conjuror, Emission, Manipulation and Specialist.
- Each nen users can take different elements from each class (barring specialist). However, further the class is from their base nen, the weaker they will be over all (see diagram below).
- Only Specialist is the exception to the rule and they are very rare in the HxH world. And they are amongst the most powerful.
- The group that killed Kurapika’ clan are called the Phantom troupe. Also known as the spiders. The members each have a 12 legged tattoo of a spider. With a number designation on them.
- It is revealed that the world of HxH is in fact much smaller. The real world is surround by the dark continent. The chimera ants come from there. Along with other magical beasts.
The arcs pretty much ranged from interesting, to really good to some what boring.
Hunters exam arc: was pretty much your introductory arc. Where all the characters and world building began. It wasn’t too heavy for you to follow. However it did have a (side) arc the Zoldyck family arc, where Gon, Leorio and Kurapika went to Killua’ place. So you kind of get to see a bit of what the rest of Killua’ family are like. Killua’ dad reminds me of Ken from Street fighter from some reason. The group splits up from this arc. Hunter exam arc also introduced us to Hisoka. Who is an “interesting” character, to say the least. Both were very average arcs.
Heavens arena arc: The arc that introduces nen to Gon and Killua. It also showed just how quick of a learner these boys are. They mastered the basics of nen in a short amount of time. This arc also gained a rather humours notoriety, from the antagonist from the last arc Hisoka. You just have to click on the link to see, Hisoka is just pure outrages. Killua did reveal that as a youngester, he did compete here and got really far. Gon asked what did Killua spend the vast amount of wealth he acquired. Well Killua blew it all on…sweets (indicating that Killua has a sweet tooth). Slightly better arc than the first one.
Yorknew city arc: The best arc in my opinion. It gives the phantom troupe and Kurapika the spot light. Writing down what I think of it does it no justice. The actions, emotions and thrills in this arc was done outstandingly. And Kurapika really shines in this arc (can’t stress this enough). The arc follows kurapika as he avenges his fallen brethern by the group that massacred his clan, the phantom troupe. As mentioned above, he manages to kill one of the group member Uvogin. Which according to the series, the phantom troupe are one of the most powerful nen users around. So killing Uvogin was no easy feat – by any means in the HxH world. It also has one of the best ending tracks; hunting for your dreams by Galerneyus.
Greed Island arc: by far the weakest one. It resumes following Gon and Killa. This time on a video game inspired island. We get to meet Biscuit “Biske” Krueger. Who taught Wing. She may look like a 12 year old, when she is in fact a lot older than what she really is. This arc primarily focused on stopping a player bomber. However we do get to see Hisoka in all his pervyness..again. Even more outrages. Than the last time. Just click on the link to see. The pacing of this arc was slow.
Chimera ant arc: the longest and second best arc. The arc follows Gon and killua to the NGL (Neo-Green Life) countries. Basically they resemble countries like Thailand, but under a dictatorship guised as a government. They are very anti-techno and use nothing modern – just plain old simple country life. Which is a massive stark contrast to the high-tech, fast living world of HxH. The arc focuses on the chimera ant threat. These creatures are unique in that they reproduce by not the usual way, but by consuming and mixing DNA. They also have a hive like mind. They follow the orders of the queen. The queen eventually gave birth to the chimera ant king. Who will go out and find a mate – who will then give birth to a queen and the whole cycle begins again. The chimera king is the strongest character in the HxH universe. Routing the chairman of the hunter’s association Netero. Who was once considered as the strongest. The arc was one of the biggest emotional ride. Where we see Gon’ anger and Killua’ despair. The kings distain towards humans then acceptance. It had it all. The emotions played out were heavy.
13th hunter chairman arc: Not much I can say about this arc. It was pretty much about replacing Netero. It was more political driven, than other arcs. To be fair though this arc was more like a slow come down from the chimera arc. It also kind of ties up the Zoldyck arc. Where Killua is trying to save Gon’ life, with Illumi on his heels. It also introduces one of Killua mysterious sibling Alluka. Alluka was locked away because s/he had a power that can not be fathomed. The Zoldyck obviously feared this power out of their own safety and others. Only Killua can bypass Alluka powers with no ramifications / penalties attached. It also had Gon reunite with his dead-beat dad Ging. Ging also revealed that the world that they live in, is much smaller in comparison to the real world is like (see image before point of interests). He intends to go to the dark continent, the “outside world”. From there the anime ends. But the manga continues for a few more chapters. The author went on a hiatus after that.
The animation is solid and consistent. I can’t complain about it. The music varied for me, but my favourite was hunting for your dreams. Followed by Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Just awake. Departure by Ivy also gets a mention. Which was also used to end the series.
The series has its ups and downs, but the pacing of the show is more or less consistent in regards to the arcs. There are no fillers, which is a bonus. The show shines where most series tend to falter.
Thanks for reading this review peeps :D. To end this review, I’ll add this ;).
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