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Hunter x Hunter Review

by: tedik
August 11, 2006

story 8.5/10

Hunter x Hunter screenshot This anime provides your run-of-the-mill shounen adventure plot line: unending and jam packed action, an interesting assortment of male characters including all the different crazies possible, a competition to filter out the weak from the strong, and an array of unrealistic powers and skills being exhibited. While this action-oriented anime possesses all the clichéd attributes within the shounen genre, Hunter X Hunter can not be considered a typical contender within its class. Even if it is the same-o formula, at least the calculations come out correct in every aspect. The characters are engaging, the plotlines are exciting and thoughtful, and the pace throughout the anime never drags with stupid and pointless fillers. Yes, I’m pointing an accusing finger at Naruto and Kenshin.

The tale is essentially about Gon, our naïve and stubborn 11 yr old protagonist, who enters the hunter exam in hopes to become a hunter to find his elusive dad who is a hunter himself. From the first episode, we know what the main objective is: "Gon, find and meet your father." However the road to such a simple task is paved with unending trials of hardship and introductions to several memorable characters. When I mean memorable, of course I’m suggesting all the interesting psychos that seem to pop up here and there that add the essential spice to an otherwise great but boring dish one has consumed over and over again.

animation 7/10

I admit that this show is not that pretty to look at. Being the aesthetic snob I proclaim myself, I have waited years to watch this anime even after having read tons of rave reviews. I took a look at Gon’s character, and I was like "hellz no" because he kind of reminded me of Dragon Ball’s Goku with his spiky hair and naïve sensibilities. Thank god I disregarded my prejudice because the story and the characterizations certainly diverted my attention from scrutinizing the physical appeal of each scene to death. I profess to the errors of my ways. The content of a book is not always about the pretty cover.

While above average, the animation is certainly nothing to be enthusiastic about. While each character has his or her unique look -- some of which I have to question the creator’s fashion sensibilities -- the drawings are not spectacularly rendered. There are no rainbow colored, long tresses of hair and no girly, bejeweled eyes. Instead, the characters are usually straightforward in their individualistic masculine styles. There are a couple notable exceptions where I had to wonder for quite a number of episodes if the characters were female or male. But we can’t have a Japanese shounen anime without a girly-boy, now can we?

sound 7/10

Unlike other more recent anime, Hunter X Hunter’s opening and closing sequences remain the same throughout. The music is again average, and the sound effects are nothing to rave about either.

The voice acting for each of the main characters is convincing and done with superb flair. Each character’s unique personality carries through masterfully. There are no complaints here.

One great aspect of this anime is that it cuts the annoying, pip-squeaking, nails-on-chalkboard voices to a minimum. Maybe because there are only a handful of female characters, but it’s refreshing not to go through 62 episodes of hearing chipmunks throwing tantrums.

characters 9/10

Character interaction and development are what defines and separates this anime from the others in the pack. Each character represents a jigsaw piece, and together, they form a complete puzzle -- though a weirdly shaped, wacky looking one.

Many of the characters all possess positive and negative traits that make them likeable. There are no outright villains, although the anime may suggest a rotten apple here and there. But even the supposed villains have redeeming qualities. There really is no character with an in-the-middle personality. Everyone is a little extreme in one way or the other, yet it makes for great comedic moments.

And of course, it would not be a shounen adventure anime with boring characters because how in the world can characters exist in the crazy, make-believe setting of Hunter X Hunter without having a tragic or weird past? Duh.

Overall, the characters are all very well thought out which is a rarity for an anime.

overall 8.5/10

The action never stops, the characters are never dull, and the plot succeeds with a great mixture of comedy and drama.

One notable highlight is the violence level of this anime. When a character attempts to strike another down, they go in for the kill, sometimes in some gruesome and interesting ways. Strangely, the violence is taken with a lighted hearted approach which added to the appeal of the show. I don’t know why, but I may be a little blood thirsty. Obviously, I would not recommend this show for those under 13 yrs of age.

Thoroughly enjoyable and entirely watchable, I have to give Hunter X Hunter high marks. Only a few times did I feel the urge to throw something at the computer screen because a character’s brain was magically transported somewhere else, and only a few times did I roll my eyes at the absurdity of what was happening. The need for violent reaction happens so frequently when I watch an entire series of an anime that instead of being tempted to write a nasty letter to the show’s creator, I would send one of praise. If I was Siskel and Ebert, I would give two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Anime Info

Drawn to the mystique of the unknown, Hunters travel the world in search of terrifying creatures, incredible riches, and unexplored lands. Gon Freecss is a naive-yet-determined young boy who aspires to join the ranks of these individuals, in order to find his missing father Ging - a master of the profession himself. To reach his goal, he partakes in the formidable Hunter Exam, a series of tests that push the participants to their physical and mental limits, with a Hunter License as the prize. During the exam Gon befriends vengeful Kurapika, doctor-to-be Leorio, and skilled assassin Killua, who have entered for their own reasons. But with the sinister Hisoka standing in their way, will Gon and his friends be able to succeed in obtaining their reward, or even escaping with their lives?


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About the Author

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tedik

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comments

LinkSword avatar LinkSword
Oct 26, 2011

Funny, Gon's character design is likely what has been keeping me from this anime as well, it's just the type I personally can't stand. The others look fine but he... ugh.

Experience, however, has taught me many times not to judge a book by its cover (as you said), so I'm definitely going to watch this. I want to see how it compares to his elder, rather dumb older brother Yu Yu Hakusho, and also how it compares to One Piece, because I've heard from many ultra-fans of it (like me) that this is the only shonen that can rival it (color me skeptical after watching Togashi's other work, but curious nonetheless). But more than anything else I just want to enjoy a good shonen series for once in a loooong time.

... What the heck, I have some time now for anime. Let's do this!

default avatar tedik
Dec 13, 2010

Hi, as I stated before, this review was not written by me. I guess it is some database error on this site.... For sure this review was written by another user.

Yanagi13 avatar Yanagi13
Dec 13, 2010

I'm curious, did you watch the series in dubbed or subbed? In this review it states that the same opening and closing sequences are used throughout, however in the Japanese version, they both change later on in the York New Auction arc.

default avatar tedik
Jun 19, 2010

Ok, this is interesting... I don't remember writing this review... still it states 'written by tedik' really weird... maybe some database problem here?

Roven avatar Roven
Jun 19, 2010

Hunter X Hunter is probably the only Shounen anime that I ever watched without the slightest feeling that I wasted my time, it doesn't need some 300 episodes to prove itself, nor does it need meaningless fillers to get you addicted to it, Hunter X Hunter is definitely not your average Shounen Anime.

Great review, I agree 100%

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