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?
This is the remake of a cult shonen show from 1999, which still remains a top favourite for thousands of people who followed it throughout the years. It was taken out of the spotlight as soon as Naruto and Bleach came around because its merits were always hinted, the artwork was very weak (manga included), and the story was left incomplete. But for many it is still a top shonen, since it is not direct in its themes and definitely not one of the same stuff. Let’s start by clarifying some things people didn’t like in the early episodes, mostly because they were comparing the remake with the older version a bit too much.It had to be a remake and not a continuation.Most of the younger viewers would not dare to watch the original, because of the abysmal difference in the animation quality. Instead of having only a few dozen episodes of new material about characters most won’t know or care for after all these years, the producers wisely decided to reboot the series and to give the mangaka time to continue the story. Not a bad idea at the time. Too bad the mangaka didn’t continue it much and will never complete it regardless of how much his fans want him to.The new animation is brighter and looks less serious.Back in 1999, the colouring was still done mostly through oil painting and that is why the colours were darker and the outlines rougher by default. Now that the procedure switched to computers, the result is brighter colours. It’s not that big of a deal, especially compared to the censorship that was done rather heavily in the early gory scenes.The pacing is too fast, removing a lot of scenes which were important in flavouring the characters of the original version.The pacing of the original anime was very slow and had lots of fillers. It was a turnoff for most viewers, so like most modern series they had to speed up things. Just like they did with the remake of Full Metal Alchemist, they had to run past the early, rather tame episodes (and censor them too) so they could get to the juicier parts without scaring away newer viewers. Also, most of the material that was taken out was filler and the studio was going for a more faithful adaptation (it still fumbled that by censoring stuff and removing a character who ended up not being filler).With those nitpicks out of the way, let’s talk a bit about the plot. It’s simple. It’s rich in themes, mind you, but it’s simple as a whole. Most fans have a hard time admitting it. When you break it down it comes down to this:- The first arc (episodes 1 to 20) is about the adventure of the main heroes, as they try to pass a dangerous line of challenges in order to be given the title of Hunter, someone who can do all sorts of dangerous professions and is considered an elite agent. Each one of them wants to be a Hunter for different reasons; one is looking for his father, another to protect the world from threats, and a third just to get rich. Very basic stuff and eventually full of needless bull. You will facepalm at how pointless most of these challenges are once you realize that they do not reward skill but rather survival. That means, you pass as long as you stay alive at the end of the challenges. (and preferably using Nen powers). Since the heroes have the typical uncanny shounen durability of withstanding everything, they mostly breeze through the challenges, while everybody else is thrown out with a few punches. Some of the situations will be rather interesting but, in all, this arc serves mostly as an introduction to the characters than a cool obstacle course. And seriously, how hard is it to tell these people not to participate if they don’t have Nen powers?Score: 6/10- The second arc (episodes 21 to 25) is about Killua, one of the heroes, being mistreated by his family and the rest going for a house visit. So yes, all they want is to see their friend and they risk their lives numerous times just for that. Not exactly exciting, is it? It is less exciting when you realize that they barely fight anyone important in that place before their friend is allowed to go see them. There is a line of super powerful opponents waiting for our heroes, they find it impossible to pass the main gate and the butlers, and then it is all over. This arc serves to flesh out one of the characters, but it’s otherwise short and boring as heck.Score: 5/10- The third arc (episodes 26 to 36) is about the heroes taking part in a fighting tournament (yeah, here we go again) as means to improve their fighting skills. Get ready for boring long training sessions with the duels serving as nothing but practice for what they learned. It makes the Hunter exam to come off as a warm up instead of an actual challenge with a rewarding finale. I mean, if a Hunter is supposed to be an elite agent, anyone who passes should be someone with lots of experience. But no, turns out the exam was just rewarding durability and every person who passes needs to become strong AFTER he is nominated as an elite agent. Weird huh? Feels like the story escalates in reverse, instead of getting more epic along the way, doesn’t it? Trust me, it gets worse later on. In the meantime, this is the part they introduce Nen, which is this show’s version of ki/reiatsu/chakra/power level/whatever. Unlike most versions where it is used as a single statistic through elements or volume, over here it is seen as four different aspects of the same principle (defence, attack, cancel, and willpower). This makes it feel more complex than simply saying “My icicle attack is powerful but your weak flame shield blocks it” kind of Pokemon-style battles. They also introduce the six character classes to further make the whole thing feel like a videogame. This arc serves to establish superpowers based on a person’s character, and has a few semi-interesting fights. Most the time though it’s just a long preachy training session and boring fights that come down to a single push that leads to a ring-out.Score: 6/10- The fourth arc (episodes 37 to 58) is about an underground auction where Gon tries to raise money in order to find his father by… arm-wresting. Isn’t it weird how we went from fighting in a tournament to that? Anyways, it is actually more about his pal Kurapika getting all crazy and hunting a bunch of super killers who wiped out his family (this is something Kishimoto stole in Naruto with Sakuke and his Uchiha clan). It is by far the most brutal arc yet and has some extremely well done battles in it. It fleshes out Kurapika and several secondary characters, and is very suspenseful. In fact, it is one of the best arcs you can find in any shonen in general. If there is something negative about it, it’s that it introduces a bunch of super villains and then doesn’t do much with them. Yes, let’s not pretend the Phantom Troupe got the attention it deserved. Other villain groups like the Akatsuki and the Warlords of the Sea got a hundred times more focus.Score: 9/10- The fifth arc (episodes 59 to 75) is about the characters looking for cards inside a videogame that can kill them. And yes, you are free to make all the Sword Art Online and Yugioh jokes you like, because the story downgraded further from arm-wrestling to playing videogames. It is rather disappointing after the amazing previous arc, since it now feels like the whole show is a videogame promotion. I mean the Nen system is pretty much a basic RPG statistics screen and here is where it shows better than ever. Another disappointing element is how the surviving villains from the previous arc seem to just be in this one for kicks. The whole revenge thing is completely gone and they degraded to cartoony bad guys. Also the Bomber villains of this arc lack charisma and are fairly forgettable. In fact, this whole arc is forgettable; it doesn’t offer anything once it’s over. It’s literally playing a bunch of deadly games with a children’s card game, and doing some really risky gambling here and there which leads to nothing of particular interest. The fans of the show will tell you all sorts of excuses, such as the main characters had to use mind games, and improve their Nen abilities, and find a card that will lead to Gon’s father. All that are very minor and could have easily happened in any other arc.Score: 5/10- The sixth arc (episodes 76 to 135) is about the characters hunting bugs. Yes, we moved from playing videogames to hunting bugs! Ok, actually these bugs are huge, powerful, and extremely deadly. And I mean that; they kill half of the secondary characters of this show. There is a lot of death and violence, and is also full of mind games and psychological warfare. It feels like the whole thing is ideas taken from Dragonball, (the king of the bugs is a Cell imitation and his minions behave like those of King Picolo) mixed with lots of Kaiji-level mind games. It is great as far as suspense goes but still has several hiccups, such as the pacing slowing down to almost Bleach levels, the narrator overexplaining everything, as well as several secondary battles being there to just stall time. There are also some really terribly handled asspulls towards the end of it to offer a convenient resolution that really damage the overall (aka, the Rose Bomb and Gon’s power up). As a whole though, the characters steal the show for being in a constant conflict with their emotions and goals.Score: 8/10- The seventh and last arc (episodes 136 to 148) is about elections. Yes, we moved from hunting bugs to voting; how exciting. Basically the Hunter Association is looking for a new leader and they ask all their members to vote for one. The plot is mostly the candidates ass-kissing each other and forming alliances so they can increase their votes. It sounds tactical, but it is handled in a completely silly and eventually pointless way. This arc introduces the strongest Hunters and instead of feeling thrilled to see these characters in action, you are just eye-rolling with their designs. THESE ARE NOT PEOPLE; THEY ARE POKEMON! Along with the pointless election intrigue and the Pokemon designs, we also have Killua trying to heal Gon from his injuries from the previous arc. And the way he wants to do that is by wishing to the Genie of the lamp. Oh, I’m sorry, I meant his sister/brother/something which was asspulled into the story. EYE-ROLLING! And of course there are lots of rules that need to be upheld for the wishes to become possible, but once again it’s all pointless since the ass-pulled sibling can grant an infinite amount of wishes because she/he/it loves onii-chan. EYE-ROLLING! Oh, and that gay clown goes around killing dozens of Hunters with the rest not giving a damn because they are busy trying to decide which Pokemon to vote for. EYE-ROLLING! And they actually put most of their votes on a guy who has no idea of what to do with the association and just wants to help Gon. EYE-ROLLING! And Killua’s family are the worst handled characters in the whole show, since they are just standing there doing nothing when they are the strongest people in the world. EYE-ROLLING! Kurapika’s quest of revenge against those cool assassins is completely forgotten by now. EYE-ROLLING! And Gon’s father finally stops trolling and appears, making this the highlight of the arc but after all this bullshit I just didn’t care much. Seriously, this arc is Naruto Ninja War level bad.Score: 3/10And then the show ends because Togashi got bored with his manga and his back pain excuse got old 15 years ago. Supposed he is making some dark continent arc now which is about exploring a place full of strong monsters. But really, what is there left to show now? Gon found his father so WHY IS THERE ANOTHER ARC? I am really not interested in seeing the Pokemon Hunters fighting more bugs; I just want to see a final fight where the Phantom Troupe, the Zoldyck, Kurapika, and the gay clown do a Battle Royale with Gon watching while eating popcorn next to his dad. So yeah, do yourselves a favour and never expect much out of the plot. All the objectives are weak; they are poorly presented plot devices.The characters are the main attraction of the series. They have cool objectives, cool powers, they use mind games, and they are not your typical boy scouts who want to help people and beat the bad guys. Actually, they are all insane. The way they don’t give a damn about all the senseless death and destruction around them, makes them come off as sociopaths. Even the worst of bad guys will come off as sympathetic at times, because they were not written to be evil for evil’s sake. Basically, the characters are a lot closer to Yagami Light from Death note than they are to Deku from My Hero Academia. That is cool by itself.With that said, they are not handled that well as a whole, which is a typical problem with perpetually ongoing shonen. Despite having distinct motivations, none but Gon get complete arcs. Leorio never has a purpose in the whole series, Kurapika and the Spiders gang get forgotten, while Gon’s father is a total troll. I mean, really, he keeps giving missions to his son from afar with the promise of finding him but he keeps fooling him so he will keep looking. Yes, it is an excuse for Gon to continue becoming stronger, but it is still one big troll and a lazy excuse to keep the plot going. Also, what kind of a sick father would do all that crap?Something important to add about the characters is that this is a very rare case of a shonen where there isn’t a single girl madly in love with the main characters. There is no shipping of the normal kind, as you would expect in any other series. There is a lot of queer shipping, though. At first you think it’s only the dudes doing all the work, unphased by boobs and asses of the opposite sex. They are chad MGTOWs and do their thing without being simps of some vag. And then you realize there is a ton of queers, cross-dressers, and trannies hidden in there. Holy hell, so much LGBT representation. Togashi didn’t add waifubaits and didn’t fuel any shipping wars because his fetish is crypto-gays. Take that as you will.I also need to point out the Nen system, which although the most elaborate and interesting power system in shonen, it also falls victim to power creep. The Specialist class is completely broken, the convenient contracts can make someone as powerful as the plot wants him to be, there are wish-granting, reality-warping shemales, and the strongest Hunters are silly Pokemon.Oh, and obviously, as much as one may dig the conflicts for using a lot of mind games, it has to be pointed out that they are not handled in the best possible way. It is still a shonen series and that means it has to treat its audience as a dumb kid. The characters constantly mention each others’ names, even in situations where they don’t need to, as if they don’t want the audience to forget how they are called. They also do that annoying thing of explaining their strategies to the enemy, as if the audience is too dumb to get it. The pacing can also irritate you at several points, since they make dramatic events to pass too fast in the early arcs, and too slow in the late arcs.As a whole it is a very good shonen and I recommend it. But it is by no stretch of the imagination amazing. Only Full Metal Alchemist is one tiny step away from perfect. All other series fall short for various small issues like the ones I mentioned above. The objective of each arc is a joke and the strongest people all look like Pokemon and gay clowns. Take that as you will.
I get the feeling that anyone who likes this anime are incredibly biased because its a remake or they just love brainless and boring filler. The beginning is filled with promises of being able to explore and conquest an unknown world as a hunter, literally does not live up to that at all. At no point are you shown any amazing world or magic, it's just stretching each episode out as much as possible until you're hit with the biggest fuck you. An ANT arc, of every single possible enemy in this magical world, ants are what the protagonist must fucking fight. Not only that, when reaching the fight scenes time even gets SLOWED DOWN as to stretch this mindless arc out as much as possible. Trash anime with no real plot or exciting adventures.
When you are watching the picture of the HxH 2011 profile maybe you will ask me: why is this stupid and childish anime, one of the top ranked?. Then, I am Going to answer you: If you are judging this anime for the picture, you are missing one of the best anime ever made.Yeah, when you hear the comments about HxH 2011, you will hear the same things: It is not the typical shonen, this story has no cliches, it is dark and complex, although it is true, I prefer explain you why you should watch this anime.BUT FIRST OF ALL I am Going to compare the 2011 version (Madhouse studio) and 99 version (Nippon animation), if you are NOT INTERESTED, I recommend you GO to the part marked with this sign: ---- .The problem of the recent anime is the quality and this is a fact, when we are talking about LONG RUNNING SHONEN and the common result is a bad-admissible adaptation, examples like this could be: Naruto shippuden or Bleach because Pierrot (one of the worst studios) use fillers and lousy animation that damage the original work. Even One Piece has this problem (but not at the same level).HxH is an exception of this rule or custom of the latest long running shonen but the affair is that exists the 99 version that had a "darker- more complex" style than the 2011 version, of course the animation of HxH 2011 is really good but the hand-drawn of 99 version has some extra points like this: Cell animation is colored by hand, usually by using pastel type of paints, and that is why the colors looks dark at many points. Digital animation uses computers to do that. The colors used are based on light, not paint, which means they use the additive method of light. OFF COURSE, THIS EXPLANATION ONLY APPLIES TO THE ORIGINAL ANIME (99) AND THE FIRST OVA (geney ryodan) because there are ovas called Greed Island BUT THEY ARE AN ACCEPTABLE ADAPTACION.BOTH VERSIONS HAVE MISTAKES:1. CENSORSHIP: 99 version is more censored than the 2011 version, in fact I would say that there is only one bloody scene that 99 version had it and the 2011 version has not: and this is starred by Killua in the Hunter Exam.2. Story:Mistakes: 99 version: more filler; the NEN is the name of the "energy" in the Hunter world and it is HARD TO UNDERSTAND for that reason the explanation of 99 version is limited and poor; (SPOILER GENEY RYODAN ARC) when Kurapika killed Ubog, his lament has no sense; Machi met Gon when he and hisoka were fighting in the tower (never happened); Mitou is the aunt of Gon (she is not the sister of his mother). Mistake 2011 version: Kaito appears in the episode 76 (he should have appeared in the first episode); Madhouse changed the relationship between Gon and Kite; the first arc is pretty decent-regular.----Character-History: HxH has adapted 339 chapter from manga in 148 anime episodes. Togashi is one of the best mangakas history, but he suffer of back aches for that reason the Manga continuously is on Hiatus.the 148 episodes are divided in 6 arcs, that refresh this show with new characters and three-dimensional villains that makes of this anime an innovative and entertaining experience.I love this show because it is realistic, for example we have 4 main characters, although Gon is the principal character, he is just a kid weak who is looking for his dad, But he is not the center of the show because we have other 3 characters: Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio that have their own purpose to becoming a Hunter.everybody has character development, including the secondary characters because each character is important in the story and they are not just punching bags, actually they are a great help.Battles: What it is more important the plot or the fights, if you answer is the plot, HxH is a good choice, but also HxH has fights but this is not the esence of HxH, therefore you should not watch HxH if you are expecting watch the typical fighting shonen anime.the power doesnt mean an easy victory because HxH fights are smart and involve a lot of strategy. Raw power is a factor but it is not the factor that decides battle outcomes, actual power (nen abilities), experience and strategy are all taken into account.Sound: Hunter x Hunter has a pretty good soundtrack but my critique is that Madhouse studios repeat the same osts, which makes it tedious. This is the weak spot of HxH 2011.Conclusion: Now HxH the place that deserves it, owing the 2011 version. HxH 2011 is an intelligent anime with a fantastic history and characters, that make it unique and unpredictableSound:8Story: 10Art: 9Character: 10 Enjoyment: 10Overall: 10
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