Monday, 2 June 2014

My thoughts on HunterxHunter 2011

I've been lurking around r/anime subreddit of Reddit for a while now, it has become a habit once I'm on my PC, while I do post every now and then, lurking is what I do the most. A lot of anime stand out in the subreddit, one of them was HunterxHunter, it's an endless shounen action anime a la Bleach, One Piece and Naruto however it is relatively recent and shorter than them. I heard a significant amount of praise about the show enough to convince me to watch it. So I did end up watching it, I streamed most of the episodes as opposed to downloading them which is how I usually watch. Streaming was convenient given that I could watch it only during my free time on the PC.

Good pacing

I'm a patient guy, at least more patient than people I know so I didn't mind if the show had a slow start. Oh and I accidentally watched the first episode of the original series that released in the early 2000's instead of the reboot that started off in 2011, later realized that and I started watching the 2011 series. In comparison to the original series, it had a better or should I say faster pacing which was good and it maintained it all through the first arc. I enjoyed it or at least most of it, it's hard to say which episode out did the other, they were uniformly good. Same goes for the 2nd and 3rd arc of the series which is where I've watched until now. There were sequences where the show had some edge of the seat moments, that got my heart racing and stuff but they were few. However that isn't to say that it's boring most of the time, it is pretty fun to watch. Out of the 61 62 episodes I've seen(saw the 62nd while I was writing this), only two of them were recap episodes, the rest of them only concentrated on the story progress and didn't waste time over fillers or fan service. That said pacing is definitely one of the reasons what makes the show great.

Characters are what make the show all the more amazing

Gon Freecs

The show's lead character is pretty innocent and lively, sounds familiar? sure but this time it sounds appropriate considering Gon Freecs is 12 years old. His attitude manages to charm and his determination adds to it. Suffice to say that he's a loveable lead character which is mandatory considering the show's going to be really long and it won't be fun if you don't like the lead guy.


Gon's not alone in this, he's got a friend who, speaking in terms of personality is quite the opposite of Gon considering he comes from a rather insane household but that doesn't mean he isn't as likeable as Gon. He's calm and calculative but more importantly not happy about his life which is something a lot of people can relate to. It's not all fun being the smart/talented guy which becomes apparent after seeing Killua however for him Gon is what makes his life seem less miserable because Gon's the only person competent enough to become his friend. I'm using the word 'competent' because Killua has a rather unusual or should I say dangerous way of life, an average guy couldn't keep up with him enough to remain as a friend. One of the things most entertaining about the show is the interaction between these two twelve year olds, it sounds like a mundane thing to be amused by but it's not. Gon is pretty honest about his feelings while Killua isn't so open. It's fun to watch Killua blush when Gon thanks him or shamelessly admits something in praise of Killua to which  he usually responds with a "stop it, that's embarrassing", guess he qualifies as a tsundere.


While there are two other lead characters I'd like to talk about Hisoka, the antagonist of the show, at least Gon has an antagonistic relation with him. He's got this thirst for challenge that is something I find strangely amusing, fighting a tough guy apparently "turns him on" not my words mind you, that's what he says in the anime. Admittedly he's a bad guy but he's not just some bad guy, he's always on the look out for a challenge and it is only this drive to fight a challenging opponent that makes him seem like the bad guy. If I have to make a comparison he's like Sagat from Street Fighter series who fights for the love of it and that's what makes him amazing.


What I'm unsure about 

Those are what I thought made the anime a blast to watch, however there is something I'm mixed about, it's the story. The ultimate goal of a shounen action series is usually something that feels a long way off and HunterxHunter upholds that tradition, Gon is on the look out for his father who happens to be a pro-Hunter (just a name given to those into treasure hunting/adventuring; treasure is a loose term here). The first three arcs I've seen haven't really done anything extreme if I may say, they did have their exciting moments but at the precipice of an arc, the show decides to wrap things up but decides to store certain things for later. It's good but it's also kind of awkward at first and once I think about it, it does seem fitting. Still it does leave this void as certain things remains inconclusive. In other words, the show just post-pones it for the sake of the core plot progression which is unusual in shounen action anime. Most others just make use of it as an excuse to stall the core plot progression (I'm thinking about Bleach).

Well that's about what makes this show so popular: consistent pacing, amusing characters and the fact that it constantly reminds the audience about the core plot. I'm definitely watching this through the end or at least until this has me entertained, hope it doesn't go down hill anytime now. I've just started watching the "Greed Island" arc which from what I've heard is the pinnacle of the series.

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