First Impression – Hunter x Hunter

 

Well, heeeeere we go agaaaaaiiiin

Hmm, an old favourite and so much like first season of FMA in terms of being half-finished but I don’t like making comparisons until I’m quite sure so I’ll be joining this reboot series and knowing Madhouse I’ll be rest assured that it’s in pretty good hands.
My precious Hunter x Hunter got a remake! I am literally just waiting for the first few episodes to be over and done with so I can get to the juicy bits. But for now, might as well get used to seeing Gon and the gang actually MOVE AROUND! Oh, the magic of animation~

You have now entered the world of Hunter x Hunter. It has everything you’d expect of a typical video games: vicious monsters, insane environments, treasure and crazy strong people who explore the world and call themselves Hunters. Gon is a 12 year old boy who wants to join these select few Hunters by taking the Hunter’s exam. The only way Gon’s mom will let him do it though is if he can catch the Lord of the Lake. Long story short: HE DOES!

You can imagine how hesitant a mom would be to let their son go off alone to compete with burly men to be an adventurer. There’s also the fact that Gon’s father also left home to be a hunter, completely abandoning his son to do so. Mito is may not think being a hunter is worth the risk of death, but she abides by her promise and lets her son go.

Gon is now stuck on a ship with a bunch of grizzled looking men until they make it to the exam site. As a plucky porcupine-headed protagonist should, he makes his first impression on his ship mates by being nice to a sailor who was being bullied. He also informs the captain of the ship that a huge storm is coming, because it smells like storm. In case you couldn’t tell, the kid is very in tune with nature.

Once the storm does hit, the boozehound captain doesn’t seem to be particularly fazed by building-sized tidal waves and hurricane winds. He somehow rides it out without having the ship take any damage. The same can’t be said for the crew and wannabe hunters though. The whole lot of them are collapsed on the floor from the whole ordeal, either seasick or hurt or both. The only hunter wannabes who are okay aside from the captain are the Gon, an androgynous male named Kurapika and a man named Leorio who has level 2 spiky hair syndrome (Gon has level 4).

Meh, no biggie.

It turns out surviving the storm is a pre-requisite to be eligible for the Hunter’s exam. With so many prospective hunters, there has to be some method to weed out the weaklings so the examiners aren’t flooded with applicants. The second pre-requisite is for them to state their reason for being a Hunter. Gon explains his situation right away, but Kurapika and Leorio are quite hesitant. Out of necessity, they spill the beans. Kurapika wants revenge on the Phantom Troupe for the massacre of his entire clan while Leorio wants money.

That awkward moment where NO ONE in the show likes the main character

Leorio and Kurapika start bickering over each other’s reasons, both of them accusing the other of having shallow desires. Things get ugly pretty fast, and the they challenge each other to a duel. As the two of them face off on deck, the rest of the ship is worrying about what actually matters – A CRAZY SEA HURRICANE /flawless terminology. As they stare at each other solemnly, Gon and the entire crew try to take down the sails to avoid getting sucked into the funnel on the horizon. Priorities.

Katsuo, the surprisingly hardy ship hand, is blown away by the fierce winds. Why is no one else blown away? No one one knows for sure. But at least it’s enough to snap Leorio and Kurapika out of their fighting mode long enough to try and grab Katsuo before he flies into the ocean. They fail. Before you can say “R.I.P.” Gon leaps into action and the three of them form a human chain to reel in Katsuo. Everyone becomes friends, the captain decides that the 3 of them have passed his inspection, so the power of teamwork prevails and they sail off towards the Hunter’s examination.

Can’t resist. Rod puns.:

GON! Stop polishing your rod and listen to me this instant!

Hobo powers ACTIVATE!

Yo dawg, dis is the good shit. You gon be alright after yo smoke it.

As you can see, Gon will spend the next 50 or so episodes with two EXCELLENT role models

End Thoughts:

This is so shounen and I still loved it; I guess I haven’t really grown out of that feeling just yet. This reminded me of my childhood and how things are so simple and you want to just revel in the moment, because everything looks clear and you can do almost anything. Gon is such a likable character and I feared with the old designs that I might not like it that much but those thoughts just went out of my mind as I was slowly pulled into the storyline.

I’m totally new to the franchise, because except for watching/reading Level E, I haven’t gotten into the others works of Yoshihiro but I definitely like his sense of humour. While you see Gon jump across trees and a scrawny monkey in other words, you come to realization that even if his father left him for being a hunter, which is totally irresponsible, he’s still positive. Rather than scowling and being an emo kid with issues *cough*Sasuke*cough* he chose to find out what the hell hunters are all about. You gotta give it to this kid for being hella optimistic.

Of course, maybe his preachings would become boring later on in the series, when he would knowingly comment about values like he’s a sixty-year-old man but that is still to happen so I’m all good right now. I like the other two contestants joining Gon for the hunter exams and would definitely be looking forward to some more friendship bonding; which is the best kind. It’s like until you haven’t faced an adversity together, you can’t grow as friends so that an event of saving someone was a good way to kick start things. So, yep, definitely following this and might even check out the manga. Oh, before I forget, Sawashiro Miyuki and Fujiwara Keiji made me so happy~ :3

Not bad, not bad. I’m a big fan of the manga if you didn’t already know, so I’m going to tend to make a lot of comparisons to that instead of the old Hunter x Hunter anime. The biggest draw to watching the HxH anime for me is the prospect of having all the awesome fights in animated form. They range from being intense intellectual showdowns to getting downright grisly. Right now, the animation seems to be on the good side (it’s Madhouse) so I’m already getting pumped for the entrance exam to get started. It’s not incredibly detailed animation, but it’s fluid and remains faithful to the original art style of both the manga and the original anime.

Let’s be honest – no one cares about the starting episodes for a shounen shows. This episode mostly just introduced us to the majority of the main characters in the show and got the wheels rolling for the Hunter’s exam. Thing’s don’t get crazy until about midway through the Hunter’s exam. That being said, I think they definitely have this in mind seeing as how they downplayed Gon’s relationship with his father so much. I remember a lot more backstory in the manga. They at least showed his face for longer and explained what he was like. If you’re not familiar with the series, there are going to be a few gaps that won’t be explained. Gon is simply able to smell storms and you are just supposed to shut up and understand Gon’s feelings towards his father. I get the feeling this remake might favour glossing over details like that in order to show more action and drama. This is fine in my books, but I think newcomers are going to have a hard time getting into this series.

I’m not loving it yet, but I’m pretty optimistic. I already know that the story, characters and fights are the epitome of badass – I just have to wait and see how the anime handles it. Sounds like a good gamble, no? (Let’s hope so, I’m blogging this baby) If anything, I’m just worried about the music and some of the directing. The pacing is a bit jerky and rushed, but I’ll give them some leeway since it’s the first episode. Also, the music is incredibly corny. It’s far too happy-go-lucky, which goes great with Gon’s personality…not so much with every other character in the show. Hopefully it changes when things get more serious. Let’s also not forget the ED song, which is a messy patchwork of electronica and heavy metal paired with equally bipolar images of bright, colourful lights or Killua CRYING BLOOOODDD. That is even more sad than crying normally because it is blood instead of tears, do you get it? He is sad. HE IS SAD AND PEOPLE ARE SCREAMING IN THIS SONG, DO YOU GET IT YET? Watch it in action to see what I mean. The band is even called Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which explains just about everything. (P.S. I secretly like the song, and hate myself for it)

Preview: The trio travel towards the examination centre from where the boat leaves them, only to end up going through even MORE trials before round 1 even starts.

See you next week in Meta Jump!

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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19 Responses to “First Impression – Hunter x Hunter”

  1. Joojoobees says:

    Good start. I really liked the ED. Normally I wouldn’t listen to music like this, because I never had this much attitude, but in a context like HxH (or Kaiji), I think this kind of OTT attitude fest is entirely appropriate. This song says, “Gon is a bad ass, who will jump off a ship in the middle of a CRAZY SEA HURRICANE trusting that two people he has never met will grab his ankles without being told to do so”, and I’m good with that.

    • Overcooled says:

      The ED certainly has attitude, and it’ll suit the show a lot more later on when things get intense…But I still find it ridiculous, and laugh every time I watch the video. *snickers*

  2. Samantha Zan says:

    Since this was my first time watching Hunter x Hunter, I didn’t know what to expect. It is very shounen, but I do like episode 1 so far. Gon has the most optmistic personality I’ve seen in a while, especially with his father leaving his own family. I give him props for that.

    I like the charcters, I like the setting, and now, I want to go watch the old anime. Way to go Hunter x Hunter :)

    • Overcooled says:

      From what I hear, the old anime does cover a lot more of the backstory that’s originally in the manga, so you can watch it if you’re curious. I would be bored watching two anime about the same story though lol

  3. Jrow says:

    I can’t wait for Killua to be introduced. Just that little thing where he casually kicked the guy in the OP, I was like, “that’s my dude!”

    • Overcooled says:

      Killua is my favourite character hands down. He hardly has to exert any effort to get what he wants, so he’s ultra smooth.

  4. Toori-chan says:

    I always wanted to watch HunterXHunter but never got a chance to get hold of its box set (It’s quite expensive since it is still popular). I seriously want to thank Madhouse for remaking it.

    The characters gives me some old-school feeling (well it is an old anime) but the plot looks great so I’ll overlook that. I like the look on Gon’s face when he jumped out of the boat.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yikes, I can only imagine how expensive that would be. I own a few of the manga volumes, but I usually give up on collecting super long series like that XD

  5. xochandaox says:

    yes, I looked forward to this so much <3
    Loving it~ Cant wait for the other episodes, im hoping it will cover the OVAs also :3

    • Overcooled says:

      I keep seeing different sites saying different numbers for how many episodes it will be. Whatever the case, it’s going to be long-running. Let’s hope it goes past where the original anime went (maybe to the latest manga arc?!)

  6. kluxorious says:

    If the anime itself failed to catch my attention (lies), the ED sure did.

  7. hxhfan says:

    good review. i like the contrast of viewpoints between a newbie and a long-time fan. will you be doing this weekly? please do :)

    • Overcooled says:

      We always try to have at least 2 people do first impressions so we’ll have different viewpoints for comparison. I’m going to keep blogging this, so you can read it in our weekly Meta Jump post! I’m glad you liked it~

  8. Elyon says:

    I didn’t really like how they downplayed Gon’s relationship with his dad either, but I’m sure they plan to go back to it at some point. As far as first episodes go, this was pretty good. :)I can’t wait until we get to see Killua and Hisoka, and I’m hoping they include Bisuke in this one too~

    I…oddly kind of liked the ED *shot*

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, they’re totally ignoring explaining why anything is happening…but who cares! It’s shounen! FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! I just want them to get as far as they can. I need to see everything animated *drools*

  9. jGLZA says:

    Love that opening graphic for the post. Can’t stop looking at it. I watch this jsut because of that despite my dislike of shounen anime.

  10. Dan-go says:

    Toriko. but good? questionmarkface.jpg?

  11. Kushi says:

    Leorio reminds me of Vash with his hair and glasses 0^0

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