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Hunter X Hunter – First Impressions

I make no secret of my affection for Shounen Jump anime, from Dragonball Z to Rurouni Kenshin, by way of Naruto and One Piece, it’s a genre – incredibly formulaic though it is – that I drag myself back to again and again, pumped and ready for another sweaty training montage and trash talking decidedly diabolical villain. The protracted action, the limitless melo-drama, I just love it.

On to my latest adventure then – Hunter X Hunter; acclaimed by a passionate few as one of the best this genre has to offer, my curiosity was peaked by the fact that it remains unlicensed outside of Japan. In an age where Bleach and Naruto are the most popular anime licenses in the world, it’s odd that Hunter X Hunter is fading into the realms of mere otakudom.

This evening I had the pleasure of sitting down to watch the first two episodes and although this isn’t really a surprise given my track record, I enjoyed them. While the action is hardly jaw dropping eye candy, Hunter X Hunter provides a warm and realistic perspective on the “adventuring” story-line. When plucky young Gon decides to become a “hunter” and track down his absent father, the inevitable parting with his adopted mother is met not with an enthusiastic thumbs up but a sad and worrisome hug, set against a dark red setting sun. Later in episode two, Gon’s naive country-boy innocence sees him stray perilously close to the murky world of child slavery.

This attention to realistic human struggle is perhaps what separates Hunter X Hunter from its peers, that Gon’s road to adventure is paved with harsh and elegant truths about life and love means his growth as a character is all the more heartening.

As you would expect of a Shounen Jump anime, Gon’s personal quest – though central to the story – is but a means to introduce us to a massive world of eccentric hunters, wild animals and colourful landscapes. Fantastical and fun escapism. In comparison with say Naruto, there are no cool ninja head bands or crazy killer moves – Gon’s only weapon is his trusty fishing rod, but with such an emphatic emphasis on personality, he could be fighting with a spoon for all I care, the heart and soul is what counts, and Hunter X Hunter has made a fine first impression.

Comments

KT Kore says:

I think I said it here before but you’re going to absolutely love Hunter x Hunter. It has somewhat of a slow start (well, most people say that anyway) but since you’re enjoying what you’re seeing already, you’re 100% likely to love what’s coming. The show is just amazing and has some really great characterization. It’s not your typical shounen fighting anime, that’s for sure. You hit the nail on the head when you called it an adventure. It has many elements of both adventure and action so uhh, I guess you can all it action adventure. Since you love Naruto so much you’re bound to see how Naruto was inspired by many of the aspects of Hunter x Hunter. It’s just a great show and my favorite shounen series, very closely followed by One Piece. I hope to see you post more about it because I’d love to see your opinions of the later arcs, especially York Shin.

Yes, you’ve chosen one of the greats. Your taste is very similar to mine, which means it’s very good. =P

ouatic says:

Trust me, Hunter x Hunter only gets better, the beginning episodes are the slowest to me, but by the end, it was one of my favorite shounen series following One Piece. Its one of the best shounen shows to watch.

bateszi says:

Sounds like I’m onto a winner here then! :) Although I doubt I’ll feel the same way at the end, the fact there is under 100 episodes of Hunter X Hunter is something of a relief (I’m upto episode 141 of One Piece now, 24 of Legend of the Galatic Heroes and 201 of Naruto); these long running series will be the death of me!

KT Kore says:

Get the manga ready because you’re gonna need it after you see the last episode of the 3rd OVA. =P It’s a shame that the mangaka Togashi is so ill since the manga chapters come out so slowly and right now the manga is on a long hiatus. I need my Hunter x Hunter man!

killua says:

i’m still wondering r they going to make a second seaon,because i wanna find out if Gon finds his father,and wat also happens to everybody else on the show.

killua says:

it kinda sucks just like how they ended Rave Master because that show in my opinion had tons of potential. that was a real let down so is this because their needs to be more episodes because the series is incomplete.

shaun says:

i love this anime.. i hope they make more its one of my favorites. behind one piece and naruto oh and soul eater but its a relly good anime..

shaun says:

i also want to find out what happens with gon. Does he find his father.. this series has so much potential. its kinda like naruto a little bit.

pickumup says:

hey i wanna know if or when they will make more episodes of hxh so if u kno please let me kno.

Curious says:

up to wat episode hunter x hunter?

qwertypoiuy says:

ANN 2nd DVD review was great

but I think you shouldnt read it cuz of the spoilers :)

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