Greed Island is the rarest video game ever made. It is no normal game, either. When you die in this game, you die in real life too. After many failed attempts, Gon and Killua are still trying to get their hands on a copy of it, but their chances do not look good when one man buys every copy of the game available. Gon and Killua need to come up with a plan to get a copy and find out how it is linked to Jin, Gon’s father.
summary by Keitaro
Highs: An astoundingly imaginative world; character development
Lows: Style over substance; no conclusion whatsoever
Our heroes are back, and this time they are trapped in an online RPG! OK, so it might not be the most innovative concept, but it sure is an interesting way to continue this series. While the first Hunter X Hunter OVA wraps up the adventures of Kurapica, Greed Island is the continuation of Gon’s story. Disappointingly, this one has an even worse ending than the original series and just asks more questions instead of answering them.
One aspect of the show that did not disappoint is the animation, which is not as good as that of the first OVA but still clearly a step up from the television series… as it should be. It’s apparent a lot more time was put into making this anime look good than in putting together a plot. On that note, however, the world of Greed Island is astoundingly designed. The mood is a lot more lighthearted compared to the first OVA, and the comedy is back.
Beneath its pretty surface, this show has some flaws that keep it from being as entertaining as its predecessors. The first four episodes move slowly as they set up the story, leaving only four more left. Just when things being to look really promising, it’s over; I thought to myself, “what just happened in the last four hours?” What happened was only about one hour’s worth of actual content.
Unlike the first OVA, this sequel left me with a bittersweet taste. While it looks amazing and is very entertaining at times, the story is rather weak. It did not keep me on the edge of my seat like the prequels did.
Highs: Unique direction; comedy returns
Lows: Watered-down content; leaves you hanging again
Much like with Hajime no Ippo, I appreciate that volumes of the Hunter X Hunter manga counterpart are animated to create OVA additions to its universe. What I don’t like is when said additions are halfhearted and, as is the case with Greed Island, improperly executed.
If I didn’t see something coming, it was the original direction that Greed Island took. Essentially, this shounen fighting anime is turned into a roleplaying game-flavored adventure. With this .hack//SIGN-ish twist, Gon and Killua are forced to accept their roles as inexperienced players in a virtual game while continuing to search for clues that might lead them to Gon’s father, Jin. And an aspect that was completely missing from Hunter X Hunter OVA, the comedy makes a nice comeback. Although they don’t make a big splash, Gon and Killua’s occasional comedic antics are appreciated for their laugh value and for lightening up the atmosphere.
However, hard and necessary substance is difficult to come by. Part of Greed Island is spent in the real world and used as a prequel to Gon and Killua’s adventures in the game; for the most part, this section is needed to act as a proper transition from the previous OVAs to where the protagonists are. The problem of necessary content being spread thin becomes blatantly apparent once the main characters are thrown into the game world. For example, knowing the rules of the game is good, but having individual characters take large chunks of time to explain basic tips and strategies regarding cards, the world, conflicting player factions and objectives, not to mention getting random background on once-and-done characters, is just a big waste of time. That’s not even the half of it; at one point, they make it very clear that Gon and Killua won’t find any clues in Greed Island that will lead them to Jin, which means that this OVA isn’t going to expand much, if any, of the story. And when all is said and done, the ending just suddenly stops as the story begins to pick up a bit. The final minutes are spent with Gon, Killua and Biscuit silently staring at the sunrise only to kill time.
Greed Island is only a continuation of Hunter X Hunter‘s downward spiral. Hopefully, future installments can actually stop this trend of inconclusive endings.
See also: Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island Final
Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.