Every year, thousands of hopeful people from all around the world come to take a long and arduous exam to become hunters. Hunters have many privileges and are highly respected, but rarely does anyone actually pass the exam. Gon is a young boy whose father is a legendary hunter, but whom Gon has never met. He believes that the only way to meet his father is to follow in his footsteps, and he is determined to pass the exam.
summary by Keitaro
Highs: Terrific cast of characters; non-stop action; character development
Lows: Unsatisfying ending; shifts focus between characters too often; overall quality varies
It is rare that an anime can go on as long as Hunter X Hunter and do so without dragging or becoming repetitive. This anime, however, not only pulls it off but also had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.
This series truly does it all. Whether you want comedy, psychological introspect or insane Dragonball Z-style fights, it’s all here. These differing themes seem to be distributed rather unequally, though. One arc may be lighthearted and the next dark and dismal. As a result, the overall quality of the series varies.
With four main characters and countless supporting ones, there is never a dull moment in Hunter X Hunter; it is constantly throwing new situations and characters. Before long, this became a problem. I often felt that the show simply threw too much at me at once. There are just too many characters to keep track of, and the show jumps around between them too often. Fortunately, character development was done right. The main characters, in particular Kurapica and Killua and with exception to Gon, unravel and show a deep side to their personalities.
In the animation department, fans of Yu Yu Hakusho will feel at home as both series’ were created by Togashi Yoshihiro. The art isn’t particularly impressive and looks like something from ten years ago, but it works. The great music and voice acting help, as well.
My opinion of Hunter X Hunter went up and down several times throughout the series, but overall the pros outweigh the cons. Bottom line: this is a highly entertaining title and a must see for action fans.
Highs: Fun and addictive; protagonists will win your heart
Lows: Overanalyzes at times; loses some focus; doesn’t actually end
For months, I kept putting Hunter X Hunter further back in my queue in favor of other anime. I finally resolved myself to watch it, and when I did, I smacked myself for putting it off for so long. Good anime shouldn’t collect dust.
Hunter X Hunter‘s best attribute is, without a doubt, just how fun it turns out to be. The first few episodes are admittedly slow because they work on developing character personalities and the story. But the series gradually warms up to the point that you’ll want to marathon the rest of the anime out of desire to see what happens next. The main characters make the fun unending not only because of their comedic antics and crazy Dragonball Z–esque fights but also with their great chemistry; they all have starkly different backgrounds but come to develop a wholesome group relationship. Gon, Killua, Leorio and Kurapica are flawed characters with tragic pasts, so sympathizing and rooting for them in their shining and dark moments comes easier than breathing because of their personality traits.
However, the overanalyzing done at certain points grated on my nerves. For example, the third test in the Hunter’s Exam Arc had the protagonists fighting in the same room for four episodes because practically every character’s analytical thoughts were being read aloud; at one point, they even tried making jan-ken-pon (paper-rock-scissors) seem like a deep psychological game. The next issue came up following the Zaoldyeck Family Arc, and that’s its focus. Before this, the four main characters are always together, but afterwards, they split up with Gon and Killua getting most of the screen time. Probably the most disappointing part is that this arc doesn’t end. This anime manages to use the first 11 volumes of Togashi Yoshihiro’s manga of the same name, but they ran out of material to animate after episode 62. I’ll give props to the anime production crew for stopping and not trying to make filler episodes as a delay tactic, but nevertheless, it still ends in the middle of everything.
If you do check out Hunter X Hunter, make sure you watch the OVA shortly after to keep riding on the show’s fun and momentum. The only reason why I wouldn’t recommend this anime would be if you hate the shounen fighting genre; if you don’t, then check this out.
Hunter X Hunter can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.