I think I have been spoiled by current anime series that only go one or two seasons. I started watching long-term anime like Bleach or Naruto (god knows that I am way too far behind to even start One Piece) but those are among the longest running shows I have watched in recent years. Most shows that come out now are anywhere from 12-26 episodes long and, without my realizing it, I’ve grown accustomed to the brevity and quickness of those shows. So when I started Hunter X Hunter I immediately noticed that the show seems to have zero trouble taking its time. So, while I am about 10 episodes or so in and am thoroughly enjoying it, the show often feels slow-paced and often wasteful with its screen time. Still, the show has a lot going for it in terms of creative and interesting characters as well as a fairly fun and adventurous story line.
(Thank you myAnimelist)
Hunter x Hunter (2011) is set in a world where Hunters exist to perform all manner of dangerous tasks like capturing criminals and bravely searching for lost treasures in uncharted territories. Twelve-year-old Gon Freecss is determined to become the best Hunter possible in hopes of finding his father, who was a Hunter himself and had long ago abandoned his young son. However, Gon soon realizes the path to achieving his goals is far more challenging than he could have ever imagined.
Along the way to becoming an official Hunter, Gon befriends the lively doctor-in-training Leorio, vengeful Kurapika, and rebellious ex-assassin Killua. To attain their own goals and desires, together the four of them take the Hunter Exam, notorious for its low success rate and high probability of death. Throughout their journey, Gon and his friends embark on an adventure that puts them through many hardships and struggles. They will meet a plethora of monsters, creatures, and characters—all while learning what being a Hunter truly means.
My biggest issue with this show is that it is a very long show, sure not as long as some others (named above) but 140 episodes is nothing to scoff at. And the show runs like a show that has plenty of time some while watching the first 10 or so episodes I felt like there was a bunch of content that felt needless or boring. I would have much rather they just progressed the story rather than waste time, but I also have no clue how closely the show follows the its manga counterpart so I can’t really say if they were just adding filler or staying true to the source material. That being said the show never gets too far into a lull and keeps the fun going so while I did find spots where I was bored, it was never for too long.
The story, for the most part, centers around the innocent and lovable Gon, the money-hungry but kind-natured Leorio and the young angst-y Kurapika. All of them set out to becomes hunters for their own reasons but end up together in their first rookie test. I really enjoy the fact that this show focuses on the trio rather than just one individual character. While Gone is the main character, I don’t think he can carry the show alone. Additionally, they don’t seem to be making him the “god” of the world so he is not without faults– the show is clear that Gon has potential, but he has ways to go. Plus having other, arguably more interesting, characters allows your attention not to get sapped right away if you don’t like one of the particular main characters. There is pretty much a character that everyone can gravitate towards.
But hey, this is just a first impressions post, all of this can change in the near future as I keep watching. Gon could become super annoying and the show could get tedious…. I am serious by the way, this is a real possibility. The format of the show Is one that could get annoying fast. At least if it keeps going the same way that it is… right now where I am at, Gon and the others are currently taking their Hunter test, so the whole show is filled with trial after trial and the format feels almost tournament style. I enjoy when shows rock a tournament format, in moderation, but if the entire show is made this way it will end up feeling predictable. The reason for this is that most shows that play out this way make it so that as the main character(s) grow, their villains grow with them and get more and more ridiculous as a result. You’re led to believe that, while our main protagonist is amazing, there is always someone MORE amazing. Look, I’m not saying the show WILL play out this way, just that I could easily see it happen.
I can also take or leave the animation style as a whole. It isn’t bad, it must doesn’t stand out at all. Also I severely hate Gon’s hair style. It is overly point and ridiculous and I loathe it…just sayin’. Although I have never been overly impressed by what Madhouse brings to the table… they’re know for shows like Cardcaptors, and Akagi … although they do have some stellar animation under their belts like One-Pumch Man and No Game No Life which were awesome so I cannot fault them entirely. So maybe it is just the source animation they are working with but I don’t see them winning awards any time soon for their animation on this project.
Overall the show is good, I wouldn’t go so far as to say great… at least not yet. It is still fairly early and I can see too many ways the show can take a bad turn for me. I hope for the best, the characters do seem really fun and interesting thus far, particularly some of the side characters like Leorio. The action sequences look fairly solid too– I just want to see more of it!!! I will revisit the show after I finish it and let you know if any of my feelings towards it have changed.
Also! I feel like this post may seem a bit unfocused and that’s because I am simultaneously watching Brother Bear…. DON’T JUDGE ME!!!