How many of you have heard of Hunter X Hunter? How many of you have actually sat down and WATCHED the series?
Despite enjoying some success, HXH is not a very well known and talked about series. I was planning on covering up the success of the series, but i kinda said everything about original anime shows in one of my previous Journals called "For Hunter X Hunter, i'll have to start with the plot synopsis:
Gon Freecs, a young boy living with his aunt on Whale Island, thought his father to be dead. That is until a chance meeting with the Hunter Kaito (who we never see again after the first episode, btw). It is through Kaito that Gon learns of the rich legacy of Hunters, people whom explore the unknown aspects of the world in all its facets. Gon also learns that his father, Ging Freecs, is not only alive but is in fact the greatest Hunter in the world. It is with this knowledge that Gon ventures out into the world with the goal of becoming a Hunter and finding the whereabouts of his father, all the while making several friends, like aspirant Hunters Kilua, Leorio and Kurapica and having many adventures of his own.
Gon is a charismatic young boy whose optimism and innocence is always invigorating without being imposing. An odd tidbit, Gon is virtually never the strongest character on the screen, by a long shot. A partial reason for this is that his goal isn't necessarily to be the strongest being in existence but primarily to better himself. This is another big plus in the personality department that sets Gon apart from your conventional Shonen Jump Hero Archtype. Gon's optimism is offset well by the darker, more brooding persona of Killua, a young boy that Gon befriends early in the show. Together they make for perhaps the most interesting pair of best friends in all of anime. Their companions, Leorio and Kurapica, also make for complex and interesting characters. Leorio is a man who, haunted by his past, is motivated to the performance of benevolent acts to the benefit of humanity. Kurapica, conversely, is motivated by revenge, though revenge is an ideal that is out of character for him. Consequently, Kurapica always seems to be a man at odds with himself.
At first glance, this seems like your typical Shonen Jump action series. Hell, i'm sure that all of you who are reading this (all two of you :S) are probably saying "Why wouldn't this show be not so well-known?", But make no mistake, for HXH is anything BUT a clichè action series and nowhere is it more apparent than the Hunter Exam arc.
Again, it may seem like a typical training arc where the students must overcome obsticals with their physical strengths, but HXH takes it to a whole new level. The Hunter Exam is more of a metal training test to enhance your strategic skills. Because of that, for the entirety of the Hunter Exam up until the final test, there are no fight sequences which might be the reason why the series didn't caught on with other people.
Is not until the Heavens Arena arc where we finally get a Shonen Jump action series feel. In this arc, Gon and Kilua arrive at the aforementioned Heavens Arena, a long-ass tower where fighters gather. In this tower, they meet a young fighter named Zushi (Hardy har har) and his master Wing, the latter one is willing to teach Gon and Kilua in the arts of Nen, the series's power source (like the Ki, Chacra, Furyoku, you name it) and from there it becomes more of a typical action series,but in a good way, as the story is still gripping enough to make you know what's gonna happen next. Also, during the action sequences is when we found one of the show's strongest points: The animation. One of the unfortunate aspects about a manga-based anime is that it feels obligated to follow the shots from the manga to the letter, which is fine, but it kinda limits the movements of the characters, especially during the action sequences which makes those kinda slow. Luckly, that's not the case for Hunter X Hunter as the fight scenes are fastpaced and flawlessly animated beyond words. If you're a self-proclaimed animation fan and you're not impressed by these action scenes, you have NO right to be called an animation fan. You HAVE to be impressed in order to call yourself one.
As you could tell, fighting does take place and at some points in the series it becomes quite prominent, but it never manages to wrestle the spotlight away from the fleshier portions of the narrative. Despite this, the action leaves very little to be desired. The fight-action sets here are more complex than the typical ki-blasting, as fast-as-light-movement farce that has become the industry standard for fighting anime. Instead we are treated to a truly creative power-leveling system and a diversity of combat styles that make each fight more than simply diversionary but instead truly engaging. It is as if the battle scenes have actually added to the tension and excitement of the plotline rather than flattened it, a rare occurrence indeed.
On the passable side of things is the music. Musically, while not bad, HXH just does not manage to live up to its more palatial qualities. Still, the music is good enough and has continuously improved throughout the series. I have personally enjoyed the opening and closing music more and more with each successive theme change that occurs. My favorite opening song being Pray by Wish, the opening for the Greed Island OVA.
Honestly, there isn't alot to complain about.....although, during the Greed Island Final OVA theres a dodgeball mini-arc that's BORING AS HELL!! It only laster three episodes, but BY GOD WAS IT DULL!
before i end this review i do wanna discuss something: My favorite anime right now is One Piece, but despite my love for it i can't overlook it's faults. My biggest complaint about One Piece and other long-running Shonen Jump series, including Hunter X Hunter, is that it doesn't know when to end despite having a clear goal. In One Piece's case is to found the treasure named after the title and Hunter X Hunter's is for Gon to find his father. The problem is with these series, they tend to go from place to place with the argument that there's something there that can lead the heroes to their destination only to be lead to another place with the same deal as the previous one. To me this is a blatant excuse to keep the series going and while One Piece convinced me that it's far from ending, i still want that series to end before it looses it's touch.
I think i made myself clear, but i wanna mention one last series to make my point and that series is my favorite manga yet: Shaman King. What makes Shaman King my favorite manga and, in my opinion, superior to other Shonen mangas is that it has a clear goal, one of the protagonists must be the Shaman King before Hao can, and it doens't waste time to get there. All the story arcs and situations feel important to the series (excluding chapters 3, 4 and 5) even if it is the boring-ass Golem saga, they either must overcome those obsticals to get to the next key to become Shaman King or is a situation that tells us about that characters. It never felt like a cheap way to prolong the series and i loved it for that. I think i made myself VERY clear now
Overall, Hunter X Hunter is a fenomenal series. Is vibrant and imaginative, though not at all difficult. It manages to be enormously entertaining through its unique concoction of animation, characterization, and plot, without resorting to the cliches that have all too often ruined a seemingly novel show of a similar vein. Beyond some very minor failings, it is nearly beyond fault. It carries with it a sort of energy and charm that is very intoxicating and it rightfuly desserves the reboot it got......you know? If a succesful and yet lesser know manga as Hunter X Hunter got a reboot, where's my Shaman King reboot?!!! It desserves it as much as HXH did!
With that previous statement, i'm gonna pull off a Kanye West on this: I'm very happy for you that you got a reboot, HXH. Imma let you finish, BUT SHAMAN KING WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST MANGAS OF ALL TIME!! *Shrugs*
Final score: 4/4
Sorry for my shitty english
I speak both Spanish & English
Hablo tanto Español como Ingles
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Does anybody know where can i find episodes of Wakfu (with subtitles)?