This anime I’m about to review is the very first anime I’ve ever watched from start to finish. It was first made in 1998 and aired sixty-four (64) episodes and twenty (20) OVAs, and got a remake in 2011 and two movie adaptations. And that show is… Hunter X Hunter (2011). I first started this anime after an old friend of mine recommended it to me because I literally had nothing to watch and I had nothing to do before summer ended. (I was homeschooled back then). And then came anime. I was definitely not interested at first because my brothers were into Pokémon, which I do not enjoy watching. I took it into consideration after watching a trailer on my smartphone and watching the first few episodes of this masterpiece of a show.
Hunter X Hunter is a Shounen anime about a twelve-year-old spunky, happy-go-lucky boy named Gon Freeces who wants to become a hunter and find his lost father, Ging Freeces, who was one of the most professional hunters in the world. Gon was abandoned by his father when he was just a newborn baby because he wanted to fulfill his career as a hunter. His Aunt Mito-san was not convinced at first because she did not him to get in danger and disappear, just like Ging. The only way Gon was going to be able to go is to catch the legendary Lord of the Lake with his fishing rod, and he did. He then goes to the Hunter Exams with his head held high, and even makes a few friends along the way: Kurapika Kurta, Leorio Paladinight, and Killua Zoldyck (my favorite character in the entire series).
Those of you who are thinking about not watching it after that last paragraph, think again! Hunter X Hunter is a ride that you will surely enjoy from start to finish with jaw-dropping scenes, beautiful artwork and storytelling, appealing music, and phenomenal voice acting!
First off, the story and character development in this series are what makes the series shine. As the series goes on, there are quite a few situations that have predictable resolutions, but there are a few that leave the viewers with their jaws dropped as the situation resolves into plot twists and a different look on the show. Also, the story for Hunter X Hunter focuses on most of the other characters and their goals, for example, Killua trying to become a “normal human” after escaping his large family who forced him to become a high class assassin, which brings a lot of character development for him. But not only do the main protagonists get really good character development, the side characters get their time to shine in the series, such as Hisoka, the evil antagonists in the series, and Pokkle and Ponzu, my two favorite characters in the series. In season one, Pokkle and Ponzu explain why they are taking the Hunter Exam and show what their strong suits are while fighting: Ponzu uses bees as her weapon and Pokkle uses his bow and arrow to fight off bad guys in his way.
The next key point that stood out to me was the artwork, which is absolutely wonderful to look at. There were a few times where the artwork lagged at a few points during the Hunter Exam Arc, but it got better as the series progressed. From the character designs to the breathtaking scenery, the art definitely stands out from a lot of anime that are out there.
The opening song in this anime also stands out from the other Shounen anime because there aren’t seventeen theme songs per season or story arc; there is just one catchy theme song, but used in two different ways and different artwork for each story arc. After you hear it, you are sure to sing it non-stop until you finish the series. The background music varies from pop, to sentimental, rock, traditional Japanese music—you name it! For each situation in the show, whether it be a strange character coming in for the first time, a fight is happening, or if a character is telling a story about his or her past, there is always different music throughout the show.
Now, let me get to my favorite key point about this show: the voice acting. It is phenomenal in so many ways, in both Japanese and English. The Japanese voice acting was new to me, since I had never watched a movie or TV show that was in a foreign language, but that did not mean I didn’t like it. When the English Dub came around in April of 2016, I decided to re-watch the series again and I loved the series even more after that. Viz Media, who sponsors the English Dub, did an excellent job with picking the right voices for each of the characters. The only problem I had for the voice acting was Killua’s voice actress. Although Christina Venezuela is an amazing voice actress, I felt that the first twelve episodes she voiced Killua were not her best, giving Killua and childish, raspy voice—somewhat like Ash Ketchum. Now, after the fifteenth episode, Killua’s voice started growing on me and I now really love his voice. With Toonami now airing the second season of Hunter X Hunter, the voice acting for the series just keeps getting better and better!
Okay, enough of me praising this series, I will get to my two cons for this series, and that will be the length of the series. Yes, there are only 148 episodes, but that was not long enough for this lovely series. The sixth season left off with an off-key note after some certain moments happen (not going to spoil anything for those of you who have not seen it or are trying to finish it). My second and main con for this series is the lack of character development for Leorio and especially Kurapika! Yes, these two have their own goals, but that did not mean the staff members did not have to leave them out of the series after the third series!
Overall, the underrated series of Hunter X Hunter is a series that a lot of older teenagers and even adults would enjoy. If you love television series and amazing action scenes, then this anime is definitely for you. Also, if you enjoy great storytelling, emotional scenes, and great character development, then you will enjoy this series as well. If this review has now gotten you convinced to watch the series, just beware, you are going to need your blankets, pillows, and ice cream as you follow the main protagonists for this one amazing journey that will definitely change the way you see anime or even television.
I just looked at this review today that I posted five days ago, and saw that there was nothing here! *faceplam* Oh, silly me! This was my first post, so I was learning how to use WordPress, so I apologize to those of you who were wondering where the review was.