Sunday, March 08, 2015

Let's Take Our Hunter Exams!

Now here's something that comes as a surprise.

Before I switch my tumblr accounts, there had been a lot of hype for Hunter x Hunter. Over the past six months or so, I saw a lot of people talking about it (and Fairy Tail, actually). HxH was something that I had heard about here and there over the years, so I knew the name "Gon" but nothing else. Seeing the characters on my dash without context was always amusing and slowly gained my interested, but I never took the bait. It was always on that "Okay, I'll put it on my list" list, but I never thought I would actually fall into it.

That is until my roommate decided to take the plunge, and I'm so glad I jumped in as well. Oh, my dear sweet boys. Because I started, I won't be reviewing this like I did Daily Lives of High School Boys. Consider this review more of a stream of consciousness if anything.

I ended up jumping in around episode 68, but I just rode the waves and slowly gathered knowledge as I went. Hunter x Hunter is incredibly exciting. Though I had a few questions, the plot line is still pretty easy to follow. It fills in the blanks without the blowhard, tiresome exposition that a lot of shows (and movies) go for. I honestly like every character -- every character! Even the ones I hate, I enjoy hating them. Everyone has multiple facets. There are things and situations that you might be able to call, but it doesn't detract away from the genuine entertainment value.

Gon is our hero, and he is so close to being an actual cinnamon roll too pure for this world. He's a 12 year old bumpkin straight from Whale Island. Even though he is a happy, naive sort, Gon has a surprising personality. Sometimes he's very blunt and willing to deck somebody in the face. It's amusing, of course, but as the show goes on, you get some very solid proof of Gon's more aggressive side. He's a very shiny coin but try not to be too surprised if one of the sides is scratched up.

Killua is a prodigy assassin and Gon's perfect foil. He's also twelve and keeps a cool, logical head about him. Despite his early age, he has endured a lot and struggles with dealing with Gon's unabashed genuine nature. Killua knows his hands are dirty from his past but doesn't mind keeping that way if it handles things. Despite all this, Killua has a deeply instill fear that shakes him down to his core. He's a perfect example of "man (or boy) versus self".

Those are your main two, but there are seriously dozens and dozens of characters to enjoy. The show goes in five seasons but has three definite arcs. I recently ended up watching from the beginning myself, and having equal moments of fridge horror and unparalleled enlightenment have been nothing short of joyful. It's been a while since I cared so much about characters and wanted things to just go right for them. It's been a while since I've been exposed to such a wide cast of characters I wholesomely incredibly enjoy.

Hunter x Hunter is more than just a typical shounen anime, though it does (of course) have its moments. The show does get you interested in the villains, which is always always a plus. You want to see Gon and the others fight for their lives and face insurmountable obstacles? Well, don't worry. You can get that and then some. The show has no lack of violence. There are situations that even had me wincing in pain or touching my throat sympathetically. I don't often do that and mean it, so kudos on you, Hunter x Hunter.

The show handles comedy and seriousness in a way that reminds me a lot of Full Metal Alchemist, and I can definitely appreciate that, especially as the series goes on. You learn pretty quickly to guard your heart, keheheh, but there's no shame in sticking to your favourites. The fact that I enjoyed the anime so much has set me on a dedicated quest to read the manga. Something that will hopefully come about when I get a (or, you know, my) computer back.

The version that I watched was the 2011 series. Maybe I'll go back and watch the 1998 version as well -- do and some compare and constrating, you know the deal. This is an anime that's definitely worth marathoning to the point when you can't open your eyes. (Take that from my experience)

If you're a veteran of the 2011 version and have survived the heartache, do share, keheheh. But, oh! Refrain from spoilers. If you like shounen or if you just like see characters grow, evolve, and take a punch or two, you definitely should look into Hunter x Hunter.

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