Friday, July 28, 2017

Anime Series Review: Hunter x Hunter (2011)

   Summary: Hunter x Hunter 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.
     [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Thoughts: I actually avoided this anime for awhile. It was still coming out at the time but there were 60-something episodes already available and...ugh! Too much commitment and I had some weird prejudice against the hairstyles on the cover...I still don't know why. Anyways, I was bored one day and this was there. A content check let me know it didn't have anything absolutely horrible in it so I dove in. 
 And now? I've seen all 143 episodes three times, I've watched it with my siblings. I'm reading the manga and I've seen the entire original anime. I'm even buying the DVDs and watching them in the English dub which I just about never do if I can help it. If anyone asks me what my favorite show is, Hunter x Hunter wins hands down. 
 Why? It has the bet cast ever for starters. I mean the four main characters have the greatest dynamic! They build the most amazing group as they journey toward their dreams! And the rest of the cast, whether passing through or there for an arc, are amazing. They're all well drawn out, developed and, in many cases, terrifying!

The action in here is fantastic too. Well thought out battles without too much input from side characters. The villains are a complex mess. You'll find yourself enjoying seeing some of their familiar faces even when you don't like them. Others you'll dread no matter what. 
 The plots are what really mak this series unique though. 
 While there is the overreaching story of Gon trying to find his father, each season is it's own arc and story. An the stories vary, covering everything from entering a game-world to stopping deadly thieves to saving the world from man-eating monsters! The atmosphere starts off really light and almost childish but quickly becomes darker and more mature so viewers should be cautious.
 This type of anime is labeled as a Shounen, an anime targeting boys, so it's full of fights and battles and action galore. It also lacks any romance which is nice, it allows the plots to really form and drive the characters forward. 
 The animation is good and the music is fantastic. The openings and endings have the capabilities to make you excited or leave you crying and also have a tendency to end up on your playlists. 

Content: This is mostly for the sub since I'm not very far into the dub. Even so, what I have seen of the english dub is fairly close to the origibal script there shouldn't be many variations in language. 
  In the beginning and occasionally throughout the series there are rude or inappropriate comments along with some poorly dressed women. These are fairly scare and rarely last long. There is one scene where a character is allowed to feel-up a woman, this is not shown but you know exactly what is happening. It's easy to skip but still there.
  Language sticks mostly to D***, Sh**, B*****d and C*** with profanity used occasionally 'Oh my ***'. 
 The violence is the biggest problem. While it starts off with a light, childish atmosphere, the series quickly spirals into a darker twist. Blood, gore, and extreme violence are to be expected. I'm talking everything from man-eating beats to horrifying surgical-like torture. Depending on your tolerance level for violence and all things painfully gross, be careful with this series. There are certain sentient creatures that have human-like bodies and don't wear clothes. There are a few characters who imply that they are gay or bisexual but nothing has been confirmed.
 There are a few mentions of various religions but these are never a focus of the show.
With all that being said I give Hunter x Hunter 7 out of 10 Castles in the Sky. While it has it's problems they're spread out so far over the 143 episodes that it's actually a fairly clean show.

  All in all, this isn't a clean series but it's amazingly good when it comes to characters and stories. If you like the Marvel universe and anything with great plot twists you'll at least like this show if not totally love it!

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