Yup, I recognize this is an old show that kinda wrapped up almost 3 years ago but bear with me a bit. So my old coworker recommended this to me a few years ago right when it wrapped up back in September of 2014, and I started it to give it a shot then stopped even though he kept telling me it only got better after the first arc. Below is the scene that caused me to just watch this from episode 27 to 131 in about a week:
I would like to clarify that the scene above is radically unexpected and they only alluded to one character being able to shift into this exceptionally muscular and powerful form. The context of this above is the body being impaled and subsequently turned to pulp is a parasitic monster (in catgirl form because…well just because) who killed his Mentor and in all honesty is an overall sadistic bitch. Essentially I liken the random and unexpected nature of this transformation and beautiful fight to that of the end of Dragonball. Imagine that when Goku gets his legs and arms broken, instead of learning to fly he just turns Super Saiyan. And on that note, I will approach this show from the beginning and really just touch on a few highlights and interesting points because I don’t have the time to explain 148 episodes on a Random Impulses article. Not gonna lie, this show starts out like some strange combination of Dragonball, Toriko, and Pokemon.
Hunter x Hunter is a show about individuals called Hunters. Now while this may sound rather stupid it’s rather intuitive in actuality. After a grueling initial test that narrows down candidates by just GETTING to the proper Exam, approximately 3% of applicants passing. After they receive the Hunter’s License an individual is then allowed and afforded great resources and prestige to perform their duties as a fantastic individual in their particular field. This could include anything ranging from Bounty Hunting, to Archaeology, to Cooking. However what they don’t tell the newly minted Hunters is that there is a secondary test and that they must understand and learn Nen, which is essentially a Ki-like power and this is yet another similarity to Dragonball that I would like to point out to you. However, the show starts to deviate off with some of the side characters differentiating themselves and having their own side plots that are pretty damn meaningful.
Here we have the crew from right to left, first Leorio Paradinight, who is actually the same age as the rest of the group and actually aims to become a doctor and eventually almost becomes the leader of the Hunter’s Association (kinda random but actually rather well done). Next is Killua Zoldyck, laugh but seriously this kid’s family has a body count in the countless range. His entire family is a bunch of cold-blooded killers and honestly are mostly a bunch of overpowered assholes (looking at you Momma Zoldyck) but through Gon’s childlike innocence he mellows out and breaks out of literal brainwashing his family implanted upon him. Third is Gon, our protagonist, our Goku, our Ash Ketchum, our shonen. This kid is youthful stubbornness and innocence that we’ve seen before but as the show goes on he grows and maintains the good while not becoming an annoying Mary Sue, especially after Nen becomes a factor in the show. Finally is Kurapika, who is a dude and honestly the most colorful little ball of angst you’ll likely ever see. He dedicates his life to literally murder a set of thieves known as the Phantom Troupe, who are like a terrifying mix of ISIS and Lupin the Third. After them the side cast is full of equally if not more so badasses including the enemies (especially the immensely overpowered Chimera Ants) even a dude who gives the appearance of being little more than a trolling pedophile clown is surprisingly boss AF and a boss tier elderly man who’s manner of winning against the big bad (who looks a lot like Cell) is placing a super nuke in his heart that explodes when he dies (albeit after another super badass fight).
The story arcs range from bland to cliche to damn good and entertaining with the show getting better and better as the episodes roll on. As I said, the characters all become important in their own right, with Gon being a fairly minor character (but big plot point) for the final arc (mostly because he was fething comatose) and everyone kind of just jumping in as damn good. All in all, the art and animation are pretty good, but nothing I found remarkable, barring perhaps my bias towards that fight with Gon and Pitou. The audio for fight scenes was great and it had an interesting transition from the very traditional shonen style music in the beginning arcs for the Hunter Exam and the Heavens Arena sections to a very serious soundtrack for the Chimera Ant arc. Overall the show throws you for loops and loops and it ends on a high note akin to the Toriko and Dragonball, with the promise of future greater adventures ahead. Again, this show is definitely above and beyond a 3 episode test, requiring getting past the first 25 episode arc to really start enjoying the meat. So if you like what you’ve seen so far give it a shot and leave a like or comment before Hisoka takes an interest in you.