Hunters devote themselves to accomplishing hazardous tasks, all from traversing the world's uncharted territories to locating rare items and monsters. Before becoming a Hunter, one must pass the Hunter Examination—a high-risk selection process in which most applicants end up handicapped or worse, deceased.
Ambitious participants who challenge the notorious exam carry their own reason. What drives 12-year-old Gon Freecss is finding Ging, his father and a Hunter himself. Believing that he will meet his father by becoming a Hunter, Gon takes the first step to walk the same path.
During the Hunter Examination, Gon befriends the medical student Leorio Paladiknight, the vindictive Kurapika, and ex-assassin Killua Zoldyck. While their motives vastly differ from each other, they band together for a common goal and begin to venture into a perilous world.
Introduction and Synopsis
Hunter x Hunter, an anime that has held the community’s attention since its 2011 reboot, is more than just your typical ‘shounen’ show. The original manga, written by Yoshihiro Togashi, was first published in 1998. This highly acclaimed series was later rebooted by Madhouse Studio in 2011, and it is this version we’ll be critiquing today.
Hunter x Hunter follows the journey of a young boy named Gon Freecss, who decides to become a ‘Hunter’ to find his long-lost father, Ging. A ‘Hunter’ is a licensed professional capable of tracking secret treasures, rare beasts, or even other individuals. Along this path, Gon befriends other would-be Hunters, including the revenge-seeking Kurapika, the ambitious Leorio, and the formerly-assassin, Killua. What sets this anime apart is the narrative’s deep exploration of these characters’ personalities, motivations, and transformations over the series. Despite the seemingly ‘happy-go-lucky’ start, prepare to be drawn into a dark journey that makes you question your own prespective on ethics and society.
Anime Review: Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Firstly, let’s talk about the animation quality. Madhouse, known for its high-quality production, has absolutely surpassed expectations with this anime. Be it the striking character designs, the vibrant colors, or the fluid, adrenaline-inducing battle sequences, the animation seldom falters and conveys the story’s emotion and complexity beautifully.
Onto the plot and pacing, there’s an intelligent level of sophistication in Hunter x Hunter that you wouldn’t find in many of its contemporaries. It isn’t about ‘good vs evil’ or ‘power of friendship’ tropes. The story evolves and matures along with its characters. There is a sincere balance between slow-building tension and high-stakes encounters. Togashi’s genius shines in him connecting different arcs and plot threads in a way that feels natural and not forced.
Next up are the characters. Oh, the characters! Each one is fleshed out, believable, has a distinctive personality, and undergoes significant growth. Get ready to fall in love with Gon’s innocence, Killua’s transformation from assassin to best friend, Kurapika’s struggle for revenge, or even Hisoka’s twisted mind.
Regarding the soundtrack, it’s as layered and emotive as the anime itself, and highlights intense, quiet, or emotional moments perfectly.
In conclusion, Hunter x Hunter (2011) is not just an anime; it’s an experience that is rewarding for both novice and veteran anime enthusiasts. Its storytelling, character development, and animation quality set it a class apart. Whether you rent, buy, or stream it, Hunter x Hunter should definitely be on your watch list. And remember, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
Final Rating: 9.5/10
Truly, Hunter x Hunter serves as a testament that the ‘shounen’ genre can offer much more than poky underdogs and battled royals. It’s a masterful piece of art that will make you laugh, cry, and even make you ponder over philosophical dilemmas while delivering action-packed sequences. So buckle up, and get ready for one heck of a ride. It’s an adventure you won’t soon forget!
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