First Impressions – Hunter x Hunter 2011

[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.18_[2011.10.02_12.15.44] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.29_[2011.10.02_12.16.56] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.53_[2011.10.02_12.17.20]

Disclaimer: While I know the basic premise, I’ve never read the manga or seen an episode of the original series from 1999-2000.  But I know both are well-regarded, and that the anime was produced by Nippon Animation and considered to have remarkably good animation for the time.  It was directed by Rurouni Kenshin’s Furuhashi Kazuhiro as well.

OP: ”Departure” by Masatoshi Ono

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None of that matters a hill of beans, of course, when the new version is produced by Madhouse and features an entirely new cast and new director.  But Koujina Hiroshi has some talent, and Madhouse is capable of very good work as long as they stay away from American comic books.  As there was no way I had time to watch the 62-episode original anytime soon, this seemed like a good opportunity to check out the material and see if it was for me.  Of course, all I can do is judge this series on its own merits – comparisons to the original anime or manga will be lost on me. So with all that in mind, what did I think?

It was fun.  It looked pretty good, was briskly paced, and screamed “Shounen Jump!” from the top of its lungs at every turn.  Still running after all these years, it seems the manga has a huge following and ventures into some pretty dark places, though you don’t really get any of that from the premiere.  There has been buzz that Madhouse is sanitizing this version somewhat, toning down the violence and eliminating the pervy aspects of one of the main villains.  That’s worrisome on principle, thought I’m in no position to judge how true it’s going to be.  On face value this comes off as very typical and agreeably high-spirited shounen, with 12 year-old hero Gon (newcomer Han Megumi, suitably exuberant and boyish)  off to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Hunter, one of a legendary and elite group.  Back on Whale Island he leaves Mito-san (Han Keiko) the pretty young woman who’s been taking care of him since his father left.

On-board ship he meets fellow Hunter candidates Kurapica (Sawashiro Miyuki) and Leorio (Fujiwara Keiji).  Keiji-san can do this in his sleep, but as always he’s vastly entertaining as the older Leorio, whose motives appear far more practical and self-serving than Gon and Kurapica’s.  Sawashiro is way too feminine as Kurapica, and seems an odd choice for the role.  There’s obvious notes of camaraderie and rivalry building here, but what’s most interesting – if it’s pursued – is the notion of Gon following in the footsteps of the father who walked out on him.  The rest of it all plasys as pretty standard boys’ adventure fare, with lots of swinging from ropes and fishing lines and swashbuckling music.

This strikes me as a series I’m much more likely to watch than blog, but I’ll give it a couple of weeks to show me it’s stripes. 

[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.13_[2011.10.02_12.21.39] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.15_[2011.10.02_12.21.41] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_10.54_[2011.10.02_12.24.20]
[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_12.36_[2011.10.02_12.26.29] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.19_[2011.10.02_12.30.25] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.21_[2011.10.02_12.33.26]

ED: “Just Awake” by Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas

[HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.10_[2011.10.02_12.36.15] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.12_[2011.10.02_12.36.18] [HorribleSubs] Hunter X Hunter - 01 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.40_[2011.10.02_12.36.46]

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8 comments

  1. l

    When I watch it during my childhood, it was great anime. Now that I watch the remake with much better animation I felt childish. Anyway the 1st episode of remake is not very good as it seem to me they are rushing it(what used to be 3 episode they done it in one episode). Most probably they try to go as fast as they can to reach the Nen battle which is more shonen-like and much more interesting.The nen battle is the most unique and interesting battle I ever seen in shonen battle.

  2. Z

    Hmm, this adaptation feels a lot more childish then the original one. Admittedly so is that most likely because they skip so many things that it gives a bit more bland impression. I wonder if they plan to skim ahead quickly past the content that was in the original animation and then put more time into the 'new' stuff that comes after that?

  3. b

    It's a bit of a blessing that my local channel is reairing the original version of HxH, albeit it's dubbed in our language.
    That way I can compare on the difference.
    Currently it's on episode 20.
    I also watched the Japanese subbed version but only on the OVAs.

    And…sold but not quite.
    It's a bit lighter in terms of tone compared to the first version which has a bit of a dark atmosphere.
    Gon sounds okay. Never heard of the VA but doing fine. But as much as I like Fujiwara Keiji and love Sawashiro Miyuki(did I mention I loved her voice in Dantalian no Shoka <3), it doesn't quite fit in with Leorio and Kurapika. I'll get used to it eventually as I always do when I complain about voices.
    In terms of pacing, this one is quite fast. Skipped an important part at the beginning but I think it's just placing it in the later episodes, seeing as the character introduced there doesn't appear after that part until way later in the story.
    On the bright side, animation is great. Sticking close to the art of the first version. OP is great, ED not yet.
    I'm gonna watch this as I'm a fan of the first version and the manga. Though I heard it's slated for only 45+ episodes. With this fast pace through the story, it may cover the same amount of story as the first one. I hope it continues on to where the first version left off in the OVAs.

    tl;dr
    Gonna watch for nostalgia and for the story.

  4. K

    Having seen the original first run of the series I can't say this is better…but we're just at 2 episodes so I'm sure things will be exciting later on. But in terms of quality this does seem a bit more childish looking compared to the original. The opening intro is nice but definitely not as good as the first run. I can't hate though…I just love Yoshihiro Togashi's work too much and should be thankful they're redoing the anime…hopefully they'll go up to the ANT Saga which they didn't get a chance to in the first run of the animation.

  5. f

    I've watched the ant saga and it was pretty good… My only comment is_The sound effects was a bit boring…

  6. f

    The Chimera Ants are exciting but the Aura of the Character is really weak but its good to have this anime continued.

  7. u

    I've been a fan of this blog and show for a while now and decided to re-watch the show. It's pretty interesting how Enzo's opinion of the first episode and compare it with what he thinks of the show in it's current material.

  8. Thanks for jumping in. It's also interesting to compare Han Megumi's take on Gon in the first episode and episode 116…

    In truth, I think H x H reveals very little of what it's going to become in the first two or three episodes. It's when Hisoka shows up that one begins to suspect all is not as it seems.

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