Hunter x Hunter 2011 – 11

[AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.27_[2011.12.11_12.09.04] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.39_[2011.12.11_12.23.30] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.21_[2011.12.11_12.27.12]

The key line of dialogue from this week was certainly when Kurapika said, “As long as he’s on our side…”

This is what I said here two weeks ago:

I really wonder if after two fake “to the death” matches Killua’s may end up as a real one – and the others may get their first terrifying glimpse of the true nature of the cute kid they’ve been traveling with.

Well, there you go – it certainly wasn’t hard to predict, but it was still quite the stark reminder of just what a beast Killua is.  First, though, we had to get through the second half of Leorio’s match with Leroute.  To be honest, I was a little disappointed with just how easily Leorio fell victim to her mind games – first, a little sex and then pure mental domination.  Giving up ten hours for the right to see her naked was bad enough, but she completely owned him in their Jan-ken-pon match as well.  What was interesting about that is that while the psychology behind it might have been a little oversimplified, I correctly predicted what Leorio would throw in every round – so maybe there’s something to all that mumbo-jumbo Leroure, Kurapika and Tonpa were talking about.  I also enjoyed the acknowledgement of the obvious – Leorio sure as hell doesn’t look 19.  One last thought – I’m not sure Gon quite grasped the strategy of Jan-ken-pon – shouting out advice to Leorio that the opponent can hear is sort of pointless and arguably counterproductive.

The main event, of course, was Killua’s battle with Johness the Dissector (Matsuyama Takashi).  While it was a bit of an anti-climax that it was over so quickly after all the suspense about Killua’s role and Johness’ grand introduction as the worst serial killer in Zaban history (146 kills) and the fact that the prisoner battle took up most of three episodes and was over in a flash, I guess it was necessary to prove a point – that Killua’s level is completely beyond anyone else in his group.  Johness and his iron grip were neatly disposed of in a flash, and Killua simply reached into his chest and ripped his heart out.  As he points out, seriel killers are rank amateurs compared to him – although his father could have done the deed much more neatly.

There’s no doubt that the others in the group looked at Killua with quite different eyes after all this, though Gon – even allowing that he knew Killua’s history – seems strangely unbothered.  Despite his genki appearance it seems Gon is made of very stern stuff.  The fact is, Killua’s nature (just look at the expression on his face when he “returned” Johness’ heart to him) is all the more unsettling because he himself seems totally unaffected by it.  All the scenes of he and Gon bantering and playing like any other pair of little boys are rather disturbing in light of what Killua is like, deep inside.  Indeed, when the team entered the “waiting room” they went about the business of looking for something to play with as if nothing had happened…

[AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_13.13_[2011.12.11_12.19.03] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.14_[2011.12.11_12.22.05] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.50_[2011.12.11_12.22.41]
[AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_16.53_[2011.12.11_12.22.43] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.52_[2011.12.11_12.23.43] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.11_[2011.12.11_12.24.01]
[AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.26_[2011.12.11_12.59.43] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.46_[2011.12.11_12.24.37] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.00_[2011.12.11_12.24.50]
[AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.00_[2011.12.11_12.25.50] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.58_[2011.12.11_12.26.48] [AnimeUltima] Hunter x Hunter - 11 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.17_[2011.12.11_12.27.07]
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21 comments

  1. t

    That at least is a manga difference – in the manga Killua holds the heart (no bag) and when the serial killer desperately gasps for it back he crushes it in front of him.

    This is good though – visually cleaner but just as horrible. Funnier too – makes it feel like normal Killua's sense of humour still lives in his dark side

  2. A

    Killua and Johness's fight will always be a memorable scene for me, not because it shows how badass Killua, but because it effectively revealed the moral ambiguity of two of the protagonists. As you mentioned, it's rather unsettling how Gon takes Killua's murder of Johness into stride and how the pair then proceed to behave like normal 12 year old boys.

  3. K

    I like this series and its retro look. However the last 2-3 weeks have been so slow moving I was bored and waiting for the episode to be over (as opposed to the faster moving previous episodes). Hopefully things will pick up in 2 weeks as next weeks episode looks to be another slow one taking place in 1 room.

  4. Heh, I sort of like those mind-games chapters this story dives into. The only thing that really hasn't worked for me was the gourmet test.

  5. m

    @Karmafan If you don't like mind games that are more thinking than fighting you'll find it pretty hard to like HunterxHunter from now onwards, since most of the series consists mostly of mindgames with like 2 or 3 action scenes as payoff.

    Unfortunately I've dropped this new hunterxhunter until the Chimera Ant arc since the old anime made an incomparable impression on me (also the neon colouring and generic BGM really annoys me). However I'll keep reading your impressions GE so keep them coming~

  6. J

    This felt like the 'Endless Eight' to me. Thank heavens they are finally out of that room and the story is moving forward.

  7. A

    If you cant wait to find out what happens you could read the manga or even watch the old series :O This is almost following the old one scene for scene. The new look Killua has isnt my favorite but I guess its growing on me. I'm pretty sure they showed the heart/crushing in the old one right? Might have to go and watch it.

  8. s

    I am enjoying your post about this new HxH episodes and is a breath of fresh air from Nippon HxH anime fans constant wining about Madhouse version's "sub par" adaptation.

    This is coming from someone who have read the manga since 1999 (only a year after its debut in Japan) and reread the series for 46 times to date. I am saying it now and I hope others will see this but the Nippon version was an utter failure and the reason why it was canceled in Japan is that it failed to grasp the characters' core traits and did a lot of mistakes regarding the series itself. A lot of Japanese HxH fans were furious with these changes and Nippon, in an effort to appease said fans, did fanservice instead. If you are very familiar with the manga, you will spot these "fanservicy" scenes incorporated in the Nippon version just to please the fans.

    I also watched the Nippon version and rewatched it maybe twice… a testament that I didn't enjoy it as much as the manga. For comparisons sake, I have rewatched my favorite anime (YYH) 27 times to date (the last time I watched it was 2009). The reason I didn't enjoy the Nippon version is pretty much the same as the Japanese fans. For me, the characters are someone else wearing the same face, the pacing is so dragged out and when you take into account that Togashi (creator of HxH) doesn't drag anything, it tells you something. Yes, the Nippon version have some brilliant and interesting scenes but overall, Nippon HxH version is a bad adaptation compared to its manga source and a subpar anime compared to its anime generation when it aired (One Piece, GTO, Turn A Gundam, Digimon Adventure, Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation, Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure, Hoshin Engi, Initial D, Now and Then, Here and There, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, etc.) note: I highly recommend Now and Then, Here and There. Go watch it if you have the time. This anime depressed me for a week after I finished watching it. That is how powerful it is.

    But enough of that as I'm aware that the most vocal whiners are either brats or old HxH anime tards. Let's talk about your thoughts on the episode instead :)

    I'm very pleased that a new fan/watcher enjoy the mindgames on Leorio's "fight". As someone above me said, if you don't enjoy mindgames, you wouldn't enjoy the rest of the episodes. Hunter x Hunter is not your typical shounen anime where "cool" fights are the norm and the flashier your technique, the "powerful" you are. In Hunter x Hunter, if you don't have the brains to back up your skill, you end up dead no matter how flashier your power is. You will understand as the series progress.

    The way you described how creepy and unhinged Killua is and connected it to Gon's total lack of care to what his new friend just did makes me very happy indeed. People seem to forget that children can kill and do cruel things not because they are evil but because they lack conscience and do not fully grasp the ethical consequences of their actions. What happened to Gon and Killua dismissing the killed Johness is akin to a group of children torturing a slug or any insects and after it was dead, turn around and play tag.

  9. m

    @sharame
    I would like to see some solid evidence before I accept your point that Japanese fans hated the old adaptation. As far as I can tell, the general consensus on current Japanese forums is that the old one is better (that's if the new hunterxhunter even makes the board). Also, the old one was a big hit not just in Japan but also HK and other Asian countries and the cancellation is probably due more to Togashi's slow schedule (there's a reason why the series is nicknamed HiatusxHiatus)than any flaws with the anime. Do you think anyone would bother to invest in making not just one, but THREE extra OVA series if the TV broadcast wasn't successful enough to warrant it?

    Sure the old adaptation wasn't all too faithful to the manga but personally I think Togashi is the type of manga artist whose works can benefit from well-written filler since he tends to push out a lot of interesting ideas and themes but rarely dwells on their implications.

  10. b

    Liked the old version better with Kilua holding it in his hand and then crushing it. But then again this is targeted at younger audiences and we cant have that I guess.
    It was still disturbing though seeing the gaping hole in Johness' chest and the still beating heart in a bag, or was that the cloth of his shirt.

    Janken is kinda deep huh.
    Brings a smile to me though, about Janken and Gon 😉

  11. s

    @momogoldfish

    I said "furious" NOT "hated". Furious is not synonymous to hate as most people mistake it to be. It's like parents being furious at their kids' bullheadedness. It doesn't mean that these parents hate their children just because of them being bullheaded.

    True that the Nippon HxH series was popular back in the 1999s NOT because of its superb adaptation but because it IS a HxH adaptation. Fans will take what they can get even if it's bad. It is also true that one of the reason why the HxH tv anime was canceled is that Nippon run out of manga to adapt.

    There is no way I can procure "solid evidence" since Asian people in general, don't broadcast work related issues like Westerners do. Work scandals are kept hush hush even if an individual left said work place. Japanese people in particular exercise "what goes around here, stays here" saying. Before you ask, yes, I'm Asian. However, by deducing events surrounding the circumstances around HxH anime adaptation and HxH manga timeline, a person will have a pretty good idea of a more plausible reason why the tv series got canceled.

    Anime and manga is foremost a business. This is the reason why up to now, anime series like One Piece, Naruto and Bleach is still airing. Of course, there are times that an anime will catch up to its manga source but we didn't hear OP, Naruto or even Bleach anime got canceled because they ran of material to animate. What did these animator companies do while waiting for their source to produce more materials? They did Fillers. They can do arc fillers because their show have a large and solid fanbase that will continue to watch and support the anime.

    Then why did Nippon animation not do fillers as well when other companies did especially when they didn't have problems making several in the first place? Simple. The HxH tv anime doesn't have a large following compared to other series.

  12. s

    (cont…)

    Togashi and HxH manga have a very solid fanbase in Japan. When a volume of HxH manga goes on sale, you'll bet that this volume will be on top 10 manga sales for the first few days. So why then the tv anime failed to hold that fanbase? It is because of the changes Nippon made on their adaptation. A lot of Japanese HxH manga fan were disappointed with it… much like the way Western brats and old HxH series tards are disappointed with the Madhouse version and have dropped the series as it is too different from their "great and impressive" Nippon version.

    Now to the OVAs. You asked me a question why would anyone bother to invest on 3 OVAs if the tv anime wasn't popular? Then I ask you this, why not continue the tv anime if it is really as successful as you claim it to be especially that the 1st OVA was just released 10 months after the tv series ended? OVA is comparable to direct-to-video films and we all know the circumstances of releasing direct-to-video films compared to films shown on theatre are we not? Please don't embarass yourself further.

    I don't begrudge adaptation veering a little from its source as long as it is handled good. I'm also okay with fillers as I treat it as a separate alternate reality. However, in Nippon's case, they changed HxH characters' traits and core personalities. As I've said before, it is like looking at an unknown person wearing the same face and because of these changes, they made a lot of plot inconsistencies and giant plot holes. One example is Killua. In Nippon version, when Killua was introduced, he was moody and doesn't know the word "friend" and when we get to the mini-arc after the Hunter exam, we learned that when he was younger, he tried to befriend someone (not elaborated to prevent spoiling others)… huh? He doesn't know the word "friend" but he did try to befriend someone in the past? Okay…

    There are a lot more but I'm tired of writing. Plus, English is not my first language and this response took me 3 hours to make so yeah… sorting ideas and putting it on paper, so to speak, is not fun. u_u

  13. @shareme
    Welcome, and thanks for the detailed reply! You sound like a serious HxH fan and I'm glad to have your readership.

    I have seen "Now and Then" and I agree, it's fantastic. As you know I didn't watch much of Nippon's Hunter adaptation so i can't really comment, but maybe this is a situation where it's nice not to have preconceptions.

    Regarding pacing and "mindgames"… There are plenty of action-driven shounen. One of the things I like about this one is how it's quite dark and relies on puzzling out solutions rather than combat (mostly).

    And finally, I'm sorry most people don't seem to realize that the most chilling moment of the episode is the very end, when Gon & Killua start rooting around for stuff to play with in the waiting room. That's the kind of subtlety you don't see often enough in shounen anime.

  14. M

    ^ I agree, that was very unsettling. But not only that, I was also surprised to see a lack of reaction from the rest of the group. I know I'd be terrified to sleep in the same room as the person who just ripped someone's heart out in an instant without a second thought. Makes me wonder if everyone in this anime is just apathetic towards death and murder if it doesn't concern loved ones.

    And although Kurapica and Leorio showed a bit of concern, Gon is indeed a different matter altogether. I've never seen a shounen lead act so nonchalantly after witnessing all these deaths around him.

    I confess I'm very interested in exploring the chatacters' morals. I'm even tempted to take a peek at the manga.

  15. m

    Sorry wanted to edit a bit.

    @Sharame
    I'm pretty sure that GE probably doesn't appreciate us flooding his blog with long posts so I'll keep this reply short.

    Quoting from your link:

    "However, as the original story experienced many breaks and a page reduction, the anime series soon caught up with the manga, and the only available storyline were 10 chapters from Jump that haven't even been compiled into a tankoubon yet. As a result the anime staffs took scripts from the magazine, which proved to be a fatal mistake."

    It becomes obvious at this point that anime producers have to make a choice: either push on and risk more plotholes to the point that the anime and manga storyline becomes irreconcilable or stop it and wait for more material. Remember the reason why most Jump anime can go on uninterrupted is because the producers can be certain that the manga will be churned out at a consistent rate. With Togashi? Not so much. Hence I applaude the old anime's decision to stop broadcast rather than go into one of those infamous filler arcs.

    Also I've already made my peace with this new version. I'm still interested enough to check out blogs like this and look at particularly superb scenes but not enough interest to justify sitting through the same plot points (that in my personal opinion has inferior production value) that I've seen before. I'd also still vigorously recommend the old version to everyone and anyone, not because its a faithful adaptation (which honestly it isn't), but because it is a GREAT anime that manages to stand on its own two feet despite it's open ending. Its too early to tell but I wonder if a decade onwards this new version can arouse the same kind of fevour the old version did.

  16. I'm OK with long comments momo, don't worry. People can always scroll over what they don't care about.

  17. M

    I was impressed with how they handled Killua's scene, the creepiness itself settles long after the scene ends and it leaves a rather disturbing ripple into what previously appeared to be a harmless shounen adventure. Gon's apathy itself is scary, when you think about it– while he doesn't seem to be someone who likes killing, Gon isn't against his friends killing other people. Pretty unusual for a protagonist in general, it actually makes him even more mysterious than most of the cast.

  18. s

    @Guardian Enzo

    Thanks for your warm welcome! :) Do I really sound so serious? It most probably because I'm currently disappointed with HxH fandom's current state – new fans missing the subtle nuances of the series (both manga and anime) and being vocal about it w/o taking the time to think.

    It's great that you haven't really watched the Nippon version and therefore is not hindered to biased views but I think that even if you did, you won't have trouble being objective.

    The "fights" in Hunter x Hunter are more strategical than any shounen series out there and the top tier characters are at the top not because they are only powerful but are also intelligent… like in the real world. In fact, what really get me on the series is how similar the Hunter x Hunter world is, if you take out the fantastical settings, to our world.

    HxH is a subtle shounen series… which is why, even if it is a manga for boys, adults can appreciate it as well. Kids can enjoy the cool world, characters, fights and the gore while adults enjoy the themes cleverly hidden from kids' eyes – moral, gender and sexual ambiguity, unconventional thinking, different kinds of perversion, the underworld, etc.

    @Murkel and Mira

    Gon was actually patterned from Dragonball's Goku and are both "pure" characters. In Japan, "pure" doesn't equate to "good". Goku's purity in Dragonball was shown as an endearing quality. However in Hunter x Hunter, Gon's "purity" have a sinister and disturbing side.

    I highly recommend HxH manga and I hope that more people will read it. Just a warning, you won't be able to stop reading once you get to it ^_~

    @momogoldfish

    The reason I gave you the link was to compare the timeline of both tv anime and manga release. Also, I don't see why you quoted that particular paragraph. It is just an excuse by the company why continuing the tv anime is not plausible – because of this particular "fatal (plot) mistake"; which is funny as this "mistake" is NOT the only mistake they did throughout the tv anime series.

    If you bother to look at the timeline and is familiar with how things work in the anime and manga business, you will draw the same conclusions as I and other veterans did. I'll give you a hint. Long running and popular shounen series are typically given 50-60 episodes initially and subjected to get more if it became popular. Nippon HxH tv series ended at 62 episodes.

    It seems that you really love the old HxH series and from what I gathered on your comments, was the one you've seen first. The problem is that most people generally cannot separate what they like to what is the quality of said like. In short, they fail to be objective towards something they strongly feel towards.

    As I've said, Nippon HxH is a great anime because of its story, good soundtracks/bgm, great seiyuu, very bad adaptation and pacing on the 2/3 of the series and good adaptation and pacing on the remaining 1/3 (OVAs are not included) and a subpar animation (compared to its generation). Madhouse version is also a great anime because of its storyline, atrocious soundtrack/bgm (most bgm's that were played doesn't fit the mood), seiyuu's are good and steadily improving, good adaptation and pacing (at this moment) and an okay animation (compared to its generation).

  19. G

    @shareme
    This is a pretty good/interesting post. I agree with just about everything you've said, though I wouldn't say that the music in the new adaptation is atrocious–subpar, maybe.

    Something that many of the English-speaking HxH fans won't realize is how differently the characters all speak in the 1999 series. Togashi's dialogue in general typically sounds natural; his characters all have a distinct voice.

    Gon in particular felt like a different protagonist in the 1999 series because the screenwriters couldn't decide whether or not to make him more polite or have him sound as he does in the manga. In the manga, Gon speaks in an informal manner. He exclusively calls Ging his "old man." But in the 1999 series, Gon's niceties are emphasized and he speaks in a different way from his manga incarnation. He calls Ging "father" and much of what he says is dumbed down to a point. The 2011 series mostly preserves the manga dialogue, so the characters sound like themselves.

  20. In a nushell, this is what I'm seeing:

    1999 series was not faithful to the manga

    2011 series is more faithful to the manga, but not to the 1999 series

    Most viewers see the 2011 as less faithful, because they consider the 1999 more "canon" than the manga

  21. s

    ^ pretty much this.

    Oh well, let's just enjoy the series. Both of the anime adaptation are good on its own (but also have faults) and differed from each other because they focused on different facets/perspective of the manga.

    @Glossa Bingo

    "Atrocious" was kind of strong there, ne? Maybe because the BGM keeps distracting me when I'm watching HxH (when I watch something on screen, I fully immersed myself on the experience – literally putting myself on the world I'm seeing). This is why I like it when on this episode, there was no BGM throughout the heart ripping scene… it's really creepy. *shudders*

    I feel sorry for Gon because if you'll just watched the tv anime and OVAs then continued on the manga chapter where it stopped, he'll appear as someone who have multiple personalities. Which is the most probable reason why many fans can't seem to understand Gon's character esp. during the highly controversial arc.

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