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Anime Spotlight; Hunter x Hunter

Today I'm going to review Hunter X Hunter. The first thing you all should know is where I'm getting my impressions from. I have seen the first fifteen episodes, dubbed in english, from Viz's first DVD set.

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With that said, Hunter x Hunter is the second Shonen Jump manga by Yu Yu Hakusho creator Yoshihiro Togashi. As such, one who watches this show should most certainly expect Shonen Jump tropes. Ironically, Hunter x Hunter's protagonist, Gon, is as far as you can get from Yu Yu Hakusho's smart ass streetwise Yusukue (excepting that they're both heroic types). Gon Freecss has been raised by his aunt thinking his parents were dead. However, a chance encounter with a hunter, which from what I can tell are the equivalent of Naruto's Ninjas, has Gon learn that his father, Ging Freecss, is not only alive but also a legendary hunter as well! Gon then and there decides he also wants to be a hunter, both to be like his father and also in hopes to meet his father. Along the way he meets several friends who share his ambition to become a hunter for various reasons, and they stick together trying to make it through the very strange and tricky Hunter's Exam.

Characters

Gon Freecss Gon is a fairly naive youth but has a mysterious ability to generally understand animals, as well as generally understand things around him. Such ability is shown in recognizing the coming of a storm, or simply telling apart two magical beasts of the same species apart. Gon is gentle and kind, but will do what he can to help others and is always happy to test his ability. His strange choice of a sort of weapon is a fishing pole, which he both uses to smack people with as well as simply use as a makeshift grappling hook. Also, he just likes to fish with it. Gon wishes to become a Hunter because his father is a well known one, and hopes to meet him having previously thought his parents were deceased.
Kurapika Kurapika is the last surviving member of the Kurta clan, the rest having been slain by the Phantom Troupe. Kurapika has since decided to become a Black List Hunter in order to seek revenge for the death of his clan. During times of great tribulation or emotional trauma, Kurapika's eyes turn red and his personality and demeanor seem to grow more heartless into a self preservation like mode. Otherwise, Kurapika is a calm and intelligent person. He is compassionate, but also somewhat secretive. His main weapon is a nunchuk.
Leorio Leorio is the first of the friends Gon meets up with, saving him from trouble a few times. He claims his reasons for wanting to be a hunter are simply monetary, but it is later revealed he wants to be a doctor because of a sick brother he has or had. Due to the nature of the strange crack dream in where this was revealed, I'm not sure if his sick brother is dead or alive. He does seem the most worldly of the group.
Killua Killua Zoldyck is a member of the Zoldyck family, a family of assasins. Trained since birth to be a ruthless killer, eventually Killua left the family. He meets Gon and the rest at the Hunters Exam riding his skateboard instead of jogging with the rest to keep up with the proctor. Killua grew quickly fond of Gon and has spared people he wanted to kill because, "Gon wouldn't want me to kill them". Killua appears to be in conflict with himself wether or not he wants to be a ruthless killer, and at one point talks to himself and acts in a way that makes me believe he might have MPD.

Review

In watching these first fifteen episodes, I have found Hunter x Hunter to be a thoroughly enjoyable romp into a fantasy world. I can highly reccomend this anime to anyone who enjoys any other shonen jump title such as Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, One Peice, Naruto or Bleach. In addition I feel the whimsical fantasy nature of the show would be enjoyed by other anime fans as well. I wouldn't say this is the best of shonen jump however, sporting far too much sillyness for hardcore action fans. For example, look at the style of their episode titles:

The DVD listings would show them horizontal to eachother, so for example this one would be "Exploration x Guts x Stowaway". While I found it to be a lovely refreshing departure from traditional episode titles, the show carries a silly manner to it to match this. As such I would say I give this anime four out of five stars. I highly reccomend this anime.

Where to Buy:
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-Bryan "Laserkid" Johnson

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