All the while, as I’ve been waxing rhapsodic about YU YU HAKUSHO, you lunatics have been asking met to check out this - - one of Togashi’s other major creations. Two occurrences don’t make a trend, so I won’t get carried away with trying to make any deep insights into the guy’s artistic ethos, but as a base observation, I can say that both of these shows don’t waste any time getting down to business.
You all know about my distaste for shows that don’t “get good” until episode 8. I have even greater disinterest in the sort of boring, “everyday life” scenes we often have to trudge through in order to supposedly gain sympathy for young protagonists. Just as Yusuke was immediately placed in the predicament of trying to escape the afterlife, young Gon here immediately pulls off a larger-than-life fishing feat which sets him right out on the perilous path of becoming a capital-H Hunter. Considering how he’s already formed what seems to be 3/4ths of his typical shonen “frenemy” band, I really feel like Togashi does us the courtesy of cutting through several episodes of needless set-up we all could predict, anyway.
That said, in comparison to HAKUSHO’s opener, this pilot really doesn’t end on that compelling of a cliffhanger. Gon’s made friends and impressed the ship captain with his sea worthiness - - great, for him! I don't necessarily need to tune in next week, do I?
Yeah, not every show needs to have constantly-high levels of conflict. However, if we’re getting down into the minute specifics of what makes a show work - - and this column’s all about minute specifics, no? - - it’s worth nothing that HAKUSHO #1 ended with a tantalizing-unresolved situation that made me want to watch #2 immediately. This, though? I enjoyed it well enough, but it easily could be a stand-alone and I wouldn’t lose any sleep wondering what lied next for the plucky crew.
Watch this episode, "Departure x And x Friends" here and decide for yourself.