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HUNTER X HUNTER #43 + 44 is Full of Filler!

Episode #43 + 44 -- Watch & Learn. Except for this.

If there’s a dial that measures the filler quotient of any given episode, I have to think it was rather furiously licking the red during most of episode #43. 'Filler' is when the focus shifts to supporting characters and other incidental characters that you don’t care about, no? Well, the Phantom Troupe never got a clear and proper introduction, so it was tough feeling for them this time (let alone keeping track of a single member’s name).

Again, going back to YU YU HAKUSHO and all the random tag teams that were introduced during the “Dark Tournament” arc, I have to think that Togashi plays a game with himself every time he introduces a new group of bad guys. How lame can he make their designs and still get away with it? I was thinking about that a lot when the Shadow Beasts were taking up precious screen time. Sure, the way the one Phantom Trouper patiently kills them, one after another, was alternately kickass and wickedly funny; but the portions where they all get into exhaustive detail about their powers felt seriously padded.

And what’s another word for padding? Oh, right. Filler.

There were definitely some nuggets of prime meat scattered throughout the filler, don’t get me wrong. The sheer absurdity of these bad guys mowing all the gangsters down until there’s pretty much a river of strawberry jam is too metal not to get into. And the image of that whole mess getting sucked up with a magic vacuum was too absurd not to find amusing. And the 30-episodes-in-the-making callback/payback about Kurapika’s hatred for the Spider Gang was actually quite satisfying (don't forget, kids - - there's actually some pathos to this character!)

However, the pace is so slow, and the excessive expositional lines are so numerous, that I almost wish there were a third version of this series that tightened the pacing even further. Sheesh.

Watch A × Shocking × Tragedy" and “Buildup × To A × Fierce Battle" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
Donwunon Feb. 26, 2014 at 9:21 a.m.

I see where you're coming from with this but Filler is quite a strong term in the anime community that usually equates to completely skippable and unnecessary

For it only being one episode and having some character relevance i wouldn't exactly call it filler but i can understand that sometimes from the offset it may seem that way if you are not sure if certain characters or elements will be built upon later on

In that respect it's interesting to see how things can seem to be filler at first but once the arc is complete, in retrospect can be observed as finely tuned build up

Believe me Tom this really does not need a third pass at all. The pacing is excellent this time around.....and unlike others i wasn't all that bothered with the original version either...but this is certainly superior

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 26, 2014 at 1:58 p.m.

@Donwun: Yeah i agree. "Filler" is used on many anime sites as non canon skipable episodes. Shonen suffers from this more than any theme or gene. Can think of archs in Bleach that were filler an went no where. Im catching up on Naruto now an their seems to be almost a whole season of it.

Now character background padding would fit. Tho this is for all purposes canon. But "Filler" not so much. Think of this arch as sand in a hour glass an as the sand runs out things go faster an faster.

Kino88on Feb. 26, 2014 at 5:37 p.m.
Well considering the only real focus this show has had so far involved the Hunter exam, I don't see how any of this comes off as filler, especially since Kurapika's hatred for the Phantom Troupe has already been fore shadowed In past episodes, besides that Gon, Killua, and Leorio are already present In York New city, In this show at least, I'd say as long as one of the major players are Involved it's no less filler than what's come before,
zaldaron Feb. 28, 2014 at 6:50 p.m.

Isn't filler pretty narrowly defined as episodes of a series based on a manga that don't have a manga equivalent? Usually used when an anime catches up to a running manga and needs something to fill time while the manga writes more stories?

rubberluffyon March 2, 2014 at 9:03 a.m.

Stuff like the Shadow Beasts vs Uvo, even though they're just fodder for him to destroy, helps flesh out how Nen can really vary by individual, while cementing the Troupe and Uvo especially as legitimate threats. It helps flesh out the world and the story, calling it filler is a little much.

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