CAUTION: In D.A.R. Sam Weller enjoys a few brews and reviews the latest DVD releases. He is over 21, will NOT be behind the wheel of a car, and encourages everyone to do the same no matter the circumstance. Enjoy your anime responsibly!
All you Vicers have been waiting for someone on staff to take a look at this show, so I decided to wash out the various tastes TORIKO left in my mouth and give this one a try. And after a great Vice Pit discussion with Tom about shonen shows and their merits I was looking forward to this one.
And I decided to enhance my excitement with my favorite pastime... booze.
After only a few episodes, I can see what the hype about HUNTER X HUNTER is about.
This is the beginning of a new arc for our heroes as Gon and Killua journey with their new bro-pal Kite to a near-forbidden country to investigate the deadly Chimera Ant that is slowly amassing an army of monsters. The queen ant's aim? To give birth to an even badder Big Bad that will surely threaten... blah, blah, blah. I'm already interested, don't worry.
One laaaaast caveat before I pontificate from my inebriated roost: I haven't watched, heard, or read ANYTHING else about this show before I started looking at these episodes. I checked out the wiki only after these 'eps' just to clarify some points.
We good? O-kay Doe-kay. *urrp*
While I usually recommend a mixed-drink variety of drank to drunk (?) yourself, I've decided to do a CHEAP PLUG for the latest sketch I starred in (read: one liner). It features GAME OF THRONES and BEER. Don't worry, it's only fair. Listen closely at the end and you'll hear me plug the Vice Pit
So here's the beer I'm drinking right now as I write this article. The good ol' standby Shock Top but the seasonal brew version: Honeycrisp Apple Wheat! I just love apples. And apple pie... mmmmm...
ALRIGHT! Enough with the non-anime and the drinks. Onto the review!
I like that our protagonists, Gon and Killua actually LOOK and BEHAVE like kids. In these episodes, they meet another hunter by the name of Kite. 'Hunters' are essentially just adventurers. Combinations of archeologists, explorers and martial artists - - except they don't hunt food this time around!
What a relief.
The world of HUNTER X HUNTER seems to be a very recent-feeling mirror of our's. People have smart phones and computers, and in general, the hunters' jobs are kind of practical. They are researchers and explorers and seem to get PAID by companies. It's a structure that really works and makes sense.
(Wow, that's the most cognizant I've ever sounded).
Also, every time I hear the name “Gon” I think of the dinosaur:
So even though this gives drunk, awful, absentee fathers an excuse not to raise their kids directly, Gon figures out that his recent adventures have been planned in advance by his father in order to "toughen him up." Or something like that. I liked that the metafffor - - ahem - - metaphorical search for a father figure was replaced with a literal one.
BUT... I didn't really learn much about the characters here besides "Gon is a really good kid" and "Hunters are generally kind of good." Hopefully more character dynamics emerge as I watch this stuff.
Finally, there’s a really apt allusion to Tom and I’s discussion recently about ONE PIECE, in which Gon is offered his father’s current whereabouts and he refuses. Can’t have the hunt end too early, you know! If that was going to be such a throwaway, why even mention it?
Also, while I found the building of the Chimera Ant's hive and power structure within incredibly interesting (TALKING ANIMALS, YOU GUYS) I think the beginnings of the hunters' search could have been spiced up a little more.
The Chimera Ant Queen and her followers are awesome monster designs that I would have LOVED as a kid. But the koala that spits poisonous booze at people (that drains them of their moisture?) is kind of disturbing. I'm looking forward to his fights because he really makes me want to... want to...
*BRRP* I think I'm done.
As you could surmise from the, uh... size of my sections in this one, this is the first D.A.R. where the show brought the goods. I'm stuck to this show like the solid masses accumulating inside my liver.
While it isn't perfect, and leans a bit on setup in these episodes, I appreciated that nothing truly STUPID happens in this show. This is a very pure adventure concept, with no room so far it seems for fanservice, needless comedy, or the like.
And, as a result, it's a breath of fresh air in the shonen landscape.
Expect another one of these reviews in the future. My drunk cries could use a break from time to time.
So check the episodes out for yourself here and let me know what you thought about this new arc so far in the comments. I'll be catching up to the most recent run of episodes soon!
Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recentlyBATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow@cravesam