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HUNTER X HUNTER Has Totally Lost My Interest, Now

Episode #101-110. Runny-nose girl is having a laugh at our expense.

Oh, it’s easy to list a countless number of evil villains, sinister antagonists and diabolical big bad’s, but I’m starting to see that ‘comfort’ is actually the greatest enemy super heroes. And it’s just as much of a threat to the storytellers creating them...

Watch enough of these shows, and it’s clear that the key to making a serial successfully compelling is a constant state of urgency. The heroes need to always be fighting stronger foes, with the odds stacked against them, and the clock must be ever ticking down for the safety of imperiled innocents. In other words, stakes. Doing that requires discipline as a storyteller, and I reckon that most complaints fans have with superheroic fiction - - on either side of the Pacific - - stem from the creators drifting too far from that sense of urgency.

Have you ever complained about an American comic being impenetrable due to its complicated continuity? That’s really the result of the creators getting overly focused on organizing their lore, and drifting too far away from telling a story with stakes.

And that’s exactly what’s going on in this arc. You have a crew who’s so comfortable in the success of their show - - because they’re coming off a previous show that already won over viewers - - that they’re basically just hanging out. Whatever sense of danger built up by the rise of the Chimera Ant Queen has been spent. And these characters aren't even fun to hang out with, like the cast of ONE PIECE.

I step back from these ten episodes and can’t quantify what’s taking up all the real estate. The King breaks from his evil campaign to play Go against some random girl with a runny nose? The heroes take three hours of screen time to plot a raid they haven’t gone through with yet? There’s exactly one interesting scene - - the volcanic battle with the lion chimera. The rest is taken up by scenes of heroes and villains just sort-of ambling along. There’s no sense of urgency. No danger. No stakes. The show's comfortable in itself.

It’d be bearable if HxH were parodying tropes, like DBZ often did - - but I don’t think that’s Togashi’s game here. If there’s any joke here, it’s on us, and he’s the only one in on it. I’m going to power through the remaining episodes, until I’m caught up, because I pledged to do that. I don’t expect to stick around, viewing it week-to-week after that, though.

If this ‘saga’ isn’t wrapped up by then… well… then my sympathies to whoever’s slogged through this over the past year. If ever a show needed a hiatus, this would be it.

Watch Episode #110 "Confusion X and X Expectation" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the last batch of episodes.

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
rubberluffyon May 8, 2014 at 2:59 p.m.

Yeah, once again I don't think you really understand the themes this arc is going for. Komugi vs The King IS one of the biggest and defining battles in this arc, and it defines pretty much the rest of it. An all powerful, super-genius being, created to rule over all creation...can't beat a blind girl who can't even speak straight at a boardgame. The whole point of this arc is that the Ants aren't the Big Bads who need to be killed by the Good Guys, but that they're another species who are at odds with the ones who consider themselves already at the top. The King is one of the best developed characters in the entire series, too.

And they give numerous reasons why the invasion of the Palace can't just be started whenever. The Hunters are understaffed and overworked, the capabilities of the Ants are mostly unknowns, not to mention the state of the palace. They can't start the attack for 10 days, so they have to do whatever they can during those 10 days to get ready. Going in Gung-Ho is a great way for it all to go to shit.

I will forever stand by that this arc is one of the best I've ever read/watch, not just in Shonen manga/anime, but anime/manga period, and Madhouse has done an astounding job with it.

Kino88on May 8, 2014 at 3:31 p.m.
For me this show was by far at its best during the York New arc (still can't believe that name) because not only Did we have stakes, we had cool and compelling baddies That did the sort of things baddies do, and it all moved at a reasonable pace greed island was pointless And the chimera ant arc was over flowing with potential when it started, But then step by agonizing step it throws all that potential into oblivion And I am left yet again completely gobsmacked by how poorly This genre handles pacing, So yes I agree Tom, why?, why drag out and elaborate on material that is at the end of The day tasty junk food, I mean really Togashi, your not writing the Old Testament here, It's a shonen action serial, how about a bit more focus!!, Any way back to Jo Jo,
Lurkeroon May 8, 2014 at 3:59 p.m.

You were warned, Tom. I like HxH in the beginning, but I eventually started sloughing and then stopped and just started skipping though episodes.

Watch enough of these shows, and it’s clear that the key to making a serial successfully compelling is a constant state of urgency. The heroes need to always be fighting stronger foes, with the odds stacked against them, and the clock must be ever ticking down for the safety of imperiled innocents. In other words, stakes.

The problem I had with HxH is that as the stakes increased the heroes never got more serious. It didn't bother me much with shows like DBZ because it was well established that characters can be revived from the dead and have infinite power levels. In HxH these people are fighting live or die yet they still haven't called in a hunter army to wipe out the ants. One on one fights are boring. None of them are being strategic in a way that satisfies me.

I agree that The King is a great character showing the evolution of the human condition, but his progression is surrounded by one of the slowest and most plodding plots I have ever witnessed. The Hunters are understaffed? There was an island full of hunters during Greed Island and an arena full of hunters during the tournaments. At no point did Ging and his "top men" show up. How are the hunters understaffed when they haven't even called upon all the help they can get? I don't remember the last time any government military got involved either.

Donwunon May 8, 2014 at 7:46 p.m.

- well said

Even though i am a big proponent for this series i have to admit the pace for this particular arc is very disappointing. It definitely could have been double the pace, but saying that i still feel in terms of context and writing this is still a very thought provoking and well characterised arc....exploring many themes more on a seinen level....and for that i can understand why many have fallen off this series

Togashi had the same issues with pacing and hiatus with the manga so i freely admit it's perplexing for the anime adaptation to carry those bad traits on....but still i find the story truly engrossing but the pacing is extremely bad

I guess this has fallen into the acquired taste category for the masses now but in no way do i feel this show is an overall failure due to lack of tension......the tension for this saga is not found in the physical action....it's in the implications of the threat this species pertain to

Ultimately it's like a chess game now...very interesting and strategic but ultimately slow and uneventful from an ascetic standpoint

DemonGodSamaKaion May 8, 2014 at 7:49 p.m.

As a Biased shonen anime lover I have to say this about HxH..... As a Anime as a whole i love this show. It keeps me interested and coming back week to week. After every episode I feel like a crack junkie looking for my next golden rainbow next week lol.

BUT.. I have One Major issue with this show that has been an ONGOING ONE since the show started back in 2005......And that issue is...

THERE ARE NO REAL CLIMACTIC EPIC BATTLES.

THERE ARE NO EPIC ANIME DEFINING BATTLES LIKE:

GOKU VS FRIEZA

LUFFY VS ANYONE

NARTUO vs PAIN

ICHIGO VS ULQUIORRA

Nothing.. Instead you get some ANTICLIMACTIC fucking Fast-forwarded ending to ANY MAJOR FIGHT IN THE SERIES...... FOR EXAMPLE

:-----HUNTER EXAM ARC ENDING--- Gon and Killa get to the penultimate stage of the hunter exam and now must participate in the tournament.----- BUT THEN YOU GET THIS.. " BTW GON YOU GOT FUCKED UP AND STARTED CRYING * INSERT 15 SECOND FLASHBACK HEREOF ACTUALLY EVENTS* Heres your hunter badge Gon!??

Ok maybe next arc we will get some sort of epic battle..........................NOPE!

Zoldeck Family Arc-- Nothing happens.... OK maybe next arc........................

Heavens Area Arc... ok here we get some low level battles but still no Real ANIME DEFINING BATTLE. OK there's gotta be a series defining battle in the next one there's just got to....

York New City Arc- WOW ne opening with some bad ass-akatsuki like looking fruittards!! (seriously.... A BOXING MUMMY TOGASHI?? Are you high?!!? WTF.) -BUT NO!!!!! Instead we get some JASON BORNE/24/Mission impossible cat a mouse run around with the Leader of the fruit tards LOSING HIS POWERS and going to the east to find his new faith in Islam..... Are you kidding me?? Is this real life????

Video game arc....SKIPPED.... YEAH I SKIPPED IT DON'T JUDGE ME I WASN'T GONNA WATCH THAT!!!lol

OK Finally Its time for the CHIMERA ANT ARC- Ok Now I can tell that this article was only based up to episode 110 but IF YOU HAVE READ MY POST FROM THE BEGINNING do not be surprised about what happens next....because you will get blue balls! Ha ha thanks for reading.

sickVisionz moderator on May 9, 2014 at 5:21 a.m.

I actually didn't mind the go matches but the rest is kinda bunk. Hunter x Hunter always had bad shonen tropes but in stuff like York New and even Greed Island (to a certain extent) it was at least executing things in a way that always came off better than it seemed like it should be if you just wrote the story setups on a sheet of paper and looked at it. Now it's not and it's not funny like Soul Eater or One Piece to make up for it and sadly, things only get worse once the raid starts.

The very first episode or two of The Raid kicks of in an interesting way due to how the Go matches start shaping the King and there's a flashback about the old the old guy that's kinda interesting but then it's even more of a slog than this part.

Coming into this arc, HxH was my favorite battle shonen series airing. The arc isn't done yet and I've dropped it completely. Haven't watched it in a month. The fall off is ridiculous. I haven't researched it that much but I hear that the manga is constantly going on hiatus so I get the feeling it really only gets worse and worse and the author is struggling to stay interested in the show and produce good content.

@DemonGodSamaKai said:

BUT.. I have One Major issue with this show that has been an ONGOING ONE since the show started back in 2005......And that issue is...

THERE ARE NO REAL CLIMACTIC EPIC BATTLES.

Heaven's Area had a pretty awesome battle between Gon and Hisoka and York New had an amazing one with Kirupika and the big dude. Ulqiorra vs Ichigo didn't happen until some 272 episodes into the series (and is far from the best fight imo... you have to go to filler arcs to get that from Bleach) and Pain vs Naruto was exactly 167 into Shippuden. I bring that up to say that HxH hasn't been on for that long yet so I don't think it's exactly fair to use them as an example of what it's lacking. I would say though that those are some of the biggest fights but they at least gave you a lot of great looking ones along the way to their best (although I don't think the Bleach one is the best by a long shot). HxH was doing that for me but then it stopped. It's been a long time since HxH did a great scene and what's worse, it reminds me of early One Piece where fights that seem like the studio would go all out for are ending up pretty disappointing and they're spending forever on them.

Kino88on May 9, 2014 at 5:59 a.m.
I also thought the go setup between that girl and the king was Pretty neat, I certainty did not see it coming and it dose make the King more interesting, as for that raid on the palace, dear god....that Was painful, did we really need a whole episode dedicated to how octopus Dude plans to trap beetle man?, ugh.... Just get on with it!,
jj_jacksonon May 9, 2014 at 6:06 p.m.

it seems this arc will foreverhave fans of hxh on one side or another. its almost like your appreciating the character development of the king or your not. i admit the minor ants parts which i have said before are kinda boring. the only part i ever lost interest with was how long the approach to the palacce was. the king vs netero literally makes up for any short comings. i will stand by this arc as well. i think its still one of the best arcs in hxh. and its funny because each piece of this puzzle matters later. the snot nosed girl happens to play a major role. i noticed from the first episode she was in she made the king more dangerous but also more human.. any who to each his own i guess

Marshal Victory is online on May 9, 2014 at 9:43 p.m.

"Have you ever complained about an American comic being impenetrable due to its complicated continuity?"

Nope but I can tell you as some one who watched over comic stores before. Those that did were not that interested in that comic to begin with. Friend found it cool so they had to or some such. Bandwagon jumpers want a soft landing not hard homework.Oddly if the landing is soft then their is no want to bandwagon jump.

As for the rest. This may be the longest series of Watch an Learns I have disagreed on opinion with Tom. Think your more at this point thirsty for whacky zany shonen lite.Like the earlyer arcs. Than say the deeper darker drama slow sipping shonen. Some times desire for one can make another taste bad. Then again opinions vary.

SpectroRaphaelon May 10, 2014 at 2:26 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: There's nothing wrong with drama, but when it isn't balanced out by other elements, it leaves a bad taste.

Most of the praise that I see for the arc is for it being "deep and dark" or the "character development", 2 things I don't consider to make a series good. The King and the Royal Guard are great characters, but the other ants are not very outstanding, and the sequence of events themselves do have pretty dragged out parts.

Basically, I don't think that having good themes is enough to save an arc. It must be balanced out, but this arc has been very wishy-washy.

Marshal Victory is online on May 10, 2014 at 4:53 p.m.

@SpectroRaphael: But none of the other arcs were not balanced an the same people who praised those an bash this one. So basically it boils down to opinion. An every ones got one an thats great. Other arcs had a different theme an style to them than this one.

But when people try to say this is bad an you should see it as bad to, or vise versa thats not in the slightest informative its just campaigning for class president. My opinions are my own. Just speaking for my self. Arc has been slow an dark a lot of drama vs the other arcs . Plus Gon is showing his serious stubborn side. I am enjoying the arch an no matter how much others try to say its bad from this point on an they had already quit an missed other parts. Their not gona convince me "ohh gee it was bad! Silly me for enjoying something that you think is bad."

Simply put eh opinions vary. Now I agree deep an dark an character development will not make a arc good. Unless thats what your in the mood for then that alone is enuff to make it good for you. Some kinda missing there is a theme in this that not every one is what we think they are in HxH. Some will quit before they see it . Some may never connect the dots. But the perception of the characters was different then what they end up doing in this arc. Not all but some major characters have much different sides to them.

jj_jacksonon May 11, 2014 at 8:50 a.m.

i agree with you.i just honestly see it as bandwagon jumping. i mean people do have their own opinions but it seems more to me peopleb are saying its bad because other people says its bad. they mold the show in their mind by what they would like it to be.

the york new arc had small similarities to this one yet no one complains. the episodes with kurapikas fellow body guards could be compared to the episodes about the minor ants. no one says anything about gon arm wrestling or auctioning for an entire episode.

i honestly like all the arcs. and despite what people say this arc stands out enough from any other anime to make this arc extremel rememorable

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