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Seriously, When Did HUNTER X HUNTER Jump the Shark?

Episode #92-100 -- Watch & Learn. What's going on?

Was there a precise moment when HxH jumped the shark? I don’t know if we’re looking at a drop-off here so much as a conceit that was never going to sustain itself for that long. This whole show has always smelt of a mangaka playing a storytelling game with himself instead of setting out to tell an actual story. Togashi has said as much, it’s been obvious throughout the entire watching, I’ve commented on it in almost every write-up… and the novelty’s finally wearing off.

If you step back and look at the 'science' of shonen, these endless serials more-or-less get by forever on whatever good will they collect at the beginning. The first few episodes are slow-paced, spent entirely on making you like the characters so much that you’ll follow them wherever they go, no matter how tedious the journey gets. You listen to fans talk about ‘powering through’ filler, or ‘checking in’ every few episodes during that filler, and it speaks to an odd sense of obligation to the characters.

That used to sound silly to me but, here I am, on the other side of it. I didn’t actually enjoy the show over these nine episodes, but I weirdly felt like I owed it to Gon and Killua to show up. Why? Because they were working hard…?

And I’m convinced that Togashi’s long ball aim has always been to see how much loyalty he can engender with heroes as thinly sketched as these guys. I still like Gon and Killua, don’t get me wrong, but… why are they here? Gon isn’t that committed to finding his father. Killua isn’t that committed to going straight and vanquishing evil.

Even when the show throws these characters into a war for half a season, it’s like Togashi’s trying to make the threat as spongy as possible. Over nine episodes, you have one or two awesome scenes of the King making scary moves with his invasion, and they’re sprinkled over what? Gon goes on a play date? This side character rumbles around with that side character on the highway?

This is the most obfuscating epic I've ever come across. It’s the unfortunate resort of an animation studio having to crank out a show every week that's based on a story even the creator evidently doesn’t care about.

Watch "Search X and X Pursue” and decide for yourself, then read my comments about 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
Kino88on May 2, 2014 at 2:46 p.m.
I don't really feel the show has ever jumped the shark so to speak, If any thing I would still defend this arc for some how making the moments inbtween All the usual shonen fighting (though there is that) more interesting, Stick with it Tom, the king is about to have a very strange encounter that makes for one Of the more inspired ideas I've seen from this show, I will admit the pacing for this show really bites at times, but trust me the approch To the palace gets super intense, so for me it's been well worth the grind so far,
rubberluffyon May 2, 2014 at 2:53 p.m.

Yeah, you're way off. And it's kind of insulting to assume Togashi doesn't care about this arc, because it's really evident that he cared a little too much. And it all leads up to an amazing series of payoffs, one of which has already happened in a recent episode. Characters like Knuckle, Shoot, Palm, Morel, Knov are all main or semi-main characters now, and this arc in regards to Gon is about him losing his innocence and Killua maybe losing his only friend, but it's bigger than they are. Gon's deeply wrapped up in it because of Kite (which the anime kinda lessens the impact of because of introducing him so late instead of in episode 1 like it should have), and Killua isn't going to abandon Gon. Nothing about this arc is about defeating a big evil bad, it's about humanity.

Most of the characters in the CA arc are more core to the series than Leorio ever was. And Morel and Knuckle are the two of the best HxH characters, period.

jj_jacksonon May 2, 2014 at 3:51 p.m.

Ill personally defend this arc as well. In between the king being born and the approach to palace is quite jarring at times but to anyone who watches should agree that 80% of when they get to the palace was well worth the wait. Knuckle shoot palm knov and morrel I wouldnt consider side characters. Any chimera ant besides the king and the guards I would consider side characters..if anything they had the most annoying parts in this arc not knuckle or morrel or shoot.

Just because gon isnt focused on his father 100 % of the time doesnt mean everything else is iirrelevant. thats like sayin luffy isnt trying to be the pirate king just because he ventures off on an island and gets side tracked by wanting to save kids. Doesnt make his goal less insignificant at all. You just kinda go for the ride.

An episodes ago hunter x hunter had what I would considered one of the best episodes of the year in this arc and one of the best in its history id say.

hitsusatsu11on May 2, 2014 at 5:09 p.m.

Episode 1

Destinyheroknighton May 2, 2014 at 5:22 p.m.

I think it because Togashi have more freedom then other Shonen series Mangaka, that allow him to go wild with his imagination.

sickVisionz moderator on May 2, 2014 at 5:31 p.m.

I don't think it jumped the shark. To me, jumped the shark means something ridiculous for the fiction happens that exceeds any established suspension of disbelief. They set up since episode one that the world is pretty crazy.

What I would say, is that if you wrote down the plot points of the story arcs on paper, they seemed horrible and really generic. However, when you actually watched it, they flipped things enough to kinda spin things on it's head and executed it well enough to always catch you off guard that it wasn't as generic or bad as you might have thought. It was really impressive because the show got more and more tropey as it went on yet somehow was able to keep up the little twists on tropes here and there to remain interesting.

All good things must come to an end and sadly this is where it ca...

Wait... wait.... I just read the article.

Over nine episodes, you have one or two awesome scenes of the King making scary moves with his invasion, and they’re sprinkled over what? Gon goes on a play date? This side character rumbles around with that side character on the highway?

Oh man, that's where you are. This is not the worst of it. I thought you were into the actual invasion where all the kinda crummy side characters take over the show for like 2-3 months worth of episodes. I said this last time... but this isn't the bad part. It gets a lot worse.

Lurkeroon May 2, 2014 at 5:39 p.m.

This is the point where I started falling off of HxH as well.

It's evident that many people enjoy the latter half of the Chimera Ant Arc, but I started losing interest around the time that Knuckle was introduced and even after Kite was killed the characters didn't seem to get more serious about the impending war. One of the strongest hunters in the world killed with ease, yet Gon and Killua are sent to train in order to prove themselves strong enough to battle. They don't have time for that! Call some hunters and get this over with.

"War" should be in quotes. There are scenes when characters are literally playing around and waiting while the whole world is in danger. HxH set itself up as a serious shonen, but over time it lost that charm and just became typical.

@rubberluffy: I think those payoffs are rather small considering the previous arc when Gon was willing to get his hands blown off in order to win. Gon previously said that Killua should fight no matter what and also said that killing is wrong, and suddenly Killua is on the other side of the innocence argument? Too shifty for my tastes.

@sickVisionz: I didn't think the twists on the tropes were interesting at all. There is a serious amount of "training" and "waiting" for the sake of delay.

Marshal Victoryon May 3, 2014 at 12:36 p.m.

1st off lets go back to the "Jump the shark" that refers to happy days tv sitcom where Fonzie jumps the shark...

Now most people .. ok almost all people use this saying wrong. Most believe its when a show does something out of character an drops its popularity. Or that its lost its mojo. Fact is after this episode the Happy Days tv series popularity gained not droped. The ratings went threw the roof. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/03/entertainment/la-et-jump-the-shark-20100903

So please stop using it wrong an keeping the misinformation/ myth of what it means alive. When a guy like me with a 8th grade spelling an 10th grade english use knows this is wrong context it should be a warning call.

Some things else missed in this watch an learn question. How can you miss Gons motives an Killia at this point? Gon is a stubborn but honest an actually virtuous 13/14ish year old kid. Killia wants to be Gon's friend an hated his former life because it lacked motive that Gon's has. They both love challenge. An both are loyal to their friends.Like the hunter the ants took.

Sure Gon's journey started with his want to see his father but its now 3rd down the list of important things to him. His friends jumped atop the list. Would say learning new powers would be second. This change what reflected in the episodes as his world grew so changed his motives.

The reason Pam is attracted to Gon is because of his honesty. An if anything the series goes all over the place an takes unexpected turns with calm dramatic flare. Never once have I watched a series where I feel I owe the characters. That its a chore or I have this "burden" placed upon me.

This brings me back to expectations. No show ,movie , book , painting, video game, or any version of entertainment will live up to your own expectations. Which can be set so high that you will almost always be disappointed an left jaded for the wear. If by chance a show is not your cup of tea then by all means stop drinking.

That said Hunter x Hunter has broken the rules of shonen an shows things from different angles. It builds an nice amount of suspense an drama along side the silly side of what it is. This is not a it gets better later part. Its a you may have missed alot of the show point. But yeah it gets epic as it progresses.

Donwunon May 3, 2014 at 5:44 p.m.

and this is again why even labeling and confining series to certain groupings can backfire and make you expect things to pan out in a pre conceived way

Shounen this may be but it's a story first and foremost...there is no rule that ANY story has to stick to any kind of shape even if it is set between certain age guidelines

If you don't enjoy the show Tom, hey i get it but honestly i'm more disappointed that on these binge watches you seem to focus solely on what you don't like and phase out the rest with a whim of a mention. I do understand when something drags out you tend to get frustrated and vent out your issues but your kinda sweeping this show under a rug now and making it seem much worst then it actually is. I mean we both didn't enjoy Kill La Kill but you seemed to at least give an equal look at the good and bad...here it seems pretty knee jerk reactiony to after you finish each batch - it's your opinion (which i respect) but this is coming off very one sided which is not what i usually see from you

I mean you have actually gone back and tried to defend the dragged out elements of DBZ which is notorious for filler and padding on a much worst level

Surely the show deserves a little more attention than this.....9 episodes...only 2 good elements......i didn't even hear you mention anything about confrontations with Kite, reprecuttions of characters actions / assumptions and you are certainly close to catching up now

hmmm

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