Saturday, June 17, 2017

Hunter x Hunter - Why It's Not Perfect

Written by Shiggins

Hunter x Hunter is returning... again... for now!

So to celebrate the temporary return of one of the best Shonens of all time, created by the controversial Yoshihiro Togashi, I have been requested by Kudakwashe Timba to add Hunter x Hunter to my WINP schedule. So here it is, another nitpicking article by a bastard! Enjoy, comment below and try not to spit!

I'm not mentioning the hiatuses. That's a door I am tired of knocking.

Note: Some SPOILERS ahead.
Tone Shift

One of the greatest arcs in anime history is the Chimera Ant Arc. Full of symbolism, commentary, action, drama, development, tragedy and even a headless cat man-woman-other, the Chimera Ant Arc is perhaps one of the most perfect examples of storytelling I have ever seen in any medium... Which is why it just breaks my heart to say that starting it is as jarring as a slip-and-slide made of razor blades.

From this moment...
Before this arc, we had a few dark moments but nothing that went beyond the DVD age rating of 12. There was a fair amount of balance, such as when comedy from Leorio and Killua went alongside events like Kurapika vs Uvogin, and it kept things from going too grim. this moment. (And don't even get me started on the unnecessary deaths of characters from the Hunter Exam!)
That all changed when the Chimera Ant Arc arrived. We literally saw children be eaten as our introduction to this arc, and that disturbing image is stamped into our minds throughout the entire story. Again, the Chimera Ant Arc is amazing but the horrific events that take place throughout feel so disconnected from the other arcs that it almost works against itself.

Seriously though, watch the Chimera Ant Arc.

Narration Overload! 

Damn it, another Chimera Ant Arc flaw! Okay last one, I hope... Unfortunately, this is a big one that almost made me say this wasn't one of the greatest arcs of all time. In the first two-thirds of the arc, we get to watch as Gon and Killua run around the island, battling the villains and becoming stronger and stronger throughout. During the final climax however... we're told that.

I get the impression this nonsense would work a lot better in the manga, but in the anime it is nothing short of annoying. 
Yes, for some reason the narrator is suddenly working overtime as he never shuts up! While this does clearly highlight some of the inner feelings of a character during this occasion, it also serves as a huge distraction and annoyance. It absolutely kills the pacing for a while, as the narrator has a need to literally tell us what a character is doing as we are watching them do it!

Anime is visual storytelling, so we don't need this amount of exposition. In fact, we barely need any whatsoever. Showing is always better than telling. Always. Thankfully, this problem does go away eventually as the arc comes to a close, but it is absolutely draining to handle for a while.

But yeah, you should still watch the Chimera Ant Arc.

Heavens' Arena Sent to Hell

Every Shonen anime eventually likes to turn to a tournament, and I actually of love the overused structure. It can be fun, energetic and an amazing way to introduce new characters to the story, while also developing others and providing some great action. A surprisingly simple concept, which makes it really odd with how the Heaven's Arena Arc is done.

Heaven's Arena; Where even cripples are fair game for a beating!
The arc begins with Gon and Killua arriving to Heaven's Arena, with the intention of finding Hisoka for a revenge match while also making some money in the process. The "Arena" is actually a tower with several battle stages in it, and we are told the rules of how to advance and what the prizes are if you reach certain levels. It sounds almost like a video game (which is ironic considering the Greed Island Arc...)

Anyway, after a few battles and learning the epic Nen abilities, Gon finally fights Hisoka and gets him back for the punch he received... then leaves for the next arc. And this causes the entire explanation of the arena to seem pointless. A lot of explanation and creativity, cast aside as if it was nothing. If Togashi wanted to end this so quickly, then why not simplify things and keep it a simple arena? Instead, we have an entire tower waiting for the right opportunity to shine.

Kurapika and Leorio (No, not THAT way!)

There are four main characters in the series; Gon, Killua, Kurapika and Leorio. All of them are engaging, funny, attractive to a certain audience and have their own character arcs that develop them as the series progresses. With such likeable characters, it is a shame that half of them aren't around for half of the series.

For those of you wondering why I am not sinning Kurapika having a lot of similarities to Sasuke... well, Kurapika came first. So if anyone should be getting into trouble, it should be Sasuke.
While they are all together during the beginning arcs, Leorio and Kurapika immediately leave the younger boys alone and don't return until the Yorknew City Arc. After that one, they leave again and aren't seen for over 200 chapters (if you were a manga reader, that would be years of waiting to see Leorio again!), which... It just sucks! I'll be blunt and say that I fucking love this group and I hate when time is spent away from them. They deserve as much time as possible.

Gon and Killua (Yes, THAT way!)

Killua loves Gon and they should get married, and if you disagree than you are a scumbag!


Doodles Are Not Art!

It was torture to write this without talking about the hiatuses, but I need to at least discuss the artwork and how it sometimes can become... well, a joke. An absolute fucking joke. People have said it is because Togashi doesn't have any assistants, but my response to that is "then get some fucking assistants". Sometimes, we get great pages like this...

Nice, clear and distinct.

Other times, we get this:

Fuck off.

Any other flaws I missed? An article you'd like me to write? Or just want to call me names? Leave a comment below!

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Born under the stars of the Dark Gods, Shiggins owns the power of the Great Eye and is utterly magnificent in his omniscience. If you dare to discover more about someone as great as him, then go ahead. And to all my friends and family members, YOU are wrong and I should be disappointed! Not the other way round!,. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on or go to his tumblr page


  1. I think my eyes broke for a moment with the sudden shift in art. Thanks a bunch but when an inevitable legion of fans come to bash this know that I was a figment of someone else's imagination. Does Hioka still being an interesting character despite being a borderline paedophile count as a flaw?

    1. Oh hell naw, you're gonna be on the frontlines with me when they come for an assault! (Even though I am technically one of the fans...)

      Hisoka being a borderline paedophile actually makes him even more interesting, ironically. Since it is never confirmed, it comes across as both hilarious and terrifying. "Schwing" is brilliant.