The third set of Hunter X Hunter
episodes brings the show up
to the three quarters mark. It's hard to
believe that there's only one more set of TV shows left, the show is so
fun I'm surprised it didn't last longer.
(As it is, the TV show adapts only the first 11 volumes of the
manga. In Japan 26 volumes of the on
series have been released. The other
volumes are going to be released as OVAs, of which three have been made
in Japan.) This set has Gon and his pals at a bit of a
cross roads. They've reached their goal
of becoming licensed Hunters, but what to they do now?
Gon is a young 10-year-old orphan living with his aunt.
He's always been a bit of a loner and spends
most of his time exploring the wilderness around his house. One afternoon Gon gets into some trouble and
is rescued by a "Humter" named Kite. They
start talking, and Gon discovers to his
amazement that not only is his father still alive, but he's one of the
hunters ever, Ging Freecss. Kite also
Gon about the yearly test that has to be passed in order to become a
vague title that is never defined very well...) and the young boy decides
he's going to become one of these licensed adventurers and find his
Armed only with his father's fishing pole (an object that he
employs to snag treasures, tie up baddies and even to catch fish) and
innate ability to talk with animals, the kid leaves home to become a
Gon soon meets a few friends. Among them
are Leorio, a well-dressed man wanna-be
Hunter with some medical background and, Kurapika, a young boy who is
driven to become a Hunter. They're
joined by Killua, a quite boy who comes from a family of assassins. Together they all start to take the Hunter
The Hunter Exam is over, and Leorio, Kurapika, and Gon have
made it. Unfortunately, Gon's friend
Killua dropped out of the last competition under mysterious
immediately returned to his home.
Even though they are Hunters now, the trio what to put their
plans on hold for a bit and find out what happened to Killua. They know he's from an internationally famous
family of assassins, the Zoldyck family, who live on Kukuroo Mountain. Getting
to the mountain is easy, Hunters get
free 1st class travel anywhere in the world, but getting
into the Zoldyck
estate is something else entirely. The
family naturally has made a lot of enemies and they've secured their
adequately. Surrounded by a huge fence
with an impossibly large gate, the estate is filled with monsters and
designed to keep everyone out. Something
like certain death isn't about to stop Gon however.
Inspired by his will and the fact that he's a friend of
Killua, someone who has never had a friend, the gatekeeper agrees to
trio in and trains them for 20 days, making them strong enough to get
first test: opening the gate.
After that there are many obstacles to
overcome however. The last person to get
in the gate was a Black-ops Hunter with an army of 100 other Hunters. They didn't get half way to the Zoldyck's
main house before all 100 were wiped out.
After the saga with Killua, Gon splits from most of his
friends though they agree to meet in York New City in 6 months. Needing some money and wanting to train
further, Gon travels to Heaven's Arena, a 250 story tower with fighting
floor. The higher the floor the stronger
the opponent, but the bigger the cash prize too. After
easily winning his ground floor match,
Gon gets to go up to the 50th floor, where he discovers just
little he actually knows about fighting.
I'm really enjoying this series. It's a
typical Shonen Jump storyline, with the
main plot centering on "friendship, struggle, and victory," but it's
lot of fun. One of the main things that
I enjoy about the show is that the battles are very short, often
than one episode. That keeps the plot
at a fairly good clip and doesn't give the show the chance to get
A lot happens in the 16 episodes included in this set.
They wrap up the Hunter exam, start and
finish the quest to find Killua, tell the whole Heaven's Arena story,
send Gon back home for a visit. I really
like that the story moves along.
These episodes also introduce the concept of "Nen", which I
could have lived without. They spend too
much time going over the philosophy of Nen, the aura that surrounds
and the various shades of Nen (all of which have different names,) how
Nen, determining what type of Nen user each fighter is, what the
Nen-users can do, etc. etc. etc. It got
a bit complicated and involved multiple charts, none of which were
translated. The thing is, it all boils
down to the fact that
Nen is just like The Force. Oh well,
it's a minor complaint to an otherwise fun set.
These next 16 episodes are presented on three discs that
come in a fold out book housed in a nice attractive slipcase.
This show comes with the original Japanese audio track or an
English dub, both in stereo. I
alternated tracks as I often do for the first few episodes and found
languages to be very good. The actors on
both sides of the Pacific did a good job bringing the characters to
making the show fun. There wasn't any
distortion or other common defects.
The full frame image looked good but not outstanding.
The lines were tight and the detail fine, but
the colors were a bit muted in parts and there were a couple of spots
print. There was a slight amount of
digital noise in some scenes but it was never distracting.
Overall a nice looking image, just not
There isn't much in the way of extras. The
set also comes with a few trailers and
some manga pages.
While this is still aimed at younger audiences, I found the
show a lot of fun. Gon's positive
attitude is infectious and the wide assortment of characters is fun and
enjoyable. No, it's not deep or
meaningful, but if you want some fun, mindless entertainment this is
the doctor ordered. It earns a high