Hunter x Hunter 2011 – 04 Review
Slow down… not all of us are as healthy as you
Episode 04 – Hope x and x Ambition
Stage one of the Hunter Exams has started and everyone’s running full blast ahead!
Short Episode Summary
The first part of the first Hunter Exam has started and it consist of simply running to keep up with Satotz, the Examiner. Taunting, revelations and new bonds are created along the way. Many of the examinees give up during the long track and when the group finally reaches the end of the tunnel, they are greeted by a person who claims that Satotz is actually one for the swamp creatures who are known for their deviousness and is trying to lure them to their deaths.
The situation is quickly resolved and the episode ends right when the next stage of the examination starts.
The episode follows Togashi’s manga faithfully and eradicates the whole part about the Rejuvenating Sap that Tompa tricked the gang into believing. Instead, the show follows the manga’s plot line of Kurapica simply asking Leorio of his true reasons behind wanting to be a Hunter whilst they run. The episode covers the second half of chapter 6 til half of chapter 8 of the manga, and episodes 6 to 8 of the ’99 series.
I liked how normal Gon and Kilua acted around all the exhausted bodies of the participants in that scene.
Although the scene with Kurapica and Leorio may have been true to the manga, I felt that whilst it had worked pretty well in the manga, it had not translated across into this series as well. The whole talking whilst running dialogue heavy scene made it quite boring to watch. However, with that being said, a person new to the series might not feel as bothered by it as someone who already knows the plot. I guess it ultimately comes down to one’s perspective. Kilua’s and Gon’s scene was once again dialogue heavy, but this time, it was slightly more interesting due to them avoiding the exhausted bodies of the examinees like nothing mattered. Perhaps it was because of this that this episode felt a tad bland and boring until we got to the end of the tunnel.
Personally, I prefer the sap execution (or some alternative execution instead of a direct copy of the manga) and would have rather a less over-dramatic speech (referring to Leorio and Kurapica) but this also has it’s merits as it sped things up by quite a bit.
Although, the sap scene in the ’99 series had established the dynamics in the relationship and kick start the bad-blood between Gon, Kurapica, Leorio and Kilua against Tompa, episode 3′s scene in the 2011 series about the juice as well as this episode’s rookie killing move executed on Nicolas, managed to portray Tompa’s true personality even if the whole bad relationship between the gang and Tompa have yet to be created. Also, we get to see the trio brothers’ true nature as well, which is something we were not shown so early on in the ’99 series.
I have to say that I am shocked that Nicolas had manage to run such a long distance before even giving up. I would have died after a couple of kilometers. (Yes, I am that unhealthily lazy =P) So kudos to Nicolas’ character for even managing that feat.
Another thing about that scene was that that was the first time (in my opinion) that we see such raw grossness in this 2011 remake. (I know I would not want to see that whilst having breakfast) That scene was definitely not “kiddy-fied” and had retained the same raw essence (sweat is raw, get it? raw essence. haha =_=” sorry for my sudden madness) that was in the manga. This really gives me hope that the previous flower scene with Hisoka was not due to the animators wanting to desaturate the scene but actually to show Hisoka’s magician like abilities, which means that perhaps things might soon change from childish to serious.
Another thing that I had liked about this episode was probably the scene of Gon and Kilua staying behind to look at Leorio. Leorio then picks himself up from the ground and runs full-speed ahead not giving up. For the first time in this show, Leorio does not come across as a weakling but someone who (although he may be weaker than the rest) has a lot of determination in achieving what he wants.
What I had always found funny was the scene with the monkey and the examiner. Instead of worrying about the weird manner in which the examiner hops at, shouldn’t they worry that the guy has no mouth yet is able to talk? =P I mean, the only thing that signals the sound is actually coming from him is the twitching of his mustache (which I find really funny as well).
What I really really really cannot accept and tolerate is the background soundtrack. It is so horrible. I am able to try to be objective and think of the ’99 series as being a separate entity and this is it’s own show but, that sound, wth. I would rather silence that weird bg music since they are in a tunnel afterall. It was so odd, I really could not stand it. Am I the only one who feels that way? It had this Tom and Jerry, Disney’s Fantasia feel to it when the music is meant to be the “dialogue” of the show. It was way over the top dramatic and too chirpy for my liking.
“True men run with their shirts off!“
Btw, how is he pinning the number tag to his skin? o_O
Episode Rating: 7/10
Overall, I am starting to enjoy this series and have settled into the show’s style. Sure, it is totally different from the ’99 series, but I guess this version has it’s merits as well. At the very least, this show is a tribute to the manga in it’s execution. There are probably going to be some who won’t be able to accept the new style, but I think the show is still worth giving a shot since we all know that the material that it has to work with is decent. Worse come to worse, you would have the ’99 version to fall back upon.
P.S: How cool was Kilua with the skateboard and Hisoka with his cards eh? =D