Hunter x Hunter 2011 – 02 Review

Episode 02 – Test x of x Tests

This episode covers chapters 3 to 4 of the manga and episodes 4 and 5 of the ’99 series.

Hmm… Well, between last week and this I had manage to read a few chapters of the HxH manga and so now I am trying to wrap my head around the whole series over the different mediums.

Short Episode Summary

Gon and the gang reach the port and are given the clue to the shortcut to the Hunter Exam grounds which is to walk towards the tree at the top of the hill. Along the way, they stumble upon another test which was constructed to thin out the crowd – a Q and A test. Gon and the gang moves on from there and reaches the house at the top of the hill where a couple resides and that is the area for another part of the test before the Hunter Exams, which the whole gang naturally passes.

Me too guys, me too.

Review

Just like we had seen last week, this series is still currently going down the light-hearted adventure track with the way the scenes are executed. Perhaps because I have manage to read some of what the manga had to offer over the week, I can’t claim that the show is “rushed” but I have to say that I do miss some of the original elements from the ’99 series.

The biggest issue that I have with this series is the adverture-ish style opening of the introduction to the world of HxH. That scene is looking like it will probably plague the whole series, and of course the same goes with the narrated ending. This episode’s narration enlightens us to the fact Gon and his friends are enjoying the flight through the air without having reached the starting line yet. I always found this little “inputs” of stating the obvious to be somewhat aimed at a younger crowd that needed to be reminded of what they had recently seen and this worries me.

Also, Gon’s hyperactive attitude that makes him seem like a crazy happy dog can get tiring to look at. Sure, the manga had that same scene that made it seem like he was jumping around all excited but I sort of preferred the version of Gon that showed an outward maturity in his actions despite being a kid on the inside.

So like I had said above, there were some elements of the ’99 series that I had liked that were not part of the manga or this 2011 series and that way the ‘Doki Doki Two Choice Quiz’ segment was done in the first series.

The ’99 series had created a nice, isolated and tense atmosphere with the art of worn down houses as the background set and an erie and ominous music hinting at impeding danger as the group walked towards the path that is then blocked by the examiner. This tense and serious atmosphere is lost with the way the scene was executed in this episode. Just by comparing the difference in the way the backgrounds are portrayed shows the contrast in the approach that was taken with this new series as compared to the ’99 one.

Another thing about the OS that I had liked was the fact that Leorio had shown his potential as a hunter with his observational skills when he noticed the injection mark that he had given the “husband” while treating the wounds. Without that point, Leorio merely comes across as a an unimportant person who is an idiot with a short temper and only morals (as well as medical skills) to back up his actions.

That being said, there were also things that I was happy that the 2011 series got rid off from the ’99 series. For example,

I am glad that the whole goose chase with Leorio and the bus was not in this series since that was a pretty pointless scene that added little value to the show. Also, I did not really care too much for the scene of Mashu making use of Gon in the forest in the ’99 series. Although that scene hints to us the type of candidates that the team will encounter during the Hunter Exam, as well as, the kind and naive nature of Gon, it was not something that was necessary.

Overall, it was a decent episode but I think that I will need to get use to this new more ‘lighthearted adventure’ atmosphere of the series (with the upbeat background music and what not). It is good that we are getting straight to the point with the scenes but I would have really appreciate it a lot more if the series had taken its time in building up the atmosphere. Personally, I am just waiting for the next few episodes which will show us the start of the exams to decide if this new and more upbeat approach is better than the ’99 series’ darker and more solemn approach to things.

Episode Rating: 6.5/10

Random fun image:

-ra

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About Saranaufogus

An Anime fan who can't seem to keep her thoughts to herself. Find me on: Instagram | Twitter

Posted on October 9, 2011, in Anime, Hunter x Hunter 2011, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. you do realize that even the original manga is not as good as the original series, right?

    as for the “dark and more solemn approach” you’re looking for, i’m sorry to say but it’s pointless looking for it. the manga does not have this atmosphere and this remake won’t. yes that atmosphere was great and it’s what made the original series so amazing (plus the soundtack), but please remember that this new series is not remaking the original; it’s adapting the manga. there’s a world of difference. while comparison is inevitable, declaring anything that doesn’t live-up to the original as trash is being unfair.

    i love the original series, but let’s move on. i’ve known from the beginning that this remake won’t top the original, but it doesn’t stop me from appreciating the effort put by madhouse.

    and as a long-time hxh fan, i’m glad the franchise is now getting the attention it deserves.

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    • Hey Danchou,

      I know that the manga is different from the 99 series and does not have the same heavy atmosphere as the 99 series and I am also not saying that this series is trash or bad. I am just saying that I get getting use to seeing the show in a new light.

      Also, I did not say that this series does not live up to the original. I am merely wrapping my head around the difference between the two and what I think of the new series due to how different the approaches were.

      “i love the original series, but let’s move on. i’ve known from the beginning that this remake won’t top the original, but it doesn’t stop me from appreciating the effort put by madhouse. ”

      I agree with you on that and I can see what Madhouse is trying to do with this project and I appreciate their take on the series. But, if one had no prior knowledge or impression of HxH at all, I am not certain that this series would be seen as being all that good.

      Anyway, all I am just saying that there are things that I like about the 99 series but there are things that I appreciate in the new version as well. =)

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  2. So far I am liking it very much indeed. I love both the manga and the original anime. So I have no qualms if this follows the manga closely. I actually am liking the animation better because it looks more like the manga. And I loooveee the voices. They got that right! I can see myself really really liking this new version on HxH.

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    • I can see what you mean by liking it because it follows the original manga closely.

      As for the voice actors… I prefer the old ones. T^T Maybe it has been ingrained into my brain so I just can’t seem to shake the old voices off but I felt that this Kurapica was a tad bit girly, and so was Gon during the Q and A part when he sighed about not knowing the answer. But hey, they are meant to be kids so it might be the way it was meant to be.

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  3. I’ve never seen the original anime nor have I read the manga, so the picture comparisons are pretty interesting to me. I also have to agree about the narration; it kinda reminds me of Pokemon. “What adventure will our heroes encounter next on their journey to become [s]a Pokemon master[/s] Hunters?!”

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    • Haha, code fail. That’s supposed to be a strikethrough.

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    • “Haha, code fail. That’s supposed to be a strikethrough.”

      LOL. =P This uses html not the same shortcodes as blogger. heh. But I get what you mean.

      “I’ve never seen the original anime nor have I read the manga, so the picture comparisons are pretty interesting to me.”

      Well, I thought that it might be a way to get what is in my brain out there in a more visual way by putting the images against each other. =P

      “it kinda reminds me of Pokemon.”

      Lol! “Gotta catch ’em all! Pokemon!”
      Man, i miss my childhood years where everyone was playing and watching Pokemon. (yes, most of us were naive and innocent idiots back then. but hey, it was fun and entertaining)

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  4. In defense of the narration, I think Mr. Narrator is going to be quite busy if the Chimera Ant arc kicks in. Togashi really ran away with the narration there in the manga. Almost no dialogue and just narration! It was a very daring idea but they immediately incorporated him here.

    What I didn’t like was taking out the part where Kurapika explicitly mentioned that he heard a scream and that the guy who went before them was probably dead. Those things showed that the exam didn’t care if someone died. Heck, Kurapika and everyone else didn’t seem too bothered about it. But I think the next episode should say how far the animators are going to water down things. So it should be interesting, some rumors are saying ‘leaked animation’ shows that only Killua’s heart ripping scene was watered down so I hope they’re keeping most of the violence in, especially with Hisoka and all.

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  5. I think there are some key points in the ’99 series that were superior to this new one.

    -more backstabbing from mashu
    -during the Q&A it was subtler when kurapica figured out the answer
    -during the Q&A the gang hears the cries of Mashu –>Gon’s superhuman abilities demonstrated
    -during the kiriko scene, we get hinted at the beginning of the part with the wooden sign post demonstrating kurapica’s knowledge of historical facts
    -the tattoo which symbolizes the daughter is wed to the Gods is not fake
    – this really sets a heavy feel to the ’99 series, perhaps this was way too crazy for kids
    – too strong of a sacrifice theme or w/e or gender inequalities why sacrificing daughter, sexism etc maybe…\\

    Pros of the 2011 series
    -stupid episode 2,3 –>really makes Gon naive, kind of a contrast to his thoughtful personality; i’m glad they skipped it in the new series
    -i agree the bus scene wasn’t too necessary but it was fun in the ’99

    The only reason I’m going to continue watching this crap is because I’m giving it a chance…

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  6. I kinda agree with the comment above me and your post. I don’t know if this version just needs a little warming up to, but i just can’t help but compare the ’99 series to it. I agree, i liked the way how the ’99 executed the tokidoki scene, it’s more tokidoki than how the 2011 series executed it. GAH! to make the long story short, i prefer how detailed the ’99 series executed the episodes, regardless of the number of episodes it took to show the audience those details.

    With how the 2011 is going, as of now, Leorio’s just becoming a consistent pain in the @** for the gang. haha. what with all his ramblings and his temper. I like how they also highlighted Leorio in the ’99 series with the navigator scene. It showed that Leorio is not just someone who got lucky and ran into Gon and Kurapika. It showed that he is also worth it of being a hunter. 🙂

    Despite all the ramblings i have written, i’m still giving this series a chance, because first, i freakin miss HXH. Second, i’m excited for the continuation of the series, if ever they will really continue with what the ’99 series have left off. 😀

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  7. I have to agree with these two comments above me. I am willing to open my mind wider if that’s what it takes to understand technically this remake.

    However, If I had to choose between the Ep 1 and 2 of ’99 and ep 1 and 2 of ’11, I would still settle with the former series.

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  8. I’m glad your reading the manga now…
    I dont really hate the 99 anime but to tell you the truth that was a little slow. The 99 anime also feed us some lies, that exactly made the director and staff apologize to everyone (publish in a magazine before, specially to Togashi) well I dont blame the 99 staff coz partly, Togashi has a fault on that being the king of hiatus himself.

    and I read your review.

    and so far everyone is right coz this series is not marketed to (old fans) such as I, its marketed to new fans.

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  9. I don’t dislike the old series (I have quite a bit of affection for it) but I never did watch it all the way through, and often viewed it more as… an interpretation rather than an adaptation of the manga. Half the time it seems like a fanfiction. There were so many filler scenes (a lot of which were, granted, very fun), plus they cut out enough too, and even pieces of the basic plot were skewed. The characters didn’t quite fit their original profiles, either, at least in the earlier parts of the series (the bits I’ve watched). I’m very glad that this remake follows the manga much more closely, I like the animation, and I prefer the new voice actors, especially Kil’s. ❤
    Although… my personal pet peeve…
    How could they get Kurapika's eye color wrong twice? At least now they aren't sky blue, but grey? He himself says explicitly in the manga (up on the rooftop with Melody/Senritsu) that his eyes are BROWN, and turn SCARLET when his emotions are adjitated. When in York New, he wears BLACK contacts. *sighs*
    But welcome back, HxH!! We missed you! =^^=

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