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.
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: