Hunter x Hunter 2011 – 03 Review

Episode 03 – Rivals x For x Survival

This episode had slowed it’s pace down by quite a bit as compared to the last couple of episodes and is heavier on the dialogue.

The episode covers chapter 5, most of chapter 6 of the manga, and it covers half of episode 6 of the ’99 series.

Short Episode Summary

The gang finally arrives at Zaban and are brought to the location of the exam which is through a restaurant in Zaban city. Upon arriving, the group is greeted by Tompa who gives them a low down on some of the candidates. He then offers them juice that is laced with poison but thanks to Gon’s tastebuds, none of them had drank it.

We then get to witness Hisoka kill a person (still not sure how he killed the person and turned him into flowers) and through hearing Tompa’s inner monologue we are introduced to the rookies of this batch as well as Kilua who asks for more juice despite knowing that it is lace with poison.

The examiner then appears and the first stage of the examination starts.

Lesson learned: Red lighting can make anyone look evil and dangerous

Review

This is where things change and I actually felt that the dialogue in this episode was really heavy. I understand that this episode does follow the manga story line (with a few extra parts added in) where as the ’99 series takes a shortcut version of the story and skips out on most stuff.

I am glad that the show did slow itself down with its pacing but there were times where I actually just wanted Tompa to just keep quite and move on already. Tompa’s character was used to give us a more detailed introduction to the main characters in this series as compared to the ’99 series and the use of conveying the information through Tompa’s mind for half an episode was… alright. He is definitely not the most interesting character to listen to.

What I did like in this episode as compared to the ’99 series was the addition of the laxative-laced juice that showcased Gon’s animalistic senses as well as provided the audience with the information of Kilua being used to consuming poison. I also really liked the voice actor of Hisoka, Namikawa Daisuke, who also voices Yuu from Persona 4 this season. I felt that this version of Hisoka gave off a more menacing feel with a creepy and darker atmosphere due to his deep and commanding voice as compared to the ’99 Hisoka that had a more “singing” tone to his voice that gave the impression of agility and grace. I do like both versions but this version of Hisoka had a bigger impact on me. (I seem to have gone off on a tangent…)

The detailed introduction of the characters had its benefits in the sense that we now know what to expect of the characters and the audience will also know who are the important people to look out for in future episodes of this series. I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing since it is sort of like padding the blow of things whilst hinting at future events at the same time. However, I understand that this downside is merely more towards me having compared it to the ’99 series’ approach in my mind as oppose to it being a real issue with the series.

Another thing that I had liked was Hanzo’s character. His robust a personality came through clearly and I had found it fun to watch, especially his change in behavior due to his way of ninja. =P

What I did not like in this episode was Kilua’s voice. Ahhh.. it was so girly! It did not have the same menacing feel that I had expected him to have when he was talking about the poison. (T^T) I felt really sad since Hisoka did such a nice job just a few minutes before and my favourite characters of the series are Kilua and Hisoka.

Another thing that annoyed me was Kurapica’s and Leorio’s rant in the elavator, they went on and on and on and that was not necessary since a few examples was more than enough to establish the type of people Kurapica and Leorio are in the audiences’ minds. The episode could have continued further into the plot if they had not gone over board at explaining the location of Zaban and had made the pacing of all the other introductions a tad bit faster. Because of that, this episode felt like nothing had happened which is a drastic change from the previous episode of too many thing happening so quickly.

Hunter Exam candidates, this is the most efficient way to run.

Once again, I still dislike the narrator and the choice of music but I am just going suck it up and deal with it. The overall execution has yet to mature and is still coming across the same way it did in the first couple of episodes, but then again, we have yet to actually see the the hunter exam in progress so I continue to hope. What I had taken away from this episode was that this series might spend its time focusing on building the world of HxH, now that the exams have started and I am glad for that fact.

Since this episode is more heavy on the dialogue, there really isn’t too much more to talk about apart from explaining the content (which is pretty much introductions).

Episode Rating: 6.5/10 – I have resigned myself to the fact that this is going to be a fresh start for the franchise and the ’99 is there for us to appreciate if we want to watch an alternative version of the story, I guess I agree with the fact that there is no point in making a duplicate of a show.

Prediction for no. of episodes:

Current Manga Chapters : 320 Chapters
Current Pace of Series:  2 Chapters per episode
= Total Episodes: 160+ episodes

I have my doubts that the show would continue at this pace if that were the case since 160 episodes is pretty long and the series has only been confirmed for 45 episodes thus far. (They won’t possibly drop the series halfway would they?) Perhaps things will start to speed up like crazy when it comes to the battles and the action part of the series.

-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 16, 2011, in Anime, Hunter x Hunter 2011, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. (still not sure how he killed the person and turned him into flowers)

    You know one of the things I kind of liked about this scene is the suggestion of violence that even children can subconsciously register. The flowers are a replacement for droplets of blood and while it looks ridiculous to most of us, it was actually a pretty hefty move in some way. However, Hisoka’s introduction in the original series was way more menacing and downright disturbing.

    Argh, my main problem with this HxH is the new Killua’s voice. I don’t like it at all. So disappointed in this and this alone.

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    • “Argh, my main problem with this HxH is the new Killua’s voice. I don’t like it at all. So disappointed in this and this alone.”

      Hisoka’s voice is the only one that I like. lol! the rest are too girly and leorio is probably the only one i have nothing comment on. =P

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  2. hisoka’s and killua’s voices are ok.
    i’m ok with the flower thingy.
    the designs and voices are good in general.

    but the pacing. ouch. it was perfect for the last two episodes, imho, they shouldn’t have slowed it down.
    the bgm, which was good in episode 1, mediocre in episode 2, became awful this episode.

    my first disappointment with the remake so far.

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    • actually the slower pacing would’ve been bearable if the bgm matched the mood. BUT IT DIDN’T. ARRRGHHH.

      the underlying story is still very close to the manga though, plus filler moments here and there, so that’s well and good.

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    • “flower thingy.”

      I was just wondering why flowers? I guess this settles the fact that they are toning it down for a younger audience. I hope all the later fighting scenes doesn’t become merely flowers and fluffy symbols of blood and death.

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  3. I don’t know if i’m happy with the pacing. I’ve kind of gotten used with the faster pacing so i was kind of ranting inside my head for tonpa to hurry up in introducing the characters especially when it was nicolas turn. @_@

    I have to agree with the background music maybe if they did match the bgm with the scenes it would’ve been better. I really liked the addition of the laxative scenes it was kind of fun to see a glimpse of what the characters are capable of. 🙂

    The last thing that bothered me was so far, Satotz. I just hated his walk. GAH. too much movement. maybe that was what it was in the manga (not sure haven’t read that part of the manga) but it irritated the hell out of me. I was screaming in my head for him to stay still. Maybe i was just used to watching the ’99 series’ version of Satotz, that’s why it irritated me. The voices didn’t irritated me that much, although i got kind of bothered with hisoka’s though. I was so used with the high pitched Hisoka that i was bothered with his new VA. But to make myself clear, i don’t hate the new voice. Just like what you said, both version of Hisoka are pretty good. both are menacing, and dangerous but had a different feel to it. 🙂

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    • “The last thing that bothered me was so far, Satotz. I just hated his walk. GAH. too much movement”

      Lol, i was a tad annoyed by it as well. It kept looking like he was vibrating but it was funny to watch at the same time. =P

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  4. the 1999 anime is NOT the original run, the original run is the manga. Before this anime I hadn’t watch the 1999 version, and after seeing how people were complaining that it was better I started watching it. Up until now, I actually don’t like it… AT ALL!! It is so different from the manga. I’ve seen people complain that this version is going too fast, but actually is the other version that was going too slow. It was the second episode and it already was a filler.

    The 1999 version doesn’t include Gon detecting the laxative or Killua being immune to poisons, which is something very relevant to their characters. And the 1999s Gon is too NOT like he is portrayed in the manga, this one is actually much closer.

    IMO, people who say the 1999v was better than this one, are just emotionally attached to it

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    • “the 1999 anime is NOT the original run, the original run is the manga.”

      Yup, understood that.

      “IMO, people who say the 1999v was better than this one, are just emotionally attached to it”

      It is merely very different in their approach. The 1999 version is more mature and serious. However, this version and the manga are aimed at a younger audience in the way the scenes seem to be structured (but I have only read a bit of the manga so I can’t claim that what I say is true)

      At the end of the day, original or not I don’t really care. As long as it is a good watch it is fine by me. =P The original may not be the best, and the opposite applies as well. All I care is how entertained I am by what I see. I do give props to the creator for coming up with the concept in the first place. =)

      “It is so different from the manga. I’ve seen people complain that this version is going too fast, but actually is the other version that was going too slow. It was the second episode and it already was a filler.”

      As for this part. You are right about it being slower. But it is really different like you had said. I guess only time will tell which version is the best. Either way, the material for HxH is good so I think that no matter how it turns out it will still be fun to watch. =D

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  5. Personally I see the flowers as a oo-lookie-at-the-mysterious-person-and-his-nen? XD I love how HIsoka plays up his magician role and made all sorts of crazy theories about exactly how he achieved the flowers effect~

    The voices. God. Leorio’s is really too, well, Leorio-ish to comment although he does seem a little less annoying than the old one, and surprisingly I really liked Kurapika’s new voice. I know a lot of you think he’s too girly, but I think the soft spoken tones suit Kurapika’s character quite well and will probably suit the revenge driven angsty side of him well too. Hopefully. And I agree with you, Hisoka’s new voice is ultra different but has a very interesting new force to it~ I thought they would cut out some of Hisoka’s creepy sides as this remake seems tailored for a younger audience, but his new -relatively- saner voice and still very obviously insane face makes an interesting creepy combination XD ❤

    On the other hand, Killua and Gon T___T I really hadn't expected anyone to measure up to Takeuchi Junko's version of Gon, but honestly, how could he become so childish and annoying?! Forgive my bias, but we all knew that the old Gon only looked stupid at first (naive if you want to be nicer), that he really wasn't stupid or naive at all and instead surprisingly mature. This new Gon actually seems like he IS stupid, with all the childish shallow qualities I'd expect from a- child. And Killua T^T I have no words. The utter lack of coolness in the voice of my favourite character makes me feel so sad….

    What did you guys think of some of the new character designs~? XD Hanzo is great, though his eyebrows make me crack up, I died a little inside when I saw Satotsu's new running style (interesting, but… sigh), some of the unnamed characters from this ep that I remember staying til the last exams don't give off strong enough impressions with their changed designs, and OMG did everyone see that the jelly-man-secretary is now GREEN?! XD

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    • “OMG did everyone see that the jelly-man-secretary is now GREEN?! XD”

      Yes, i was stunned and speechless and I “conveniently” opted to forget that fact. =P

      “Personally I see the flowers as a oo-lookie-at-the-mysterious-person-and-his-nen?”

      I thought it would be nen too but then his nen is nothing like that though. =P But lets not spoil anything for others who have yet to see the series.

      “his new -relatively- saner voice and still very obviously insane face makes an interesting creepy combination ”

      I just love his authoritative voice with his insane eyes. =D Was so cool especially since everyone else sounded so feminine.

      “And Killua T^T I have no words. The utter lack of coolness in the voice of my favourite character makes me feel so sad….”

      I am hoping that the VA will get better and more “into” the darker side of Killua when it get down to it.

      “What did you guys think of some of the new character designs~?”

      I think there was nothing as shocking at the secretary’s colour. I see no logic behind him being green… none at all… I thought that maybe he wasn’t human (since he does look like a blob of goo but… =S

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  6. I disagree with most of your “musings.” (1) Killua’s voice is fine. The fact that his voice switched addresses a depth of character. Having a one-dimensional personality is boring. Also, the most dangerous characters in anime and in the real world are geniuses in “playing” with their personalities; (2) Tompa’s role is important. His character is a great excuse for the audience to generally grasp how special this year’s exam is because of its interesting participants; (3) One of the best and critical scenes of this episode is Kurapica and Leorio’s ranting in the elevator. To the untrained analyst (untrained!!) this is the first time the audience had a relatively detailed information on the life of a Hunter (duties, rewards, risks, status, perks); (4) The three of them noticed the poison. Gon does not get any credit from the capable Kurapica and Leorio; and (5) The pacing is genius. The way how you did the review proves you can’t wait to watch more of the episodes (like the rest of us). The staff of Madhouse Studios made sure we get hooked and they succeeded.

    I am going to be your Follower from now on. Thank you for doing these reviews. Many of us here appreciate it. Until next time, take care.

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  7. sekundescorridor

    Hisoka’s voice is creepy as always coz he is creepy as always. Hanzo’s character is cool especially when he has aura on him.

    And Killua ……………………… what the crap. he lost me there. The background music is also crap. And also the running act of Satotz is irritating to see.

    Suddenly my expectations to this remake is starting to be ….. crap.

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  8. Ignoring some of the technical aspects about what was awkward in this episode, I think the show has pretty much cemented itself into what its going to be, which is obviously action, but with a lighter tone than what I think people are expecting. Not having been exposed to the manga or the original anime, I can’t say what the tone is going to be later on in the series, but for now it just seems like the episodes will move the plot along, throw in some clever hints and highlight abilities in semi-subtle ways, but in the end there’s no question that everything is going to work out for the characters.

    Again I haven’t seen anything before so I have no idea what’s coming, but objectively I don’t see there being a whole lot of drama or discomfort coming from this series. No fear that a main character may be raped by a crazy hermaphrodite actress while a penguin watches.

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    • No fear that a main character may be raped by a crazy hermaphrodite actress while a penguin watches.
      EHEHEHEHEHEHE OH WOW.

      Although, the HxH manga is pretty messed up even by non-shounen standards. The author likes to see how much he can publish in JUMP, and boy did he get away with a lot of stuff. I own the english releases and they’re censored as fuck. And I thought I’d just point out, these guys were just watching the magician kill someone off, pretty ambiguous morality for a 10 am Sunday cartoon.

      Like

  9. @mira and viishous

    “And I thought I’d just point out, these guys were just watching the magician kill someone off, pretty ambiguous morality for a 10 am Sunday cartoon.”

    Shhhh… It wasn’t *whisper* killing. He was merely deflowering the guy.

    I mean, although there were no penguins around (just a green man) one could argue the rest of the parts like about the hermaphrodite. =p

    @jaylovette

    As for the part about kilua’s voice, my issue with it was more towards the lack of difference in speech. It was not as distinctive as I would have liked it to be. =\ the VA was obviously trying to achieve a more darker/sadistic tone but it just felt flat to me. =)

    As for the poison, I am not sure if kurapica had picked up on it but leorio had not notice it at all. It seemed more like Gon was the one who alerted them about it.

    Thank you for reading the review. ^^

    Like

    • I think Hanzo and Killua both have the same depth in character: Hanzo was able to change his personality depending on the situation. This is the same with Killua in his scene with Tompa.

      Kurapica closed his eyes in an arrogant manner while discarding the juice. He won’t be fooled by poisoning. His judgment and skill will not permit it.

      Leorio, on his part, was just shocked by the taste (same as Gon). We both know he specializes in western medicine (still unlicensed). Their Navigator from the previous preliminary test admitted he was able to treat his wounds faster than an ordinary doctor.

      This is only my opinion and I just want to make others sway on my ideas. Sadly I can’t force anyone. Haha.

      Like

  10. Hmmm, I am the only one here who doesn’t like Hisoka’s voice? He’s not nearly as eccentric nor creepy…he’s just look villainous without any sense of twisted or perverseness. The 1999 Hisoka is so unique, and I considered unparalleled as he captured the very essence of the character.

    And I actually like Killua’s voice. Killua is 12, of course he’s gonna sound like a girl. I have to admit I prefer 1999 one better, but this one isn’t that bad.

    Also, the ranting of Kurapica and Leorio in the elevator is perfect. This is essentially how HxH should be. One thing I dislike about the 1999 adaptation is the amount of information that was cut off from the manga, instead they inject a crazy amount of somber moment to replace it. Togashi manga isn’t the same without all those details, and it’s hardly emo.

    Still, I gotta admit I dislike that “flower” scene. ugh…Hisoka, while being a magician, never show to have such an ability in the manga.

    So yeah, I believe there’s pro and con for both adaptation. As of now, I’m undecided which is better until I watch more.

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    • “The 1999 Hisoka is so unique, and I considered unparalleled as he captured the very essence of the character.”

      You are right about the 1999 being unique. This one however just gives me the creeps. I am not sure why, maybe it is the mixture of the impression from the 1999 series plus the new deep crazy-killer voice that made feel like there is a greater impact. Then again, he only had a couple of lines in this ep. =P

      “Still, I gotta admit I dislike that “flower” scene. ugh…Hisoka, while being a magician, never show to have such an ability in the manga.”

      That was my issue as well, censorship or not, that “power” did not make any sense at all. Lol, could not figure out how that was possible.

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  11. I’m from the Philippines and I tell you, Hisoka’s Filipino dubber in the ’99 version did a great job. His character then was considered as one of the creepiest ever. Haha.

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  12. new hunter x hunter 2011 suck..!..previous hxh were more better..(i kind of expecting the new hxh should continue the previous series)..I dissapoint

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  13. the “flower” scene might be someone’s idea. Since old fans know that Hisoka category is Transmutation they current staff and director might suggest that to replace the blood. But what about the new audience how do they understand what’s happening. That’s why I always said, this years series is not meant for old fans but foe new fans. For new fans time for you to figure it out by buying the manga. That’s the message itself for understanding the flower scene but the flower scene isnt included in the manga at all. Its just improvisation.

    the good thing about the 99 anime
    Tompa was voiced by Togashi himself

    today another va voiced Tomapa, but its ok.

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  14. The flower scene makes perfect sense:
    – hints to the ‘magical abilities’ we will see after the hunter exam
    – show cases Hisoka’s ability to control what others perceive (remember Yorkshin arc with the shower scene and fortune reading scene?)
    – as a magician he likes to be creative and artistic in his murder
    – i kind of wished they incorporated that into the ’99 version, this was the highlight of this episode

    I respect their decision on their portrayal of Hisoka. However he sounds pretty generic and his serious voice tone doesn’t’ really match his outfit that he has going on. I like the creepy crazy voice of Hisoka in ’99. That voice suits more of a psycho clown better.

    I’ve gotten used to Gon, Kurapika, and Leorio. I wonder if this will be true for Killua as well. I guess you can argue that a 12 – 13 year old may sound like that but it is really childish.

    The juice scene wasn’t that big of a thing that was left out in the ’99 version since we had the first few episodes devoted to showing Gon’s honed natural instincts. Also in the ’99 version they really belabored how Gon natural abilities make him an excellent Hunter. Since we didn’t have this emphasis in this version the juice scene was okay.

    I saw some screen by screen comparisons on the animesuki forum and I finally noticed that the colour used for the people’s skin tone is really weird in the manga. This bluish gray colour everywhere. The snake guy almost has purpleish grey coloured skin.

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  15. i just confirmed from Jum Press release.

    Togashi is actually supervising this. So the flower thing may become canon due to Togashi’s presence.

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  16. i was wondering. they keep mentioning that there are 404 candidates, but Gon was the 405th candidate. why did they not include him??

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  17. Cuz hisoka killed one so there is one less…

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  18. hisoka vs kurapica sucks, an action anime without action?

    Like

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