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
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.