Hunter x Hunter 2011 – 05 Review
Episode 05 – Hisoka x is x Sneaky
This is probably the first time where I actually wished the pacing of the episode was faster.
We have yet to see the end of the First Hunter Exam despite the fact that it had started at the end of Episode 03.
This episode has our Hunter Candidates running through the swamp as they encounter various swamp creatures that brings them to their death.
A group of candidates seek out Hisoka to kill him but in turn, Hisoka decides to play the role of an Examiner and eliminates those whom he doesn’t see fit to be a Hunter. Leorio and Kurapica then runs into him and they made a decision to split up and run away from him. Leorio turns back and faces Hisoka but before Hisoka is able to harm Leorio, Gon comes and attacks Hisoka. A fight ensues and Hisoka deems both Leorio and Gon fit to continue the exam.
This episode covers the second half of chapter 8 until the first half of chapter 10 of the manga. Mirroring it is 3/4 of episode 8 of the ’99 series (which is saying a lot about the pacing for this episode since the 2011 series has always been the speedy gonzalez version of the 99 series).
The first part of the episode was really quite boring and slow. The second part of the first examination had started and the producers had spent a good half an episode on introducing random swamp characters whilst showing us the danger of the swamp. Sure, it is interesting to see the different types of creatures, only if it actually has some sort of importance to the overall world of HxH, but these specific creatures are not all that important at this point and could have been done without the personal still frame + name tag moments.
There really isn’t too much for me to talk about with this show since I have resigned myself to viewing this as a brand new series and disregard my prior impression of the ’99 series. That being said, since this show is following the manga, I shall probably make a few comments on that after all.
This episode had really proven one thing – they plan on toning down a lot of the gore that was in the manga.
The whole scene with Hisoka killing everyone off was pretty much as “sanitized” as one could get without turning it into a children series. The lack of blood was obvious but at least they managed to squeeze in a hint of it when he “shakes” it off the cards. What I did enjoy, and find it to be more disturbing than actually blood, was the look on Hisoka’s face when he was killing people and acting all sadistic. Honestly, if I ever have a kid, I would rather have them watching animated blood than a creepy character like Hisoka. Those are the things that make a mass murderer.
Random Thought: Speaking of affixiation. This reminds me a recent article about how a girl had died from playing the choking game and her parents were regretting the fact that they did not warn their daughter not to choke themselves. =_=”
Moral of the story? Dear kids out there, a lack of air to the brain can kill so don’t be too shocked if you end up in heaven from choking yourselves. =P That being said, my thoughts do go out to that family for having lost their teen daughter.
What I did like about Hisoka’s fighting in this episode was probably the whole vanishing act that he did. That was pretty fun to watch.
I have to say one thing about Hisoka’s VA. Although I said that I had liked his voice when we first saw him, this episode had made the fact, that he seems to mimic certain aspects of the ’99 series’ VA’s manner of speech, quite obvious. I was hoping that he would have been a whole new Hisoka since his voice was so different/generic. But now, it is starting to look like a mixture of a normal man (when he was talking to Gon about friends being important) and the creepy-side of ’99 Hisoka.
Speaking of the “friends are important message”, I felt like that was unnecessary. I had forgotten if that was in the manga so I went back to re-read that chapter and found that there was nothing about friends being good/useful in it, merely a statement about companions waiting for them. I am hoping to god that this is not going to be some sort of small “tips on life”-for-kids show. Then again, what would the kids be learning after seeing Hisoka, so I am going to say that is not the case, but then, that just made that comment really odd and useless. =/
Then comes Kurapica. Why did he take so long to turn back? It was not long after they had split up when he had heard Leorio’s voice. Tsk tsk, was he hiding in the shadows waiting for the match to be over before appearing? =P Oh you sneaky person…
The whole part with Kurapica talking to Gon whilst running was another unentertaining scene to watch visually. It was nice that they had animated Kurapica’s explanation but the animation of this whole episode felt very lazy and boring and lacked any charm at all (plus what’s up with all those circles? Meant to be a representation of death I assume? I mean, since Hisoka killed those guys in a similar circle manner). Too many panning frames, too many still shots, too many slow parts. It was just quite a dull episode overall.
Then we have the music. Alright, so you are sick of hearing me complain about the BGM and you are sick of listening to the BGM. But hey, this episode was pretty decent until that damn Kurapica-analysising-Hisoka scene. The music was too bright and magical for such a scene, I wanted something dark that screamed impending doom or danger. =/
Episode Rating: 6.5/10 – Am not feeling the love
Overall, it was a pretty disappointing episode and I am hoping that next episode would pick up it’s pace and become more interesting to watch.