Hunter X Hunter takes place in a strange realm, with extraordinary creatures. The plot follows young Gon, as he dreams of following in his father’s path to becoming a hunter, an elite class of adventurer with legendary skills, but Gon must first pass the grueling hunter exam, which leads him through many trials, locations and adventures. He and his friends Killua, Kurapika and Leorio who he meets along the way, will tackle this deadly exam together, but nothing is certain in this pitfall of an adventure. They will have give their all, and then some, to prove that they have what it takes to become hunters.
Hunter X Hunter Blu ray set volume one, comes with 13 action packed episodes from the beginning of the series where it all started for Gon, to his continued journey in the hunter exams (though a little too short if you ask me). Firstly, the packaging for this set looks and feels premium grade, it comes in a metal type casing with a glossy finish (it just sprouts ‘buy me!’). It is finished with nice artwork, making this buy feel truly worthwhile without even opening the packaging. On the inside it comes with two Blue Ray Discs neatly placed.
With it’s main features you get English audio, English audio with Subtitles and Japanese audio with English subtitles (so if you are like me a lover of the Japanese voices, ‘you are covered’). Quality wise, you get 1080p with 16×9 aspect ratio (in English, nice crisp High Definition picture). Extras contain, a short interview with the English cast for Gon and Killua, an art gallery with concept designs and then some.
Hunter X Hunter, a world filled with strange beasts and monsters, treasures, mysterious powers, and the people who seek them, they are called Hunters. This series is a reboot of the original 1999 series, but it goes in a completely different direction staying true to the Manga franchise by Yoshihiro Togashi. In this anime, you follow Gon Freecss as he battles to follow in the footsteps of his father, legendary hunter, Ging Freecss. Gon leaves his little island at the age of 12 to undergo the hunter examinations, this was the age that his father also left to take the exams and passed on his first try. Gon, determined to understand his father, ventures out, even after hearing that millions of people sign up for the exams yearly, but only about 300 or so actually make it to the exams, and even fewer pass. Along the way Gon meets friends, Leorio and Kurapika, and finally Killua who ultimately turns out to be his best friend and closest companion throughout the series.
At a first glance of this anime, my personal view was ‘What the hell is this!!? A young boy with a fishing rod chasing after his dad, hunters are the top job type in this world, (‘that’s their main life’s goal? what’s cool about this???’) soon after I was eating my words. This anime was surprisingly awesome! The plot unfolds nicely as you uncover the mysteries that lie within.
The Characters are totally lovable and full with personality, even the sub characters you just have to enjoy. Each character adds nicely to this strange landscape, you will see over the top ninjas, con-men, assassins, clowns/jesters, freaks, and and guys dressed nicely in suits and ties, this series has them all in one place. What is most lovable here is the character development that you will experience, as you learn about each of the main characters’ back stories, and inspirations some as deep as the Atlantic Ocean, others, simple, but they are all linked the complexity of each character. As the viewer, this would totally help immerse you into the various characters’ personalities, creating a true connection to this show.
The animation is a bit on the on the old school, “cartoony” side. The drawings are very simple with basic detailing on the characters, it has more of a grungy feeling to it colour wise. The animation motion is not the smoothest, but you can quickly get over this shortcoming. Whether you like or dislike this art style would come down to your personal taste and preferences, however, it works for me, although I am a bright, glossy type anime-guy, some may find it a bit bland.
Throughout this anime you will hear a couple “Theme Songs” signalling action time. The music approach is sort of a rock, electronic fusion, also with more “old cartoon’, funny type selections, however, at some points you even get some jazz pieces which works quite well. It fits in right for this type of animation. Bad music usually bugs me but, I’ve always been pleased with the selections in this anime. The Foley is well done, and fits in right with the choice of art.
The Japanese voices are to die for, Gon has a cute yet annoyingly boisterous tone, that will draw you in having you repeating some of his phrases, even though you don’t understand what the ‘whooo’ he is saying. Killua has a nice laid back voice perfect for his persona, Leorio and Kurapika, have voices well-fitting to their characters. One that I think is well worth the mention is Hisoka Morow, this strange but brutal character has sort of a clown/jester/magician kinda fusion appearance. He has a very freaky, laxed voice, just by hearing him you know that he is trouble (annnd… if you are a little kid you should probably stay far, far! Away from him, for obvious reasons).
On the English side of things (I am hardly ever a fan of English dub), the voices work, for the most part. Some voices seem a bit distant from the characters (distant like Trinidad to Japan… if you didn’t know, that’s far!!) Gon’s voice works for me, Killua and Kurapika, emm… not so much. Leorio’s voice however is on point, the voice actor really brought out the spirit of this guy.
Most people will really enjoy this anime series. Hunter X Hunter is on my top 5 anime list, and I would definitely recommend getting this blu-ray set. This anime is full of vibrant and lovable characters, heated action, good music and a solid, progressive, story-line, it is indeed worth the watch. My only quarrel is that the Blu ray set is just too short, with only 13 episodes it just isn’t complete, luckily volume 2 is available so I’d suggest picking up both, you won’t be disappointed.
This copy of Hunter X Hunter Blu Ray set Volume 1 that was used for this review was provided by VIZ Media.
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