Posted by psgels on 8 August 2013 with categories: Hunter X Hunter

“Vegeta, what does the scouter say about his power level?”

Okay, so I just caught up to Hunter X Hunter, episode 91. Overall at this point when I’m behind on so many series, it just isn’t practical to do monthly summaries anymore. That would be way too confusing and I’ll only do them again when I’m reasonably up to date with everything. However, I do have an opinion of this series that I want to voice, because this show still continues to work my patience. This frustration was at its highest at episode 90, and thankfully episode 91 made it a bit less.

But yeah, let’s get a bit into my state while I was watching episode ninety. Do you remember Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood, and how the pacing slowed down at the point where the series started to go into the material that was not in the first series? Well, Hunter X Hunter did that too. Yeah.

The difference obviously was that Full Metal Alchemist started with a really fast pacing, while Hunter X Hunter has always taken its time. Sure, it was a bit quicker than the 1999 version, but even then it took a year and a bloody half to catch up. The result is that ridiculously long fight between Gon and Knuckle that went on for waaay too long.

And sure, I like the Chimera ant arc. Emphasis on Chimera ants. I like how they’re growing, expanding and changing, and how they’re coping with the people who come and threaten them and how that plays out. I’ve gotten really tired of watching yet another training arc for Gon and Killua. I mean for god’s sake, how much more can you go with that? “What is this, Dragonball Z?”

Well, that comparison turned to be way more accurate than what I could have hoped with that turn that Gon and Knuckle’s fight took when they started talking about power levels. Power levels! Afterwards they started fighting exactly like what they do in small battles in Dragonball Z: they stand while their arms become a bunch of speedlines. It got even worse when in the next episode the king turned out to be a goddamn cell clone.

Seriously, if it wasn’t for episode 91, I would have probably given up. I mean I like building up and all, but you need to be interesting while doing that. You don’t need to be so shounen-esque as a shounen series. It was this series that showed us that in the first place. Just send Gon and Killua on a bus for an arc, just like what you did with Kurapika or something. Thankfully though, the fight was not dragged out any longer, and instead we got a satisfying conclusion that focused more on the aftermath. That was great, especially if that means that the two of them are going to be out of the picture for a while now.

I am noticing a very nasty trend though. So far, the new episodes have been like this: we first have this string of episodes that aren’t really anything special and dabble along, followed by one awesome episode, followed again by a bunch of boring ones. I don’t know whether I want to continue watching if that pattern continues. The big difference between this series and Space Brothers is that while both series are slow, Space Brothers remembers to be charming and endearing in every single episode, even though it takes bloody ages to get somewhere. I don’t have that with Hunter X Hunter.

39 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    As someone who has read the manga, let me just say that the king’s similarities as Cell are just in appearence (Apparently Togashi is a DBZ fan). His personality, ambitions, goals, character growth and arc are entirely different (Read as better).

    • Joe says:

      Also, the power level things only apply to Knuckle’s nen abilities. They are never used again for anyone else.

  2. gedata says:

    The so-called powerlevels areonly values used for Kunckles nen powers, and the King is NOT a cell clone. You’re getting worked up over nothing at this point now that the training arc is done with.

  3. Lazy says:

    I like HxH’s training arcs, the one with knuckle wasn’t any longer than the one with Biscuit during G.I. and it had the added bonus of great character development for both Gon and Killua.
    The nasty trend you talk about is just the characteristic pacing for a long running shonen.
    Yeah despite all the brain probbing and children killing HxH is still a shonen manga at heart.

    • psgels psgels says:

      I already found that arc to be too long, so I really was not happy when I realized that we were getting another one. The development of Gon and Killua really was its saving grace, but I have not read the manga, so I had no idea that that would happen during the training arc itself, which only added to my frustration.

      The Chimera Ant arc really is interesting, but it just isn’t Gon and Killua’s story: they have nothing to do with it. I’d really wish that the story would focus more on the characters who actually matter.

      • Lazy says:

        Let me reassure you, Gon Killua Knuckle and Shoot (hell even Moreau and Knov) all matter for the rest of the Chimera Ant arc.
        Just sit back and enjoy the ride.

      • gedata says:

        Gon and Killua do have a stake in this, which is wanting to bring back Kaito, so this is partially their story too.

      • Joe says:

        Don’t worry. Gon and Killua play a part in the rest of the arc, but it is shared equally with all the other characters, both human and chimera ant. In fact, I won’t be surprised if we go one or two episodes without seeing them later in the arc.

      • Joe says:

        Also, Gon and Killua gets a lot of development in this arc too. Even moreso than Greed Island.

      • asas says:

        yeah I get your frustracion, I had it too when I was reading it, ON TOP of togashi having a 6 month hiatus during around this time in the manga, so I was right pissed for a while.

        BUT

        this arc turns out to be a masterpiece.

        This is one of those arcs you’ll have to marathon once its over.

        • KaZuHiRo says:

          Yep. That was the most painful of all – Togashi announcing a six month hiatus IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FVCKING ARC.

  4. gdgd says:

    I am pretty sure there will be a lot of things in this arc that will make you want to drop it. But the ending of this arc if really worth the trouble.

    The king is a character that really grows a lot. The way you see him at the beginning and at the end will be different.

  5. Breach. says:

    I agree with gdgd. I’ve taken a look through volumes 21-23–the points of the series that I found out of kilter with the rest–and while there’s a lot of good stuff in there, there are a few bits, chiefly near the end of volume 22, that could try anyone’s patience if not edited down. Even the most ardent Hunter x Hunter devotee could admit to that. The content of volume 23 could be divisive, in parts, and I think it would profit from an accelerated pace. I do believe, however, that everything after that is worth the persistence. I wouldn’t want to inflate expectations, though: I would only say that, as someone who shares the sentiment that the recent string of episodes are the series at its least elegant–reading the manga for the first time many years ago, the Knuckle stuff did strike me as uncommonly cumbersome–I do think the series finds its edge again, and keeps running from then on in.

  6. gedata says:

    Now I’m actually glad that you didn’t pick this up for blogging again. This way we we didn’t have to read your groaning every week since the training started. Believe it or not, this series has actually been going at a brisk pace, it was the manga’s fault with the pacing issuesm madhouse isn’t dragging this out, they’re just playing it straight.

    • phinx says:

      Can’t handle criticism of your favorite series? Yeah it’s not madhouse’s fault that episode 90 was boring. It’s just that the source material is shit.

      • gedata says:

        Where do you get of assuming this is my favorite anime? Nah, I’m not a big fan of blogs that make sing the same song over and over, I wasn’t a fan of how psgels was covering this series

        • Breach. says:

          Unless a series has ups and downs, though, it’s hard for one’s assessment to change. psgels’ reading of the series is consistent in that it’s up and down–but one can chart commonality in any giver’s evaluation of a series if it’s measured on that regard–and psgels’ song is not one verse: it’s several, different verses, but they have a rhyme to them. Short of being arbitrary, that’s as varied as you can get. I think that’s more interesting than the same verse time and again.

  7. Mikey says:

    Personally I think your concerns about the aura things are understandable, but I personally don’t think it would be anything like DBZ in the slightest. I think its going to be more like Biscuit’s chart from the earlier episode.

  8. akar says:

    It’s funny to see psgels take on HxH and compare it to Guardian Enzo’s( from Lostinanime blog)take on it, its like they watch two whole different versions xD, its like yin and yang! Stll I enjoy both ;)

    • phinx says:

      GE is such a fanboy over hxh it’s stupid. We can have an episode of nothing but nobunaga picking his nose and I bet he’d still fawn over it, “Togashi is genius HxH keeps setting the bar higher OMGZ”

      • MCAL says:

        Stop right there! Last time I checked this is psgels’ blog not LiA. If you are going to insult another’s opinion, you can do it on his blog.

      • Gan_HOPE326 says:

        I am a manga reader so maybe I can stand the training arcs better considering that I know what comes after, but I must say I usually agree with GE (the exception being Phantom Rouge, that I thought was crap). This specific training arc served as a breather as well. Knuckle’s numbers are not ‘power levels’ in the inconsistent and badly thought out way they were meant in DBZ, and the king being similar to Cell is nothing but an homage. Honestly, HXH is a shonen, but a well written one. If you have problems with the core ideas of a shonen, you probably won’t appreciate it. But if you like them, instead, well, HXH is much better than both Naruto and Bleach in this respect (and anime-wise, it’s better than One Piece as well, as the adaptation of the latter has gotten very slow paced and badly animated, while Madhouse is keeping good standards and a steady chapter-to-episode ratio, probably because they plan to end it after Chimaera Ant arc anyway).

        • akar says:

          I think each blogger’s review is a little biased, if someone does not feel as invested in the story or characters since the start of the anime, it will reflect in its review,the reason why i started reading psgels en GE HxH reviews was mostly because of the two different viewpoints: someone who watched the 1999 series and the other who didn’t. Even when some might have some problems with the pacing or the characters(I didn’t btw),i think MAdhouse still did a superb job on the adaption of the CA arc.

  9. Trass says:

    Not gonna spoil anything, but I think you will really like the king’s character once Komugi appears, psgels. (As well as Komugi herself). Just wait, I guarantee it’ll be worthwhile xD

  10. Pafiume says:

    I was SO mad when the fight didn’t end in episode 90, I was planning to take a hiatus from watching until the king was born. I’ve already read the manga up to the current hiatus, but over a year ago so it’s a bit out of my mind. Still, even if this training arc wasn’t any longer than any others it really dragged for me. Thank god it all wrapped up nicely in 91, I’m excited to see the rest from here. I’m going to agree and say I think Psgels will enjoy things to come if he chooses to stick with HxH.

  11. XXL says:

    Well, it’s a battle Shonen manga even if it’s more complex. What did you expect? Of course power levels are important. They are since the start of the manga.

  12. Mikey says:

    Could we dicuss HxH without insulting other people?

  13. Wow says:

    This episode showed more of how anti-shonen hxh is than it is pro-shonen

    Sad to see that someone who can’t even see that taken seriously. But then again, i remember he’s also the one who whined about greed island because ‘he’s seen it before’

    • Breach. says:

      A piece of work may have a thoroughly admirable and avant-garde edge to it, but that edge may be dulled or made less appreciable by missteps elsewhere. One may not agree with psgels’ criticisms, but they are valid–others have voiced disillusionment with this particular set of episodes, for example, for similar reasons. It’s for that reason that psgels should be taken seriously.

  14. asas says:

    Psgels, When I got to this point in the manga, I was pretty pissed too! Especially with the “cell clone”

    BUT

    Togashi does this on purpose.

    Let me just say that as the arc goes on, it will make you praise the dude. It is just really really well-written from here on out. Togashi is just laying the foundations now

  15. K Robert M says:

    I think much of psgels’ criticism is valid. At this point in the arc, things are proceeding as he describes. It’s been episode after episode filled with discussions about power levels and techniques. Now with the newborn King apparently being a Cell clone, he seems to be the incarnation of an unspeakable evil, with no psychological complexity nor subtlety. There’s certainly been nothing like Hisoka or the Spiders in terms of characterization. The three Royal Guards seem like stock characters out of an old horror movie, complete with melodramatic violin solos and experiments with the dead. I’m enjoying it, but I can see how someone else would find it tedious.

    But as others have stated, and if you’ll allow me this one spoiler, this is all a massive head-fake. Either that, or Togashi simply changed his mind during the many years he worked on this arc. I suspect the latter. I don’t want to give away much more. I’ve already written too much I fear.

    One problem is that if you’re not enjoying the characters now, you’re going to have to slog through many more episodes before before you see this change in direction.

  16. VyseLegendaire says:

    You’re not alone psgels, and I also think this show has been boring the past few episodes. Just not dynamic enough, too much time on a repetitive training/power-up arc. Once the show starts delivering some real character interaction and twists again, it should pick up…I hope.

    • Zak says:

      It’s STILL the prelude-phase of the arc. As far as I remember the arc started in the manga with a big “START”-sign in the shounen jump. All these filler episodes are nothing compared to the upcoming plot-twisting episodes. Read my lips: Togashi had the balls to put in the later chapters IN EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER A TWIST. IN EVERY, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. IT NEVER ENDED! It was nerve-wrecking to the maximum. You really couldn’t find a hint how this monstrosity would end until it was to late. And oh god, the climax was such a f_cking masterpiece. But it’s not easy to understand what Togashi wanted to tell with the arc. Please be careful and rewatch the whole arc again after it’s over. It’s part s_____ c______ and rebound-storytelling. It makes more sense in the context after you’ve seen it completely.

  17. PremierOga says:

    Dude, no need to complain! I don’t mind Hunter x Hunter going at a slow place, It’s one of the best arcs ever in anime period. Nothing wrong with Togashi taking his time with this one.

    • fgchvybun in which says:

      Well said. If anyone is unhappy with this anime then stop watching it. You will only miss out on some of the most intelligent strategies and fights in anime to date.
      Psgels: To say their training arcs are overdone is foolish. The enemies they are pitted against in this series are incredibly strong. They get stronger progressively as the series goes on. The writer has given HxH a real life theme by showing Gon and Killua constantly training to face these ever stronger opponents. You cant just fight people with more experience and strength than you in real life. Their training aids in bridging the gap between them and their opponents, adding realism to the anime. Its not like Naruto in which every enemy can “apparently” be defeated by sheer determination. Its not like one piece in which every main character can be attacked with a full strength attack and stand unscathed to win the battle. HxH brings a new kind a writing to the table. It doesn’t sell out to the flock of idiots calling for a fast paced anime with lots of fights. Its intelligent, imaginative, and fresh. If you want the same old crap go elsewhere for your anime.

  18. John says:

    Please please pick up HxH again, psgels. It’s currently one of the better series out there and you’d be doing yourself an injustice by not watching the rest.

  19. Linkmstr says:

    Like some people said, you should really pick this up again. Some of the best episodes is on the Chimera Ant arc. The best one, imo, is episode 131. The OST is just amazing and even more so in the end of the episode.

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  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.

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