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Hunter x Hunter
by Zoro on November 4th, 2011, 7:59pm

Rating - 8.6 / 10.0

User rating of this review - N/A out of 5
Story/Plot - 4.4 out of 5
Characters - 4.5 out of 5
Drawing Style - 3.5 out of 5
Enjoyment - 4.6 out of 5
Overall - 4.3 out of 5

Click here for series information

Plot/Story
We're talking about the cream of the crop right here. A series more famous for it's hiatus status than it is for it's story. Like-wise, Togashi is a guy who likes to play with rationality. He likes to turn anything logical upside-down, which is simply the weirdest, or the best way to cook up a series like Hunter X Hunter. Anything he thinks is fun he just throws in there for the next story arc.

A boy 12-year-old named Gon sets out to find his father, but before reaching the league his father is in he must at least become a Hunter. In his voyage to become a Hunter he runs into our three other heroes, who we deeply believe can help Gon reach his goal. Soon after, we find that everyone Gon encounters is another boost to becoming what he has to be to find his father. A simple story with very complex puzzles and games in between the start and finish line.

The term 'Hunter', as we soon find out, is something that binds the characters together. In the beginning the term was used as kings of the jungle, rulers of the world, and regarded as the tamers of any creature. It was something that was always talked about in the first arc. Whatever they were doing, they were doing it because of the hunter's influence. Every character in the series has their own back story and different ambitions but the thing they all share in common was their appreciation for hunters.

Each plot in this series is extremely planned out, making them look spontaneous to the point that these characters follow anything that they find interesting, which is what leads to the next arc. The complexity in plot design is very well crafted, most of the time the characters don't care where the situation takes place as long as they get their share from the environment they're in. We are given rules and guidelines in the beginning, we follow them as our heroes go through a situation that no ordinary human could possibly consider doing. Even though an 80 km run seems rather elementary for these characters, we think they're all monsters and deserve their hunter's license right there and then. But we follow Gon and his soon-to-be best friend Killua and decide that if they think it's fun and easy than it probably is. A great way to point out the strongest characters and the characters who would likely make it to the end of the Hunter's exam. We don't even know the cost of a Hunter in some of these arcs, but we know that a Hunter can clearly make a run that's 100 km and more, and thus creating our image of a Hunter, skilled and swift.

Characters
The characters thought up by Togashi are purely an example of his genius. Everyone is much stronger around Gon, because despite his age has the charismatic capacity of a lion. He's optimistic and modest, he doesn't hog the glory. Kurapica is a genius in his own right, a survivor of his clan against a horrid band of criminals, the York Shin arc is layered out to us in his very introduction, a clever way for readers to understand Kurapica's motivations, albeit a bit exaggerated for his size. Which brings us to Leorio and his ambition for money, his character is the most mysterious when introduced because here's a guy who's always carrying a briefcase full of medicine and a guy who slowly gets entranced by Gon's behaviour, as do every other character who meet Gon. Leorio doesn't changes, despite what we think, it's Gon's influence around Leorio that pushes him, a great example is during the the part of the Hunter's exam. Last but not least is Killua Zoldyck and his proud charm for being so strong but so young, another thing Togashi likes to mess with, switching the strongest characters with the youngest characters.

Killua's relationship with Gon is somewhat precious as they grow to know each other. They are the same age but grew up quite differently. Gon trusts in bonds and friendship, something that Killua admires in Gon because he himself has never had a friend, or allowed one. Gon appreciates Killua like a twin brother with cool toys and his sense in wisdom, even though Gon is wise for being so dense at times. (The best comparison I could find for these two was back in Dragonball's Goten & Trunks) The two fit together like a piece in a puzzle, and even more so when connected to Leorio and Kurapica. When we see these characters torn from each other is makes us want them back together, we yearn for it the way they yearn for it.

Drawing Style
The typical shounen manga, the world is vast. We never once think it's small and perhaps it may not seem that way due to the authors deliberate lack in background, but some could claim that the disregard in background was a way for us readers to imagine. And we do imagine. He could either be a genius, or just some lazy bum for only concentrating on the character art. Most chapters his art is rather faulty, but again we're not reading because of the art. In other chapters Togashi really emphasizes a character's face to understand his passions or emotions.

Enjoyment
Precisely the Shounen you expect to read when reading shounen for the first time. Although, there are mature moments in the series, even a grade-schooler can appreciate a series like this and walk away smarter and innovated. You'll definitely get a kick out of this. The humour in this series is very subtle, nothing set up intentionally.

After reading it you'll never be able to decide what your favourite arc is, all of them putting Gon and Killua in a labyrinth like two mice in a maze filled with cats. The entire series is one large chase to find Gon's father, but we must hurdle over everything he's set up for Gon. This makes for impressive development strategy for Togashi because Gon, while racing to find his father, slowly watches himself turn into his father at the same time. The Greed Island arc was easily the best storyline I've ever read in a series, forget the rest of the series if you want to, but at least take the time to read this arc by itself, it's a beast of a storyline in my opinion.

Overall
Without a doubt, this series gets a seat on my shelf. It is by far the best series running in the weekly shounen jump magazine today, and holds a spot above even One Piece, though that is still debatable. I congratulate Togashi for trumping his own YuYu Hakusho, taking that fantasy world and applying more stricter rules on everything in HxH. No one is too over-powered or godly even, each depend on a more sturdier attitude and charisma to upgrade their strengths. Thank you Togashi, here's one for the ages!!
 
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