Hunter x Hunter #3 Reaction

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  1. Note: I’ve seen this series before, 6 times, and written many analyses on it before but thought I should rewatch it with you guy snad give my thoughrs on each episode. Feel free to look here for insight and information you may have missed.

    I have to admit this episode was quite good – easily the most entertaining of the three. Much better than I remembered it to be. Shounens are notoriously slow starters and but now things are really starting to heat up now (and faster than in the original, too) – the exam has started, and two more major cast members were introduced – the twisted shotacon magician Hisoka and the kid Killua. We also met the “Rookie Crusher” who’s failed the hunter exam 34 times and tried to give Gon and his pals the trots with laxative juice. It was quite fun, and the charms of the series are starting to show themselves. See you again in ep 4.

    1. I am so hyped for you to be watching this series. The first arc, the Hunter Exam arc is really good and I think you’ll enjoy it quite nicely. The next arc, Heaven’s Arena arc is basically a tournament arc, so more fight scenes which I know some of you will enojy. Then, we get to the Yorknew City Arc. This is the arc that shows why Hunter X Hunter is among one of the best anime out there. It is amazing. Then we get to Greed Island, which is really fun. And, then. Chimera Ant Arc. Simply put, I don’t think any anime has ever attempted to tell a story as subtle, intricate, profound and difficult as Chimera Ant. It’s not without missteps, but the ambition soars so high here that even factoring those in, it’s impossible for me to place anything above it.

      That said, though, “Chimera Ant” is unique-the pinnacle of Togashi Yoshihiro’s audacity as a writer and Madhouse’s creativity as a studio. The numbers are staggering; at 60 episodes, it’s longer than most series in their entirety. It combines elements from every arc that’s come before it and introduces countless themes new not just to Hunter X Hunter, but to shounen. I’d say the only other shonen that even gets close is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, which you guys loved.

      The Chimera Ant arc isn’t perfect but a few missteps are forgivable because Togashi’s ambition soars above anything a shounen mangaka had done before. He breaks every narrative rule in the book, largely eschewing climactic fight scenes in favor of tense waiting and dialogue. He stretches a few seconds into entire chapters (which become anime episodes). He leaves much of the exposin to voice-over narration. He not only leaves behind his main characters for many chapters at a time, but focuses entire mini-arcs on characters who are minor even within the arc itself-and he makes them utterly captivating.

      It’s hard to overstate just how brilliant and epic “Chimera Ant” really is. Togashi incorporates both Buddhist and Christian themes, slyly comments on politics and human nature, and ultimately turns this arc into the most unlikely tale of redemption imaginable. There is no expectation “Chimera Ant” doesn’t confound, no shortcut taken; it always does the heavy lifting to earn its payoffs.

      And the payoffs, when they come, are thrilling or heartbreaking, or usually both. There are individual episodes that are among the greatest of all time, a huge cast of voice actors (in the japanese dub, sorry Blind Wave) that are exceptional, and Han Megumi delivers one of anime’s greatest performances as Gon. The english dub falls hsort in a number of ways but sohuld still be highly enjoyable. “Chimera Ant” doesn’t simply take what’s been done and do it better-it effectively creates a new genre for itself, and no one has attempted to copy it because no one can. And that, for me, makes it the greatest shounen arc of all time. While I can’t wait for you to get to ep 4 and the rest, I can’t wait to experience the chimera ant arc again with you guys.

    2. Looking back, episode 3 was the first episode where I really felt the stirrings of something special in Hunter X Hunter. Most importantly in terms of the series, it was the introduction of two characters who would change the dynamic of the story completely – Hisoka and Killua. Each of them made an immediate impression, especially Hisoka – who by starting to build his body count in his very first appearance made it absolutely clear that we were in for a darker ride than it might have appeared after the first two episodes.

      Killua’s immediate impact was subtler, but even absent a detailed knowledge of the story it was clear he was destined to play an indispensable role – he seemed very much the “photo-negative of Gon” in so many ways, right off the bat. How little did I know then about just how deep and profound their relationship would turn out to be…

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