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Hunter X Hunter 2011 – 41

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「ゴウケツ×ノ×シュウケツ」
“Gathering x Of x Heroes”

After two episodes that were just a step down in quality for the first time in… well, a very long time, H x H kicks off the York Shin Arc proper with an episode that cranks the awesome back up to 11.

Consider this a guest appearance for Hunter X Hunter. It seems like the right time with the legendary York Shin Arc kicking into high gear, and it didn’t feel right to me that H x H should go without a mention on RC. If one or two of you decide to watch it based on that, great – but if nothing else, I’m curious to see what kind of following the show has here.

For an H x H fan – or at least this one – this was an episode that had almost everything. As much as I’ve enjoyed the Kurapika mini-arc there’s been a certain something missing, a bright energy that pairs with the darkness at the heart of the show and makes it resonate in your sternum like the beat of a taiko drum. Kurapika brings plenty of darkness and rage, but as much as I think he’s a better person when he’s with a group – especially friends – than when he’s alone wallowing in his rage, the show itself is better when he’s paired up with the others.

I’ve definitely missed Gon and Killua – though they weren’t really gone all that long, of course. While the show is at its best with everyone involved it’s my considered opinion that Gon and Killua’s vibe is better suited to carry the show solo than Kurapika’s – and it seems Togashi agrees, as their training arc was many times longer than Kurapika’s. As much darkness as there is in Killua’s story, there’s always a sense of hope as long as he’s with Gon – and the two of them bring an irreplaceable energy and indomitable spirit that makes the show fun no matter how violent and depraved it is. Their brief (five minutes or so) appearance at the start of the episode was a great kick-starter, and once they’d gotten the ball rolling the episode never looked back.

Of course what the pair is up to seems basically to be setting up the arc that’s to follow the one to come – the Greed Island Arc. The two of them have a way of making anything they tackle into an adventure, even online research – and it’s at an internet café that they get their first solid leads about the game, thanks to the URL from Miluki. I found it hilarious – and totally in character – to see the two of them toss 20 million Jenny at the Hunter website as if it were nothing. That bribe gets them a sort of Nen-powered VR experience in an Old West saloon, and the information that Greed Island is itself a Nen-powered simulation, one that takes the player inside the game – and that 50 Hunters paid by a wealthy patron to try and beat it never came back. The other problem is that while there will be 7 copies for bid at the York Shin auction, the lowest starting bid is $8.9 billion Jenny – truly an astonishing sum of money. So the boys launch of an effort to raise the cash by buying and selling rare items themselves online – and like many children before them, discover the dangers of online trading and come out much the poorer (though hardly discouraged) for their efforts.

So in fact, what we have is Kurapika and Gon’s destinies converging in York Shin, with each of them having something very concrete to gain from the auction. And as Gon and Killua infuse the ep with their feckless charm, things are heating up big-time in Kurapika’s world. He and the three other candidates (Basho, Baise and Melody) have each found a rare item from their list (though none of them the eyes of a Kurta) and been hired as bodyguards. Dalzollene is the go-between, and their new boss is not what anyone expects. Neon Nostrade (Ueda Kana) is a seemingly harmless genki teenage girl, but her family name is a clue to her true nature – she’s an incredibly powerful diviner, and her father Light (Itou Eiji) has leveraged her amazing fortunetelling into great power in the underworld. We don’t see much of the two of them interacting, but the sense is that Neon is a handful – and not always keen to do what Daddy tells her to do.

The overwhelming sense of this episode is of destinies coming together with a crash in York Shin – a few happily so, as the aforementioned reunion of the boys and Kurapika (and Leorio) but mostly with a resounding crash. There’s the fact that one of Kurapika and his colleagues’ assignments at the auction is to purchase Kurta eyes (again Melody notices Kurpika’s reaction). There’s the fact that four of Neon’s newest fortunes seem to portend death for their owners, all of whom plan to attend the auction. And without a doubt the main event is the arrival on the scene of the legendary Phantom Troupe, whose dark aura has been hanging over the series since the very beginning.

I’ll take the lazy way out and direct you here for the full list of Troupers and their seiyuu. Suffice to say it’s an amazing bunch, including the likes of Miyano Mamaru as leader Chrollo, Paku Romi as Pakunoda (heh) and Yamaguchi Kappei as Feitan – and that’s just for starters. Considering the buildup this bunch has had their introduction could easily have been an anti-climax, but it was handled beautifully by Madhouse – complete with stirring orchestral soundtrack. Each member was introduced with style, each making an impression – building up to Chrollo and the one “member” of the Troupe we know full well – Hisoka, fashionably late as usual. Adding to the fascinating mix of course is the fact that Hisoka clearly considers the Troupe just another tool for his amusement, and doesn’t take his membership seriously enough to even have a real spider tattoo. And the rest of the gang seem to hold him in no higher esteem than he holds them. As always, Hisoka’s ultimate goals are a mystery – but as for Chrollo, he declares his intention to steal everything that’s up for auction, and to kill everyone who gets in the way.

This is the most charismatic and formidable bunch of anime supervillains I can remember since their beloved Shounen Jump cohorts, the Juppongatana from Rurouni Kenshin. And for the first time, the magnitude of what’s going to happen in this arc feels real – everything starting with the original quartet (and yes, that’s Leorio in the preview) coming together, with unknowable results. Kurapika, Gon and Killua, The Phantom Troupe, Hisoka, the Nostrade family – each with their own formidable powers and their own interests, a kind of synergistic perfect storm of shounen restless energy, feeding off each other like a storm drawing strength from warm ocean waters and becoming a hurricane. I suspect there’s going to be a whole lot of collateral damage, but it’s going to he a hell of a blast to watch it come down.

 

Preview

Hunter X Hunter   41   Preview 01 Hunter X Hunter   41   Preview 02 Hunter X Hunter   41   Preview 03

Omake: “Gon & Killua’s Hunterpedia – Neon”

Hunter X Hunter   41   Omake 01 Hunter X Hunter   41   Omake 02 Hunter X Hunter   41   Omake 03
July 29, 2012 at 1:25 am
33 comments »
  • July 29, 2012 at 1:57 amDa5id

    Anyone got an idea when this new version will catch up to the old series’ OVAs?

    • July 29, 2012 at 5:13 amKim Pine

      The series is currently about 8 or 9 episodes faster than the first series.

  • July 29, 2012 at 2:00 amSinTei

    Woah! Yes! Hunter X Hunter in RC. Great job Enzo! :))

  • July 29, 2012 at 2:14 amCrook

    Awesome, I’ve been waiting for RC to review this for a long time :D

  • July 29, 2012 at 3:09 amKaz

    Awesome review! Awesome episode! and Puu (YuYu Hakusho) cameo! hehe…

  • July 29, 2012 at 4:37 ambleu

    Coincidentally started watching and reading Hunter x Hunter a few days ago – Now I’m really stoked to see it here on RC :D I have a few eps to catch up, but I will gladly read your posts each week Enzo!

  • July 29, 2012 at 5:04 am0927123

    My childhood…

  • July 29, 2012 at 6:18 amMormegil

    Oh, nice! I’m glad the new HxH series will be getting even more recognition, now that you’ve decided to also include your entries on RC. Great idea. =)

    Welcome to some of the best shonen villains out there, Enzo. You’re going to love this arc.

  • July 29, 2012 at 6:46 amearthre

    This is great! I was a bit disappointed when the series started and no one seemed interested in picking it up on RC, so I’m quite excited to see HxH getting a mention on RC. I hope you’ll decide to blog a few more episodes!

  • July 29, 2012 at 7:01 amBROOKLYN otaku

    REALLY?! fairy fail gets a weekly head nod but HxH get a GUEST APPEARANCE………? SMH and i never use! “SMH” I just popped my cherrie.but seriously..the tactics. And fight scenes alone make that other shounen look like american cartoons…im just saying

    • July 29, 2012 at 6:59 pmfrubam

      Well, Enzo has been covering this series on his website, though I’ve no idea what stipulations he has in regards to what series to show coverage of on RC(aside from others covering the same show of course).

      • July 29, 2012 at 7:16 pmGuardian Enzo

        Mostly it’s just a question of time (formatting posts for two sites adds a lot of work to the publishing process). Also, it isn’t common for RC to pick up a series that’s never been covered before right in the middle. Mostly, my intention here was to do this post as a one-time tribute to Madhouse’s H x H – which deserves far, far more attention – and to act as a reminder to the RC fanbase that the show is out there and kicking ass.

        I’m also reluctant to see this platform turn into another “1999 vs. 2011″ pissing contest, which has happened elsewhere (though not much at LiA). So far so good on that score, more or less.

  • July 29, 2012 at 7:51 amThat Lazy Shounen

    I prefer the Kurapica from the old series to the new one. The change in his character at the start of his mission was just PERFECT. You could sense how much hate he had for the Spiders and how much strength he’d gained and how dedicated he was to eradicate them. But this Kurapica… Something’s just not convincing, maybe it’s the seiyuu that doesn’t suit his now raging self. It’s a bit at how Killua is now more cheerful and Gon-like.

    My rants aside, thanks for the coverage, Enzo. It nice to see the anime you grew up watching get featured on RC.

  • July 29, 2012 at 9:22 amKJacket

    Perfect post just when I was wondering if I should watch the latest episode and see where it’s at! Unfortunately, trying to follow a storyline I already watched before was a bit boring no matter how much I loved the old version so I dropped it early on but this has me convinced to catch up after the G.I. arc.

  • July 29, 2012 at 9:25 ambelatkuro

    Oh, a post in RC. Nice.

    Hisoka’s goal is pretty easy to figure out but I’ll let him say what it is. Makes you wonder if they know about him being a fake member.
    As for the Troupe, they’re one of the most awesome villains out there and it’s nice to see all of them in full bloom, especially Chrollo. And an awesome seiyuu cast to boot.
    And they’re prepping up Greed Island so much, I want to skip this and see that animated. But both arcs are awesome so let’s hope it goes well.

    Weird. Neon’s hair is blue-ish but in the Hunterpedia, it’s green-ish.
    Oh well, Ueda Kana is olev.

  • July 29, 2012 at 10:34 amleokiko

    This is one of the best shounen of all time. It’s only right that it gets posted here.

    All I can say is: FINALLY!

    • July 30, 2012 at 12:03 pmMormegil

      Yep. This and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Fall is going to be an incredible season for shonen fans with these two airing alongside each other.

  • July 29, 2012 at 12:18 pml3reezer

    Excellent episode. It’s a shame that the animation is starting to get iffy for the first time, at this time.

    • July 30, 2012 at 9:39 amkamen rider

      What about the animation was iffy? Seemed pretty good to me.

  • July 29, 2012 at 2:05 pmSalbazier

    Well, this is a remake so no wonder it got guest appearance. Heck, I’ve only now hear about this. I guess i should thank you, enzo, for that. On the other hand, I’ve no interest rewatching this series again despite loving the old version so much. What with so many back log right now. Plus, based on the screenshots, I think i prefer the old one’s art/style/design

  • July 29, 2012 at 5:08 pmZhinvu

    I’m definitely liking this series. I never saw the older version but vaguely know something about it through folks who followed the series. Music used in the remake is nice too and hopefully they’ll manage to sneak in “Ohayou” somewhere there.

  • July 29, 2012 at 5:23 pmAlec

    To me the boss in this new HxH is less mysterious and definitely evil.

    The characters’ new clothing color still kinda distracts me though

  • July 29, 2012 at 6:37 pmSfalcin

    Awesome episode! One of best shounen, for sure. I like the fact that almost all the characters are actually smart and don’t fight without a reason.

  • July 29, 2012 at 8:06 pmTan-Tan

    After this episode, I went straight in the original series to watch where it left me. I was that excited.

  • July 29, 2012 at 8:51 pmarina1992

    Love the new HUNTERxHUNTER!!!! Awesome voice actors and actresses!

    Kappei Yamaguchi (Inuyasha) as Feitan
    Noriko Hidaka (Kikyou) as Shalnark
    Kana Ueda(Rin) as Neon
    Mamoru Miyano(Light Yagami) as Chrollo
    Mamiko Noto(Enma Ai) as Kalluto Zoldyck
    Romi Park(Edward Elric) as Pakunoda
    Miyuki Sawashiro(Celty Sturluson) as Kurapika
    Toshihiko Seki(Genjo Sanzo) as Wing
    Mariya Ise(Ringo) as Killua
    Keiji Fujiwara(Hughes) as Leorio
    Daisuke Namikawa(Ulquiorra) as Hisoka
    Rikiya Koyama(Kiritsugu) as Ging
    Junko Iwao(Tomoyo) as Kikyo Zoldyck

    and etc etc…

  • July 30, 2012 at 1:15 amhwighting

    hunter x hunter is leagues above fairy fail yet there is a regular blog for fairy tail. why???

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:05 amjingoi

    Heard this York Shin arc is really good. Time to finally test HxH.

  • July 30, 2012 at 4:37 amEunichi

    HxH needs to have a space here in RC! Hahaha! Enzo, you have us behind you.

    I love this remake of HxH but I have qualms with the new designs of Shalnark and Pakunoda

  • July 30, 2012 at 6:23 amC27

    Hey woah, I completely forgot about the new HxH anime! As someone who really enjoyed the manga, and agonized over the struggles of the mangaka in eking out the end of the last arc I’m really interested to give the new anime a go. The quality of the animation based on the screenshots looks good and the vocal lineup looks impressive.

    • July 30, 2012 at 9:11 amGuardian Enzo

      Then this post was worth it!

  • July 30, 2012 at 3:55 pmSaviour

    HxH is fantastic. Good to see it blogged here, even just one episode.

  • July 31, 2012 at 5:40 pmkaka

    If HxH goes further than the old version then i might follow it again.

  • August 30, 2012 at 3:10 amilovethis

    this si the first time I visit this blog… Love your reviews!!!