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RandomC Podcast #10 – Blogger X Blogger

I’ll let you figure out which one of us is which

This podcast has been a long time coming.

It’s been a long ordeal for me, never being able to talk about Hunter X Hunter on a podcast. So when the not-cold Scot joined the team, it was only a matter of time before this podcast was born. Needless to say it’s unusual to have a podcast with two writers, never mind one focused around one series – but we both feel Hunter X Hunter is so exceptional that it merited extreme measures.

Another area both Samu and I specialize in is sports anime, so we thought this was a good time to give another underexposed topic some RC podcast love. It’s an era of unprecedented commercial success for sports anime and a fascinating and fast-changing time for the genre.

My apologies for my even greater than normal lack of eloquence – not only was I fighting a cold, but it was very early in the morning in Japan (trying to synch the schedules for three continents is never an easy thing).

  Participating Writers

Artist’s Rendering:

  Time Index

Two writers, no waiting:

00:00 – Intro
00:40 – The headliner speaks

01:15Hunter X Hunter (spoilers begin at 14:30)

  • What mangaka would you choose to continue Hunter X Hunter if Togashi retired?
  • What’s in a name?
  • H x H’s appeal in two minutes or less
  • Where do you see Gon and Killua’s friendship going?
  • Favorite arcs and why
  • Kiseijuu as an inspiration for “Chimera Ant”
  • Why are fans so hostile towards Togashi Yoshihiro?

51:05 – Sports Anime

  • Why have sports anime exploded in popularity?
  • Trail-blazers (Ookiku Furikabutte, Prince of Tennis)
  • Recommendations among older sports series (Capeta, Giant Killing, Adachi)

71:18 – Under-appreciated gems

  • Sanzoku no Musume Ronja
  • Gundam Build Fighters/Try (the King of Doujins)
  • Tribe Cool Crew
  • Yuri Kuma Arashi

    84:05 – Brief thoughts on the Spring 2015 season

    • Enzo: Arslan Senki, Baby Steps 2, Plastic Memories, Owari no Seraph
    • Samu – “Season of extremes”, Owari no Seraph, Shokugeki no Souma, Baby Steps 2, Kekkai Sensen

    93:10 – Stop listening and go watch Hunter X Hunter 2011!

      Listen to the Episode
    RandomC Podcast #10 – Blogger X Blogger | Duration: 95.01 – 96 kbps

    Download 160 kbps (82.26 MB)

     

    April 13, 2015 at 7:51 pm
    65 comments »
    • April 13, 2015 at 8:07 pmiblessall

      I don’t know where the interview is, but I’m pretty sure I read that Togashi added the “X” in Hunter x Hunter to annoy his wife.

      Honestly, sounds like something he’d do.

      • April 14, 2015 at 3:22 amguardian enzo

        Since we recorded this I saw a claim that he said it was as a result of a comedy TV show he was watching where every word was being repeated twice. I still don’t think that quite explains the “X” though.

    • April 13, 2015 at 8:39 pmchromenova

      Really interesting conversation about the similarities between chimera ant arc and parasyte story. Like Samu, I really didn’t think of hunter x hunter until you bring it up here. Both authors of Parasyte and Hunter x Hunter were definitely very ambitious in their storytelling, it is rare to see manga confront such deep, philosophical questions about humanity and morality across different species. Now I feel sad about Togashi’s hiatus. Whatever his reason may be, I do hope he comes back to the drawing board (at least for like 10 chapters before another inevitable hiatus, lol).

      • April 13, 2015 at 8:41 pmguardian enzo

        Like I said, I would be perfectly fine with Togashi deciding that drawing was simply too painful for him, and continuing the series strictly as the writer. I love his art, but I want more H x H.

        • April 14, 2015 at 2:58 amEarthling Zing

          When I hear that scenario, I can’t help but think about the D Gray Man catastrophe…

        • April 14, 2015 at 4:00 pminnu

          Sounds like the perfect solution to me. Togashi is capable of doing great artwork but he’s inconsistent. What makes Hunter x Hunter stand out is Togashi’s storytelling and if his health problems won’t permit him to do both then he should focus on the writing.

        • April 15, 2015 at 12:40 amChloesong

          @Earthling Zing
          I’m a hardcore fan of DGM until the end. Hoshino-sensei is actually now active via Twitter Hoshino1000. :)

        • April 15, 2015 at 10:57 amK.Seiran

          Acttually Hoshino-sensei do more updates than Togashi on my book. or more like the pacing she took helps.

      • April 14, 2015 at 2:56 pmApa

        Personally, I feel that Hunter x Hunter did it better than Parasyte. They were able to get me emotionally invested in a lot of the characters, while I really only cared about Shinichi and Migi in Parasyte and everyone else I either didn’t care at all about or the only thing I cared about them was how annoying they were….

        Also, I feel as if Parasyte did, to a point, get me thinking with its themes, but before it could delve deeper into that, it went off somewhere else, and ended up being a mess of unresolved plotholes and something about trash helping us or humans or something. The Chimera Arc in Hunter x Hunter, on the other hand, while it had pacing issues at points, kept focus on its themes, and that led to a good payoff.

    • April 13, 2015 at 9:48 pmCarVac

      Yurikuma Arashi really was an excellent series in my opinion. The characters are great, the symbolism isn’t too mystifying, and the conclusion is satisfying. Do watch it, Enzo.

    • April 14, 2015 at 12:52 amYukie

      Glad to see sports anime get some spotlight here at randomc :)

      On the topic of the future of Killua and Gon’s friendship, I think the two of them have entered a transitional phase of growing up, and it’s a place in their life where it’s good for them to separate and focus on their own individual paths. For Killua, it is taking on a responsibility he never got around to (due to Illumi’s needle). For Gon, it is finding the next step after he’s found his father. I’m actually a little worried about Killua, because he seems to be just transferring his urge to take care of someone from Gon to Alluka (now that Gon doesn’t “need” him). But I definitely see them reuniting in the future as two complete individuals (still friends)who’ve gained some perspective instead of two kids in a co-dependent relationship.

    • April 14, 2015 at 2:43 amSilke

      Not just here but Hunter x Hunter 2011 also won the Anime of the Year award at Reddit. Sadly, HxH was disqualified from majority of the year-end polls because it began airing in 2011.
      http://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/2x0mbz/ranime_awards_2014_wrap_up_thread/

      Ishida Sui’s April Fool’s joke was certainly the most cruel and I was a sucker for believing it. I find it interesting that he picked Hisoka because Tsukiyama kinda reminds me of him.

      • April 14, 2015 at 3:24 amguardian enzo

        I think the joke is evidence that the resemblance is more than coincidental.

    • April 14, 2015 at 3:55 amCusack

      I have no faith in Togashi. That guy will never finish Hunter x Hunter.

      • April 14, 2015 at 7:29 amBarry

        It really sucks for us fans. I wish he would at least say why he is on hiatus.

        • April 14, 2015 at 8:06 amguardian enzo

          He did – this time. WSJ said he was having serious back issues and is undergoing treatment.

      • April 14, 2015 at 10:35 amkim

        I think I heard of a new Dragon Quest game released last month..

    • April 14, 2015 at 4:44 amchibi-killua

      Oh yes! A Hunter x Hunter post. I consider all the arcs great and unique:

      Hunter Exam
      Zoldyck Family
      Heaven’s Arena
      Yorknew City
      Greed Island
      Chimera Ant
      13th Hunter Chairman Election

      It’s hard for me to pick a best so I’ll go with arc I liked the least which is the Zoldyck Family arc. It was a good introduction to the Zoldyck family and it gave some development to my favorite character, but it was also the shortest (5 episodes) and least eventful arc in my opinion.

      • April 14, 2015 at 8:12 amBarry

        Understandable since Zoldyck Family arc was more of a bridge between Hunter Exam and Heaven’s Arena instead of a main arc.

    • April 14, 2015 at 6:26 amThatguy3331

      Interesting you guys call Hunters Exam a “light” arc, because to me I always felt HxH had a shade of darkness to it with execution that manga in it’s genre couldn’t really hope to match. Chimera ant arc is my favorite arc as well, as it embodies everything I love about HxH but the exam would be my #2 arc for me. Also as far as Togashi planning things out, I do recall in one of his interviews that chimera ant was only supposed to be a mini arc before it blew up into what it is now so I always have mixed thoughts concerning wether he planned everything. I think he has a general idea of where he wants to go but it isn’t set in concrete stone. That says I’m looking forward to when he really gets into the meat of what he’s planning to do with the dark continent arc, but as of now it still feels like set up so as glad as I am to see that Togashi remembered Kurapika and Leorio exist again (I half joke I don’t think he forgot but still) I’m still in a neutral zone.

      That was a very interesting podcast, and samu it’s interesting to hear your voice as I only remember you from this one time you were a tweeter on a shonenbeam live show XD

    • April 14, 2015 at 6:28 amThatguy3331

      On a side note while I’m neither the biggest sports or mecha nut, I did catch the end of your talk on that gundam show and how many doujins have apparently been made of it. I personally don’t think anyone can plan for stuff like that with their series but that did make me laugh quite a bit.

      • April 16, 2015 at 12:18 amMars

        It’s my first time hearing of the abundance of Gundam Build Fighters/Try doujins and I’m extremely surprised because I heard it’s a kids show.

        • April 16, 2015 at 3:38 amkim

          Why are you surprised? It’s Japan.

        • April 16, 2015 at 7:09 pmMagewolf

          The vast majority of it is MILF porn in some form or another. Rinko has become the most popular MILF ever it seems

        • April 17, 2015 at 5:59 pmguardian enzo

          Nope, not the vast majority, since at this point Try is even more popular than GBF in the doujin world. No doubt Rinko was a big factor initially but at this point pretty much every major character in both series has a slice of the pie.

    • April 14, 2015 at 8:41 amesdesu

      I prefer the ”darker” arcs and with Kurapika as my favorite character and Chrollo Lucilfer as my favorite villain, it’s definitely the Yorkshin arc for me. Kurapika vs Uvogin was one of the best fights imo, and his revenge plan to take down the Phantom Troupe was so thrilling. So many antagonists and characters were introduced but Togashi managed to make everyone unique and memorable.

      • April 14, 2015 at 11:47 amWarriorsHeart

        The Yorkshin arc is also my favourite, because it was cleverly written. I liked how the conflict was built up to the climax and resolved through some tactical negotiation. Hunter X Hunter also has a cast of unique characters that were so different to the ones in shows that were popular around the same time. When I read something like Naruto, I couldn’t help but think hey, this character originated from Hunter X Hunter.

        • April 14, 2015 at 12:53 pmKuroko the Best Shooter (Kuroko hype \o/ captain)

          I’ve always believed that Hunter x Hunter could surpass One Piece and Naruto in both popularity and sales if not for Togashi’s many long hiatuses.

      • April 15, 2015 at 6:22 amKenpachi Fried Chicken

        Gotta love the Troupe. So entertaining and devastating. I’m not satisfied with the lack of proper conclusion to YorkShin arc. We know a nen exorcist removed the curse placed on Chrollo but then what? Did Kurapika give up her/his vendetta against the Troupe?

        • April 17, 2015 at 12:25 amjagg

          If this hiatus ever ends then we might find out. The Phantom Troupe are probably going to the continent. I’m still waiting for a proper Chrollo vs Hisoka fight.

    • April 14, 2015 at 10:28 amkim

      Arakawa has proven herself with FMA and Silver Spoon. I agree that she is a good candidate to continue HxH but only if she can do a good imitation of Togashi’s art style. I’m not too fond of the roundish faces in FMA.

      • April 14, 2015 at 11:48 amWarriorsHeart

        I actually prefer her neat style to Togashi’s messy line drawing, but that was probably when his ailments were so apparent.

    • April 14, 2015 at 11:25 amAschente

      Togashi will be back when he needs a new car.

      I really liked the arcs focused on the gamey aspects like Hunter Exam, Heaven’s Arena and Greed Island. They are likely inspired by all the video games that Togashi’s been playing so fans shouldn’t get too upset at his Dragon Quest addiction.

      • April 15, 2015 at 3:31 amAschente

        On the topic of sports anime, I don’t care if both bloggers disagree but Kuroko no Basket is the most exciting sports series. It’s one of the few shows a non-sports anime fan like me managed to finish and I recommend it to everyone.

        • April 15, 2015 at 6:23 amKenpachi Fried Chicken

          HELL YEAH!!! +1000

        • April 15, 2015 at 8:41 amWarriorsHeart

          With great artwork, animation and soundtrack and awesome characters, Kuroko no Basuke definitely holds a special place in my heart.

        • April 15, 2015 at 1:55 pmSamu

          I think that whilst Haikyuu!! has brought in a lot more sports fans recently (and has had the biggest success out of them all, ending up 3rd in the best selling list of 2014 just behind OP and AoT), Kuroko no Basket was the first sign of the new shift in demographic and incrase in popularity for sports series. A lot of people got into them through KnB, so I think it’s perfectly reasonable that those people prefer that one the most. I’m the same with manga in general, as Bleach was my first and is still holds a very dear place in my heart.

        • April 16, 2015 at 3:15 amCaspi

          Kuroko no Basket lives up to the hype, no doubt about it. And I’m glad it’s currently the 3rd Top Airing Anime at MAL after Gintama and Fate UBW. I see more people picking up the show due to it’s high ratings. http://myanimelist.net/topanime.php?type=airing

    • April 14, 2015 at 12:06 pmmurmur

      1) Chimera Ant
      2) YorkNew
      3) Hunter Exam
      4) Heavens Arena
      5) Election Arc
      6) Greed Island
      7) Zoldyck Family

    • April 14, 2015 at 12:41 pmKuroko the Best Shooter (Kuroko hype \o/ captain)

      We all know Election arc is the best because you get to see Leorio give Dad of the Decade a well-deserved punch.

      But seriously, my favorites are Hunter Exam, Heaven’s Arena, Yorknew City, Greed Island, and Chimera Ant arc.

    • April 14, 2015 at 3:50 pmYona

      I don’t think anyone actually thinks Togashi is slacking off and playing Dragon Quest. The Dragon Quest jokes are just ways to cope with the hiatus. I mean, when you have interruptions that happen this often and last this long people are going to come up with ways to cope with it and express their frustration, and this is one way of doing that. It’s the same thing with Miura and the Idolmaster jokes. I don’t believe there’s a general hostility towards Togashi from fans. I’m sure there are some fans who can’t deal with it, but that’s a given. The majority of us are just having fun with it.

      • April 14, 2015 at 5:26 pmguardian enzo

        Personally I think you’re giving people too much credit. I’m sure that it is just a hard-edged joke to some, but I think a lot of people genuinely believe all this hiatuses are because Togashi is a lazy bastard with a gaming addiction. You even see the hostility in some of the comments here.

        None of us knows the whole truth, but I do know this – serious back problems usually begin to develop in the 30′s, which is when Togashi’s hiatus problems began. And if they’re bad enough (I speak from experience) something like drawing a weekly manga (which even many healthy, young artists have described as basically insane) would be utterly impossible. WSJ has invited this hostility by refusing to give a reason until now, but the explanation that requires the least in terms of unwarranted assumptions is that the back problems have been the issue all along.

        • April 15, 2015 at 11:59 amKranyte

          To support GE’s mention of back injuries, I, too, can attest to how limiting (mobility) wise they can cause you to be.
          I tore 2 discs in my back about 1.5 years ago, and for the first month or so, while I could walk around and such, I had severe sciatica (pain stemming from the sciatic nerve in the back, but usually isolated in 1 leg), which made it quite annoying, if I had no pain killers (and, not your typical OTC pain killers.. the only ones that helped with prescription stuff like Percocet. And, then, the associated side-effects of said medication makes things worse).

          So, having experienced a bad back injury before (im only in my 20s), I can agree and understand why Togashi’s hiatus (this time), is extensive. Because, back injuries are x__x;; And, for me, personally, it took nearly 8~9 months to full heal/recover from my own injury, and even during that period of time (especially the first 4 or so months), I had to sit completely “properly” on chairs and such, to prevent pain from occurring.

          TL;DR: Assuming he is having back issues, its definitely understandable why he has taken time off, cuz back injuries/pain = no good.

    • April 14, 2015 at 4:16 pminnu

      I’ve always wondered how Togashi’s mind works and how he comes up with all these fascinating ideas. It’s not easy being consistently creative arc after arc and I’d love to take a tiny peek inside his mind and learn his creative process.

    • April 14, 2015 at 4:28 pmJani

      Love sports animes!!! I’m such a huge fan! My first sports anime was Slam Dunk! I think my favorite series though thus far is Cross Game(come on Samu get hip!), but Diamond no Ace, Haikyuu!!, and Yowapedal are close behind. I keep hearing about Major but there are so many episodes, its just so daunting.

    • April 14, 2015 at 5:01 pmAlex

      I prefer the arcs with all 4 main characters present like the Hunter Exam and Yorkshin City. I really missed Kurapika and Leorio during the Greed Island and Chimera Ant.

    • April 14, 2015 at 7:32 pmichigo

      When I recommend watching Hunter×Hunter (2011) to someone else, I always find it sad when the other person says something like “But it’s so long”. While I can understand that not everyone wants to devote that much time into an anime series, people are missing out! Quality and quantity sometimes work together in order to create something amazing and I am not just talking about Hunter×Hunter (2011) either (though you can also add in its 1999 counterpart).

      • April 16, 2015 at 12:04 amMars

        My brother was reluctant to start HxH for that reason. I convinced him to watch 2 episodes a day and he ended up watching 60+ episodes in the first week. :)

        As you said, some people are too deterred by it’s length but I haven’t seen another high quality long-running anime that has maintained its freshness like HxH.

        • April 18, 2015 at 11:27 pmichigo

          That’s great to hear! (-^o^-)b

    • April 14, 2015 at 8:46 pmGeebun

      Thanks for the great podcast as usual guys! Keep up the great work!

      It’s nice to finally get a good HxH discussion on the podcast. I have to agree with Enzo on the best arcs with Heaven’s arena being the best light one and Chimera ant being the best dark one and the best overall.

      I never watched a sport anime before Haikyuu (aside from Bamboo blade if you want to count that) and I have to say it did get me interested to watch more of them. I might need to check out Cross Game, it looks pretty good.

      Yuri Kuma Arashi really was a nice surprise from last season. It gets going strong with the 4th episode and it does build up to a satisfying ending.

      PS Even though it’s not anime, Song of the sea sure is a great movie.

      • April 14, 2015 at 10:23 pmguardian enzo

        If you like SotS, Secret of Kells is even better…

        I would certainly consider Bamboo Blade a sports anime. Not a great one, but pretty good.

        • April 15, 2015 at 4:25 amGeebun

          Then I’ll make sure to watch it, I just watched Song of the sea last week after seeing all the praises it gots so if Kells is even better I’m all for it.

          I remember enjoying Bamboo blade but I watched it back in high school when I watched anime at random and enjoyed pretty much anything so I didn’t trust my standards from back then :P

        • April 15, 2015 at 5:10 amGeebun

          It’s too bad there isn’t an edit button. I know why I was confused about Bamboo blade being at least good and/or a sport anime. I was mixing some Asu no Yoichi memories with it which wasn’t as good and wasn’t really a sport show.

    • April 15, 2015 at 3:53 amTresBien!

      I laugh every time I hear someone call HxH a kiddie show but the characters really do look a lot younger in this compared to the 1999 anime and I wonder if the recent ”moe” trend influenced the new character designs.

      • April 15, 2015 at 6:01 amguardian enzo

        You hear this a lot, especially in the first few months after the 2011 series started – “They changed it from the original” – under the assumption that the 1999 series was the original. In fact almost all the “changes” (including the character designs) were the 2011 reverting back to what was in the manga, and had been changed in the 1999 version.

        • April 16, 2015 at 3:03 amTresBien!

          I see that makes a lot more sense. I confess I haven’t read the manga because I do believe Togashi will eventually finish the series. He can take his time. I’m not as impatient as most fans.

      • April 16, 2015 at 2:12 pmStilts

        I once heard that the only difference between a children’s book and an adult book is the age of the protagonist(s). Add in perhaps less of the naughty stuff (sex, I mean … violence appears to be All Ages), and that’s pretty much true. Kids are strong. They can take it. And if a story is good, adults will identify with the protagonist, even if he’s a wee lad or lass.

        Too bad more people don’t think like that. More adults. They forget what they knew as children, I find.

    • April 15, 2015 at 5:29 amJustinnnnnn

      Hi Enzo! Will be hearing this because of HxH and you. I shall report back when I finish it. Hope everything’s alright on your end these days man, cheers.

      • April 16, 2015 at 7:45 amguardian enzo

        Thanks – I’m curious to hear how you like it.

    • April 15, 2015 at 3:14 pmmac65

      I Always pronounced those things with an ‘X’ as a compound noun
      such as ‘Hunter-by-Hunter’. Just makes sense to me. Not in a
      measurement sense like 2″x4″ piece of lumber, but in a sense of
      one-by-one something. So, an Anime series about hunters;
      it could have been named ‘Hunters” and that would have been just
      as relevant, IMHO. I never really considered the X a big deal.

      Anyway, I agree it was a well done series — I enjoyed pretty much
      everything about it!

      Thanks for the pcast!

      • April 17, 2015 at 12:23 amjagg

        It sounds better to my ears with the ”X” in it so I pronounce it. Don’t know why but I’ve always thought of the ”x” as a ”versus”. Like Hunter versus hunter.

    • April 15, 2015 at 6:50 pmAtalla

      Love the Gundam Build Fighters love!

      I really hope there’s a third season that goes back to the world championship again, with Try Fighters and tons of cameos. That would be amazing.

      Soundtracks are alright, too. I prefer the first season OST over second season, though.

    • April 16, 2015 at 1:51 amJone

      Watching a tennis game on TV is more exciting than watching Baby Steps.

      To anyone interested in a good sports anime, I recommend Hajime no Ippo and One Outs.

    • April 16, 2015 at 1:36 pmhld

      Has anyone seen Yu Yu Hakusho? Is it as good as Hunter x Hunter?

      • April 16, 2015 at 1:57 pmWarriorsHeart

        If you like shows with a lot of fighting then it’s the show for you. It is unique in its own ways and is split into several story arcs. Basically the story revolves around Yuusuke who is a delinquent and is hired by the God of the Underworld’s son to defeat demons who are causing trouble in the human world. It is similar to HxH in that it has four protagonists and each one has unique characteristics and abilities. The show is funny generally, but can be dark and serious at times. The battles are great in that they do not jump between different battles, but just focus on one until it’s finished, which is one of the aspects I miss in a battle anime/manga. I highly recommend it.