OP3 Sequence



「サイカイ×ト×リカイ」 (Saikai × to × Rikai)
“Reunion × And × Understanding”

It’s pretty rare in TV anime that we truly see history being made, but this is one of those moments when we do.  For that reason, I thought it was appropriate to do one my occasional Hunter X Hunter posts for Random Curiosity.

In some ways, you could almost say that the 75 episodes of Hunter X Hunter Madhouse has produced have all been the prologue, leading up to this moment. After all, the story told in those episodes has been told on-screen before, although not all of it in series format and arguably none of it with this caliber of production quality. But that wouldn’t be doing justice to that glorious year-and-a-half of anime – those 75 eps represent one of the most consistently brilliant manga adaptations in anime history, a triumph in every respect for Madhouse and the catalyst for the continued thriving of the H x H franchise despite Togashi Yoshihiro being on hiatus for most of that time.

Nevertheless, this is undeniably a hugely important moment in Hunter X Hunter history. As a devout fan of Rurouni Kenshin I can only imagine the emotions that would be running through me when, after 15 years, the first frames of the "Jinchu" Arc were finally brought to the screen (we’ve seen FMA and H x H get their full re-tellings – when will RK finally get its due?). This entire adaptation has been a revelation to me as someone who hadn’t read the manga or seen the Nippon Animation version, but it’s met with its share of hostility from some of the old audience – though even many of the critics seem to have withered under the relentless brilliance of Madhouse’s work here. Now, though, with the weight of expectations so overwhelming, the task faced by Koujina Hiroshi and his team has never been more difficult.

In fact, the Madhouse version of the "Chimera Ant" Arc already starts off in a different place than the manga version did, because some of what we saw in this episode actually takes place at the beginning of the manga. There, a meeting takes place between Gon and Kite – a very important one, in fact – in the earliest stages of the story. While there was a meeting in the anime version too, Gon was quite unaware of who he was meeting with at the time – it was merely a strange man with long hair who saved him when he stumbled into the territory of a foxbear with her cub and needed saving (and scolding). And rather than seeing that meeting in its chronological place in the timeline, here it’s presented as a flashback when Gon (with Killua in tow) and Kite are reunited after Gon uses "Accompany" in the aftermath of his victory in Greed Island.

I’ll leave it to others to debate the merits of the change, because this is the version that I’m writing about – and in this version, things make sense just the way they are. Somewhat cruelly, Gon has once again been denied the chance to meet his father. Ging had Elena rig it so that only if Gon used "Magnetic Force" would be be taken to Ging. If Gon used "Accompany" he would be taken to see Kite (Ikeda Shuuichi), yet another friend set up as a kind of way-station on Gon’s road to Ging. Ging’s reasoning is that if Gon used "Accompany", that made him "gutless" because he needed friends with him for the meeting – while Elena counters that it’s really because Ging is "shy and weird". The most telling moment of this exchange comes, it seems to me, in the aftermath of Gon leaving the game, when Elena thinks to herself "I feel sorry for Gon-kun" at the prospect of trying to deal with a father like Ging.

There are many striking things about this episode, which starts with the fated meeting between Gon, Killua, and Kite. The tone is starkly different from any other arc so far, even "York Shin" – I would describe it as "somber". This is reflected in the new OP animation ("Departure" remains, but the visuals are dark and somewhat reflective) and even more so in the new ED. Things are quieter, more thoughtful, sometimes sinister – while Kite comes across as a decent and even warm person, there’s an unsettling feel to many scenes, and the new BGM interspersed with older tracks also reflects this. Of the "Chimera Ant" that reflects the arc’s title we see only snatches, but they’re enough to be thoroughly creepy – the dismembered head that takes a bite out of Killua’s thigh, and the Queen (74 year-old Ikeda Masako) we see sitting in a sea cave, wounded and feverishly feasting on fish, desperate to survive long enough to "give birth to the King".

Hunter X Hunter has faced many critical casting choices over its run, and Kite obviously represents one of the most important. In reaching out to an anime stalwart like Ikeda-san they’ve hit another home run. Ironically Ikeda has already played one of the great mentor characters in manga history – Kenshin Himura’s Hiten Mitsurugi-ryuu master, Hiko Seijurou – and he brings the same sort of world-weary gravity to Kite. Ikeda has a personal connection to this series – he’s a close friend of Han Keiko and Han Megumi (Gon) has described him as being "like a father" to her, which completes a sort of circle than began when Han Keiko was given the role of Gon’s Aunt Mito, the closest thing he’s known to a mother.

It’s easy to see that Gon and Kite’s relationship is going to be a deep and complex one – in a sense, Ging has given Kite the most important role of all in leading his son to eventually reunite with him. Kite’s reaction when he destroys an ant nest to save the unwitting boys from being attacked – "Man, forced to take another life…" – is the same as when he saved Gon from the foxbear, and immediately stamps him as someone who’s well aware of the precious and fragile nature of a living creature’s existence. The story he tells Gon is of a hardscrabble life in the slums, which Ging saved him from, and of the search to find him that Ging set up as the final test of Kite’s readiness to be a Hunter – a story that further stamps Ging as a friend of the outcast and despised, and as a man whose true nature is impossible to grasp.

Ging’s ability to manipulate people and events is the stuff of mythology at this point. It’s clear that much of what we’ve seen in the series is a direct result of his machinations, not least of which the entire Greed Island scenario and Gon’s meeting with Kite. Could it be possible, as Gon suggests, that even his friendship with Killua was the result of Ging’s manouverings? It’s too early to tell – it seems unlikely, but with Ging it would be unwise to declare anything impossible. But this series, ultimately, isn’t about Ging – this is Gon’s story, and it starts and ends with his friendship with Killua. We see over and over again the dedication to the other that they share – Killua’s instant instinctive reactive to save Gon first being only the latest example. If Ging truly saw reliance on friends as Gon’s weakness he was surely incorrect, as his bond with Killua has only made him far stronger – if anything it seems as if Ging’s inability to fully trust anyone may be his only weakness. If the premiere was any guide "Chimera Ant" is going to take them – and the series – into darker and more challenging places than it’s gone before. But millions of H x H fans all over the world are ecstatic to finally see that happen on-screen. It’s pretty rare in TV anime that we truly see history being made, but this is one of those moments when we do.


ED4 Sequence

ED4: 「Nagarebushi☆Kirari」 (流れ星☆キラリ -ゆずバージョン-) by (Yuzu)



  1. At this point, I can’t blame you for starting on episode 76. The whole 75 first episodes were just remakes. Though it was worth watching Gon punching the lights out of Bomber.

    Anyway, I am more interested Kite’s Crazy Slots’s ability. Only three were shown briefly in the manga, it would be nice if it expands on it more in the anime.

    1. I don’t think even many die-hard fans of the ’99 would argue that the Madhouse version has been “simply remakes”. At the very least the production quality has been much better and most seem to believe this version has been more faithful to the manga. While Chimera Ant obviously represents a significant milestone, I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t seen them to seek out the first 75 eps with extreme prejudice.

    2. Incase no one notices, the words “I do not blame” is implying that I don’t blame Enzo for starting on episode 76 instead of episode 1. I seen the first 76 episodes, a majority have a few extra scenes and a few censored scenes (The somewhat censored Killia’s technique when pulling Jones’ heart.)

  2. Really? Departure? Really???
    Man, I like this Adaptation very much but those guys have a talent to choose unfitting music.
    Anyways I completely agree with history being made. Ive been waiting sooooo long for this arc. I also agree with all the points mentioned about the friendship between those two, and that is exactly why Show Spoiler ▼

    1. I think the OP/ED selection is nearly perfect with this series. It being a long-running shonen series, Madhouse has made an excellent choice in keeping the same opening as to evoke a general “this is Hunter x Hunter” feel while changing the ending per arc to define each one individually, not to mention the episodes always have a bad-ass climactic finale when the ending is prematurely played as an insert song. (I’m not too fond of this new ending on first listen but I felt the same way when Yuzu’s REASON replaced its predecessor and those sentiments quickly changed.)

  3. Oh man, it’s HxH, the Cell Saga…!

    So there are 2 new voice actors named Ikeda. It was slightly confusing when you introduced the female one, and then immediately started referring to the male one!

    1. I didn’t even notice that, to be honest. I suppose it’s not impossible they could be related as they have the same Kanji in the family name, but it’s also one of the most common family names in Japan so I rather think it’s a coincidence.

    2. No, the similarities are so obvious, Im sure Togashi did that on purpose. Spoiler now, I guess – Show Spoiler ▼

      So I guess it cant be called a coincidence?

  4. Hmm, so RC is reviewing HxH now. Probably because it’s gotten into the manga territory that wasn’t animated before.

    To those who follow the manga, does the Chimera Ant Arc come close to the legendary York Shin Arc or exceed it?

    1. Just to clarify, I’ve done a few RC posts for H x H on special occasions, and as this is arguably the biggest milestone of the lot I thought I should do one here – I won’t be doing weekly posts.

      As to Eamon’s question, please keep answers as generic as possible and don’t discuss plot specifics of Chimera Ant, thank you!

    2. This is just one of those one-off posts of Enzo, just to say that he’s blogging it
      and to get some more attention for it. CA arc is starting after all which is a big milestone.

      And it’s better to just watch it and judge it yourself. Asking for opinions of others, especially manga readers, will just cloud your own judgement of the arc, especially now that there’s some complaining going on with how this episode proceeded compared to how it should have been in the manga.

  5. ohh baby, jumping on this train huh? nice…although this BUG arc……hmmmmmmmm???
    i like the fact that many folks will be bodied…but….hmmmmmmmmmmmm??
    but whatever!! id watch it just to see what kinda voices they use for the characters….call me a happy camper..
    someone said CELL SAGA…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! i swear if they use that voice actor, hilarity will ensue

    BROOKLYN otaku
  6. Frankly, as a hinter x hunter fan, im a little disappointed with this episode. OP is good, but still the same song, damit! I was also expecting some heavy metal or dark music for the ED song. The ED is a fail for me. (>.<)

  7. Fantastic. I’ve been keeping from spoiling myself on the manga all this while, and it’s been a incredible journey so far. But now, it’s time to finally see what the hype about CA is all about.

    Another thing to look forward to is madhouse’s take on this. Because if I didn’t remember wrongly, wasn’t this the arc that’s also particularly infamous for Togashi’s drawings?

  8. the real problem is after End of Chimera arc…damn Hiatus -_-
    Enzo what do you think if Togashi just give up on manga and continue HxH in anime adaption?
    the frequent hiatus just so hopeless i don’t think we could get HxH back to regular releases in near time or maybe is just never

    1. Given Togashi’s status at the moment, if he is unable to finish the Hunter x Hunter series himself in the manga medium, I actually think it would be fascinating if he trusted Madhouse with the entirety of the series, just giving them an outline of what he has planned. It would definitely be a shame if he couldn’t do it all himself, but such an occurrence undoubtedly sounds interesting and would probably be a first in the anime/manga industry(?)

    2. I’ve speculated over at LiA that it might make sense for Togashi, if he’s either unable or unmotivated to continue the H x H manga, to collaborate with Madhouse and come up with a finale arc for the anime. Writing as part of a team for anime certainly takes less time than drawing a weekly manga chapter. I don’t expect it to happen, but it does hold a certain appeal.

      Alternatively, I wonder if he’d consider following Adachi Mitsuru’s lead and taking H x H to Jump Square as a monthly. It’s about half as much output as continuing it weekly would be. That’s not ideal either but at least we’d have a continuation. A lot of this boils down to what the real issue is: does Togashi have chronic medical issues as some believe, in which case this is a moot conversation because everything is out of his control? Or are he and his wife simply so financially set that he has no interest in busting his ass as a mangaka anymore?

      It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Madhouse have already worked something out with WSJ and Togashi regarding the ending and the hiatus, and everyone involved knows exactly what’s going to happen. It may even be that they’ve worked out a timing for a simultaneous manga/anime ending.

  9. Can we get a petition started to get a new adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin? Those seem to be quite popular these days! (might be worth a shot, I don’t think I know a single lover of anime/manga that doesn’t like Rurouni Kenshin)

  10. While some manga readers are (rightfully) curious as to how the anime adaption will go, seeing as how the (mini?) arc after the CA arc in the manga left us on a cliffhanger… I think a good place to possibly stall the anime (for the time being assuming they go the whole pausing it, let the manga gain ground, then continue the adaption) is right before the start of the new arc when it went on hiatus

    Show Spoiler ▼

    As for this episode, while it did differ slighty from the manga, (Show Spoiler ▼

    ), it seems fitting, as a transition episode into the Chimera Ant arc. So, while I do prefer the manga, this transition episode works quite well, imo. 😛

    Can’t wait to see the rest of this arc animated! 😛

  11. I was eargerly waiting for the Chimera Ant arc adaptation and so far things have been pretty disappointing.
    Kaito’s introduction was postponed and drastically altered from the original, giving a different meaning to his reunion with Gon, a lack of empathy toward his character, and they already spoiled his nen abilities.

    Now about the new OP/ED, great animation for the former although highly spoilerific, not much to say concerning the later aside that they did what they could with what was left from the OP’s budget.

  12. Watching this 2011 remake has been a real treat since I never saw the original and I got nothing to compare it too. I’d have to say Hunter X Hunter is a great series in how it’s kept me anticipating the next episode since the first. That’s how much I like the story. And it’s just as great to hear Shuuichi Ikeda(who also voiced the iconic Char Aznable).

  13. Thanks for the post Enzo! I am one of those old farts that watched the original and loved it. I also love this new release and am so overjoyed by being able to finally see the “next episode” after the original stopped. It is indeed a milestone and all this time I was wondering while they were running around on Greed Island, what they were going to do at this very point.

    Anyway, loving the ride and keep posting Enzo!

  14. The first 75 episodes were awesome. Madhouse’s animation is terrific. Gon vs Hisoka. Kurapika vs Uvogin. Gon vs Bomber. They tend to slack off on episodes with not much action going but at least they make climax episodes look damn good.

  15. Seeing how Togashi is a lazy ass mangaka, why doesn’t he just hand Madhouse his storyboards/storylines for the rest of Hunter X Hunter and get Madhouse to finish the story for him in anime form. That way, fans will see how he wants the story to flesh out and finish without the need for him to do any more more work. I doubt he would need the money seeing how he doesn’t like to work.


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