Since I recently reviewed the first episode of the old Hunter X Hunter anime adaptation I thought it would be fun to review/ compare the episodes. Not only that, but I also learned that HxH was getting a dub that had been airing for about a year so I thought I’d watch the dub to see how it held up.
I don’t massively hate dubs but I did think the sub was better. This is most likely because I’ve seen HxH already and have grown to love the characters’ voices. If you like dubs then you’ll like this but I think the sub is much more outlasting. The English voices are decent for the start of the show but I don’t see their performance delivering well enough in the later, more serious arcs.
After re-watching the episode I was so amazed to see just how brilliant the opening episode was, especially when you compare it too other shounen competitors.
I don’t really want to explain the whole plot; if you came for a summary or a recommendation then the episode is absolutely worth watching. Therefore I’m just going to explain why the episode is so good.
The episode starts by explaining the idea of hunters, setting them up too look like brilliant powerful characters. What I like about this is that the hunters are powerful but don’t have insane impossible levels of strength, meaning that we’re most likely going to watch characters start from being very simple at fighting to exceptionally powerful.
We also learn that the characters have intrigue, nuance and depth from the conflict set up in the opening episode. Most shounan anime’s don’t really have character complexities in my opinion but the way becoming a hunter is treated very seriously by other characters.
Gon is like the normal shounan fan, he wants adventure and he wants to have the great purpose of finding his dad. However, his carer Mito san knows the dangers and tries to prevent him from going. This is for both his safety and because she loves him and wants him to stay. Already conflicts are being set up and characters are given human emotions which we can relate too and empathize with. HxH is full of character depth which is both tragic and brilliant to see explored.
What people fail to realise is that HxH episode one lures the watcher in to a false sense of security while still being great. It nails the action adventure feeling perfectly whilst also hinting at the events too come.
I love how the Hunter Exam is so hyped up to the extreme. Theirs’s so many stages leading up to it that we’re already so excited for it. The captain of the ship drives the team into a storm on purpose just to test how good the potential hunters are.
Within this the other characters motivations are made clear and the teamwork that they learn feels so well earned and so great. I love episode one and I think it’s nearly impossible to see the appeal or direction in this show from just watching the first episode.
Might I also add that this episode was so emotional from the perspective of someone who’s already seen the whole series. The characters are like completely different people, especially Kurapika and I’m amazed at how much character development has happened over the course of the series.
If you do get into Hunter X Hunter know that you’re in for a real treat, it’s all good and each arc is different in a brilliant way that still makes sense for the series. The Second to last arc which spans about 60 episodes completely changes everything, the tone feels completely different but it’s good overall even if you don’t like it’s more slow paced story telling.
Thank you for reading this post from JEARETTAS Day 27! If you have any episode suggestions for me to review then you are unfortunately too late. But don’t worry, you can search the JEARETTAS archive for something you might like anyway!