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Old 02-07-2012, 12:40 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Her surprise that a snake charmer would carry antivenom on him:
Ponzu wasn't so much surprised that Bourbon might have any at all as she was surprised that Gon would risk his life on an uncertainty. If we transpose HxH characters to Kaiji, Ponzu is the character who would not have taken the leap of faith in human horseracing while Gon is one who might have. Ponzu will not risk her life on uncertainties. Gon will. But nonetheless, you're absolutely right: it was all but certain that Bourbon was going to have antivenom on him -- not only to heal himself but, as Kurapica pointed out, to also be able to heal others who his precious snakes might bite and who he wants to keep alive. Do I blame Ponzu here for her "cowardice"? Not really. I'm disappointed she didn't have the idea to use chemicals against the snakes, but I can forgive her for not risking her life to get the antivenom. Notice that Gon himself was in no shape to even be able to administer the antivenom to Leorio: he had to ask Kurapica to do it for him. How then was Ponzu to administer it to herself had she attempted what Gon did? Had she attempted it, Leorio would have found two dead bodies in the cave instead of just one.
Even if she knew Bourbon had antivenom on him, what would the point of going after it be? She wasn't even bitten by that time, no sense in risking her life on an uncertainty when there was no immediate need of treatment. And why should she even stick her neck out for some stranger who was targeting her?

If you mean for her to use it as means of an escape, you just pointed out how Gon was completely debilitated and unable to administer the medicine to himself. How could Ponzu then be expected to manage...

1) being bitten once while retrieving the venom
2) treating herself
3) walk out the cave, being bitten along the way
4) treating herself again once outside

...and somehow survive?

Considering the logical progression of events, it was a perfectly sensible decision for her to remain put and simply wait for the Examiners to come. (Since they knew Bourbon would be with her due to the tracking in the plates, they'd probably hazard a guess as to what happened and prepare a way to deal with the snakes.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Her not having any way of preventing herself from succumbing to the effects of her own chemicals (e.g. her sleeping gas):
Okay, this one is pretty ridiculous. I agree with you 100% here. She totally should have had chemicals which would neutralized the effects of all the other chemicals in her arsenal. Something which neutralizes her sleeping gas. Something which neutralizes this venom or that venom. Epinephrine to handle anaphylaxis caused by her bees. Not only to help herself out, but again for the very same reason as Bourbon: so she could administer things to people who she doesn't want to die from her attacks. The excuse could be made that, much like Leorio's briefcase, Ponzu's own portable stock of chemicals isn't a hammerspace where she's able to hold infinitely many compounds for quick retrieval. She may have had to pick and choose and decided to bring 12 attacking chemicals and 4 antidotes rather than 8 attacking and 8 matching antidotes simply because she really needed the breadth of attack options 12 would offer her over 8 and she figured that the four antidotes she was leaving at home were the four she'd least likely be in need of. An antidote to a sedative might have been one such thing she opted to leave at home. I guess. But ...
Re: Anaphylaxis

The answer to this is surely similar to the above reasons for not reaching for the antivenom. She probably did carry antidote for the bees, but she couldn't get close to Bourbon because the snakes would attack her. (Just cross-referenced this against the English dub of the 1999 series, since it's easiest to pull up. Verbatim: "Because of his trap, I couldn't even help him.")

Re: Sleeping Gas

This one's a bit fishy, I'll admit. But is there even a method of preventing sleeping gas from taking effect aside from wearing a gas mask? That might be a cumbersome to carry around on your person. Then again, she keeps the gas canister somewhere and bees in her hat, so... *shrugs*
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:29 AM   #52
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Watching the new episode right now -

Spoiler: show
We're definitely going to get either Killua v. Gon or Leorio v. Kurapika. But, I have a hard time believing this because it implies Gon's going to get beaten by random nobodies. Seriously?


oh wow, this episode is made of win and god!
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:38 PM   #53
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Episode 19:
I ... did not share Doppel's enthusiasm for this episode. Then again, he wrote what he wrote before reaching the halfway point, by which point it was clear who was going to win, so perhaps he can be forgiven for that. But ... I was already grimacing at this episode well before we'd gotten even 25% of the way into it. So ... grumpy thoughts ahead:

Spoiler: show
Right from the get-go, I was incredibly disappointed to learn that this was a tournament in which all but one of the nine contestants would pass. With all due respect to the unfortunate odd man out, I don't feel like there's even any point in holding a fifth round if you're going to pass everyone except one man. The only reason I would have for buying this, in real life, would be if you have n+1 finalists but only n winner's trophies. Then I could see you holding a final tournament round in which only n of the n+1 contestants may pass. But this ... this is just dumb.

Togashi later explains the logic behind this tournament via Hirano Aya Menchi. She explains that the reason for organizing the tournament in the fashion it's been organized is because the president of the Hunters Association has got something of a weird sadistic streak. That's all well and good for developing the president's character, but it still doesn't persuade me that this fifth tournament round is meaningful. It is not. It's a waste of pretty much everybody's time. Everyone is going to pass except either the turbaned archer (my #1 most likely) or Leorio (as perpetual butt monkey). No one is going to die because of the rules the president has put into place. And now, courtesy of Gon's cleverness and stubbornness and the fact that he had to go first, everybody knows that they can call the opponent's bluffs -- that, so long as they can withstand terrible pain, they're in absolutely no danger of dying.

Springboarding from this idea (though I do eventually want to rewind to the start of the episode and list off my complaints in order ^^; ), we have another problem I had with this episode: Gon got out of things way too easily. Hanzo proved that he was not willing to go easy on Gon just because he's a child. He severely beat him, the floor was smeared with Gon's blood, and in the end he even went and broke his arm, something which in the real world -- if not in the Medicine Makes It All Better magic of the anime world -- could end Gon's chances to become one of the world's greatest Hunters right then and there. (Medical spoiler: once you destroy your arm socket, you'll never get back to anything nearing 95% capacity in that arm again. The evolutionary trade-off in the arm's mobility is its remarkable "once you break it, it stays broken"-ness. Ask any pitcher in baseball.) So we know that Hanzo means business. And if he means business, if he was even prepared to slice off Gon's legs or to skewer him through the head and only held back because he knew the child spoke the truth when Gon warned that if Hanzo did this he would be eliminated from the tournament, then I have to ask: why didn't he try something else? He could have ...
  • poked out one of Gon's eyes to prove he meant business and then threatened to poke out the other eye if Gon didn't surrender.
  • ripped Gon's teeth out of his mouth one by one (the pain @[email protected])
  • sliced off fingers (another Hunter-ending disability, particular for fishing pole-happy Gon, and something which would have been far less likely to result in acute death via blood loss. If anything, Gon would need to hurry and have those fingers reattached if he didn't want to permanently lose the use of that particular hand.)
  • etc.
I mean, there were any number of cruel and perverse things Hanzo might have attempted which would have not killed the boy but would have jeopardized his chance at becoming a successful Hunter. The fact that he did not attempt any of these after demonstrating earlier in the episode just how brutal he was willing to be to get Gon to surrender ... to me, it's just plain old bad writing. And I don't know that I've ever accused Togashi of being a bad writer. (I loved Level E! ) But this ... this is a pretty big logical strike, Mr. Togashi.

Okay, so now, let's rewind a bit. What other things did I not like about this episode?

One thing I didn't like was that the president pretty much lied to the contestants (and hid that fact from them by playing the confidentiality card) and that Hanzo in no way, shape, or form should have been #2 alongside Gon. Clearly that should have been Hisoka. Yes, Gon has good physical and mental attributes. And yes, Gon was the talk of the town in the interviews the president conducted. But that doesn't change the fact that Hisoka is far more powerful, is not significantly less clever, and was just as talked about as Gon if not more talked about. So what the hell was up with Hisoka being placed second to last? That's fucking bullshit. Hisoka is less physically impressive and was less talked about than Kurapica? Really? The only way to rationalize this is to argue, "Hisoka's mental prowess score is just abysmally low because he's fucking insane." But ... I don't buy that. Not for a second. Yes, he is insane. No, he is not dysfunctionally insane. He is quite high-functioning. His insanity does not compromise his ability to think quickly and to think well. We've only seen it do that once -- Test 4, when he went bloodlust-crazy and went after the beak-nosed swordsman -- and even then Hisoka's insanity was offset by his remarkable physical prowess. In other words, the insanity is hardly a handicap at all. (Thus far, anyway.) I definitely don't buy that Hisoka's insanity is any less paralyzing than Kurapica's "HULK SMASH! " red-eyed ragey moments.

Continuing with this idea, how the hell was the archer ranked #3? Why does he get more chances to compete than Killua? According to the president, those who were given more chances to compete were those who performed better in the tests. But with all due respect, the opposite seems to be true. Sure, the ninja is fucking amazing: but he also got trolled by Killua in Test 4 and, in the end, the only reason he passed was because he got lucky. (How the hell did he find the tag he needed given that he'd lost sight of it in going after the wrong one? ) Killua is someone I'd rank higher than Hanzo, Gon, or Archery Guy, and yet he's in 4th Place. Behind him in 5th Place is the needle-faced dude. And that guy I would place ahead of Killua, given that he seems quite comfortable around Hisoka and that Hisoka seems to mad respect the guy yet at the same time doesn't seek to fight him. Since we know that it's in Hisoka's nature to challenge people he feels he could kill and who are worth the challenge, to me, it suggests that Needle Face is above even Hisoka's level. Meaning ... it's ridiculous that he's last to go on his end of the bracket.

Something else I disliked about this episode was the comical nature it took in the second half. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was guilty of this at times, perhaps the only complaint I have where I'd say FMA was better than FMA:B. (In all other respects, FMA:B is so much better.) What really ruined the mood for me was something Yuki's complained about in the past but which I hadn't really experienced for myself until this episode: and that is the jarringly upbeat, peppy marching band music that plays during what ought to be serious scenes. Starting up circa the 15-minute mark and then, after a brief reprieve, once again around 16m30s, Gon's theme song crops up and just completely kills the tense atmosphere. Killua comments on this ... which further helped to break down the fourth wall that was crumbling all around me. This was one scene where I really didn't want the fourth wall to be broken, but the combination of face faults, comical music, and comical behavior really took me out of it. I went from feeling like I was really there and watching this fight unfold to, "Oh. Right. I'm sitting on a bed in a ronery, dark room up in Lafayette watching a Japanimation cartoon. "

So what did I like about the episode?

I liked that we finally got to see Hanzo in action and that he was able to prove that he deserves to be here amongst the top nine. I hope he'll become a Hunter and would like to see him again in the future.

I liked the character development we got for Killua where he was all "Wtf, how come I'm not ranked higher? " and during Gon's match kept thinking to himself, "I wouldn't have fallen for that. " lol

I liked how serious/high stakes the episode got. (Though, as complained about above already, I was disappointed that this seriousness was artificially halted halfway.) The part where Hanzo broke Gon's arm was decently epic. Not mega-epic, but still pretty "Wow. o_o" Leorio's >| face was priceless during that scene. Kurapica's felt a little too chimey-inny to me and took me out of the moment, but Leorio's was nice.

And one final thing I liked about the episode was how it explored just how difficult it can be to make someone surrender. Many people would sooner die than surrender or give up. Even if people are willing to surrender for the time being and to put things off until a later fight, come that later fight it can be very difficult to get them to surrender once again. Thus, it'll be interesting going forward to see not only what ideas Hanzo comes up with to get his new opponent(s) to surrender but also what ideas the other contestants come up with. I fully expect some of the crueler ones, like Hisoka, to implement some of the very same strategies I earlier criticized Togashi for not having Hanzo attempt to do.

In the end, this was an enjoyable episode to watch ... and yet I found so, so much wrong with it. Would not call it one of my favorites thus far, that's for sure. And man oh man ...

Spoiler: show
... was this the most anti-climactic way EVER for Gon to become a Hunter. I was expecting something on the same level as Naruto vs. Sasuke in the Episode 180s. Instead what I got was something on the level of Chouji vs. Random Sound Ninja during the second phase of the Chuunin Exam.

Last edited by Talon87; 02-12-2012 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:55 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Episode 19:
Togashi later explains the logic behind this tournament via Hirano Aya Menchi. She explains that the reason for organizing the tournament in the fashion it's been organized is because the president of the Hunters Association has got something of a weird sadistic streak. That's all well and good for developing the president's character, but it still doesn't persuade me that this fifth tournament round is meaningful. It is not. It's a waste of pretty much everybody's time. Everyone is going to pass except either the turbaned archer (my #1 most likely) or Leorio (as perpetual butt monkey). No one is going to die because of the rules the president has put into place. And now, courtesy of Gon's cleverness and stubbornness and the fact that he had to go first, everybody knows that they can call the opponent's bluffs -- that, so long as they can withstand terrible pain, they're in absolutely no danger of dying.
I think Killua's going to lose.

That would be the most shocking loss aside from Hisoka, and this episode planted the seed for that loss by introducing the idea that Killua is somehow lacking in Hunter quality. Not to mention Killua's opponents will potentially be -

Pokkle (the guy Killua doesn't want to fight, who he could potentially underestimate)
Gittarackur (who is probably stronger than Killua)
Kurapika, Hisoka, Leorio (who are pretty much destined to get in)

Killua's only chance after Pokkle would be Bodoro, the old man who doesn't want to fight him. I don't think that guy's going to get beaten by Leorio, and as hard as it is to believe, I don't think Killua can beat Leoroio's luck/destiny. I also suspect that if a weakness is exposed in one of the characters, that character is going to free-fall because the other contestants will exploit it mercilessly.

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Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
I mean, there were any number of cruel and perverse things Hanzo might have attempted which would have not killed the boy but would have jeopardized his chance at becoming a successful Hunter. The fact that he did not attempt any of these after demonstrating earlier in the episode just how brutal he was willing to be to get Gon to surrender ... to me, it's just plain old bad writing. And I don't know that I've ever accused Togashi of being a bad writer. (I loved Level E! ) But this ... this is a pretty big logical strike, Mr. Togashi.
Hanzo's eyes spoke for him in this episode when he winced at hurting Gon. I don't think he's cruel and merciless or and has it in him to gut a child that defied him to the bitter end. Knowing Togashi, the manga was probably un-speakably brutal and was toned down for the anime, but the point was clear - Gon wouldn't be persuaded by pain, and short of killing him, there was nothing Hazou could do but try another opponent.

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One thing I didn't like was that the president pretty much lied to the contestants (and hid that fact from them by playing the confidentiality card) and that Hanzo in no way, shape, or form should have been #2 alongside Gon. Clearly that should have been Hisoka. Yes, Gon has good physical and mental attributes. And yes, Gon was the talk of the town in the interviews the president conducted. But that doesn't change the fact that Hisoka is far more powerful, is not significantly less clever, and was just as talked about as Gon if not more talked about. So what the hell was up with Hisoka being placed second to last? That's fucking bullshit. Hisoka is less physically impressive and was less talked about than Kurapica? Really? The only way to rationalize this is to argue, "Hisoka's mental prowess score is just abysmally low because he's fucking insane." But ... I don't buy that. Not for a second. Yes, he is insane. No, he is not dysfunctionally insane. He is quite high-functioning. His insanity does not compromise his ability to think quickly and to think well. We've only seen it do that once -- Test 4, when he went bloodlust-crazy and went after the beak-nosed swordsman -- and even then Hisoka's insanity was offset by his remarkable physical prowess. In other words, the insanity is hardly a handicap at all. (Thus far, anyway.) I definitely don't buy that Hisoka's insanity is any less paralyzing than Kurapica's "HULK SMASH! " red-eyed ragey moments.

Continuing with this idea, how the hell was the archer ranked #3? Why does he get more chances to compete than Killua? According to the president, those who were given more chances to compete were those who performed better in the tests. But with all due respect, the opposite seems to be true. Sure, the ninja is fucking amazing: but he also got trolled by Killua in Test 4 and, in the end, the only reason he passed was because he got lucky. (How the hell did he find the tag he needed given that he'd lost sight of it in going after the wrong one? ) Killua is someone I'd rank higher than Hanzo, Gon, or Archery Guy, and yet he's in 4th Place. Behind him in 5th Place is the needle-faced dude. And that guy I would place ahead of Killua, given that he seems quite comfortable around Hisoka and that Hisoka seems to mad respect the guy yet at the same time doesn't seek to fight him. Since we know that it's in Hisoka's nature to challenge people he feels he could kill and who are worth the challenge, to me, it suggests that Needle Face is above even Hisoka's level. Meaning ... it's ridiculous that he's last to go on his end of the bracket.
I'm surprised you're asking these questions, because your whole criticism was addressed by a single line - the president went out and said that the number one criteria was an intangible impression. Mental strength, cunning, power and endurance were all tested by the previous four exams, but given what's been said before (especially earlier, almost all the proctors who said Hisoka was strong, but not Hunter material) none of that makes a good Hunter.

You also have to consider, during the previous episode with the peer evaluation, the people who were brought up the most frequently as a preferred opponent got more chances, while the ones who were considered an un-desirable opponent fewer, and the blocks were organized so people somewhat got their wishes, like

1. Gon didn't fight any of his friends, or Hisoka.
2. Bodoro has a good chance of fighting Hisoka, who he wanted to battle.
3. Pokkle would have to lose three times before facing Kurapika, assuming Kurapika loses to Leorio.
3. Leorio has an almost zero chance of facing Gon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Something else I disliked about this episode was the comical nature it took in the second half. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was guilty of this at times, perhaps the only complaint I have where I'd say FMA was better than FMA:B. (In all other respects, FMA:B is so much better.) What really ruined the mood for me was something Yuki's complained about in the past but which I hadn't really experienced for myself until this episode: and that is the jarringly upbeat, peppy marching band music that plays during what ought to be serious scenes. Starting up circa the 15-minute mark and then, after a brief reprieve, once again around 16m30s, Gon's theme song crops up and just completely kills the tense atmosphere. Killua comments on this ... which further helped to break down the fourth wall that was crumbling all around me. This was one scene where I really didn't want the fourth wall to be broken, but the combination of face faults, comical music, and comical behavior really took me out of it. I went from feeling like I was really there and watching this fight unfold to, "Oh. Right. I'm sitting on a bed in a ronery, dark room up in Lafayette watching a Japanimation cartoon. "
This was nothing like the obnoxious and inappropriate comedy cut-aways of FMA. Certainly, it was a surprise...but it was also funny, and purposefully broke the tension to show an alternative for Gon winning without resorting to power. I mean, even if Gon's attitude didn't make you laugh, seeing Hisoka laugh must have been chuckle worthy!

Hanzo didn't strike me as a merciless or super strong guy before this episode. He was kind of comic from the start, almost like an air-headed assassin. But when he over-powered Gon, things became a lot more serious until Gon forced him back into normal mode. At that point he'd already conceded the match in his mind.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:57 AM   #55
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Something else I disliked about this episode was the comical nature it took in the second half. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was guilty of this at times, perhaps the only complaint I have where I'd say FMA was better than FMA:B. (In all other respects, FMA:B is so much better.) What really ruined the mood for me was something Yuki's complained about in the past but which I hadn't really experienced for myself until this episode: and that is the jarringly upbeat, peppy marching band music that plays during what ought to be serious scenes. Starting up circa the 15-minute mark and then, after a brief reprieve, once again around 16m30s, Gon's theme song crops up and just completely kills the tense atmosphere. Killua comments on this ... which further helped to break down the fourth wall that was crumbling all around me. This was one scene where I really didn't want the fourth wall to be broken, but the combination of face faults, comical music, and comical behavior really took me out of it. I went from feeling like I was really there and watching this fight unfold to, "Oh. Right. I'm sitting on a bed in a ronery, dark room up in Lafayette watching a Japanimation cartoon. "
Just checked the corresponding episode of the 1999 series. The original made use of silence for most of the latter half of the fight, starting from the moment Gon kicked Hanzo. When the judges first snickered only low drumbeats were playing (like in Woodfall Temple of Majora's Mask), which left the overall tone still up in the air. The lighthearted music only kicked in once everyone joined in the laughter, and for me it's the nostalgic harmonica remix of the OP. I noticed in the 2011 series the triumphant music kept playing even when Hanzo spiked the boy's forehead, indicating Gon's victory was assured by that time. Whereas in the 1999 version, the judges had a brief conference amongst themselves about how Gon's actions demonstrate how he must've earned a good impression ranking, but ended with a note that the match has yet to be decided. Then it's back to epicness as Hanzo threatens Gon again with dark music and lighting. In fact, the episode ends on a tense cliffhanger, with Hanzo saying "You leave me no choice!" and drawing back his blade as if to strike. (Of course, it's revealed in the next that he's simply withdrawing it.)

Interestingly, in the 1999 series, Kurapica's and Hisoka's fight took place first. I suspect the pacing was changed due to an... "issue" that arises later, to which Gon won't be a witness. So I'm also curious to see how the rest of the tournament will be handled.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:23 AM   #56
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I think Killua's going to lose.
Interesting. The idea had not even occurred to me. Now that you raise that possibility, I'm on board. It wouldn't be very exciting for people for some random bozo (like the archery guy or the older gentleman) to be the one who loses. But make it Killua instead and it solidifies the overwhelming similarities between this series and Naruto. Killua is already this series' Gaara, and having him lose only to return some time later down the road would be interesting and could very well be what Togashi intends to do with the character. Alternatively, I could see Killua losing ... only for Gon to then be like, "I demand to fight Killua." And whether Killua loses yet again or not, it would set the stage either for (1, Killua loses) Killua's pursuit of that special something that makes a Hunter candidate qualify as a good Hunter or (2, Gon loses) Gon's adventures with his newly Hunter-accredited buddies while he tries to find his dad and more or less bides a year before taking the Hunter Exam again. Well, we'll just have to wait and see. One thing's clear to me now, though, after checking out the sneak peek for next week's episode again:

Spoiler: show
The archery guy definitely wins because Killua winds up facing the needle face guy and that match-up wouldn't happen unless both Hanzo and the archery guy won.

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I'm surprised you're asking these questions, because your whole criticism was addressed by a single line - the president went out and said that the number one criteria was an intangible impression.
I'm surprised you're chastising me when I made it pretty clear that I recognized this. Whenever I mentioned "the talk of the town," that was the "intangible impression." My feeling was that the elder conducted the interview to get a better feel for how the others felt about their fellow candidates. He was assessing that intangible something which he had already for himself caught glimmers of in Gon. You're arguing that he sees no such potential in Hisoka, but I think that's grossly unfair and/or a misunderstanding of what the purpose of those interviews was. Vice-versa, you probably think that I'm the one grossly misunderstanding things. So we're at an impasse. I'll just clarify, you've failed to convince me here that the test administrators have made it clear that they feel Hisoka lacks the "intangible impression" that others have. Similarly, I am not persuaded in the slightest that the turbaned archer has such a high level of this "intangible something" that he ought to be seeded in 3rd place. At the very least, at least Killua ranked 4th place. It could have been worse.

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Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
You also have to consider, during the previous episode with the peer evaluation, the people who were brought up the most frequently as a preferred opponent got more chances, while the ones who were considered an un-desirable opponent fewer, and the blocks were organized so people somewhat got their wishes, like

1. Gon didn't fight any of his friends, or Hisoka.
2. Bodoro has a good chance of fighting Hisoka, who he wanted to battle.
3. Pokkle would have to lose three times before facing Kurapika, assuming Kurapika loses to Leorio.
3. Leorio has an almost zero chance of facing Gon.
Didn't notice this. I think that's unfair to Hisoka, but it's certainly kind to all the other candidates. I guess it minimizes the number of casualties Hisoka might deal while also pitting Hisoka against the test candidates that the president feels have the lowest overall potential as Hunters anyway.

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I mean, even if Gon's attitude didn't make you laugh, seeing Hisoka laugh must have been chuckle worthy!
No? One, didn't even notice him laugh. Smirk and barely-audibly chuckle, maybe, but laugh? Two, we've seen him chuckle before. It's nothing special to see it now. Three, no, I didn't find it funny. Say what you will, I am putting it on the same level as the non sequitur humor cutaways in FMA:B.

I dunno. You loved this episode. I took issue with it. You take issue with my taken issues. I take issue with your taken issues with my taken issues. It's just one of those cases where it's easier to say, "Different tastes, different perceptions, lead to different opinions." See you next week!

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Originally Posted by YUKI.N View Post
Interestingly, in the 1999 series, Kurapica's and Hisoka's fight took place first. I suspect the pacing was changed due to an... "issue" that arises later, to which Gon won't be a witness. So I'm also curious to see how the rest of the tournament will be handled.
Why would Kurapica fight Hisoka first? Wouldn't Kurapica need to fight the older gentleman guy first? In their bracket, it goes Old Guy --> Kurapica --> Hisoka --> Leorio, right? In any event, let me ask you this: are you saying that in the original series Gon is a witness to an event but that in the manga (and in the reboot) he is not a witness to it? Or are you saying that he is not a witness to it in any medium but that the reasoning behind his not being a witness to it in the original anime was a little questionable whereas the reasoning here -- he's knocked out cold -- makes sense?
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:21 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
No? One, didn't even notice him laugh. Smirk and barely-audibly chuckle, maybe, but laugh? Two, we've seen him chuckle before. It's nothing special to see it now. Three, no, I didn't find it funny. Say what you will, I am putting it on the same level as the non sequitur humor cutaways in FMA:B.
Hisoka's laughter was more noticeable and out of character in the 1999 series. Less "evil smirk" and more literally "cracking up". It helped that Killua's focus shifted to him in the background as he was obviously trying to stifle giggles. It's like if Gilgamesh laughed at Saber not because he looked down on her but because he genuinely thought her actions were humorous. The judges remark that this is Gon's strength: To be able to disarm an opponent naturally and draw people to his side. Whether this statement is overly cheesy or even in line with Togashi's original characterization is up for debate.

Generally Hisoka was made to be somewhat more "cutesy" and comedic in the 1999 series. For example, during the forgotten sushi competition, Hisoka got discouraged when it turned out his dish looked the same as Killua's (sushi ŕ la bourguignon, mm), and left to spend the rest of the phase squatting by the river. As a form of censorship, when Hisoka killed the blowdart guy, he showed up not with the body but wearing the man's hat. (In the manga, he brought back the severed head.)

Speaking of censorship, it tuns out the arm breaking was also done offscreen in the manga, and that was the extent of the injury Hanzo inflicted. That being said, there have been complaints over some of the censoring choices in both series, but I didn't think them important enough to bring up. For examples, see the hat trick above, plus another major dispute took place over how Killua disposed of the prisoner's heart in Trick Tower. In the 1999 series and the manga, he crushed the naked heart in his hands, rather than wrapping it in a cloth and waiting for it to stop beating before returning it to a limp body. (The main part of the prisoner's backstory was also cut out of the new series, whereas the 1999 version went so far to explain he killed a young boy, and even showed how he tore out a chunk of a cop's arm bare-handed.)

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Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Why would Kurapica fight Hisoka first? Wouldn't Kurapica need to fight the older gentleman guy first? In their bracket, it goes Old Guy --> Kurapica --> Hisoka --> Leorio, right? In any event, let me ask you this: are you saying that in the original series Gon is a witness to an event but that in the manga (and in the reboot) he is not a witness to it? Or are you saying that he is not a witness to it in any medium but that the reasoning behind his not being a witness to it in the original anime was a little questionable whereas the reasoning here -- he's knocked out cold -- makes sense?
No, in both versions the bracket goes Kurapica vs. Hisoka --> Bodoro --> Leorio. At least as far as I can tell since the 1999 series only lists the contestants' numbers, but they seem to match up. This doesn't justify why they should go before Hanzo and Gon since those two are listed first on the board from left to right. In fact, I believe I vaguely recall thinking it strange at the time... *shrug* Unless Japanese right-to-left ordering applies here?

Gon is not witness to the event in any version, and the reason for it appears the same across all of them. I just think the director of the 1999 series assumed the story should be told from the protagonist's POV, and so made the decision to include Kurapica's and Hisoka's fight before Gon's so that we, as viewers, get to watch it firsthand alongside him.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:02 PM   #58
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I'm surprised you're chastising me when I made it pretty clear that I recognized this. Whenever I mentioned "the talk of the town," that was the "intangible impression."
...oh, I thought you just meant the peer review session.

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My feeling was that the elder conducted the interview to get a better feel for how the others felt about their fellow candidates. He was assessing that intangible something which he had already for himself caught glimmers of in Gon. You're arguing that he sees no such potential in Hisoka, but I think that's grossly unfair and/or a misunderstanding of what the purpose of those interviews was.
As I said, numerous examiners have noted that Hisoka would make a pretty poor Hunter, even though he has the power and skill to be a good one. You seem convinced that the interviews were where the head Hunter guy evaluated the impression, but for some reason I understood it as the impression being evaluated on over the course of the exam. The old man has had plenty of time to watch over the successful applicants and I think it's silly of him to make a snap decision for future employees in the Hunter Association.

The argument for interviews in the real world is evaluators don't have the benefit of personally watching an applicant's performance first-hand, information the old man has. While I certainly wouldn't expect him to know what the applicants were thinking, the interviews should otherwise only serve to confirm what he already knows.

Now, I must admit I don't think Togashi is infallible. What this "intangible impression" amounts to might just be plot device knowledge - if it's not power, not mental strength (will-power), curiosity or cunning, what the heck is it?

A possibility is leadership, or charisma. What's clear to me is all of Gon's friends were either loners or quasi-loners before he banded them into a group. Likewise, Hisoka and Gittarackur are loners, while I always thought Pokkle was more gregarious toward the other applicants. Hanzou is pretty much a loner, but as said earlier, he always struck me as a comic character who wouldn't be out of place in a group. And the old man Bodoro looks like serious business.

I have no idea the threats Hunters face, but even the strongest and smartest individuals can't overcome all obstacles by themselves. Human history was built on team work, after-all.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:26 PM   #59
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Yuki warned that I wouldn't like this week's episode. I have no idea whether the original anime went through the remainder of the Hunter Exam as quickly as the 2011 series has or what, but what the hell at what just happened. "Be careful what you wish for" seems to be the lesson for this week's episode. Always am I asking for a lot to happen in an episode, but this ... this was just madness. They easily breezed through 4+ episodes' worth of material in just one episode. I practically felt like I was watching a colorful, animated version of a Wikipedia article.

And now for spoiler-thoughts.

Spoiler: show
CONGRATS, DOPPEL! You called Killua being the one who would not pass this year's exam and you were right. However, it didn't exactly pan out the way that I think you thought it would. Rather than Killua lose because he didn't have what it takes to become a Hunter, and rather than him be defeated by all of his opponents, he instead disqualified himself from the tournament by murdering that poor old man in cold blood (wth) and did so not because he didn't have what it took to be a Hunter (although his brother did accuse him of this very thing) but because his brother had pretty much mind-fucked him. But let's rewind a bit ...

The episode started off well enough. I liked Gon's waking up scene with Satotz and Satotz explaining how Gon couldn't deny his victory even if he wanted to. It was animated well, explained well, and was pretty much the last time we'd see reasonable pacing out of this episode.

Things accelerated pretty quickly though when Satotz spoiled the ending of the exam for us. I didn't mind this too much at the time? I thought to myself, "Maybe this'll make it fun and suspenseful now, knowing that Killua's going to be the one to lose but not knowing how he will lose. The next few weeks are going to be killer! " Well, not exactly ... ^^;

After a brief return to Gon vs. Hanzo, we get the world's quickest Kurapica vs. Hisoka ever. It was pretty damn disappointing to see Hisoka forfeit so quickly but, just as Killua forfeited against Pokkle later on, Hisoka's forfeit was not surprising. Furthermore, it's all but a given that what he whispered in Kurapica's ear was "I killed your parents" or "I'm a member of the Phantom Troupe" or some such. Anything to give Kurapica a reason to seek Hisoka out some day once he (Kurapica) gets stronger. Which is exactly what Hisoka wants. Still, I'd have liked a fight.

Then we get Hanzo vs. Pokkle. Not surprising how quickly Hanzo won, but did the animators really need to not even bother with the formality of animating more than the arm-lock? This was when I knew. "Wuh-oh," I thought to myself, "they're going to breeze through most or even all of this all in one episode, aren't they? " Yes, dear reader: even then, I was still clinging to the hope that maybe, just maybe there was going to be a Phase Five episode next week.

Pokkle vs. Killua was disappointing. I expected Killua to fight hard for his Hunter's license. Sure, he says he doesn't want one, I understand that, but still. That Pokkle fellow ain't Hunter material for shit. Seems like an insult to all the other Hunters that he's one of them now. (Though I guess in a world where Hunters can and do pick off fellow Hunters, the weak won't last for long: either they'll die or they'll get stronger fast.)

Leorio vs. Bodoro ... was postponed thanks to Doc Leorio.

So now we finally come to the main attraction. Killua vs. Gatta-what's-his-name. (Gattarackur, was it?) Anyway, Illumi is apparently his real name ... and holy shit, he's Killua's brother. Will the Naruto similarities never cease? I've already drawn comparisons between Killua and Gaara before. Now I guess it's time to compare him with Sasuke -- because Illumi is none other than this series' Itachi. Well, I guess the similarities aren't too overbearing, but still. It's funny how many elements and plot devices the two series have in common. *ahem*, anyway, back to the story. ^^; Killua vs. Illumi. This promised to be a good fight. Except ...

... it was just Illumi fucking with Killua. Making him wet his pants. Breaking his will. And then--

Okay, so when he threatens to go after Gon, that was pretty exciting. And wow, that was one hell of a mindfuck to make poor Killua have to choose between his friend's life (Gon's) and his own life (which he 99.99% knew he was going to lose if he so much as allowed Illumi to touch him). I don't really blame Killua for what he did, not at all, but man oh man did Illumi then rip into him with the "You don't deserve to have friends" talk, convincing Killua that any man who isn't willing to die for his friends doesn't deserve to have any in the first place. (Dayum.) Poor thing then goes a bit crazy and, in a half-stupor, kills Bodoro for lord knows what reason.

And then the episode ends with Gon more or less challenging Illumi to a fight despite the fact that his arm is still broken and Illumi's apparently so good a fighter he makes even Killua wet his pants.

Next week's episode could be good, particularly in the beginning if/when Gon and Illumi fight. But beyond that, it's looking to be a transition episode as we establish a new purpose for our heroes, what with them having completed their original goal of becoming Hunters.

Did Yuki know this would happen? I don't know. Perhaps I'll sneak a peek at the original series and see what its pacing was for this story arc.

Last edited by Talon87; 02-19-2012 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:08 AM   #60
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I really liked this episode. It twisted around in a way my mind couldn't follow and was genuinely surprising.

Spoiler: show
Gittarackur might have mind fudged Killua, but he did bring to light the point he was making about Killua being incapable of making friends. We've seen time and again how Kurapika and Leorio were willing to sacrifice something for a friend, no clearer than last episode where the two were about to jump Hanzo in the arena.

Killua's always thought rationally about things, but what he did this episode was a bit irrational, although consistent with Gittarackur's mantra "Don't get in a fight you can't win". Killua might have gotten injured, but he wouldn't have died and fighting for Gon would have been proof of friendship. Instead the fear or defeat overcame him.

I felt really bad for Bodoro. Even while emotionally dead, I think Killua killed him both to reaffirm his purpose and to get Leorio to pass.

Also, I totally believed Gittarackur when he said he'd kill Gon, to the point of not even considering that he couldn't.


Now that the Hunter Exam is over, though, I am very much looking forward to actual Hunter activities.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:14 AM   #61
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The events of this episode is pretty much what happened in the original, with the exception of the Kurapica vs. Hisoka fight prior to Gon's. ^^; To explain what I believe I was trying to hint at earlier...

Spoiler: show
Getting in at least one more fight besides Gon's sort of eases the fact that the viewer doesn't get to directly witness any of the others, I guess? By having watched only one battle - even if Gon's knocked unconscious at the end of it - you're led to the assumption that there must be more, right? Right? Wrong. XP Although I suppose the same argument could be made for the original, that having two fights in the beginning implicitly assures you that they'll go through the whole process, meaning the others will get the same treatment.


I dunno. Hard to say what the intent behind the changeup was. Maybe it was just to fill time. =|

Anyway, I'm actually pleased with this episode simply for the fact it at least had some nice, appropriate music playing during the emotional scenes. Man, why couldn't they have played this theme song remix during Gon's talk with Kurapica? It was rather pretty. <3 (Didn't go back and check, but lol if you tell me they were the same. In that case, I'll definitely cede that I am biased. ^^; )

Re: Comparisons to Naruto

Spoiler: show
Talon brought up last night how Killua seemed more outgoing in the original. I found this interesting because up until now, Killua in the 1999 series by far contrasts the remake's in "emoness". I don't know all the details of Sasuke's story, but from what I've gathered Killua and Kurapica pretty much took it in turns to wear his shoes as the "resident emo". Killua was the angsty bitch for the first half of the show, while Kurapica's dark side came to light later (though we've obviously seen some red-eye flashes). As far as I can tell, Sasuke is basically a fusion of the two.

The main difference between 1999 Killua and the reboot/manga is that he agonized internally about killing from the get-go. For example, when he stopped the game with the chairman, it was because he genuinely feared killing the old guy. He was even portrayed as borderline psychotic, talking to his reflection in the mirror. Whereas in the remake, this is the first instance of insecurity we've glimpsed.

I suppose in a way this fits in with how you observed Killua seems more stand-offish in the new series, as it's harder to get a read on his true feelings. Whereas in the original, he was clearly and earnestly trying to be Gon's friend... Meanwhile suppressing his murderous instincts.

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Old 02-22-2012, 06:54 PM   #62
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Starting from around Episode 26 or so, I watched to 12m34s in Episode 30, which is where the 2011 anime left off last week. (Zero spoiler exposure, so no worries. Just putting this in the spoiler tag so as not to spoil others who haven't seen through 2011 Episode 20 yet.)

Spoiler: show
Like Yuki said, things were pretty similar. Actually, I'd say Bodoro vs. Leorio was even longer in the remake than in the original, if you could believe that. The only major change was Kurapica vs. Hisoka, which not only occurred out of order as Yuki had mentioned but even got its own entire episode. (Well, like 2011's Gon vs. Hanzo battle, the original's Kurapica vs. Hisoka one had to share with the tournament rules explanation. The original's Gon vs. Hanzo was actually an entire episode plus bleed-over into the next episode, so I guess you could say that things were shorter all around this time save for Bodoro vs. Leorio and possibly Killua vs. Illumi.)

It's interesting how some of the voices are very similar but others of the voices are very different. Hisoka's stands out in this latter regard. I think he's much more serious, ominous, and powerful-threat-sounding in the 2011 remake than in the original where he sounds more psychotically aloof. (Pick your poison which one you think is "better," I guess.) It was also interesting how in the remake, whether this was made for TV or not, they had Satotz telling Gon what his original motivation was for becoming a Hunter and whose example set him on the path he's currently traveling.

The original did have a slight gaffe (either that or the translation did; more on that in a second) when showing Satotz talking to Gon. Because Gon, at one point in that scene, remarks, "Oh yeah, I lost consciousness in the first round." This is true in the manga and in the 2011 remake, sure, but in the original anime? Whoopsie!

The translations I saw for this were pretty goddamn rough around the edges. Reminds me an awful lot of 2003/2004 back when I started watching anime on my computer. Reminds me of just how far the TL quality in anime fansubbing has come since those days. Back then, somebody who spoke less Japanese than I speak today would qualify as a subbing group's translator. Today, there's no way that shit'd fly. (Or when it does, it's pretty bad and should not be allowed to fly , given how many fluent bilingual fans we have nowadays.) This showed an awful lot in this group's translation. They'd get a lot of the core ideas right but the problem was what I'd illustrate with this diagram below:


(click to see larger version)

They would translate things to the very limit of acceptability if you speak both languages fluently, a.k.a. someone who hears the original Japanese and who then sees their English words of choice would say, "Yeaaaah, I guuuuuuess you could translate it that way. It's not wrong, technically ..." (which is where the arrow is pointing on the blue curve) but someone who doesn't speak any Japanese at all might misinterpret, saying, "Hey, they're saying these English words, and these English words have subtle meanings of their own, and the implication I'm going to draw from these is that the characters are saying THESE things" (which is incorrect, and which is what is represented by where the arrow is pointing on the red curve). To give an example, say the original Japanese word is dame and this is translated as "no good." That's correct, but someone might conceivably read that in English to mean "evil" since an evil being is one which is, well, devoid of goodness. That's what I mean when I say these translations are very rough. They'd translate words which, if you only had the English to work with, would give you a subtly but significantly different impression of the characters than if you knew where the English was coming from in the first place courtesy of a good ear for Japanese.

tl;dr the subtitles for the 2011 anime are much more accurate and I would argue that if you're encountering any character personality shifts between the two series to go with the 2011 one. I could easily see how you could get the wrong idea about certain characters given how some of these lines were translated.

Aside: Reminds me of some stuff I saw in Tokyopop's fairly disappointing translation of the Rozen Maiden manga. They have Shinku saying things (in the English translation) that are completely out of character. I wish I had the Japanese raws so I could confirm whether I'm barking up the wrong tree or not. But they'll have her say things like (picking hypotheticals because not going to go looking for manga examples right this minute) "What d'ya mean!?" or "Shut up!" These are totally not things the Victorian ladylike Shinku would say. Nor do they fit with what I know of her speech mannerisms from the anime.

So anyway, yeah. Paused it at 12m34s, with ___________ standing right next to _________ in the place last week's episode ended. Will go ahead and close the tab there. But yeah. Thought I'd let you guys know that we're 9˝ episodes ahead of the original right now.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:21 AM   #63
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So ... did Episode 21 not air this week? ^_^;
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:22 AM   #64
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NO EPISODE AIRING THIS WEEK!

I feel bad, I was looking forward to it. :/
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Old 03-04-2012, 01:57 AM   #65
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EPISODE AIRING THIS WEEK!

I liked it a lot, but not a ton happened. It's really a perfect way to end the first season, rather than that break we had last week. Would have felt a lot more closure with this episode and the wait wouldn't have been as painful.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:12 PM   #66
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Episode 21 was a really solid episode. I too think it's a shame that the episode couldn't have aired last week and that HxH had taken its week-long hiatus this week, but what's done is done. I was surprised that the apparent next plot arc has come to us so soon, and I was even more surprised by Satotz's comment to Menchi at the end of the episode. (What a twist! )

Spoiler: show
Yuki has mentioned in the past that Gon is not exactly a sane, safe person either. That he really does fit in with the same category of characters that includes Killua, Hisoka, and the like. I think we really saw that in this episode. Gon revealed physical strength like we've never seen out of him before when he crushed Illumi's bones. What was even more impressive (and frightening) was his behavior. We saw in this episode ...
  • Gon picking a serious fight with an expert assassin whose prowess he's already born partial witness to, whose prowess had even Killua forfeiting without so much as a fight.
  • Gon forgiving and forgetting Hanzo for breaking his arm. (The way he's all "JYA NE! ^-^" to Hanzo at the end of their conversation this episode was eerie o.o; when you consider that this man just snapped the boy's arm and threatened to kill him not but half a day ago.
  • Gon basically telling Illumi, more or less, "Tell me where you live: because I plan to barge through the front doors and fuck y'all up big time. "
I mean, you could say the kid has balls, sure, but it's more than that. Like Yuki has alluded to before, Gon isn't exactly this rosy, "kya ha ^-^" kid that we've been led to believe he is. He's, uh, ... he's pretty scary in his own right. ^^;

Yuki's also mentioned in the past how Hisoka gets a borderline sexual euphoria at times. Having not seen any of the original series other than those two or three episodes I watched last week, I can't speak for the original, but all while watching the remake, I was on the lookout for this ... and I never felt I'd found it. Sure, Hisoka gets euphoric at times, licking his lips and talking all weird and stuff, but ... I'd never seen anything I'd felt was sexual. Until now. Holy cow, this episode definitely reveals what Yuki was talking about. (It's right around 12m56s to 13m06s for anyone wanting to check it out.)

The plot twist that the Hunter Exam isn't over yet definitely caught me by surprise, no denying that. I think it's pretty interesting how the Hunter Association willingly awards people with badges that (for real, no joke) 'll give them access to 75% of all the resources a fully-authorized Hunter can access yet how (I presume) they then reveal to the test candidates who truly pass the exam, "Yeah, those guys don't realize it ... but they're not real Hunters. We just tell them they are because this way we can collect all of the bad guys who are attracted to becoming a Hunter but who we don't really want becoming Hunters. You guys, on the other hand, have truly passed and are now full-fledged Hunters. Congrats."

Maybe this was just me being super-cynical, but did anybody else think, when the little green-head guy said that one out of every five Hunters loses or has his badge stolen within the first year, that Pokkle (the archer with the turban) was going to be the first one to have his stolen?
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #67
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I was even more surprised by Satotz's comment to Menchi at the end of the episode. (What a twist! )
Oh, that twist. I thought you meant...

Spoiler: show
The twist Gon put on Illumi's arm, oh snap!


Quote:
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Spoiler: show
Maybe this was just me being super-cynical, but did anybody else think, when the little green-head guy said that one out of every five Hunters loses or has his badge stolen within the first year, that Pokkle (the archer with the turban) was going to be the first one to have his stolen?
Poor Pokkle. ^^;

Spoiler: show
I think it's a nice touch they showed how he's aware he's undeserving of the Hunter license, and his way of demonstrating that frustration was through taking it out on Kurapica. None of them can debate the decision though, which goes to show how merciless and messed up the Hunter registration system (that the world's social hierarchy is essentially built upon) is.


About diving into the next major plot arc already, that's how HxH's progression works. Though the story moves slow, there's very little actual "filler". The characters don't muck around, pretty much everything they do is in order to accomplish some goal. No pausing to help out random "citizens-of-the-week" either.

In fact, as I recalled mentioning a major epic scene that I expected to occur at the end of Hunter Exam, I went searching for it in the old series. Took me a while, but I found it at the end of a "breather" arc that I was beginning to assume was added filler, judging by the manga's/new series' pacing. However, an important plot-driving element is introduced during it, as well as a few interesting character background revelations. So I fully expect to see this scene and surrounding story in the future - it might even bring up some parts we skipped over. (If not, I will be sorely disappointed, for several reasons. =( The cuddly cat-bears... T-T)

Btw, as it turns out, I wasn't exactly lying when I said the scene took place at the end of the Hunter Exam. XP ^~
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:16 PM   #68
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Quote:
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Btw, as it turns out, I wasn't exactly lying when I said the scene took place at the end of the Hunter Exam. XP ^~
Which scene? Satotz's? Or Hisoka's?

Why I'm surprised is ...

Spoiler: show
In Naruto, after the initial arc with Gaara ended, he then went off to do some soul-searching ... soul-searching that took him three years and took us IRL about the same before we ever saw him again. Similarly, a recurring villain in the early series, Orochimaru, is defeated towards the end of one particular season but, as per usual, he only retreats, not being truly defeated. Rather than pursue him, our heroes are instead sidetracked by the introduction of new, even more pressing villains. And so Orochimaru, too, is left on the back burner for about six to twelve months IRL, while our heroes investigate who these new baddies are.

I expected HxH, being so similar to Naruto, to do something like this. I full well expected that:
  • Killua was going to go home to his village.
  • Gon was going to be assigned a mission by the Hunters' Association.
  • Gon, Kurapica, and Leorio were going to do that mission. (Season 2)
  • When they came back, they were going to be assigned another mission.
  • So they'd go and do that. (Season 3)
  • And then when they came back this time ...
  • ... they'd be assigned a third mission (Season 4) that would result in them crossing paths not only with Illumi but also with his sidekick, Ebil Killua. :o
  • And that this season would then be the season of redemption wherein our heroes get Killua to come back into the light.
Cheesy, cliche, predictable. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised that HxH instead says:
  • No, the Hunters' Association doesn't assign us our missions. We choose our own missions.
  • And we choose to fetch Killua.
  • Now.
  • And, unbeknownst to us but knownst to you at home, what we're doing is actually the true test of whether or not we're qualified to become full-fledged Hunters. And so Season 2 is not only going to be the season where we rescue Killua: it's also going to be the season where the four of us earn our actual Hunter licenses.
It surprises me that we're fetching Killua so soon. It surprises me that we're not being introduced to some bullshit out-of-thin-air new villain for our heroes to pursue. It surprises me that our heroes get to choose their own paths, completely, rather than being assigned to do things as seems to be most typical for the shonen action animes I'm used to.
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Old 03-08-2012, 04:03 PM   #69
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Which scene? Satotz's? Or Hisoka's?
Neither. I'm referring to something else entirely: A scene which got me pumped for the remainder of the series... Only to be sorely disappointed when the show changed gears drastically and never mentioned it again, at least not until the OVAs. ^^;

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Why I'm surprised is ...

Spoiler: show
I was pleasantly surprised that HxH instead says:
  • No, the Hunters' Association doesn't assign us our missions. We choose our own missions.
  • And we choose to fetch Killua.
  • Now.
  • And, unbeknownst to us but knownst to you at home, what we're doing is actually the true test of whether or not we're qualified to become full-fledged Hunters. And so Season 2 is not only going to be the season where we rescue Killua: it's also going to be the season where the four of us earn our actual Hunter licenses.
It surprises me that we're fetching Killua so soon. It surprises me that we're not being introduced to some bullshit out-of-thin-air new villain for our heroes to pursue. It surprises me that our heroes get to choose their own paths, completely, rather than being assigned to do things as seems to be most typical for the shonen action animes I'm used to.
Similar to what I said before, HxH's cast is composed of a lot of "selfish" characters. Often they are focused on one thing only. They do what they want to get it, when they want, and they don't take "no" for an answer.

I read somewhere once that one of FMA's unique appeals might be that the main characters are completely centered on their own ego: Their (initial) goal is to help themselves first, not others. Yet in order to do that, they become dogs of the military. HxH is the opposite. Passing the Hunter Exam gives them free license to do practically whatever they heck they desire at any time without consequences. They could probably kill and get away with it scot-free so long as they play their cards right, as Illumi alluded to.

There are limitations, of course, as Kurapica will later demonstrate. But for the most part, being a Hunter makes you king. It's pretty ridiculous the kind of power a license affords a person. One wonders how the world can operate, where they allow even kids to possess such level of control.

Another thing is that manga readers have claimed that HxH is essentially a "deconstruction" of the shounen genre, which seems likely based on what you've said. Other evidence they point to is how the fights are more about brains than brawn, and the final tournament was supposed to be this epic match but turned out entirely disappointing. This was intentional on the author's part, supposedly. Perhaps that's also part of the reason for my dissatisfaction referenced above - which isn't to say I disliked the rest of the series at all. It was an amazing arc, arguably the best out of all of them on a stand-alone basis. I was just so surprised it completely betrayed my expectations of what was to come.

Edit- Also, rescuing Killua isn't the true test to becoming a Hunter. Putting that out there now.

Last edited by lilbluecorsola; 03-08-2012 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:49 AM   #70
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I don't think this is a deconstruction. That implies Togashi is deliberately going out and trying to subvert cliches, but HxH still carries a lot of stock. I think it's just a unique approach to shounen.

Watched 22. Was fun, but not an episode I could rewatch except for the gate guy (because it showed how inferior Gon + co are right now). We just got through seeing Gon break Gittarackur's arm, and now he's showed how small he is again. I like the feeling a bit, but don't like how Gon doesn't seem "worthy" of rescuing Killua atm.

Loved the surprise toward the Kukuru Mountain.

Spoiler: show
Why are tourists invited? Because the Zoldycks are local celebrities in the area!
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:26 PM   #71
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No new OP? Aw...

On the subject of music, again with the weird soundtrack. The Celtic theme that played when the gang arrived at Killua's hometown reminded me of the old BGM style I know and love, but that guitar riff at the end was pretty jarring. Was really hoping it would lead into a new ED at least. Then it'd be epic.

Btw, anyone notice the standard dramatic theme that plays when Gon was climbing the wall sounds a lot like PotC?

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I don't think this is a deconstruction. That implies Togashi is deliberately going out and trying to subvert cliches, but HxH still carries a lot of stock. I think it's just a unique approach to shounen.
Well, it's the manga-readers mostly saying this, and I haven't even gotten as far in the story as they. Who knows. Maybe Togashi has more tricks plans up his sleeve than we give him credit for.

On that note, a manga reader pointed out how during the Hunting portion of the exam Gon's eyes went blank as he tried to conceal his presence in the Madhouse version. According to her, this is apparently very important. Which is why I was surprised and somewhat concerned when...

Spoiler: show
We saw the return of the dark eyes during such a seemingly irrelevant scene: Flying to Kukuroo Mountain, thinking about Killua. I don't know what this indicates, if anything, but there's definitely something rather unsettling about Gon's demeanor here.


Fun bit of trivia I learned: Hanzo is apparently a Jonin from the Village Hidden in the Clouds, according to his business card in the manga/2011 series. (HxH was first though.) Also, Sasuke wasn't even conceived for the Naruto manga until Kishimoto's editor told him to add a rival, and he confirmed Sasuke was based on Kurapica.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:41 PM   #72
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Still haven't seen the episode, but according to this article here, the 雲隠流忍法 kumogakure ryuu ninpou or the way of the Ninja of the Hidden Cloud was a real school of ninjutsu. So it's possible that both Kishimoto and Toguchi independently were inspired by, and were referring to, this real-life school of ninjutsu rather than the one doing a crossover into the other's universe.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:55 PM   #73
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The OP's theme was turned into an episode BGM, so while I might expect the second half of the song to show (with new animation) I doubt we'll get a song change soon.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:34 PM   #74
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Watched the newest episode of HxH. I enjoyed it. It was a good start to a new adventure. There were some silly shounen power level aspects to it that I didn't care for, but other than that it was pretty good.

Spoiler: show
One logical inconsistency I didn't care for was the very existence of the gate itself. If you have a huge forested estate that is guarded by a ferocious beast which can lick the meat clean off the bones of trespassers in under 10 seconds, what need have you for a gate? What's more, that beast was trained by you. That beast cannot defeat you. Which means that you must be many times more capable at guarding your own home than the beast you have assigned to the task is. So once again I ask: what point is there in even having a gate? It seems like a dickish thing for the Zoldyck family to do. Like they basically want to attract people to their dooms just for the macabre entertainment they (the Zoldycks) get out of it.

Another thing I didn't care for was the shounen power level talk with opening the gates. How the old man can open one, how Killua can open three, how it's implied that a truly fearsome person could open all seven/nine/however many there were of them all at once. It just seems like a pointless opportunity to demonstrate how powerful such-and-such character is but that it's going to be totally forgotten about down the road when it is convenient to put such a story out of our minds. (For example, I can just see someone being able to open all of the gates ... and then that person loses to somebody else, implying "Holy shit, this new guy is even MORE fearsome and powerful! " ... and then that person will get Gon's neck in their grip ... and yet Gon will manage to squeeze free relatively uninjured. Something like this is bound to happen, I just know it, and when it does, I'm going to bemoan the existence of this gate once again.)

Something else I didn't like about the gate was the implication that you could even open multiple numbers of the gates all at once. It doesn't make mechanical sense. The way the gate was designed, if you press hard against the center, you're going to open just Gate 1. Because it's going to give way before Gates 2+ give way, and because of how the steel doors are cut out relative to one another. The only way I see that you could push open (say) Gate 3 would be to stand facing the part of Gate 3 that is to the left of (or to the right of, pick your preferred side) of Gate 2, and to push that really hard. And even then, you'd only be pushing open half of Gate 3 ... and not a bit of Gates 2 and 1. Basically, the gate's design doesn't seem to make much mechanical sense.

Despite these complaints, I thought the episode was pretty good.

It was neat how the old man knew that Gon was Nature Boy and how the Zoldycks' pet would therefore frighten Gon terribly. It was smart of Togashi to even think of this angle.

While it was kinda stupid , I too found it cute and amusing how the Zoldycks are local celebrities here. How Illumi telling Gon where his family lives was proven to really be of absolutely no consequence whatsoever since (it would seem) everybody knows that the Zoldyck family lives atop Mt. Kururuu.

I liked the old man's justification for accompanying Gon and the others inside. In any other shounen story, the old man would have simply volunteered to go with them and the viewer would have been left feeling, "Boy, isn't that awfully convenient? That the one person who might quell the beast is deciding to accompany them." But Togashi, through the old man, explains to us viewers that it's really in the old man's best interests to go inside: how it's less of a risk to his own life to confront the beast than it would be to confront his employer should Gon and the others truly prove to be Killua-bocchama's friends and the old man allow them to get themselves killed.

And I liked the paranoid butler's responses to Gon. It's an excellent parody-character that tackles the question, "If you're an expert at killing others, what does that do for your own outlook on life?" It makes sense that a family of expert assassins would themselves give every person they come across zero benefit of doubt and, ŕ la "better safe than sorry" thinking, assume that the person is an enemy who has been sent to try and kill one of them. How Killua does not think the same way as the butler (and presumably others in the family), who knows. In fact, how the others in the family can even trust one another, who knows. Maybe it'll be revealed that they can't. Or maybe it'll be revealed that they can and that this is also how they'll I.D. Gon. In any event, I found it logically consistent with the universe Togashi's building here.

It does seem like this is an excellent place to put the series down for a while, though, and to allow it to build up some more episodes. I might do that. We'll see.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:39 AM   #75
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Hunter x Hunter original movie announced

Also apparently the manga is going on hiatus again. >.>; Oh Togashi... ^^;

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Still haven't seen the episode, but according to this article here, the 雲隠流忍法 kumogakure ryuu ninpou or the way of the Ninja of the Hidden Cloud was a real school of ninjutsu. So it's possible that both Kishimoto and Toguchi independently were inspired by, and were referring to, this real-life school of ninjutsu rather than the one doing a crossover into the other's universe.
Oh, neat. HxH apparently does make references to Naruto later in the manga though.
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