Hunter x Hunter – Episode 2 Review

Anime

Hunter x Hunter
Episode 2 – “Test x Of x Tests”

The Hunter Exam continues with the second episode of Hunter x Hunter and boy does it ever pack a punch. This episode adapts another 2 chapters of the manga into animation in what is an incredibly tightly paced and cohesive unit that will hit you hard.

While the first episode introduced us to the world of the Hunters, as well as our 3 heroes; Gon, Kurapika and Leorio – Episode 2 kicks the story into gear whilst providing some interesting character development.

We begin were we left off at episode 1 with Gon and friends passing the Captain’s test. The Captain give’s Gon a clue of where to head for, which happens to be a huge tree sitting atop a hill. After a little scuffle about whether or not to trust the Captain’s advice, they eventually decide to do so.

They arrive at a proverbial ghost town, which is absolutely atmospheric. Suddenly an old hag appears and poses our heroes a question, which seems to have no correct answer. The question being “Who would you save if you could only save one, you mother or your lover?” Clearly there is no right answer, hence the correct answer is no answer. It is both a clever moment, that stands out from usual shonen series as it actually places the characters in a position in which they are required to actually think. It is a battle of the mind, not of the fists.

The reason I love this part, is that after it’s all said and done, Gon provides another incredibly insightful point “What if we really had to choose? Maybe some day I will.” That line right there gives me the feeling that it may be a foreshadowing for a future scenario that not even has occured in the manga yet. Who Gon would choose between? I do not know.

The pace picks up even faster in it’s second half with the introduction of magical beasts with the Kiriko monsters. I am amazed how much development they managed to fit into that portion. Gon, Kurapika and Leorio each had a moment that pushed their characters forward. I particularly enjoyed that Leorio shows signs of his medical skills here. It foreshadows something we will discover in the next episode.

The episode ends in a spectacular way, with the Kiriko literally flying Gon and friends through the sky to their destination. It was a great way to close out the episode.

I loved the pacing of this episode, there was a lot of fat cut, which made this such a tight episode that never took a second too dawdle. It was simply full-throttle plotting, that should hush a lot of the naysayers about this new readaptation of the series.

For those who were saying the characters didn’t gel as well as they did in the previous series, this episode should have changed your mind. They interactions between each character were completely genuine and held true to their personalities in the manga. I loved seeing Leorio flipping out at the old hag’s question, with Kurapika trying to calm his rage. It was classic Leorio-Kurapika.

The animation for this episode was incredibly impressive, especially the chase with the Kiriko. The action on display here was a great sign of things to come. I also think it’s worth mentioning that the Kiriko that Leorio heals, was actually pretty bloody, so I don’t think there will be too much censorship on this series.

Their was also some new background tracks that really stood out to me. The track that played during the intense Kiriko skirmish stands out to me a lot. Also the opening and ending have really grown on me now, I liked them last week but loved them this week.

Hunter x Hunter is looking to be one of the best new shonen series this year. You know what, it is probably the best in years. I loved this episode and expect to love each and every episode following it. This is definitely a series that should not be missed.

9-5-capsules-out-of-10

Senior Editor & Anime Specialist
  • EturnusFrost

    The pacing was a ”little” fast for me, but only in some parts. I actually enjoyed this episode, they pulled it off rather well. But I do still have some nit picks..

    – The atmospherics of the Swamp land and such I felt didn’t feel as good as the first.

    – I did miss the scene with Leorio collecting herb/medicine for the Husband and encountering a magical beast while hanging on the cliff.

    – I felt this could of continued a small amount into the next episode, though the pacing was still HIGHLY well done. Felt the way Matthew was represented in the first was more smooth, as Hunters will be running into many of those type of ”deceiving” characters and many other different personalities.

    – The OST/BGM didn’t stand out for me, perhaps it requires a third watch so I can pay closer attention, but honestly I’d think if it DID stand out or well executed I would of noticed it already. I think the pacing was too fast as far as allowing the ambience of the ost/bgm take its toll. This is too soon to say though, as this is only the second episode..perhaps it will eventually play out a TINY bit slower later enough to where the bgm and such has a bigger impact on me.

    Other than that, that’s all I really have. It’s defiantly nice seeing this follow the Manga more closely, quite the extra treat to see it play out like this.

    Opening and Ending I’m used to now after hearing it the second time, but hasn’t necessarily grown on me or anything.

    The animation is good, but of course my opinions remain essentially the same, just opened with more tolerance now after seeing this episode.

  • “- I did miss the scene with Leorio collecting herb/medicine for the Husband and encountering a magical beast while hanging on the cliff.”

    Why would you miss this scene? it was one of the complete horrible faults of the original anime, that Kurapika told Leorio to stay with the wounded man yet he leaves him to find a herb? It made no sense! On top of that he spots a tiny needle mark he gave him in the complete dark… They completely messed up.

    Another thing the 2011 does better then the Original AND the manga is that at the very end, 2 are flying gon to the test yet in the 2011 the 2 are actually carrying Leorio which makes sense because he is more heavy. 2011 series is actually putting thought into what is being done and is winning more battles then losing when compared to the older anime.

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