Hunter x Hunter – Episode 3 Review

Anime

Hunter x Hunter
Episode 3 – “Rivals x In x Survival”

While the first 2 episodes of Hunter x Hunter adapted 2 chapters of manga for each, things are slowed down a bit here and for good reason, this is a character based episode. In “Rivals x In x Survival” we are introduced to a sleu of new characters that will play a vital role in the Hunter Exam arc, with essentially no real forward momentum of the plot until the episodes final minutes.

This may come off as somewhat droll to those who aren’t well adjusted to the shonen genre. A common story-telling device in the genre is the “knights of the round table”, a plot device in which the audience is introduced to the characters important to the story one after another in succession, as if they are all seated at a round table taking turns introducing themselves.

You may think this is a bad way to introduce characters (which in most cases it is). However in Hunter x Hunter it fit perfectly. All of the examinees are in one big room eyeing eachother off. It was the perfect time to let the audience know who the major players will be.

Now for the characters themselves. Tonpa, the rookie killer finally was given the justice he deserved. If you had seen the old Hunter x Hunter series you’d know that his entire introduction was changed for one reason or another, ultimately altering his personality from the original source material. He was coniving, devious and most of all pathetic. That is exactly how he should be portrayed.

As for the other major character introduced, Hisoka. There has been some rather unfounded objection to his characters portrayal here. The particular things being objected to are his voice actor and the way in which he removes another examinees arms.

First of all, his voice is definitely more badass than his old series voice. Not only that but he is more commanding and intimidating than before. We have yet to see his crazy side, so it’s best to reserve judgement on how his voice actor will handle those scenes.

As for the arms removal – it is not shown how is arms disappear in the manga. It is not specifically said that Hisoka cut them off and there is no blood to prove that he did. The whole arms turning flower petals thing, was much more interesting then if he simply cut them off. It fits so much more with his Magician persona and was a great piece of animation that looked stunning.

This was really an episode heavy on dialogue. Which is a given considering the majority of the episode takes place in the tunnel underground with Gon and friends introduced to all their competition in the Hunter Exam. The pacing is an obvious slamming of the brakes in comparison to previous episodes. But when there is so much intensity to come, things had to stop and position themselves for an episode.

Hunter x Hunter is on the rise, while this episode may just be taking some time to lay the ground work, what is to come is without a doubt going to blow people away. This is the series to watch this season.

8-0-capsules-out-of-10

Senior Editor & Anime Specialist
  • Virgilia

    So far I’m really loving this reboot, and I’m glad they slowed things down for this episode.
    My only complaints with this episode is Hisoka’s and Killua’s voices. They weren’t bad at all, but I’m pretty attached to their original voices. Granted they didn’t say much this episode, I’m sure their new voices will grow on me (much like Hisoka’s voice did back in the original series).
    I hope they don’t rush the next episode, I’m really curious to see how the reboot will handle the trials they face in the tunnel. The preview seems to suggest it’ll be over in one episode… So I am a bit worried.
    Still, again, great episode.

  • amelialistic

    yeah.. me too.. i’m too attached to the original seiyuu’s.. that’s why i’m still bothered with gon, kurapica and leorio’s voices.. (actually even mito’s voice) then when i watched episode 3 i’m still not happy with hisoka and killua’s voice.. i don’t know.. i love hunter x hunter so off course no matter what i’m gonna follow this series.. setting aside the voice actors, i do like how they plotted the episodes since they followed the manga more 🙂

  • EturnusFrost

    Don’t really have any complaints about this one. I liked being thrown into a slower pace than the previous episodes, thought that was a really good move on their part so early on.

    Still hoping they change the character animations to some extent, but that’s irrelevant.

    Looking forward to seeing how Episode 04 turns out.

    • Luke Halliday

      It is looking as though episode 4 will cover all the way up until the guy accuses Satotz of not being the real examiner. But I may be wrong and the episode goes further into the “Struggle in the Mist” portion of the story. But if you look at the 5th episodes title “Hisoka x is x Secret”, I’d hazard a guess that it would cover all of the “Struggle in the Mist”.

      I’m rather excited to see the direction things will be heading here.

  • EturnusFrost

    Oh, I do however disagree with Hisoka appearing ”more intimidating” already with his first appearance, the flower thing seemed just sort of random to me, but it was at the same time nothing TOO drastic..I can see the advantage they took, just hope they don’t jump at every open interpretation they can manage. I feel most of the characters are solid enough without the need of gimmicks.

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