What They Say:
The Kiriko have brought our three heroes to the exam site. Many applicants have already arrived. There’s the veteran Tonpa, the creepy-looking Hisoka, the talkative ninja Hanzo, and the boy with the skateboard Killua. The first phase of the exam is finally about to begin.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With some of the most basic of hurdles passed, the main trio have now made their way to Zaban City with the guide that they befriended and that means exposure to a very busy world, at least for Gon. With his time spent in a small village, every new place is basically one big new adventure for him and something that’s unlike anything he’s seen before. And thankfully, the show isn’t exactly a fantasy one in the traditional sense so we get some high tech and advanced or modern buildings thrown into the mix, making for a diverse and bustling place. And as a kudos to the animators, even though most of the people in the background don’t move, at least there are people and it feels like a real city.
With the progress the trio have made, Kurapika does fill the other two in on the importance of how far they have come. While Leorio gets some of it, Gon is completely oblivious to the fact that so few rookies make it as far as they have each year and even fewer to become full Hunters. While the tests happen frequently enough overall, it’s not a huge licensing bonanza that causes a glut in the marketplace of needs. But with such diversity, there are enough that make it through to continue drawing solid salaries for what they do if not exceptional ones because of how unique their skills may be, and the complexity of the assignments they take on.
The nature of the exam has the smart ones thinking that every move is a test and we see that when the latest full round of applicants that have made it this far are in the underground tunnel getting ready to move to the next location. There’s a lot of little nods towards various characters that have roles in coming episodes, including our first real look at Joker. A lot of the focus is on the long time applicant Tonpa, who plays dirty but comes across as extremely nice throughout it as he takes down the unsuspecting in various ways. There’s a good bit of fun in seeing this cast of characters that lets loose with their stories to varying degrees before the exam begins, but it’s when we see the Exam formally begin that things start to get even quirkier and exciting. Having read the books and watched the previous series, seeing it all realized again just makes me grin which is something few series do these days.
Hunter x Hunter definitely moves at a Shonen Jump style speed and though it drives me bonkers with some shows, others like this one makes it feel just right because of the characters and situations. The slow progress towards the next phase of the test has worked well to let us get to know the characters, especially as we now have 404 applicants going through the Exam. The importance of the test and what it is to be a Hunter is delved into a bit more and we get some neat little wrangling going on as well as a look at other applicants that will be growing in importance in the Exam overall and the series as a whole as it progresses. Lots of good stuff here, simple, but fun and interesting to see unfold.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
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