C&C - Hunter x Hunter - "Past × And × Future" [6/22] (SERIES FINALE)

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Scrappy-Fan92

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Thus, the long journey comes to an end. It had its ups and its downs (and had a pretty bad problem of knowing how to pace at points), but the show was honestly quite enjoyable. I actually liked this arc more than the Chimera Ants arc for Killua and Alluka alone.

Other scattered thoughts:

-I'll miss Gotou.
-Ging on the World Tree almost came off as a decent father for a few minutes.
-Hi, Aunt Mito. I forgot you existed.
-That Komugi and Meruem were together in death is heartbreaking. I feel sorry if Komugi even has any friends or family still alive who are probably wondering where her body is.
-Kurapika looks miserable even if it seems like he's further along in his personal goal than ever.
 
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Light Lucario

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Shonen Jump made a special deal with Togashi after YYH. He was disappointed that he couldn't deconstruct the characters the way they wanted and wouldn't let him takes breaks despite his health issues so he said that he wouldn't write another long series for them unless he was allowed to do almost anything he wanted with the stroy and characters and could take breaks whenever he wanted. Do to the success of YYH ,they decide to agree to his terms. That's why they will not cancel HxH( well that and becuse when a volume comes out it does to better than most of their other series)
I've heard about that deal before, but I was just never sure if it was true or just a rumor. I am glad that he could get a deal so that he wouldn't be so overworked with his health issues. I wish that more manga authors had deals like that so that they wouldn't work themselves until they were sick or worse.

True, but I'm all for a surprise like she's also a revered member in the Hunter's Association or randomly shows up as a replacement member in the Phantom Troupe.
I wouldn't be too shocked if that did happen down the road. I'm not sure if it would really matter to Gon, but just revealing it to the audience would probably be more than enough.

Anyway, I've taken some time to reflect on the series. As a whole, Hunter x Hunter is really good. Most of the characters are likable/interesting. Gon and Killua in particular work so well as a team and as individual characters. Killua does have more personal conflicts with his family to help make him more engaging on his own, but I don't think that Gon is uninteresting either. He started off as a pretty typical happy go lucky friendly shonen lead, but there were signs that he wasn't entirely like that. That's why his actions in the Chimera Ant arc didn't really bother me. He was harsh, cold and didn't care about anything but saving and then avenging Kite, but all of that behavior didn't come out of nowhere. I think that there was always a selfish element to his character. That's why his outburst and his power up out of grief felt more like a payoff to what had been slowly building up throughout the series than a cop out or writing Gon out of character. They work so well together that I really wonder how the series will function without them traveling together. Kurapika and especially Leorio didn't really get as much chances to shine, but they were pretty likable for the most part too.

I really liked how they handled the powers in this series. Nen was a good way to give the characters unique powers. The expansions they gave for Nen abilities always felt natural instead of a cop out, with the possible exception of Alluka given how her powers can apparently do anything for Killua. I also liked how they didn't make a lot of overpowered villains in this series. It's pretty typical for characters in shonen series to fight off against one overpowered villain right after another in order to keep the stakes and tension high. But with Hunter x Hunter, the villains usually just had much greater experience with their powers and/or combat in general, so that always put Gon and Killua at a natural disadvantage. I'm pretty sure that the anime only covered a year or two at most, which wouldn't be enough time for the characters to go head to head against much stronger and more experienced fighters. The Chimera Ants were the only overpowered villains introduced, but even that had an in-universe justification and they were able to take out Meruem and the Royal Guards once they became too overpowered for anyone to reasonably defeat them.

I also really liked the training scenes for this series. The Heaven's Area and Greed Island arcs were basically training arcs, but they were handled pretty well. It showed enough of the characters training to make their progress feel earned, but they also didn't linger on it too much to where it felt like the arcs were dragging on. It also helped that those arcs had goals and conflicts beyond just needing to train.

I don't think that the villains were too interesting besides Mereum, but I really did like his storyline. That was a big reason why I grew to like the Chimera Ant arc in spite of my problems with it. Seeing him embrace his humanity slowly was just so interesting and it really made his death alongside Komugi quite touching. I don't think that they were interested in redeeming him per say. He just realized what was more important to him than being King was and wanted to use what little time he had left to be with the person he loved. The Phantom Troop were cool and intimidating, but few, if any, of them really stand out to me on their own.

The series does have a huge pacing problem. Admittedly, this is mostly for the York New and Chimera Ant arcs, but considering how much of the series both of those arcs take, that's still a pretty huge issue. This isn't uncommon for long running shonen anime, but the pacing was just much too slow for my tastes. Being so dialogue heavy for a shonen series might have also contributed to that. I'm sure at least part of this is due to how long the manga takes to wrap up an arc. I can only imagine the frustration manga readers must have had if it really take the author ten years to finish the Chimera Ant arc.

I also think that not having a consistent main cast hurts the series. I like Gon and Killua, but neither Kurapika and especially Leorio really feel like main characters. They don't really appear for most of the series. Kurapika at least had a key role in the York New arc, but even with that in mind, his impact on the overall storyline feels kind of minimal due to how infrequently he appears. Leorio really doesn't get much spotlight, which is a shame since he is likable and does care deeply for his friends. He isn't into fighting, so he wouldn't really work for most of these arcs, but it kind of makes it harder for him to stand out if he doesn't appear too often. His role in the Election arc could easily be read as giving his fans a bone after not appearing in the series proper for so long, even though the entire arc was just full of setup for storylines that haven't been animated yet.

Having a different cast for each arc or so does potentially give the author something new to do instead of having the cast get stale, but it also gives off the opinion that he'll just drop and choose characters for his arcs depending on how interested he is in them. I feel like this approach just makes it harder for most of the characters aside from Gon and Killua to stand out and thus makes it harder for the series to find more of an audience.

I also get the impression that the author might be too ambitious given his physical condition. Hunter x Hunter is a good series, but it's also been going on for over twenty years primarily due to how many frequent hiatuses the series takes. If Togashi had more help with the manga than he has or might be willing to have, the series probably could have been over well before now. I've heard people praise Hunter x Hunter as the best shonen series. I can understand that more after watching it, but I don't think I agree with that notion. Like I said before, it is a good series. I don't even think that this is a case where the show doesn't live up to the hype or is overrated exactly. I just think that there are other shonen series that are more appealing to me than Hunter x Hunter. The pacing and the lack of a consistent main cast really holds the series back for me. Bing watching the series would definitely help improve the pacing, but the series is designed for a weekly format, so that isn't a good solution to the problem either.

As for my rankings of the various arcs, I think it would be Chimera Ant, Greed Island, Hunter Exam, Heavens Arena, Hunter Chairman Election, Zoldyck Family, and then York New. I was torn about where to place the Election arc, but I think that the emotional moments with Killua, Leorio and Gon meeting with his father put the arc on a high enough level to beat out the Zoldyck Family arc. Although, I don't know if that really qualifies as an arc when it was just a few episodes to rescue Killua. I might have ranked it higher if we did see the payoff to all of that setup, but that wouldn't have fixed all of my problems with the Election arc. It wasn't a bad arc for the anime to end on, but it is a bit frustrating for both anime and manga fans considering the pacing of the series.

I am still glad that I watched the series. It is one of the best series Toonami has aired and it's going to feel weird to see a lineup without Hunter x Hunter starting this week. It is an all around solid series and I can see why fans are still anxious every time it comes back from hiatus or a new volume is released.
 

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