Hunter x Hunter 12 – Give me a Break

How do you read…so many books?

Wait. I need to get this out of my chest. Every ‘misstep’ this series takes gives biased fans the opportunity to bash it like nobody’s business. I like the 99 anime and I like the manga. However, I have no desire to push my expectations unto this adaptation. I encourage liberties taken with the source material given that those liberties enhance my viewing experience. The 2011 version has no obligation to consider the 99 version as part of its source material but it still references some things moments from that series. I think that’s something that’s worth appreciating. As a long time Hunter x Hunter fan– I like the idea that all these things are connected and influenced by each other. I think that’s what makes a successful franchise.

The reason this episode contained fillers or what some people consider to be ‘non-canon’ material is simple: Togashi barely elaborated on their stay in the waiting room and how Gon cooked up a solution to the test of two paths. Togashi spent a grand total of 2 pages on the 50 hours our main characters spent in that room and a whole chapter on the last problem Lippo set up. In the manga, there was no depiction of Leorio and Tonpa fighting. Gon’s reasoning was simple enough– if Jones was able to break the wall with his bare hands then there’s a bigger chance that weapons could break down the walls as well.

Togashi switches between lazy bastard and exposition freak from time to time– this chapter required people to fill in the blanks and put two and two together. This is where both the 99 version and the 2011 add in their own versions of what may have transpired in the waiting room and the final test. Both take different routes while still achieving what Togashi wanted to point out. Gon is capable of coming up with solutions on the spot, he is observant and clever. Out of the five of them, it was Gon who remained clear headed.

The 99 version keeps the waiting segment short and spends most of its time on solving the path issue, emphasizing how stressful the final choice was. The new version takes advantage of the 50 hours to add in character development and divides the 24 minute running time between the waiting and the last conflict of the third phase.

I do like the characterization here just as much as I liked how the 99 series handled it. 2011 seems to be more similar with the manga though. But as I said, the end result was the same and I liked watching two different interpretations of the event. I was surprised how the remake decided to show the Hunter association giving the candidates food and drinks, there’s a bit of twisted logic here if you’re aware of what the next phase is (clue: It requires endurance, intelligence, survival skills and fighting abilities) and given what kind of man Lippo is, I wouldn’t put it past him.

The short fight between Leorio and Tonpa was well animated and felt incredibly dynamic, switching between Kurapika’s inner thoughts and Killua’s quiet observation. This is a critical moment, given that Killu would’ve easily killed both Leorio and Tonpa while they were distracted and cutting that scene so abruptly was a great way to build suspense. So yeah, once again– this show has yet to disappoint me and I honestly doubt it ever will unless it makes drastic changes or invents some silly filler arc with cowboys in it.

This week’s scriptwriter is Yasushi Hirano, who took part in writing Dragon Ball’s script and other old classics like B’tX, Dirty Pair, Lupin III,  and Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. He did an amazing job with the material and even went out of his way to include clever foreshadowing. The episode director is Tomoya Tanaka, not as prolific as Yasushi Hirano but he has been a part of a few good series. I have a habit of checking who did what episode  because in all honesty, after finding out Akiyuki Shinbo directed a few episodes of Yuyu Hakusho, I made it a point to check credits every now and then.

And…this post has sort of drifted off…

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7 Comments

  1. I found this episode better than the manga. There, I said it!

    • better than the manga.

      I know right. I was laughing after rereading this part in the manga. Seriously. I’m happy both adaptations did something with it. Togashi just skimmed over 2 days like nothing.

  2. Akiyuki Shinbo directed a few episodes of Yuyu Hakusho

    …Shinbo did? Interesting, could you tell me which episodes he directed?

    Anyway, I thought that the execution of the final choice was very good. In the scene Leorio and Tonpa are engaged in a heated battle, and Killua is about to go in for the kill, prompting a stressed reaction from Kurapika who’ll have to intervene if things get bloody. The best part is when Gon wordlessly grabs hold of an ax, and all of a sudden the scene switches to the contestants waiting for the exam to finish. The Gon scene is great because newcomers don’t know what his intentions are, and the following scene where only the three of them step out of the door would be very shocking. I had to laugh when I saw Gon and co., from their somber expressions it almost seems as if Kurapika and Killua had to watch in horror as Gon went yangire on Leorio and Tonpa. And then Leorio and Tonpa come out of the door as well, accompanied by new background music. The new BGM still doesn’t compare to the OST of ’99 series, but nevertheless I thought it was successful in making the scene heartwarming.

    • ANN lists Akiyuki Shinbo as the episode director of eps 4, 7, 12, 16, 21, 24, 30, 35, 37, 41, 45, 47, 52, 58, 66, 74, 82, 95, 109

      I was planning on making a post about it because he really did some of my favorite episodes and they look fantastic.

      Yes. This new version did great with building up the tension and closing it off with Leorio and Tonpa surviving and STILL arguing. It was excellent and one of the few moments I felt the ‘adventure’ theme music fit well.

  3. Good review, I love your consideration and consciousness about people who bashes on this reboot. The reviewer of Otakuness will surely trash this episode while insistently glorifying the ’99 series (reading a review there is both frustrating and painful). Thank you Mira!

    • Thanks for dropping by Marven. I know the authors there and I understand their point of view, I’m sorry you don’t agree with them. But let’s just discuss the actual show itself. ^^;

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