Hunter x Hunter 14 – It’s Battle Royale All Over Again

Most of the animation budget goes to Kurapika.

A little research on Battle Royale’s publish date gave me a small surprise. I was ready to say that Hunter x Hunter was obviously inspired by the novel, until I found out that Battle Royale was released a year after Hunter x Hunter. The chapters that include this particular arc precede the novel!

The next phase brings the candidates to Zevil Island whether they are pitted against each other in a game where they’re required to steal each other’s number plates using any method they deem necessary. The objective is to collect 6 points. 3 points for your own plate, 3 points for your target’s and 1 point for every other candidate’s. The rules are relatively simple, but it does get complex when everyone starts playing the game.

Gon’s characterization here is almost spot on. He’s easily fixes his mind on one goal and pours all his concentration on that goal. It’s as Gereta puts it ‘intense concentration’. He doesn’t waste time in training himself to capture Hisoka’s plate, using things he’s picked up from his observation, Go formulates his own strategy. What Gereta says is right though, Gon seems to have completely forgotten that he’s being hunted as well and that may prove to be his undoing. Gon isn’t like most shounen heroes, he clearly acts out of self-interest from time to time. He’s developed a mutual interest towards Hisoka,. He actually takes notice of Hisoka’s wounds while they were drawing lots.

Gon contemplating the career of being an asshole and not helping out a guy that just got poisoned.

This is another episode used to set up the rules and the mood so there’s not a lot to talk about. Although after sitting through so many disappointing winter titles, I think it’s time to praise Hunter x Hunter’s visuals again. It looks so much better than everything else, the artstyle is STILL consistent, the animation still looks great and the color choices are getting better. One of my favorite scenes involves Pokkle and his archery, that was great animation no matter how brief it was.

I bet the animator was all: “Fuck you guys, I’m going to draw this scene really fucking well even if it’s only 5 seconds long.” (And it is 5 seconds long!)

Some guy at ufotable was all “It took us ten hours to include realistic dirt in Saber and Lancer’s fight.” when Imaginenation did their Fate/Zero feature. And I’m like, Dude– you’re not even going to talk about how you did a premiere episode with talking heads, are you?

Oh what’s that? We’re talking about Hunter x Hunter? Oh, okay. Let’s get back on track then!

HxH is well animated and directed. If you put all the episodes of Kill Me Baby, Prince of Tennis and Area no Kishi together– Hunter x Hunter 14 would still have more animation. The background art is nothing special, especially now that we’ve got trees, trees and more trees but that’s not Madhouse’s fault.

I also approve of the studios decision NOT to have CG as much as possible. In fact, this is probably the only show I’ve seen that doesn’t use that much CG and the use of motion blur isn’t meant to distract you from the lack of drawn frames…things shows like Mirai Nikki and Penguindrum did for goddamn RUNNING scenes.  Sometimes the show is guilty of using still frames and excessive panning but I’d take that over the descent to full blown derp.

Never mind, I take that back.

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4 Comments

  1. I wish we would see more of Pookle in the future, I really took a liking to him for some reason.

    Also, I like how they cut out some stuff to make it flow better, the training was actually fun. Felt like they dragged out the first half though, oh well~~

    • Yeah, I like the 2011 Pokkle a lot. He’s pretty cool and judging how well he did in the exam so far, he’s either got great luck or very resourceful and forward thinking.

      Haha! I was tempted to fastforward, but maybe it’s because we’ve seen most of this before and we know what happens? That’s usually the case with me.

  2. And so my favourite of the Exam arcs begins! So far so good, I guess. I like how they animate the way Gon moves. But I’m a bit worried his voice – is it just me or is it getting more childish? Also, dat Pirates of the Caribbean toon.
    (I’m totally pretending that episode 13 didn’t exist…)

    • But I’m a bit worried his voice – is it just me or is it getting more childish? Also, dat Pirates of the Caribbean toon.

      Man, that tune when Hisoka goes down the ship. I couldn’t help but chuckle. I didn’t pay that much attention to Gon’s voice but I’ll see how I feel about it when the next episode comes around.

      (I’m totally pretending that episode 13 didn’t exist…)
      What episode 13?!

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