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Thread: [FEATURED] Hunter x Hunter

  1. #46
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    Re: Hunter x Hunter

    Actually HxH is one of my favourite mangas.
    It has got a top story, nice and slow character development which is spread well through the story (always some little bites of charadevp.)
    And for the art, i love the drawing style of hxh it's like very abstracted, there are just the most necessairy lines and lines are very clear and percise and the whole style is very calm hxh shares toghether with naruto my n1 shaman king is just a little beneath

  2. #47
    MH's Best Reviewer 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity Jammin's Avatar
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    Re: Hunter x Hunter

    I just read through HunterxHunter and i gotta say i don't agree with the scores it's gotten at all. Here are my thoughts.

    Number of chapters at review:310
    Number of chapters read by reviewer:310

    General Overview: HunterXHunter is a story about a kid named Gon who goes off to join an organization called the Hunters and find his father, who was himself a legendary hunter.

    Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)


    Art:2
    The art is passable when it's at it's best. Unfortunately, it's only at it's best maybe 10 to 20% of the time. The rest of the time it's absolutely terrible in every aspect, and by that i mean it looks the mangaka doodled it on a napkin at some bar after a looong night of drinking. I give it a 2, which is the lowest rating i can ever remember giving for art, and make no mistake HunterxHunter has thoroughly earned it.


    Plot:4
    It starts out good but fades in the stretch. The story telling is remarkably unfocused and most arcs just don't have enough story to justify their length, even by battle manga standards. The arcs also don't fit together well at all. They don't tie in to a greater plot because there really is no greater plot. HunterxHunter seems to just be a collection of Gon's adventures, each more clichéd than the last, which is why I give it a 4.


    Characters:6
    There are very good characters in this series but their potential is all too often wasted by the authors tendency to abandon the majority of them at the end of each arc in favor of introducing new characters. There is really only one character that could be considered a permanent cast member of HunterxHunter besides Gon himself, which is just not enough to carry through this series' long and weak plotted arcs. I give it a 6 just because there are some good characters here even if they never get the chance to be developed they way they deserve.


    Theme:4
    At the beginning it seemed to be going for "The Joy of Adventure", but unfortunately that gets left behind at some point in favor of a more plot driven narrative. Still, i'll give it a 4 for the initial effort and in the hopes that one day it will return to that promising theme.


    Originality:4
    The only aspect of HunterxHunter that is really original is the amount of violence and killing it includes in it's fights. It's a lot more brutal and deadly than is typical in the shounen genre. That alone earns it a 4. The rest of this series is just a bunch of parts that other stories have done before and done better.


    Overall: 4
    As much as i hate giving a manga that gets this much love a low rating, i just don't think HunterxHunter is very good. If it's ever going to improve i think it will need to bring focus, direction, and a stronger central cast to it's story. It also needs to strike out on it's own and quit manufacturing it's arcs out of bad shounen clichés. Until it does that i think a 4 is about the best rating i can give it.
    Last edited by Jammin; July 11, 2010 at 05:55 PM.
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  4. #48
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    Re: Hunter x Hunter

    Quote Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
    I just read through HunterxHunter and i gotta say i don't agree with the scores it's gotten at all. Here are my thoughts.

    Number of chapters at review:310
    Number of chapters read by reviewer:310

    General Overview: HunterXHunter is a story about a kid named Gon who goes off to join an organization called the Hunters and find his father, who was himself a legendary hunter.

    Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)


    Art:2
    The art is passable when it's at it's best. Unfortunately, it's only at it's best maybe 10 to 20% of the time. The rest of the time it's absolutely terrible in every aspect, and by that i mean it looks the mangaka doodled it on a napkin at some bar after a looong night of drinking. I give it a 2, which is the lowest rating i can ever remember giving for art, and make no mistake HunterxHunter has thoroughly earned it.


    Plot:4
    It starts out good but fades in the stretch. The story telling is remarkably unfocused and most arcs just don't have enough story to justify their length, even by battle manga standards. The arcs also don't fit together well at all. They don't tie in to a greater plot because there really is no greater plot. HunterxHunter seems to just be a collection of Gon's adventures, each more clichéd than the last, which is why I give it a 4.


    Characters:6
    There are very good characters in this series but their potential is all too often wasted by the authors tendency to abandon the majority of them at the end of each arc in favor of introducing new characters. There is really only one character that could be considered a permanent cast member of HunterxHunter besides Gon himself, which is just not enough to carry through this series' long and weak plotted arcs. I give it a 6 just because there are some good characters here even if they never get the chance to be developed they way they deserve.


    Theme:4
    At the beginning it seemed to be going for "The Joy of Adventure", but unfortunately that gets left behind at some point in favor of a more plot driven narrative. Still, i'll give it a 4 for the initial effort and in the hopes that one day it will return to that promising theme.


    Originality:4
    The only aspect of HunterxHunter that is really original is the amount of violence and killing it includes in it's fights. It's a lot more brutal and deadly than is typical in the shounen genre. That alone earns it a 4. The rest of this series is just a bunch of parts that other stories have done before and done better.


    Overall: 4
    As much as i hate giving a manga that gets this much love a low rating, i just don't think HunterxHunter is very good. If it's ever going to improve i think it will need to bring focus, direction, and a stronger central cast to it's story. It also needs to strike out on it's own and quit manufacturing it's arcs out of bad shounen clichés. Until it does that i think a 4 is about the best rating i can give it.
    I both agree and disagree with you on this review, but more importantly...I feel like you've completely missed Hunter x Hunter's main virtues.

    1) The nen system. Oh my God, the nen system. This is the single best superpower system to have ever existed in a manga. It has infinite possibilities, yet definite rules, and is extremely customizable. This alone makes the series SO worth reading and earns it many, many originality points. And maybe character points, if you consider the whole unique-distinctive nen a part of that category.

    The nen system is a part of this huge, creative, expansive, believable world the mangaka has created. How many other manga can you think of that have characters with non-combat superpowers that are still awesome?? Because the mangaka has created a functioning society and world, these sorts of things are possible and pretty damn awesome/unique.

    2) Hunter x Hunter manages to preserve a definite hierarchy. So while the protagonists may be super-prodigies, this just means they can move through the ranks faster in their infinitely huge world. In many manga, the protagonists outgrow their opponents, leading to a ridiculous trend of power escalation and hidden societies of secret villains. Basically, the author plans poorly and the characters run out of reasonable growth room. Because Hunter x Hunter has such a huge world with so many special, super-talented, and powerful people, the protagonists really don't have that problem. This makes the stories more interesting (you like reading about people's rise to power, not what happens when they're actually in power) and the characters more sympathetic, since we identify with people who are moving up in a big world, but not with people who have already conquered that world and now have nothing to do unless the author thinks up some new threat. This alone adds quite a few points to the story category.

    I'd agree with many of your criticisms, but I'd like to hear how you rate other manga. I myself tend to give most series 5s if they're truly average, since that is, well...average. Most people here, however, toss out 8s and 9s to stuff that they deem "alright" or "pretty good"...or have lost all objectivity about.

    As one of the better series, I'd give Hunter x Hunter 5s/6s for the most part except for in its few areas of excellence. And it's those few virtues that make it worth reading.
    Last edited by Shinichiro; July 12, 2010 at 05:09 AM.

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  6. #49
    MH's Best Reviewer 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity Jammin's Avatar
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    Re: Hunter x Hunter

    The links in my sig mostly lead to some other reviews of mine so, if you want to see the general ratings i give you can look there.

    Your 1st Point) I liked the nen system just fine but it honestly didn't strike me as all that special. A mysterious force(or forces) that makes the impossible possible, whatever you decide to call it, is a fairly common trait of manga. Just look at chakra in "Naruto", reiatsu in Bleach, Magic and Ki in "Mahou Sensei Negima", Magic cards in "MxO", Devil Fruit and Haki in "One Piece", Yoki in "Claymore" etc etc etc.... Each have their own rules and conventions and the character in all those series find their own ways of using them. Nen works fine and i really don't have a problem with it but a way of fighting alone isn't enough to carry a story so it doesn't really effect the scores in my review all that much.

    Your 2nd point) Actually i think of HunterxHunter's hierarchy is fairly typical of shounen. The way it handles relative strength is the same way as One Piece. As the protagonist travels the obstacles become greater and greater. Unfortunately, it likes to throw bits of Bleach in there too. Where villains are so strong relative to the hero's they have no need of moving intelligently or working as a group. And the various antagonist's strength doesn't seem to be so much a result of training or experience or anything. They seem like they were mostly just created that way. Which makes the whole thing just reek of "deus ex machina".

    --------------------

    Despite all it's problems i think HunterxHunter does have the potential to get better. It's got good characters scattered through it and the basic premise is pretty good. It may be like a library of miscellaneous shounen clechés but there is nothing wrong with a cleché as long as it can still entertain. That's the problem with HunterxHunter, as it is, it's many flaws sap away all that is good about it. To me large stretches of the story felt lifeless and uninteresting. Whether it was due to a poorly written arc, terrible artwork, constantly wasting time developing side character who ultimately have little meaning to the narrative, or how a broader plot-line never really emerges.

    Perhaps, as you say, i'm missing the main virtues of the series but i read through 310 chapters really wanting to love what i was reading and i could not. If you read it and got a more positive impression then me i am glad for you but, sadly, i do not share that opinion.
    Last edited by Jammin; July 12, 2010 at 01:04 PM.
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  7. #50
    MH Senpai 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Hamy's Avatar
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    Re: Hunter x Hunter

    I do think you missed the mark on some things.

    Originality for instance:
    Only claiming
    The only aspect of HunterxHunter that is really original is the amount of violence and killing it includes in it's fights. It's a lot more brutal and deadly than is typical in the shounen genre. That alone earns it a 4. The rest of this series is just a bunch of parts that other stories have done before and done better.

    Has to be the biggest disservice you can do for reviewing this series when what makes it shine is not so much its fight but having the most richly created world out there. Few manga rival the creativity of the world that Togashi makes, from the auction system in Yorkshin to the game of Greed Island (which made many clamor for a video game to be made, that indeed did happen in the Wonder Swan) to the many beasts he creates. Heck the Hunter exam and the Tower Battle are easily very well conceived in their variety. Nen what you've missed out with it is precisely how balanced it is in its own way, limitations and such that prevent them from truly being broken (I mean Kurapica's ability could easily have topped for being one of the most broken however the strain and the strict restrictions placed on it balance it out) Of course what you also would miss out is just how well other mangas did try to follow suite from restrictions after HXH, which is predates the mangas you just mentioned. There is a strong reason for all the restrictions namely that it isn't brute strength that dominates in HXH but strategy and cooperation.

    Another thing you missed out with hierarchy is that strategies matter strongly in battles, a lot more than in other shounen. The main characters are strong and talented but like any shounen they face of against stronger foes, which they do train for but ultimately their victory lies in the strategies they formulate.
    Spoiler show
    Another thing that you've missed here is that its only in HXH where most of the time its not the main characters receiving power boosts during battles but rather the enemies, the ant arc shows this off quite well.

    Of course the biggest issue I have with your comment is this:
    constantly wasting time developing side character who ultimately have little meaning to the narrative

    I would argue that the side characters are easily more important at times than Gon is, who takes a back seat to them rather often. The side characters are highly necessary for the narrative more often than not as they help smoothly with the strategies being laid out,
    Spoiler show
    One false move BY the SIDE/SUPPORTING CHARACTERS could easily lead to failure, brute force isn't the answer to everything in HXH. Cooperation is vital most of the time both with the protagonists and the antagonists, after all one of the most dangerous groups around in the series is the Spiders of whom they all have such strong solidarity which they are tasked by their leader to preserve at all costs. This I feel you missed out strongly if you only consider the characters in such a way. Clearly HXH isn't following the normal tropes of shounen itself as it does indulge in its milieu and society that it made up rather than the characters. Which is what the series wants rather than its narrative. Moreover, Togashi unlike all other authors has such a grasp of the zeitgeist of real society itself. We see it being incorporated into his manga, one of the early shounen to actually insert cell-phones and the internet (heck even the popularity of MMO's & Card games resulted in GI). HXH is manga where it world is still constantly evolving and changing, one that continues to be explored, that is where its strength lies. If anything I noticed its the location that sets the narrative/plot rather than the other way around, after all we have a gangster story in a noir like city (Yorkshin) a cheerful fantasy game land MMO (GI) a wild nature preserve of man vs beasts (Gorteau) an isolated rich mans world (Zaoldyek's manor). The joy of adventure is there but... Adventure is not necessarily always joyful but it is nonetheless educational, as Gon is exposed to so many things and grows with each new city/place.

    Yes the art is variable but calling it the worst art without any note of Togashi's condition during the scribble phase is quite misleading. Yes it is terrible, and I have even voiced strongly against it on other discussions, but it is still necessary to consider that it doesn't permeate the entire series to call it all "scribbles". Perhaps on long shots of characters it does appear to be his weakness. Close-ups however are his strength. But the "scribble" phase only appeared at the end of GI to the early parts of Chimera and not the entire series.
    Last edited by Hamy; July 18, 2010 at 12:35 AM.

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  9. #51
    MH's Best Reviewer 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity Jammin's Avatar
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    Re: Hunter x Hunter

    @Hamy
    First off you really need to spoiler tag your stuff. The review section catering to those who may not have read through the series being discussed? So if you put any information about a series' characters or arcs outside of the first chapter it should always be spoiler tagged.

    ----------

    Now on to the points.

    The originality of HunterXHunter is hardly that impressive to me because it is borrowed primarily from other shounen and video games. The things it took from the video game series Arc the Lad is the most striking(the hunter guild and hunter exam for example); all of which predate HunterXHunter by the way. That's basically what HunterXHunter really is at it's core an elaboration on ideas taken from shounen and video games. The places, creatures, and, plots all just seem like ideas borrowed from other series without the author adding much of his own to them.

    As for strategy in battles HunterXHunter's fights started out as decent but as the series progressed that quality has dropped like a stone. The bad guys become so ridiculously powerful that they just Aizen thier way around. Sure the good guys use strategy but if only one side is using strategy then it can hardly be considered a quality fight. I don't think the age of the series is any excuse for this either. I mean, i think the gold standard for strategic battles in shounen is probably Naruto at the moment and it's about the same age as HunterXHunter(HunterXHunter began publication in 1998, Naruto in 1999).

    As for your point about the way side characters are handled you are accentuating the very point i was trying to make. You see the side characters are quite good, as i've said, but the problem is that most of the time they are abandoned after each arc. So the effort that was spent developing them is lost at the end of the arc and never contributes to any broader narrative. The character that are developed along the way in this series might be able uplift this series if they were ever given the chance to do that, unfortunately they aren't.

    As for the art. You will notice in my review i did specify that it isn't always terrible i'd say the breakdown of the art is like this...
    • 200ish chapters were absolutely unacceptably bad
    • 80ish were ok. Nothing all that impressive but told the story just fine.
    • 30ish were actually good. Really conveyed the emotions of the character or the excitement of a battle.(These are primarily the most recent chapters)
    Last edited by Jammin; July 17, 2010 at 11:53 PM.
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  10. #52
    MH Senpai 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member Hamy's Avatar
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    Re: Hunter x Hunter

    Quote Originally Posted by Jammin View Post
    @Hamy
    That's basically what HunterXHunter really is at it's core an elaboration on ideas taken from shounen and video games. The places, creatures, and, plots all just seem like ideas borrowed from other series without the author adding much of his own to them.
    I think this may easily be one point we don't agree with ever. Whether you consider Togashi to not add anything of his own or not. In my case I think he does well in adding his own twist or building up on what already exists and TRANSPOSING it to a totally different medium (from videogame to manga). While as for the creatures, heavily inspired by real life ones, I don't see these as being without value added of fantasy. Again as I see this it seems to be something you feel strongly against. Also... its not so much Arc the Lad that is the major influence of an RPG but if you're aware of his earlier works you'd realize its Dragon Quest (his biggest obsession, one that he's even been noted to go on hiatus for just to play...) Though really this is where research pays off.
    Spoiler show


    Quote Quote:
    As for strategy in battles HunterXHunter's fights started out as decent but as the series progressed that quality has dropped like a stone. The bad guys become so ridiculously powerful that they just Aizen thier way around.
    Understandably this applies to the latest arc and to one certain character to who obliterated a bunch of people. Otherwise I don't recall any other solid instances of bad guys just making their way around, without regard for hierarchy or hierarchy being established as they do make their way around. In fact for most part when one considers it there are actually very few major antagonists...
    Spoiler show


    Quote Quote:
    Sure the good guys use strategy but if only one side is using strategy then it can hardly be considered a quality fight. I don't think the age of the series is any excuse for this either. I mean, i think the gold standard for strategic battles in shounen is probably Naruto at the moment and it's about the same age as HunterXHunter(HunterXHunter began publication in 1998, Naruto in 1999).
    I have strong feelings against what Naruto had to bring to the table in fighting. Since more often than not you'd be left with kagebunshins, fake dummies, or illusions taking the brunt of the attack. The suspense for me was killed more often than not, and I believe only the shadow ninja was the one that really excelled in tactics the rest were pretty standard shounen fighting in my opinion of. Consisting of finding the attack pattern or weakness, something I don't see in HXH as much if at all (if you're weak you're weak you can only train to get strong but Gon and Killua grow at a rapid pace). Heck even then my biggest qualm with Naruto is everybody is talented one way or another, thanks to blood line or some type of forbidden thinga majig (though mostly blood line). Naruto for me is mostly the fight of the elites. At least with HXH we've only got two freakishly talented youngsters. HXH doesn't really have much major fights when you consider how its progressed, just major goals or objectives. I attribute this to a lack of any real major villains that pervade the series, other than Hisoka (who just goes about for most part).

    Quote Quote:
    The character that are developed along the way in this series might be able uplift this series if they were ever given the chance to do that, unfortunately they aren't.
    Thing is they're still just SIDE characters in the end HXH is still largely the journey of Gon and Killua, learning about the world and themselves. Improving and all that they have developed definitely from the way they were before. What is most interesting for me with these two is how they've changed.
    Spoiler show

    The thing here is Togashi gives equal weight to both the foreground and the background, the main and the supporting. Its quite easy to fall in love with the side characters.
    Spoiler show

    However what I do think you may have missed is that Togashi hasn't really spent time developing the side characters so that they grow with experience, unlike Gon and Killua. More often than not they are developed so that you understand their psychology, the way they think and why they made such a decision. Put another way I don't think Togashi really intended to develop the side characters much, relegating them mostly to what they are side characters. Of course there are those side characters that do grow with experience from plot events but its certainly not so much the norm. Adding to that by putting enough meat into the side characters their passing on actually makes the concept of death in HXH grim and everywhere. After all everybody sans Gon and Killua are fair game for being killed off, which adds to the tension of certain plans when you're not sure if X character would survive since they don't have main character immunity. Even then the problem with this complaint is when one considers HOW HXH has progressed it is still relatively young, despite the chapters.

    Most of the things here are quite new, characters and places, and time one way or another hasn't elapsed that much. Unlike say One Piece where it has progressed with enough time and plot points that it can afford to revisit this island and this character. HXH on the other hand still feels so young to revisit such and such characters, it still feels to fresh to suddenly return to Yorkshin or the Battle Tower. I can understand the frustration of wanting such and such character to return but really its too early.
    Spoiler show


    In the end as I see it HXH is quite different from other Shounens and clearly it isn't for everybody, not that I want to claim any elitism for it just that its really not something for everybody's taste. Even more so when one considers how frequently and the length of hiatuses the manga has, which certainly isn't winning fans over.
    Last edited by Hamy; July 18, 2010 at 05:11 PM.

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