The arc I had the most qualms with was intially the election arc---but this was mostly due to the Chimera Ant arc being intense
and me having certain expectations about Pariston based off the hints in the Chimera Ant arc. But now looking at it again
I think the Election Arc is pretty good too. It's got a similar vibe to Trick Tower.
The exposition is what gets to people...People have short attention spans and don't like reading. Thats another issue of the ant arc. People say it's to long and dragged.
I loved the arc. Introduced something new like always,,, the characters were badass....the fights were badass...the story was badass...
The sad thing is people also dislike the arc because of Gon's "random power up"...Mereum being a Cell counterfeit....The poison from the bomb...People resort to petty things to say why the arc sucked.
The arc gives you the feeling that you could re-read it many times and still find something new.
I remember seeing a general literary critique that you can think of any work of fiction as having a crediability budget. Once you run out of that nobody is going to take your story seriously. Depending on the nature of the story you can have a lot or very little of it. For example, Dragonball has a nearly infinite crediability budget because Dragonballs are part of the setting and when you can make wishes to revive the dead or live forever, it's very hard to do anything that'd be so crazy to strain your credability budget. The popular Shonens like Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach also starts with a ton of credabilty budget, ironically because all these series established very early that they're not in a credible world so it's very hard to actually run out of this budget.
The problem with the Chimaera Ant is that it used up the entire crediabilty budget for HXH in one story arc, which isn't very much to begin with because HXH has a very tight and rigid world. The Rose is the primary culprit. For the most part, the guys who don't like the Ants arc (and I'm one of them) has a reaction that's roughly like: "Okay I'll buy this Rose thing once but there better not be anything like this ever again." Of course then the next arc you got Alluka which is like taking a jumbo loan on your credability budget. You can have Alluka and you can have the Rose but you can't have both, and since Alluka is cute and generally more liked than Mereym who is usually ridiculed as a Cell clone (unfair criticism, but that's life), more of the blame goes into the Ants arc than the Election arc.
At any rate Alluka is a far greater strain against the credability budget than the Rose, though HXH operates under a very low credability budget due to its precise and rigid worldview. One can also argue Alluka's appearance is simply a plot device to clean up the aftermath of the Gon versus Pitou fight. At any rate, for whatever reason relatively few people hate Alluka (probably because he/she/it is cute) but it's pretty obvious that Ants + Alluka >>> Credability, so if you don't blame it on Alluka, you end up having to blame it on the Ants. I'm of the opinion that the Ants arc uses up exactly all the credability HXH has left so I put the blame on the next story that would've ran over its budget even without the Ant arc, but I can understand people blaming the Ant arc as what started this chain of out of control credability crisis.
Well I myself find this to be one pf my favorite arcs, and I while I was lucky about not having to deal with the hiatuses, I did have to deal with crappy art, though it didn't bug me too much as I simply reminded myself they're better in the volumes and I am reading it illegally anyhow... NO HD ART FOR ME!
Now even though I like this arc alot I can definetly understand the ants, now I have no problem with the species in thinking they eliminated some realistic vibe, it acctually made it more dangerous and thrilling for me, but me personally I hate...hate...that FOADFGHWESing...butterfly... you know what, lets not go there...my hatred is mostly targeted towards one specific ant...
I'd respect their opinion, as a blog site I got to; shonenbeam, didn't like the arc much (though they were dealing with hiatuses and art as well) and I respect the folk there alot, but I disagree with them on the arc all the same.
Guess what I liked about it is that it had alot of things HxH had been that made me like it to begin with: the danger, the strategies, the (relative) realisim and the application of nen and the job of being a hunter. Not to mention Gon and Killua recieved some nice development and it shows how, as awesome as he is, Hisoka dosn't take away the whole show (however those spiders were there...) If there was anything I disliked, its that that damn unmentionable butterfly didn't get a more greulsome death...seriously HxH you can do better than that!!
Examples - Gon's transformation, not only physically but emotionally and mentally, which makes him in my opinion the best " naive " shonen protagonist. Mereum... nough said lol He is DEFINITELY one of the best Shonen villain, if not THE best. Killua's development and removing the needle from his head. Introducing awesome characters such as Knuckle, Palm, Morel, the ants ( I personally loved them and the concept ) etc. I loved the arc and in my opinion its the best written arc in the series. It isn't my personal favorite though, lol its my second favorite. My favorite arc in HxH is the YorkNew arc.
I like the Chimera Ant arc, I mostly don't like the ending payoff. I think I was slightly influenced by all the build up and hiatuses, I was there for ALL of them since 2005. It was rough, I find the Chimera Ant arc to be overly long compared to Yorknew or Greed Island which are very tight but still remain complex. I am not really a huge fan of Gon's character arc in NGL I guess, his fight with Pitou did nothing for me. On the other hand I love everything done with Killua's character and after Yorknew despite my faults with it, its my second favorite arc in the series. It features some of Togashi's best writing, I mostly just have issues with the pacing and how the whole Kite/Gon/Pitou situation was handled.
I will try to elaborate a bit more on my feelings with the arc.
And yet ironically enough people just chew through Death Note which
although great is as wordy as hell and has a lot less action. (though a billion times more "DRAMA")
I think the long and dragged argument is quite often confused with the hiatus effect.
The ant arc is long but a LOT happens in it. Don't be surprise to hear "MAN I TOTALLY FORGOT ABOUT THAT PART!" when Madhouse gets there.
Indeed. I loved it too. Ironically for some of the reasons people hated it.
I think I might have been initially disappointed with Gon's power up--for half a second. But that beat down of Pitou was just beautiful.
I don't read DBZ so the cell argument never meant anything to me. Though I have my doubts Cell ever had a "Komugi".
I love the Poor Man's Rose. Togashi had some serious balls to kill off two major characters in such an "un-shonen" manner and I approve!
To me the Poor Man's Rose sums up why I love HxH. Because Togashi doesn't give a shit about how shonen is "supposed to be".
Pufu's problem is the fact that Togashi usually likes to abuse his sub characters relative to how popular they are. One of the highlights people are looking for in the Ant arc is to see just how horribly can Pufu die. After all we know he already commited enough crime to have death sentence 20 times for daring to conspire against Meryem's woman. But instead he had a relatively painless death where he just died offscreen to the poison because nobody actually liked Pufu so Togashi isn't going to give you the satisfaction of seeing a hated character die horribly. On the other hand the popular Pitou got killed in graphic detail against some borderline Deus Ex Machina power. If you're familiar with Togashi's style it's really obvious he enjoys killing fan's favorite character horribly (Ponz was the first victim) especially if they resemble cute/attractive girls. It's not so much as Pitou's defeat is all that improbable but that a lot of people see Pitou's graphic death as Togashi screwing the fans and it's probably correct.
---------- Post added at 02:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:48 AM ----------
It's generally pretty well understood that HXH, as a whole, is very good. Therefore, people rarely talk about what's good in HXH because it's understood that it's very good and the quality of an arc is measured by how many flaws it has (possibly none) because it'll take you a very long time to list eveything that's good about every major arc. I saw a quote saying one year of HXH is always better than one year of Bleach, including the years where you may have absolutely nothing. It's kind of exaggerated but it's generally accepted that the value of each chapter of HXH is very high, often enough to make up for its utter lack of reliability (as in whether you'll see any HXH chapter on any particular week).
For the overly verbose description stuff, sometimes it's needed but other times it reads like something you'd write in a high school English class where your teacher gave you a topic of trying to explain why grapefruit represents the symbol of life. It's not bad but I don't think it's as clever as people say it is. I don't mind it but I don't feel it's particularly better than the standard writing expected in Shonen manga and there isn't really anything deep or meaningful beyond some superficial 'humanity is the greatest evil' self flogging thing.
Un-shonen isn't a pass for originality let alone good. HXH's worldview seems to have an equivaelent of UN but the power is more fractured, probably due to a much higher nuclear proliferation (every random country has the Rose). Therefore, using Rose has significant political ramifications against another power that has the same weapons (the coverup story says Diego was trying to blow his own people up with Rose, implying the country must have these weapons for the coverup to be believeable). You can assume in a world of high nuclear proliferation, if you see a particular nation launch the nukes it's likely to get into some kind of chain reaction that leads to a world war and the Ants are in possession of the Rose, so using this weapon is extremely dangerous from a political point of view. It's true that when you consider the type of ruler Meryem is (values perfection, but does not feel the need to destroy your toys if he can't have it) it seems unlikely he'd ever give the 'launch the nukes' order but it's just a lot of uncertainty to worry about, so instead Meryem and Pufu are just magically completely unaware of the said weapon's existence. To further complicate things, while the reader is pretty sure Meryem would almost never give a 'launch nukes' order, there is absolutely no way for the Hunters to infer this because they know nothing about Meryem.
Now having a volume where a bunch of guys are arguing over nuclear deterrence and whether someone they've never met will give the order to launch nukes is pretty hard to deal with and there's no guaranteed that Togashi would be able to offer a plausible explanation since in real life we never had a nuclear launch event against another power with the same capability so we can only speculate what happens. But that's what HXH has to face given it closely mirrors real life especially at the political level so you can't just handwave those details.
I'd say the Ants arc have great components but resulting product was never close to the sum of its parts. There's an argument saying perhaps Togashi isn't as good at doing battle scenes as commonly believed which is why there's only one real meaningful fight while the rest are a mix of a blowout and people talking about nebulous stuff. I don't necessarily agree with it but I do think there's a trend of too much talking and blowout and not enough meaningful fighting in HXH recently.
Yes there probably wasn't a choice here, but that doesn't mean the Rose strike can be completed without political fallout. The world of HXH is supposed to mirror that of our own. They clearly have the Internet, Youtube, and advanced cellphones. With such technological availabliity, covering up a Rose strike is practically impossible. Yes none of this would make interesting material but since HXH's charm is how it closely resembles real life in terms of its political dimension, it's got to resolve the tough questions you'd find in real life too.
It's my favorite arc in all of shonen, followed by Yorknew
But yeah same thing Mrsticky said, mostly it isn't justified but what can ya do
I read it in 1 go and enjoyed every bit of it. Magical beasts have always been there, it just sounded weird after the YS arc/Heavens Arena and even GI were all about humans. Magical beasts didn't shine as much.