Hunter x Hunter vol. 2 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)
April 12, 2017 by Dennis Amith
“Hunter x Hunter” is an improvement over the first series and is respectful to the original manga series by Yoshihiro Togashi but also features a more action-driven storyline with much more violence. So, it’s not as child-friendly as the first series from 1999-2001 but this newer “Hunter x Hunter” is a series that I found entertaining and full of action! Recommended!” a try!
Image courtesy of © POT (Yoshihiro Togashi, 1998-2011). All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Hunter x Hunter vol. 2
DURATION: Episodes 14-26 (300 Minutes)
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English and Japanese 2.0 LPCM, Subtitles: English
COMPANY: Viz Media
RATED: TV 14
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Originally created by Yoshihiro Togashi
Director: Hiroshi Koujina
Series Composition: Atsushi Maekawa, Tsutomu Kamishiro
Character Design by Takahiro Yoshimatsu
Art Director: Mio Isshiki
Executive Producer: Seiji Okuda
Producer: Akira Shinohara, Manabu Tamura, Naoki Iwasa, Tetsuto Motoyasu, Tomoko Yoshino, Toshio Nakatani
Anime Production: Madhouse
Featuring the following voice talent:
Megumi Han/Erica Mendez as Gon Freecss
Keiji Fujiwara/Matthew Mercer as LeoRio
Kanako Mitsuhashi/Cristina Vee as Killua Zaoldyeck
Miyuki Sawashiro/Erika Harlacher as Kurapica
Akio Ohtsuka/Patrick Seitz as Mizaistom Nana/Uvogin
Aya Endo as Komugi
Ayumi Fujimura as Neferpito
Chisa Yokoyama as Biscuit Krueger
Cho as Bonolenov
Daisuke Kishio/Ray Chase as Hanzo
Daisuke Namikawa/Keith Silverstein as Hisoka
In the Fourth Phase of the Hunter Exam the participants must steal ID badges from each other—and anyone without enough badges at the end of one week fails! It will take trickery, unexpected alliances, and careful negotiations for Gon and his friends to succeed. In the Final Phase, the remaining Hunter candidates are matched up for one-on-one battles—but the only way to win this fight is to lose! After the exam, Gon discovers that Killua has gone back home, so he and his friends head to the Republic of Padokea to find him.
The “Hunter x Hunter” series is one of the most popular and long-running manga series in Japan. Written and designed by Yoshihiro Togashi (creator of “Yu Yu Hakusho’), the manga series began in 1998 and is still ongoing to this day with 33 volumes published.
As for the animated series, the first series premiered in 1999 through 2001 and lasted 62 episodes. A 30 OVA episodes then was released from 2002-2004. And then nearly a decade later, a 148-episode TV series which was shown on NTV which ran from 2011-2014.
And now, the recent “Hunter x Hunter” TV series will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Viz Media.
This new series is a reboot of the anime series and is based on Yoshihiro Togashi’s “Hunter x Hunter” manga and this time is produced by Madhouse and is directed by Hiroshi Kojina. The new series also features an all new voice talent (both for the Japanese and English dub).
The new series revolves around Gon Freecss, who finds out that his father who was thought to be dead, is very much alive. Having been brought up by his aunt Mito, Gon finds out that his father is Ging, the legendary “Hunter” and now Gon, wants to follow his father’s footsteps by passing the “Hunter Examination” and one day, to be reunited with his father.
On his path to become a hunter, he meets Kurapika (who wants to become a hunter to hunt down the Phantom Troupe, who massacred his clan) and Leorio (who wants to be a hunter for the money).
In the first volume, the three arrived at Zaban City and take part in the first three phases of the Hunter exam venue.
In the second volume (episodes 14-26), the applicants arrive at Zevil Island for the fourth phase of the exam. Each person draws a number to find out who their target is and the goal is to steal their opponents ID tag. Each applicant must collect six points in order to pass the fourth phase.
Gon finds out that his opponent is the murderous Hisoka and thrives on near death experiences. Leorio finds out his target is Ponzu (who specializes in traps and poison) and Kurapika’s target is Tonpa.
As the two form an alliance, they are now stalked by Hisoka.
The second volume also features the final phase of the Hunter Exam, where winners lose and the losers advance. Will Gon, Kurapika or Leorio pass the Hunter exam?
And also is included are the beginning episodes of the Zoldyck Family Arc (starting with episode 22) and Gon and friends go to Kukuroo Mountain to visit Killua. Meanwhile, we learn about Killua’s family and childhood.
“Hunter x Hunter” is presented in 1080p High Definition and the animation from Madhouse is no doubt respectful to Yoshihiro Togashi’s manga series.
As expected with a TV series, there is a slight hint of softness but for the most part, colors are vibrant and overall animation and fighting animation is done well. I didn’t notice any major issues with artifacts or banding.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Hunter x Hunter” is presented in LPCM Japanese and English 2.0. Both soundtracks are done quite well and dialogue and music are both crystal clear through the front channels.
Subtitles are in English.
“Hunter x Hunter” vol. 2 features the clean opening and ending songs, trailers and ending credits.
“Hunter x Hunter” vol. 2 comes with three post cards.
“Hunter x Hunter” is an adventure, action-packed anime series that will attract anime fans who are willing to invest their time in another popular anime series that has lasted for over a hundred episodes.
Similar to “Naruto”, “Bleach” and “Dragon Ball Z”, “Hunter x Hunter” has been a popular manga and anime series in Japan and with the original series feeling that it was aiming for a younger demographic, this recent series has a more darker feel as the violence is more evident and people do die.
Having watched the original series, this latest version is quick to bring Gon and his friends to take the Hunter exam, while the original put a lot of character development into Gon and how Gon is different from other hunters since he was raised by a loving relative and lived in a village where there has not been much strife or conflict, so he is a bit naive about the world around him. In fact, his motivation in becoming a hunter is so opposite of what other hunters are wanting it for. But Gon’s pure and positive attitude seems to have an effect on the people that he meets. In some ways, the original series reminded me of the character Naruto in that aspect.
But Gon is still an entertaining character to watch. Gon has the ability to communicate with animals like his father and carries a fishing pole that acts like a weapon and helps him swing to different areas. He is also learning more and more about his abilities as he continues on in his hunter training with his friends.
Kurapika is intelligent, a balanced fighter and also is a conjurer and specialist with the ability to materialize objects with his imagination. He is a character that is on a mission to become a hunter to hunt down the Phantom Troupe, who massacred his clan.
Leorio is a man with a hot temper but has a good heart. He seems to want to be a hunter because of money and he is a great fighter.
The second volume shows how this friendship grows among the three but also introduces Killua Zoldyck.
But the big focus with this second volume is more focus on Hisoka, the 44th applicant who has a lust for blood and kills his opponents and it led to his failure in last year’s Hunter exam.
As for the anime series, the Blu-ray release features a solid lossless stereo soundtrack and both Japanese and English soundtracks are well-acted. Animation is also very well-done by Madhouse and while there is a hint of softness, the anime series is quite colorful and looks great in HD.
While special features are the usual clean opening and ending theme, trailers and credits, “Hunter x Hunter” vol. 2 comes with three collectible postcards.
Overall, “Hunter x Hunter” is an improvement over the first series and is respectful to the original manga series by Yoshihiro Togashi but also features a more action-driven storyline with much more violence. So, it’s not as child-friendly as the first series from 1999-2001 but this newer “Hunter x Hunter” is a series that I found entertaining and full of action! Recommended!
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