Hunter x Hunter (Hunter Exam arc) Season 1 (2011)

Hunter x Hunter (Hunter Exam arc) Season 1 Review………………………………………………….

Hunter x Hunter (Hunter Exam arc) Season 1 Review

Hunter x Hunter is a 2011 adventure anime series directed by Hiroshi Kojina. It is one of my favorite anime series and I loved the first season so much.

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The art of hunting is aiming for the moment

when the target is busy hunting its prey!

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Hunter x Hunter (Hunter Exam arc) Season 1 Review………………………………………………….

I will later talk about the first season and touch upon some of its 26 episodes and the overall story arc, but first let’s talk about each and every character. Gon is such a great protagonist even though he is way too reminiscent to Goku. His cheerful and childlike personality is infectious and heartwarming and I really liked him in the first season. His interactions with his friends are excellent and he is such a wonderful kid.

Killua is interesting. At first, he seemed to be similar to Gon, but eventually we see his very dark side as he comes from the family of assassins. I wanted him to be closer to Kurapika and Leorio, but at least his and Gon’s friendship is wonderful and a lot of fun. Kurapika is a bit too calculated and forgettable when compared to the other three in this team, but he is still a good character though for now not as great as they are. And Leorio is a typical anime goofy sidekick, but done right as he is very amusing and I hope that he becomes stronger in the later seasons as he is trailing behind his friends too much for now.

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Hunter x Hunter (Hunter Exam arc) Season 1 Review………………………………………………….

Hisoka is excellent! Smart and incredibly powerful, yet also calm and crazy at the same time, he is the perfect villain for the show and his scenes were some of my favorites in season one. And his appearance is different than usual and interesting. Hanzo is very good, though not used too much in the season and Ponzu is very good and smart as the only female examinee. The examiners are all memorable and fun and the monsters and creatures we see by now are interestingly designed and quite memorable.

The Hunter Exam Arc is amazing and almost perfect (more on its flaws later). I just love all media that showcases schools/competitions/exams and thus I was loving every second of this saga and I hope to see at least some of its aspects in later arcs as well. The anime started off quickly and it instantly hooked me in. The fog part of the exam was so entertaining and Majority Rules was even more amusing (Tonpa is so well utilized there and he truly is annoying yet quite a memorable and well realized character).

Of course the fourth phase is the highlight as I just loved every minute of it. The episodes there are so well edited and constructed that it just might be the most important and perfect part of the entire anime, but I will have to wait to be sure of that. Hisoka and Gon’s scenes were absolutely spectacular in their intensity and I loved how he spared him and let him live to become stronger and fight him someday. Leorio had to be helped a bit too much which was my minor issue, but I loved how everyone worked together here.

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Hunter x Hunter (Hunter Exam arc) Season 1 Review………………………………………………….

The tournament started off great, but the decision to not show us the entirety of it was a very poor call and my only major issue with this entire arc. It ended off abruptly and not in the most satisfactory manner possible. And I wasn’t all that thrilled with the Killua’s family storyline at the end, but at least it had its great scenes and was an essential story when it comes to his character. His family is memorably crazy and sinister and although it started off a bit slowly, that part still ended in a good way and the tease for the next arc was awesome and I cannot wait to watch it.

The animation in Hunter x Hunter is excellent and fluid. I loved the imagery which was diverse and authentic while always being unforgettable. The world building is superb, but having in mind that the show is about hunters, the animals were not present as much in this first arc but I guess that will change in the next seasons. But the overall setup to the show was great, this world, its rules and everything I just loved and there are so many interesting details to be had here. It surely is a lot of fun to watch and finally I found an anime that is as fun and as charming as Dragon Ball was in its heyday.

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The score is excellent and the opening theme is definitely catchy and a lot of fun. The action is very good and sometimes even exhilarating, but I want much more of the fights and I hope I will get them later on. But for now those that I got were so well executed and hugely entertaining. The pacing of The Hunter Exam Arc is mostly great as is the dialogue and of course the humor is phenomenal. The anime mixes darkness with humor so well, but when it is funny, it is hilarious and the “tranny” part was so funny and of course the joke about Leorio’s age just killed me. The two fillers were unfortunate, but thankfully there will be no more.

All in all, The Hunter Exam arc is truly spectacular and one of the best seasons of any anime. If the rest of the show is this great, I am going to love every second of it. The storyline is carefully thought out here and filled with great action, humor and excellent characterizations. The exam phases are all excellent, the rules are interesting, this world is just wonderful and this season is almost perfect and it would have been perfect had it not been for a couple of evident, but small flaws.

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Worst Episodes: Trouble with the Gamble, Baffling Turn of Events, A Dangerous Watchdog and The Zoldyck Family.

Best Episodes: Hope and Ambition, Showdown on the Airship, Solution is Majority Rules, Scramble of Deception, Defeat and Disgrace and Can’t See if You’re Blind.

My Rating – 4.9

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