You know, when I was reflecting on the movies I was looking forward to seeing, I told this to myself "No matter what One Piece did, Hunter would probably top it somehow" Heck, I thought this was going to be the best one out of the four...and yet it wound up being my least favorite film out of the four.
As with last time, I'm assuming most of you have seen the movie already as well as have an Idea as to what Hunter X Hunter is, but I will give you a basic synopsis: It's every fangirl's fanfic ever-made Kurapika's lost his eyes to a friend that's supposed to be a dead Kurata tribe member and Gon and Killua head out to figure who took them and get them back.
First off let me just say it is indeed nice to see Gon, Killua, Leorio and Kurapika in the same screen as each other again, however that's more of a brief strip of luck. As usual its mostly Gon and Killua's show, and as much as it sucks that Kurapika and Leorio are once again shoved off to the side, we're used to that, but that isn't exactly the problem lies. Gon and Killua's 'friendship' is a lot morethis time around, and yes I within the HxH series, but it was just that, an undertone. Within the film, both Gon and Killua seem to act as though they're two characters in one of those crappy. This is shown in the very first scene of the movie where they have a couples spat over whether Killua was staring at Gon's sleeping face, and it doesn't really get better from there. That in of itself however isn't the part that gets on me the most, it's when the movie OC girl comes into play that things become really stupid. Reira herself isn't really bad (but she's not memorable either), what's irritating is Killua's sudden transformation into a jealous Tsundere over Gon being with her. Its very lame to watch an otherwise very charismatic character act like this, especially considering that Gon and Kil have met other people before whom Gon would be friendly with. Sure, Gon is the one Killua is the closet with, but should he really be THAT jealous about this? Especially considering in their first meeting he didn't know Reitz was a girl! Because of this, I really couldn't get into Killua's whole turmoil about abandoning Gon, the whole thing could have worked but it was just really poorly executed, to the point where I thought I was reading a fanfic (and trust me, I know my way around those).
Ah, but what about the Phantom Troupe and Kurapika? Two words: side-lined. Sure, Kurapika does get a segment in the movie where he gives a flashback on his past with his past friend Pairo, but personally it didn't do much for me as it's the same thing I read in. While it would be nice for those who haven't read it, it did feel pretty weak to me that all we got out of Kurapika's story was a flash back, some 'creepy' words from Pairo and a pretty damn obvious conclusion that didn't really surprise me. The phantom troupe themselves don't truly show-up more than twice through out the film, any other time it's their fakes and all those do is supply some decent action scenes. Speaking of the action, this film came out during the time where the only one of the main four who had a nen ability was Kurapika So of course Gon and Killua couldn't exactly show off a whole lot. While the fights between phony Uvo and Phony Illumi (the first one anyway) were nicely done, it's just Gon and Kil getting their asses kicked. I don't know what went wrong but the climax battles were really underwhelming, especially for something related to 'Hunter'. That said I think the only thing I enjoyed out of the last act was when the church burned to the ground with the movie OCs in it and after silently looking on for a while our heroes just suddenly declare their goals, with Killua remembering he doesn't have one! (yeah he'd make an awesome MC right?)
Animation and Music wise:
The animation wasn't anything I was expecting from a movie adaptation, it looks pretty much like the TV series. There are of course some off model shots of the characters but otherwise it looks decent, especially doing its job when action happens. However this really felt around the same level as any TV episode, if it weren't for the running time I doubt you could tell the difference had you just jumped in at any given scene. The music was decent and did it's job, my personal favorite track being emperor time. The rest of the track, while not bad, just doesn't stick with me as much, and it doesn't help that the movies theme song was basically the 3rd ending theme(which again isn't the film's fault).
Let the next film be better!
When I finished the film I didn't know what to think at first, Hunter x Hunter is without a doubt one of the best shonen series to still be running (out of technicality) today and has given us the best anime adaptation of any series in said demographic. It was because of these expectations that I felt the film was a disappointment, but as easy as it is to forget it's still a shonen jump flick, there is already another film that is set out to release in Japan this December. If this series really does get the treatment of many feature films I can only hope that a director like comes along to work his magic as he did with One Piece's 6th movie. In the mean time though we're left with this film, which I feel really fails to meet the standards that made the series enjoyable. I have heard others say they enjoy it just fine, so maybe while it just didn't do it for me, it may work for others as well. , because I honestly couldn't recommend this to a fellow HxH fan unless they were a GonxKillua fan girl.
On a final note, there is an interview somewhere with in making a hunter x hunter film, so there just may be hope...