Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hunter x Hunter vol. 18 and 19 Impression

Hunter x Hunter, how you’ve grown on me. Gon’s journey is as enjoyable as Goku in Dragon Ball with all the action of a Dragon Ball Z. From the same creator as Yu Yu Hakusho, Hunter x Hunter grabs at me in a way Yuske never quite did. The character designs are catchy with a simplicity that hides the action and depth of the characters while weaving a story where bad does not always mean evil and the good guys are sometimes the scariest of all. Volume 18 and 19 see the end of the Greed Island adventure and the beginning of an all too real struggle for survival. New baddies appear and this time they are not quite human. Without further delay, onto the manga.

Hunter x Hunter volume 18Hunter x Hunter volume 18 – The battle with Genthru continues and concludes. Killua and Biscuit win easily and Biscuits true form is something to behold, worthy of Barry Bonds indeed. Gon’s tactics against Genthru seem desperate but upon winning the true genius is revealed and amazing wounds healed. In typical Gon fashion even the bad guys get healed. With the final battle over it’s time to get the 99th card, but first Gon, Killua ad Biscuit must place first in a trivia contest, one open to any adventurer. Gon of course wins and as a prize gets to take three cards into the real world. He picks one as do Killua and Biscuit. As he gets his prize Gon meets the creators and keepers of Greed Island, all friends of Ging, and each tells Gon stories. So back to the real world, after not finding his father in the game Gon and Killua use the cards they took from the game to transport to Ging, who was of course in the game at one point, only to find it’s Kite they meet up with, and he’s half-way around the world on assignment, a biological survey. He’s also not surprised to see Gon. So Gon and Killua join this new team of hunters, discover new species on the survey and then are asked to look at an extremely large bug leg, from a Chimera Ant Queen, setting the stage for volume 19.

Volume 18 is what I’ve called a transition volume, where one story ends and the characters take a break before the next adventure. This is also a great starting point for newbies to the series as the next story arc is really ramping up the action, and we’ll see in volume 19 a recap of powers and abilities.

Hunter x Hunter volume 19Hunter x Hunter volume 19 – The research into the massive bug leg takes Gon, Killua, Kite and the biological team to the land of NGL, or Neo-Green Life. This land, where no modern … anything is allowed, is the one place a Chimera Queen could eat massive villages of people with no notice. Yes, the Chimera takes on attributes of whichever creature it eats and grows in size. Due to the lack of modern communication in NGL the Queen has grown her army to amazing sizes absorbing multiple animals and human traits into the army including the joy of the hunt and kill. Every hunter who enters the land is killed, and it’s revealed that NGL is a massive drug producing country where each of the eaten thugs causes the queens army to turn themselves into thugs. It’s in a battle with these creatures that Gon, Kite and Killua fight for keeps and to the death. There is no room for fair play, yet Gon keeps being nice. After facing off against different classes of warriors from Squad Leaders to plain peons, it’s the Royal Guard that cuts down Kite and causes Killua to flee after knocking out Gon. Lot to take in I know, and I’ve not even touched on the birth of the king, the whole reason the queen is building an army. Whew!

There’s a reason this is a great point to get into the series. Like in DBZ where the Cell Saga, the tournament stage, was full of out of this world fights with plenty of back story filled in, it’s this new Chimera saga that’s shaping up in the same manner with non-human opponents. The Royal Guard is one of the scariest opponents I’ve seen in a while, and not just for the power, but the crazy attitude. How will Gon ever get to that level? If this is the Royal Guard what’s the king going to be like, or for that matter how the newly arrived, experienced hunter will, fare with the Royal Guard? It’s a great time to be a manga fan; it’s a great time to be a Hunter x Hunter fan because volume 19 just cranked up the level a few notches.

1 comment:

  1. i loved volume 19 but i hated it to.cause

    kite and pokkle died thats was really sad.