Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hunter x Hunter vol. 20 Impression

Great action in Hunter x Hunter vol. 20. Having realized they are no match for the opponents they will find in the NGL it’s time for some training for Gon and Killua. In one month Gon and Killua will know if they will be permitted to re-enter the NGL to search for Kite and confront the threat that is slowly growing in the queen. While Chairman Netero, Knov and Morel slowly eliminate the weaker troops the Elite Royal Guard wait. Neferpitou brings Kite back to life, but just how he will be remains to be seen. A new Royal Guard appears by the name of Shaiapouf and the king is yet to come. Gon and Killua meanwhile are recruited by the creepy Palm, one of Knov’s pupils, who is also looking to join her teacher in the NGL, as long as Gon and Killua can defeat Knuckle and Shoot, Morel pupil’s, and take their Shogi tiles. They have one month to train, training conducted by Biscuit who is brought in by Palm. The training begins, daily fights with Knuckle who is actually a really nice guy and good with animals. His good nature may be his downfall due to the increase in power Gon realizes, but will it be enough in one month, especially since Knuckle has not revealed his full power. Killua meanwhile takes on Shoot who’s been in hiding until this final battle (wimp). Mixed into our tale is the story of Gyro, the founder of the NGL, a creature with a twisted past who I don’t think we’ve seen the last of.

Ah, the training issue. Every Shonen manga seems to have these volumes scattered in. Whenever a hero hits the wall, time to train. This story is no different, but it does introduce some cool new characters and the story of Gyro leaves you wanting more. The art is excellent as always, perfect for Shonen fans, playful when it needs to be, violent and serious as the story turns in that direction. Gon’s quest for his father takes a backseat as the very real threat, and the status of Kite is what’s on his mind. The evolution of Gon and Killua continues as their signature moves have flaws, ones exploited by their opponent and must be improved if they are to re-enter the NGL. The story ends with the final fight so I’m guessing next volume it’s back to the NGL for our trio. The fun is seeing how they get there and just how bad ass the king is going to be. Good times indeed. There is no doubt Hunter x Hunter is one of the funniest action titles out today, and like DBZ, Naruto and others before it there is no end in sight for Gon’s adventures. What I love about Gon is he’s never the strongest, just always the one who preservers until he finds that inner strength, and his sunny disposition on life if infectious, not just in the story but without. Twenty volumes in and still going strong with Hunter x Hunter volume 20 from Viz.

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