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This is good.
I might have exaggerated how much I disagreed with the previous review. The Nen system is a bit overcomplicated and Hisoka does undergo some Flanderization. However, HXH is definitely not "conventional" Shonen. It's more intelligent, for lack of a better word, than Naruto and One Piece (I say this a someone who likes those shows). The protagonists win by strategy more than simple determination, the plots involve tasks besides just fighting, the characters don't go into voiceovers with sad music whenever they feel emotion, and the general tone is more serious than in most Shonen.
I agree to some extent; the protagonists do employ strategy in some fights, giving them the edge over more talented, arrogant opponents, but for every such fight, there is your typical Shonen fight. Take for example, the fight between Gon and Hanzo (in the last Hunter exam) or Gon and Canary (a servant who guards the grounds around Killua's home). [[Spoiler: Gon beats these far stronger opponents purely through refusing to give up]].

HXH is highly conventional considering its premise: a ten year old, loud mouthed boy wants to become a Hunter (so as to find his father). To do so, he and his sidekicks must undergo rigorous martial arts examinations. For the most part, female characters are restricted to backseat or support roles (at least until the Greed Island arc). It turns out that our protagonist has huge martial arts potential, which coupled with his sheer determination, allows him to get through most trials. I might as well be describing any Shonen story!
comment #234 maninahat 14th May 09
YMMV on the Nen thing. It's nice to see a series that provides exposition on how all these crazy powers work, but still leave some mystery as to each character's specific powers. However, I think it would have been better if Gon had learned to use Paper and Scissors earlier.
comment #514 Magus 30th Jun 09
maninahat: How are Gon's "wins" against Hanzo and Canary typical shonen at all? Typical shonen would be pulling an uber attack out of your butt and beating the enemy. Hanzo forfeited out of pity and a technicality in the rules that didn't allow him to kill Gon after giving the latter an incredibly brutal beating for an entire episode, and Gon never beat Canary at all. He got his ass kicked by her, and Canary decided maybe to let them by anyway before she was taken out by another party.

If anything, these two situations are a deconstruction of shonen: what happens when the character has their unflinching shonen ideals, but they lack the power to impose these ideals? The result is that Gon pays heavily for sticking to his ideals, and that's the point. It's all well and good to do the plucky shonen thing, but Hunter X Hunter shows that the reality is it's not that simple. The world is a tough place, and idealism will get you many an ass kicking and a lot of pain. Gon spends half of the series getting the ever loving shit kicked out of him, even when he wins, which honestly isn't all that often, when many less idealistic characters seem to succeed at everything without trouble, like Hisoka. Typical shonen attitutide? Yes. Typical shonen consequences for said attitude? HELL NO.
comment #660 75.72.77.246 25th Jul 09
Except the first instance gave Gon a hunter's license and the second allowed him access to the Zoldyck butler's quarters...The No Holds Barred Beatdown is another instance of shonen fighting.

But I do agree that strategy wins more of these battles than in typical shonen.
comment #662 Magus 25th Jul 09
To maninahat I don't particularly enjoy country music, heavy metal (the ones you can't understand what they're saying at all) and teen dramas like Pretty Little Liars, you don't see me going to the Pretty Little Liars page to complain about how I don't like teen dramas and how no matter how hard they try they'll never get me to like it, since after all they'll have to stop being a teen drama to do so. What confuses me is, if you don't like shonen, why did you watch it? just to complain? and if you didn't watch it, why did you research on it? since it's a shonen, something you know you don't like, just to complain? no matter how I spin it I don't understand. It turns out that our protagonist has huge martial arts potential, which coupled with his sheer determination, allows him to get through most trials. I might as well be describing any Shonen story!, your point being? wow look Harry Potter, Narnia and Lord of the Rings all have otherworldly creatures, things, etc. I might as well be describing any fantasy story!; The female protagonist loves the male protagonist and they'll go through a lot for their love, I may as well be describing any soap opera. See how that looks.
comment #8284 marcellX 25th Jun 11 (edited by: marcellX)
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