All of the manga to date
Perhaps one of the most vastly overrated series of all time.
This is not to say that it is bad. It has good-to-decent character designs, fairly interesting characters, and when motivated the artist is quite capable. But it also has glaring flaws that force it into mediocrity: massive inconsistencies in the art (which will occasionally look like he inked his storyboards and submitted them as finished work), weak story-telling, and awful pacing.
Its initial flaw is that it fails to properly explain what a 'hunter' is and does. We are told what it takes to become one, and some examples of jobs that they do, but not why what the purpose of the Hunter system is, who authorizes it, who funds it, why they're in such high demand, or why it's so godawful hard to become one. There is no sense of coherency to the concept of a 'hunter'. This makes it rather hard to care about whether Gon passes the exam to become one.
The first two arcs, comprising almost a hundred chapters, are nothing more than a shallow excuse for fight scenes, filled with threats of an entirely artificial nature. The danger is real, but the danger can also be walked away from at any time. There would be absolutely no consequences if Gon and Killua walked away from the exam, and from there the story catapults directly into a rather dull tournament arc with absolutely nothing on the line. It is difficult to maintain tension under these circumstances.
Even once it moves past this phase, it runs into another problem: training sequences. Endless, mindless training sequences. The entirety of the Greed Island arc is, more or less, Gon and Killua doing training sequences while guys nobody cares about muck around with game mechanics in the background. That's fifty chapters, flushed down the toilet. This is not even including the chapters devoted to lengthy explanations of the mechanics of the pointlessly complex Nen system. The series is constantly interrupting plot for this sort of arbitrary garbage.
And the fight scenes just are not that great. Not bad, but extremely typical of a shonen series.
Overall, not a bad series. But it does not even remotely live up to the hype.
Except for Netero. Netero is everything promised and more.
[EDIT] As of the most recent chapters, the author has officially gone insane. Manga is now utter shit.
About the plot: I'll agree with you on the Greed Island training sequences (even though there are some good plots within the Greed Island arc once you get past the training sequences). However, I disagree with you about the hunter exam. First of all, Gon not wanting to give up is a major character trait, and explains why he never walks away from the danger. True, there would be no consequences from leaving the exam, but all of the characters do have a serious interest in passing the exam. If they walk away, they would have to take it again to get what they want. Killua is never in any actual danger during the exam until he fights his brother (he curbstomped anyone who tries to hurt him before that), and then he does, in fact, walk away from the exam. The exam is also an interesting plot in and of itself, because it develops the world and gives the reader some actual information about what it is that hunters do (Gourmet hunters, for example)and some detail on the characters' pasts (Killua and Kurapika, for example). The exam comprises of relatively few fight scenes, and these 'fight scenes' are more often than not battles of wit coupled with a small amount of physical fighting. The tournament arc is mainly for the purpose of having fight scenes, but these fights show how the characters develop. So, it does have a purpose and I found it rather enjoyable (especially when Hisoka shows up). Of course, there is no major plot or anything major on the line, but hey, it was fun and gave the characters a chance to grow (and a chance to learn a major fighting skill). I can see how someone would disagree with me, though. The Yorkshin arc more than makes up for any deficiencies in the tournament arc. The Chimera ant arc does as well (the art in the tankoban volumes is far and above that of what most scans on the internet provide), and Greed Island, when not in a training sequence or talking endlessly about the cards, actually has a decent plot.
I agree on one more point: Netero is awesome.
9th May 10
I loved the Greed Island training sequences. I thought it was a great creative non-traditional way of upgrading the protagonists' skills and powers. Also Biscuit made the whole affair very entertaining.
11th May 10
There was nothing non-traditional about the Greed Island training sequences. It was practically paint-by numbers.
9th Aug 10
13th Sep 10
21st Oct 10
I suppose the point of the licensing bureau is to give selected people the authority to travel, use Nen, and use the Internet freely. Now that I think about it, that sounds pretty authoritarian.
24th Oct 10
25th Jun 11
(edited by: marcellX)
6th Jun 12
6th Jun 12
11th Aug 12
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