Reviews: Huntik Secrets And Seekers

An interesting take

Huntik: Secrets and Seekers is, to put it simply, a historical action series - which means, though the characters fight between themselves and Mon-type creatures called 'Titans', it does so with an underlying basis around historical accounts, be they true or myth: Joan of Arc, the Argonauts, local myths/legends of creatures like gargoyles or frost giants (which inspire the designs of the Titans, well-recognized or obscure), artifacts wielded by important figures, etc. Behind the scenes of the world, groups of 'Seekers' fight to gain control over these, making sure their side has the advantage- and into this world comes our main characters.

Lok is thrust into the world, where he finds that his (missing) father used to be part of his world; he's of course determined to find him, but has to learn his way through the ups and downs, having been an ordinary high-school student before. Sophie is part of the Foundation, having trained all her life to be a Seeker, but initially it's gone to her head a little; she softens over the course of the series, while still remaining skilled, particularly as others prove themselves. Dante is quite simply the ace, skilled at everything but having limits like any person, and specific weaknesses that play their part in the plot; he changes little overall, though he's always accompanied by a Titan named Cherit. Zhalia is a mysterious, 'cool' type who's a bit hard on the outside, but inside is a completely different story, as is what drives her internally. The second season will have an addition, yet that is primarily the core team.

To put it simply, aside from Dante, who they are at the start is pretty much different from who they are by the end (of the first season); their development is seasonal-gradual that way, and may not even be obvious over stretches of episodes, yet it is there. The series itself also operates in a similar way, throwing you in with little warning, then gradually explaining/expanding as you go- Titans included, as many are introduced without prior warning/explanation, including a number of spells. Some explanation is given in-show via the Holotome, which can scan them and keeps track of their stats for their Seekers, a trait mirrored in the show's real-life game merchandise (which despite the other review, isn't actually driven by the latter all that much).

The story itself revolves around the aforementioned struggle to keep the team's side, the Huntik Foundation, ahead of the other group, the Organization, and it's Big Bad who's obsessed with control yet there also being another group behind the scenes... which soon comes to the fore, using this overarching plot to restart a war that ended long ago.

If any of this sounds good, give it a try, and if first impressions don't look good, at least finish the first season (it may change your mind). If it sounds like you'd hate it no matter what, then little is likely to change that.

Bland and uninspired

Childrens' cartoons are a major guilty pleasure for me. I don't watch a ton of them, but especially the more story-driven and action-packed series do usually get a look from me. Gargoyles, Avatar The Last Airbender, Thundercats 2011... love 'em. When I saw a commercial for Huntik, I checked out the TV Tropes page and watched the intro sequence. It seemed right up my alley. Alas, my actual experience was very different. I have only seen the first eight episodes. Fans will probably take me to task for dismissing the series this fast, and if it does get better I might be persuaded to give the show a second chance, but if a show hasn't gripped me after eight episodes, it's probably never going to happen.

This show looks like it was made by very competent people who simply don't really care about it. The animation is good but strangely soulless and devoid of any real life. We are thrown into the story with very little explanation. Some stories go overboard into infodumping, but this show gives us too little background information. The Organization is collecting titans to take over the world... why? For the evulz? Lok discovers that the girl he has a crush on happens to be a member of the Foundation that his father belonged to. Normally, this would be the moment for her to reveal that she has been secretly shadowing him, but apparently it's just a coincidence. Action secenes take the concept "Talking Is A Free Action" to ridiculous extremes, having characters deliver very long monologues before releasing their titans in defense.

The show is also insultingly merchandise driven. I don't necessarily mind this - I really love My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, after all. But whenever a new titan is found, a card flashes on screen and its power is given in actual numbered stats. I've heard there's a card game out there somewhere...

This is not a good show. This show exists because someone wanted to sell a trading card game, because a network had a slot to fill. It doesn't look like anyone involved cares for the actual show.