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I started Hunter x Hunter 2011 on a whim after My Anime List recommended it to fans of FMA Brotherhood. When I started, it seemed like your basic adventure show.
I was not expecting to find my favorite main character in all of anime. I was not expecting to find the best friendship in all of anime. I was not expecting to find the most thought-out power system I've ever seen. I didn't expect such strong emotions. And I wasn't expecting to find my current favorite anime of all time.
If it wasn't obvious already, I love this anime. It's absolutely amazing.
The first thing I noticed about this show was how realistic and genre-defying it is. Whenever I watch these kind of shows, I find myself shaking my head at Goku/Naruto and saying "Why not just do X?" Imagine my surprise when I said the same to Gon, only to see him do it a second later.
Unlike other shonen, which eventually lose themselves to random power-ups coming out of the characters' butts and who can punch who harder, Hunter x Hunter's fights rely almost entirely on strategy. When a character is stronger than our heroes, they stay that way, and the characters wind up either having to find another way to accomplish their goals or finding a way to beat them regardless. Because of this, we get way more actual planning in the fighting, and more awareness of what exactly each character's strengths are and how they can use their environment. The fighting is on a smaller scale because of this, but this was the first show in a long time that had me cheering during the fights.
Even better, our heroes can actually definitively lose! As in lose to the bad guy, and that's the end of that. No second chances. No last minute ditch efforts. And for once, our main hero is NOT an idiot!
As for the characters, some seem like cliches at first glance (Gon, Kurapika), but all of them have surprising depth and character development. Even minor characters and villains get as much love. I ended up loving someone I hated just 10 episodes ago, and I actually rooted for the bad guys at one point.
Negatives? Well, even though every main player gets enough time in the spotlight, Gon and Killua get the most focus. I didn't mind but others might. Also, it takes a bit of time to get going. The opening stays the same as well.
Don't let the visuals fool you. Give this a chance. You won't regret it.
The series is good, but two massive long winded arcs the ended in Anti-climaxes prevented it from being great for me.
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