24 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 40 – Merry Melody

I don’t have anything clever to say about this. I just think it looks awesome.

If there’s one thing to love about shonen series, especially shows that have casts with specific powers, it’s that eventually someone with ridiculous powers is going to show up. Kurapika conjuring chains with which to beat the hell out of people and sniff out liars is relatively normal for anime (although that’s not all there is to Kurapika’s power, as we’ll see later on in the arc). Baise’s power isn’t off the wall, either, although it is highly stereotypical — the sexually suggestive woman seduces people with her Nen, shoooooooooooooock. Insert your own, “I’d be her dog any day!” comment here. I think she does have actual fighting ability, though, since her power would likely be impractical against anyone with their guard up (or half a brain).

Melody is a bit . . . different. Supernatural hearing is not unusual, but applying it the way Melody does is interesting. Seems like it would be quite useful for psychological warfare. Melody would know exactly when she touches upon something that perturbs the enemy, and from there, it’s easy to wreak havoc. Melody would be particularly good at it since she’s eternally calm. You can’t tell me it wouldn’t be disconcerting to hear that calm voice picking you apart bit by bit. Plus, anyone who can be confident while looking like Danny DeVito crossed with a rat is A-OK with me.

Basho is just silly, haha. He strikes me as the kind of character created because the power sounds awesome, but in practical terms, you can’t really use the power often because who knows what its proper limits are? I also wonder when the power actually comes into play — does he have to say the haiku aloud for it to work, or is it enough to simply write it down? If you say the haiku aloud, you’re broadcasting the conditions to the people the haiku effects. So all they have to do is . . .  not fulfill those conditions, unless they’re trapped like Squala.

Does the haiku have range? Does the person affected have to be in earshot? It’d be freaky if it were like a mental suggestion sort of thing, although Basho does say he is a Conjurer rather than a Manipulator. Hm. Anyway, maybe I’m overthinking it, but it does seem more like a “HEY YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD BE AWESOME? HAIKUS” kind of power than anything. Either it’s too powerful to be used often (because you can make anyone do anything) or there are too many rules and its use is neutered. Basho does have that crazy sideburn/mustache combo and that pompadour going for him, at least.

If only Kurapika raised chose the finger one to his left to raise, then I could use this image of multiple stupid jokes rather than just this one. Alas.

I’m glad the preview shows that the Phantom Troupe shows up next week, because Kurapika will have more focus soon. Angry, serious Kurapika isn’t that fun unless he has somewhere to direct that anger. When he’s just talking to himself, Kurapika is just a creepy brooder. Isn’t he kind of annoying when he snubs Melody? It’s like if Bruce Wayne stewed in anger and frustration all these years instead of dressing up like a big, leathery bat and beating up criminals. He would just be a big weirdo otherwise! Kurapika doesn’t have to dress like a bat (though I highly encourage Photoshops of this!), but engaging in action would be welcome. The scrubs testing bodyguard potential aren’t on Kurapika’s level; he wrecks their shit in seconds.

Really looking forward to the Phantom Troupe next week, and in particular hearing Mamoru Miyano as the big boss. That might not take place next week, though . . . can’t remember if he shows up during the first meeting or swings by later. We’ll see!

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  1. Posted July 22, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I think Basho’s a little bit too overpowered as far as our current knowledge goes. If hitting someone is all it takes him to burn said person, then even Nen experts could be in serious trouble although he wouldn’t be able to land a hit on them, I guess. Like you said, Togashi was probably all like “Need some unique power… oh, how about haiku?!” when he came up with that. I think those characters were also meant to show you how distinct Nen power can be, but seeing how most of the Phantom Troupe’s members don’t have equally interesting powers, it’s just shallow.

    I’m not too happy with this episode anyway. The direction was lack-lustre as usual and the music was especially bad. The whole episde was also way too slow-paced. I can’t believe it took them one episode to get out of the mansion. Sometimes, things that could have been explained in one sentence were stretched to five sentences and most of the info dumping wasn’t even necessary. I seriously hope they won’t mess up the whole arc like this.

    On the positive side of things, Kurapika dodging the attacks had some really good animation.

    • Posted July 23, 2012 at 3:12 am | Permalink

      This is true. It’s kind of weird how the pace is quick with certain things in this series, but slow with other stuff. Part of it might just be me getting antsy about getting to the really good stuff in YorkShin, though, haha.

  2. XXL
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Kurapica’s chain animations this episode SUCKED. Sure, the dodging was good, but man, that chain animation. Compare the page from the manga here: http://www.mangahere.com/manga/hunter_x_hunter/v08/c068/3.html

    Look at that sense of motion. So clean. So precise. So neat. And then the anime fucks that all up by making him do that goofy, cliched, utterly stupid chain twirling crap. It’s incredible how black marks on a page are more effective at conveying a sense of power and control compared to something that is actually animated.

    In any case, I am so fucking pumped for the Geneiryodan finally showing up. Yes, the boss shows up at the first meeting. So fucking excited.

    Agree with the slow pacing thing COMPLETELY. These two last episodes could and SHOULD have been compressed into one. Too much repetition of things that we already KNOW – all the exposition felt forced and highly unnatural. It almost felt like a recap episode. Also, they’re giving these useless side characters way too much air time and focus.

    Also, I’m pissed off that Kurapica gets all the credit for identifying the first mole when Senritsu could’ve done exactly the same thing. What, you think she wouldn’t have noticed when that mole was only pretending to be fighting for his life? Seriously, WTF. I don’t know if it’s because the animators are drawing this episode out waaaaay longer than necessary or what, but Kurapica seriously fucking annoyed me in this episode by being all “ooh look at me I’m so cool and competent”. I can totally take that in small intense doses like they do it in the manga, but when it drags on and on and on and on I just want to be like *flip table* STFU DUDE YOU’RE PISSED THAT YOUR ENTIRE RACE GOT GENOCIDED WE GET IT NOW STFU AND GO MAKE ME A FUCKING SANDWICH. Man, they should get rid of Kurapica and make the show entirely about Senritsu. I want to know what happens with her subplot goddamnit!

    Re: All the side characters’ stupid powers

    Do not give a damn because they are stupid side characters. Why should we care about them in the freaking Geneiryodan arc?!

    I will say though re: Basho that Nen has a natural system of checks and balances – for a seemingly overpowered power like that, he should have equally severe restrictions and sacrifices to make up for it. Togashi never goes into detail, of course, because he’s a fucking side character, but the nen system is consistent enough that we can assume that he has something like that to counterbalance the apparent overpoweredness of it.

    I don’t get why he’s a Conjurer though – surely ink and paper are relatively cheap and easy things to have on your body at all times. Guess he wants to make sure he can use his powers in any kind of situation whatsoever? That kinda makes sense.

    Re: Baise

    I actually like that in a shonen fighting series, people are having powers that don’t necessarily have obvious combat applications(Senritsu as well), it’s just annoying when it’s generally the females slotted into support roles (more examples coming up soon). I like people having unusual, non-combative powers, and I’d like to see them on both males and females!

    But yeah. Mediocre episode overall. Bleh. (Except for delicious Gon/Killua/eagle shot towards the end. That was lovely. That image looked incredibly cool in the manga and I’m glad that the anime did it justice.)

    • Posted July 23, 2012 at 3:39 am | Permalink

      Why hello there, long comment. I like you, friend!

      Yeah, the chain twirling is meh. The jumping and dodging looks nice, but other than that, there’s not much to get excited about in this episode, animation-wise. I think I’ve been spoiled by that awesome Gon/Hisoka fight a few episodes back, haha.

      Obviously Basho catches on about the conjured Nen warriors after smashing one in the face, but he doesn’t really say anything about it. I think Melody is in the same boat. She clearly would have sensed something was amiss due to the new dudes having no heartbeats. If neither pointed out the fact that anything was wrong, I’d guess it’s because they were waiting to see how the situation would develop. Kurapika has been a bit of a know-it-all from the start, though (I like him, but it’s true), so it makes sense for him to step in like that.

      But, yeah, agreed about Kurapika. As I wrote, it’s just annoying seeing him do the angsty thing when he’s taking on scrubs. When he’s taking on the Spiders? Then, yeah, brood away and take that revenge. Idle brooding, however, is dull.

      The side characters matter little in the long run, yes. I was just writing idle thoughts because it’s a thing I do, especially when watching a not so exciting episode like this. Does it matter that there’s not a ton of thought put into Basho’s ability? Not really, because as you and I know, it’s not as if it’s used all that much. And its existence doesn’t make me think the show sucks or that Togashi is a shit writer (not that you’re accusing me of thinking that). Just idle thought from me.

      I will say, though, that I didn’t bring up the checks and balances of the Nen system because it hasn’t been mentioned in the show yet, and we have at least a few people who read these posts and are getting their first taste of Hunter x Hunter through this series. Don’t want to give away anything before the show has a chance to do so!

      That’s a solid point regarding Baise. More unusual powers are definitely cool, and that’s one reason I like Melody’s powers — there’s a lot of potential for that sort of thing, and some of that is explored during this arc.

      • XXL
        Posted July 23, 2012 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        Re: Checks and balances system

        Ah, you’re right. HxH is just so popular I assumed most people would’ve either watched the original series or read the manga by now.

      • XXL
        Posted July 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Also, re: the Kurapica thing. I remember really liking this bit in the original manga so I went and reread it, and I finally figured out why Kurapica bothers me so much in the anime. In the manga chapter, he’s completely expressionless from start to finish, so it’s like he’s this efficient emotionless doll who’s just doing things and explaining shit just because he has a job to do, whereas in the anime he seems angry all the time and even a little bit hostile/smug towards people he doesn’t need to be, instead of being all professional, calm and “I’m just here to get the job”. The little exchange with Senritsu re: their mutual mole status comes off as them being slightly friendly/comradey with each other, instead of douchebaggy on Kurapica’s end.

        His emotional rampages are so effective because they’re far and few between. Making him a constantly angsting little shit is just undermining the whole foundation of his character.

  3. Posted July 23, 2012 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    An ability like Basho’s feels like something you’d see from a villain in Jojo. In that series, finding out the limits and work-arounds of a seemingly overpowered technique is part of how any fight works. I don’t know all that much about Nen yet, but if it’s anything like that, I’m sure it’s not as strong as it looks.

    Really looking forward to these Phantom Troupe guys. From what everyone has told me about them, they should be awesome.

    • Posted July 24, 2012 at 1:08 am | Permalink

      Nen is a good system in that it can be incredibly strong, but it absolutely has to be used the right way. They go a bit into this during the explanation of Hisoka’s fight against Kastro — Kastro used powers outside his natural inclination, and thus he couldn’t use them to their fullest potential. You’ll see some folks using Nen to its full potential sooner rather than later.

  4. Styx
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    I have to wonder what on earth Madhouse is up to because the pace has ground to an almost palatable halt. It’s odd how much they’re fleshing out the side characters considering what’s eventually going to happen to like, half of them. And was it really necessary for Kurapika to internally monologue at the end of the episode again? In Nippon’s adaptation/source material, moments like that were sprinkled throughout, not shoved up your butthole every fifteen seconds. “Hey kids, you paying attention yet? Kurapika’s reeeeeally angry! Those Genaai Ryodaan are in for a doozy!”

    I’m also with Zakuabumi on the direction. I’m not TOO bothered by the unnecessary exposition, but a lot of the music seemed really out of place. Kurapika at the end walking was fine with the low-key instrumentals, but then they brought in the chorus and it went from decently moody to melodramatic in no time flat. I’m worried about how they might mishandle a lot of key scenes further down the line.

    With that being said, I’m still excited for the spiders, hard to deny that. Bring ’em on!

    • XXL
      Posted July 23, 2012 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      I’m wondering if they saw the latest manga hiatus post-Chimera Arc and thought something along the lines of “FUUUUCK if he keeps hiatusing like this we’re going to catch up to the manga before it finishes shit we need to drag everything out as long as possible goddamnit”, hence the atrocious pacing.

      And yeah, I get the feeling that the directors are treating the viewers as brainless ADHD zombies on crack who need to be constantly reminded of what just went down five minutes ago. That’s what been bothering me throughout – it’s not kiddified, more dumbified for an audience that the director just doesn’t trust to be smart and emotionally developed and paying attention. I just hope that they don’t screw up this arc, man…

      • Styx
        Posted July 23, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        Haha, I was thinking the same thing. If Togashi is as consistent with his hiatuses as he’s been these past few years, Madhouse is going to catch up in no time. A scary thought! I don’t mind them slowing down for the sake of prolonging the inevitable, but they need to fix the obtuse direction. Not a good sign for things to come.

        I watched Reborn! a few years ago and that show had a terrible habit of eating up a third of its run time reminding its viewers of what happened the week before. It was awful and if I had watched it then with the mindset I have regarding that kind of shonen tripe now, I would have dropped it dead. Hunter x Hunter isn’t on that level of retard yet but at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if it started doing that. Fingers crossed!

      • Posted July 23, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        As far as the pacing is concerned: Most longer running shounen shows have a stale pacing for several reasons. Seeing how the source material is always on hiatus, there’s little to no reason for MADHOUSE to speed things up. So yeah, you’re probably right about that.
        Btw, the current hiatus is due to the upcoming movie. Togashi’s writing the plot for MADHOUSE which is why he’s too busy too continue the manga at the moment.

        I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high when it comes to any improvements: The director has said that they would go for a darker angle with the Spider arc (looks like they really do: as of now, colors are less colorful and the music is a lot grimmer), but this is still a kids’ show after all. Don’t expect any drastic changes, HxH is like a cash cow for MADHOUSE which isn’t doing great these days.

        Also: Next episode will include a teaser about the movie, stay tuned!

      • Posted July 23, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Huh, teaser’s already out: http://hxh-movie.jp/
        (Click on the spider)

      • Posted July 23, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        It will probably take around 2,5-3 years before they catch up to the manga in its current state, so I wouldn’t worry if I were them.

    • Posted July 24, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

      I do wonder if there’s some sort of FMA: Brotherhood agreement in place where the manga and anime will finish around the same time, but I have no clue where Hunter x Hunter’s story is, obviously, so I have no idea if it’s even close to finishing. Then again, Togashi seems a lot less predictable than Arakawa.

      • Posted July 24, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        It could end any day, it could continue any day. Really. But from the looks of it, it’s far from finished.

  5. Posted July 23, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I agree about the slow pacing, but I think it’s actually necessary now in the start. The last episode was used to remind people about the situation Kurapika is in, since people tend to forget small stuff like that. It also worked as a slight recap, meaning we won’t have to have one in the near future.

    The last episode also introduced the side-characters, which can be both considered good and bad. For me, it’s good, as introducing them in this episode (like it was in the manga) would probably bog down the pace even more. Besides, I’m personally happy with it, as Madhouse adds fillers to things that never really were properly explored in the manga. If I’m not mistaken, Togashi is working closely with the studio, but I migth be dead wrong about that.

    Most likely, the next episode will also have a slower pacing. And then, when all the build-up is finished, it’s time for 1st September. And shit gets real.

  6. hint
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Too bad they cant show Baise trying to seduce Kurapika.

    • XXL
      Posted July 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Wait what? When did that happen?

      • hint
        Posted July 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        hmm maybe it doesn’t happen in the manga… sorry, was just looking for it and i couldn’t find. You can watch that scene in 99 version.

      • Posted July 23, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        It doesn’t happen in the manga, that’s for sure.

      • hint
        Posted July 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Permalink
      • Posted July 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        “This video is not available in your country. We’re sorry.”
        …The fuck? Why would they block some rips of a 15 years old Japanese TV show for Germans instead of deleting them? You know, that’s racism! I feel discriminated against!

      • Posted July 24, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

        “Do you want to kiss me? It’s a common way to greet people in Chicago.”

        lololololololol how did I forget this?

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