25 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 41 – A Cool, Unbiased Analysis of OMG CHROLLO LUCIFER

Bow down to The Boss.

Looking at it objectively (a process of which I am capable only intermittently), this is just an OK episode. It’s another story of transition and development. We’ve got Gon and Killua scouring the Internet for clues on Greed Island and learning they have to raise roughly a billion kajillion dollars jenny to even have a chance of buying it at the auction. We’ve got Kurapika and his new bodyguard buddies meeting their client and getting the rundown on the plans before the YorkShin auction. And we’ve got the Phantom Troupe meeting and making their plans for the auction, which boil down to, “Take everything and cut down any bastard who stands in our way.” They definitely have brevity on their side.

In terms of actual stuff happening in this episode . . . not that much. We know who’s making a move during the auction, and we can kind of see how they’ll all come together that night. We know what gives this particular mafia group its power. And . . . that’s about it.

But, God damn it, it’s impossible for me to be objective when the SPIDERS are involved. So let’s spend a while wanking on about them!

I love the Spiders. They represent many of the best aspects of Hunter x Hunter: cool powers and abilities, weird character designs, a larger-than-life stature, etc. I also love that they feel like a cohesive group but also have their own little cliques and rivalries, too. They stop from going wild solely because Chrollo Lucifer is such a fearsome, charismatic leader. I think it’ll be a while before we see what his power is, so I won’t spoil it here, but right from the start his appearance does a good job of making the viewer wonder what kind of person could possibly keep these crazies in line.

Look at Uvogin: the guy is large and super powerful; I bet those of you who haven’t seen the series before could still easily figure out that he’s an Enhancer, yes? This guy is no fuckin’ slouch on the battlefield, and yet he looks at Chrollo with the utmost respect and admiration and is utterly eager to take orders from the guy. Have to say, though, even without knowing how powerful he is, he just looks like someone who should be a leader. Anyone with a black cross on his forehead is probably bad news, but with that voice . . . I mean, wouldn’t you listen to him?

Speaking of voices! (An expertly handled transition, I know.) I know I’m not the only one who was super eager to hear all the Spiders and judge their voices harshly, right? Actually, not too much harsh judging going on — I like most of them! Let’s go through a quick rundown, shall we?

Hisoka (Daisuke Namikawa): Duh, we’ve heard plenty of him already. But, yes, Namikawa has really grown into the voice. Very happy to see Hisoka again.
Machi (Rena Maeda): No problems here.
Shalnark (Noriko Hidaka): Quite different from the ’99 series. Gut feeling on it is that I’m not a huge fan. Maybe it’ll grown on me.
Pakunoda (Romi Paku): Normally I’m a fan, but I’ve still got Pakunoda’s old voice stuck in my head, and Romi’s voice isn’t really meshing for me. Could be another that takes a while to grow on me.
Phinks (Kenn): Barely speaks, but I’ve got no problem with what I heard.
Uvogin (Akio Ootsuka): Any Akio Ootsuka is awesome. Pretty much slam dunk casting here.
Nobunaga (Naoya Uchida): Don’t necessarily dislike the voice, but it sounded weird to me at first because Uchida is the voice of Cobra in that awesome 2010 Cobra TV series.
Feitan (Kappei Yamaguchi): Also quite different from the original voice, but not in a bad way. I’m digging it so far.
Franklin (Hidenobu Kiuchi): I’m cool with the voice. What’s weirding me out more is seeing his long ass earlobes in full display! They were always covered up in the original series!
Chrollo Lucifer (Mamoru Miyano): Yes, yes and yes. This is the voice I looked forward to most, because Miyano has the perfect voice for a cool, charismatic dude like Chrollo, and he does not disappoint. Looking forward to more!

Fun times for fans! And, of course, to celebrate Hisoka’s return, I have to run this . . .

Awwwwwwwww yeah! Bathe in the glow of Hisoka’s magnificent cock, my friends.

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24 Comments

  1. Posted July 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Really, really pleased with Miyano’s Chrollo – so hyped for this arc!

    I’m pretty ok with the majority of the Spiders voices – Shalnark is the only one I’m not overly impressed by.

    • Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Yeah, he sounds so weirdly childish. But maybe that’s how he’s actually supposed to sound? I dunno.

      • XXL
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        I don’t know how first anime Shalnark sounds like, but when I read the manga I always imagined his voice to be… somewhat more mature than that. Like, early-to-mid twenties. He sounds almost like a cheerful teenage girl to me.

        But it really doesn’t bother me all that much. I just did a slight double take when I first heard it because I expecting something slightly more mature, but eh, it’s an… interesting interpretation. I do like this take on his character from what I’ve heard so far, but of course that might change later. I looked the voice actor up, and apparently she’s the voice of Akane (Ranma 1/2), Kikyo (Inuyasha), and Near (Death Note) [man all these big name seiyuu] – and guess what? She also played Peter Pan in some Peter Pan anime adaptation, and I don’t know about you but Shalnark has always given off a Peter Pan sort of vibe to me. Don’t know why. It’s probably the hair.

        While we’re on the subject of voice acting, can I say that I’m amazed that this is Gon’s voice actor’s very first major gig? I went to listen to Junko Takeuchi’s rendition and I have to say that her performance is absolutely stunning and flawless and her little boy voice is PERFECT but maaan. Megumi Han. I really, REALLY like her interpretation of Gon as well – it’s very different from Takeuchi’s interpretation, and I almost want to say that Takeuchi’s feels like it has a bit more emotional depth, but so far I have been really, really impressed by her Gon. I am a huge, HUGE fan of Killua’s voice actress too – she and Megumi Han have GREAT chemistry together – they’re definitely part of why Gon’s and Killua’s relationship is one of the most successful elements of this adaptation.

      • Posted July 30, 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        Megumi Han is quite good, yes. She’s got the right amount of spunk, and she actually sounds like a young boy rather than an actress playing a young boy.

  2. hint
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    an OK episode and not KO.
    Yes,the beginning of the best arc for me.
    These Spiders can easily make big impact when they appear on screen just at first sight. rsssss….
    and…. this time we need blood! juicy blood.

    • Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Not KO until Uvogin gets mad. Then lots of KO.

  3. Taka
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    I too would follow Okabe Rintarou to the death.

    El Psy Congroo.

    • Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      He is mad scientist.

      • XXL
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        I am so mad that Crunchyroll took off Steins;Gate before I could finish watching it. Now I won’t get the Mamoru Miyano crossover jokes!

  4. XXL
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I’ve been skipping the opening all this time and I caught a glimpse of it and MAN do the Geneiryodan look out of place in that obscenely upbeat opening song.

    Shalnark’s voice stuck out to me too, even though I haven’t watched the Yorkshin arc in the first anime – seemed a bit too boyish? He IS that kind of character though. Perhaps a little more restraint would have helped, but I really don’t mind it.

    Overall I love the voice acting, but damn. Mamoru Miyano as Chrollo is ASLKDFJASKLDF HIS VOICE OMG I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE SHIT TO GO DOWN

    I kinda liked how they showed a little more detail on the cliques and stuff, because hey, more Ryodan is always great, though I do miss the manga approach where their introduction is soooo much tighter with a greater sense of suspense. It was more… epic, is probably the best word to describe it, what with this incredible shot of Chrollo’s back (which the anime cut):
    http://www.mangahere.com/manga/hunter_x_hunter/v08/c071/19.html

    Ubogin actually bleeding from the mouth from excitement:

    http://www.mangahere.com/manga/hunter_x_hunter/v08/c071/20.html

    And that last high impact shot of the entire troupe walking towards the reader:

    http://www.mangahere.com/manga/hunter_x_hunter/v08/c071/20.html

    How could you NOT include this shot. I mean goddamn fuck. Ubogin’s VA is good, but I’d rather have this shot rather than a sloppy pan up some murky, indistinct buildings. Take a leaf out of Togashi’s book, will ya:

    http://www.mangahere.com/manga/hunter_x_hunter/v08/c071/18.html

    http://www.mangahere.com/manga/hunter_x_hunter/v08/c071/19.html

    The composition of the backgrounds are absolutely stunning – an edgy, gritty kind of grandeur that the anime just completely misses out on. (Goddamnit Togashi, you’re great at backgrounds – when you get your shit together and actually DRAW them, at least.)

    The anime version of this scene felt relatively mundane and subdued, but I guess they attempted to fix it with ominous latin chanting so eh.

    As for the Gon/Killua part of the episode, I finally figured out why people were complaining about Killua’s pants. It’s not the design that’s the problem, it’s the coloring. The yellow kinda clashes with the maroon. It should’ve been a lighter, pastel color, like peach or pink, something that will complement the maroon instead of eh kinda clashing with it. I don’t know, I still like it.

    I thought it was a neat touch that they had nen actually materialize the Hunter Bar website. Of course, I will always love the lo-res presentation of the website in the original manga, but man. Think of all the years that’ve passed since that chapter was first published in the manga. Think of how websites and computers looked back then. I looove how the tech is so modern and up-to-date in the adaptation – helps make it feel fresh and new to old fans like me.

    So, uh, SPOILERS for Greed Island arc, but…

    …that whole nen apparently pulling Gon and Killua into the computer thing is blatant, BLATANT, foreshadowing for the GI arc. Just sayin’.

    And I love how Gon attempts to swipe the drink. A nice touch from the animators. Keeheehee. I’ve heard fans of the first anime complain about how Gon’s so stupid in this adaptation and I’m like DUDE. Are we even watching the same show? Gon’s so awesome precisely because he comes off as the stupid, innocent, naive, defeat everything with straightforward idiocy kind of shonen protagonist and if you’ve been paying attention properly you can see that he’s actually NOT. I mean, he does have those qualities, but dude. This is fucking HunterXHunter. There is not a single “normal” person in this universe. Even Aunt Mito is a freaking weirdo. What kind of little girl climbs down a freaking cliff hanging over the freaking ocean just to play a stupid game of hide and seek? Freaks. All of them. I personally think that Gon and Hisoka are really two sides of the same coin, though Gon is like Hisoka in the same way Netero is like Hisoka, honestly. So, still a freak.

    And one moment that made me absolutely burst out laughing during this episode was Hisoka’s rape face in response to Chrollo. I mean WTF LOL people were like “See? He’s not a pedophile, his cock glows for people over 10 too!” And I’m sitting there, LAUGHING the shit out of myself, because it’s like the animators are falling over themselves to bash us over the heads with the fact that “OMG HISOKA IS A CREEP HE’S SUCH A CREEEPER but don’t worry he’s not a pedophile HE’S TOTALLY OUT FOR EVERYBODY NO ONE IS SAFE RAWWWRRRR” and I’m like, dude. Chill. Hisoka can be subtle too. He’s playing the long con here, I don’t think that openly displaying his lust for the dancho openly is a very good idea because Hisoka’s all about deceit and misdirection and if he reveals his ultimate objective to the other spiders do you REALLY think that the other spiders won’t utterly massacre him for trying to creep on their precious dancho? There’s a reason he’s pretending to be part of the Ryodan instead of just going after Chrollo like a murderous lovestruck puppy. He needs to hide his true objective: to fight Chrollo – so that he can bide his time and wait for the best opportunity to get Chrollo in a situation where Chrollo HAS to fight him. And to that he has to control his fight-boners and pretend to be a good little spidey. NOT make leering faces at the boss. Don’t you know sexual harassment in the workplace will get you fired, Hiso?

    What makes Hisoka so successful is the fact that he lies and deceives and sneaks his way through life. This version of Hisoka sacrifices that cunning quality of his for IN YOUR FACE CREEPINESS because the director of the show has no sense of subtlety whatsoever.

    See, that moaning during the Gon fight? The first moan was great – but then it went on and on and on and lost all impact whatsoever. Hisoka is best taken in small, intense bursts. Drag it out and you run the risk of numbing the audience to his delicious, delicious creepiness. He has a very particular tempo to him – a wavy, fluctuating line of creepiness with periodical crescendoes into full SCHWING and GLOWING PENIS. But if it’s all glowing penis all the time, and it stops being awesome and just becomes boring. It’s like cheesecake. Eat too much at once and it just becomes nauseating. So yeah, in conclusion, Hisoka = cheesecake.

    • Posted July 30, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      I think the stuff with keeping Chrollo in the darkness and then bringing him into the light when the meeting begins is Madhouse’s way of recreating that “epic” feel. But it probably doesn’t work to the same extent. And, damn, those backgrounds! That’s one thing manga will always have on anime (except for the highest budget works). Animators just can’t put that much detail into their scenes, unfortunately.

      I also like that the technology has been updated (HDTVs!), which is why it’s weird to me that the websites and shit are so dated. I don’t think I’ve seen a hand as a mouse cursor since I was in high school, and that was nearly a decade ago. (Jesus fucking Christ.)

      Definitely agreed with your interpretation of Gon. He plays the fool, but it’s because he’s a kid. He’s got a goofy, wild streak (compounded by wandering the wild so much). But the fights he’s been in have shown how smart and surprisingly tactical Gon is.

      The Hisoka rape face did seem a touch out of place, haha. That was part of the earlier arc — that Hisoka can restrain himself, and he’d certainly be doing so here. I mean, I love Hisoka being a creepy fuck as much as anyone (as evidenced by my beloved screenshot of Hisoka’s glowing cock), but too much of it does tend to make it more ridiculous than it should be. I do think Hisoka has shown some cunning, though, notably in his fight against Kastro. That was all about Hisoka reading the situation, coming up with plans on the fly and working his misdirection like a true magician and manipulating everything that needed to be manipulated. I would like more of that Hisoka.

      • XXL
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Re: Chrollo

        I wish they’d at least kept that gorgeous full body shot of him in his gorgeous full-length fur coat. *sigh*

        I liked that they kept him in darkness too and revealed him dramatically with the light too, but those scenes while he was reading and everybody was standing/sitting around chitchatting? It felt more mundane… like a group of friends meeting up again after a long absence. Very… slice-of-life-ish. Which isn’t a bad thing. That’s partly why the Geneiryodan are so great – the humanity of these utterly inhumane characters. (I don’t think it works quite as well as the manga’s high impact introduction – we get a lot of spiders sitting around doing nothing later and it has the same effect – but of course that’s my manga bias showing here.)

        So yeah… I can forgive it for not being quite as epic in the same intense way the manga was – it’s a good take on the scene and the animators are doing different things with it, that’s all.

        I also like that the technology has been updated (HDTVs!), which is why it’s weird to me that the websites and shit are so dated. I don’t think I’ve seen a hand as a mouse cursor since I was in high school, and that was nearly a decade ago. (Jesus fucking Christ.)

        The datedness is quite charming, but it does seem out of place with the new fancy tech (oh god I feel old). Maybe the Hunter website’s designer is into this whole retro style or something? I mean, it IS supposed to be this classic old western setting, so the datedness is probably part of the whole design.

        The website where Gon and Killua were surfing for deals and auctions and stuff looked fairly contemporary though! It had that sleek, almost Mac-like feel to it.

        That was all about Hisoka reading the situation, coming up with plans on the fly and working his misdirection like a true magician and manipulating everything that needed to be manipulated. I would like more of that Hisoka.

        Amen, brother. Amen. All hail the sneakily glowing cock.

      • XXL
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        Random thought about the Ryodan pic that I linked earlier:

        http://www.mangahere.com/manga/hunter_x_hunter/v08/c071/21.html

        The only way this page could be more awesome would be to enlarge the guy’s head slightly and move it to the right side of the panel, getting rid of the right speech bubble, so that Kuroro’s feet is stepping on right on his face as he goes all “TERMINATE ALL WHO STAND IN OUR WAY”.

        …Why is it not Saturday already. WHY.

    • danchou
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      @XXL
      i was laughing all the way through your episode comment/review. it deserves an article/blog post by itself ;)

  5. danchou
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    btw shinmaru, real danchou fans call danchou danchou. because he is the danchou! (so away with the “chrollo” name!)

    …otherwise, yes, danchou also gives me all these funny feelings. it also feels great to see my precious ryodan moving and talking and in color again after 10 years.

    “let’s skip the small talk and send you all straight to hell.” next ep will rape

  6. hxhfan
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I actually don’t like how Madhouse had the Ryodan wait for Hisoka for hours. The Ryodan I know wouldn’t give a shit (esp for a new member they all distrust) and will just proceed with or without him.

    • XXL
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      I agree! And even if it made sense for the Ryodan to wait, actually showing us the fact that they waited for him significantly decreases the group’s badassery! And more importantly, Hisoka needs to appear to be a good spidey for his own nefarious purposes, so he wouldn’t be a huge jerk and arrive TOO late. Tardy, maybe, but the anime made it seem like they were all waiting on him like he was the star of the show or something.

      *sigh* It’s amazing how much this adaptation is getting wrong despite following the original manga almost to the letter. All the little misguided “tweaks” (*cough* flower arms *cough* heart in a bag *cough*) they make really add up…

      (Though some of the tweaks are nice! Don’t get me wrong!)

      • hint
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        Maybe they thought that the boss made them wait for him cause Hisoka has “high set of skills” and New, so they just did that to show them impatient for waiting a guy who they don’t “trust”.
        For me, what really fails on this version is bad music and its placement, the way they transitioned the “happy” music when they were showing Gon and Killua (i think) to spider, is very bad… also, im tired of this ED music… i hate it, it just destroys completely the atmosphere of the final scene… need to change it now.

      • XXL
        Posted July 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Eh, I think it’s more important to ramp up their epic badass factor. This is our first impression of them after all. This arc isn’t about Hisoka, we don’t need to focus on how much the Ryodan mistrusts him, we should be focusing on how evil and badass and amazing the Ryodan are. And as far as they know, Hisoka really isn’t all that powerful or unique compared to some of the others in the troupe (as can be seen from the mixed reviews he got when Machi/Feitan/etc were discussing him.)

        Yeah, the music overall is atrocious. The OP needs to get nuked ASAP before it can inflict more of its horribleness on the world. The ED – it’s just bad on its own, but the fact that it replaced JUST AWAKE, one of the best anime EDs I’ve heard in a while, just confirms to me that the director has absolutely no taste when it comes to atmosphere and tone. The music direction in the episodes themselves feel like they’ve been done by an autistic patient with no grasp on any kind of emotional subtlety or aesthetic sense whatsoever, but I will say that the cheerful happy adventure music in particular (you know which one I’m talking about) is so obnoxious it makes me want to tear my eardrums out whenever I hear it.

    • hxhfan
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Yes, I agree with all that you just said! I’m fine with the other changes, but this one really ticks me off. Way to dampen the Ryodan hype!

      Anyway I’m glad someone who hasn’t watched the first series feels the way I do. God knows I’ve been labelled a “1999 nostalgia fag” a million times already.

  7. kamen rider Dragon
    Posted July 31, 2012 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    If people hate the opening so much they should skip it. And everything can’t be translated from the manga since television is a completely different media.

    And did someone say Hisoka is not powerful or unique compared to others because Feitan doesn’t like him? I think some need to reevaluate how much they know about Hunter x Hunter before they say the anime is doing everything wrong.

    • hxhfan
      Posted July 31, 2012 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      “As far as they know.” What the poster is saying is that the Ryodan THINKS Hisoka is nothing special, not that he actually isn’t.

      But anyway, welcome to the discussion. An overdefensive 2011 apologist will always have a place in the fray, I guess.

    • XXL
      Posted July 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      ^What they said.

      And also, what makes you think that I DON’T skip the opening? That’s the very first thing I mentioned in my comment. I strongly suggest you go back through and actually read what people are saying before responding.

    • kamen rider Dragon
      Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

      @HxH fan lol, thank you. But you sound more defensive than I, since you automatically started tossing names. But again thank fellow HxH fan. Glad to be here.

      @XXL I apologize I was skimming through your post and missed a couple of things. My bad

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