A lot can happen in five weeks with new storylines and a brand new arc steadily building itself up.
Despite starting off the review with that line, the series’ new arc begins in earnest with a reunion between Gon and Mito. Episode thirty-seven is a tediously slow episode that the only purpose is to give what little information can be revealed about Gon’s father, Ging. It’s nothing relevant to the events of today, but the memories Mito has of her cousin help give audiences an idea of what kind character Gon is chasing after. It’s not until the latter half of the episode that a real development occurs in the form of a trinket that Ging left behind for Gon to receive should he ever become a Hunter. Other than that, there really isn’t much to be entertained by in this episode as the material is completely stretched out to fill in its entire run time. This was by far one of the more dull episodes of the series, but the following weeks got better.
Episode thirty-eight is a slight improvement over thirty-seven with the revelation of just what is inside the box. In it is a ring, a cassette tape—if you kids can remember what that is—and a memory card for the joystation video game platform. The pair of Gon and Killua soon discover that the memory card is for the game “Greed Island” and quickly discover that this just isn’t any ordinary game, and that there must be some reason as to why Ging left it behind for Gon. The challenge is for Gon is to find his father and he must do so through Greed Island, but the game isn’t easy to acquire as it is quite the rare commodity. This is where Gon’s storyline ties back to the promise with Leorio and Kurapika in meeting once again in Yorknew City for the Underground Auction. Now they have their very own reason for going to the auction beyond helping Kurapika and that is to acquire their own copy of Greed Island which is being sold at the auction. However, there are still other storylines for Yorknew City to explore and the end of this episode teases a switch in focus to Kurapika and his search for vengeance against the Genei Ryodan (Phantom Troupe).
Once the series shifts its focus to Kurapika, Hunter X Hunter’s tone dramatically changes to being quite dark. From the music to the colours to his very own storyline in this arc, everything is just dark and moody for him. Kurapika has fully immersed and given his all for the vengeance his seeks for his clan and he is willing to go to any length to do so. Episode thirty-nine’s first half is entirely about Kurapika and his Nen training while hinting at his own Nen abilities. Though not fully revealed, it’s quite obvious that he’s quite a few levels above Gon and Killua in his mastery of Nen. This leads him to finding his job that will get him into the Yorknew City Underground Auction where his fellow Nen user compatriots are also introduced. The test begins for Kurapika and company to gauge their strength to take on the bodyguard job.
And with this colourful cast of characters, we’re also given a short display of their Nen abilities that match their quirky personalities. Each is unique and interesting in his or her application, but how those are applied in practical combat remains to be seen. Despite that, episode forty provides the most action the series has had since the fight between Gon and Hisoka to wrap up the Heaven’s Arena arc. Thus, the episode serves as a nice change of pace compared to the previous weeks that were mostly slow. The past couple of episodes in particular also give a greater insight into just how hell bent Killua is in his pursuit of vengeance. The expressions given to him once he sees images of his fellow clansmen’ eyes is quite haunting and a stark contrast the general cheeriness that most audiences have grown accustomed to following the adventures of Gon in Heaven’s Arena.
And then we have episode forty-one which throws in a couple of very important elements into this story with the reveal of all thirteen members of the Genei Ryodan along with Kurapika’s boss, Neon-sama. But before that, we’re treated to a short bit involving Gon and Killua who have made their way to Yorknew City and do a little research of Greed Island. It turns out that the game is a game meant for Hunters—specifically Nen users—and that it is being sold at auction for a starting price of $8.9 billion. How they will come up with the money is one problem they will face in the series, but that isn’t the main focus of this arc or this episode. Rather, the main focus is on the introduction of the Genei Ryodan and all of its members, along with their goal for their next heist, which is literally everything. Kurapika and the mafia will have their hands full with a deadly force on the horizon, but with all hell set to be unleashed, this series will enter a whole new level and it is exciting.
Overall, the last five episodes have been steadily improving and getting more interesting as the arc the develops. There are still a couple of characters that still need to be introduced including the reappearance of Leorio, but that will come in time. As for now, fans should be excited with the coming arc as it is by far one of, if not, the best in the series.
GO Rating (average): 3/5
The anime is on the verge of going up to a whole new level.