Here’s another anime that I didn’t really get it. This time it’s Hunter X Hunter OVA: Greed Island. Yup, it’s the sequel to that OVA and it continues right where the OVA left off. With only 8 episodes for this OVA, you must be thinking, hey, it couldn’t be that bad, right? Unfortunately it is THAT bad for me.
 
So what’s so bad that I didn’t really understand the whole thing? The producers of the anime seems to have decided that the Hunter X Hunter series be made into a card playing anime!!! Well, they some sort of infused card playing with role playing here. Okay, maybe that’s not the bad part. The worse part is trying to understand how it all works. Yeah, even the in-anime explanations seem alien to me. And I’ll be going my usual ‘Erm…’, ‘Huh…’, ‘What the, come again’, among others.
 
So I figure out that if you really really really want to understand what’s going on here, you have to fit into either of these 2 criteria. One, you must be a real die hard Hunter X Hunter fan obsessed freak, and two, you must be a real card game fan obsessed freak. Or both. Since I’m neither, I’ll be scratching my head even though I don’t have any dandruff problems.
 
But the good thing I like about this OVA compared to the previous one is that, everything here is much more brighter! Yes, much much brighter. Now I can really see how Killua, Kurapica and Gon really looked like. Those insy tiny little details on their face, now I can see. Not that I notice or care. But it’s better than the previous gloomy and dark one. It’s like we’ve come out of a long dark tunnel and it’s refreshing to see the light again.
 
As the first episode starts off with Kurapica recuperating from his exhaustion from his previous encounter with Kuroro. He still isn’t in good shape, though. But he manages to get up and walk eventually. Then this is the thing which bugs me. After when Kurapica gets a little better, he and Melodies decides to go back to his old teacher. Something like that. So somewhere in the early episode, they both took a flight back home. And that’s it. You won’t ever get to see them for the rest of the OVA. And the thing is, why is Kurapica’s face shown right in the opening and ending themes? I mean, he’s not gonna play a part in this Greed Island OVA but he hogs the limelight there. Maybe the producers are reluctant to leave him out completely and at least have his appearance there. *Eyes rolling*.
 
Then you’ll guess that this is gonna be a Gon-Killua’s anime as shortly after Kurapica’s departure, Leorio also leaves. Yeah, after some goodbye words here and there, I guess he got his inspiration from Melodies to further his studies to pursue his dream as a doctor. And there you have it, Kurapica and Leorio gone.
 
With that, what will those 2 kids do? Well, they have their own plan. As far as I can remember, Gon wanted to continue to look for his father. Something like that. So this is what I understand. There’s this auction to buy the most terror-merror super video game console simulation. And some rich old guy has bought them all. Well, Gon and Killua were there too in hopes of finding some clues to Gon’s dad. Well, what do you know, they bumped into 2 Genei Ryodan as well, Phinx and Fei. But don’t worry, they’re not here to attack them. Just witnessing the auction too.
 
Ah… the Genei Ryodan. Looks like they’re still at that same abandoned building. But it’s much brighter to see things there now. And they’ve made a grave for Pakunoda, who died in the last OVA. Yeah, some of them are just gonna sit there and do nothing. Then somewhere later in the series, we see Hisoka and Kuroro meeting up. What the?! I thought the 2 severed their ties. But it looks like Kuroro wants a favour from Hisoka. What could it be. Well, for the both of them, the series ended with just there.
 
Anyway, back at the auction. After the old geezer manage to buy that video game console, he’s been approached by Gon and Killua. Those 2 kids wanna participate in the game. But they’re being stopped and cautioned first. He mentions that not just anybody can enter the game and play it. You’ve gotta have a really strong mind and body to do so. That’s because the gameplay is so real that if you die in the game, you will also die in reality! And several players have already met with such fate. Plus, when you enter the game, your physical body disappears. Somewhere later in the series, one of the Genei Ryodan derives a theory that the body has actually been teleported somewhere. Also, in order to leave the game, one must finish the whole thing. It’s a really really tough game. Makes you think why would some crazy guy come up with some crazy idea. Ultimate thrill and challenge? Perhaps.
 
Anyway, the Genei Ryodan won’t meet with Gon and Killua face to face nor directly since then. Shal along with Cotolpi and Shizuku soon entered the video game world later. Yeah, I don’t even know what Shal is trying to explain. He’s got his theories about this and that trying to understand the game and its workings. Looks like he has a plan. But we won’t get to see it in action for this OVA.
 
But the 2 aren’t gonna be put down by those words. So they’ll train hard so that they can participate in it. You see, that old guy is having some sort of screen test over the next few weeks to see who is eligible to participate. So some training of Killua and Gon here and there. In the meantime, Phinx and Fei intercepted the newly bought video game console and stole it. Yeah, they brought it back to their base and was curious to play, so those 2 Genei Ryodan heads into the game first, wanting to check things out.
 
So the day of the test came, to save time, Gon and Killua pass. They and the rest of those candidates who pass have their final briefing from that old man and off they go. This is the start of my misery. We see Gon as the first one to venture into the video game, come across another in-video game character who even further explains the rules. I don’t know what she’s blabbing about.
 
Something that you must collect cards, keep them in the book. And there’re several type of cards, some normal, some special, some can be turned into weapons, some have limited amount of use. Bla bla bla. What the?! Even Yugioh wasn’t that bad. And throughout the rest of the series, you’ll hear explanations of certain cards and its uses at certain times.
 
Anyway, when Gon and Killua first arrived in the new world, they need to quickly accustomized themselves with their surroundings. So it’s your typical RPG gameplay too. Go round talk to people, obtain clues and information, work if you must to get money which will enable you to buy stuffs. Bla bla bla.
 
However, the newcomers to the game are in for a surprise. You see, previously too, there’re other gamers who’ve been ‘stuck’ in this world for some time. So they’re out to kill those inexperience new comers. That’s because the more players, the more competition. And that means their chances to get that limited or special cards will be slim. Careful Gon and Killua. So a lot of new characters introduced, but their roles and purposes are left hanging just there. What do I mean? That’s because there’s a sequel OVA. So I guess that’s why the producers wanna drag it into the next one.
 
Anyway, one of the characters who will soon join Gon and Killua is a cutie girl named Biscuit. Actually, she’s a 57 year old woman and she’s taken a form of a young girl in this game. Why would she want to join them? At first she saw how beautiful and smooth their relationship were and thus decides to ruin it. What the?! But later she found out how strong their ties were and I suppose she wanted to train and develop them and their skills instead of breaking them up. Yeah, breaking up is hard to do. Plus, she doesn’t like Killua much because he teases and calls her a granny. Punching him away after those comments. Haha.
 
As I mentioned why she’d want to train them to be stronger is because during their journey, she notice their strong but unrefined powers. And the last few episodes see how she setup a match between those 2 and a mad scissors psycho. Yeah some time frame for about a week for the psycho to beat them both or else she will have him killed (yeah, earlier on that psycho ambushed her but was overpowered by her). Fight fight fight. Eventually Gon and Killua manage to become stronger and defeat the psycho. But in the end they just let him go since he too realized.
 
And that’s where the 8 episode OVA ends. So hanging. I guess the producers were already thinking of making another OVA to continue this. Why bother in the first place? I mean, they could just continue with this OVA since it’s till Greed Island, right? And most probably we’ll get all those final answers to those questions about the other characters and other stuffs there. Perhaps the Genei Ryodan, especially.
 
Overall, I thought that this OVA would help me understand what happened in the last one. It didn’t. It just starts off fresh after tying up those little loose ends in the beginning. And those card game thingy, I didn’t like them either. Since I didn’t understand anything, it was as good as I never watched them at all. The other only thing I like besides the brightness, is how the Gon-Killua relationship develops (sorry, not into a yaoi one). Other than that it’s just okay, even that cutie, Biscuit, is just okay too.
 
Therefore if the Greed Island Final OVA is to be shown, there’s a slim chance that I’ll be watching it, given that since I don’t understand the workings here, what more in its sequel. I suppose more complicated stuffs that dumb people like me couldn’t grasp.

Hunter X Hunter OVA

June 22, 2006

When I first watched the first episode of Hunter X Hunter OVA, I was kinda lost already in the plot or what’s going on. Yeah, that’s because the first episode itself already felt heavy with lots and lots of information that sounded like you’re suppose to know before hand.
 
How true. I found out that this particular OVA is actually a continuation from the 62 episode Hunter X Hunter series. Yup, right where it’s left off. And since I didn’t see those previous episodes, you could say that I’m very blur.
 
With only 8 episodes in total, the whole OVA takes place in 1 night. Hmmm… You could say that they really drag this show. Or rather it’s gonna be a looooong night. Hehehe. But the atmosphere is really dark and grim too. Anyway, in episode 1, we see our 4 heroes (I assume), with Kurapica telling Gon, Killua and Leorio about his chain-generating powers. Yeah, Kurapica’s chain-dagger weapon looks cool to me. Like metal rings on his fingers attached with long metal chains. But when he explained its use or its effects, I’m like ‘err…’, ”uummm…’, ‘what did he just say?’.
 
Besides that, the conversation was also about how Kurapica needed the help of those 3 in order to track down a notorious cold-blooded spider gang called Genei Ryodan. I believe that this gang was somewhat responsible for the complete massacre/genocide of Kurapica’s tribe because of their scarlet red eyes. And Kurapica’s the last remaining member and was somehow spared. Is it because he’s got a different set of scarlet eyes? Does he look that scary with those eyes? Not to me. Not sure either.
 
Now back at the Genei Ryodan, the members are seemingly hanging around in some abandon building. And they’re discussing about finding ‘the killer‘. Apparently, in one of the previous episodes, one of their members was killed (by Kurapica) and they’re trying to get revenge. But they’re not sure who the identity of the killer is. So the head of the gang, Kuroro Lucifer, splits the gang into several groups and functions.
 
Speaking of the Genei Ryodan, some of its members reminded me of those horror movie monsters. Yeah… We’ve got a mummy (Bonorenolf), a zombie (Coltopi), a frankenstein (Franklin), and a count dracula-cum-ninja (Feitang). Just short of a werewolf. Then there’s  the scheming Hisoka, who seems to be planning something especially against Kuroro in the background. Others include Pakunoda, the bodyguard for Kuroro, Nobunaga, a bored looking samurai, Shizuku, has a vacum-cleaner for a weapon (!?), Machi, a tough and skillful looking chic, Shal, a ranma look-a-like, and Phinx, some guy with an attitude, that’s all I can say. Of course as Kuroro the leader, in a way he seems cool in that outfit and is the rational, calm and competent one. Somehow I felt that some of the members didn’t play any significant part in the OVA and was just sitting there just to make its presence known and not doing anything much in particular.
 
So as in episode 2, Kurapica decides to spy on the Genei Ryodan by cross-dressing. At first I didn’t recognise that this was Kurapica and was guessing ‘who’s this lady?’. Killua offered himself to head to where the gang’s new base only to find multiple buildings surrounding it. Of course it was an illusion created to make their base hard to find. So Kurapica enlisted the help of another of his friend, Melodies, to assist Killua. Melodies may not look like she’s up to the task but she actually has a very keen sense of hearing. Yup, she can identify different types of heartbeats and to whom it belongs and even from a distance. So be careful of what you say because the walls do have ears.
 
By the end of episode 2, Kuroro and 5 others (Machi, Shizuku, Nobunaga, Pakunoda and Coltopi) left the building in search for the killer. And it seems that they’re after Sukuwara, some guy with affection for dogs. But Kurapica and co are waiting near the hotel where Sukuwara is currently staying. And by episode 3, with Kurapica unable to contain his anger, he started to go after the Genei Ryodan, much to Gon and Leorio’s disapproval. But at the same time Sukuwara has received a call about the situation which may threaten his life so he’s on the run too.
 
So happens that the Genei Ryodan saw Sukuwara driving out from the hotel and they gave chase too. Wow… I didn’t know the way the Genei Ryodan run was so terror. So fast, up and on the side of the walls. At this point too, Gon who’s pursuing Kurapica on foot and Leorio’s pursuing in his car, lost him but manage to meet with Killua. But the Genei Ryodan sense somebody is chasing them and so they split-up with Pakunoda, Coltopi and Nobunaga continuing to pursue Sukuwara.
 
Not wanting to fight them, Gon and Killua surrenders and became the Genei Ryodan’s hostage. And in episode 4, Sukuwara is caught up (thanks to that traffic jam) and was interogated in the streets. Eventually Nobunaga sliced his head off! Meanwhile Pakunoda shoots Sukuwara’s memories into Nobunaga and Coltopi. I’m not sure whether they knew the killer is Kurapica or not, since in the end it wasn’t very clear either.
 
Anyway, when the gang reunited in some hotel, Leorio who was in some disguise (not as in outfit, but the gang didn’t recognise him either), relays a code to Gon and Killua that the power will be cut off by 7pm. So in episode 5 when the lights go out, Kurapica abducts Kuroro in a flash. As the members slowly come to terms with what’s happening, while waiting for their others members to arrive, Pakunoda received a phone call from Kurapica regarding Kuroro and what needs to be done for the hostage transfer. So basically, Pakunoda is facing a dilemma whether to save the gang or the leader. I didn’t get this part too.
 
Kurapica seems to trust Pakunoda then the rest, but she seems to honour her words not to reveal Kurapica’s identity either. In episode 6, as Kuroro is being held hostage and been driven to the airport, he mentions to Kurapica that he is of no value as a hostage and therefore this whole thing will is useless. Kurapica still not thinking straight, punched Kuroro a few times. But Kuroro’s unfazed. With the rules of the hostage transfer all set, Pakunoda sets out alone to retrieve Kuroro, but Gon and Killua are in the custody of the other Genei Ryodan back at their base.
 
In episode 7, they finally meet in an airship. With lots more talk and condition from Kurapica and with Pakunoda’s unconditional acceptance (I think Kuroro was slightly shocked to hear that since he did mention to notice Kurapica’s weakness. So was Kurapica, since she didn’t ask anything further), he stabs his chain-dagger into Pakunoda and Kuroro’s heart. Yeah, something like if they break their promise they’ll get killed. And off Pakunoda heads back to retrieve Gon and Killua for the transfer. By the episode’s end as Pakunoda gets ready to board the airship with those 2, a mysterious shadowy figure appears. Who is it?
 
It’s Hisoka! As it’s revealed in episode 8. So everybody, especially Pakunoda was shocked to see him. The reason? He wants to have his final fight with Kuroro, as planned all along. So in 2 airships, the head off to some desolated cliffs (like those you see in American deserts) and make the hostage transfer. The transfer goes smoothly and soon Gon and Killua are reunited with Kurapica, Leorio and Melodies. And after they’ve gone, Hisoka (who then renounced his membership in the gang) and Kuroro face off with Pakunoda watching from within the airship.
 
Kuroro told Hisoka that he has no more powers due to that chain-dagger stab. But Hisoka didn’t believe him and proceed to attack. Just stopping short of hitting Kuroro as he now believed his words. Feeling disappointed he left. The thing is, Pakunoda and Hisoka left Kuroro behind. Didn’t understand. And when they land back at the airport, Hisoka said something about everyone’s luck changed and how it differed from his predictions. With that he said goodbye and walked away. Meanwhile, as Kurapica felt disappointed having not managed to dispose the whole gang, but he felt relieved when Gon and Killua returned unharmed. Then he collapsed of exhaustion.
 
At the same time as Pakunoda makes her way back to the base alone, she reminisces about things in the past and of the gang. Wonder what’s those encounters with those bunch of cats meant. Anyway, as she heads back to the base, the other Genei Ryodan’s asking about what happened since Kuroro wasn’t with her. Somehow I felt that she’s gonna die when she decided to shoot her memories to Franklin, Phinx, Shal, Machi, Feitang and Nobunaga. I was right. I think she broke one of the agreements she made eariler on with Kurapica. We can see that chain wrapping and tightening around her heart. Ouch. Dead. And those who have witnessed her memories finally understood why she did so. But I didn’t (’cause I didn’t get shot by her bullet. Hehehe).
 
In the last scene we see Kuroro standing alone on that cliff and blaberring something philosophical sounding until sunrise. Haih… didn’t comprehend this part either. End of story. So he decided not to go back because he’s afraid he’ll die? Afraid of death? He doesn’t seem to have that look. Looks like he’ll be standing there for the rest of his life lah.
 
Overall, I manage to grasp the whole story generally but not much in detail as I’ve mentioned that I didn’t watch the tv series. The drawing’s ok since mostly it’s dark so you couldn’t see anything clearly (or maybe it’s the tv transmission. Think not). Also since I’ve watched this anime dubbed in mandarin and with malay subtitles, I couldn’t really judge on the actual voice and sound of the series. Oh well, heard that there’s another OVA after this too. Maybe it’ll help me understand this a little better.