Gon fishes patiently for his prey, the Lord of the Lake, to appear. It is all for the sake of a bet he made with his aunt, Mito. If Gon successfully catches the Lord of the Lake, she will permit him to take the Hunter exam. Our young protagonist succeeds and before long is sailing away on a ship with a bunch of mean-looking people, who are all looking to become candidates for the upcoming Hunter exam. Unbeknownst to the passengers aboard, the ship is a test for those seeking to become Hunters. As the ship sails directly into a storm, all the passengers are sick and knocked out except for three people: Gon, Leorio, and Kurapica. Those three pass the test given by the captain and are given access to the testing site for Hunters.
It is impressive that the first episode covered two manga chapters’ worth of information in 20 minutes. Though they condensed so much information in such a short time span, they also left out several details. It is debatable whether those details were important or not, but I believe it should be mentioned.
The characters are well drawn. They still give off a feeling of how characters were drawn back then. My personal opinion is that Gon is drawn to be more child-like than he is in the manga and previous adaptation. Kurapica’s voice actor was surprisingly more feminine than I expected. And Leorio was just awesome. From what I saw in the opening, Killua looks child-like as well and really happy, which is something I’m not used to seeing.
Overall I think this first episode was well done. I know that Madhouse will probably move at a fast pace for the first few episodes of Hunter X Hunter because they want to get to the juicy meat of the story. I have no objections and I hope they will carefully consider what details they are removing in the future. Seeing that the Chimera Ant arc just ended for the manga, I am confident that Madhouse will cover that arc sometime in the near future.
For those who are Hunter X Hunter fans, I believe a handful will be disappointed with this first episode. I am hopeful that it will get better within a few episodes, so we just have to sit tight and wait. Viewers who are new to Hunter X Hunter, I encourage you to continue watching and to read the manga to get an idea of what this “retelling” is based on. I will continue to follow this and hope that this new adaptation will be a good one (possibly even better than its predecessor).