Initial Thoughts: Gundam AGE, Hunter x Hunter (2011)

So for those of you who haven’t seen these anime and don’t know why I decided to group my thoughts on them together despite Hunter x Hunter being already two episodes in, the reason is simple.  Both Mobile Suit Gundam AGE and Hunter x Hunter (2011) make me feel like a kid again.  And this is a good thing, since feeling “like a kid” in this case has nothing to do with the head, but everything to do with some mighty big heart.

Mobile Suit Gundam AGE
Watching
I’m only one episode in to the show front-lining Sunrise’s autumn season, but that one episode was enough to convince me that this show is worth adding on to my already long list.  I have almost no experience with the Gundam franchise, having only seen the film Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz several years ago.  As I recall, the plot centered greatly on politics and the graphics reflected the more mature story line and themes.  The suits and characters were highly stylized and, well, pretty.  That definitely isn’t the case so far in AGE, as the art styles are simpler and more brightly colored, with less shading.  The result is a show that looks like it’s geared at a younger audience, a look that feels true as of now since absolutely nothing even remotely intellectually stimulating has occurred.  This sounds like a bad thing, doesn’t it? But in all honesty, I don’t feel that way at all.  I’m not watching AGE because I want to be wowed by all the political and combat intricacies; I’m watching it for the swash-buckling adventure and coming-of-age story.  Flit’s a smart kid, whose role in building the suits is somewhat justified after his defeat (the only one amongst the whole military, mind you) of the UE.  Now, if only his peers and superiors would step up to the plate.

My biggest concerns as of now are one, that the show will attempt to complicate its story line past the perimeter formed by its graphics, and two, that the episode count may jump above the 20s.  The simpler art style implies a simpler plot, perhaps a story only following one plot line, or on battles that focus less on strategy and more on emotion.  Following this train of thought, I don’t want to see this type of anime go beyond two anime seasons, since doing so will probably mean an abundance in filler episodes.

Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Watching
After two episodes, I think I’m on board with having another shounen-type anime on my list for this season.  I’ve previously stated that I usually only take on one shounen at a time, but hey, when they’re this fun, they can be hard to resist! This re-make of a 1999 TV series looks (based off of some very…zealous fans on MAL) to follow the manga more closely, as well as further the story line.  I haven’t seen the original anime, nor have I read the manga, but much like with AGE, I was once again filled with the spirit of adventure.  I set aside my snobbishness and geared up to go on some monster hunting along with our trio of Hunter hopefuls.  These first two episodes make it clear that Gon, Kurapika, and Leorio will probably work closely together for the rest of the series, combining their individual strengths to conquer evil, and all that good stuff.  Predictable though the set up may be, I couldn’t help myself from going along for the ride and feeling cheered by the main characters’ good natures.

Again like with AGE, the graphics remind me of older anime aimed at younger crowds, say like Nadia, the Secret of Blue Water and Future Boy Conan.  The colors are many and bright, and each character seems to have his or her signature color theme representative of his or her skills and background.  Here’s looking forward to the next phase in the Hunter examination!

14 thoughts on “Initial Thoughts: Gundam AGE, Hunter x Hunter (2011)

  1. It’s already official that Gundam AGE is slated for 4 cours. Simple doesn’t mean limited, and I sincerely hope that this show will turn out to be good. It possess the key to spawning a new generation of Gundam fans!

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  2. When I saw Hunter X Hunter I was wondering if you were taking a look at older Anime. Then I see it’s a remake so that’ll be interesting to see if it’s an actual remake or an update to the previous Anime.

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  3. i haven’t watched Gundam AGE yet but i’m definitely looking forward to doing so.. i’ve read many people hating the new style of art, since like what you have said, it seems to target younger audience. but i’ve read a impressions after the 1st episode and it definitely looks good😀 i hate watching long running series as well but when a good series comes, i just need to watch it anyway.

    as for HxH, i’ve watched around 1season of the original anime and i have to admit that i really liked it. as for this re-make, i also enjoyed && i would like to see this as an opportunity to watch the entire series..

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    • Thanks for sharing, blacksheep🙂 I’m glad there are more “adventurous” people out there willing to give these show the tries I think they deserve. I think another reason why the art style doesn’t bother me in the slightest is because it varies up the art styles for the overall season when considering all the other shows.

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  4. Based on the first 2 episodes, HxH felt a bit generic to me with nothing special to keep my interest. Also my recent experience with long shounen battle manga adaptations is that I tend to drop them after some episodes in. All in All a friend recommended it, and the manga is from same mangaka as Yuu-Yuu Hakushou, a story that I liked a lot. Also this kind of story tend to get better after a while. With those in mind, I will continue watching it for now. At least it may get me interested in the manga, and for those kind of shows I tend to enjoy the manga better.

    With just one episode out, I don’t really know what to say about Gundam AGE. There wasn’t a moment during the episode where I felt “wow cool!”. But wasn’t feeling bored. I guess I just went along with a feeling of curiosity. Maybe because those kind of shows tend to end up really long so the first few episodes feels like a long introduction and is hard for me to gauge enjoyment. Should at least watch some more episodes.

    I do understand what you mean when shows that are enjoyable because they make you feel like a kid. But for me shows that do that tend to be the young shoujo rather than young shounen. Shows like the Pretty Cure series, Jewelpet Sunshine, Powerpuff Girls Z, between others.

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    • Well, for both our sakes, I hope HxH becomes even more interesting and adventure oriented!

      I also like young, shoujo shows, ones like Yumeiro Patissiere and Shugo Chara. I haven’t seen any of the ones that you named, but now I’m curious about checking them out.

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      • If you feel like trying (they tend to be 50eps long so quite a journey) I would recommend one from the Pretty Cure series. For the last 8 years, it released one year long series. But while they share the name and the theme (mahou shoujo), they are separated stories on they own with only one two of them being sequels (2nd one is a sequel to 1st, 5th is a sequel to 4th). The one I recommend is a recent one, Heartcatch Pretty Cure (run from Feb 7, 2010 to Jan 30, 2011). A pity those shows don’t do well in moe contests, as its main characters are very adorable.

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