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
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)
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!