Hunter x Hunter Vol. #05 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Art Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 7.99
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 1-4215-0184-8
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Hunter x Hunter Vol. #05

By Jarred Pine     December 05, 2005
Release Date: November 08, 2005

Hunter x Hunter Vol.#05
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yoshihiro Togashi
Translated by:Lillian Olsen
Adapted by:

What They Say
Gon's new friend Killua may have run away from home, but that doesn't mean his family is willing to let him leave. Killua's parents sent his older brother Illumi to keep an eye on him during the Hunter Exam, and now Illumi has convinced Killua to return to the family business of assassination. Gon is convinced that Killua must have been brainwashed, and sets out with Leorio and Kurapika to make an intervention. But before the newly-licensed Hunters can try to talk some sense into Killua, they have to make it past the unstoppable guard beast that is trained to eat all visitors!

The Review
After complaining for the past few volumes about lack of character development and growth, Togashi delivers big time with this volume and begins to turn my opinion around on this title.

The cover uses the same artwork as the original Japanese tankoubon, with Leorio riding some sort of giant dog, featuring bright blues and overall is very pleasing to the eye. The print reproduction is adequate, with a little bit of fading in the dark black tones in a few areas. The chapter inserts feature “cut-outs” (if anyone dares do so) of outfits to dress up a paper Gon. There is an insert from Togashi himself, as well as the volume introductory message, but other than that no other extras.

The artwork continues to feel very unfinished or crude at times, but there are flashes where it looks quite nice, like the headshots of characters or some of the later chapters in the volume. Even with the crude artwork, I do like the creativity in the character designs. Backgrounds are filled in with more detail than earlier volumes, though sometimes characters will appear faceless when not in first-person perspectives. It is interesting that Togashi uses virtually no tone gradients at all, going for just line hatching for all the shading.

SFX are translated and retouched, which looks pretty average and are not really that visually appealing. I am not familiar with the original text, but the translation reads very well, although there were a couple phrases in the adaptation that felt slightly awkward but is pretty minor and most likely unnoticeable to most.

Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
As Gon recovers from his wounds suffered during his match with Hanzo, he is told of the events that unfolded which led to Killua’s disqualification from the tournament and his failure to get the Hunter’s license. Gittarackur, Killua’s opponent, ended up being his older brother in disguise who had taken the Hunters Exam only to keep track of his little brother and make sure he did not pass the examination. Killua is afraid of his older brother, obviously intimidated by his superior skills, and is psychologically taken out of the match. Then out of frustration, or possible outside influence, Killua interfered with Leorio’s next match and killed his opponent.

Killua comes from an assassin family; a family that lives in isolation on Kuckaroo Mountain due to the great number of enemies they have made. All of Killua’s life, his father, brother, and other family members have raised him only to be an assassin. Killua had no friends, no contact with the outside world, and his desires to be a kid led him to run away from his mountain home to take part in the Hunters Exam just to find some friends and hang out like a kid his age should.

When Gon hears about what has happened, he confronts Killua’s older brother and demands that he apologizes, which is of course refused. Gon then makes the decision to go to Kuckaroo Mountain, as his first task as a licensed Hunter, in order to take Killua away from his family so that Killua may be able to live his life as he would like. Gon, along with Leorio and Kurapika, will have to go up against all the feared guards and obstacles of the Zoldyck estate in order to get Killua back from his imprisonment within his own house.

The one thing that I had asked for through four volumes of this series is that there be a little character development rather than rushing into each Hunter exam. Well, it is delivered here in spades. Gon’s determination as he confronts Killua’s brother as well as progresses through the Zoldyck estate is quite infectious and charming. This is a story that highlights friendship and the sacrifices one will make for their friends, and there is no better character to illustrate these themes than Gon. While on the Zoldyck estate he receives unbelievable punishment from the guards, but it is his determination to help his friend that keeps him on his feet, always maintaining that positive attitude.

Of course, it is Killua that this entire volume is pretty much centered around. His character is transformed from the mysterious, murderous kid from earlier volumes into now much more of a tragic character that is just trying to escape from him family’s fate as assassins. It is a good amount of growth for a few chapters, and I’m pretty amazed at how much opinion of his character changed so drastically. Killua is still a character with plenty of issues and a dark streak inside of him, but it is Gon’s acceptance of these so-called faults that helps the reader to also accept Killua. Overall, there’s just a great show of the bonds of friendship with finally some good growth and development of characters.

After leaving me with some interesting bits of story development at the end of the last volume, Togashi sneaks up on me and delivers some really nice growth in his characters that solidify their bonds of friendship. My opinion of Killua has completely changed and Gon’s determination and acceptance is quite inspirational. With the Hunters Exam now behind us, I see a lot of opportunity for some more interesting storylines to happen in the future. There is still the issue between Gon and Hisoka left to deal with, as well as a lot of history with Kurapika to be explored. With everyone back out into the world of HxH and away from the exams, I’m definitely looking forward to the future of this manga.


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