Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge

HxH Phantom Rouge

Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge is the first movie based off the said series that I’ve reviewing for so long, it goes back to my old blog which sadly no longer exists thanks to bots. In any case, the cover art is deceptive. The idea you get from it (and certainly that I got from it) was that this movie would be a story about Kurapika. And it was. The only problem? Kurapika spent much of the movie as the so-called “damsel in distress.” Killua, instead, got much of the movie’s focus.

The movie starts out with the news that Kurapika’s Scarlet Eyes have been stolen. He met a boy named Pairo, whom he thought was a friend from his childhood. But Pairo stole his eyes right out of him, and now Kurapika has no eyes. Gon, Killua, and Leorio all try to figure out what to do next. Getting some tips from Kurapika, they have an idea of where to go to start their hunt, so Gon and Killua take off looking for Pairo while Leorio stays back to watch over Kurapika. Leorio and Kurapika are now shunted aside for most of the remainder of the movie while Gon and Killua get all the action.

Gon meets a puppeteer named Retsu who first is thought to be a boy, then turns out to be a girl. Retsu comes along on Gon and Killua’s mission to find Kurapika’s eyes. Things get hairy once Gon and Killua run into an enemy who you’ll be sure to remember but won’t be sure how he got here. That’s where the fun starts.

From here on out, I will not give away any plot spoilers, because there are many, and any that you find out will ruin it for you. Instead, I’ll talk about some of the various things I liked or disliked. I enjoyed the overall plot, and the story as a whole. I liked the backstory for Kurapika and Pairo. I didn’t like some of the Killua angsting, especially not the big turning moment in the film which is utter nonsense and you’ll know when you see it. The ending also screams “filler”; instead of getting some sort of satisfying conclusion, you’re left with the sense that you ought to get back to watching the TV series to find out more. Only that the TV series doesn’t give you that extra that you’re hoping for, so in essence it feels sort of empty.

Overall, I thought this was a solid movie, if unspectacular. My biggest disappointment is that Kurapika was essentially made a damsel in distress, while another character who suffered the same fate as him ends up fighting just as if he had never lost his eyes. Kurapika does get a little bit of action at the very end, but even that is cut short by another character. Ultimately, Phantom Rouge will satisfy Hunter x Hunter fans for the most part, but it’ll also leave you wanting more… which sadly the TV series will not provide you with.

Overall rating (out of four stars): ***

2018 Anime Bracket – BLEACH & INUYASHA Regions, 2nd Round

Anime Bracket First & Second Rounds

Time to finish up this second round! Unlike the first round, the second round really divides between which characters are real contenders and which ones are just lucky. Very few make it through Round 2 who don’t have what it takes to win it all. Here we go.

#1 Asuka Langley Soryu (Evangelion) vs. #9 Ryo Hayakawa (Princess Nine)

It’s the bottom of the ninth and Asuka is up to bat. She’s swinging for the fences, as she always does. This time Ryo throws her the lightning ball – and Asuka hits it! But the ball goes foul. Then Ryo throws two more to her, and Asuka misses each time. That’s right, Ryo, after a character arc journey that endeared her to me, is moving on to the Sweet Sixteen.

Winner: Ryo

#4 Ryoko Asakura (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) vs. #5 Haruka Tenoh (Sailor Moon)

Can you believe at one time Sailor Uranus was actually my least favorite Sailor Guardian? Now she’s my very favorite. And in this case, she blows right past Asakura into the Sweet Sixteen.

Winner: Haruka

#3 Priscilla Barielle (Re:Zero) vs. #6 Meiling Li (Cardcaptor Sakura)

Tomoyo of Cardcaptor Sakura fame didn’t fare too well this year, losing in the first round. That’s not how it goes for Meiling, who takes advantage of an easy first two rounds and makes it into the Sweet Sixteen. Sorry, Priscilla, but we’re not sure if you’re just a one-year wonder.

Winner: Meiling

#2 Soi Fon (Bleach) vs. #10 Sena Kobayakawa (Eyeshield 21)

Betting on Soi Fon seems to be a safe bet, but not this year. Bleach’s chances of getting a character in the Final Four decrease by every year that goes by, including this one, where Soi Fon finds herself run over by the running back of Eyeshield 21 fame. It’s Soi Fon’s worst performance ever, but only because Sena is such an interesting character to follow on the gridiron.

Winner: Sena

INUYASHA Region

#1 Sango (InuYasha) vs. #8 Tomo Takino (Azumanga Daioh)

You know what, I really should pick Sango here. If not for Sango, I don’t know if I’m even an anime fan today. But who cares about that right now, because all I care about is Tomo making fat jokes about Yomi and getting away with it. Tomo is just nuts, and I love her for it. Sorry, Sango, maybe next year.

Winner: Tomo

#5 Ryuko Matoi (Kill la Kill) vs. #13 Jet Black (Cowboy Bebop)

If I don’t have a dream today where Ryuko shows up, I’m not sure I pick her to win here. But she appeared in my dream, probably because of Gon’s voice actress who is the same for her. And as a result, Ryuko squeaks by Jet, who puts up a big fight before going down in double overtime in the second round.

Winner: Ryuko

#3 Rem (Re:Zero) vs. #6 Izumi Himuro (Princess Nine)

While I’d love to pick another Princess Nine character to go far, there’s just no one as significant to anime as Rem has been in the last year and a half. She’s become one of the faces of anime. Now, if she’ll only get a second season in order to shine brighter…

Winner: Rem

#2 Homura Akemi (Madoka Magica) vs. #7 Aisha Clan-Clan (Outlaw Star)

All I can hear in my mind right now are the sounds of a rambling Ctarl-Ctarl telling me how great the Ctarl-Ctarl are. I love Homura, but we know how Rebellion shattered Homura’s character and likewise split the fan base. I have got to go with the Ctarl-Ctarl to continue her run here.

Winner: Aisha

So here’s how the Sweet Sixteen shake out:

EVA Region

#1 Rei Ayanami vs. #5 Satsuki Kiryuin

#6 Leafa vs. #10 Victor Nikiforov

HARUHI Region

#1 Haruhi Suzumiya vs. #5 Rin Tohsaka

#3 Kurapika vs. #10 Hinako

BLEACH Region

#5 Haruka Tenoh vs. #9 Ryo Hayakawa

#6 Meiling Li vs. #10 Sena Kobayakawa

INUYASHA Region

#5 Ryuko Matoi vs. #8 Tomo Takino

#3 Rem vs. #7 Aisha Clan-Clan

#5 seeds are 8-0 so far!

HxH 89: Bad Dog No Biscuits

Hunter x Hunter episode 89 review

HxH 89

Gon goes all out against Knuckle, to the point of using “Paper” as an attack. I thought this was pretty clever, since we had already seen “Rock” and “Scissors.” The “Paper” attack was a diversion for him to sneak up and use “Rock.” However, Gon still loses, and Killua carries him back.

Then we get Bisky giving Gon a massage while fighting Killua and beating him to a pulp. Not only that, she also criticizes him for expecting every opponent to be at his best. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the way you’re supposed to play games like chess? I’ve won games where I’ve flat out given my queen away, only to have my opponent miss it, and then I took their queen instead. Did I play well? No, I stunk up the joint, though I did get the win. I’m not exactly sure what Bisky is expecting out of Killua here. Sometimes you have to prepare for worst-case scenarios, because if you don’t, you’ll find yourself in said scenario.

In any case, it’ll be Gon vs. Knuckle and Killua vs. Shoot for the right to move on to play the Chimera Ants in the championship round. Think of it as conference championship Sunday.

Character of the episode: Killua

Episode rating (out of four stars): ***