Original Airdate: October 9th, 2011
Toonami Airdate: April 23rd, 2016
Hello everyone, and welcome to another recap of Hunter x Hunter! I don’t have anything witty or meaningful to say here, so here are some wise words from our fellow staff member RobBarracuda, knowing that we still have 24 more weeks of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
After passing the captain’s test in the last episode, our protaginists arrive at Dolle Harbor, which is the closest harbor to the Hunter Exams. The captain points Gon to the large cedar tree at the top of the hill, telling him that it’ll lead him to the exams. However, Leorio recieved different directions telling him to go to Zaban City at the opposite direction of the tree. Gon and Kurapika decide to follow the cedar tree, while Leorio decides to go on the bus to Zaban City. However, before he goes on the bus, Leorio overhears two bystanders talking about how none of the buses actually took anyone to Zaban and that it was a trap to fool rookies, and he turns back to catch up with Gon and Kurapika.
While our protaginists are traveling to their next destination, they come across an old woman who tells them that in order to get to the cedar tree, they need to partake in her two-answer quiz (too bad none of the questions ask what the airspeed velocity of an unlaiden swallow is). If they refuse to partake in the quiz or if they answer anything other than the two given options, they’re disqualified and don’t get to pass. One of the mysterious participants comes up to take the test, planning to set traps for the protaginists after they pass through. The woman asks the man if he had to choose between saving his mom or his lover, which one would he save. The man replies by saying that he’d choose his mom, because a mother can’t be replaced while a lover can. The man passes the quiz, and up next is our trio of aspiring hunters. This time, the lady gives them a choice between the son and the daughter. Frusrated, Leorio tries attacking the woman, but Kurapika ends up blocking the attack. Kurapika tells Leorio that the correct answer is silence, because like he said before, there is no right answer to that question. While the lady said that they couldn’t answer anything other than 1 or 2, she didn’t say that they had to respond to the question. As for the man who passes, she never said that he got the question right, which means she lead him down the wrong path without telling him. They get the question right, and she shows them to the path of the cedar tree. Once they reach the tree, they will come across a couple that will navigate them to the exam site. After Leorio apologises for his rudeness, Gon is still thinking of an answer to the lady’s question, despite the group getting the right answer, since he doesn’t know how he’d respond if he were put in that situation. I don’t want to spoil too much for the newbies, but those who have seen the Chimera Ant arc would know that this is some major foreshadowing for events that will unfold later on (sure can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction to that arc).
Later that night, while our heroes are walking to the cedar tree, they finally come across the log cabin after hours of walking. Little do they know, however, that the couple is being terrorized by the Kiriko, a magical beast that can take human form. The Kiriko then runs off with the wife and leaves the husband injured. While Leorio stays back to treat the husband’s wounds, Gon and Kurapika decide to chase after the Kiriko. Gon manages to jump up and hit the Kiriko with his rod, and Kurapika catches the wife after it lets go of her. While Kurapika is tending to the wife, he notices a mark on her arm, which in most clans, is a sign of chastity for women, meaning that this woman couldn’t be the man’s wife. Meanwhile, Leorio comes to Kurapika, saying that the man’s wounds weren’t as deep as they look and he just gave him some painkillers to relieve the pain. Remembering the promise Leorio made to not neglect the man while treating his injuries, Kurapika swings at him to reveal that he was actually a Kiriko disguised as Leorio. While Gon is chasing after the Kiriko, he notices that it isn’t the same Kiriko he was chasing after earlier because of some vague differences only he could distinguish. It is revealed that the Kirikos are actually the navigators, and that this whole thing was actually just another test to prove their worth as hunters. Impressed with Gon’s power of perception, Kurapika’s use of subtle hints to concluds that the siblings weren’t actually a couple, and Leorio’s ability to tend to the man’s wounds, the Kirikos pass everyone, and they fly them away to their next destination, thus ending the episode.
This episode is probably the weakest of the bunch, despite still being a pretty solid episode. The quiz does a really good job at establishing the ideologies of each of the characters, with some pretty solid foreshadowing to the later parts of the show thrown in there (we won’t see that part dubbed for another 1 1/2 or 2 years, but believe me, it’s really something else). The Kiriko part of the episode was fine too, as I really liked how Kurapika was able to figure out the woman’s identity using logic and reason. However, I never really understood how Gon was able to distinguish the two Kirikos from each other. Yeah, I get that he’s supposed to have extrordianry abilities for someone his age, but come on! The voice and face of the two Kirikos are exactly the same! Eh, I guess it’s just a minor nitpick. Also, I should probably add that this episode is a little on the slow side, as is the case with most of the earlier episodes of the show. There’s not a ton of action right off the bat, and most of the exams focus more on problem solving than actual fighting, and while I don’t particularly mind it, I could see it being a turn-off for some viewers, and even I’ll admit that this acr isn’t the most interesting or exciting part of the show. The show manages to find a happy balance between the two when the Heaven’s Arena arc rolls around, so I’d reccomend at least sticking around for that if you’re unsure about the show right now. While this isn’t the most thrilling episode of the show, it’s still pretty solid nontheless. I give it 7 Kirikos out of 10.