Original Airdate: November 6th, 2011
Toonami Airdate: May 21st, 2016
Hello everyone, and welcome to another recap of Hunter x Hunter! You ever wondered what Gordon Ramsay would be like as a hot anime chick? No? Well too bad, we’re finding out anyway! Let’s sink our teeth into this week’s episode!
After a brief recap of last week’s events, Gon and Kurapika arrive at their destination, and they are met by a beat-up Leorio. After he wakes up from his brief period of unconsciousness, Kurapika tells Gon that it would be for the best if they didn’t tell Leorio about what happened after his fight with Hisoka. Killua catches up shortly after, and the gate to the second phase opens. We are then greeted by Menchi and Buhara, the examiners for this phase of the exam. The second phase of the exam will involve cooking, since Menchi and Buhara are both Gourmet Hunters. The dish the applicants are assigned to make for the examiners will involve pork, so they’ll have to go out and get any species of pig they could find so they could cook it. However, the catch is that the only species of pig in the forest are large, carnivorous, and extremely aggressive. Luckily, after managing to lead one of the pigs into a tree, Gon learns that the weak spots of the pigs are the forehead, and everyone starts aiming for that area. The applicants come back with a large amount of pigs, and they start cooking the pigs. However, the hunting of the pigs isn’t even the most difficult part. That would be the taste test. Despite Buhara not being critical on the food at all, Menchi is the exact opposite, as she dismisses a lot of the food without even eating it. After witnessing failed applicant after failed applicant, Kurapika comes to the conclusion that the originality in the presentation also matters along with the actual cooking. Leorio and Gon try dressing up the meat, but they end up failing anyway because of how they misinterpreted what Kurapika meant. Kurapika ends up making a sandwich using the pork as a substitute for bread, but Menchi ends up not liking the taste, so he fails as well. Nobody passes the second phase because of Menchi’s picky taste, thus causing everyone to fail the exam. The examiner from the first phase, observing the applicants from the distance, feared this would happen, so he decides to make a little call for assistance.
After some arguing between Menchi and the applicants, the head of the Exam Committee, Isaac Netero, steps in to settle this situation once and for all. After admitting that she was being unfair to the applicants, she decides to resign her position as the examiner. However, since the committee would be unable to find a replacement in such short notice, Netero decides to come up with a solution to the problem, that being to have Menchi participate in the challenge of her choice alongside the applicants. She agrees to this proposal, and the new challenge of this phase is to make boiled eggs. To get the eggs, the applicants will have to jump off a cliff to grab them, since that specific species of bird hides their eggs in the webs they make deep into the cliffs. To keep from falling, the applicants will have to grab on to the webs, drop down, grab the eggs, and let the wind bring them back up. Some of the applicants are hesitant at first, but after the main group jumps down, the rest of the applicants follow suit. Because of the infrequency of the wind currents, the applicants have to hang on the webs for a little while before jumping. However, because of the webs not being able to support the weight of everyone, that becomes a little difficult, but right before the webs snap, Gon gives the rest of the applicants the OK to jump down and catch the eggs. The applicants who were able to catch the eggs passed the exam, while everyone else is either dead or failed. The episode ends with the applicants enjoying the eggs they captured, with only 42 candidates remaining.
Before I get into my thoughts on the episode, I would like to point out one little fun fact about this episode. Right before this show was announced for Toonami, I checked out the first 5 volumes of the manga at my local library, which contains everything prior to the Heaven’s Arena arc. I bring this up because in the manga, this phase of the exam was a little different. Instead of having both Buhara and Menchi taste the pork, the applicants had to make pork for Buhara only, and after everyone passed that part, the applicants then had to make sushi for Menchi. She reacted the same way to the applicants’ sushi as she did to their pork, only it was just her without Buhara. I assume Madhouse just combined both parts due to time constraints, and in all honesty, I really like this change. The way they implemented it was pretty clever, and it kept the episode from dragging on too much, which was a bit of a problem I had with this phase when I was reading it in the manga (by the way, if you like the show, I would definitely recommend checking out the manga as well, since it’s back from hiatus now). That aside, I thought this was an alright episode. There wasn’t much going on in this episode, but I still enjoyed the character dynamics, and the way Leorio and Gon tried to make their pork look more appealing did get a chuckle out of me. Not much to say here other than this episode was fairly uneventful, yet still kind of fun. I give it 7 giant carnivorous pigs out of 10