Oh wow. I’ll admit some of my challenge posts have not exactly been my most engaging work (although there are a couple I’m quite proud of), but this time I don’t even have a real answer.
You know what, I thought about it and I do!
- How did you find HxH?
- Favorite main character
- Favorite supporting character
- Favorite Chimera ant
- Least favorite character
- Favorite Zoldyck Member
- Favorite Villain
- Favorite Nen type
- Favorite Nen ability
- Favorite episode
- Favorite scene
- Favorite opening animation
- Do you ship anyone
- Saddest scene
- Favorite non-nen ability
- Favorite ark
- Least favorite ark
- Favorite type of Hunter
- Favorite character outfit
- Funniest scene
- Who would you cosplay as
- Friendliest character
- Least friendly character
- Best main character family member
- Favorite character backstory
- Worse main character family member
- Manga or Anime
- Most relatable character
- What got you hooked on the show
- Why do you love HxH
What got you hooked on the show
If you happen to be a Hunter x Hunter fan, especially the type of fan that reads posts about the show (like me), then you’ve heard all the praise before.
The subversive plot lines, the dynamic narrative structure, the complex and well-developed characters, the clown… There are a lot of things to like about this show and a lot of people agree. But, for the most part, these are elements you appreciate in hindsight.
After all, it takes some time to properly develop characters. A show can only subvert expectations once it’s build them up. You need to have a hook, something that will keep people watching long enough to appreciate all that good stuff.
For me, it was pacing.
I’ve touched on this before, if you’ve been following my challenge posts, this will probably be familiar. You can skip it, I won’t be able to tell…
I know that for some people, pacing is a non-term. I’ve read more than once that you shouldn’t use expressions like pacing problems in your reviews because it doesn’t mean anything and is a general catch all term when you don’t have a real criticism (if you ask me, the same thing can be said about cliché). I do understand that complaint up to a certain point, but I would just like to say that pacing does mean something quite specific.
In literature, pace, or pacing is the speed at which a story is told. The pace is determined by the length of the scenes, how fast the action moves, and how quickly the reader is provided with information. It is also sometimes determined by the genre of the story. Comedies move faster than dramas; action adventures move faster than suspense. The number of words needed to write about a certain event does not depend upon how much time the event takes to happen; it depends upon how important that moment is to the story. via Wiki
I maintain that the exquisite pacing in Hunter x Hunter is one of its most grossly underappreciated features. Never once was I bored or confused. Events and information are given exactly the amount of time needed, no more and no less.
The entire narrative is written in a way to maximize information while minimizing exposition. The world of Hunter x Hunter is huge and fantastic so certain features such as Nen and the politics behind the Hunter organization get spelled out for the sake of clarity. However, a lot of it is a careful balance of dialogue and visual cues that set up the entire world and the characters within it.
Within a few minutes of the first episode I already knew that Gon had grown up in a loving family but without a strong male role model. That he longed for an absentee father. I knew he was a generally thankful, very optimistic and lighthearted boy who was thirsty for adventure. I knew all this simply from his brief conversation with Mito. The way they interacted with each other, the level of warmth and familiarity as well as respect told me what type of relationship they had and a lot about their personalities.
The island itself with its lush vegetation and isolated houses told me it was a quiet little rural area (eventually I found out it was a tiny and quiet vacation island) and the energy and interests Gon had displayed immediately clued me into the fact that he would not be satisfied with this tiny, relaxed world. He was restless and filled with wanderlust.
None of this ever needed to be said. The events of the story corroborated my first impressions very naturally. Everything just flows, without the need to interrupt the plot for explanation or to have me stare in confusion at what’s happening (Grancrest anyone?)
There are filler episodes, but you never feel like you need to sit through something in order to get to the good stuff.
no real reason to post these – I just always liked them (by YAMsgarden)
This is what drew me in. Right from the start, I felt like I was part of the adventure and I wanted to see where it went. That feeling persisted to the very last minute and frankly still does.
Now for the real question. How do you make a drinking game for pacing???
Suggested drink: Harvest Time
- Every time a new arc starts – take a sip
- Every time you realize how much you know about a character – take a sip
- Every time you try to explain Nen to someone – take a drink
- Every time you try to explain the show to someone – take another!
- Every time you’re surprised by how many episodes you’ve watched – take a sip
- Every time anyone looks at their watch – take a sip