MOVIE REVIEW: Hunter X Hunter: Phantom Rouge goes back to basics



Hunter X Hunter is a popular anime series released in the late '90s. This 2013, the series is finally brought to the big screen. Hunter X Hunter: Phantom Rouge is the first film adaptation of the manga since its release over a decade ago. Fans of this shonen series can see their favorite characters as this animated film is currently being screened exclusively in SM cinemas.

Hunter X Hunter: Phantom Rouge continues the story of the manga series. This anime film follows the story of Gon and his friends Killua, Kurapika and Lerio. The film focused on Kurapika’s plan to exact revenge on the Class-S assassin and crime group called “Phantom Troupe” that massacred his entire clan called the Kurta Clan.

The film opens with Killua having a dream wherein his brother Illumi warns him about being friends with Gon since he came from a family of assassins. Still, Killua continues with his friendship with Gon.


Both Hunters, Killua and Gon are asked to help Kurapika who has been severely injured by Pairo, Kurapika’s childhood friend.


It turns out that Pairo turned against Kurapika and stole his crimson eyes, leaving him blind.

As Kurapika recovers from his injuries, he sees visions of the person who stole his eyes. While searching for the culprit, Gon crosses paths with Rentz, a beautiful female puppeteer dressed like a boy. Rentz helped Gon and Killua find the location of Kurapika’s visions.

Before the film officially started, there was a short overview of the characters and the story of Hunter X Hunter.


The film focused on Kurapika’s revenge, which digs deep into the mythology of the manga series. For this reason, those who have never watched an episode of the anime series might find it difficult to understand the conflict in the movie.

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It’s nice to see the characters come back onscreen but character development is underwhelming. Gon and Leorio’s characters barely did anything of note in the movie, making them seem unnecessary even though they are supposed to be main characters in the story.


Killua has been struggling whether or not to continue with his friendship with Gon since the anime or manga started, making his internal struggle on the big screen seem uninteresting.

Meeting new characters such as Pairo and Omakage provide some interesting moments in the movie. Omokage is the master puppuet god who can create life-like puppets but he needs human eyes to completely make his puppets alive.


However, the villains of this anime film are disappointing because they hardly provided tension and conflict to the story. Even though Pairo and Omakage are the villains, their powers were not maximized, making them less intimidating.

There’s not a lot of action going on in the film. The anime series is known for its tactical and intellectual action scenes but these kinds of sequences are not found in the film version. The fight scenes in the movie are mediocre compared to fight scenes in the anime series.

There is nothing spectacular about the film’s animation and it doesn’t really standout compared to other anime films. Overall, the animation is basically the same with the anime series. You can see some CGI in some of the scenes but they don’t really add that much appeal.

Hunter X Hunter: Phantom Rogue is not really impressive but fans will appreciate seeing their favorite characters on the big screen for the nostalgia it brings.


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