Friday, January 01, 2010
Re-Read: Deep Waters and Hunter X Hunter
For this month's Re-Read challenge, you guys get a twofer. First, my comfort read of the year, Deep Waters by Jayne Ann Krentz, and a manga series, Hunter X Hunter :)
Deep Waters by Jayne Ann Krentz
published by Simon & Schuster in January 1997
You can read my review here.
The first time I've ever read this book, I was still a teen, still going to the town library and still reading in French. My, so many things have changed right? LOL :)
For years, this book has been on my mind. I remembered parts of the storyline, but did not remember the author or the title - let me tell you, it makes it hard to find the book and re-read it. Then, I decided to ask blogland and I was quite lucky, I got an answer :P So in February, I read Deep Waters and somehow, it has become one of my comfort reads this year.
I'm not going to write a detailed review, since I've already posted one earlier this year... Just write my impressions on my re-read.
My Impressions: Having read Deep Waters not that long ago, the re-read wasn't as powerful. Back in February, when I read Deep Waters, it was like discovering a new book, partly because I was reading it in English for the first time, partly because it's been so long ago... So this time, I wasn't so entranced by the book. The mystery didn't interest me at all and I focused on the romance in the book. I still really like Elias and Charity's characters... they are very different from one another, but somehow, they match. It's kind of fun to see Elias so clueless at times and figuring things out. It seems to me it's always delayed LOL. A lightbulb goes on and then, you see his mind working and finally, he jumps in. I think that only Charity could handle him :) It's also very interesting to see their relationship progresses... I think that back in February, I was so focused on the entire book... I didn't realize that their relationship wasn't that smooth. It seems to me, despite his water talks, Elias has a quick temper and too often, Charity seems to give in. Also, she was nervous and insecure in too many instances :( That did take out a bit of my enjoyment :(
Still overall, it's a pretty good story. I still enjoy their cooking contest and the "sweet" part LOL.
However, I think this is a book that the longer you haven't read, the better it's going to be on the re-read. So maybe I should wait a while before my next re-read :)
Hunter x Hunter by Togashi Yoshihiro
Hunter x Hunter is a manga drawn and written by Togashi Yoshihiro. The first chapter was published back in March 1998 and is still ongoing. There are currently 291 chapters released, compiled into 27 volumes and I have 26 of them in French.
This manga was hugely popular when it was released and even got its own anime adaptation as well as several OVAs which followed the manga very closely (those are the best). The only problem however is that the author is kind weak/sickly. As a result, the art has suffered a lot and he's been going on and off hiatus a lot. However, he should be starting up again (yay!!) and actually, chapter 291 is the first one of this come back. Hopefully, this time, he'll draw more than one volume... because at this rate, we'll never see the end ^_^;
The Story: Hunter X Hunter is the story of a young boy, Gon, who has been raised by his aunt on an isolated island. Much to his aunt's sorrow, Gon has decided to follow his father's footstep and become a professional Hunter. In this world, being a professional Hunter is quite an achievement and speaks loudly of who you are. They are several types of Hunters - bounty hunters, archeologist hunters, etc. Thus the story starts with Gon taking the exam and follows his friendship and adventures. However, the ultimate test that Gon has to face - find his father.
Like any manga, the story is divided into many story arcs. So far, we could divide Hunter X Hunter as followed:
1) Hunter exam (vol. 1 to 4)
2) Celestial Tower (vol. 5 to 7)
3) York Shin City (vol. 8 to 13)
4) Greed Island (vol. 14 to 18)
5) The Insects (vol. 19 to ?)
My Opinion: This manga is one of the best and it's really no wonder that it has so many fans and people are waiting so impatiently for its continuation. This is a fighting manga and the protagonist is very young, Gon and Killua (his best friend) are 11-12 years old when the story started and about 1.5 years has gone by. So Hunter X Hunter is mostly written for a male audience... still, I like it :)
It was great re-reading Hunter X Hunter. I have forgotten how fast the pacing of the story was. It's one great story arc after another and everything is moving swiftly. The whole story consists of clever twists and good ideas. The action is pretty non-stop, but it's balanced with a great story and world building.
I really enjoy the main characters - Gon and Killua. These boys are just fun to read and follow, quite endearing actually. Gon is pure and honest. He's quite direct, but he is not dumb. Killua is more interesting because he has more depth and dimensions... He comes from a family of assassins, so he's been trained quite strictly since he was young... So seeing him with a character so pure such as Gon, you can sometimes see Killua's internal struggles... the many shades of grey that makes up his characters. There are also two other characters worth mentioning: Kurapika and Leolio. They appear quite early in the manga (actually, even before Killua) and become very good friends with Gon... however, after the Hunter exam, they each go their own way. The characters do return for the York Shin City story arc which is very exciting. Anyway, this band of four would be invincible in a couple of years in my opinion :)
So yes, I really enjoy this manga. However, I'm not that much into the last story arc, the Insects one... and to my discontent, it's been the longest story arc :( Part of the problem I think is the slowness at which it's being written - the author having taken many hiatus. I just can't wait till he finishes and moves on. Seriously. I mean, this story arc is almost 1/3 of the whole story... I do hope that there'll be more story arcs after the Insects too. That's the problem with manga... the ending is always uncertain ^_^;
Also, since we're talking manga, we cannot forget the art. I think that Hunter X Hunter's art is very nice, easy on the eye. It's quite simple, but it works. Of course, the art also has suffered while the author was on hiatus (some of the chapters released in the magazines looked like draft @_@ Luckily, the author redrew them for the release of the volumes, phew). Still, it's a good style and I like that he plays with clothings and detailing ;)
Oh and since it's a re-read review, I'll say this... Hunter X Hunter is the kind of story that will withstand time and will become a classic, really :) As a re-read, I think that again, it depends on how long it's been since you've last read it. There's a lot of exciting moments and again, the longer it's been since you've read it, the better the re-read will be... because you'll be sitting at the edge of your seat and turning the pages so fast :)
My Grade: A-. It'd be an A if it wasn't for the last story arc...