Some viewers may be a bit worried about the production of this third collection of Hunter x Hunter – not from animators Madhouse, but from distributors Manga Entertainment. When reviewing this collection, by playing it on my PS5, the caption for Disc 1 said it was actually Disc 2. Don’t worry, it really is Disc 1, and they have not left out a whole bunch of episodes out (30 episodes across three discs). There are however issues with the subtitles at points, “don’t” for example being spelt without a “t”.
As for this collection, we start with the auction in Yorknew City finally taking place, with a billionaire buying up every copy of the video game Greed Island, and then hiring Hunters to enter this game and complete it in exchange for a large cash reward – however, one of these copies is stolen by the Phantom Troupe. Gon is keen to do it as he knows there are clues in it which link Greed Island to his father Ging. Killua, as always, follows Gon. Kurapika, meanwhile, goes back to the job he had been doing after he recovers from the fights he was involved with in the last collection, and after he leaves, so does Leorio to carry on his medical studies – Leorio and Kurapika’s appearances in this collection are thus minimal.
Gon, Killua and several other Hunters start playing Greed Island, a game which involves the players being transported to an actual mysterious island, and dying in the game means dying in real life. If you are thinking that this is going into isekai, you would be wrong, as we eventually discover that the game takes place in Gon’s actual world, and that the players are just teleported to an actual remote island that refuses to let any other outsiders in. Also, it means if you die in the game, you clearly die in real life because you never left real life in the first place. The game involves players having to collect what appear to be trading cards that grant powers, with the winner being the first to find 100 particular cards – so it is less isekai, and more Yu-Gi-Oh!
While in the game, Gon and Killua learn of a bomber among the Hunters who is killing other players to get the 100 cards, with one Hunter, Genthru suggesting everyone should team up. Gon and Killua refuse, which is a wise move as we quickly learn that Genthru is the bomber in question, and therefore the villain in this arc. Gon and Killua meanwhile find themselves followed by someone who appears to be a young girl. This girl, however, named Biscuit “Bisky” Krueger, has actually been a teacher of Nen for over 40 years and even taught Gon and Killua’s teacher Wing. Knowing that Gon and Killua cannot defeat Genthru in their current state, she forces the boys to go through a harsh training regime in order to prepare for their future encounters. As mentioned, however, the Phantom Troupe is investigating the game, and as you may expect, Hisoka once more crosses paths with them, as well as Gon.
Once again, this collection has similar positives and negatives as the previous one. On the plus side, the battles are entertaining and gripping. As Gon and Killua become stronger as the series progresses, their fights become bigger and more thrilling, and the enemies they encounter become stronger too. One of the people they have to take on in Greed Island is a man named Razor, who leads a bunch of pirates. Gon, along with a team he has assembled which includes Killua, Bisky and Hisoka, have to take these pirates on a series of sporting challenges which, among other things, leads to a particularly violent game of dodgeball.
Nevertheless, as before, the concept of Nen gets in the way, with Gon and Killua having to train up their Nen again, coming up with new attacks again, and talking about all this stuff that you feel doesn’t really move the story along that much. Hunter x Hunter seems to continuously swerve between all-out exciting action and lengthy discussions about some non-existent martial art.
The action however is worth it, especially as we enter the second half of this collection, which begins the longest of all the story arcs in Hunter x Hunter (so far: remember the series is still ongoing despite all the hiatuses). After the game is finished, Gon and Killua teleport themselves in the hope of finding Ging, but instead find another Hunter trained by him, Kite. Kite is currently hunting down a deadly animal called the Chimera Ant, which becomes a deadly pest after some of these creatures eat human flesh, with the Queen Ant giving birth to monstrous, animal/humanoid offspring. We will delve into this more in the next collection.
As for the extras, as before, the only thing on offer is textless opening and closing, and the opening is the same song that has been used throughout the entire series. There are two different ending songs both performed by the duo Yuzu. Out of the pair, the first, “Reason”, to me is the superior compared to “Nagareboshi Kirari”.