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"Hunter X Hunter Volume 4" is the last volume of the shortish anime series, and it's also drastically different from the entire storyline that precedes it. Not only is it far darker and bloodier, but Kurapika and his quest for revenge become the center of attention rather than the goofy and less developed Gon -- and it's a brilliant piece of work, if a rather unsatisfying end.

On a trip back to Whale Island, Gon and Killua learn of a box that Gon's father left for him -- and among the contents is a video game memory card with the dangerous, infamously rare "Greed Island" on it. The boys immediately start trying to raise money on internet auctions and casinos, as they make their way to Yorknew City. Oh, and Leorio rejoins them for the time being.

Meanwhile, Kurapika has taken on a job as one of several Hunter bodyguards for a psychic Mafia girl, who is planning to attend the auction in Yorknew City. The Phantom Troupe is also interested in the Mafia's booty (not sure why), and the girl that Kurapika and his new compatriots are guarding. With Hisoka's help, Kurapika plans to find and kill the Spiders with his new power -- a series of deadly nen chains.

But when the auction items vanish from the vault, Kurapika ends up facing the first of the Phantom Troupe -- but they are soon as bent on vengeance as he. Worse, his young friends have become enmeshed in the Troupe's web.

Leech infestations, impalements, flesh-shredding punches, shattered bones, a man slowly eaten alive, and Kurapika's heart-squishing chain -- "Hunter X Hunter Volume 4" is a pretty gruesome affair. This is especially true because the entire arc really revolves around Kurapika's quest for revenge -- sure, there's some fluffy subplots about Gon and Killua selling stuff on the Web, but they pale by comparison.

And the writers wrap the entire storyline in a murky cloak, which seems to be half mob thriller and half dark coming-of-age. They also weave in some truly astonishing fight scenes (a multi-person fight against nen ninjas) and bleakly intricate thriller storylines (Gon and Killua's capture by the Spiders); viewers also get some glimpses of the heretofore unknown Phantom Troupe, who are terrifying in their sheer power.

Even the animators seemed to polish their work further, with some hauntingly shadowed, purple-toned images that are both beautiful and horrible -- the bloody ballet between Kurapika and his enemy, or the sociopathic Chrollo "conducting" terrorist attacks. The one problem would probably be that though the anime series ended here, it leaves several plot threads hanging loose. The story was picked up in some OVA episodes, but for the moment this is it.

These episodes also flesh out Kurapika into the best-rounded character of the series, as well as a truly tragic figure. He's a gentle, peaceful young man who has intentionally made himself into the ultimate nen fighter, despite his hatred of death and blood. His devastation after he kills for the first time is heartbreaking. And we see more of the iron-clad determination and resourcefulness of Gon and Killua, even in the worst circumstances.

There are also a new round of well-rounded, intricate supporting characters. Kurapika's ugly-but-kind friend Melody is a particular standout, and the Phantom Troupe turns out to have their own internal loyalties and personal ties. Their leader's doe eyes are rather freaky, though.

"Hunter X Hunter Volume 4" is a brilliant ending to a previously solid and slow-moving series, with a tragic edge and plenty of action. A dark affair, but a great one.
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on November 29, 2009
This Anime series, written by the creator of Yu Yu Hakusho, is an excellent tale full of puzzles and fun.

As the fourth boxed set, many are saying that this is the last part of the series, which is not quite true. It finishes a major portion of the story, but it is then continued in three OVAs which will hopefully be brought to DVD as boxed sets themselves. This set finishes the war between the 10 Godfathers and the Spiders in a very dramatic way, but it does not end Gon's journey by far. Anyone who loves this series, I recommend reading the Manga and trying to find the OVAs. They are well worth watching.
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on September 9, 2015
In all reality, I bought this to have a correct region DVD version of the original Japanese. I can't stand the English translation and VIZ clearly put no effort in this release. All the voices sound the same, they manage to rhyme Kurapika with tilapia, Gon is pronounced like cone, and the video tracks were clearly lifted from VHS and not remastered or even retouched... the list goes on. The subtitles aren't the best, but they are relatively accurate. HxH is so good that it doesn't really matter that VIZ tried to destroy it--the beauty of the adventure shines through. For those who liked the 2011 remake, I'd definitely recommend this 1998 original.
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on November 27, 2010
The animation is very well done and so is the story. However, in this version they edited out the original opening and ending which do not suit the atmosphere of this story arc at all. Why the publishers would do that I have no idea. I would purchase the dvd set from another country (or if there is another USA version) with the original opening and ending, as the intro in this one kills the atmosphere completely. This is fine for people who does not mind a set with edited out openings and ending but for collectors or even viewers who want to get a feel of what this anime truly feels like, this set is not for you.
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on August 28, 2011
I bought the entire DVD series from Amazon and the product looked good. It was used, so the packaging was slightly damaged but the DVDs looked fine. They were gifts, and since I gave them away without testing them, I can only hope they work. If they don't, you will hear from me in a revised review.
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on July 15, 2011
A prior reviewer already pointed it out, but Viz decided NOT to keep all the original openings and endings. HunterxHunter has two openings and three endings; each one moves with the plot, feeling, and focus of the anime. The episode content and quality is superb, otherwise, and brings the close of one of the most compelling anime I've ever seen.
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on September 11, 2013
Great video quality and the package is in great shape! Highly recommended for HxH collectors ... totally worth the money !
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on November 6, 2009
Some people seem to think that Vol. 4 ends up splitting off into a completely different series that the first 3/4. I happen to think it is just the evolution of a truly great series in fact, it was this entire arc that got me into Hunter x Hunter at a time when I recall seeing the animation and, being spoiled by the latest technologies, overlooked this truly incredible story AND (now that I've come to appreciate it) animation. I will be getting this the second it is released. Personally, I think they need to give the Spiders their own series!
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on April 5, 2011
i had watched this show along time ago and wanted to see it again. some of the endings change but it is still a good anime
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on January 5, 2009
I was so excited to see Hunter Season 4 released!!! Hunter was such a great show and it is a total shame that all 7 seasons were not released on DVD. I cannot believe that it did not sell and am convinced that some other reason exists as to why only seasons 1-3 were released. It is great that Amazon Unbox released the episodes of Season 4 and I hope to see the remaining seasons as well. I know I will buy them for sure!!!
The Unbox player is easy to use and you can download DVD's to store the episodes as long as you play them on the computer. Although I'd rather have the DVD's, I will take what I can get for such a great show!!!
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