Inquisitive and enjoyable fights – these are just some of the legacies that mangaka Yoshihiro Togashi sets on his manga, Hunter × Hunter,
which is also rumored to return this April (so take this news with a grain of salt). It is confirmed that H×H will be back this June joining Weekly Shonen Jump line-up. Unfortunately, these legacies weren’t mirrored on the movie version, at least in my opinion. The first movie, “Phantom Rogue”, was a total let down and “The Last Mission” is competing on that same level too. It is worth noting though that Togashi didn’t contribute anything on these two feature films. Heck no, the guy can’t even finish the manga material and was on indefinite hiatus since 2012 for unknown reason (aka laziness) .
Revenge is a recurring theme on most of the shounen anime movies and even on mainstream TV/movie. I have no qualms about it but there’s a better way to put it on story-telling. Look at One Piece Film: Z, how Eiichiro Oda managed to put a huge amount of depth on Z’s character that I actually developed an emotional attachment with him, and yes, he’s the antagonist of the story. But with “The Last Mission”,
BLEACH’s Grimmjow Jed’s (the antagonist) story just didn’t work out as they expected. The back story was so shallow, everything was boring. With the first movie, they hardly explain “nen” (a technique that lets you manipulate your own life energy known as aura) and I was surprised that on this new movie, moviegoers were suddenly introduced to “on” (a technique that drawn from your hatred). Okay, I’ll let this one slip.
If I’m not following the manga/anime, I will immediately get lost when they introduced Bisky, Wing and Zushi, like who are these guys? They even flashed Kaito’s image, who is Kaito? Suffice to say, the overall narrative was really bad. I’m guessing that moviegoers that doesn’t follow the manga/anime knew nothing about these four. Too bad. I also didn’t get the sense that Chairman Netero, if not the strongest in the world, maybe, at least from Hunter Association, can’t do anything when bound by Rengoku’s power. Seriously? You’ll let Jed blow the Heaven’s Arena, because again, if I’m new to Hunter-verse, I’ll view Netero as a useless old-geezer which is actually NOT. Then the bad guys dumped Leorio on the sewer but ended up on the “higher levels” of the Heaven’s Arena… okay, let’s not be silly in here. But the major letdown for me was when in the end, it was still Gon on super saiyan mode that defeated Jed. I would have preferred Netero and Jed settling their issues as they basically represents the two faces/sides of the coin.
On the plus side, MADHOUSE’s animation this time was crispier and there’s noticeable change on the characters’ illustration which I really don’t mind. And if there’s anything good that happened in this film, it’s probably the ending theme: “Hyōri Ittai” by Yuzu at the epilogue which is also the current ending theme of Hunter × Hunter anime which is nearing its conclusion for the “Chimera Ants” arc.
If the writers can’t come up with a decent non-canon story-line, then I hope “The Last Mission” would be Hunter × Hunter’s “Last Film” because it’s really a shame.