Huntik: Secrets and Seekers is a show directed and produced by Ignio Straffi, the creator of Winx Club. Huntik is a radical departure from Winx in that it is an action packed adventure with mature themes. Its first season is of the finer non-Japanese animated series we have seen in some time.
Now the patented (and challenging) one sentence synopsis: In a world of secret societies and creatures summoned from ancient amulets called titans enters young Lok, a boy searching for his father lost years before on a mission to find legendary amulets against the wishes of the evil “Professor” who was bent on stopping him and now sets his sights on Lok who fortunately has the help of three formidable characters who will aid him in his battle against the Professor and along the way learn about his father, himself, and the power of deep affection.
Even our one sentence synopsis cannot do justice to the the fun complexities of the Huntik plot. Each episode is structured like a chapter in a book, and like a good book you want very much to go on to the next. That is hard to maintain but Huntik did an amazing job keeping the quality, drama and action up for 26 episodes.
In some good ways Huntik was formulaic in that you expected and got an intense action scene at the end of each episode. However it was also constantly evolving and ever more powerful bad guys and titans kept entering the stage. The plot did not wander like some shows plagued with filler stories, rather nearly every episode somehow pointed to the main arc.
The complexities of the characters also grew more intense and stayed fresh. What motivates powerful Dante Vale? What secrets is mysterious Zhalia Moon hiding? Will potent Sophie Casterwill come to like Lok? And will Lok find his long lost father?
The artwork was consistent and well done. The characters designs had -well, character. The titans were quite varied, and if not designed exactly to our tastes they were true to the universe. The painted backgrounds were high quality and sometimes nearly spectacular.
There was a certain unique stylishness to the whole production. From the cool outfits the characters wore to the opening title scrolls for each episode. Additionally computer graphics were pleasingly incorporated when – - their portable computer devices displayed things. Shocking!
Huntik succeeds in bringing to life a believable world filled with unique nomenclature. Phrases like “boltflare”, “hyperstride”, and even the rare “double spell” are those to which you soon get accustomed. You will get that good feeling of travel as you tag along on visits to far flung locations and ancient ruins.
The Huntik recipe?
- 2 parts Indiana Jones
- 1 part Yu-Gi-Oh!
- 1 part Harry Potter
- Stir in ample diced loyalty.
- Mix together with liberal pinches of style and a little romance for 26 episodes.
- Add intense spices that may cause flavor explosions and a little tearing.
It was a season that was not afraid to leave you with unresolved problems at the end of an episode. It even sometimes set the characters back with defeats. In fact many plot issues were handled in a realistic way. In the end some problems will still not be fixed, and while there will be victory and some comeuppance, there will be a little sadness too.
Complex plots and mature themes bolster this exemplary series. It is for those seeking quality and something a little different. Check it out of you like deeper plots and tire of anime stereotypes. If that sounds at all appealing, it is unlikely that Huntik will disappoint.
Check out the Huntik opening once described to us as a “rock anthem!”