Huntik: Secrets & Seekers [2009] Season 1. 26 Episodes

Huntik_title

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.

Huntik_dante_explosion_seeker_vale

Huntik co-stars the supremely competent Dante Vale. Here he strikes quite the action hero pose.

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.

Huntik_lok_amulet_summon_titan

Lok grows to become quite the seeker. Here he summons a mighty titan by hoisting — the Jetix logo?

Huntik_freelancer

Freelancer is one of the more likable go-to titans. (They get cool backgrounds; it’s in their contract.)

Huntik_lok_sophie_romance_hug

Is Lok clueless regarding female affection? No comment.

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.

Huntik_dante_summon_titan_vale

Okay Dante Vale, we get it. You’re a bass a$$.

Huntik_Sophie_sheba_costume_dress

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.

Huntik_klaus_razimouf_villains

Which of these two creepizoids is a villain? The evil monocle-wearing German accented freak, or the eerie eastern European colorless weirdo?  Ha, a trick question.  They are both appalling.

Huntik_immortality_titan_summon

The summons got huge. The government could not write this one off as a “weather balloon”.

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?

Huntik_Zhalia_trinity_spy_peek

Zhalia Moon. Does this look like a girl who is hiding something?

Huntik_Sophie_angry_attack_magic

Do not let Sophie Casterwill’s appearance dissuade you from her “world’s most dangerous teen” moniker. It is indeed true.

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.

Huntik_painted_background_temple_ruins

Huntik_painted_background_train_station

Huntik cosplay! The true test of cultural penetration and popularity.

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_computer_graphics_titan

How much longer must mankind wait for holographic displays?

Huntik_scroll_title_episode

Huntik_Sophie_uneven_stockings

Sophie Casterwill has a thing about uneven stockings. Really.

Huntik_dante_lok_sophie_uneven_skirt

On the rare occasions Sophie was not wearing stockings she could make uneven, she was sure to wear something else asymmetrical. I.E. this skirt. (Yes Dante, you are cool in your long coat. Shut up.)

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.

Huntik_painted_background_temple_ruins_2

Huntik_professor_bad_guy_villain

Count the Professor’s bad guy clues in this picture. Uneven eyes. Check. Horrid skin discolorations. Check. Evil reddish background. Check. Fat wide face with meanie grimace. Obvious.

Huntik_Zhalia_fire_snow_hat

The Huntik recipe?

  1. 2 parts Indiana Jones
  2. 1 part Yu-Gi-Oh!
  3. 1 part Harry Potter
  4. Stir in ample diced loyalty.
  5. Mix together with liberal pinches of style and a little romance for 26 episodes.
  6. Add intense spices that may cause flavor explosions and a little tearing.
Huntik_Cherit_titan_sidekick_power_up

It was fun having a weak sidekick, Cherit, that occasionally kicked serious butt. “Not on my watch!”

Huntik_sophie_spell_casterwill

Huntik_Sophie_stairs_background_painted

“Holy liability! Didn’t anyone think to put a railing here!?”

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.

Huntik_sabriel_sophie_battle_professor_amulet

If Sophie’s lone stand against the Professor does not make you a little sad, cut your arm open to see if you’re an android.

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.

Huntik_Zhalia_hair_face

Zhalia says:  “Watch it or I will kick you in the face.”

Check out the Huntik opening once described to us as a “rock anthem!”

Huntik Related Takes:

Huntik: Secrets & Seekers [2009] Season 1. 26 Episodes

Huntik: Secrets and Seekers [2012]  Season 2. 26 Episodes

Top Ten Animated Pictures Vol 2.

Also By Iginio Straffi:

Winx Club Season 1 – (The Trix)

Winx Club Season 2 – (Darkar)

Winx Club Season 3 – (Baltor/Valtor)

Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom

Winx Club Season 4 – The Black Circle (part 1)

Winx Club Season 4 – The Black Circle (part 2)

Winx Club 3D: Magica Avventura


Advertisements

26 thoughts on “Huntik: Secrets & Seekers [2009] Season 1. 26 Episodes

  1. Ah, the opening. I told myself the show was going to be bad until I watched the theme song several hundred times and watched it all the way through episode 26. Best choice I ever made. I should never underestimate the power of Iginio Straffi.

    Funny review. I agree with it fully. And everything you said about Dante is SO true :p

    • Thanks GCG. Good to hear from you again. Yeah Straffi did himself proud with season 1.

      Huntik seems to fly under the radar, often overshadowed by Winx Club. Like you, once we gave it a shot, we were glad we did.

      PS – Dante was indeed refreshingly competent!

      • It does fly under the radar. It hasn’t been on TV since last fall. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be getting equal screen time with Winx Club. Winx Club has its charm, but Huntik has more zeal and can attract a wider audience. But maybe I’m biased. I love Dante, and Zhalia, and Sophie, and Lok, and high quality spectacular gothic artwork. It’s almost worth watching just for the artwork.

      • Well said Del. A quality show like Huntik in our opinion outshines many others. Why is it not shown more?

        We suspect networks like about three seasons worth of shows for starters for syndication. Perhaps Huntik only having one season (so far) is inhibiting distribution. Although cable stations like the cartoon network and the like seem more flexible on that point these days. Perhaps Huntik will have its renaissance and a surge of attention will bring it to the fore.

        Characters? Awesome. Artwork? Quite good indeed. We liked Skyland‘s artwork in similar ways. When in the course of watching an episode, if one stops and looks past the characters to an amazing background – that is saying something. That is more how it was in Huntik where as in Skyland they just outright showed you the background in a slow pan.

  2. (I will try to conform to 599 words or less this time…so much to say though!)

    *clap clap clap*

    That may be your best One Sentence Synopis© yet. It was very professional and very well worded. Great summary. Haven’t I seen that on the back of the promo DVD cover? 😉

    Clever animations again. The Dante one is surely a winner. But it’s great homage to see the Huntik title lit up and the chapter scroll/banner animated. I always liked how they introduced the title of each “chapter”. (That and Dante’s obligatory “Seekers, we have a mission.” Oh yeah.) The gif with Sophie’s hair flowing is classic too.

    While I’m still on page aesthetics, I have to say the full screen shots are lovely. I know that takes time to put together from many frames but they were indeed worth the work. The Zhalia one? Too cool. (Ha, “cool”? “winter”? …puns, heh.) But then just the name “Zhalia” is too cool. (Score another for names that start with “Zha”.)

    Now to the plot and show construction.

    You definitely have a point when you said the progression of each episode was entertaining, even if it had some reoccurring patterns. It was realistic too. There was always a reason for introducing a new bad guy and when someone was written out of the episode for a spell it made sense. No darn plot devices really. In other words, Straffi did a nice job filling out the plot instead of getting from point A to point B with little effort.

    Hmm, interesting point on how not all the Titans were designed to be aesthetic or eye-pleasing (whether one likes pretty or bad-a$$ designs). I’m glad the art directors kept details on several levels, including the Titans’ designs. I had my favorites and my not-so-favorites, but I think I came to appreciate each one of them regardless of whether they appealed to me. Kudos to the art team for keeping it interesting. Especially those background scenes. Wow. I would love to have some of those as backgrounds for my Mahjong PC game. Heh.

    Aww, Sabriel…I very much like that Titan. Very human, especially toward the end. If I had to choose a Titan, well, it’d be a hard choice between her and Cherit. Been a good friend for a long time to Sophie. Titans as friends? I like that concept.

    Mature themes? Danger? Ups and downs? I liked it all. Just like you said, realistic.

    What an opening theme song too! Rock anthem indeed. It is on my MP3 player, ha!

    You found a secret Huntik recipe!? I’d like that recipe for my everyday life. Now I just need to find a store that sells “liberal pinches of style” and “romance”. Ah ha ha.

    Add some witty quotes under interesting screen shots and this makes for a great review. Entertaining take on a show I almost didn’t give a second chance. But that’s the power of friends. They have a way of enticing you to try things, and in the end you’re glad you did.

    PS Sophie Casterwill’s stockings for the win.

    PSS I stayed under the 599 limit!

    • Welcome back Zhanneel. You are still the clear comment length champion, but we like it. We wish more people would leave detailed comments like yours. They have passion and are great for discussion.

      So, only 533 words? Yup, you are slipping. We remember the Winx Season 4 days when you really cut loose! Your head falling asleep onto the keyboard can produce more characters. Ha. Anyway, those tall images do indeed take time, as do the animated gifs. They are one of our unique qualities and we are glad they are appreciated.

      That Dante gif is getting good feedback. We are glad the producers were not afraid to make a cool competent lead character and keep him cool and competent throughout the season. Straffi had the clout to take Huntik his own way, and it was done. Be it in characters, titan design, or Sophie’s (…unusual) fashion choices.

      You make a good point about managing an ensemble cast. Character absences made sense and did not feel contrived, and Straffi crafted a show that was about the journey from A to B, and not just the destination. He made sure the journey was connected and entertaining. After all, that is where we spent the majority of our time with Huntik. The journey. Kind of like life.

      We admit the showdown with Sophie and Sabriel fighting the professor was intense and made some of us a little sad. We like to believe that Sabriel did what she did out of loyalty, and dare we say friendship too. That is how Sophie felt. The Professor’s comments about never having seen a titan act like that before added uniqueness and poignancy.

      We hope you find as much “pinches of style” and “romance” in your life as you desire. Remember, “HUNTIK keep the faith and you’ll survive” and “Let your heart be fearless”. We look forward to hearing from you again.

  3. Hey, I’m Helina. Not sure whether you remember.
    I sometimes get here, but mostly I don’t have time to think what to write.
    Well I love the show I’ve always been more Winx Club fan than anything, but there’s a change this might beat it. I love that most of the time there in Italy on earth…..some place you can really know what looks like and then it DOES actually look like Italy. Its quite a challenge though. You know with places like Magix you don’t really have to make it look like anything particular because no one can say that place doesn’t really look that. That made me thinking that I’m disappointed in Winx Club season 4 for makers not putting Winx in certain place on eath. Background like this would have been cool……they were in Gardenia most of the time I get this, but still….It would have been cool for them to have a mission in somewhere like New York or Paris.
    I love Huntik color- scale. my fiend said its not good, but I personally love that everything isn’t so bright like in Winx there is too much colors…..lately at least. I like calm colors.
    Also I love Sohpie’s clothes. Better style that Stella, eh?? all clothes have such personality.

    that was one long comment…..

    • A great comment Helina, and some good points.

      Winx season 4 is a bit garish color-wise. Not that that it has ever been subtle, but other seasons seemed a little more subdued. Huntik on the other hand has a soothing earthy-palette as you said. It is pleasing, and helps the special bright stuff stand out when it does occur.

      We agree that a pleasing aspect of Huntik was the satisfying feeling a travel the show affords. Real-ish places, and always the familiar home base in Italy that appeared well researched. The backgrounds were well painted indeed. Winx does not seem to be impressing as it did in previous seasons in this regard. We thought going to Gardenia would be a good idea, but the potential has not been realized.

      We are glad other fellow Winx fans like you have come to appreciate the more subtle Huntik. Please stop back any time with more comments.

  4. Hi! I can’t believe it: the things you wrote are exactly the same as mines! I’m so glad you found this series as cool as I did. 😀 I agree with everything (especially on the receipe :P) and even though I recognised every impact of the other movies/series (Harry Potter, Indiana Jones) I still like it over them! I think Iginio Straffi’s best ability is to create a series by combining everything in one great show and that gives its uniqueness. I felt the same at Winx Club,too. And – it’s my personal opinion – the 4th season of Winx Club was less action-packed because of Huntik. As he began making another show,which was clearly intended for boys, the girly elements in Winx Club got stronger and all the action scenes went to Huntik. 😄 Interesting idea, right? And I think Iginio Straffi tried something different both with Winx Club season 4 and with Huntik.
    Can’t wait for Huntik Season2!!!

    • Good comment. We understand how much of Huntik there is to like. None of the extra unnecessary darkness that overcame the Harry Potter series. None of the “losing its way” that Indiana Jones now suffers from. Then again, Huntik has only had one season so far. Give it time! But we hope it stays true to itself in season two.

      Interesting thought regarding Iginio Straffi’s attention being diverted. We too found Winx season 4 less entertaining so far. It was more overtly “girly” where as in the past while still aimed more for females, entertaining to boys as well. If they were indeed in production at the same time, we have to conclude that Winx season 4 missed Straffi’s attention and needed it.

      “I’m sure the second half of the season will come out fine with Straffi busy somewhere else.”

      Huntik is unique in its own way although as you say it borrowed elements from all over. It should be more known and more popular.

      • Thanks. As far as I heard, there will be a 5th season of Winx Club as well and Huntik’s 2nd season is being produced at the same time. I’m even a bit afraid of what we’re going to get in the 2nd movie (there’s already a, some kind of ‘trailer’ on YT and I read the review on the official site). The thing is that I’m not sure Ice Age’s writer was a good choice to write story for Winx. I love Ice Age (the 2nd one is not that great, though) but he may not see the fantasy in Winx Club and therefore he can write a lousy story that’s good for 3D effects with a lot of ‘funny’ jokes that I can’t laugh at. At least most of the 2nd movies are not that great to me (maybe I’m this stupid), at least that’s the experience I got from Dreamworks and Disney movies. 😦 But we’re talking about Rainbow and Iginio Straffi – I hope they will manage to make a movie that won’t follow the Disney and Dreamworks fate.
        Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough, I’m Hungarian so sometimes I’m still not sure about how to express my thoughts.

      • Your english is quite good for a Hungarian. Congratulations.

        Yeah, sequels are often not as good as the original. Winx is about heart. The best seasons (not 4 in our opinion) had a lot of heart and a good story that appealed to both sexes. We too are not sure the writer of Ice Age understands what makes Winx so successful. Unless he is a closet Winx fan that is. We can hope!

  5. Rough Turkish to English translation:

    I want to see more of this series because I wonder about Lok’s father, and what will happen to Sophie. Please let this series continue.

  6. Huntik Season 2 is coming out in Italy! If anyone has any information on when the English version is released please let me know! I have been looking forward to this season for about two years now. : )

  7. I LOVE this show! totally awesome. wish it was more popular in the united states then it is cause then maybe we would have the card game and amulets at our local stores lol. Lok has to be my favorite character with dante being a close second.

    great website by the way ^_^ you guys did and awesome job 😀

    • Yes, Huntik did not hit great heights in the United States like Winx. Too bad, because it is such an fun and well done show. We in the Fortress greatly appreciate it, and are getting ready to post a take on season 2.

      They have done a good job, even into season two, balancing Lok and Dante. They have not taken Dante down a notch to make Lok look good.

      We would enjoy having the opportunity to purchase amulets. That sounds like a business opportunity! Thanks for the positive words, Rebekah.

      Another Huntik Amulet (...not available in the US?)

    • From what we can tell, Catarina would also like to stay at Dante Vale’s home, perhaps like Sophie and Lok. Dante has a way of making cool whatever he does. We hope in season three he gets back out into the field.

Say it to the FORTRESS, whether you agree or not!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s