Hunter x Hunter: What You Need to Know About this Gripping Anime Series
A timeless classic that has managed to remain relevant in a seemingly never-ending sea of new anime series, Hunter x Hunter features all of the things that a gripping Shounen should offer: a desire to seek adventure, action-packed fight scenes, characters that you can really connect with, and people who possess superpower abilities (and yes, there’s some pretty crazy hair, too!)
Whether you’ve just heard about Hunter x Hunter or you’ve known about it for a while but just haven’t gotten into it yet, if you’re thinking about exploring this series and want some background info first, you’re in the right place! Below, you’ll find a basic overview and breakdown of this awesome anime series.
Written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi, Hunter x Hunter is a manga series that was first introduced as a graphic comic in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in March of 1998. By October, 2018, ta total of 380 chapters of this series have been collected into 36 separate volumes. In addition to the graphic novel, the series has also been brought to life in two different anime series, a collection of films, a few video games, and there’s even a full-stage musical adaptation.
In this series, Hunters are licensed members of an elite class of people who have the ability to search for and track down mystical beasts, secret treasures, and people, too. Hunters also have the ability to access places that regular people cannot. In order to obtain a license, a Hunter has to first train for and pass a stringent Hunter Examination, which is operated by the Hunter Association; only about 1 person in every 100,000 manages to successfully pass this exam. Hunters can be awarded up to three start:
- A single-star: This star is awarded to Hunters who make a “remarkable achievement in a specific field”.
- Two stars: Hunters can receive two stars if the “hold an official position” and if they mentor another Hunter who achieves single-star level.
- Three stars: Three stars are awarded for “remarkable achievements in multiple fields”.
In the story, the Hunters must focus on Nen, which is the ability to control their aura, or life energy; something that they are constantly emitting. There are four Nen strategies:
- Ten, which holds the life energy within the body where it is strengthened for defensive purposes
- Zetsu, which shows down the flow of aura and is helpful for hiding a Hunter’s presences or concealing that they are tired
- Ren, which allows a Hunter to generate more Nen
- Hatsu, or the specific use of Nen for each individual Hunter
Additionally, those who use Nen are categorized into one of six types, based on their Hatsu abilities:
- Enhanceers, who foster their naturally-occurring physical abilities
- Emitters, who put their auras out of their bodies
- Manipulators, who take control of other living things or non-living objects
- Transmuters, who change their type of aura or the properties that their auras contain
- Conjurers, who use their auras to create objects
- Specialists, who possess unique capabilities and do not meet the standards for any of the other categories
What’s Hunter x Hunter About
So, now that you have a bit of an understanding about the setting of the story, let’s take a look at what it’s all about. The series follows the journey of Gon Freecss, a 12-year-old boy who aspires to become the best Hunter he can possibly be and the story begins by focusing on Freecss’ quest to locate his long-lost father. All his life, Gon was told that his parents were dead, but then Kite, who was an apprentice of Ging Freecess (Gon’s father), told him that his father is still living. This isn’t the only shocking news; Gon also discovers that his father is a well-established Hunter.
After learning this information, Gon decides to leave Whale Island, where he has lived his entire life, so that he can take the Hunter Examination and become a Hunter, like his father. While he is taking the exam, Gon becomes friends with three other hopeful Hunters, Kurapika, who is the last living member of the Kurta clan and wants to become a Hunter so that he can avenge his clan and take back the eyes that were taken from the corpses of his loved ones by the Phantom Troupe. Another one of Gon’s friends is Leorio, who is studying to become a physician and decides to become a Hunter so that he can pay for medical school. Gon’s third friend is another 12-year-old, Killua Zoldyck, who fled his family, who are notorious assassins.
In addition to these three friends and many other hopeful Hunters, Gon keeps meeting Hisoka, a dark and deadly transmuter, who has taken an interest in Gon. All but Killua pass the Hunters exam. Gon and his friends convince Killua to join them, but the group splits, with Leoria and Kurapika taking care of personal matters and Gon and Killua heading to the Heavens Arena, where they will attempt to improve themselves and partake in regular fighting tournaments.
At Heavens Arena, Gon and Killua meet Wing, a fames kung fu expert. Wing trains the duo on how to use Nen, which is used to manifest their psychic abilities. Gon and his fellow Hunters eventually join forces again and battle with the Phantom Troupe. During the battle, Gon and Killua are trapped, but they eventually become free and the set out on their quest to find Gon’s long-lost father.
Where can You Watch Hunter X Hunter?
Hunter x Hunter can be viewed on most of the popular streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu. However, do note that the 2011 version of the series is usually the only option available and It is hard to find other places where you can watch the original versions of the series. In 2008-2009, Viz Media released a box set of the series on DVD. You may also be able to find episodes on Youtube, as well.