Full of action, drama and just all around awesome characters and story, Hunter X Hunter leaves people on the edge of their seats with every episode and every tiny moment.
The original series aired in Japan from 1999 to 2001, with 62 episodes. Then it was re-released again in 2011, which is the adaptation that is currently being dubbed in English and airing on Toonami Saturday/Sunday at 1:30 a.m. There was an English dubbing in 1999, but in honesty, that version is annoying and possibly the worst dubbing I’ve ever heard. When people search for Hunter X Hunter, they make sure to be specific. i.e. “Hunter X Hunter 2011.”
The series follows 12-year old Gon Freeces, who lives in a small village with his aunt. His father abandoned Gon to become a Hunter. Rather than resenting his father for leaving him, Gon decides to follow his father and become a Hunter, so he can see what it was about becoming a Hunter that made his father leave his family.
At the start of his journey, he meets Kurapika, the last member of a race of people called the Kurta Clan. His purpose of becoming a Hunter, is to hunt down a mysterious group known as the Phantom Troupe, who is responsible for the slaughter of the Kurta Clan. The Kurta were hunted down for their eyes, which turn red when their emotions are heightened.
Gon also meets an aspiring doctor named Leorio. He is taking the Hunter Exam just so he can make money and live a good life. Although he seems selfish and jaded, he is actually caring and has deeper motivations that explain his views on everything.
During the first part of the Hunter Exam, Gon meets another 12-year old boy named Killua Zoldyck, who is a member of an assassin family. Because of his background in killing and family upbringing, Killua is confident in his skills and abilities during the exam. He becomes impressed and fascinated with Gon’s optimism and strength. The two eventually form a strong friendship.
Along with friends, Gon also come across an enemy: Hisoka. The way most fans would describe Hisoka is…creepy pedophile psychopath times 100. To formally describe him, he is a character who loves murder and playing with his victims.
Hisoka takes an interest in Gon because of his hidden potential. Hisoka has quoted in the show that if he finds interest in an opponent, killing them too soon would be boring. He almost kills Gon during one part of the Hunter Exam, but spares his life because he believes Gon can become stronger. Once he does, Hisoka plans to kill him.
Throughout the anime, Hisoka talks about Gon, comparing him to a fruit that is still growing and will ripen with time. The other factors of Hisoka that make him extremely creepy, is that after fighting Gon, or witnessing Gon and his friends fight, he makes the comment, “I’m starting to get excited,” while making a very uncomfortable expression that is described as a ‘pedo-smile.’ Watch some of his scenes and you’ll understand. He also is designed like a jester, and uses playing cards as weapons.
Watching the anime, I have compared Gon to Goku from Dragonball Z. The two are very similar in character and personality. They both value the people in their lives and will do whatever it takes to protect them. Both characters are a bit reckless during combat, while at the same time tactical, and they are both overly optimistic and have positive outlooks on certain situations. Also…they are both extremely stubborn. Once they both make up their minds,. there is no changing them.
Personally, my favorite arc is the sixth one called “The Chimera Ant arc.” To summarize it, an ant queen creates creatures called Chimera Ants, who go out and feed on humans as well as bring humans to the queen as offerings. She gives birth to the Chimera Ant king, who goes to assert his dominance over the world and harvest humans to consume.
Also in this arc, Gon meets a man whom he has met before and is an acquaintance of Gon’s father. They gather other Hunters to fight the Ants.
The whole season is so powerful in plot and twists. You think you have a character all figured out, but then one episode will change everything, making you look at those characters in a totally different light. I seriously finished this season in like, two weeks cause I couldn’t stop watching it!! Going through all the seasons is worth it to get to this one!
Seriously, Hunter X Hunter is a pretty awesome anime. If anyone wants more twists and unexpected turns and events in an anime, this is the show to check out!!