Anime at a Glance: Hunter X Hunter

hunterxHunter_01The story of Hunter x Hunter begins with an 11 year old boy, named Gon Freecss, who had been abandoned by his father and left to be raised by his Aunt Mito. He was told that his father abandoned him to become a Hunter, a job in this world that had access to nearly everything and typically involved lots of wealth and glory. Even after learning of his abandonment he didn’t hate or resent his father, he actually sought to become a Hunter so that he could understand how amazing it must be to be a Hunter that a man would abandon his own child.

Aunt Mito understood how dangerous this job would be and wouldn’t let him take the Hunter Exam unless he accomplished a task that only one other person had ever done, catch the largest fish on the island, known as the Lord in the Lake. If he could do this it would prove he’s capable of taking the exam and becoming a Hunter. Gon manages to catch the fish and earn his chance to become a Hunter. He sets off on a ship to start his Hunter Exam and begins to meet several travelling companions, who help him along the way. On his first trial he meets Kurapika and Leorio, who both have very different personalities. Gon finds that they’re just as driven as him to become Hunters so they can accomplish their own goals. He also comes across a mysterious young boy named Killua Zoldyck in the first stage of the exam who is the same age, and is surprised to see someone else his age in the exam.

The four of them team up and go through their Hunter Exam together maxresdefaultand continue on afterwards to see new challenges, and always in search of clues and messages as to where Gon’s father, Ging Freecss, may be found. They encounter opposition throughout their journey such as Hisoka, a murderous magician without a clear past, the Phantom Troupe, a band of thieves that kill anyone and take anything they want, and sometimes even their own families.

Hunter x Hunter has some of the most interesting concepts I’ve seen in anime ranging from the creator’s choice of a power for the characters to the creation of animals like Ants with ‘Phagogenisis’, which essentially means their queen makes offspring that have similar traits and genetics as the animals they consume. The power that was chosen by the creator is referred to in the series as ‘Nen’ which allows characters to do nearly anything with enough training, including creating objects and creatures or strengthening their own bodies to deflect bullets.

The manga for Hunter x Hunter started back in 1998 and was so popular it actually had two Anime adaptations, one in 2004 and a new one in 2011. The manga covers 7 finished story arcs and is currently ongoing. The most recent Anime adaptation was produced by Studio MadHouse and was kept as true to the manga as possible but has, hopefully only temporarily, ended at 148 episodes until the creator of the manga continues farther.

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