Hunter x Hunter is a fantastic anime hidden under cover of a typical Shonen. On the surface, it has characters and their motivations following the Shonen archetype, but as we progress through the show, we encounter the darker sides of the anime.
It is one of those series, which starts off light and cheery, and as you get deeper, the story takes a turn, and you’re blown away by how dark everything suddenly got.
Another great thing about Hunter x Hunter is how it incorporates the light-hearted and cynical elements throughout the anime. It provides a perfect balance between them and keeps the viewers on their toes in each arc.
1. Which version to watch?
Hunter x Hunter has two anime adaptations. One was released in 1999, and the other in 2011. There are 92 episodes (including the OVAs) in the 1999 adaptation, while there are 148 episodes in the 2011 adaptation.
It is generally recommended to watch the latter version, i.e., the 2011 adaption as it has better animation, almost no fillers, and has two additional arcs, one of which is considered to be the best arc there is.
However, it is also true that the 1999 adaptation has much better incorporation of the first 2 arcs. The 2011 version might seem childish to many viewers, but that depends on your preference. The older version fillers are very entertaining and the overall anime has a more serious tone than the newer version.
If you want to enjoy a longer story, and love digital graphics more than the hand-drawn ones, watch the complete 2011 version.
Another way out, is to complete the 1999 adaptation and then watch the newer one from episode 75 instead of starting from scratch. Keep in mind that the animation styles are quite different, and if you aren’t a fan of transitions, just watch the 2011 adaptation.
2. Release Order
- Hunter X Hunter (1999)
- Hunter X Hunter (2011)
- Hunter X Hunter: Spider (1999)
- Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island (1999)
- Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island Final (1999)
- Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge (2013)
- Hunter x Hunter: The Last Mission (2013)
3. Watch Order for 1999 Adaptation
- Hunter X Hunter (1999)
- Hunter X Hunter: Spider
- Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island
- Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island Final
- Hunter X Hunter (2011) (Episode 75 onwards) (Chimera Ant arc)
4. Watch Order for 2011 Adaptation
- Hunter Exam arc (Episodes 1-26)
- Heavens Arena arc (Episodes 27-38)
- Phantom Troupe arc (Episodes 39-58)
- Greed Island arc (Episodes 58-75)
- Chimera Ant arc (Episodes 76-136)
- Election arc (Episodes 136-148)
A large number of episodes contribute a lot towards developing the characters and exploring various back-stories. Do not skip any episodes, including the OVAs (for the 1999 version). The movies are standalone and should be watched after the completion of the series.
6. About Hunter x Hunter
Hunter x Hunter is a Shonen anime adapted from the manga of the same name.
The story follows the adventures of a young boy, Gon discovering that his dead father wasn’t really dead but was a legendary Hunter. Instead of feeling dejected, Gon decides to follow the footsteps of his father and become a great Hunter himself. The job of a Hunter isn’t an easy one, and Gon needs to pass an exam to become an official hunter. He makes friends on this journey, and they all must help each other overcome any obstacles.