I just want to start off by saying that I freaking loved HunterXHunter (which I will refer to as HXH), It’s a whole other level of awesome. Naturally, I was a little bit suspect to it as Yoshihiro Togashi has been taking breaks in order to recover from his illness, so I was worried that perhaps the story would suffer(with all due respect to Yoshihiro Togashi, I do hope he makes a recovery). However, I must say that HXH is probably the most consistent long running anime series that I have watched ever. One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, and so on are known for being inconsistent and having many filler episodes-fuck it, filler arcs even. HXH is really well fleshed and planned out. It works well with meshing interesting characters with stories that emphasize the importance of the characters presence as well as their relations to each other. I seriously regret this as a series that I did not grow up with like DBZ, Naruto, or One Piece because it is honestly on the same level of quality, story telling, and characters. HXH is a master piece in the shounen genre.
Why I Love It
Friendships and Relationships
Gon and Killua
Listen alright, I know a little something something when it comes to shounen anime/manga. I am very aware that the power of friendship is strong and must needed, I also know that every shounen series takes advantage of this cliche but I am fine with cliché as long as it is done correctly. HXH kills it, straight up. Sure we might have Naruto and Sasuke, Goku and Vegita, or even Goten and Trunks but Gon and Killua!? Are you kidding me man! The scene in which Gon is in the hospital and Killua was watching Gon from outside tortured me. I genuinely believed that Killua was Gon’s best friend, that Killua was seeing his best friend
die in front of him.That although Killua had no fault in Gon’s then condition, Killua still took fault for his best friend dying. Can you believe that? Could you imagine yourself in that position?
This is the best friendship I have ever seen in any series. These two characters are extremely well written as they both encapsulate the essence of two twelve year old boys who become best friends. Good friends support you when you go through stressful situations, great friends go through stressful situations with you. Gon and Killua make me want to be twelve years old again. I wish I had a friendship like them. I honestly believe with all my heart that this is the greatest friendship across all anime/manga. I know this seems to be too much of an exaggeration but if you can honestly name two friends in not just anime but in fiction in general that had as much fun as these two did, who grew together as much as these two did, that had the purest of friendship as these two did, then you must have experienced something very special. Gon and Killua have a beautiful friendship built on two boys just living their lives to their fullest but are willing to put in the work to achieve that, it’s simply magical.
Meruem and Komugi
|The scene was very gratifying
Meruem is probably one of the most well written villains in fiction. His slow but steady rise to choosing his human side over his ant side was nothing but masterful. The aid of Komugi allowed viewers to contrast Meruem to the extremes of Pouf and Komugi. Meruem went from a cold tyrant that would kill his subordinates and abandon his mother to a softer individual who did not view himself as special, who just appreciated being alive and the gift of life. A lot of villains in fiction make a change in which they go from evil to good but usually, it is written poorly in which the villain makes an abrupt change. Meruem’s evolution was very fun to watch, and as a viewer all I wanted to know was what would become of him and Komugi. Near the end of his arc I was rooting for Meruem, I wanted to see the potential of the character get to where he was intended to be, and it was well worth it. Although the Chimera Ant arc might had felt very long whilst watching it, I think viewers are going to find it well worth it when they watch episode 135. I think fans will truly be touched by the last moments between Meruem and Komugi.
Ging and Everybody Else
I love how in the beginning of the series we as viewers are lead to believe that Ging is this super mysterious Hunter who is highly touted and is respected by all. Viewers can argue that Ging is the reason for a plot in HXH as he is one of the prime reasons in which Gon decides to become a licensed Hunter. However, as viewers learn with Gon, of the man Ging, we slowly understand that Ging although is good at his job is basically hated or thought of as annoying by nearly all his coworkers. The Zodiacs don’t even trust this guy to show up to work. They all ridicule him. When Leorio punches Ging in the face, every Hunter in the crowd starts clapping. It’s a wonderful contrast. Ging is seen as this super annoying fickle man that just happens to be a good Hunter, whereas his son is this young up and coming Hunter who everybody, even the villains, end up respecting or adoring. Ging tries to be all cool and worldly but everybody just shuts him down, it’s quite comical. It’s like when I’m acting cool in front of high schoolers and they all think I’m this weird old guy…because I am.
A Very Solid Protagonist
Gon is another example of a quintessential shounen protagonist. He starts out weak but shows potential. Gon is adored and loved by all and earns the respect of all his enemies. He is headstrong but learns that even he and all his powers are sometimes not enough. He is also not the sharpest tool in the tool shed. But all of this leads to a very charming character. Gon is a character who is easy to relate with. At the end of the day, he’s a bright eyed boy who wants to find his father and travel the world with his best friend. Put it in that sense, not cheering for him seems really hard. Everybody should be able to meet their parents, regardless of who their parents are, every child deserves at least that right, right? Every child should be able to have goals, every child should be able to have friends to share these goals with. It’s because the innocence that is seen in Gon is wanted by everybody even in viewers. Viewers love the purity of Gon as usually people are not like that. Humans are always so quick to hate each other or be critical of themselves. Most people have a hard time saying that they truly have a pure heart. But Gon is pure, Gon does have a pure heart, He doesn’t care who you are, he will try his best to be your friend, he will go into a task he is not ready for, knowing the risks, and still approach it. Gon is braver than us, he is the light in which all humans respect and look up to. Gon is that child in us. As we want to see Gon do amazing things and be proud of Gon, we want Gon to be proud of us too, ask Killua.
But most importantly it’s not the destination but
the journey that is most important. Gon and Killua are always learning on the go. Every arc starts with a problem that is too huge for Gon and Killua, Gon tackles it whilst understanding the risks and drags Killua along, they tackle the situation whilst being too weak, then learn how to get stronger, then solve the problem. This process leads Killua into becoming a stronger Hunter and character, By way of Gon wanting to become stronger, Killua is too, Gon makes Killua that much better of a character. Gon and Killua never learn these skills between arcs. The story progresses with them as they learn to become better Hunters. Viewers are literally learning with Gon and Killua. For viewers, this is like growing up with a friend. That’s why it works so well, this is why Gon is a quintessential shounen protagonist.
HXH is a masterful series that tells great stories with interesting characters. This is a series that builds the relationships of it’s protagonist but as well as it’s villains. A protagonist is only as interesting as their antagonist. The cast of characters make this cliché story one that is better than a majority of action/adventure manga/anime. I honestly cannot express entirely how I feel for this series. I wish I had more words, I wish I could explain to you in more than just words but I really want you to know that HXH is a master piece. It deserves all the respect it gets and more. I wish that it was considered a household name like DBZ or Naruto. It is honestly as good, and critically if not, better. Please give this series a chance if you can. If you think I’m wrong let me know, I would love to hear feedback. Cheers.