Before writing about my latest Binge experience of Hunter x Hunter I think some context is in order.
Hunter X Hunter is one of Shounen Jumps most popular series to date. First published in 1998, this anime Classic remains at the top of the charts.
There are a few reasons I consider this a Classic. First is this prestigious anime is on par with the likes of Dragonball Z and Naruto. Hunter X Hunter has the undying loyalty of fans; despite the fact that the manga has been on and off hiatus since roughly 2006. I remember seeing it everywhere on my trips to Japan. Many of my favorite anime reviewers speak fondly of Hunter X Hunter including Fujinsei who wrote a awesome article about one of the main villains, “Hisoka 101.”
Second, this series is so beloved it has TWO animes! The original aired in 1999 and in 2011 a remastered version was released. I will be watching the new 2011 version since it covers the most recent manga chapters. This binge watch will take awhile since there are a total of 148 episodes!
On to the next question of “Why?” Why watch it now?
Since I’ve been doing these binge sessions anyways, it’s time to see what all the fuss is about. With many people I know speaking fondly of the series and having read quite a few articles about Hunter X Hunter, I am ready to fulfill my curiosity. All 148 episodes are available on Crunchyroll and Netflix.
I’ll be blunt, before starting this endeavor I don’t know much about Hunter x Hunter and taking it from face value I haven’t been impressed. The art isn’t my favorite style. It seems childish, making it clear this anime (and manga) is aimed towards the younger age group of Shounen viewership.
What I know about it isn’t very much either except our male protagonist wears the dorkiest clothes imaginable, travels with his three friends, and apparently uses a fishing rod to be a hunter… fighter… thing.
I also know that there is apparently a character named Killua and he is the internet’s darling who will crush my heart if I let him.
It’s a Shounen so I should expect fighting, tournaments, and enemies who continually push our heroes to their peak physical strength! (I do love these kind of shows.)
And apparently there is something called the Chimera Ant Arc which is the bread and butter of this show and the reason everyone needs to watch it right-freaking-now. I have avoided all spoilers for this Arc and honestly am putting myself through this entire thing just to watch it.
When I started this binge watch I under-estimated how hard it would be to write about the sessions. The show is so long I can’t do my usual Beginning-Middle-End format that has worked well previously. I figure it would be best to do it according to seasons but even those are difficult to write about because so much happens.
What happens is I end up recapping the highlights of the season and my overall reaction to them with the occasional analysis and theory thrown into the mix. My goal is one season a week for all five seasons. I’ll post on the weekend! Also, if you haven’t watched Hunter x Hunter, hopefully this gives you time to binge on the first season and join in on the fun.
The majority of episodes are on Netflix and Crunchyroll, though my trusty editor has told me Netflix only has about 100 episodes.