Hunter × Hunter (Manga) - TV Tropes
When Illumi and Hisoka are speaking after the Hunter exam, Illumi recognizes Gon's potential growth as a hunter and, the assassin in him, decides it might be. One episode will have a test of endurance where the characters have to run down Gon and Killua's relationship is the bread and butter of the show's emotional. Throughout the th Hunter Exam in the anime series, Hisoka had light teal hair but later it He seems to be friends with Illumi, but their relationship is based on convenience and Hisoka getting sexually aroused before fighting Gon.
Even when the characters do fight, they rarely have to rely on physical strength as much as they do on tactics and creatively manipulating their powers and surroundings, which makes it a lot less obvious how things are going to turn out. As the series gets into its later arcs, it becomes more combat-focused, but also invents a number of massively fleshed out systems and power balances which keep the combat fresh and interesting time and again. There also is not a single battle which ever lasts for more than one episode, with the exception of one part in the epic finale of the Chimera Ant arc, wherein the series continually cuts between a bunch of simultaneous battles over the course of several episodes.
In this way, the moment to moment appeal of Hunter X Hunter is like that of a variety game show, wherein half of the fun is in learning the unique rules of each new game, and then seeing how the characters will interact with the set pieces.
The true magic of Hunter X Hunter is in its character-driven core narrative and unique execution.
What sets Gon and Killua apart from most shounen anime leads is that the two of them are often bit players in the stories that they find themselves involved with. While Killua is significantly more powerful than Gon, for the most part, both of them are often overshadowed both by their allies and their opponents.
They often are not the deciding factor in which side prevails during any of the central conflicts; and even when they are, they have to win by outsmarting their opponents more so than by overpowering them.
Almost everyone has some kind of uniquely quirky personality or superpower. The variety of design styles makes the world feel mysterious and vast, and the characters represent so many different perspectives and ideals that they give the story a sense of worldliness and intellectual weight.
There are nearly as many nods to philosophical, psychological, economic, and political ideas, as there are implementations of game design, shounen battle tropes, and segments of heart-stopping violence. Togashi seems to have a penchant for subversive elements in his writing, which has made him somewhat infamous over the years. It often feels like he wants to reveal as little as possible about his characters so that he can still pull more cards from his sleeves later on.
He likes leaving little plot threads untied as he segues from arc to arc, keeping the audience constantly wondering what happened to so-and-so character. The series was dark before, but it's the first time it goes into truly grim territory. The whole manga really, when compare to most Shonen mangas. Each arc is filled with it's fair share of gore. It's arguably the darkest of Yoshihiro Togashi 's works. In regards to adaptations, the TV anime has a much more somber and moody tone than either the original manga or remake for the most part.
Though the adaptation eventually gets even darker than that with its adaptation of the Chimera ant arc, completely devoid of its previous infamous censorship, showing the full uncensored extent of the manga's gore and violence, muting the previously bright colors to dark levels, and incorporating an epic and dark soundtrack and more mature character designs.
It's not that it doesn't stand on its own as a shonen fighting manga, but especially once you get into the Chimera Ant arc it becomes hard to ignore that Togashi wants to deconstruct shonen manga, its villains, and the Idiot Hero. Specifically, the Idiot Hero and his frequent form of Cloud Cuckoolander instinctive ethics. Gon verges on Blue and Orange Morality sometimes, but it's just the kind of thing Incorruptible Pure Pureness frequently invokes, carried just far enough to be slightly creepy.
Gon Freecss said hero is designed in tribute to Son Goku in several ways; there is a reason Gon catches a giant fish as his first act. And then of course, he recently risked his life to turn into a huge muscle-guy with endless hair in order to destroy Neferpitou for destroying the mentor Gon wasn't strong enough or old enough to save Because look, it's grown-up Goku Up to Eleven.
Also, in the beginning of the series Gon wasn't a very skilled fighter and didn't immediately learn how to hold his own against older and stronger opponents like most Shonen heroes do. He often had to rely on quick thinking alone to survive. There are several times where our heroes simply aren't strong enough to defeat or even challenge the villains.
Rather than suddenly powering up to ridiculous levels and pulling out a victory, there isn't really anything they can do about said power gap, so they're forced to accomplish their goals by other means. Five-Man Band dynamics also played straight and deconstructed. Of course, Yusuke and Hiei weren't the best of friends, but the group had about as little cohesion—which is to say, everyone pursued their own goals, and fell back together by circumstance.
However, when one looks at HunterXHunter, those dynamics become a little different. Even members of the Zoldyck family show up every now and then, especially Zeno and Silva. Leorio is not likely to do so because of his studies, nor is Kurapika, due to his seemingly never ending quest to avenge his family name; Leorio returns in the Election arc, and they both re-enter the plot in the Dark Continent arc, with Kurapica in particular getting a lot of focus.
Chrollo Lucifer is a deconstruction of the "enigmatic and powerful leader" character type, showing us how his mysteriousness and power make him incredibly unpredictable and rather unsettling. Hisoka shows us how truly terrifying a powerful, intelligent and psychopathic Blood Knight can be.
And Meruem is an attempt to be psychologically realistic about a cosmic-level entity born full-grown to devour humans and conquer the world. Unlike most rescue arcsthe heroes never get a chance to storm the castle and fight the bad guys—though they do make it past the front gate, which is no small feat.
Instead, the situation turns out to be little more than a typical family spat, and gets solved just as quickly—it only looked dire because everyone involved is a superhuman assassin, so what could have been a rather normal argument with mom adds whips and guns. The Heavens Arena storyline, despite being a training arc all about how Gon and Killua progress from Charles Atlas Superpowers to nen-usagehas a lot of subverted expectations.
The Combat Commentator and large portions of the audience can't even see aura and therefore have no understanding of most of the higher-level fights. The protagonists never make it to the top of the tower, but they do: Gon doesn't even win his final match against Hisoka, although he does seem to be personally satisfied by the outcome.
And at one point their helpful mentor states outright that he suspects his latest students are monsters and he regrets having taught them anything. And no one becomes a master at the end of the arc.
Just because Gon's The Hero doesn't mean he always fights the Big Bad of a story arc; he's still youngwhich means that in terms of power and skill he's sometimes completely outclassed, and more often than not a much stronger character will face the main villain instead while Gon faces an antagonist closer to his level. Neo-Green Life, an isolationist nation introduced in the Chimera Ant arc, examines the Ludd Was Right trope and how difficult and dangerous an "all natural" society would be in the modern world.
NGL permits no technology newer than agriculture, meaning visitors must discard everything from synthetic clothing items to necessities like eyeglasses, tooth fillings, and medical implants at the border crossing or face execution.
The checkpoint conveniently located just outside of NGL's actual borders must employ highly advanced technology like MRI and ultrasound in order to effectively enforce this policy. NGL citizens would likely do what they could to protect themselves on the micro scale e.
The country's low tech level also means information moves extremely slowly within NGL the internet is used at the aforementioned checkpoint for international relations, but only handwritten correspondence is permitted within NGL properwhich allows the Chimera Ant infestation to get out of hand before international aid can be summoned.
Hunter x Hunter sucks. :: Off Topic
It's eventually revealed that the country's founder and ruler simply wanted to ruin people's lives. Nen itself is a massive deconstruction of Ki Attacks in general. Compared to similar techniques in other series, Nen has a very definite and detailed structure that determines how people develop the abilities they have and how to best make use of those abilities. Compared to learned attacks from most other series which are nearly always taught as part of a school of martial artshow Nen manifests is heavily dependent on the individual and there are techniques that some people simply will not be able to use.
Also in comparison to other series, where fighters generally spam their special attacks all the time, Nen users are incredibly conservative when it comes to using their abilities in order to keep their opponents from learning the particulars of that ability, including its strengths and weaknesses.
Ging is a deconstruction of the typical Disappeared Dad seen in Shonen stories.
He's a badass, sure, but his neglect towards his son Gon is lampshaded and frowned on In-Universe. Gon's goal of finding Ging also deconstructs the trope of a Shonen protagonist going on a quest to find their missing parent.
Gon spends a large part of the series looking for him, and while they do get along, even Gon acknowledges that he doesn't really see him as a father, but as an awesome relative he's heard great things about, and realizes that he didn't necessarily want to meet Ging so much as find him.
After he finally accomplishes this goal he's left wondering where to go from there. Each one of the arcs is a deliberate deconstruction of a common shonen fighting arc: The "contest" arc, in which several characters need to compete with each other in order to win a title.
This arc examines what would actually happen in a contest filled with superhumans—the normal humans die in brutal ways, the empowered individuals run rampant and murder dozens, and Gon barely survives only because the only two people that know Nen are Hisoka and Illumi, who likes Gon enough to keep him alive for Hisoka and barely processes Gon's presence for Illumi.
Heck, the people in the final phase win on a technicality—only Gon really fought for his victory. The power gap between the Zoldycks and Gon and co. As it turns out, Killua is in no danger at all, he leaves of his own volition and his father even lets him go after realizing he needs friends to properly grow, and that letting him grow outside their care is not an issue.
The "training" arc, in which the heroes train in new abilities. Gon and Killua do not win the Heavens Arena, and actually treat it as a means to an end for their abilities to be tested. Their mentor, Wing, also expresses severe worry about unlocking their potential as they become extremely strong in a short amount of time. The "villain squad" arc, in which the heroes face off against a group of evil villains.
This arc examines what would happen if you took superpowered humans and put them in the real world- the power gap between the troupe and the mafia goons is massive, and only Kurapika, who has limited his arsenal to specifically only fight the troupe can stand a chance.
Even still, Kurapika can only do so little, and most of the troupe escapes unscathed. This also examines some Moral Myopia inherent in villains that care about their friends yet murder dozens. The "deadly game" arc, in which the heroes must compete and win a game to survive; Inside a Computer System is thrown in for good measure. The Hunter x Hunter world is certainly different from ours, but the technology level is fairly similar Through the clever use of Nen, the contestants are actually teleported to another real-world location, meaning the horrific injuries Gon and crew suffer are very real.
This also examines the rather horrific situation of coming to Greed Island and not having Nen—Gon's group manages to start a collection of cards just by trading people a way out of the game. The "enemy army" arc, in which a large enemy force accosts the heroes, with a powerful leader. This arc in particular examines the idea of having an enemy that is significantly stronger than you- from the enemy's perspective.
What is it like being devastatingly stronger than everyone else?
How would something that is on another level from everything process the worth of other creatures? What would something that was meteorically stronger than everything else think when it realizes that other creatures can think just like it can?