It all began with a bet.

“You. Have. To. Watch. HUNTER. X. HUNTER,” my friend Bianca exclaimed, emphasizing each word with a slamming of fists on the table.

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My friends and I were all sitting down to a dining hall dinner when an “argument” broke out. (Argument in the sense that there were a lot of raised voices, gesticulating limbs, and calling each other fools.) As I readjusted my now upended fries, I groaned. “I beg of you: please don’t bring up watching HUNTER X HUNTER again.”

The rest of our group rushed to agree. None of us could stand to hear about this mysterious anime show again, nor of the reasons why we should watch a show that none of the rest of us had ever heard of. Before Bianca could launch further into her rant, I intervened: “Why should we give HUNTER X HUNTER a chance if you won’t give anything we watch a chance?”


“Yeah, like PRIDE AND PREJUDICE!” one of my other friends suggested.

Not knowing where this comment spurred from, I nonetheless joined the bandwagon. “Yeah! Watch PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and we’ll consider watching HUNTER X HUNTER.”

“Bet,” Bianca relented. “I’m down.”

A few nights later, once the PRIDE AND PREJUDICE viewing was done, and we were all gathered together to watch the infamous HUNTER X HUNTER. I fell in love with the show instantly and to reiterate Bianca’s original point: “You. Have. To. Watch. HUNTER. X. HUNTER.”

HUNTER X HUNTER is a story about 12-year-old Gon Freecs. Gon was abandoned by his father, Ging, as an infant, left to live with his aunt and grandma on Whale Island. Where most kids would be angry at their fathers for abandoning them or at the very least confused, Gon is anything but. Since Ging abandoned Gon to be a Hunter – someone who protects the world’s resources, animals, people, etc. – Gon thinks being a Hunter must be great. So great in fact that it was worth Ging shirking his responsibilities as a father to pursue it as a career. (To say the least, Gon is a positive character.) To reunite with Ging, Gon strives to become a Hunter; however, to become a Hunter, one must pass the Hunter exam. And so the story begins.

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Personally, I became enamored with the show because of the characters and the mental, physical, and emotional fortitude with which they approach any given situation. Along with Gon, the other characters in the show all have goals they want to accomplish and are willing to do practically anything to see those ambitions to fruition. However, in having these separate goals, the characters do not take individual steps towards reaching them. With the wanted or unwanted help of the rest of the gang, Gon and company are given the support and love they need from each other in seeing their journeys through to the end. It is a show centered in the integrity of friendship and how utilizing the relationships in one’s life can help a person reach their definition of success.

As we progressed in the episodes and story arcs, we saw how many people were entering and exiting Gon’s life. Killua, a white-haired, twelve-year-old assassin, acts as Gon’s best friend in the show. Meeting as strangers during the Hunter exam, Gon and Killua have come to shape each other, to act as the spontaneity to the other’s logic, the crazy to the other’s calm, the light to the other’s dark. Both boys develop and change throughout the episodes, becoming savvier, smarter, and stronger because of knowing the other.

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Bisky, one of the show’s most influential mentors, taught Gon and Killua the importance of knowing one’s strengths and how to leverage them against potential enemies. Through punches and perkiness, Bisky molded the boys into the fire- and electricity-wielding badasses we know and love today. She is the reason the two have gone so far, accomplished so much, and managed to stick together through the process. She showed them the potential for greatness they had through berating and encouraging them, beating and building them, hating and loving them. Without Bisky, Gon and Killua would have died many times over.

Another character who had an immense impact on Gon’s journey was Kite. Where Bisky taught Gon and Killua about strength, Kite taught them about weakness. The boys needed the contrast, having thought they were nearly invincible before encountering Kite. While the two boys experience failure in Kite’s presence, they become better Hunters, better humans because of it. Both Gon and Killua see that the process of never becoming truly ends, that there will always be an opponent faster, meaner, and just plain better than you to beat. However, in having this knowledge, there is also the knowledge that it is possible to beat whatever obstacle — Chimera Ant or otherwise — that lies in your path.

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With the help of Killua, Bisky, Kite, and a plethora of others, Gon has been molded and recreated many times over by the people in his life. Each held importance in his journey, teaching him the lessons he needed to succeed in the next phase of his life.

Looking around at my fellow fans, my friends, all crammed together on twin beds with miscellaneous snack crumbs decorating our sweatpants with abandon, I sensed a similar trend. These people around me were my second family, the ones who were helping me become more ambitious, genuine, fearless, intelligent, benign, creative, inspired. They are the people I look to when I need someone to hear me. The people who brighten long days with laughter and ridiculousness. The people who filled yesterday with memories, today with spontaneous joy, and tomorrow with hope. I live, eat fast midnight food, learn about the world, talk through movies, scheme, and dream with them.

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All these people are contributing to my journey. They may not be helping me take down the Phantom Troupe or Chimera Ants (seriously, watch the show). However, they are giving me the tools to become a more imaginative, inclusive, and intelligent person. They are the dictionaries, atlases, and instructional manuals that are helping me engineer my best future today. And for that, I cannot thank them enough. (Yes, this includes you too, Bianca.)

7 Comments

  1. Adrianna Gordey

    April 26, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    If you have friends that are anything like mine, annoying them to the point of no return always works out in your favor. If you’re a much kinder soul than Bianca (which I’m assuming you are ;)) see if you can get one of them to watch a few episodes with you. If one gets hooked, they’ll all get hooked, it’ll be anarchy. (In the best possible way).
    Also: thank you for commenting on my article, killua! (HE’S MY FAVORITE CHARACTER ON THE SHOW!!!)

    Reply

  2. Khalil Mohammad Mirza

    April 26, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    It is a great show .You must also watch hxh 1990’s . It has different vibe and feel. I think old portrays hxh theme better. Also must watch Yu Yu Hakusho .

    Reply

  3. killua

    April 24, 2017 at 11:25 am

    yeah, my friends won’t listen to me when i tell them to watch it. they’ve seen the first episode and aren’t convinced it’s that good, and it pains me so much… I want to get them interested in it but i don’t want to spoil it either, so it’s tough

    Reply

  4. Adrianna Gordey

    April 17, 2017 at 10:33 am

    That’s EXACTLY what I am scared of! Bianca keeps recommending more anime (she’s really persistent about Naruto at the moment), but I don’t know if I can properly watch another anime show now that I’ve seen H x H. It is just TOO great. I’ve been spoiled and there’s really no way to come back from that.
    Also: thank you for commenting on my article, Zakaria! 🙂

    Reply

  5. Zakaria Elaboudi

    April 17, 2017 at 2:07 am

    It is a life changing anime!!!
    I also might add that once you have completed Hunter x Hunter, nothing else will amount to that level, in other words, its only natural for your friend to want you to experience it without willing to give your show a chance as well !! because chances are, they have looked up anything that can compre to its greatness and failled in an attempt to fill the whole that it wil leave once you are cought up !

    Reply

  6. Amiah Chin

    April 16, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Bianca 👏 was 👏 right 👏, it’ one of my favourite anime !

    Reply

    • Adrianna Gordey

      April 17, 2017 at 10:35 am

      She has corrupted my spring semester with this show. Academics have been a real struggle this semester because, on the one hand, I could get A’s in all my classes OR I could watch Gon and Killua kick some serious ass. At the end of the day is it really a competition? 😉
      Also: thanks for commenting on my article, Amiah!

      Reply

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