Anime Review: Hunter X Hunter

Hunter x Hunter is totally a shonen (stereotypically boy’s) anime. The story primarily revolves around two young boys who want to become Hunters, a sort of strong arm professional, highly skilled mercenary. There are a lot of characters that come in and out of the story, and with hundreds of episodes, there are some pretty long story arcs.

There’s a lot that’s reminiscent of DragonBallZ and Naruto in this series, but Hunter x Hunter takes things to another level. It’s overall a lot less PG-13 and a lot more R. It’s scarier and more gruesome in a lot of ways.

One aspect of the story telling that I found particularly impressive is the ability for the characters to slide seamlessly back and forth between antagonist and protagonist. I’m just getting ready to hate a character when they do something that complicates their existence for me, revealing the motivation or some human quality that causes me to withhold judgment. I might be totally frightened of a character one moment and then touched by their tenderness the next. I’ll be rooting for someone and then realize they’re crossing over into the deep end and might turn out to be more merciless than their opponent that I wanted them to beat just a few seconds earlier.

It’s rare to experience a story in which the lines between good guys and bad guys are not only blurred by dynamic. I think it’s a good exercise in the complexity of the real world. If you enjoy shonen (boy) anime, martial arts, or complex characters, Hunter X Hunter is a must.

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