Including the manga, Hunter x Hunter currently has nine arcs, of which seven have received an anime adaptation. Each of them is radically different from those that precede and follow it, but the common denominator in all of them turns out to be Gon and Killua’s journey as newly initiated Hunters.
Now, given the uniqueness of these arcs, it becomes a matter of subjectivity to classify them according to a random set of guidelines – however, considering the narrative in terms of plot, character growth, fight scenes, and impact. Overall emotional provides a satisfying lens through which the quality of the various stories can be determined.
7 Hunter’s President Election Arc
This is the last anime arc before Hunter x Hunter takes a break from the manga (which is still lagging behind on its next partner). The Ant King Meruem has successfully caused the death of President Netero, after a totally incandescent battle scene that literally shakes the Earth, leading to the need for an election to replace the old man.
Hunter X Hunter: Top 10 Supporting Characters, Ranked
Hunter X Hunter: The Main Characters, Ranked By Similarity
This is where Ging Freecss makes his first true story appearance and meets his son, Gon, whom he has inexplicably avoided for most of the boy’s life. These events take place simultaneously with Alluka Zoldyck’s, and her inscrutable but immensely powerful « wish granting » abilities. The only reason this arch is the lowest is because it is not as detailed or as close together as the others.
6 Zodyck Family Arc
The Zoldyck Family Arc is exclusive to the anime, and involves the dream team, Gon, Leorio, and Kurapika traveling to the Killua family home deep in Kukuroo Mountain. It reveals the inner details of the Zoldyck household, especially the abusive manner in which they treat any child who crosses the line. Fortunately for Killua, she has a warm relationship with her father, Silva, although her interactions with her mother leave much to be desired.
Things get considerably dangerous when Zoldyck’s chief butler, Gotoh, requires the gang to play a so-called « simple » coin toss game; to his complete surprise, Gon does not fall for his tricks. The two boys get separated from their friends upon arriving at the airport and decide to go to Heaven’s Arena to further polish their powers (and earn some money).
5 Sky Sand Bow
This is the first arch to be established entirely within an urban sprawl, the titular arena being a theoretically unviable 251-story building. Well, at least not when there are countless battles that take place every day. Gon and Killua have fun taking down weaker opponents, except that they are rendered speechless (and immobile) when they come face to face with Hisoka’s extremely menacing Nen.
The Sky Arena Arch is quite bright, but its central focus is the man who becomes the boys’ teacher, Wing. It explains the fundamentals of Nen, as well as the different subtypes involved – Gon is shown as possessing an enhancement type, while Killua’s turns out to be a transmutation. The bottom line is the best part: Hisoka vs. Gon, that the former obviously wins, but not before the latter punches him directly in the face, as he had been training to do so for months.
4 Hunter’s Examination Bow
The first Hunter x Hunter arc is one of the best, as it introduces all the main characters in a fairly efficient way. Gon meets Leorio and Kurapika on the ship that takes them to the exam, which encounters a major storm in the middle of the voyage (it is a kind of « screening » test initiated by the captain). The true test, on the other hand, is much more difficult, largely due to the number of seemingly unrelated problems given to aspiring hunters.
Hisoka’s presence makes this bow all the more enjoyable, especially as it promises that there will be a serious showdown between him and Gon, but only when the boy is strong enough. Killua also goes through a painful experience when he learns that Illumi, his older brother, is one of the contestants, and is sadly disqualified for killing another contestant, Bodoro. Gon decides to go on a new quest to save his new friend from the clutches of his overbearing family.
3 Yorknew City Arch
The Yorknew City arc belongs to Kurapika, and only him: it describes the agony of her life after the Ghost Troop coldly murdered her people, the Kurta, to steal and sell her precious Scarlet Eyes on the black market. Hunting for the eyes of her clan, Kurapika captures one of the troop members, Uvogin, after a long and dangerous fight. At the same time, the Ten Dons hire Zeno and Silva Zoldyck, two of the world’s greatest assassins, to kill Chrollo Lucilfer, the metaphorical spider head.
Of course, the latter would have evaporated in the battle, had it continued to its conclusion, but Illumi tells her father and grandfather that all of his clients have lost their lives, forcing them to allow Chrollo to escape. The explosive heights of the Yorknew City Arc are reached when Kurapika successfully « kidnaps » the villain in front of the noses of his henchmen, and warns Pakunoda to accept her demands (the instant release of Killua and Gon), if she and the rest hope to see their leader alive again. As a final form of revenge, however, Kurapika takes Chrollo’s Nen from him, and Hisoka makes one of the funniest expressions in anime history when he doesn’t get the fight he so desires.
2 Isle of Greed Arc
The Island of Greed Arc is one of the most exciting in anime; involves the adventures of Gon and Killua on the Isle of Greed, the game invented by their father, Ging, and a group of his friends. The intrepid pair experience some difficulty at first as they now jump into the mix with much more advanced fighters, but the introduction of the fabulous Biscuit Krueger turns the game around.
It is still not easy for them, as some members of the Phantom Troop also appear on the Isle of Greed, to locate someone with the ability to counter the Chain of Judgment imposed on Chrollo in the previous arc. The highlight, of course, is the dodgeball match in which the unlikely combination of Gon, Killua, and Hisoka takes part (and wins).
1 Chimera Ant Bow
The Chimera Ants Arc almost upset world order as the overwhelmingly powerful Anthills begin to crawl out of their nest and wreak havoc on society (even torturing innocent humans just for fun). Gon is horrified to see that his dear new friend, Kite, has been horribly beheaded by the innocent Neferpitou, and vows revenge on them. When the Ant King Meruem awakens, the President of the Hunters Association has no choice but to enter the fight himself.
Although the old man literally blows them both away with his nuclear heart, the creature survives with the help of two of his royal guards, Youpi and Pouf. The victory belongs to Netero in the end, as Meruem does not realize the magnitude of the radioactive poison that runs through his veins. Gon travels to Neferpitou, challenging them to deathmatch, and mutates into an adult version of himself by sacrificing his life energy. In this form, he is nearly unstoppable and breaks his body into nothingness, leaving Killua to stare in terror. There are too many brilliant features of this bow to list.