The shonen genre in anime is one of the most popular. Most anime that reach high levels of popularity like Dragon Ball, Naruto, and One piece are shonen anime. Every year quite a few names are added to the genre but not all become Dragon Ball or Naruto popular. One of those underrated gems is Hunter X Hunter. The anime is based on a world of hunters that fight dangerous battles in an attempt to capture criminals and find lost treasures in unchartered territories. The central character of the show – Gon, like any other shonen protagonist, wants to be the best in his world. However, the 12-year-old realizes reaching the goal is a lot tougher than he thought. Hunter X Hunter, written by Yoshihiro Togashi, is a shonen anime that can actually be one of the best anime but really is underrated. Here are the reasons why.
1. Characters are not Overpowered
Shonen anime sometimes, in an attempt to create powerful characters, make them overpowered. So overpowered that it goes to become far from reality. But Hunter X Hunter managed to not do that. Though the characters in the anime are strong, their powers make sense and are logical. Even the protagonist, Gon, loses a few fights. Nen is the basis of the powers of the characters and because of that, even a weaker guy could beat the strong ones if they’re smart enough.
2. The Unique Characters of Hunter X Hunter World
Just like any other shonen anime, Hunter X Hunter has a wide range of arcs in which new characters are introduced. But in this anime, every character that is introduced is unique and vivid. No character feels shallow or lacking dimension. Each character is well written and has its own story, like a real person. Apart from Gon, we get to see the stories of Killua and Kurapika explored in great detail. The show just does not focus on the protagonist but the development arc of every central character.
3. Characters had to face Consequences
In shonen anime like Dragon Ball, the characters mostly faced no serious consequences, even death was temporary. But in Hunter X Hunter the characters have to face the outcomes of the deeds they do. Like Gon’s stubborn behavior became the reason for Kite’s death. Or the time when he used too much of his Nen to change into his older form in an attempt to beat Pitou. He was unable to use his Nen for a while. These consequences allow the characters to grow and make wiser decisions in battle.
4. Does Not Just Focus on the Protagonist
In other shonen anime, the protagonist is made to appear a GOAT while the others struggle to catch up to him. But in Hunter X Hunter, being the protagonist does not make Gon the center of attention or most powerful. All the characters in the anime have their own goals to achieve. And the maker has given each one of them their storylines. Like in many arcs, Leorio or Kurapika is absent. This shows that not all characters are needed for every arc. They might have their own different agendas apart from supporting the protagonist in his journey.
5. Hunter X Hunter has One of the Best Worlds
When it comes to creating a world, almost every shonen anime has one. But when it comes down to who’s the best, it has to be this shonen anime. The world created by the makers is unmatched, keeping a few anime like One Piece in exception. The Hunter X Hunter world is so well created that there is a lot to explore but at the same time, it is compact. Nothing in the world of this anime seems out of place or sudden and unrelated.
6. The Show Gets Darker with Time
Most shonen protagonists like Naruto always stay positive no matter what goes by them. Even the death of close ones is their motivation to do better. But Gon, he does not remain cheerful forever. The world is dangerous and full of people with evil motives. On his journey, the shonen hero experiences some things he had never imagined and goes through personality shifts from time to time. The show may seem a little childish in the star but it progresses to take a darker turn.