In a world much like our own, but with more danger and more mystery, a young boy named Gon Freecss, raised since infancy by his aunt, discovers from a traveling stranger his father's true identity: Ging Freecss, a world-famous Hunter.In this world, you see, there are elite mercenaries known as Hunters. And Hunters truly are elite: among other benefits, they get access to world-class amenities and exotic locales that are off-limits to ordinary people. Of course, the life of a Hunter is also dangerous, for Hunters make their living taking on some of the most dangerous missions on Earth. Some scour the world for treasures or exotic goods, while others are Bounty Hunters who track down the world's most dangerous criminals. Gon isn't so much interested in riches or fame, however: he wants to be a Hunter so he can track down his father.Just becoming a Hunter is an adventure in itself. During the incredibly difficult and incredibly dangerous "Hunter Exam", Gon faces peril both natural and man-made. He also acquires a circle of friends, such as Leorio, a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who wants to become fabulously wealthy so he can become a doctor and open a free clinic; Kurapika, a blonde Bishōnen who is last of the Kuruta tribe, which was hunted into near-extinction by those who sought the Kuruta's "crimson eyes", which turn a fetching shade of red when emotionally excited; and Killua Zoldyck, the middle son of a Dysfunctional Family of notorious assassins.The series is notable for having many long hiatus breaks during its run, one of which continued for a grand total of 1 year and 20 days! Hunter × Hunter returned in 2010 Weekly Shonen Jump Double Issue #5-6, and ran for 20 chapters. It then went back into a year long hiatus since 2010 Weekly Shonen Jump Issue #26, but has finally returned again in 2011 Weekly Shonen Jump Issue #35-36, for 30 chapters then it went on a break again on Issue #16, 2012. It seems to have settled into a system where we get one tankobon (single volume collecting ~10 chapters) every 6 months, instead of every 2 months; this puts Hunter × Hunter on par with mangas that get a new chapter each month, instead of each week.In 2008, the original anime was licensed by Viz Media, but had various alterations to the DVD release, without informing the fanbase, causing sales to tank. Since the show's run finished, the franchise's future in the US remains bleak.Weekly Shonen Jump's double issue #35-36 in 2011 ultimately confirmed that the series would get a complete anime remake, disregarding the previous animated series and OVAs by Nippon Animation to start from the very beginning of the story; it is being animated by Madhouse and directed by Koujina Hiroshi, the character designs are being handled by Yoshimatsu Takahiro.Two movies for the series were also released.The 2011 anime is currently one of the most requested shows for Toonami on [adult swim], despite the show having yet to be licensed and dubbed for a U.S. release.It has a character page.Late-Arrival Spoiler warning: To those just starting with the manga/first anime or are watching The Remake, beware of major unmarked spoilers for the first few arcs below!
Killua in the first anime is given a more mature look, including slanted eyes, a more older looking face, and noticeably taller build than fellow 12-year-old Gon; in the 2011 reboot, Killua is given a more "cute and younger" design, with large and round expressive eyes, a height deduction, slimmer build, and age equivalent face. Just◊ look◊.
Actually, both anime renditions make the entire series more attractive, as in the manga, the art was often drawn lazily with a lack of detail, especially to the characters and scenery with very few things actually having detail. Shownhere◊ for◊ a◊ few◊ examples. Why the manga-ka chose to have so much emphasis on the turkey in the last one is a mystery. Some of the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine issues featured chapters composed mainly of scribbles and character designs lacking in detail making the anime renditions more attractive; all of the chapters though were redrawn afterwords so that doesn't hold true for their tankōbon release.
Pakunoda has a noticeably more feminine face than she does in the manga and original anime and wears lipstick.
Affably Evil: Hisoka, at times; at the very least, his demeanor is very calm and courteous for a bloodthirsty murderer.
Another aversion concerns Ging, who can imitate other people's Nen abilities; this however is not his Nen ability, as it's actually an innate skill. He shows it to prevent Pariston from learning about his actual Nen ability, which hasn't been shown.
Yet another aversion concerns the Chimera Ant Squadron Leader Leol, who can conditionally steal other users Nen abilities; he has to see the ability first and then stores them in his mp3, which prints a little receipt that he then rips apart, allowing him to perform the ability once for one hour. However, he cannot use the ability if the subject has died.
And Your Little Dog Too: The mafia community tries to pull this one on the Genei Ryodan/Phantom Troupe. It doesn't work:
Mafia guy: You are all dead. The community will kill you and your family. Torture and cut them to pieces. Give them the suffering of Hell.
Art Shift: This is more in lieu to the author's hiatus, but one can see he was really rushing at the end of the Greed Island arc. The artwork look on par with that of a sketchbook and yet SJ still published it.
Asskicking Equals Authority: The Chimera Ant hierarchy. The Hunter Association is kind of like this too, though there's actual politics behind it. Presumably badassness is just a major consideration in voting.
Subverted with the Genei Ryodan. Chrollo Lucifer is their leader, but he is nowhere near the strongest combatant in the Troupe. As a matter of fact their rank has very little to do with their abilities, though they do keep an informal tally on who's strongest in different areas like actual combat and arm wrestling, for example.
Author Avatar: He even makes a cameo appearance as a plushie in the background of the manga.
Avenging the Villain: What the Phantom Troupe want to do to Kurapika for Killing Uvo, Pakudona, and sealing their leader's abilities so that he's powerless.
Award Bait Song: The fourth ending of the 2011 anime, Nagareboshi Kirai, which takes place during the emotionally-heavy Chimera Ant arc and has a much more low-key sound than the previous three ending themes.
Awesome, but Impractical: One Heaven's Arena fighter had the ability to form a duplicate out of nen. It seems impressive at first, until it's revealed that that nen style is the exact opposite of his innate ability, and is complicated enough that he can't learn anything else, making him a one-trick pony that's easily thwarted once the ability's weakness is found.
Welfin's Nen ability consists of him triggering four missiles mounted on a band around his waist. Though it's fearsome looking, Welfin has to ask three questions for the missiles to actually shoot and seek their target. If the questions do not satisfy Welfin's conditions, the missiles would be shot and explode, but it doesn't work if Welfin is not able to ask the questions or if the target moves from the location in which Welfin estimates they are, meaning that they won't work blindly. As such, the ability is mostly for show.
Cheetu has this very tendency with everything he comes up with, which is shown when he traps Morel in a conditioned Nen room that requires Morel to catch Cheetu to be able to escape. Morel quickly realizes that the Nen conditions for the imprisonment made by Cheetu have huge logical gaps, meaning he doesn't actually have to pursue Cheetu to catch him or that Cheetu cannot actually attack him if he doesn't want him to leave, so he sits the whole way through, playing with Cheetu's impatience. Eventually, Morel is able to trick Cheetu by using his smoke.
Cheetu spontaneously creates an ability while keeping Morel imprisoned which consists of a crossbow on his right arm. Though Morel is impressed at his coming with a weapon on the spot, he wonders why Cheetu would create a weapon that it's in itself slower than himself. Frustrated with this quandary, Cheetu lets Morel leave.
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Played with, as Killua and Palm annoy the hell out of each other and were more than ready to come to blows, but they come to admit that they are valuable friends for the sake of Gon.
Averted with Gon and Killua Gon has very little qualms about admitting that Killua is his BFF; Killua will admit it to no one ( except Palm), not even to Gon himself.
Back for the Dead: Pokkle and Ponzu from the first Hunter Exam return in the Chimera Ant arc and are both brutally killed by the ants themselves.
Battle Tops: Gido tosses tops infused with Nen. When hit, the main character remarks that they hit like a sledgehammer. If the opponent gets too close, Gido can then spin like a top.
Be Careful What You Wish For: This is the basis of Alluka Zoldyck's Nen. If you grant three of her requests, she'll grant you one wish. But the wish often has unintended consequences, and the bigger it is, the more severe her requests become (to the point of asking someone to give her their organs). Whoever denies four consecutive requests dies on the spot, along with the person they care about most, and a number of other people depending on the last wish's severity. However, this is all completely averted for selfless or compassionate wishes, which just make Alluka sleepy and bypass the entire request system.
Apparently the rules don't really apply to Killua but he might be the only exception. He doesn't need to fulfill Alluka's three requests before being granted a wish. All he has to do, is ask nicely.
It's been revealed that Killua can even order Nanika to do things instead of asking as well. Such as sending Illumi home.
In the Yorkshin Arc, Nostrade lackey Squala argues that he would not spill any information to the prospective bodyguard candidates, so Femme Fatale Baise plants one on his lips. Her Nen ability turns Squala into a masochistic slave for three hours(on the Animes, she stomps him in his face; on the Manga, she even stomps him on the groin, much to his pleasure), removing all resistance from him.
Bee Bee Gun: Ponzu, a competitor in the first Hunter Exam.
Though not bees, the chimera ant Ikalgo can shoot weaponized bullet-shaped fleas through his air rifle. The flea hits prevent the victim's blood from clotting, which would induce death by blood loss.
Bequeathed Power: Pakunoda gets afflicted with a curse that causes her to die if she talks about anything related to her attacker. She makes her way back to the organization she works for and uses her powers one last time, to insert what she knows about her attacker into their memories so they all have detailed information about this assailant.
Best Served Cold: Kurapika dedicates his entire life to punishing the members of the phantom troupe who killed his entire clan.
Beware the Superman: The Genei Ryodan. The Chimera Ants. And it certainly isn't unheard of among regular hunters.
Blood Knight: Hisoka again. The only reasons he's helped out the main characters is because he wants to fight them once their powers are fully developed. Ditto his involvement with the Genei Ryodan, except he wants to fight Chrollo.
GonFreecs has distinct shades of this. He isn't The Unfettered, because he is guided by a strong sense of right and wrong, but as the counterfeiter he hangs out with finally realizes, "He doesn't care about the good and the bad." Mostly it's enough to peg him as Chaotic Good, but that doesn't really do him justice. Neither the readers nor the other characters can really predict where his moral sense will take him, and he surprises even his best friend (a child assassin) a lot. A serial killer once trained him and Killua, and he cheerfully allowed the person to go free afterward even after it was pointed out that this would cause more young women to get eaten, because "he helped us". After one of the Phantom Troupe is killed by Kurapika, Gon and Killua are captured by his best friend, who suspects them of involvement and rants, in tears, about how much it hurts to have lost his blowing-stuff-all-to-hell partner. And Gon responds with sudden fury, because he had assumed that the Troupe's members could do such horrible things because they didn't understand how much it hurt to lose people, which meant he couldn't hold it against them, but if they can and still do it they're so incomprehensibly evil he wants to end them. Tonpa admits how much he enjoys watching people fail miserably and die taking the hunter exams, which infuriates everyone else... except Gon, who continues treating him like a friend because he inadvertently helped them with his cowardice. Hanzo broke his arm during the hunter exam and when he threatened Gon's life, Gon simply said that "they would have to settle things in a different way" because if he died then Hanzo would loose (Gon not at all realizing the implication of the threat or simply didn't care about dying at all). To sum it up Gon has a simple world view, lives in the moment and judges people by their personalities and his experiences with them.
The Chimera Ants enter this territory from time to time, as well. Though they're largely just evil. Although most of the ants are evil and some are good, the king, Meryem, is a master of this trope. All the experiences he goes through continually shape his moral code which fluctuates wildly through the arc, turning him from what appears to be a Cell ripoff into one of the most deep and interesting villains in Shonen manga. And yet he always seems to have his code stuck somewhere in the Blue and Orange territory.
The Greed Island arc, more or less. Especially since it takes place between two very dark story arcs, and mainly involves Gon and Killua training and exploring a virtual world that's actually real while finding items to return home. Things don't get too serious until the end, and while Genthru is a major threat, he's nothing compared to the antagonists who came before or after him.
Killua: Do you have to yell those words every time? Gon: Huh? Sure. Otherwise it's not like a special attack. Killua: Maybe... but you're telegraphing the enemy. What if you get attacked while you're yelling? Gon: I'll dodge and say it. Killua: What if you can't?! Gon: I'll still say it.
This is partially explained by the nature of Nen, in where a user's familiarity with the activation of their ability will make that ability more powerful.
And used to clever effect by Gon to psych out an opponent who knows about Gon's penchant for calling his attacks.
Cartesian Karma: Possibly subverted when one of the side characters gets kidnapped by the ants, brainwashed and altered to be one of them. She eventually comes to her senses, and as Killua points out, Gon's not one to judge and the Hunter organization isn't going to persecute her just because she's now a chimera ant.
Also it's a pivotal point played straight with Gon. Blinded by his rage, he activates a technique that allows him to rapidly age/grow and defeat an enemy vastly superior to himself. Unfortunately after calming down, he's still mutated and puts himself on the brink of death.
Also his teacher and role-model Kaito, who is made into a living rag doll for the ants to manipulate that Gon desperately wishes to bring back. The realization that he can't do so, and Kaito truly is 'dead' is what pushes Gon into the transformation alluded to above.
Charles Atlas Superpower: The four main characters are all able to lift several tons, before learning Nen, due to extreme weight training.
Children Forced To Kill: Killua is an example. Being a member of a Big Screwed-Up Family of assassins, he's taught to kill from infancy, and forced into the life of an assassin without being given much of any choice in the matter. He was murdering people before he turned 6, and by the time he appears in the show at age 12, he's already killed hundreds of people.
Another side effect is that technology seems have gotten a bit more advanced in recent chapters. Cell phones look like they've leapt ahead 5 years and at one point Killua is clearly using some kind of tablet PC. The Madhouse remake also retcons a few things, like VHS tapes turned into discs and a lot of the older-looking TVs in the show have been changed to LC Ds.
Convection Schmonvection: Averted with Feitan's power Rising Sun, which creates a miniature star which does exactly what you expect it to do: It produces tremendous heat and thus quickly and violently burns down everything within a perimeter of several dozens of meters.
Covers Always Lie: The early tankobon covers are deceptively lighthearted, featuring a lot of giant cartoony animals. Eventually, when the Yorknew arc starts up, the covers get darker and more representative of the series, but Togashi occasionally throws the audience a curveball, like a cover of the Phantom Troupe as adorable chibis (followed by a cover of Gon and Killua as very vicious-looking chibis.)
The same thing goes for some of the opening themes, specifically the 1999 anime's first theme and the theme to the 2011 reboot. Both have a cheery, upbeat tone and lyrics that can be quite misleading.
Crapsack World: Thought 9/11 was bad? Here terrorists kill 11 million people in one event. The mob runs the world. Parts of the world are inhabited by demons.
The 11 million people thing? It's not even an actual part of the plot. It was just a throwaway remark.
Crapsaccharine World: A charming world full of funny creatures - and unfunny creatures, and bad, bad people.
Crippling Overspecialization: Komugi is the best Gungi player alive by a large margin, but this has left her severely lacking in all other aspects of her life; she is timid, fragile and borderline stupid. As she argues, playing Gungi is the only thing that prevents her from being either destitute or even dead.
Cycle of Revenge: The Ryodan killed the Kuruta tribe, so Kurapika killed Uvogin, so Nobunaga wants Kurapika dead...
Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Kurapika puts conditions on his Nen to increase its power, but it will kill him if he doesn't follow the strict code. Gon forcefully ages his body to increase his power, causing such trauma that his life will be shortened, and he may even lose his Nen powers.
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... it was horrifying as hell, but a little bit funny, too. 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. He often had to rely on quick thinking alone to survive.
Five-Man Band dynamics also played straight and deconstructed. Interesting because Gon, Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio map onto the team from Togashi's first big series.
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. Except they stopped doing that in Hunter × Hunter. Hisoka came back. The rest of the Ryodan appeared to have a Villain Episode wiping out a local outbreak of the new Big Bad. Leorio is not likely to do so. Nor Kurapika.
Chrollo Lucifer is weird. Hisoka does not belong in children's comics. And Meryem is an attempt to be psychologically realistic about a cosmic-level entity born full-grown to devour humans and conquer the world.
Hisoka versus Kastro; the former voluntarily allows both of his arms to be cut and he still wins.
A subversion is the fight between Isaac Netero and the Chimera Ant King Meruem. According to him, Netero's loss of limbs does not make him any less of a threat. Even though he delivers his ultimate attack, he still is not able to inflict any significant injury to the King, so Netero decides to pierce his own chest to stop his heart, triggering an atomic bomb to finally destroy the King. This deathly final act does bring the King to the brink of death, but he is revived by his Royal Guards. The King and his Guards would not die until hours later from a poisoning agent embedded in the bomb.
Designated Bullet: Kurapika's ability Chain Jail can only be used on members of the Phantom Troupe.
Dirty Coward: Tonpa. Not only does he admit that he's a lying, cheating son of a bitch, but that he also gets his kicks from watching men in their prime fail and die horrible deaths in the Hunter Exams. Sometimes, he'll even sabotage his team's efforts to win if he gets far enough.
Drama Queen: The chimera ant officer Pike borders on the Tsundere towards Zazan; the Royal Guard Shaiapouf often has tirades of ballet dancing and violin solos, and Kikyo Zoldyck acts this way towards her son Killua.
Dude Looks Like a Lady: Kalluto is more or less always in female clothing, and Alluka subverts it by actually being a girl, though Illumi still refers to her as a brother (when he's not too busy calling it "it" or "a thing").
Kurapika is very feminine looking. It doesn't help that he's crossdressed on more than one occasion as a disguise. Up until Word of God confirmed it for the Philippine dub for the 1999 series, Kurapika's gender was a topic of speculation; he's all boy.
Easing Into the Adventure: The first episode shows us Gon's hometown and family, and his motivation for wanting to be a Hunter in the first place.
Election Day Episode: Not only an episode, but an entire Story Arc devoted to the Election of Chairman of the Hunter's Association. It shows off a very interesting power struggle, even the most good and honest characters are forced to retort to morally ambiguous tactics in order to increase their popularity, every movement (even the fights)is calculated to get more voters and support, and the masses are constantly swayed away by the candidates' showy propaganda, pompous speeches and shady promises instead of their actual arguments or background. And, for the most prominent characters, the election ends up being another game to test their skills against each other.
When Killua asks Gon whether he has been on a date before, Gon tells him that while on Whale Island, he was taken out by passerby women from docking ships as an escort and that they "taught him things", much to Killua's surprise.
There's also Hisoka's unusual interest in Gon, which does include him leering at the poor boy's backside during Greed Island. Killua doesn't approve of that either.
Gon isn't the only boy Hisoka's interested in. It seems like both the 12 year old protagonists aren't safe from his fascination.
Even Evil Ants Love Their Mama: The very reason Colt betrays the Chimera Ant King. As such, Colt retains the memories of a human boy that was tasked by his own mother to protect his sister Reina. This is why Colt tries to preserve the Queen's legacy and structure, albeit unsuccessfully, not only as her son, but as her second-in-command too.
Evil Versus Evil: The Yorknew arc, pitting the Phantom Troupe against the world's major mafia families and eventually the Zaoldyecks, with the main cast caught in the middle.
E.g. Shizuku's and Coltopi's powers don't work on living beings; Gensuru's main ability won't activate until he explains it; Kurapika will die if he uses Chain Jail on someone outside of Genei Ryodan (in order to avertHe Who Fights Monsters). On a different note, Kurapika learns from Mizaistom that the person who holds the Kurtas' eyes, a Prince of Kakin; as he is not in the Genei Ryodan, this poses a quandary to Kurapika's powers.
This also explains why Gon calls out his attacks (see Calling Your Attacks above). He has subconsciously put a condition on his Nen attack, meaning he has to say the attack out loud, otherwise it wouldn't be as destructive, or even activate.
Killua was conditioned by Illumi to retreat every time he faces an enemy he doesn't know he can defeat. Though it's long argued that his training led him to be conditioned, Illumi's influence is entirely artificial, as he put a Nen needle in Killua's brain.
The chimera ant Meleoron explains that his abilities render him and anyone he touches effectively invisible and imperceptible, but they are still wholly vulnerable to damage.
Fluffy the Terrible: A giant guard dog with a cutesy name guards the Zoldyck household. Even Gon is afraid of it.
Forbidden Zone: The "Outside"/Dark Continent, original home of the super-sized chimera ants, quite possibly all magical beasts, and special types of humans. The land has been called "Humanity's most immense taboo" and all attempts to go there throughout history resulted in disasters. 200 years ago, the five greatest nations in the world agreed to outlaw any further exploration attempts. Doubles as a Death World, as the forbidden area is actually the vast majority of their planet. There are four things needed to travel there: authorization, means, qualification, and a contract...; likewise, whenever creatures from the Dark Continent cross, it means disaster to the human world and the ensuing disasters are barely contained.
Fun with Acronyms: It's eventually revealed that 'Greed Island' is an acronym, consisting of the first name of everyone involved in its creation.
Well, sort of... One of the characters involved in the creation of Greed Island had his name changed by the protagonist's father to make the acronym work, which appears to be a sore spot for him to this day
Gender Misdirection: Years after being told the Zoldyek's had only sons, Alluka, the missing brother, turns out to be a girl.
Played with. Killua refers to Alluka as a girl, and Alluka herself refers to herself as one, but Illumi and Milluki refer to Alluka as a boy. The rest of the family gravitates towards calling Alluka "it", so they don't even consider Alluka a human being.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: aside from the gorn, the most obvious example would be Hisoka's sexual overtones towards battle. In the 2011 series, he even gets a rather onomatopoeic boner at the prospect of fighting Gon.
Gorn: Has LOTS of it, though much of it is (self-)censored because the manga runs in Jump. The writers of the new anime which is aimed at a younger audience have already gone on record saying they will be in deep trouble once the series catches up with the later manga arcs. The anime writers decided to go Mood Whiplash on the show, so after all the adorable cuteness of friendship and Bloodless Carnage in the first twenty episodes or so, the Genei Ryodan comes in, and the body count spikes, with a side of big pool of blood, and nearly dead guy getting sucked up by a vacuum.
They did find a workaround about this, using clever camera angles to cover Gon severed hand among others. Some scenes where the brain or internal organs of the victims were shown (during certain battles with Uvogin and Chrollo, The Bomber explosion mass-murder and before the Dodgeball battle) and notably everyone favourite pedo-clown hotspring scene (with Gon and Killua's eyes slowly following the offscreen ... "reaction" of Hisoka) were redone in the 2011 anime so that it doesn't show as much as in the manga.
Leol makes an appearance in TV and when the reporter asks him for proof, he proceeds to bite most of her upper body off; this is censored on the series cleverly as a glitch in the transmission as if the camera had stopped working when Leol attacked the reporter.
Gratuitous English: In The Last Missionmovie, TV broadcasts are shown with captions in English, inexplicably avoiding the in-universe alphabet. In those captions, Netero is presented as "President of Hunter X Hunter", producing a strange case of in-house Cowboy Bebop at His Computer.
Groin Attack: The series had a secondary female character who could Mind Control people after kissing them. The scene where she demonstrates her ability has her kissing her partner, then making him lay on the floor and have her pressing her foot to his crotch. Repeatedly. As the guy begs for more and she lets out a shrieking Noblewoman's Laugh. Also counts as Getting Crap Past the Radar.
Half-Human Hybrid: The Chimera Queen absorbs the DNA of anything she eats and gives birth to hybrid children, and the Chimera King can mate with the female of any species and turn her into a Chimera Queen.
Hard Work Hardly Works: Subverted. While Gon and Killua have incredible natural talents when it comes to learning Nen, the true source of their phenomenal growth is the fact that they also train very dutifully to refine their abilities. The result is that they're able to make the kind of progress that would take most people years in a few months. Their backgrounds also come into collation considering that Gon is the son of Ging, one of the greatest Nen users in the world, and Killua comes from an elite family of professional assassins and has been an accomplished combatant from an early age.
Heads or Tails: Members of the Spiders flip a coin to settle disputes.
Heart Is an Awesome Power: Hisoka has the power to make his aura sticky like gum, and the power to change the appearance and texture of thin surfaces. Those are his only Nen abilities. As lame as they sound, the way he uses them makes them overkill. He even named them in a rather cheesy manner, as they come from a chewing gum brand from when he was young.
Considering the greater picture, Gon and Killua are each other's first friend ever, as Killua was not allowed to make friends and Gon lived in an isolated island where the population was not sedentary.
Hidden Depths: Underneath her manic behavior and fearsome appearance, Palm Siberia is a remarkably beautiful woman and a tremendous cook.
Interspecies Romance: Meryem and Komugi, it was being subtly developed along the Chimera Ants arc, mostly one-sided by Meryem's infatuation with Komugi, although in the arc's climax/closure it was developed into a mutual relationship.
Intimidation Demonstration: Early on, one of Kurapika's opponents punches a concrete wall, leaving huge cracks and chips in it, then reveals a tattoo resembling that of the deadly Spiders organization as well as his kill count on his back. It turns out that he embedded a steel plate into one of his hands to enable him to punch with more force but can only do it once in a while as it really hurts, that the Spiders have a membership number on their tattoos, and that their kills are so numerous that they don't bother to count.
It's Personal: Happens very often in Hunter X Hunter where bad guy will incure the wrath of the heroes (usually Gon).
Since the Phantom Troupe killed his entire village and family, Kurapika's got this in spades.
Jerkass Façade: Leorio initially claims he's only in it for the money, but he later reveals that he needs the money to pay for medical school because his dream is to open a free clinic, having lost his best friend Pietro to a disease.
Kurapika is a rather unapproachable person when he is first introduced. Though he mellows out, he does so only with Gon, Killua and Leorio; still, he is the second most stubborn person in the series (after Gon) by a large margin. By the time the Chimera Ant arc is finished (from which he was entirely absent), he got even worse.
Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The original anime... Good lord, the original anime... It was to the point where they would occasionally stretch out one chapter of the manga over two episodes.
The only major exception is the way Chimera Ants are created, such as Kite might be now if taken at face value, retain memories and personalities of the devoured humans used to create them. Initially these personalities are suppressed, but those who recover their memories fully can be said to be a form of this.
Leave the Camera Running: The 5th episode of the first OVA has a scene near the end which consists of the camera zooming out of Pakunoda's face while she has numerous flashbacks (in transparent). This lasts for about 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Living on Borrowed Time: As of Chapter 311, Meryem due to the Rose bomb's poison. Palm Siberia claims Meryem will be dead in a few hours. Shiapouf, who was infected by the poison when he fed Meryem his body, is dying even faster.
Likewise, Pakunoda and Chrollo from the Genei Ryodan were given this treatment by Kurapika by rendering them unable to use their Nen or face death; Pakunoda rescinded her borrowed time to reveal her troupe mates the appearance of the "Chain User", while the Genei Ryodan and Hisoka went to Greed Island to find a Nen master that could remove Chrollo's conditioning.
Magically Binding Contract: Nen users are able to use this to bolster their abilities and become more proficient in nen types they aren't compatible with, usually by handicapping themselves in some way.
Malignant Plot Tumor: The Chimera Ants arc started as a side story completly unrelated to the main plot. It ended up being longer than the Yorknew and Greed Island arcs combined.
Manly Tears: The chimera ant Ikalgo has the tendency to cry when overwhelmed by emotion. At one decisive instance, he cries at his own inability to kill his fellow ant Bloster; thinking him a craven, Welfin tries to extort him and in turn Ikalgo roundly kicks his ass to complete submission.
Bloster, whom Ikalgo spared, takes Reina (now an ant herself) back to her village to the arms of her mother. Grateful at him, the villagers offer Bloster food and shelter but he declines. In tears, Reina fetches him and pleads for him to stay. Moved by her grateful pleas and realizing that he literally has nothing else, Bloster cries and accepts to stay.
Gon does this at the sight of Kite's mangled body, swearing to get him back to normal; unbeknownst to him, Kite was already dead, but alive in a diminutive chimera ant girl.
Meaningful Name: Meryem, according the the Chimera Ant Queen, means "The light that shines on everything." Meryem demonstrates the truth of this when he reaches a level of power where he is able to use his Nen on individual photons, and in the chapter titled "A Flash".
Meet Cute: Subverted and lampshaded during the Greed Island arc with "Love-Love, The City of Romance" which is "famous for its easy meetings": Various Moe Moe-looking characters crash into the main characters, lose their glasses, and generally need rescuing, but the main characters (mostly) ignore them because they've got a mission to complete.
The Millstone: When Gon and co are forced to team up with Tonpa during one stage of the Hunter Exam, he actively tries to be one. Ironically, at one point this actually helps the protagonists.
Mix-and-Match Critters: An entire race of Mix-and-Match Critters, the Chimera Ants, is the foe during the Chimera Ant arc.
Morality Pet: The Chimera Ant King only avoids slipping past the Moral Event Horizon because he takes care of a heavily handicapped girl when she's injured.
Possibly you could state that on the blimp, Gon played this part for Killua. He was about to kill the girl when he heard Gon still fighting for her outside, and it brought him back to his old self. Since then he's seemed to avoid killing people if there was an alternative.
From the beginning Gon was this to Killua. During the Hunter Exam arc Killua still murders people rather casually (including killing a couple of candidates because they were rude and he had a bad day), but thanks to Gon he grows to be a much more moral person.
Gon, Killua and Leorio are this to Kurapika; while he recognizes that they are remarkable friends, he considers that the morality that they instill in him prevents him to accomplish his vendetta against the Genei Ryodan, so he has repeatedly tried to keep them at a distance (most of the times unsuccessfully).
Pakunoda seemed to be this to the Genei Ryodan before she succumbs to Kurapika's chains. The efforts made to rescue Chrollo from Kurapika were not because he is the Troupe's leader (which arguably makes him expendable by the Troupe's rules), but because he is their friend and they don't want him to die. Pakunoda's last act not only gave the Troupe Kurapika's face, but also the fact that to Gon and Killua, unlike the rest of the world, found Pakunoda's life to be valuable.
More Dakka: One of the Genei Ryodan removed his own fingers to replace them with Nen machine guns.
Mundane Utility: One round of the Hunter Exam was a cook-off. Also used in the York Shin arc, where Gon and Killua use their aura-sensing powers to locate cheap antiques that they can later resell for a profit.
Murder the Hypotenuse: Shaiapouf is afraid Komugi might distract the King from his "true goal" and is therefore considering killing her for "the King's sake".
My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Often subverted, as ostensibly powerful and experienced characters are often defeated by weaker characters who simply have a better preparation and make a wiser or more optimal use of their skills; see Kurapika vs. Uvogin, Gon vs. Genthru, many fights against the Chimera Ants, and so on.
Doubly subverted when Uvogin fights the Shadow Beasts. Just after we have established just how badass he is, the three Shadow Beasts, through carefully combined attacks and proper use of their abilities, quickly render Uvogin seemingly harmless... and then he manages to defeat all three of them in 10 seconds using only his neck and head after warning them that that was actually all he needed to kill them, although to be fair he still would have died if his allies hadn't treated him or if the poison used by one of the Shadow Beasts was lethal instead of just paralyzing.
Not Drawn to Scale: Height discrepancies are pretty off, but it's pretty apparent when you see Gon and Killua together and the two with the Phantom Troupe; canonically speaking, Gon is 154cm and Killua is 158cm, in the 2011 version, they are roughly the same height until the Chimera Ant Arc when it's more clear that Killua is taller than Gon. In relation to Machi and Shizuku, who are two of the closest in height to the two boys in the Troupe, height discrepancies become a bit more clear. As Machi is 159cm and Shizuku is 160cm, making them one and two centimeters taller than Killua and five and six centimeters taller than Gon; seen in the Yorknew City Arc, the two girls are a full head taller than both boys despite being roughly the same height as Killua, albeit a bit taller. See for yourself.◊
Not So Stoic: The Genei Ryodan's coda argues that since the world gave up on them, they do not care for anyone's life, unless of course someone does come to respect their lives and existence as Gon, Killua and Kurapika show to Pakunoda. The very notion makes the Troupe stop their pursuit of the trio and focus on relieving Chrollo from his conditioning.
Only Sane Man: Parodied with the 3 guards of the king; both Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi see themselves as the only sane of the 3 guards... but in the heat of battle, they both lose a lot of time due to their respective temper problems, whereas only Neferpitou is able to keep his cool and display razor-sharp intuition and light-speed decision making even as all odds are against him.
By comparison, Pouf has the tendency of arriving to the wrong conclusions when faced with pressure and being a Drama Queen in general, and Youpi tends to not think things through. Albeit superficially aloof, Pitou works best when cornered.
Parodied also at Greed Island, out of Gon, Killua and Biscuit, the latter comes off as the most infantile and immature even though she is actually 59 years old and buff as hell.
Open Secret , the training and use of Nen is supposed to be a big secret in the world of Hunter × Hunter, only known to those who walk deep into the path of becoming a hunter and rare individuals. However, at least in the remake anime, everyone from the 200th floor and up of the Celestial Arena are Nen users, with showy Nen battles, open to a very large betting public and ALSO probably televised around the world. The commentator of the fights even talks about the use of Nen from the fighters in the arena. The only possible way for Nen to be the secret it was supposed to is if the Celestial Arena was the less popular than Public Access networks, which it can't be if it can afford to pay the winners up to the 200th floor upwards to MILLIONS of Jenny per win (about 100$ Jenny equals to about US$ 1). It is also jarring how pathetically weak the contestants of the tower are up to the 200th floor, at which point it seems to change the virtually flat difficulty curve of the tower with a 90º angle.
It is also odd that Killua wasn't taught about it in his family, considering he was a prodigy taught about all else in assassination, the lack of Nen training is glaring.
Kurapika hasn't been seen though Leorio tried calling him to inform him of Gon's situation.
Ironically, it looks like Killua has been put on a bus as of recently since he's off to travel with his sister Alluka for a bit.
Chrollo Lucifer was put on a bus since the Yorknew arc, or since he was effectively conditioned by Kurapika. As such, not even the Genei Ryodan know where the hell he is, but are still trying to relieve him from the conditioning.
Redemption Equals Death: As soon as we start to see Pakunoda's good side, she dies. She's still a villain, it's just that we start to understand why she does the things she does... And then wham. Dead.
The Remake: In just another one of the series come back from its hiatus, Jump's double issue #35-36 (2011) confirmed the rumors that Hunter X Hunter would get a new anime adaptation, the surprise was that it won't be a continuation from where the previous OVAs left off, it will be a complete remake, starting from the very begining of the manga.
Shaggy Dog Story: Gon and Killua's adventures in auctioneering during the Yorknew arc. They never make anywhere near enough money for the minimum bid on Greed Island, and then have to make enough money anyway just to buy back Gon's Hunter license that he pawned for the seed money while they just go with an alternate plan to volunteer to play it for a multibillionaire that ends up buying all the copies.
The guy that helped them in this endeavor also ends up leaving to take the Hunter Exam, only to get stomped by Killua in the first few minutes of the exam.
She Cleans Up Nicely: Palm Siberia, whose usual appearance is rather ragged: Messy hair, barefoot, a dirty dress etc. When she goes out on a date with Gon, she looks quite cute When the date starts to turn sour she reverts to her old look.
He Cleans Up Nicely in the case of Phynx when he dresses up as an agent alongside his troop mates to free Uvogin from the Nostrade family bodyguards; even Uvo compliments him exactly like that when he sees him.
Hisoka is completely naked in the last scene, at least in the manga (his intimates covered up by a speech balloon of all things). Gon and Killua don't seem too disturbed, but Biscuit, an older women who has the ability to turn into a little girl, has to run away and giggle furiously while red in the face.
In the recent Alluka/Election Arc of the 2011 anime, we see Alluka playing with some familiar looking dolls in one of the flashbacks. Extra points for this shout-out since Togashi is married to Sailor Moon's manga-ka.
The series also received a Shout-Out in Sailor Moon: Crystal, where Ami and Usagi are at an arcade and one of the arcade games is Greed Island.
How about having to choose between surnaming Killua as Zoldick or Zaoldyeck? Or Jin/Gin/Jing/Ging Freaks/Freeccs? And then we move into the Chimera generals, with names like Neferpitou, Shiapouf, and Menthuthuyupi. And since the "official" romanizations are pure gibberish in many cases, no two fan translations are ever consistent. Even on this very PAGE there are vastly different spellings for the same character's name. Even the official translations from Viz use the company's own interpretations instead of the official books, though if at least one makes sense, it will go with that one (as is the case of Chrollo).
An in-universe example. Ging Freeccs forced his friend Wdwune (the guy who gave out the last card in Greed Island) to change his name to Dwun despite his friend's fervent protest.
An out-universe example. For a long time, the dodgeball player in the Greed Island game had his name translated as "Laser", until it was revealed that the "R" in the "Greed Island" title standed for his name's first letter. So it was changed to "Razor".
According to the databook, the official spelling for Kurapika and the Gen'ei Ryodan are:
Spoiler Opening: The first opening of the 1999 version wasn't one, but the second was. Especially the OVAs and the 2011 anime version have spoiler openings.
Stealth Mentor: Hisoka shows hints of this at times, but who knows what his motives are: It could be that he's simply batshit insane.
At least a part of his motives is that he simply wants to fight strong opponents. At present he's doing his best to help Chrollo get his nen powers back so he can fight him, and he also wants Gon to grow into a fighter powerful enough to give him a helluva fight.
Also helps Killua out by tricking Illumi into revealing his killing intent so that Killua knows to avoid the area Illumi is in, because Killua is on a mission to save Gon. Though also subverted later on as Hisoka wonders if he should just kill Alluka to make Killua hate him and then kill Killua to make Illumi hate him so he has at least one strong opponent out of the three (Gon, Killua and Illumi) left, and gets to fight the second.
Super Cell Reception: Pretty much everyone, from the 12-year-old protagonists, to the gang of bandits that Shalnark's a member of, to the Chimera Ant commanders have and use cellphones to communicate with each other over distances. Gon and Killua's beetle-shaped phones, in particular, are described as being able to get service nearly anywhere in the world.
Supernatural Phone: Shalnark uses his cell phone as his weapon of choice. It lets him mind-control anyone he places a receiver on (and seems to control what they say via him texting the phrases). He can also stick a receiver on himself to give himself a power boost, though he can only move by inputting commands into the phone, and it quickly exhausts him of his energy. It can work as a normal cell phone.
Superpower Lottery: Within some limits. There are six different schools of Nen you you can end up with that is random, and each school determines what type of powers you can develop for yourself. Ideally, the user develops the powers that are closer to his gradually and through a lifetime of training; this rule can only be averted if the user basically has a death wish and complete abandon like Kurapika and Gon and even that has its own limitations and rules.
Take That: At the North Korean government, as seen in the Republic of East Gorteau, a dictatorial country that parallels with a country of the same name at its West side. It's ruled by a Supreme Leader whose name, Ming Jol-ik, is an portmanteau of the former dictator Kim Jong-Il.
Also, at China. The country's capital city is called Peijin.
Talking Is a Free Action: Lampshaded. Knuckle thinks several paragraphs worth of text, realizes that he's thinking incredibly quickly and that the only way that could happen is because time slows down in the few seconds before he dies, then turns to see an obviously-fatal attack coming right toward him.
Also averted, again with Knuckle, at least in the anime. His ability adds forced compounded interest on "loaned aura" at a rate of 10% every 10 seconds. By the time he's done explaining the ability to Gon, the "loan" had grown considerably.
Torture Technician: Feitan. His torture acts are actually never shown, but it is hinted in various ways that he is a particularily sadistic pervert. The fact that he partially subverts the trope by being not a weakling at all, but actually one of the strongest and toughest fighters of his group, does not render him any more sympathetic.
Nobunaga: You're aiming to break his arm, right?
Feitan: I was thinking of starting with the fingers. Carefully removing his nails...
Neferpitou too. His modus operandi is extracting information via wires implanted in the brain.
Tournament Arc: Subverted in the Heaven's Arena arc. The tournament itself isn't the focus and this fact is even lampshaded several times when the woman registering the fighters for bouts tells Gon and Killua what awaits at the top floor only for both of them to say that they aren't interested, when Kastro tells killua that he'll meet Killua at the battle olympia (soon after killed by hisoka) with Killua telling him he isn't interested. It seems the entire point of the Heaven's Arena arc is for Killua and Gon to learn and familiarize themselves with nen.
The Hunter Exam arc ends in a tournament, though it differs from your standard shonen tournament in that every match is a submission match (you must get your opponent to forfeit the match,) killing results in an instant disqualification and instead of competing to be the winner, everyone's competing to not be the one loser. This leads to an interesting match where Gon wins the fight by getting the crap beaten out of him so hard that his opponent forfeits for fear of killing him because he refuses to submit.
True Companions: The four main characters and also the Genei Ryodan, who are a rare villainous example.
Undignified Death: The deaths of Meruem, Pouf and Youpi; though it was expected for them to perish in the throes of combat as the tremendous fighters that they are, they succumb to radiation poisoning from Netero's nuclear bomb without being able to lay a finger on anyone. In the case of Meruem, he was able to die peacefully at the side of his loved one; Pouf and Youpi instead fell pathetically like flies without ever understanding what hit them.
Verbal Tic: Not sure if it counts but, most of Hisoka's word bubbles have the symbol for one of the four suits in a modern deck of playing cards; in other words, it'll have Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds or Spades.
Palm ( before her transformation into an ant) is barely able to talk without mumbling and moaning
The Voiceless: The chimera ant Reina was a little girl who was captured by the ants and transformed into her new form. With the ants, she serves as a page to the ant Hina under Leol's orders. Hina long suspects that she can talk, but she's either unable or unwilling and she correctly concludes that Reina is actually very young. Turns out, Reina was so sad and scared that she was unable to talk until Bolster reunited her with her grieving human mother.
Wham Line: From Chapter 344: Gon tries to use his Nen after being healed. "My aura... Isn't coming out...?"
Previously, when Pitou reveals to Gon that he had killed Kite a long time ago.
What The Hell, Villain?: Pouf is already known for manipulating people, but by lying about Komugi to Pitou, his fellow Royal Guard, he inadvertently caused the latter's death in Gon's hands.Pitou, however was already preparing to fight Gon and was bidding his time for the circumstances to change, but otherwise he would not have breached his pact of honor with Gon (for the King's sake) or would have intentionally thrown Gon into despair, a fact that triggered their fight, Gon's transformation and Pitou's eventual loss.
Against all odds and Pouf's wishes and efforts, Welfin does exactly what the King ordered him to do: reveal Komugi's existence to the King, effectively ending all malicious intent that was left in the King. Rather than continue their world-conquering plans, the King decides to spend his last living throes in the company of his loved Komugi, immediately ending the war.
Wild Child: Gon has all of the advantages: Charles Atlas Superpower senses, super strength but none of the disadvantages: The whole fish-out-of-water thing. Wing notes that though he was raised in a town, he was very outdoorsy.
World of Badass: When passing the Hunter Exam requires you to be a top-grade Badass at the very least, you know you're in one of these.
Wrong Name Outburst: The chimera ant Colt argues that his queen and mother has to be protected, and he absentmindedly refers to her as "Reina" and that his task is to protect her. This implies that Colt has vestigial memories of a boy that was captured early on the ants' spread and was tasked that very thing by his mother; unbeknownst to him, his sister Reina is also a chimera ant, also survives the war and reunites with their mother.