The Zoldycks are either a Badass Family that has every right to do whatever they do, or a creepy family who treats each other immorally.
Also, Silva Zoldyck and Ging Freecss. Do they really think that their sons are more than capable enough to last without their dad at such a young age, or are they just fathers who just don't care that their sons might be killed because they were too weak? It is more ambiguous with Ging though.
The Phantom Troupe. Are they justified for being upset for having one of their members die or are they, like Gon said, Hypocrites to be in such despair when they kill thousands of people with no remorse? Also is Chrollo stealing precious items For the Evulz or does he just want to make the troupe be remembered by the masses for having he and his group being Un-People?
Are the chimera ants in the wrong for wanting the world to be ruled with Chimera Ants? Because on one hand, humans won't necessarily die and may become a chimera ant and any evil chimera ant only wants to kill humans, who are also resisting. But on the other hand, not all humans will survive and who they really are, are some questions with Chimera Ants that haven't been answered (Can a Chimera Ant get pregnant with a baby? Would their friends, Chimera Ant or human, always recognize them? etc.).
Gon. His father abandoned him to be a Hunter, never once contacting him or checking in on him afterwards. His response? Try to become a Hunter to find out just how great it is that you would be willing to abandon your only son. Gon doesn't care to find out who his birth mother is and would rather let Mito fill that position and passed up a chance to learn who it really was that is now permanently tabled. He also isn't upset about most things. He isn't even upset about Mito lying to him for years about his father. The first anime subverts this by giving post-traumatic reactions after receiving pity from Hisoka in the exam.
Finally subverted in the Chimera Ant arc, where he goes through a severe Break the Cutie situation when his mentor is killed by an Ax-Crazy cat ant. He becomes infuriated with the latter's sudden show of empathy to an insult to his simple world view, and the Awful Truth that his mentor has been long dead finally drives him down the Despair Event Horizon.
The Tower of Heaven arc usually gets this for wasted potential beyond being just a training arc for Gon and Killua to learn the basics of nen. Throughout the arc, there is legitimate build-up to fighting possible "tower-heads" if one was to rise high enough in the tower...and yet Gon and Killua never get a shot to fight at least one of these leaders and basically called it quits after Gon's fight with Hisoka. A possible explanation is that since they had trouble against upstarts, many of whom were handicapped, quitting then was probably a wise decision.
The Phantom Troupe arc was noted by many to have one of the most disappointing endings in the series due to almost all fights being cut short and others shoved offscreen and some wonder if the author actually plans to make it continue in some time.
Depending on who you ask, Meruem. Most tend to argue that there was hardly a reason to bring him back after his battle against Netero if he was just going to slowly die off to the poison of Netero's rose-bomb. Pouf and Youpi also contract radiation poisoning from being around him, and they die offscreen. While Youpi at least gets a flashback, Pouf doesn't even get that.
If one was expecting some epic battle between Killua and Illumi at the end of the Election arc especially since it would be extremely satisfying for Killua to pay back everything Illumi has done for him, then they might be disappointed when Killua just merely had Nanika teleport Illumi back to the manor.
The Hunter Exam in the original anime where portions of the arc was extended with Filler.
The Chimera Ant arc ran for more than 8 years, thanks to it having long breaks on top of lasting 132 chapters. This arc has been much better received in the 2011 anime due to the long breaks not existing...but even then, the arc took over a year to get through at 61 episodes! (In comparison, the Dragon Ball Z Namek/Frieza saga, infamous for being packed with filler and stretched with padding, lasted 67 episodes.)
Even then, parts of the arc can REALLY drag. Particularly once the palace invasion starts, with most of the fights taking even longer than would be natural due to the narration constantly freezing the action. You'd be forgiven for thinking it was done to pad out episodes, but it wasn't.
The Dark Continent arc started in 2012 and is on-going as of 2021 due to Togashi's frequent long hiatuses. Even when he does come back from hiatus, he puts out only a few chapters (usually around 10 to fill up a single volume), which the arc remains no closer to being finished. The arc has now suffered the longest manga hiatus to date with the latest chapter release dating back to November 26th, 2018, and still hasn't seen any signs of possibly returning.
Killua is repeatedly shown to fear fighting (perceived) stronger enemies as a result of strict teaching from Illumi and Silva to not take risks. In the Chimera Ant arc, hes pressured by Biscuit (who, again, sees the issue as a result of strict teaching) to either overcome the issue or part ways with Gon, as hell probably end up abandoning him someday to save his own hide. So how does Killua solve the issue? Turns out Illumi put a neeedle in his brain enforcing the psychological handicap, and he just needs to rip it out. While Illumis needles have been shown to manipulate minds, the victims are essentially dead. This resolution had little buildup and is generally considered anticlimactic.
While Alluka herself was foreshadowed back during the Zoldyck family arc as an unseen fifth child, her role when she actually shows up is highly controversial due to Togashi cheapening any real repercussions Gon would have had to suffer from as a result of what happened to him in the Chimera Ant arc. Instead, Gon ends up getting completely healed in the next arc thanks to a newly introduced character.
Kite's revival as a Chimera Ant is viewed this way by some fans. Ging vaguely explained that Kite's powers were what revived him rather than standard phagogenesis. He mentioned a form of his Crazy Slots that would only appear if his life was in danger, which was implicitly linked to his reincarnation. An ability like this was never mentioned beforehand.
Hisoka's resurrection can be seen as this. He came back to life by using Bungee Gum to perform CPR on himself after Chrollo killed him. Nen after death was first introduced during the Yorknew city arc, but a post-mortem resurrection nen ability came out of nowhere.
For the people that complained about the Chimera Ant Arc suffering from Arc Fatigue, the following Arc, the Hunter Chairman Election, was not only mercifully much shorter, but is the third shortest arc in the series (behind the Heavens Arena Arc and the Zoldyck Family Arc). It also resolved the major Myth Arc of the series, which was for Gon to finally meet his dad.
For the people that hated the dub to the 1999 anime, the 2011 is given a new cast using the in-house voice pool for Viz Media.
For those who complained about Leorio and Kurapika being Demoted to Extra for two whole arcs (one of which lasted for nearly a decade), the Dark Continent Arc is looking to be giving them both more spotlight.
Gon's transformation into "Adult Gon / Gon-san" in the manga was rather polarizing (especially in Japanese communities) and is frequently seen as rather Narm-y in no small part due to the way it was presented and drawn, with Gon still having a childlike face on top of his huge body and the scene just not really having the sort of impact it was aiming for. The 2011 Madhouse adaptation greatly polished the whole sequence, giving Gon a menacing adult face and iron jaw, as well as having some fantastic animation and brilliant usage of sound effects, music, colors and voice acting. While the overall transformation is still a subject of Memetic Mutation, the 2011 version of the scene managed to polish it into a highly-praised and well regarded event, regardless of the form's still admittedly strange design and debatable Ass Pull nature.
The Chimera Ant arc in the manga in general was always praised for its story, but due to some Creator Breakdown the art was some of the sloppiest in the serialization's history (and arguably Shonen Jump as a whole), with some infamous pages being practically scribbles on paper. These would eventually be polished up significantly in the tankobon releases as well as the 2011 adaptation.
Awesome Art: There's no doubt that the series could really use the Madhouse touch, especially considering the manga's bad artwork (which gets fixed up in the volumes). The 2011 series is praised more for its animation being consistently polished and above-average quality, as it was a weekly series and most other weekly anime series often suffer many dips in animation quality during their long runs, than for being incredibly well-animated, at least until the latter part of the Chimera Ant Arc, where the action scenes get a large Animation Bump.
Ging. He is either a badass father who is just trying to test Gon's abilities, or a worthless deadbeat. Not helping matters was the end of the Greed Island Arc, after Gon went through hell and back just to find a means to teleport to him, only to end up getting teleported to Kite instead.
Since the original anime ended with Greed Island, it can easily be interpreted that Gon did indeed find Ging, since the shot of the meeting is the very last thing shown before screen shifts to white. So, in a way, it can be an ambiguous happy ending.
The Phantom Troupe. Many people enjoy them for their Creepy Awesome personalities. However, some fans dislike them as they are built up to being dangerous villains, but disappear for long sequences of the story so that it is hard to take them seriously when they do appear. Then there are fans that think the group plays such a minor role in the story that they should just be killed off already. Not helping matters is Hisoka effortlessly killing Shalnark and Kortopi before preparing to do the same to the rest of the Troupe.
Gon has gotten a divisive reception after the Chimera Ant arc. Some fans hate him for threatening to murder an innocent girl in order to heal Kite, and especially hurting Killua's feelings within that arc. However, while fans don't exactly justify his actions, they can understand it especially with Gon going through the Despair Event Horizon with Kite's death. Fans also point that he ended up actually apologizing to Killua for hurting his feelings though many of his detractors prefer if the apology was more sincere.
Alluka is either a sympathetic Woobie character that made fans like her or a cheap Deus ex Machina that was designed to save Gon.
Broken Base: All over the place ever since the new series began airing, and even before that
The Greed Island arc is the most divisive arc in the series. Its supporters love it for the detailed worldbuilding that goes into the game's mechanics, along with its great high points (like the Dodgeball match and the final battle with Genthuru). Its detractors however, consider most of that worldbuilding tedious and unnecessary, and the antagonists and supporting cast boring compared to the rest of the series.
The narration throughout the palace invasion portion of the Chimera Ant arc gets this in both the manga, and the 2011 anime adaptation. You either enjoy it, because it brings a different approach to portraying how the battles go down, or you find it annoying, and just wish it did the battles in normal Shonen fashion.
1999 vs 2011. Some prefer the former for not censoring anything, while others prefer the latter for having less filler.
Gon's Wangst period during the Chimera Ant Arc. Some people justify it as him going through grief over Kite, but others think that Gon was acting harshly out of character for the sake of drama, particularly in the scene where he threatened to murder an already-injured Komugi just so Pitou will heal Kite for him. Others take issue with the fact that Gon has never even implied such malice before. This isn't helped by Kite's rebirth as a Chimera Ant, making everything Gon went through entirely pointless.
Catharsis Factor: After finding out that Ging abandoned his son Gon for his own selfish reasons, watching Leorio punch him hard in the face for it was incredibly satisfying for many fans. Even characters in the audience cheered on Leorio.
Speaking of the Phantom Troupe, at one point at their mini-massacre one of the gunners, manipulated by Shalnark, says something along the lines of "You want to know how strong the Phantom Troupe are? LIKE THIS!!!", and guns down the police he was talking to. The way it is presented makes it so horrid and yet so humorous.
Cult Classic: The original anime and manga had such a strong following that it got a revamp by Mad House in 2011.
Chrollo too. Heck, the whole Phantom Troupe could count, being a group of quirky, likable individuals (despite them all being murderous thieves).
Neferpitou, who most fan depictions (and occasional official works, particularly games) make out to be female and at the tip of their Character Development or even more benevolent in comparison to their Ax-Crazy roots.
Meruem, who many believe was justified in his goals despite said goal involving genocide.
Hanzo is highly remembered due to the pure badassery that he displayed throughout the Hunter Exam. He's probably the character people are wishing for the most to make a glorious return in the story (that doesn't include his cameos in the Election arc). As of chapter 350 and to the fandom's delight, this wish was granted.
Knov was seen as mostly a bland character at first, but became a fan-favorite after a heartfelt performance was put on by his voice-actor for his infamous mental breakdown.
While initial opinions about Pariston were mixed, his never-ending manipulations and the revelation of his true intentions made him stand out within the readers (even more than Gon's father!).
Pitou has been very popular appearing in a number of fanart and even beating Hisoka in the third popularity poll
Queen Oito seems to have scored points with the fandom for her investment in the war of succession, her vivid support for Vincent's arrest, and her total trust and lack of passivity in Kurapika's plans.
From the mid 2010s onwards, Leorio has started to gain more recognition from the fandom for being a Badass Normal while also having a compassionate heart when it comes to his friends and loved ones. While he is a main character, he ended up being extremely Out of Focus thus qualifying him to become this.
Knuckle is an extremely popular character in the fandom due to his All-Loving Hero personality despite his former past as a Japanese Delinquent in addition to his very unique Nen ability.
NeonNostrade, of all characters, has seen an upswing in fandom popularity following the 2011 anime and the mobile app game due to her design and more content that even made shipping her and Kurapika a Fan-Preferred Couple for some.
Epileptic Trees: Some have theorized that Feitan is a Zoldyck, mostly due to him looking like a thinner version of Milluki. Some even go so far as to say that he is Milluki, using Nen to slim his body so he can keep an eye on Illumi and Kalluto without arousing suspcion.
Esoteric Happy Ending: An example exclusive to the Madhouse anime adaptation: Gon meets with Ging on the top of the tallest tree on the land, only for Ging to tell him that the tree they're on, is actually a small sprout from the Dark Continent much larger than their own homeland and all of it is taken to be very optimistic and exciting. Now it makes sense in the manga because it's the start of a new arc that will eventually succumb to Cerebus Syndrome, but the anime ending implies this will lead to an idealistic adventure. And that's ignoring the unresolved plot threads the anime has. It is unknown if the anime will ever continue considering the Madhouse's track record and the frequent and long hiatuses from the manga.
Fanon Discontinuity: For some people, the series ended with the Chairman Election Arc. It had a grand finale feel with Gon and Killua parting ways and Gon reuniting with Ging at long last. If not for the Phantom Troupe still being at large, you'd swear the Dark Continent arc was a Post-Script Season.
Hisoka towards Gon and Killua, and also towards Chrollo.
Illumi towards Killua and possibly Alluka.
Friendly Fandoms: Many fans of the series are also fans of Berserk, another Dark Fantasy manga with excellent character building. Both are also equally infamous for long hiatuses lasting for years that fans would jokingly compete which series will get out of the hiatus first. note Due to Miura's death, the future of Berserk is currently unknown.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Hunter Exam, Killua and Gon have a little fight with Netero, who is not using his right arm and his left leg. He does the same in the climax of his fight with Meruem, twenty-four volumes later. But not on its own will this time.
The Zevil Island portion of the Hunter Exam arc. And the Phantom Troupe arc takes this full throttle.
Another contender would be the Zoldyck Family arc.
From the 2011 anime, the first 34 and a half episodes don't have any really "spectacular" moments with the animation alone despite the polished look the anime generally has. However, the first half of the fight between Hisoka and Gon would seriously make your jaw drop of how intense the animation and tone is. Also arguably Hisoka's schwing will most likely bring the audience's attention for those who weren't too impressed before.
The show's soundtrack is widely agreed to have improved in the Yorknew and Chimera Ant arcs, with much more dramatic and emotional songs compared to the often peppy sound of the earlier episodes.
Kite getting his arm cut off is pretty reminiscent of the time where Shanks gets his arm bitten off. The fact that his voice actor in the 2011 version is the same guy who voices Shanks really drives this home.
Hype Backlash: Inevitable when many fans declare the series, particularly the 2011 anime, a masterpiece. Given the series tendency to end arcs anti-climatically, and the abandonment of two of the main characters for a majority of the latter half of the anime adaptation's run, the fact some find it overhyped isn't surprising. The fact the series is incomplete (even if, unlike the 1999 series, it ends at the conclusion of an arc and not halfway through) and very likely will never be continued due to the manga's Schedule Slip and Madhouse's history of leaving series unfinished, also makes it easy to criticize.
During the second phase of testing, Hisoka is ambushed by a group of applicants, whom he easily defeats. Leorio sees this and attacks Hisoka, with Gon joining in a few moments later. It's possible that Leorio wanted to stop Hisoka from finishing off those who had only been injured, and he has an understandably shady history, but Hisoka was clearly acting in self-defense and the moment comes off as confusing.
Netero using the Rose Bomb. The narrative paints him as stooping to the Chimera Ants' level for even considering using it. However, it was a necessary evil to defeat Meruem since he has tanked everything else he threw at him, and there was no indication that he was setting it off in a place where innocent civilians could get caught in the crossfire.
LGBT Fanbase: The series has attracted some trans fans due to the fact that some characters are implied to be non-cisgender or genderqueer. Examples include Neferpitou and Alluka, especially with the lack of notable females in the series, namely those close in age to the main protagonist.
The Elevator Girl in the 1999 anime is one due to her not taking Killua's crappy behavior, beating him up in almost every scene she's in. Killua even wonders if she is stronger than Hisoka, causing fans who are aware of her to declare her as one of the strongest characters in the series.
Memetic Molester: Hisoka. Even better (worse?) is that he appears to be an actual pedophile (thus, earning him the Fan Nickname "Pedoclown"). Couple that with his bizarre facial reactions, suggestive behavior, frequent arousals and the fact that he is a Monster Clown, and you get who is perhaps the best example of this trope in shounen manga history.
Gon's Nen-powered adult form seems to have become this in Japan as Gon-san, thanks to his very odd hairdo and serious, stoic expression on such a cheerful character.
YOU CAN SMILE AGAIN!◊ explanation A minor meme is using saying the lines from the theme song, "You can smile again", with ironic images, as to make fun of the theme song in comparison to the actual content inthe show.
O, MY RUBBER NEN/OH, MY [X]explanation Hisoka reviving himself from the dead with his Bungee Gum after his fight with Chrollo was the subject of mockery for quite a few fans, using the aforementioned quote to refer to the fight or to spam in threads. It also gets frequent use as a template for various other Ass Pulls in other series.
Terrorsandwich. explanation Tserriednich Hui Guo Rou's name is really hard to spell, so the fanbase opted for a nickname that is appropriate and easier to spell.
Hunter's Game of Thrones explanation With the recent succession war within the Dark Continent Saga and its grand scale political speed chess in play, the comparison very quickly piled up with each move Kurapika makes on the chessboard.
"Kurapika should eat the scarlet eyes." explanation A crackpot "theory" fans made, thinking about what Kurapika would do with his people's eyes once he collected them all. There is even fanart of it.
Hiatus x Hiatus explanation This has become something of a Fan Nickname for the series due to the Togashi's habit of taking frequent and lengthy hiatuses.
It reads like a freaking Light Novel! explanation The amount of dialogue that takes up each chapter for the Dark Continent arc is so unbelievably long at times that it leaves people wondering if Togashi would be better off just writing novels rather than attempt to draw manga.
Leorio is Best Dad explanation Leorio already served as the Team Dad to the main four as early as the Hunter Exam Arc. This further escalated during the Elections Arc when Leorio did everything in his power to get help from the public for the hospitalized Gon. This was in stark contrast to his real dad, Ging, who didn't even bother to visit him. Leorio punching him in the face definitely earned him the title from the fandom.
_____ is a better dad than Ging. explanation Many people who disapprove of Ging's fatherhood will have people state that line. The usual people of this treatment are Leorio and Kite, but some fans go far to state some of the villains are better dads than Ging.
Leorio is the father, Kurapika is the mother, and Gon/Killua are the sonsexplanation With Leorio's role as the Team Dad, and Kurapika's role as the Team Mom, some fans state that Leorio and Kurapika are the parents of Gon and Kilua.
"Bungee Gum has the properties of both rubber and gum."explanation A line Hisoka states when he explains his nen ability to people who were unaware of it, repeatedly and at every chance he gets. The fandom decided to roll with it, and fanworks have him state that line constantly.
Killua learned Ultra Instinct before it was a thing.explanation Many fans compare Killua's Godspeed ability to Ultra Instinct from Dragon Ball Super, pointing out that Goku is copying Killua, because the concept of Godspeed predates Ultra Instinct.
Moral Event Horizon: Several times, at least once for every villain. The Phantom Troupe are a very interesting example, as they start out on the other side of the Horizon and then slowly inch back as we learn more and more about them and the environment they came from. Then we learn what actually went down during the Kuruta massacre, which likely vaulted them back over the horizon for some readers.
Gon's Nen-powered adult form. He is an adult wearing a kid's clothes. Also, his hair doesn't appear to have an ending.
Hisoka's "stunning" magic trick in episode 32 is one of the simplest number tricks in the world - basically any "trick" which calls for you to picture a number and then subtract it at the end always has the same result.
On one hand, Meruem saving Komugi from being killed by an eagle is the first strong kick of his Character Development, and a dramatic and heartfelt moment. On the other hand, Komugi was getting mauled by an eagle that flew into her room for seemingly no reason at all.
The heart symbol that Netero makes with his hands during his fight with Meruem can be hard to take seriously as if Netero is telling the Ant King that he loves him. Even worse in the anime when the heart shape is colored pink.
The Chimera Ants having blue blood. Whenever a Hunter kills one and gets covered in their blood (particularly Gon after killing Pitou), it looks less like they survived a deadly battle and more like they just got back from a pie-eating contest.
The fact that Netero's impressive ZeroHand caused only a few minor scratches to Meruem. And yet, the Miniature Rose was not only able to nearly mummify Meruem, it gave him radiation poisoning, which ultimately kills him. That's right, a man-made weapon was able to best the forbidden technique of an Old Master who has trained his Nen abilities for more than 50 years.
In Viz's dub of the 1999 anime, the Phantom Troupe refer to Kurapika as "the chain dude".
Narm Charm: For some unexplained reason, the Colombian dub of the 1999 series gave Hisoka an exaggerated French accent. Many fans from Latin America think said accent actually fits like a glove to the character and consider it the best aspect from that dub.
Discussions of Gon's morality will inevitably bring up his unquestionably lowest moment in the series: threatening to kill Komugi, an innocent, disabled, confused little girl who he was essentially holding hostage, if Pitou dared to delay him. His nightmarish expression made it clear he wasn't bluffing (not to mention he had previously come very close to attacking Pitou who was mid-surgery on a critically wounded Komugi, only stopping because he realized he needed Pitou to live rather than any concern for Komugi's wellbeing). This is made even worse by the fact that he never addresses any of this while recounting the events of the arc later on, and by the fact that much earlier in the series he chastised the Phantom Troupe for... killing people who have nothing to do with them.
Hisoka to anyone he fetishes over. Even if you ignore the paedophilia implications for Gon and Killua and how creepy he is, it still is uncomfortable considering the fact that he really wants to fight, and most likely kill, his victim.
Illumi has a really disturbing fixation with his younger kid brother Killua.
Pandering to the Base: The 13th Chairman Election Arc panders to a considerable amount compared to previous arcs. Almost all of the named and alive Hunters appear as cameos with some plot-important characters to their respective arcs, including Hanzo, trying to help heal Gon from his injuries. Hisoka returns to team up with Illumi, when Illumi most likely didn't need help, and Illumi Lampshading how he was Put on a Bus during the Chimera Ant Arc. Not to mention how much of the story has Killua acting more as the main character of the arc while Gon (who gained some detractors for his actions in the CA arc) was largely Demoted to Extra in that arc. But probably the most blatant pandering, is when Leorio punches Gingwith his Transmitter Nen in public, with everyone cheering Leorio on and calling Ging out for being a terrible father to Gon. Whether all of this was done in a reaction to the fans, or Togashi expected people to want these things to happen, is unknown though.
Rewatch Bonus: A lot of things make sense during the Hunter Exam once you know about the whole Nen thing, notably the whole "murderous aura" thing with Hisoka and how Netero introduces himself to Gon and Killua on the blimp (His Hatsu being able to summon a presence far away from him, it's easy to understand how he was both to the left and the right)
Self-Fanservice: Illumi is supposed to have emotionless, wide-open eyes (except for very rare occasions) yet fanart tends to give him more relaxed eyes to make him more attractive. This also applies to Chrollo and Feitan (albeit to a lesser extent) who have limited amount of emotions in canon.
Signature Scene: Gon's adult transformation and his subsequent beatdown of Neferpitou due to the heartbreaking circumstances of the event. Unlike the usual heroic powerups to defeat a villain, this is the pinnacle of Gon's Despair Event Horizon and loss of innocence.
She Really Can Act: At first, many fans didn't like the performance of Cristina Valenzuela for Killua as it was viewed as Christina being unsure what to do with his character. However, as the anime dub went on, many people grew on her acting as by the later arcs, many fans believed that she ended up perfectly capturing Killua's confident attitude when he is about to kick ass as well as nailing some of Killua's more emotional scenes in the CA arc such as the needle scene and Killua's breakdown in front of Palm.
Superlative Dubbing: If you take a look at the comments of one YouTube video involving Pouf within the English Dub, chances are that you are likely to find somebody praising Chris Niosi's performance on the character.
Take That, Scrappy!: People who are disappointed with Ging's terrible parenting find it glad to see Leorio punching Ging. It also counts as an In-Universe example as well since the punch in-action became a viral video within the Hunter Association.
Gon's Rock attack. Nearly all his opponents get scared by it.
Kurapika's chains. Anyone wrapped by them pretty much becomes his powerless captive. The Phantom Troupe even refers to him as the chain bastard since his attack is made to specifically neutralize them.
The original anime adaptation; most of the Filler material wasn't well-liked by the fan-base.
The 2011 anime:
The early censorship throughout the Hunter Exam arc got a lot of flack for this. It cooled off once people saw how much darker it got from Yorknew City and beyond.
Episode 76 in particular got a lot of backlash due to the changes made to Gon and Kite's past relationship.
Kite's earlier mentions and appearances before the Chimera Ant arc not making the cut is a sore spot for some fans since it makes the Wangst Gon ends up suffering in said arc feel a bit forced and the former's appearance and role in Gon's backstory appear to come out of left field, especially to those unaware of how it is in the manga.
Applies to many characters that ended up being Demoted to Extra as the manga went on; even Leorio and Kurapika.
Neon Nostrade, the Yorknew City Mafia Princess who has something of a Villainous Crush on Kurapika that could've made for a lot of tension and humor between the two later down the line, is given a good deal of prominence in the anime and other parts of the franchise, even appearing in the The Last Mission movie. However, she's ultimately irrelevant to the series beyond the Yorknew City arc and got few reappearances or mentions in the arcs that followed, to the point where even her own offscreen "death" was rendered an Ambiguous Situation.
Melody, a cursed flute player looking to find and destroy four pieces of music said to have been written by the devil. Almost sounds like the premise to an entirely new series.
Pokkle and Ponzu, two characters who, after being absent since the very first Story Arc, are brought back at the start of the Chimera Ant arc, just to get killed off almost immediately as a means to hype up the threat of the Chimera Ants. What makes it worse is that neither of them so far seem to have Chimera Ant forms.
Shalnark and Kortopi are unceremoniously killed by Hisokaseconds after Chrollo confirms that the Phantom Troupe will act during the trip to the Dark Continent. This was right after it was demonstrated how powerful and tactically useful their combined abilities were, and now with them dead, Chrollo most likely loses those abilities as part of his Nen limitation.
Colt starts off looking like a major player at the start of the Chimera Ant arc, but despite the build-up of learning how to use Nen, he ends up getting pushed to the background in order to watch over the last born child of the Chimera Ant Queen, who turns out to be a resurrected Kite.
We only get to see 3 (with one being an invention of the anime) of Kite's 9 Crazy Slots weapons before he gets killed off early in the Chimera Ant arc. Even with Kite's revival, its unlikely we'll ever see more Crazy Slots again due to them being Out of Focus and it being ambiguous whether they even have their old Nen ability.
For the Hunter Exam arc, the reason Bodoro forfeited his match against Hisoka was because he whispered something in his ear, tragically, Bodoro is killed by Killua before his fight against Leorio, and what Hisoka told him was never stated or mentioned again.
For the Tower of Heaven arc, it seemed like it was building up to Gon and Killua squaring off against Tower leaders if they climbed high enough while training up their nen abilities. However, the two of them called it quits before ever reaching that point.
For the Yorknew City arc, despite its huge buildup, it ended in a very anticlimactic way. The explanation to why it ends is close to A Wizard Did It (see the Ass Pull entry for this one, however) and most of the characters that had been well received by fans are Demoted to Extra as a result.
For the Greed Island arc, the card-book game gimmick that helped establish the setting of this Story Arc really only scratched the surface as to what the card dueling game-world had to offer. It could have easily been its own series.
The Chimera Ant arc has several examples.
Pokkle and Ponzu could have made a cute couple had they not been killed by Ants.
The Phantom Troupe only showed up for one major fight, but they never cross paths with Gon and the Hunters Association. There was a perfect opportunity for them to form an Enemy Mine against the Chimera Ants. Instead, you could have cut their fight scenes out from the arc and nothing important would be missed apart from wondering what would have happened to Zazan's Chimera group.
The fact that Gon and Meruem never once interact or even walk into the same room as each other throughout this Story Arc. Gon had every reason to hate him as much as Pitou since Kite had to be one of many casualties for the Chimera Ant Queen to find her worthy successor.
It was established early on that the Chimera Ants that inherited human DNA gained individuality, which caused disorder within their ranks. Not only that, some of them later regained their human memories, which completely negates their ant-like behavior. From beginning to end, the 3 Royal Guards stayed loyal to Meruem, as none of them ever regained their human memories. We'll never see how different the dynamic would've been if at least one of them remembered who they used to be and may have lost interest in serving Meruem.
Kite's rebirth as a Chimera Ant. Many felt that Gon's character arc would have had more of an impact if Kite had stayed dead. Having him come back only made Gon's grief period completely pointless.
Too Bleak, Stopped Caring: How some people felt about the Chimera Ant Arc. The antagonists slaughter innocent people left and right, the Hunters are forced to cross certain lines to stop them, and Gon has a grief-induced period of violent and malevolent behavior, which includes threatening to murder an innocent blind girl.
Too Cool to Live: Kite, Uvogin, Netero, and the Chimera Ant higher-ups, especially Meruem who at that point was the strongest character in existence.
Ugly Cute: Melody is oddly adorable for a balding, bucktoothed Gonk woman.
Unintentionally Sympathetic: Netero is painted this way, because of his comment of the bottomless malice within the human heart, just as he sets off the Miniature Rose bomb to kill Meruem, along with himself. A little after the explosion, the narrator mentions that dictators funded the mass production of the Miniature Roses to conquer other countries. As vile as this weapon is, Netero deemed its use necessary to kill Meruem, whose Nigh-Invulnerability wasn't something to take lightly. He also made sure to detonate it in a remote area with no civilians around. Given Meruem's lack of empathy prior to this battle and his overall unpredictability, several fans completely understood why Netero went through with his actions.
Neferpitou's gender is a big argument of debate. And his/her gender is never confirmed in the story.
Melody, due to her curse making her look like a balding rat person with a withered arm.
Special mention goes to Killua's younger siblings Alluka and Kalluto. In Alluka's case, however, there are heavy implications that the character is a trans girl; Killua, the only member of the family who cares for Alluka, refers to Alluka as a girl, while the rest of the family refers to Alluka as a boy (when they aren't referring to Alluka as "it").
Even Illumi gets this sometimes. The biggest example was how in the South American dub he was voiced by a woman.
Vindicated by History: The Chimera Ants arc was controversial during its initial publication, mostly due to a severe case of Schedule Slip and a few plot developments some fans found questionable, but is now seen as one of, if not the best arc in the entire series.
Gon getting overly emotional over the loss of Kite in the later portions of the Chimera Ant arc is seen as this by some, especially for viewers who are only familiar with the 2011 anime, which cut out all mentions of Kite until the Chimera Ant arc despite his presence in the narrative starting in the very first chapter of the manga. Because of this, it's easy to view Gon's sudden and powerful attachment to the man as out of place in that adaptation, compared to the constant mentions of him and his relevance to Gon's journey in the manga.
In the same arc, Killua gets a little too sad by Gon's decisions to do things alone.
Even by Japanese standards, the manga (especially), and both anime series are considerably violent, especially during the Chimera Ant arc in the manga. Nonetheless, the story was intended for family reading/viewing.note Especially the Nippon Animation (of World Masterpiece Theater fame) version from 1999-2004, which tones down certain parts of the story.
Its worth noting that the English version of the manga is published under the Shonen Jump Advanced label for older readers. Something not even done with its predecessor YuYu Hakusho, which really says a lot, considering that's a series with lots of demons, death, and gore.
During the latter half of the Chimera Ant arc, the reboot of the anime was moved to a later time slot.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The way guns are treated in the NGL during the Chimera Ant arc is interesting considering current Japanese politics and Prime Minister Abe's desire to increase Japanese military strength, regardless of how the public feels. Gyro's forces illegally acquiring and using guns to protect themselves was a good idea...until the Chimera Ants used those guns against them. Interpret that how you will.
WTH, Casting Agency?: In the 1999 dub, Gon sounds more like a full grown woman attempting to voice Adult Goku than a prepubescent boy, Killua sounds like a teenage girl (his voice actor was only around 18 when she did the role), and Feitan is very obviously voiced by a woman using Hulk Speak for some reason (possibly as an an exaggerated attempt at a Chinese accent, which leads to some Unfortunate Implications if true). The only character whose voice was well received in the dub was Hisoka's, to the point where some were disappointed that he didn't return for the dub of the 2011 series.