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Hunter x Hunter, at first glance, comes across like your typical shonen anime. The synopsis about a boy in search of his father leaves the impression that this story is easily like other adventure stories for kids.
Generally, it has elements that are similar to shonen: an optimistic, honest main character, two tsundere boys with a bad past, and the comic relief type. It has a character traveling and getting stronger over time.
The difference is all characters actually show evolution, especially dealing with the main one. The characters make mistakes and suffer loss, which gives it a slice of life. Main character doesn't equal most powerful.
The most likable quality about this story is its unpredictability. Every new arc has something new, which makes it anything but repetitive, and there are hardly any pointless episodes, a feat considering there are 148 episodes. The overall goal of the main character is not to become some master or to avenge or get revenge, but for the main character to find his father. Thus, fighting is just an asset but not mandatory. The show is designed to show the "reality" of being a hunter (gore and all), which is why the battle system is more realistic than in most shonen and why the main character never truly becomes more powerful than everyone else. And that's what makes you want to watch more. You just can't predict this shonen like you can with others. It's not really a battle anime, but an adventure story.
The weakness of this anime is its character development. While each character is interesting, no doubt, the characters are really simple. This is because many back stories of certain characters weren't elaborated on. I wanted to know more about Hisoka and the Phantom Troupe, but sadly was left empty. The Chimera Ant King was the best developed villain, yet I still wanted to know who he was "before" he was "born". The story centered so much on Gon's father, but what is his mom's story? The 1999 version tried to cover it up in a nonsensical way, but the 2011 version didn't bother to explain her. It could have been key to Gon's development.
Overall, it was a great anime/manga. It just needs to clean up on the characters, which it still has time to do as the series isn't over yet. I want more from this story and hopefully I get what I desire.
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