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I was initially put off by the art style and cutsey-looking premise, but that was COMPLETELY WRONG. It's hard to put into words, but the series is one deconstruction after another.
The world is a mash of fantasy and sci-fi, and there's always something for a Hunter to hunt— no tedious/repetitive/predictable storylines and this author is not afraid to go there, whatever it is. You get used to the shonen formula, and while this series is undoubtedly shonen, it doesn't follow set conventions. Friends can go their separate ways, meetings and deaths happen at any time, wounds are taken seriously and effect fighting ability, luck happens and doesn't, people die and stay dead, plans are followed, 'villains' are fully fleshed, thirst for revenge is an acceptable trait, people lie, fights have strategy, murder doesn't make you evil/dark/angsty, /everyone/ has their own backstory and unpredictable actions, there's always someone stronger- naturally, not forced by the storyline to make a new arc. Pretty awesome. As for the art, character designs are very distinct, though a large amount of guys look like girls. Action/background are portrayed super-nice and clear. To be clear, the story doesn't degrade... it expands. Same with the characters, which gain more depth as time goes on. All the mystery is in the Hunterverse, and how the Hunters react to a given situation.
Cons are: this is a particular kind of story, it can come off as pretty weird to people, I imagine. If you're looking for an easy-to-follow storyline and don't want to read closely, this will be pretty puzzling->gibberish. In fact, I'd go so far as to compare it to series like Gantz and Liar Game rather than Naruto Bleach One Piece. Since the whole series runs off a more cynical-realistic base, any information is dispensed in large quantities at one time according to a specific character which may or may not be lying or changing conditions so prepare your analyzation skills. The art fluctuates wildly from nice to 'how did this even get published' sketch-style. Sometimes, this manga is so subtle that you can't be sure you completely caught the author's meaning-and on the flipside he filibusters quite a bit to explain situations (I personally enjoy it).
It's unpredictable, and fun, very interesting, and occasionally gross. Characterization is amazing. Hunterx Hunter=above par.
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