Hunter X Hunter, which exploded its way onto the pages of Shonen Jump in March of 1998, has cemented itself as one of the best-acclaimed anime and manga series ever put together.
The still ongoing series has captured audiences across the World, thanks to its top-notch storytelling, character designs, and world-building.
The series has seen multiple adaptations, from spin-off manga stories and numerous video games to two very unique anime series and two feature-length movies.
Much like its Shonen contemporaries, Hunter X Hunter has a considerable and intimidating barrier to entry; its length. The series has well over 300 manga chapters, and two anime series, the second of which has reached 148 episodes.
You might be interested in catching up with this anime phenomenon, but don’t know where to start just yet. Which anime series should you watch, and are there any filler?
These questions and more will be answered, as we take you through the ultimate watch order guide to make sure that you experience the story in its proper order.
How Long Is Hunter X Hunter?
If we wanted to determine how long Hunter X Hunter currently is, we’d have to look towards the manga. At current, the manga reaches around 390 chapters, with the series still in an ongoing state.
At this point in the story, our protagonists have gone through a number of journeys and seen numerous hardships.
Hunter x Hunter currently has two anime adaptations. The first of these adaptations was the 1999 version, which aired on Japanese television just over a year after the series debuted in print.
This version of the series adapted the manga directly and told the story in the same order as the manga. This version of the series went on until the year 2001.
This version of the series reached 62 episodes and ended approximately halfway through the popular YorkNew City arc.
It has never been stated why this version of the series ended here, but it has been suggested that it may be due to the series currently being on hiatus at that time, meaning that the anime series was running out of material to adapt.
Hunter X Hunter received two small direct-to-video continuations of the 1999 version, which adapted up to the end of the Greed Island arc.
In 2011 anime studio Nippon Animation set out to create a brand new anime reboot of the series that would retell the story, and then adapt previously un-animated arcs ‘The Chimera Ant Arc’, and ‘The 13th Hunter Chairman Election Arc’.
This version received heavy acclaim and ran weekly until 2014. This version is praised for being a far more faithful adaptation of the original source material.
Which Version Of Hunter X Hunter Should I Watch?
Which version of Hunter X Hunter you choose to watch depends on a number of factors. First is the amount of time you want to spend on the series.
If you want to experience the series without filler, then it is best to go with the 2011 version of the series. This version only has two filler episodes, which are recap episodes.
The 1999 version, on the other hand, has more filler episodes, and a few episodes that mix canon and non-canon material.
In terms of length, the 1999 version of the series is considerably shorter, but it does not adapt as far, and misses out entirely on the fan-favorite ‘Chimera Ant Arc’.
The 2011 version covers much further, reaching until the end of the ‘13th Hunter Chairman Election Arc’. As of yet, this version of the anime series has not adapted any of the latest material from the manga version.
Generally, if you want the best watching experience with Hunter x Hunter, you should choose the 2011 version. This version is a direct adaptation of the manga original, which gives you an authentic experience of the series.
While the 1999 version has positive aspects, such as a more unique and more gritty animation style, it does not adapt quite as faithfully, or as far as the newer version. The 1999 version is best for avid fans of the series who want to experience everything.
What Order Should I Watch The 2011 Series In?
Luckily, the 2011 version of Hunter X Hunter presents its story in a very linear form that closely resembles the structure of the original manga version.
This means that you won’t have to watch the episodes in a unique order, and can simply watch them in the order that they originally aired.
It is worth mentioning that the 2011 anime version of the series makes one significant change in adapting the series. In the original manga, the first chapter of the story contains an extensive flashback and backstory to protagonist Gon, which provides a lot of character detail.
The 2011 version of the anime omits this from the beginning of the series, and instead places this flashback towards the start of the ‘Chimera Ant Arc’.
This should not be a deal-breaker, as it does not affect your enjoyment of the series as a whole, and is noted as a minor criticism against the 2011 version amongst the fanbase.
Alongside the 2011 version of the series, Nippon Animation also produced two feature-length stories.
These stories are considered entirely non-canon, so are not essential to the story experience, but they do provide good entertainment should you find yourself greatly enjoying the main series.
Is The 2011 Version Of Hunter X Hunter Over?
Yes. At the moment, the 2011 version of Hunter X Hunter is considered to be finished. Its final episode aired in 2014. It is unclear if this version of the series will return since there is more manga content to be adapted.
If Hunter X Hunter were to return to anime, then it would likely do so as a sequel anime series that would technically be considered as a new series. However, with the Hunter X Hunter manga currently on hiatus, it is unlikely that the anime series will continue anytime soon.