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Hunter x Hunter (Japanese: ハンター×ハンター, Hepburn: Hantā Hantā) is a Japanese anime television series based on the manga written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine since March 1998.  The series is the second anime television adapatation by Madhouse aired on Nippon Television from October 2011 to September 2014.

Premise

Hunter x Hunter is set in a world where Hunters exist to perform all manner of dangerous tasks like capturing criminals and bravely searching for lost treasures in uncharted territories. Twelve-year-old Gon Freecss is determined to become the best Hunter possible in hopes of finding his father, who was a Hunter himself and had long ago abandoned his young son. However, Gon soon realizes the path to achieving his goals is far more challenging than he could have ever imagined.

Production

Development

A new Hunter × Hunter anime adaptation was announced in July 2011. Instead of continuing the story from the OVA series, it restarts the story from the beginning of the manga in an attempt to adapt it more accurately. The series is directed by Hiroshi Kōjina, produced by Madhouse, scripted by Atsushi Maekawa, and character designs were created by Takahiro Yoshimatsu.

Release

The series began airing Sunday mornings on Nippon Television starting October 2, 2011. It switched to airing at 1:29 am on Tuesday nights from October 8, 2013 onwards. The series ended on September 23, 2014 after 148 episodes.

An hour after each episode aired in Japan, American website Crunchyroll provided English subtitled simulcasts in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The series started airing on Animax Asia and Animax India on April 24, 2012.

On October 9, 2015, Viz Media announced their license to the reboot anime at their panel at New York Comic Con. They will release the anime on DVD/Blu-ray with an English dub. On April 1, 2016, it was announced that the series would premiere on Adult Swim's Toonami block, which began airing on April 16, 2016.Madman Entertainment acquired the series for distribution in Australia and New Zealand, and made the series available on AnimeLab. Funimation began streaming the series in the United Kingdom and Ireland on July 17, 2020.

HBO Max streamed the series in an English dubbed format from June 23rd, 2020 to the present.

Reception

Critical

Madhouse's 2011 adaptation has been met with near universal critical acclaim. Adrian Marcano from Inverse considered Hunter x Hunter (2011) to be one of the greatest anime series ever. He said that the anime set itself apart with one of the greatest story arcs in anime history in which the villain, not the hero, takes the anime to instant classic status. He also said that, "It is in the 2011 version where we see probably one of the best story arcs in anime history: the Chimera Ant Arc."

According to Movie News Guide and Latin Post, the Madhouse's 2011 version received more viewers not only in Japan but also around the world, particularly in North America. Digital Fox Media's Michael Basile of Fox Sports Digital Media praised the animation quality of the new adaptation, "the animation actually appears to get better and better as the series progresses. The color palette can shift from vibrant and inviting to grim and menacing at the drop of a hat, the character designs are unique and appealing, the CG is very minimal, and the action sequences are some of the best that the shonen genre has ever produced, on-par with the best works of Studio Bones. It's almost miraculous how consistently beautiful this anime is." He also considered it to be "one of the best anime of all time." Nick Creamer held similar sentiments, writing "the show's fantastic aesthetics elevate it above almost everything out there – in direction, in sound design, in pacing, in animation, in basically every relevant aesthetic metric, Hunter x Hunter triumphs. That it's been maintaining this level of quality for well over a hundred episodes is nothing short of astonishing."

Awards

In 2019, Polygon named the series as one of the best anime of the 2010s, and Crunchyroll listed it in their "Top 25 best anime of the 2010s". IGN also listed the Hunter × Hunter 2011 adaptation among the best anime series of the 2010s.

Trivia

  • A film adaptation by the second television anime's staff called Hunter × Hunter: Phantom Rouge, featuring an original story, was announced in March 2012. It was released on January 12, 2013 internationally by Toho.
    • It centers around Gon and his friends efforts to retrieve Kurapika's eyes which were stolen by Omokage, the original person with the No. 4 spider tattoo. The film is based on an unpublished story manga creator Yoshihiro Togashi wrote around 10 years before
  • A second film adaptation, titled  Hunter x Hunter Movie 2: The Last Mission was also released, following the first one's debut.
    • The film has some focus on Netero, the chairman of the Hunter Association as Gon and his friends discover the dark secrets behind his past. The movie was released on December 27, 2013, and the DVD and Blu-ray was released on July 23, 2014.[

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