This Hunter x Hunter: breaking taboos and minimizing clichés anime series was adapted from the manga of the same name written by Yoshihiro Togashi in 1999. Then the anime went on a long hiatus and was re-released in 2011 by studio Madhouse.
But in 2014, after getting 148 episodes, this anime is having another long holiday until now. Even so, I will explain why you should watch it.
Hunter x Hunter: breaking taboos and minimizing clichés Story
This anime tells the story of Gon, a 12-year-old boy who wants to follow in the footsteps of his father, Ging. Gon is obsessed with his father, whom he thinks is dead. However, it turns out that his father “only” left him when he was a baby to undergo a profession as a hunter.
Although entrusted to his aunt, Gon does not feel abandoned. Instead, he respects his father’s decision to achieve his dream of discovering historical places around the world.
That is one of the attractions of this anime. Because in society’s norms, parents who leave their children for personal ambition are taboo. But with Gon’s attitude, we can see the extreme stage of tolerance. Which is sometimes needed as sincerity in life.
In addition, Ging’s attitude is also taboo in domestic life. This premise also crashes into clichés in lifting taboos in a work. The taboos raised in household stories are usually only about issues of sex, finances, and infidelity.
Hunter in the Hunter x Hunter series is a hunter profession in any case (historical places, rare animals, criminals, etc.) that has a license from the Hunter Association. The license was obtained after following a rigorous selection process. Only 1 in 1000 people can pass. However, Gon, at a young age, was able to pass the test.
In the exam, Gon meets 3 people who eventually become his best friends: Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio. Even though they just met during the hunter exam, their close friendship is not a figment.
For example, when Killua was under pressure and tortured by his family for taking the exam, the three of them went to his house to provide support. According to Killua’s family, which was the assassin’s family, friendship was only a stumbling block.
Fortunately, they were able to convince the bond of friendship that they managed to bring Killua out of the house, leaving his family behind.
Unfortunately, they had to part ways to achieve their respective goals halfway. Kurapika looked for the group that massacred his tribe. Leorio continued medical school. Then only Gon remains with the ambition to find his father accompanied by Killua. Long story short, the friendship between the two boys grew stronger. They both train to become even stronger.
A friendship between children, which in the real world is almost non-existent, can show selfless solidarity to friends. The innocence of a child who is already able to think is contained in it.
From that innocence, they show a childish attitude that is not too silly and forced to be funny. Very fitting as a reflection in making friends for adults, which sometimes still has its strings attached.
In addition to friendship, there is also a sinister element in it. Each arc—consisting of a total of 6 arcs—is capable of showing horror in depth. It is implied that murder and death is a mere tragedy that can happen anytime and anywhere.
With the first episode showing Gon fishing, I couldn’t believe that this anime also contained such “dark” elements in subsequent episodes. This also makes me think that the mix of boyish innocence and blood is a truly brilliant narrative, far from clichéd.
What’s more interesting about this anime is that there is no certainty of winning in every fight that Gon faces. In other anime, it is very clear that the protagonist will always win in the end. But not so with Gon as the main play. There was a kind of worry when watching him fight. The audience seemed to be brought to feel sorry for him.
In several battles at the beginning of the story, Gon can indeed win easily and seems overpowered. However, in several other battles, he had to accept a crushing defeat or even near death. This mess will then be taken care of by Killua. This makes Killua more popular with the audience than Gon.
However, what impressed me the most about Hunte x Hunter was the complexity of the characters that were displayed very well. There is no obvious black and white, good and bad. Each character has both black and white, even Gon and Killua as protagonists have another side.
The complexity is shown by flowing as it is, without seeming to force it through flashbacks of the background of the characters in the past (like Naruto wqwqwq~) so that the plot of the story is neatly arranged and easy to watch.
If the character seems evil, there will be a scene that shows the soft side of the character. If there is a good character, the dark side will also be shown.
This can be seen in Killua’s character who is humble, funny, cool, but occasionally shows his ruthlessness in killing enemies. Gon, who seems kind and innocent, once kept hitting his dead enemies.
In my opinion, all the charms above are unique that I can’t find in other anime I’ve watched: Attack on Titan, One Piece, Naruto Shippuden, Sword Art Online, Kimetsu No Yaiba, etc. It’s as if this anime comes as an antidote to boredom.
Because it is not loaded with cliches and mainstream moral values that make Hunter x Hunter more interesting. Especially when compared to the products of the domestic entertainment industry. Taboos in society are always considered risky to be lifted so that what remains is just clichés. Yet if you dare, it can be an innovation and give a new color to the spectacle of our society.