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Hunter x Hunter: the manga with a human touch

For 25 years, Hunter x Hunter has been the manga that has captivated the world. Its success extends well beyond the Japanese borders, and far beyond the Japanese origins of its mangaka creator: Yoshihiro Togashi. Hunter x Hunter, pronounced Hunter Hunter or Hunta Hunta (without the X, for the record), has won fans over with the humanity of its characters, such as Gon, Kirua, Leolio, Kurapika and Neferupito, each as unique as the next. The manga also stands out for its incredible blend of nen, fantasy and reality. Have you only vaguely heard about it during an episode or a memorable event? Or have you been a fan of Pariston or Cheadle since the beginning? We've got you covered

The beginnings

The story begins in 1998, when Japanese author and cartoonist (mangaka) Yoshihiro Togashi sets about creating an action-adventure manga series based on the adventures of Gon Freecss, an ambitious yet innocent young boy who wants to become a hunter. Quickly surrounded by characters such as Kirua, facing adversaries like Irumi and the trials of hunter candidates, Gon becomes the centre of attention, highlighting and contrasting with other key figures such as Morau and Komugi. Japanese pop culture welcomes yet another treasure, a benchmark of the genre that was soon adapted into animation (in 1999), before being sublimated in 2011 by the Madhouse production studio.

Enter the plot

Gon Freecss grew up in a small village where nature, with its flora and fauna, flourished peacefully. His ambition: like his father, to join the inner circle of hunters, those legendary adventure hunters who, once they have their licence, can operate in any corner of the world, whether it's facing trials or tracking down chimeras. Despite the absence of a father who abandoned him at birth, an image he has only seen in photographs, Gon is determined. To realise his dream, he has to face daunting tests and ambitious candidates such as Pariston and Cheadle. During these tests, he befriends Kirua, forming a dynamic duo. Their journey is punctuated by enriching encounters with characters such as Leolio and Kurapika, as well as confrontations with fierce fighters such as Neferupito and Morau.

Ying and Yang perfectly represented

What sets Hunter x Hunter apart from other manga? Striking emotions and perfect realism, without artifice or pretense. Gon and Kirua, two of the emblematic hunters, are at the heart of this plot, where the human element comes first.

Like Ying and Yang, nothing is all black and white in this world of hunters, candidates and formidable adversaries. Gon, the main hero, is seen as a kindly, somewhat naïve boy, but ready to do anything, including facing the darkest trials to save his friends. This duality perfectly illustrates the thin line between good and evil. As for Kirua, despite his initial appearances as an individualistic character, over the course of the episodes he reveals a deep connection with Gon and an unshakeable desire to protect him.

The other characters only add to the richness of this universe. Indeed, as in the real world, every episode and every trial reinforces this boundary. Leolio, Kurapika, Pariston and Cheadle navigate between good and evil. Neferupito and Irumi also symbolise the conflicts within us, sometimes torn between justice and vengeance, love and deep-seated hatred.

In fact, good and evil are two notions that Yoshihiro Togashi, the master of nen and creator, has managed to distinguish in a refined way. Morau and Komugi, for example, are also characters struggling with their emotions, both positive and negative.

Nature takes over

While the complexity of characters such as Gon, Kirua, Leolio and Kurapika delicately encourages reflection on human sensitivity, it should be noted that Yoshihiro Togashi, the mastermind behind Hunter x Hunter, has also been clever to put nature at the heart of his plot. The terrain of the hunters' trials is painted with striking reality, especially when chimeras or ants appear. The episodes show that even fantasy, like nen, is inspired by reality. The ability to hunt is essential, in the image of the king of the chimeras or his guards like Neferupito, or to survive in the face of creatures or candidates like Pariston or Cheadle. The importance of trials, whether confrontations with Morau or Irumi, or games with Komugi, is central. The stroke of genius? Putting forward hunters who are humanly believable in a fantastic universe, where even a character like Pariston can surprise.

A sensational success!

Are you a fan of the franchise? A Hunter x Hunter area awaits you at the famous Universal Studios Japan theme park! The perfect combination of thrills, entertainment and fun. Pop culture is gaining ground in Japan and is everywhere ...

... And to bring Asia into your home, our geek shop has a whole range ofitems dedicated to your favourite manga! From figurines to ramen bowls and t-shirts: it's time to add a new dimension to your everyday life.