How to Watch ‘Hunter X Hunter’ in Order

Jessica Williams | Last Updated:

Shounen anime Hunter x Hunter is based on a manga series that has been running since 1998. The fact that Yoshihiro Togashi, the show’s creator, sometimes takes months or even years off without updating the series means that Hunter x Hunter has a ways to go before it’s done.

Despite this, the manga has attracted a massive readership because of its compelling plot, an impressive array of heroes, and formidable antagonists. Due to the story’s popularity, two anime adaptations were made: the first in 1998 and the second in 2011. 

However, the newer version is just a reboot with improved animation, so you won’t lose anything by not seeing the older one first.

There are 92 episodes, including Original Video Animations (OVAs), in the 1999 adaptation of Hunter x Hunter, which lasted from 1999 to 2003, and 148 episodes, including two non-canon movies, in the 2011 adaptation, which ran from 2011 to 2014. 

In contrast to the Fullmetal Alchemist anime series, which includes two distinct adaptations, both versions convey the same plot from the beginning. Your involvement in the story will thus be independent of the sequence you choose to view the episodes.

About Hunter x Hunter

The Hunter x Hunter manga was turned into the Hunter x Hunter anime, which is a Shonen anime.

The plot centres on a young kid named Gon and his exploits as he discovers that his supposedly deceased father is alive and has an extraordinary life as a Hunter. Gon decides to emulate his legendary hunter father and train to become a formidable Hunter rather than wallowing in self-pity. 

The job of a Hunter is challenging, and for Gon to become an official hunter, he has to pass an examination. Along the way, he gains new friends, and they are all obligated to assist one another in overcoming whatever challenges they face.

Differences Between the Hunter X Hunter Anime Versions

The 1999 version takes itself more seriously and includes more unnecessary episodes than the current one. Younger viewers used to more contemporary animation and speedier storylines could be turned off by the slower pace and antiquated visual approach. 

In contrast, the animation in the Hunter x Hunter 2011 anime series is flawless and visually striking, improving with each new episode. It also makes use of more stock comedy devices than the original. There’s little question that when people see both, they’ll notice a tremendous difference.

The main characters in the two narrative versions do not meet in the same manner. Gon’s voyage is examined more deeply and from more angles in the 1999 adaption than in the latter. 

In this respect, the 2011 adaptation is more faithful to the manga. The most faithful anime adaptation of the manga is the most recent one.

When including the OVAs, the 1999 anime caught up to the manga after the Greed Island arc. There are five unnecessary episodes instead of only two recap episodes, as in the 2011 season. 

Even after starting again with no filler episodes, the manga continued with two more arcs until its conclusion in 2013.

How to Watch ‘Hunter X Hunter’ in Order

1. Hunter X Hunter (1999)

Gon Freecss decides to take the Hunter Exam to search for his father without being hindered by location. Along the way, he meets three people with different reasons for wanting to become hunters like himself: Killua, Leorio, and Kurapika.

The Yorknew City Arc, often known as the Phantom Troupe Arc, is where the 1999 anime series ends. In this arc, we follow Kurapika as he works with the Mafia to reclaim the Scarlet Eyes for his tribe.

Most of the story takes place in New York City, where Kurapika’s task becomes more challenging because of the Phantom Troupe.

The storyline is unfinished in the original anime. The first Hunter x Hunter OVAs will, however, continue this storyline.

  • There were 62 episodes of Hunter X Hunter in 1999.
  • There are eight episodes in the 2002 OVA Hunter X Hunter: Spider.
  • The eight-episode OVA series Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island aired in 2003.
  • Season 14 of Hunter X Hunter OVA: Greed Island aired in 2004.

The two versions of the Hunter x Hunter anime that are currently available both follow the same plot, although their animation styles are distinct from one another. 

For instance, the manga’s Phantom Troupe and Greed Island arcs are adapted into original video animations (OVAs). Nevertheless, the adaptation from 1999 is shorter than the one that followed it and does not discuss the events following the Greed Island story.

Compared to the version released in 2011, the original series had a few more episodes that served no purpose. On the other hand, fans of the series have expressed their gratitude for the humorous additions that brighten the atmosphere.

2. Watch Order for Hunter X Hunter (2011)

  • Exam arc for hunters (1-26)
  • Arc of Heavens Arena (27–38)
  • Arc of Phantom Troupe (39–58)
  • Arc of Greed Island (58–75)
  • Arc of the Chimera Ant (76-136)
  • Arc of the election (136-148)

Two films were made for the 2011 adaptation, although they are not required viewing since they are not canon to the manga. 

You may still enjoy the movies for a new perspective on the series, whether via Phantom Rouge (which delves further into the history of the infamous Scarlet Eyes) or The Last Mission (which explores the origins of the Hunter Association).

It’s important to note that the events of the Chimera Ant arc are referenced in The Last Mission, namely when Gon and Killua are on the road with Kite.

Hunter x Hunter’s exciting adventure continues in the manga with the Dark Continent Expedition and Succession Contest arcs, which can be read starting with Chapter 339.

That settles the proper chronology for your Hunter x Hunter watches. In addition to the information shown here, the following links will direct you to supplementary materials, such as the most recent updates on the manga’s production.

3. Hunter X Hunter Movies

  • Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge (2013)
  • Hunter x Hunter: The Last Mission (2013)

The year 2013 saw the release of only two Hunter x Hunter films. The sequence you see them makes little difference since neither is canon. However, it’s better to wait until you’ve finished the 2011 version before watching them to prevent spoilers.

4. Hunter X Hunter: Spider OVAs

The first release of original video animation segments for the Hunter × Hunter adaption. The Phantom Troupe Arc was cut short in the anime; therefore, the remaining parts of the story were told in the Phantom Troupe OVAs. The eight original video animation shorts may be considered episodes 63 to 70 of the original anime series.

In this miniseries installment, Kurapika successfully reunites with Gon and the other party members. He explains to them the danger he puts himself in due to his powers. 

Soon after, the group gets information that one of the Spider Members has survived and that specific survivor has the potential to murder Kurapika in the end. After that, the group decides to search for the last member.

5. Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island Final OVAs

The next OVA picks off just where the last one left off, with Gon and Killua continuing their training with Biscuit. The two players believe they are prepared to continue their journey through the game with their newly acquired information and abilities. 

The three groups continue to combat several adversaries and other players in the game.

When Gon and Killua have finished the game, they take the card titled “Accompany” and use it to travel to the player known as “Nigg.” Gon is under the impression that the moniker is nothing more than a pseudonym that his father employs. 

Regrettably, the anime concludes without clarifying whether or not the man they encountered was, in fact, Gon’s biological father. As a result, the manga will pick up again from Chapter 185 after this episode.

6. Hunter X Hunter Greed Island OVA

Now that the Spiders have been eliminated, Gon can return to his primary task: looking for Ging. Gon and Killua try to buy the video game “Greed Island,” but in the end, they decide to help someone else by offering to finish the game for them instead. The two conclude that training is the best way to prepare for the game.

The OVA comes to a close without concluding the story arc. Gon and Killua begin training with Biscuit Krueger, a Double Stone Hunter. A bandit they have successfully subdued is put to work as a trainer for Gon and Killua by Biscuit before they go any further in the game.

Hunter x Hunter The Complete Watch Order

The episodes contribute substantially to the characters’ ongoing growth and the investigation of various backstories. It is strongly recommended that you do not skip any episodes, even the OVAs (for the 1999 version). 

The movies stand independently and should be seen after the series finish to get the whole experience.

Hunter x Hunter Series (Both 1999 and 2011)

A little boy called Gon Freecss learns that his long-thought-dead father is still alive and healthy at the novel’s beginning. He knows that his father, Ging, is a famous “Hunter,” or someone who has earned a place among humanity’s elite.

Despite Ging’s abandonment of Gon to pursue his ambitions, Gon is inspired to become a Hunter like him and, after passing the challenging “Hunter Examination,” to find and reunite with his father.

1. Hunter Exam Arc

The first story arc in the Hunter Exam arc. The arch spans the first 38 chapters of the manga, the first 31 episodes of the 1999 version, and the first 21 episodes of the 2011 adaptation. 

During this arc, hopeful future Professional Hunters take the Hunter Exam from all across the globe. The series’ main characters are also introduced during this arc.

To become a Hunter, Gon must first complete a series of strange challenges, such as surviving in a scary forest, tracking down and killing a wild boar, completing a marathon that takes place entirely underground, and preparing and eating sushi. 

During the Hunter Exam, Gon becomes friends with three hopefuls—Kurapika, Killua, and Leorio. The series’ first antagonist is also presented as a potential contender.

A cunning villain, Hisoka uses playing cards as weapons and views Gon as an “unripe fruit” he can’t wait to assassinate until he becomes a real danger to him. Killua’s brother Illumi unexpectedly appears before the end of the Hunter Exam and coerces him into going home early.

2. Heavens Arena Arc

Third (or technically second) in the series is the Heavens Arena arc. The arc spans Chapters 44–63 of the manga, Episodes 37–44 of the 1999 anime adaptation, and Episodes 27–36 of the 2011 anime version.

Gon and Killua visit the 251-story Heavens Arena, where people compete in bloody fights for money around the clock. Here, they meet Wing, a Kung-Fu master who teaches them about Nen, a chip-like power that can be channeled to produce superhuman skills.

He trains a young lad called Zushi, who joins Gon and Killua in the tournament to gain financial independence and combat experience. Even Hisoka has joined the fray. Eventually, Gon has another opportunity to confront Hisoka and show off his growth.

3. Phantom Troupe Arc

The fourth (actually third) narrative arc focuses on Kurapika’s involvement with the Mafia to regain his clan’s stolen Scarlet Eyes. It occurs in York, New City (or the “Phantom Troupe arc” in the Viz version). 

Most of the action happens in York, New City, where Kurapika gets embroiled with his clan’s assassins and the infamous Phantom Troupe.

The four main characters get back together in New York City for the biggest auction in the world. Killua, Gon, and Leorio try various strategies to save enough for the JoyStation Console game Greed Island, which Gon hopes will lead him to his father.

To enter his clan’s Scarlet Eyes, which will be auctioned off in the exact location, Kurapika takes a job as a bouncer for Neon Nostrade, a flesh hunter and the daughter of a Mafia family boss. York, New City, is also a gathering place for the Phantom Troupe, the gang of criminals that murdered Kurapika’s family.

4. Greed Island Arc

Greed Island is the official fourth-story arc of the series. This second-longest arc focuses on Gon and Killua’s adventures throughout Greed Island as Gon continues his search for Ging. A second Nen teacher is encountered, and the two learn that a trio of villains is brutally killing other players to win the game.

As Kurapika recovers from her injuries sustained in the fight against the Phantom Troupe, Gon, Killua, and Leorio make a return appearance to help. 

Again, Leorio and Kurapika leave, shifting the spotlight to Gon and Killua. Billionaire Battera allows Gon and Killua to join the team he has assembled to compete in the game.

Biscuit Krueger, a 57-year-old woman who looks like a 12-year-old girl but is a master and experienced teacher of Nen, teams up with Gon and Killua to teach them the art. 

As the story progresses, one character, “the Bomber,” blows up the other characters. To eradicate the Bomber, Gon, Killua, and Biscuit have banded together with the other players.

To counteract Kurapika’s attempt to neutralise Chrollo Lucilfer’s abilities with a Nen sword, the Phantom Troupe sets sail for Greed Island in pursuit of a Nen-remover.

5. Chimera Ant Arc

The “Chimaera Ants Arc” is the series’ sixth (technically fifth) story arc, termed by Viz. From Chapter 186 to Chapter 318, the manga tells its tale. 

The initial anime adaptation (from 1999) did not include animation from the manga because of the unpredictable publishing schedule. In the anime adaptation from 2011, the arc runs from episodes 76 to 136.

After Gon and Killua had left Greed Island, they ran across Kite. An odd insect leg washed up on the beach, and all have been recruited to examine it. It turns out that the portion washed ashore on the NGL (Neo-Green Life) shoreline belonged to a vast Chimaera Ant Queen.

The Chimaera Ants kill most of the population and reproduce hundreds of offspring before Killua, Gon, and Kite arrive to stop them.

6. Election Arc

In the manga, chapters 319-339 comprise the election arc, named the “Hunter Elections Arc” by Viz. The story arc was released after the debut of the anime adaptation in 2011. It spans from episode 137 (the first episode of the 2011 anime adaptation) to episode 148 (the last episode of the 2011 anime adaptation).

Netero, chairman of the Hunters, was killed by Meruem, king of the Chimaera Ants. The Zodiacs get together to hold a fresh election for Hunter’s chairman since they need to choose a replacement. Zodiac member and business owner Ging Freecss run the show.

Leorio makes a comeback and immediately becomes a frontrunner. Alluka Zoldyck’s Nen ability is used to revive a hospitalised Gon, and these events serve as a background for Killua and his henchmen. Illumi, with the aid of Hisoka, tries to stop Killua from utilising Alluka’s abilities because of the risks involved.

Hunter x Hunter Movies (2013)

At the movie’s beginning, Gon, now an adult, learns that his supposedly dead father was only pretending to be over and was a famous Hunter. Gon becomes a skilled Hunter like his father, so he won’t worry about being alone. 

The work of a Hunter is complex, and for Gon to become an officer hunter, he has to pass a test. He develops new friends who must support one another as they work through difficult situations.

7. Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge (2013)

The plot of Hunter: Phantom Rouge revolves around Gon, Kurapika, Killua,  and Leorio as they take on a deadly guy who used to be a member of the Phantom Troupe, their greatest enemy.

To revenge the deaths of his people at the behest of the Class-A criminal band Phantom Troupe because of their peculiar eyes, Kurapika became a Hunter. 

The crimson eyes of the Kurta clan, which appear in times of anger or emotional excitation, are considered the most precious gems in the world.

Kurapika’s “scarlet eyes” have been stolen, yet he still follows the Phantom Troupe. Thanks to Gon, Killua, and Leorio, Kurapika’s life was saved. However, the Phantom Troupe suddenly materialises before them and stands in their way. Soon, we will learn the identity of the person wearing the spider tattoo with the number 4.

8. Hunter x Hunter: The Last Mission (2013)

The Hunter Hunter manga has a sequel titled The Last Mission. The movie was released on home video in North America.

The most potent Hunters in the Hunter Association split into “bright” and “dark” camps, each pursuing its own goals. The “evil” side is still intent on wiping out the Hunter race. After a brutal assault by the “evil” side, Hunters, Killua is wounded, and Kurapika is on her deathbed.

Why are all Hunters being attacked, and what is its ultimate purpose? Since the wrongdoings of Netero and the Association have been exposed. To get the power he needs to rescue his comrades, would Gon choose the path of the dark side? When the many wrongdoings of Netero and the Hunter Association are exposed, what actions will Gon take…!?

9. 13th Hunter Chairman Election Arc

The Election Arc is another name for this story arc. This arc includes the events of Hunter x Hunter chapters 319-339.

The events of the Chimaera Ant Arc resulted in the death of Netero, the 12th Hunter Chairman, prompting the search for a new leader. Members of the Zodiacs, led by Ging Freecss, vote for a new leader. 

But the accurate tale of this arc is unfolding behind the scenes of all these occurrences. Killua and his slaves collaborate to retrieve Alluka Zoldyck while the Hunters are preoccupied with the election. 

Thanks to Alluka, Gon, who was recently hospitalized, may be brought back to life. Alluka’s power is too deadly to unleash; therefore, Hisoka and Illumi are working to thwart the plot.

The 2011 anime version concludes with this story arc as well. After the series, Gon meets Ging for the first time. At the very end, audiences are given a glimpse into the lives of the secondary characters.

As of the conclusion of the Election Arc, all other arcs have been disproved. There were two feature-length films in the anime that had nothing to do with the source material.

Which Version to Watch?

There are two anime adaptations of Hunter x Hunter. There was a 1999 release and a 2011 release. The 1999 version has 92 episodes (including the OVAs), whereas the 2011 adaptation features 148 episodes.

The 2011 adaptation is the one that fans are advised to see since it has superior animation, nearly no filler, and two different arcs, one of which is widely regarded as the finest arc in the series.

The first two storylines are considerably more effectively included in the 1999 adaption. Some viewers may find the 2011 version too simplistic, although that judgment is subjective. The fillers in the original were great, and the general tone of the anime was much more severe than in the remake.

If you prefer digital images over hand-drawn ones and want to enjoy a lengthier tale, the complete 2011 edition is for you.

Another option is to watch the 1999 version all the way through before jumping into the current one at episode 75. Watch the 2011 version if you hate cuts, and remember that the visual styles are pretty different.


Do You Need to Watch Hunter x Hunter in Order?

The narrative and chronology of Hunter x Hunter can only be understood by watching the series in order, with each episode building on the achievements of its predecessor. 

You should watch every episode, including the OVAs, because of their essential contributions to understanding the series’ many characters and their histories. On the contrary, the films may be enjoyed independently of the series they are a part of. 

Will There Be More Hunter x Hunter Anime?

The release of Hunter x Hunter Season 7 is imminent. The manga’s creator, Yoshihiro Togashi, has promised a “decent” ending in many interviews. 

Hunter X Hunter will likely return for a second season after Togashi’s statements. Although Togashi has not made an official announcement, considering the present status of the pandemic, the anime may appear around the end of 2022.


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