A Japanese friend recommended reading a popular manga series called Hunter x Hunter. If you’re like me you would have made the ‘mistake’ by reading it as ‘Hunter ex Hunter’. When I made this mistake I was immediately corrected that the ‘x’ is just the Japanese way of stylising the title! So in the good old Japanese accent you’d be saying ‘Hantā Hantā’.
After reading part one of the manga I was really impressed and decided to check online for more info etc…and to my amazement the manga had been developed in to a full on 100+ episode anime series! All of a sudden my commute to work no longer was dull! I found the story very enticing with a mixture of strong, powerful human emotions such as love, greed jealousy and sadness. Throughout the series (which I’m yet to complete) focuses on the Japanese mentality of perseverance. ‘Ganbaru / がんばる’ commonly used in everyday vocabulary for “working with perseverance” or “toughing it out.” The term has a unique importance in Japanese culture. If your more of a picture person why not copy and paste がんばる in to google images to see what I mean?
Without giving away much of the plot/spoilers the story is based on a journey of self-discovery. The lead character is a young boy called Gon. After realising that his father Ging is not dead and in fact he had left Gon when he was a baby to pursue his own dream, of becoming a world renowned ‘Hunter’.
A ‘world renowned Hunter’ I hear you say? In the anime a Hunter is a licensed profession for those who have successfully passed a series of brutally challenging Hunter x Hunter examinations. Once the Hunter license has been obtained, the Hunter sets out on ‘Hunting’ expeditions such as discovering rare animals and quite often genetically evolved animal species such as man eating, highly dangerous creatures. Other expeditions involve prize hunting, fathoming unexplored territories, as well as hunting down lawless individuals. Hunters are elite members of humanity on which even the government become dependent on.
The anime follows Gon as he sets out upon a journey to follow in his father’s footsteps, pass the rigorous Hunter Examination (a series of life endangering tests involving skill, survival, and teamwork) with the hope and determination of finding his father. Along the way, Gon meets various other kinds of Hunters some of which he develops a very close, sincere friendships with.
Hunter × Hunter written by Yoshihiro Togashi has been a huge financial success and has become one of Shueisha publishing company’s best-selling manga series, with it having sold over 65.8 million copies in Japan alone as of February 2013. Almost forgot to mention, Hunter x Hunter was originally released in 1999 but did not take off as well as anticipated. More than a decade later with advancements in anime production, this was re-created in 2011. You can currently watch the anime on popular anime streaming sites such as:
www.crunchyroll.com and http://animeonthego.com/