Hunter X Hunter’s two versions contain differences and they each bring their vision of the story to their fans.
When an anime remakes its original series, often, it’s not an exact duplicate. From stylistic changes to the storyline, revamps of the original will either fall short or be better. Occasionally, the base set from the first show expands upon the second version, improving and changing to make it better than the original.
Other times, the original just can’t be topped, and any improvements seem to backtrack how good the first version is. With two different versions that contain differences, regardless of whether they’re big or small, they each bring their versions of the story to their fans. And that’s what the two versions of Hunter X Hunter do.
4 The Missing Section Of The Hunter Exam (2011 Ruined)
One of the most noticeable differences between the ’99 Hunter X Hunter and the 2011 Hunter X Hunter is the events of the Hunter Exam. In the ’99 version, there’s a brief moment between the third and fourth part of the exam where the contestants are taken to Zevil Island. There, the contestants search for treasure to pay for their rooms. In these few episodes, the audience learns a lot about the characters. Kurapika and Leorio have a moment to build their friendship when Kurapika talks about the Phantom Troupe and the Kurta Clan.
This section of the arc is also important for the Hunter Exam itself. They become stranded with a storm strong enough to wipe out the entire island heading their way. This part of the exam forces the contestants to work together more than ever before. While the Zevil Island portion of the Hunter Exam is only a few episodes long, it seemed to change the dynamic between characters completely. There was still the tension and need to succeed, but there was also newfound respect between them all. Since this portion of the Hunter Exam was removed in the 2011 version, the audience is missing the character development. So when deaths and incidents happen later to those characters, it’s confusing why the audience should care so much.
3 Gon’s Father Is A Driving Force (2011 Fixed)
Comparing the ’99 version and the 2011 version, Ging is actually a fairly consistent character in the 2011 Hunter X Hunter. Though physically he’s not present, there are plenty of flashbacks and notes to remind the audience that this was the reason Gon started his journey in the first place. Gon wants to meet his dad and try to understand why being a Hunter was so important to his father. It’s almost like, at the right times, when the audience starts to become distracted with everything else happening, they’re reminded of why Gon is doing what he is.
This kind of reminder helps with the character development in Gon. The audience sees him push hard and improve his skills because he wants to become a great Hunter, just like his dad. And as viewers meet more characters who know Ging, it only becomes more evident how important he is in the Hunter society. While Ging does make a few appearances in flashbacks during the ’99 version, his presence doesn’t seem to be as noticeable or as strong of a driving force for Gon like it does in the 2011 version.
2 Kite’s Bond With Gon Started At The Very Beginning (2011 Ruined)
Kite and Gon meet at the very beginning of the original Hunter X Hunter. From an early stage, the audience sees the type of relationship these two have. With Ging out of the picture, Kite seems to have stepped up as a father figure for Gon. And as he taught Gon about how to care for the wildlife and the impact he can have, the audience sees how Gon changes and adapts to understand the lessons Kite gives him. In the 2011 Hunter X Hunter, the audience doesn’t meet Kite until the end of the Greed Island arc. Therefore, his and Gon’s relationship seems very new and fresh.
Though the audience learns that Gon met Kite when he was younger, the audience still has a hard time fully grasping the father-son dynamic that is portrayed here. While the 2011 version does seem to rush through some important moments, it’s because the series had characters and a storyline already established from two sources: the ’99 version and the manga. So when it comes to details, other characters received more attention because they would have larger roles later in the series. But because of how quickly they rush through, the relationship between Kite and Gon is too rushed to feel like it’s deserving of Gon’s reaction to Kite’s death.
1 Character Development Has A Stonger Base (2011 Fixed)
In the 2011 version, because they had both the original and the manga to go from, small additions were made that impacted the characters. For example, Killua is an assassin-raised boy in both versions. However, in the ’99 version, the biggest reason was due to his upbringing. He has moments where the audience truly sees how being raised in his family impacted how he views others and values lives. But the main reason is boiled down to how he was raised.
On the other hand, the 2011 version knows that Killua, while he was raised to be an assassin, is also fighting the needle Illumi placed in his head. This needle impacted how he viewed his worth, viewed fights, and how he felt about his friendships. With this additional knowledge, the 2011 Hunter X Hunter was able to include various scenes and notes that hint towards Illumi being a very present fear for Killua, so when the audience finds out about the needle, it’s like the missing piece to a puzzle.