Within the biggest and greatest Shonen series out there, there are few more influential than Hunter X Hunter. This action-packed series has been around since 1998 and has impacted some of the most popular anime in recent years.
Naruto has actually referenced and borrowed pretty heavily from this series as a whole. It was created by Yoshiro Togashi, who was also behind Yu Yu Hakusho, and it shows. Needless to say, the series is beloved. The fans are some of the most diehard out there and it probably has one of the most well designed "power systems" in a shonen to date. But, with the manga and two anime adaptations, there are bound to be some inconsistencies. So let's take a look and see just what was left out of the anime and just maybe what was added as well.
10 Weirdly Enough, No Napkin Drawings In The Anime
First and foremost, the Hunter X Hunter anime didn't have to deal with its sole contributor turning in napkin drawings. Sometime around the end of the Greed Island Arc, Mangaka Yoshihiro Togashi dropped the ball.
We couldn't find the specific interview, but there's a series of chapters from the end of the Greed Island Arc to the beginning of the Chimera Ant Arc, where the art is of insanely poor quality. There are other times throughout the manga that this happened but this chunk of chapters was by far the worst. Luckily the anime never had to deal with this sort of issue.
9 Killua's Diverse Wardrobe
Another difference from the manga is the variety of outfits Killua wears. Don't get us wrong, in the manga he probably wears even more, but it's just so rare to see a character not stuck in the same outfit for eternity in anime.
Killua's outfits changed from arc to arc in both the 1999 and the 2011 adaptations, and each time it was different. It's apparent that Togashi loved Killua as a character and has fun drawing him in different outfits. And, it seems like the anime adaptation staff tried to do something similar. And it totally adds to the show as a whole.
8 Kite's Absence In The First Episode And What It Means
One of the first characters ever seen in both the manga and the 1999 adaptation is Kite.
Kite is one of Ging's apprentices and a reoccurring character in the series. He saves Gon from a Foxbear and is the one that tells him the Ging is still alive, inspiring his whole adventure in the first place. But for some reason, the 2011 anime didn't include Kite in the first episode or his background. Normally this would only be a small change, but because of what that first encounter means, this actually changes a lot for someone experiencing the story for the first time.
7 The Anime's Ended
The biggest, most glaring change from the Hunter X Hunter manga is of course that the anime ended. It had a conclusion. It was a bit up in the air and not a fully closed loop of an ending but still, no more episodes came out.
On the other hand, Togashi has stated multiple times that he still wants to end the HxH manga, but it's been off and on hiatus for years now. This is a rare circumstance where anime-only fans are arguably getting a more "complete" story by not reading the manga. But we can't really blame him, being a mangaka is insanely difficult.
6 Anime Only Exclusive Friendship Bonding
One of the only episodes of the 2011 anime that isn't straight from the manga is in episode 12 but, surprisingly, this "filler" content is actually very helpful. The additional scenes serve to show Leorio's guilt at his mistake in the final part of the Hunter exam, adding to his character as a whole. But, they also show a ton of scenes of Killua and Gon bonding as new friends, something that was a bit hard to believe in the manga and older anime.
These two become best friends very quickly and these extra scenes in the 2011 anime actually help us to understand how.
5 Less Dark And Gory
The 2011 anime is usually what people recommend new HxH fans to watch, as it's much crisper, was made more recently, and follows the manga better than the 1999 adaptation. But, the biggest "problem" with this anime is that it's much less grim and gory than the older anime or the manga.
Later arcs show it particularly well, but Hunter X Hunter is a dark and bloody story a lot of the time, and the 2011 anime kind of takes some of the wind out of that. There are multiple scenes where it should've been more dark or violent, but the anime dialed it back a bit.
4 More Tidy And Concise In General
From what we've seen, both animes do a better job of cleaning up the overall holes in the manga. They both do a much MUCH better job with backgrounds, as that is something Togashi struggles the most with. But they also clean up a lot of the conversations and timing moments in the story, making them flow better so they feel less....stilted.
It's very easy to disregard these awkward instances in the manga since the reader flows from page to page quickly, but anime is different. They put in the extra work to make all the jokes and solemn moments land with the impact they need.
3 The Art Is Overall Stylistically Consistent
Other than the moments where the art quality dives off a cliff, Togashi is a pretty skilled artist. He's the creator of Yu Yu Hakusho after all, his style is just so unique. But, throughout the manga, the art does fluctuate quite a bit.
Oftentimes new characters look like they belong in a completely different story, or they just straight-up look worse than everyone else in the room. The 2011 anime especially, does a lot of work to fix that gap in quality, making minor changes to the colors, style, and overall details of characters and locations to make it all look integrated into the same setting.
2 The Manga Is Dark, The 1999 Anime Is Different, And The 2011 Anime Is Streamlined
All three versions of this story are different in their own ways. The manga can be read a lot quicker, but the art changes constantly and the backgrounds are never consistent. That said, the more detailed panels are absolutely beautiful and the violent moments are horrifyingly brutal.
The 1999 anime tells its own story, following the manga a bit more loosely. It has that 90's aesthetic people love and is almost as dark as the manga at times.
The 2011 anime is a lot more modern, cleaned up, and streamlined. It follows the manga more strictly, has an overall brighter atmosphere, and is consistent in its style.
1 No Gyro Hints Or Allusions
And finally, we get to Gyro, another important character in HxH. Gyro is the leader of the NGL, the area where the entire Chimera Ant event takes place. Unfortunately, Gyro's past led him to hate humanity as a whole and caused him to become as brutal and ruthless as we see in later events.
After the events of The Chimera Ants, Gyro is reborn as a whole new species. in the manga, it's hinted that Gyro will play a part in the last or later events with Gon, but the anime never mentions him again and leaves this shadowy figure as a rather annoying loose end.