Even though it’s currently on hiatus, Hunter X Hunter is still my favorite 100+ episode anime. Hunter X Hunter has a plethora of characters, and unlike other shounen shows, it doesn’t rely too heavily on the main character to move forward. HxH is at its best when other characters, including the villains, have time to shine. That highly reflects this list of what I think are the worst to best arcs of the show.
7. Greed Island Arc
The Greed Island has the unfortunate privilege of being in-between the two best HxH arcs: Yorknew City and the Chimera Ant arc. The Greed Island arc didn’t do anything of note compared to seeing an entire city sieged by the series’ biggest criminal organization, or the natural disaster of the Chimera Ant’s beginnings. It was cool to see Hisoka working with our heroes for a change, but the main villain of the arc was the series weakest. The Greed Island arc is just kind of there at the end of it all.
6. Zoldyck Family Arc
The Zoldyck Family arc was a short one, and it served as a transition out of the Hunter Exam arc and the Heaven’s Arena arc. We got to meet Killua’s assassin-based family for the first time, but the five episode arc didn’t have a large effect on the story or world. It did however, give the already badass Killua his amazing backstory, and why him and his family is so polarizing.
5. Hunter Exam Arc
This was the one. It was the first arc, and it was also one of the best.
Flawlessly introducing character after character, the Hunter exam arc showed off characters that would have a part to play in the arc, as well as characters that’d have a bigger role in the overall show. The show started off strong, initiating a love for a series that would shatter previous expectations.
4. Heaven’s Arena Arc
Gon and Killua gained some much needed training and the basis of how energy and Nen is used in the world was established during the Heaven’s arena arc. Gon vs Hisoka was the culmination of not only this arc, but the first three arcs. Gon’s training allowed him to hit the previously untouchable Hisoka, and even though he lost, the potential that Hisoka saw in Gon started to blossom.
3. 13th Chairman Arc
The 13th Chairman arc was a fun one. After the death of the previous Chairman, a political struggle begins in a very Hunter X Hunter fashion. In the meantime Killua is trying to save Alluka, his younger sibling who has the ability to level the entire planet if asked to. Alluka is seemingly a sweet kid, but so strong that the Zoldyck family had “it” locked away until now. Killua needed Alluka’s power to save Gon, who is in critical condition after the Chimera Ant arc.
It was shorter than the Yorknew City arc, but it had the same escalating scale of Yorknew City. Hisoka is working with Killua’s deadly brother Illumi, Gon’s dad is finally in the picture, Killua is on the lamb, Gon is in a coma, and Leorio FINALLY makes a return and almost becomes the 13th Chairman. Sadly, it is the last arc to be shown in animated form, since the series is now in hiatus.
2. Chimera Ant Arc
This arc is almost literally half of the show. The Chimera Ant arc started a bit weaker than others, but once the king and his subjects arrived, this show hit a new peak in character development. The amount of development for completely new characters was staggering. And not only were the characters interesting, the action was some of the series best. Gon hulking out to take out Pitou, the one minute assault lead by Neetro against the Ants that lasted an entire episode, and of course the Meruem vs Neetro match itself.
The king vs the chairman was stylish and brutal. Both Meruem and Neetro were presented as unbeatable monsters, and yet their fight didn’t disappoint. The story came to an emotional end, actually making Meruem a figure that was both menacing and sympathetic. What ultimately made this arc so beautiful was the time spent with both sides, which created a smart balance between good and evil.
1. Yorknew City Arc
After the Heaven’s Arena Arc, the best arc of Hunter X Hunter started. Yorknew City adopted a darker tone throughout, thanks to the introduction of the infamous Phantom Troupe. Up until this point, we’ve only heard of the group that murdered Kurapika’s entire clan, but actually seeing them was similar to seeing evil itself. The group is sinister incarnate, but they’re not your typical rogue squadron like Team Rocket. They are calculated, smart and surprisingly characteristic. Throughout this arc, the phantom troupe went on an absolute tear in the city not subtlety based off of New York City. The troupe seems almost unstoppable … until Kurapika confronts them and shatters their perfect image.
The great thing about this arc is that it just keeps escalating in scale. You see Hisoka in the troupe, but then find out he is a spy, only wanting a good fight with the leader. The leader of the troupe gets his backstory, goes on a rampage after one of his subordinates is killed and fights Killua’s father and grandfather in an epic battle. Gon and Killua get captured by the troupe and Gon is offered to join the troupe. Kurapika is established as an absolute boss, kills a member of the troupe, blackmails them to get Gon and Killua back, and manages to seal the leader’s powers, crippling the entire Phantom Troupe. This arc is story-telling at its finest.