Hunter x Hunter returns to Weekly Shonen Jump on 01/29/18! But if you’re new to the series, or can’t remember what happened, this section will get you up to speed in no time!
HUNTER EXAM ARC
Although Hunter x Hunter has sold millions of copies and secured its place in the hall of Shonen Jump legends, storywise, it has a very simple beginning—a boy in search of his father. The boy is Gon, and his father is a Hunter. A Hunter is a rare breed of person with incredible skills far above normal humans. They track down treasures and magical beasts and venture into restricted areas where few dare to tread. But the most dangerous thing about being a Hunter may very well be becoming one.
To become a Hunter, one has to pass the grueling and deadly Hunter Exam. Thousands take it, but only a tiny fraction succeed. Most give up, get injured or die. But Gon is no ordinary kid. He’s the son of the famous Hunter Ging Freecss. Gon has inherited extraordinary strength, endurance and quick reflexes from his father. But his greatest strength is his ability to inspire others with his innocence and optimism. And the friends he makes during the Hunter Exam prove invaluable in his attempt.
Killua is the strongest of Gon’s friends and the closest. Killua is descended from a family of feared assassins. Kurapika is also a highly skilled fighter and a levelheaded ally. However, he has a tragic past and a grudge against a mysterious organization called the Phantom Troupe. Leorio is the loudest of Gon’s friends, and the most impulsive. But when the chips are down, he won’t hesitate to go all in to save his friends.
Together, they face many deadly challenges in the Hunter Exam, which is broken up into several stages that test applicants both mentally and physically. The test is riddled with tricks and traps to weed out the weak. Applicants have to pass extreme endurance tests, survive attacks by a variety of man-eating animals, solve riddles and puzzles, and even face each other in deadly contests to see who is worthy.
And why do so many risk their lives to become Hunters? The rewards are incredible. Hunters can stay almost anywhere for free, travel the world, visit places off-limits to the public, access secret information through the Hunters Only website and more. Plus, they can sell their Hunter License for unimaginable wealth and live the rest of their lives comfortably.
HEAVEN'S ARENA ARC
The Hunter Exams are over, and Gon’s now a certified Hunter, despite being knocked unconscious during his fierce bout with the ninja Hanzo! After waking, Gon’s not satisfied upon hearing how events unfolded for his newfound friend Killua, who disqualified himself from the exam. Under pressure from his family of assassins, Killua returns home. Gon, Kurapika and Leorio travel to Killua’s home in the hopes of freeing his friend from his assassin family’s clutches.
Gon doesn’t like how he passed the Hunter Exam. He can’t recognize himself as a real Hunter until he squares off against Hisoka and gives him a good punch in the face. But to do so, he’ll have to get stronger. And what better place to get stronger than an entire tower devoted to fighting—the Heavens Arena!
Heavens Arena is a tower combat arena, where the victors ascend floors while the losers stay down below. But to advance, Gon and Killua will have to learn how to use Nen, the ability to control the life energy or aura, that suffuses living things. In fact, Gon can’t be officially recognized as a true Hunter until he learns and masters Nen! Lucky for him, Wing, a proficient in Nen, is there training his disciple Zushi. Wing recognizes the latent talent in Gon and Killua and decides to teach them the fine art of Nen.
As Gon and Killua ascend the Tower, to their surprise they find Hisoka on the 200th floor, where the elite fighters reside! But Hisoka isn’t quite ready to fight Gon since he doesn’t want to pluck an unripe fruit before its time. Undeterred, Gon is hard at work, preparing himself for the day he can confidently challenge Hisoka!
PHANTOM TROUPE ARC
Gon became a Hunter to find his father. Killua tried for the exam on a whim. Leorio needed funds to enter medical school. And Kurapika...
More than five years ago, there existed a legendary group of people known as the Kurta Clan. The Kurta Clan were famous for their sublime Scarlet Eyes. However, because of the rare nature of the eyes, they became a valuable black market commodity. The Phantom Troupe—a cold-blooded collection of criminals and outcasts hailing from Meteor City—purportedly wiped out the whole Kurta Clan and sold off their eyes. However, one lone Kurta Clan member survived the slaughter—Kurapika.
Kurapika is on a mission to rescue the last remaining set of Kurta Clan Scarlet Eyes and to bring the criminals that murdered his clan to justice. He finds gainful employment with a flesh collector on the eve of the world’s largest black market auction in hopes of meeting and destroying the Phantom Troupe while recovering the eyes.
However, the Phantom Troupe has plans of its own—to take the mafia world by storm and steal all of the auction goods! By doing so, they’ll make the entire underworld their enemies. But the Phantom Troupe fears no man or organization. And for good reason—each member is incredibly powerful and a master of their own unique Nen ability. Nicknamed the Spiders, all 13 members are marked by a spider tattoo with a number in the center. Combined, they’re a force to be feared and avoided at all costs. Especially their leader, the cold and calculating Chrollo.
Meanwhile, Gon, Killua and Leorio are in town as well for the auction. Gon is looking to buy the rare Hunter game Greed Island in hopes of finding a clue to his missing father’s whereabouts, but he’s got one problem—he can’t afford the game!
After the Phantom Troupe members raid the auction, the mafia sets exorbitant bounties on their heads. Good timing too, since Gon and Killua are looking to make a quick buck! However, have the dynamic duo underestimated the Phantom Troupe? After all, the insanely powerful and creepy Hisoka is part of its crew...
GREED ISLAND ARC
Forget about the PlayStation 4. Sell your Xbox One. Give that Wii U to your nephew. It’s all about the Joystation. What’s the Joystation?! Duh! It’s only the hottest new console with the most expensive and exclusive game in the world—Greed Island. A game that literally costs billions and is unlike anything you’ve ever played because you get to actually go into the game’s world! And if you die there, you die in real life! Now that’s playing with power!
After learning new skills at the Heavens Arena and having a quick brush with the Phantom Troupe, Gon finds a clue about his dad Ging’s possible whereabouts from a recording left for him. The recording prompts Gon and Killua to try to find a copy of a unique game called Greed Island. But there are very few copies in existence, and some are being auctioned off for billions of jenny! Just getting a copy of Greed Island is a tremendous challenge in and of itself! But the struggle is worth it for many players, because a mysterious billionaire is paying a massive reward to anyone who can solve the game!
Upon their arrival on the island, Gon and Killua discover they have a lot to learn about this game when experienced players take advantage of them. The goal of Greed Island is to collect 100 specific cards and put them in a special binder that appears when you say “Book.” Some of these cards are easy to get, and others are incredibly difficult. And there’s no guide. Players have to figure out how to find all the cards on their own.
Aside from the cards collected to win, there are tons of cards in the game that do all manner of things! There are also spell cards you can use on other players to track them, contact them, steal their cards and more. And beyond that, there are item cards, monster cards and special-ability cards. The list goes on and on.
Because of the incredible complexity of the game, players have banded together to try to collect the cards as a group. And one particular player finds Gon and Killua to be so naive she decides to take them under her wing and teach them about the game and the ways of Nen. Her name is Biscuit Krueger. Don’t be fooled by her cutesy appearance—she’s anything but weak.
But most players aren’t as nice as Biscuit, and there is a dark element growing on the island. Rumors of a sinister player that goes by the name of “The Bomber” abound. He seems to be killing players and exploiting their fears to his advantage.
CHIMERA ANT ARC
Having survived and completed the incredibly perilous Hunters-only video game Greed Island, Gon finds himself unexpectedly reunited with the man who inspired his journey to become a Hunter...Kite!
Though Gon’s disappointed that his long journey didn’t end with finding his legendary Hunter father Ging, he’s ecstatic to see his old friend again. And this time around, they meet as equals. Since Gon is now a qualified Hunter, he journeys with Kite into the secretive country of NGL to research a possibly new magical species whose body part was recently discovered offshore.
A dangerous new species of Chimera Ants have been identified, and it’s up to Gon, Killua and a select crew of Hunters to head off this threat. The Chimera Ants are planning to enslave humanity. However, the Ants aren’t all ruthlessly evil. The majority of them were born from consumed humans, and traces of their memories and feelings remain in their present deformed state.
Though at first, the Chimera Ants appear to be vicious beasts, the Hunters soon learn that their opponents might have a more “human” side to them. These grotesque soldiers are becoming stronger with each passing day, and now they even know how to use Nen, the innate energy that Hunters manipulate to afford them superhuman powers. And standing above this new über species is the strongest of all—the Chimera Ant King.
Is there any Hunter alive who can challenge the seemingly invincible king? Perhaps the only man capable of defeating this threat is none other than Chairman Netero himself. But what costly price is the chairman willing to pay for victory? After all, defeat is not an option...
HUNTER ELECTION ARC
The Chimera Ants incident radically changed the world. And perhaps the most significant blow came with the "resignation" of Netero as chairman of the Hunter Association. But thanks to his and Gon's sacrifice, the world can rest without worries of being enslaved or eaten. But now there are two issues that must be addressed—electing a new chairman and rescuing Gon from his life-threatening condition.
Before Chairman Netero went to head off the Chimera Ant threat, he filmed a video with basic guidelines on what to do should he meet an untimely demise. The Hunter Association must now elect a new chairman, and Netero places the onus on the Zodiacs, his most trusted aides.
The Zodiacs are 12 top Hunters handpicked by the chairman himself to help manage the association during times of emergency, and the group includes Gon's father, Ging! With all this star power running the show, an election doesn't seem like such a tough job to handle. However, the mischievous Pariston has other plans in mind...
While the Hunter Association is embroiled in the election stalemate and internal squabbles amongst each other, Gon's life hangs in the balance. Having made an unholy contract to gather enough power to defeat the Chimera Ant Neferpitou, Gon now lies unconscious and on the verge of death.
DARK CONTINENT ARC
Beyond, the son of the late Chairman Netero, has a dream to go to the Dark Continent, and he's determined to do it no matter what the costs. But the chairman's dying wish is that the Zodiac, the top 12 Hunters who served under him, beat his son to the punch. However, Beyond throws a wrench into the works by surrendering to the Zodiacs and predicting they'll accompany him on his journey! Add Ging Freeccs, Pariston and some other familiar faces into the race to get to the Dark Continent, and things are getting intense!
But this trip will be fraught with danger! Aside from the monstrous beasts that roam the land, there are five threats to humanity—the weapon Brion, the gaseous lifeform Ai, the snake Hellbell, the beast Pap and Zobae, the immortality disease! Of the thousands of people who have tried to go, only one is still alive today!
THE SUCCESSION ARC
On the way to the Dark Continent, King Hui Guo Rou of the country Kakin has decided to let his children fight to the death to determine who will succeed him. Some princes relish the idea of killing each other, but others would rather not die or kill to become king. And one of the princes, the Fourteenth Prince Woble, is still a baby! Kurapika has sworn to protect the baby prince and his mother. But things are heating up as everyone has found out about Nen and now Kurapika finds himself in the unusual position of teaching Nen to a bunch of bodyguards. Adding to the confusion, there's an assassin among the group!
The battle to succeed the King of Kakin is going to be a bloody affair! And now you're caught up on the Hunter x Hunter story!
To read the new chapters of Hunter x Hunter, subscribe to Weekly Shonen Jump!
by Urian Brown
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