Hunter x Hunter is one of the finest and most popular anime series due to its fantastic antagonists, excellent plot arcs, and brilliant characters, all of which make it a pleasure to watch anime for anime fans of all ages.
Hunter x Hunter has two parts, one released in 1999 and the second released in 2011. So, what are the notable differences between Hunter x Hunter 1999 and Hunter x Hunter 2011, which one is better and should be watched first, and do the fans need to watch Hunter x Hunter 1999 before 2011?
What Are the Notable Differences Between Hunter X Hunter in 1999 vs 2011?
There are two Hunter x Hunter, 1999 and 2011 because the makers decided to make a remake of Hunter x Hunter 1999. So, the most significant difference between the two is that Hunter x Hunter 2011 is a new season, which has nothing to do with Hunter x Hunter 1999.
They decided to make a new season from the beginning because of the viewer group. They did this because no one would have wanted to watch the second season after a long break of more than ten years.
Apart from the above difference, here are some notable differences between Hunter x Hunter 1999 and 2011:
Pace of anime
The 1999 version of Hunter x Hunter ended during the Yorknew City arc and had a slower pacing compared to the 2011 version of the show.
On the other hand, the 2011 version was more faithful to the manga and had better pacing than the 1999 version.
Closeness to manga
Hunter x Hunter 1999 was more detailed oriented than the 2011 version and was not as close to the manga as compared to the 2011 version. In the 1999 version (till the OVA), it only covered everything till the greed island arc.
The 2011 version was closer to the manga. It covered more stories than the 1999 version’s greed island arc. Both versions are different due to the year gaps.
Number of Episodes and story arc
The first series was released in 1999. It was aired from 1999 to 2001. After catching up to the manga, the series ended with 62 episodes. The makers aired the three OVAs (8+8+14 episodes) that continued the story. The character development was better in the 1999 version.
The 2011 version consisted of 148 episodes. It was aired from 2011 to 2014. The story advanced more significantly than the 1999 version. It was a reboot from the previous version and started from the beginning. It modernized the graphics, and its anime was brighter and funnier.
Direction and quality
The 1999 version is better directed than the 2011 version because it efficiently added the filler scenes. The scenes of the 1999 version are more cinematic than the 2011 version. It also has better colors in the backgrounds, and some visual effects impacted the story well.
The makers created the 2011 series of Hunter x Hunter to improve the animation quality because the 1999 series was well-liked by anime fans.
So, they decided to reboot the series by following the manga story and reducing the number of fillers, like the Green Island arc.
Fuji TV, the broadcasting station of One Piece, Toriko, and Dragon Ball, was the broadcaster of the Hunter x Hunter 1999 version.
On the other hand, Nippon TV was the broadcaster of the Hunter x Hunter 2011 version. It is the oldest TV station. It is known as the most aggressive technical pioneer.
In Japan, HxH 1999 was the Saturday Golden Time Anime. Then, from episode 62 onward, it became OVA. It aired between 18:00 ~ and 20:00 on Saturdays in Japan during the children’s dinner time.
The HxH 2011 was the Sunday Morning Anime. Then, from episode 99 onwards, it became Midnight Anime. It aired during the Sunday morning time slot in Japan because most children used to wake up early on Sundays.
After episode 99, its time slot changed to Wednesday at 1:29 Japan time.
Both began broadcasting in the time slots meant for Children’s anime in Japan, and OVAs were adult anime.
In the 1999 version, Gon aimed to become a hunter because Kite told him that Gon’s father was a superior hunter, and Gon thought that his father was dead.
In the 2011 version, Gon has forgotten the existence of Kite, and they do not know each other, even their first names.
Which Hunter X Hunter Should I Watch First?
Both versions stuck closer to the original manga and have their plus points, while the 2011 version was closer to the manga. Hence, if you want to watch Hunter x Hunter anime, we recommend starting with the 2011 version because it has better animation, graphics, storyline, and soundtrack. The newer version follows the manga more closely than the 1999 version.
You can watch the 1999 version after completing the 2011 version because a different director directed the older version, and it has a different storyline and arc.
However, some fans argue that a new viewer should start watching the 1999 version with OVAs and then start watching the 2011 version that picked up the story after 1999’s Greed Island for Chimera Arc (after episode 76).
The fans also believe that some pacing of the 2011 version seems rushed, probably to get people to Chimera Ant faster.
Do I Have to Watch the Original Hunter X Hunter to Understand the 2011 Version?
You do not have to watch the original Hunter x Hunter (1999 version) to understand the 2011 version. Though, we recommend watching the Hunter Exam arc of the 1999 version because the 2011 version skipped a lot of the Hunter Arc Exam.
So, you can watch the 1999 Hunter Arc Exam first and then start watching the 2011 version from the beginning (episode 1) because the 2011 version shows a quick recap of the Hunter Exam Arc from the original 1999 version.
In conclusion, both versions of Hunter x Hunter have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. The 1999 version has a darker, more traditional anime style and features more filler episodes, but also has more character development and a better English dub.
The 2011 version has a brighter, more vibrant color scheme and is more faithful to the manga, but some fans feel that it lacks the depth and character development of the 1999 version. Ultimately, it’s up to individual fans to decide which version of the anime they prefer.