Hunter x Hunter is a shounen anime adapted from the original long-running manga series, which started in 1998 and still hasn’t ended. The manga success led to the first anime adaptation in 1998 and another one in 2011. Even though it would make sense to watch the older one first, the second version is practically a reboot with better animation.
The 1999 version of the Hunter x Hunter anime series ran until 2003 and has 92 episodes in total, including the Original Video Animations (OVAs), while the 2011 version was aired until 2014 and counts 148 episodes and two non-canon movies.
Both versions tell the same story starting from the same point, unlike the Fullmetal Alchemist anime series that has two completely different versions. So the order won’t impact how you interact with the story, it only depends on what you prioritize.
Differences between the Hunter x Hunter Anime Versions
The 1999 version has a more serious tone and more filler episodes than the new version. The animation style is considered outdated nowadays and the story has a slower pace, which might be a deal-breaker for younger viewers who are accustomed to more modern animation and storytelling when watching.
The animation of the Hunter x Hunter 2011 anime series is smooth, stunning and only gets better as the series evolves. It also uses more comedic tropes than the older version. Viewers will notice a huge difference when comparing both.
Some details are different between the versions, like the way the main characters meet, for example. The 1999 version explores Gon’s journey giving more perspectives than the newer one. In that regard, the 2011 version follows more closely to the manga, almost word for word. So if you prefer to watch the anime most true to the manga, the newer version is the one.
Since the 1999 anime got up to date with the manga, it ended at the Greed Island story arc (when you include the OVAs). There are five filler episodes compared to only two recap episodes in the 2011 version. The newer version had time to launch a reboot of the story without fillers and still release two more arcs until it ended in 2013 when it reached the manga.
Watch Order For Hunter x Hunter (1999)
- Hunter X Hunter (1999) – 62 epsiodes
- Hunter X Hunter: Spider OVA (2002) – 8 episodes
- Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island OVA (2003) – 8 episodes
- Hunter X Hunter: Greed Island Final OVA (2004) – 14 episodes
Watch Order For Hunter x Hunter (2011)
- Hunter Exam arc (1-26)
- Heavens Arena arc (27-38)
- Phantom Troupe arc (39-58)
- Greed Island arc (58-75)
- Chimera Ant arc (76-136)
- Election arc (136-148)
Hunter x Hunter Movies
- Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge (2013)
- Hunter x Hunter: The Last Mission (2013)
There are only two Hunter x Hunter movies that were released in 2013. Both are non-canon so the order isn’t of great importance. You should watch them after you finished watching the 2011 version, however, as you might get spoilers.