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There are quite a few shounen anime tropes in Hunter x Hunter (Image via Madhouse)

Every shounen anime trope made popular by Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter began in the late 1990s and has been a major player in the shounen anime genre ever since. One of the greatest influences Hunter x Hunter has had on shounen anime is the way it has popularized many of the shounen anime tropes that are widely used today. Along with Dragon Ball and other 90s shounen series, Hunter x Hunter has popularized tropes that everyone is a fan of.


Every shounen anime trope made popular by Hunter x Hunter

1) The goofy but secretly powerful old man


The secretly powerful old man trope has been showcased throughout various shounen anime ever since Dragon Ball and Hunter x Hunter. The way the character acts, coupled with their appearance, causes other characters to think they would be able to beat him in a fight.

Initially, Isaac Netero was shown to be goofy and somewhat clueless as to what was going on around him. This made him seem weak, and it was an amazing way to hide his true strength from those who were not familiar with him. Killua seemed to underestimate Netero's true strength early on in the series.


During the Hunter Exam, Netero challenged both Gon and Killua to a game. The pair had to try and take the ball away from him while Netero was severely handicapped. Despite their best efforts, neither of them was able to successfully get the ball.

2) Red eyes that appear due to great emotions and grant immense power


The Scarlet Eyes are Kurapika's main subject of interest throughout Hunter x Hunter. One of his main goals is to hunt down the ones who massacred his clan, the Phantom Troupe, and recover all of the Scarlet Eyes that were auctioned off.

The Kurta Clan's Scarlet Eyes influenced Masashi Kishimoto, creator of the Naruto series, to create the Uchiha Clan's Sharingan. Both eyes are a beautiful red color and activate when the user experiences intense emotional hardship. However, the Sharingan can be activated whenever the user wants after they unlock it for the first time. Both eyes also grant the user an amazing power-up. In the case of Kurapika, his Scarlet Eyes changed his Nen type from Conjuration to Specialization, and the Sharingan has various amounts of different powerful abilities.

3) The young happy-go-lucky main character


Many shonen anime have a main character that always seems to find the good in the world. One of the earliest shounen series with a protagonist like this was Hunter x Hunter with Gon.

Throughout the entire series, besides the Chimera Ant arc, he had a nice, bubbly attitude. Even after his close encounter with death, he continued to have a smile on his face. This same attitude soon branched off to other shounen anime such as Naruto, Black Clover, Gintama, One Piece, and more.

4) The main character tends to have a self-sacrificial way of fighting

Many shounen anime protagonists have a habit of sacrificing their own physical well-being to defeat an enemy. Gon Freecss is definitely the poster child for this trope. Although Izuku Midoriya injures himself all the time, he honestly does not hold a candle to Gon. Throughout the entire series, Gon has allowed himself to get severely injured just to defeat an enemy.


In his fight with Hanzo, Gon broke an arm but still would not give up until Hanzo conceded. Later during the Greed Island arc, Genthru blew up Gon's wrists, causing intense pain and making them unusable. Gon's fight with Pitou then left him on his death bed due to the vow he made with his Nen.

5) The power of a person's potential

The trope was popularized by both Dragon Ball and Hunter x Hunter, but the latter places more emphasis on a person's potential. Since the beginning of Hunter x Hunter, expert Nen users and other powerful characters have been in awe of the seemingly immense potential of Gon and Killua.

6) The absent father

It was initially believed that Ging Freecss abandoned Gon with Mito, but it is soon discovered that Mito lied and instead forced Ging to leave Gon with her. However, the fact that he decided to never reach out to Gon directly until after the Chimera Ant arc is what makes him an absent father.

There are many fathers in shounen anime that choose to leave the protagonist when they are young and force them to grow up wondering who their father was.

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Edited by
Siddharth Satish
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