Hunter × Hunter (pronounced "hunter hunter") is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. It has been serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump since March 1998, although the manga has frequently gone on extended hiatuses since 2006. Its chapters have been collected in 36 tankōbon volumes as of October 2018. The story focuses on a young boy named Gon Freecss who discovers that his father, who left him at a young age, is actually a world-renowned Hunter, a licensed professional who specializes in fantastical pursuits such as locating rare or unidentified animal species, treasure hunting, surveying unexplored enclaves, or hunting down lawless individuals. Gon departs on a journey to become a Hunter and eventually find his father. Along the way, Gon meets various other Hunters and encounters the paranormal. Hunter × Hunter was adapted into a 62-episode anime television series produced by Nippon Animation and directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi, which ran on Fuji Television from October 1999 to March 2001. Three separate original video animations (OVAs) totaling 30 episodes were subsequently produced by Nippon Animation and released in Japan from 2002 to 2004. A second anime television series by Madhouse aired on Nippon Television from October 2011 to September 2014 totaling 148 episodes, with two animated theatrical films released in 2013. There are also numerous audio albums, video games, musicals, and other media based on Hunter × Hunter. The manga has been translated into English and released in North America by Viz Media since April 2005. Both television series have been also licensed by Viz Media, with the first series having aired on the Funimation Channel in 2009 and the second series broadcast on Adult Swim's Toonami programming block from April 2016 to June 2019. Hunter × Hunter has been a huge critical and financial success and has become one of Shueisha's best-selling manga series, having over 78 million copies in circulation as of November 2019.
The story follows a young boy named Gon Freecss, who was told all his life that both his parents were dead. But when he learns from Kite, an apprentice of his father Ging Freecss, that he is still alive and has since become an accomplished Hunter, Gon leaves his home on Whale Island (くじら島, Kujira Tō) to take the Hunter Examination (ハンター試験, Hantā Shiken) in order to become a Hunter like him. During the exam, Gon meets and soon befriends three of the other applicants: Kurapika, the last remaining member of the Kurta clan who wishes to become a Hunter in order to avenge his clan and recover their scarlet-glowing eyes that were plucked from their corpses by a band of thieves known as the Phantom Troupe; Leorio, a prospective physician who, in order to pay for medical school, desires the financial benefits that Hunters receive; and Killua Zoldyck, another twelve-year-old boy who has left his former life as a member of the world's most notorious assassin family. Among many other examinees, Gon continuously encounters Hisoka, a mysterious and deadly transmuter who takes an interest in him. After passing by many trials together, Gon and his friends end up passing the exam except for Killua, who fails after killing another applicant due to the influence of his brother, Illumi, and runs away to his family's estate in shame.