Hunter X Hunter and Naruto: A Closer Look and a Comparison Between Two Amazing Anime

The anime Naruto and Hunter X Hunter is similar in a lot of ways.

“Naruto and Hunter X Hunter in the same league? You’ve got to be kidding right?” Oh but they are indeed similar in a lot of ways.

(June 1, 2019 note: This article was originally written several years ago, like around 2008? I might have updated this a few times over the years but I’ll leave most of it as it is.)

♥     Similarities and Differences     ♥

Kakashi, Sasuke, Sakura and Naruto of Team 7.
Team Kakashi: Kakashi, Sasuke, Sakura and Naruto (Team 7) by Masashi Kishimoto

According to Wikipedia articles, Yoshihiro Togashi’s anime Hunter X Hunter (HxH) was first shown around October 1999 while Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto began airing around that same month but in 2002. HxH’s manga version started way back in March 1998 while Naruto’s first manga was officially published in 1999. Based on these facts it appears HxH was released first before we ever saw Naruto, so from here we can safely say Naruto may be based on HxH.

But then because of Togashi’s on-off schedule, the anime spanned from 1999 to 2004 with only fewer episodes as compared to Naruto, the last season (OVA’s) being aired in 2004. Naruto on the other hand is still ongoing since 2002 and is now on it’s Shippuden series. So if there ever will be another HxH OVA or series we can’t say that Naruto is still quite similar to HxH anymore since Kishimoto’s anime has already “veered off” from HxH since 2004 considering Naruto’s “filler episodes” ended in 2007.

Setting aside these facts, let’s look at their main similarities:

  • Both anime starts off with the main characters’ childhood where each orphan lead character are twelve-year old boys
  • Gon Freecss (HxH) eventually gains 3 friends on his quest to be a hunter while Naruto Uzumaki (Naruto) becomes part of Team 7 in ninja school and also gains 3 main friends in the process
  • While Gon starts to develop a deeper friendship with Killua (an assassin), Naruto starts off as a rival with Sasuke (from another clan); each pair eventually becoming best friends
  • Gon goes all out to take Killua away from his own deadly assassin family, Naruto goes all out to retrieve Sasuke from his best friend’s very powerful and dangerous mentor
  • Both undergo different skill trainings and studies, for one to become a Hunter, and the other to become a Ninja.
  • Both anime deal with certain energies or powers: the concept of Nen (Chi) and Jutsu (Chakra). Each learns of these at some point in their training and use these energies and related concepts when the need arises, thus making it their source of power.
  • The two anime also have a wide variety of interesting characters which are developed along the way as opposed to just being extras or introductions in the story

If you are an anime fan and have already watched both anime in it’s entirety (yes I know, Naruto is still ongoing as of writing) you should also notice their more obvious differences. Once you notice and acknowledge these differences, it makes you appreciate both animes more.

Major differences:

  • Gon sets off on a difficult but adventurous journey in search of his father (Ging Freecss) , Naruto eventually sets off to save his best friend or “retrieve” him from a very dangerous enemy
  • In HxH, Gon needs to become a Hunter first to find Ging, that’s how his exciting adventure begins; and then he journeys on to continue his search for his father. In Naruto, he starts off studying in a Ninja school to become a great Hokage (leader of Konoha) but then while on training his priority changes to retrieving Sasuke before all else as much as possible.
  • Gon is a very honest, determined and pure-hearted boy who brings out the good in people he encounters, making them friends who want to help him out with his goals in life. Naruto is mischievous, not very smart but loyal and idealistic, making people around him feel the need to walk the straight and right path which almost always makes them become one of his friends

The main differences make you love both anime the same way but on different levels. One is a story of longing and family while the other is the story of acceptance and friendship. Both deals more with friendship and other human relationships, seldom dwelling on love (romantic love) which can somewhat be refreshing if you are in an environment where everything and everyone is about romantic love. Both also deals with the coming of age where they all learn lessons along the way.

♥     Interesting Points     ♥

What I find interesting in both anime is the concept of Nen and Jutsu. Both of them talks about energy and the natural abilities you can have. They make you want to know more about yourself and what your abilities may be if you are a character in that anime. Each show also makes you wonder a lot of what if’s. The possibility of these abilities actually becoming fact someday is something that can be both good and bad when you think about it.

Because (1) If that happens it can make life easier if used for the greater good, but then bad always comes along so it will eventually lose it’s uniqueness or novelty and the usual good vs. evil goes on as before; (2) as with any discovery, more disasters can come up along with any betterment in life.

As mentioned earlier, I find each interesting as they deal more with friendship and camaraderie. Each does not really involve family relationships or romantic love as much as other shows. Because of the many characters, both can be a study on how you are as a person and how you deal with people as opposed to the characters.

Each anime can make you realize how some characters are a lot like you and your friends or someone you know. But of course, fictional stories are almost always idealized. The “what should be’s” and the “what can be’s” in an ideal setting is presented better in stories because it is a controlled environment. Applying the lessons you also learn from anime to real life can be difficult and may be brushed aside by the city folk but more accepted by loving and friendly country folks. This of course also depends on certain situations.

♥     Recommendations     ♥

I definitely recommend these two great anime to help you realize different lessons that can be used in real life  situations. It’s also best for people who like (or love) fantasy and adventure stories. Hunter X Hunter (1999) is  more serious when compared to Naruto but both are fun, enjoyable and action filled.

My favorite is HxH and I also like Naruto (up to Naruto Shippuden). On a scale of 1 to 5, five being the best, both get 5 stars from me. (^_^)


Additional Notes

This article was originally written way back in 2008 (or later, I think) that’s why to update it, I’d have to add that this was based on Hunter x Hunter 1999 series and just the Naruto series. 2011 saw the new HxH version of the anime and with it the continuation of the 1999 version OVA which is the Ant Arc. Finally we fans got to see what happened next and boy was it an awesome ride! 

2018 Edit: Since there is already a 2011 version of HxH, what you can do is watch all the 1999 episodes including the OVAs and then continue to watch the 2011 episodes from where the original series ended. That’s what I did because I love the 1999 version more. Hisoka is just ♥♥♥.

As for Naruto, watch until Naruto Shippuden to appreciate how each character matures. Actually, Naruto now has a family and kids. Boruto is the latest anime series following Naruto’s story, however it is not written by Kishimoto but someone who worked with him. 

This is probably why I do not like Boruto. Even if Kishimoto provided additional characters etc., it seems very different. The difference is it has more romantic elements and I don’t like the characters that much so I don’t watch it. I only watched the episodes after the Boruto movie where the Otsutsuki villains arrive and got defeated and that’s it.

SPOILER VIDS BELOW, watch at your own risk. Hehe. 

Frankly I didn’t think of any comparisons anymore since Naruto Shippuden has grown to be an anime of its own. Albeit even if it might have begun with imitating HxH, it finally has its “own story”. Both of them kind of grew up but Naruto’s timeline has really moved on to have him age “appropriately” as opposed to Gon and friends seeming much younger than Naruto characters now.

Too bad Togashi is always on hiatus when it comes to HxH. He should just end the story or say he’s done with it if he can’t do it anymore or don’t like to continue it. Can’t really blame him as it’s really hard to finish stories sometimes. Hehe.

Anyway hope you all had a great time watching both anime. If you haven’t watched one or the other well then, you’re missing out! 

What do you think about both anime? Which do you like more and why? Share in the comments! ♥

This article was first posted on the now defunct writing site Triond, the site which made me create and lose my Adsense account. Booo. You can also find the original article (without the updates) on Knoji when I posted it there.

Feeling nostalgic? Click on the PlayAsia or eBay links below to feel better!

Hunter x Hunter DVDs, OVAs, etc. : PlayAsia | eBay
Hunter x Hunter Soundtrack: PlayAsia
HxH Toys on eBay | HxH Games on eBay

Naruto / Shippuden DVDs, OVAs, etc. : PlayAsia | eBay
Naruto / Shippuden Soundtrack: PlayAsia
Naruto / Shippuden Games on PlayAsia | Naruto / Shippuden Toys on eBay

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