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One of those hidden gems in the shounen genre is Hunter x Hunter. Featuring a plot that is acclaimed by many to be the best in decades, as well as a concept that will keep viewers at the edge of their seat, Hunter x Hunter will go down in anime history as a series which could have become the very definition of what heights a shounen anime could achieve.
Of course, a fighting anime like Hunter x Hunter needs great characters to move the plot forward. Thankfully, the anime does just that, featuring characters that are extremely well-rounded and balanced.
For our list today, we will look at the Top 10 Strongest Characters in the Hunter x Hunter universe. Oh, spoilers are ahead too, so watch out!
10. Kurapika Kurta
Among the main characters of the anime, Kurapika seems to be the most level-headed and calculating. It’s quite ironic, however, that among the anime’s leads, he is also the one that ultimately takes on a very self-destructive and ruthless path. With his heart imbued in hatred, Kurapika is one character that few would like to cross.
What makes him strong is the fact that he adopts an almost moral tendency to pursue his goal no matter what the cost. Through the course of the series, his powers grow, until such a point when he is able to fell one of the members of the group he so despises. Oh, and his chains are pretty awesome too. In fact, for anyone who doubts this guy’s power, I have two words for you - Emperor Time.
9. Chrollo Lucilfer
The intelligent, charismatic leader of the Phantom Troupe is our list’s Number 9. A born leader, he is able to keep the members of the deadly troupe in check, despite every single one of them having very strong and volatile personalities. He is also extremely calm and collected, rarely showing any apprehension even in very dire circumstances.
What makes Chrollo so deadly is his set of skills that are so well-balanced, it’s frightening. He’s a great hand to hand fighter, using both his strength and intelligence to exploit his adversary’s weakness. However, what really makes Chrollo so formidable is his ability to steal his opponents’ Hatsu using a book known as “Bandit’s Secret,” whose effects are pretty much permanent.
8. Killua Zoldyck
A fan favorite, Killua is Gon’s best friend, serving both as Gon’s ally and antithesis. Personality-wise, Killua seems cheeky and full of mischief. All this, however, is simply a mask that hides an extremely traumatic past. Raised within the confined of the Zoldyck family and recognized as a prodigy in the art of killing, Killua is a very efficient and deadly assassin, literally able to rip out a person’s heart in the blink of an eye.
Though he struggles for a good part of the anime due to interference from his brother, who imbibed the concept of him never entering a fight that he is not sure he would win, Killua eventually overcomes this and becomes one of the anime’s strongest characters. With deadly skills that make grown men weak in the knees and enhanced stamina and durability that enables him to take a lot of damage and still keep going, Killua is this list’s Number 8.
7. Illumi Zoldyck
Of course, one cannot make a Top 10 list in Hunter x Hunter without mentioning the brother who actually strikes fear in the deadly Killua, his brother, Illumi. Displaying very little expression in the outside, one simply needs to stand beside him to realize that Illumi is twisted inside and out. In fact, he is so twisted that the series’ favorite sociopath, Hisoka, actually treats him as a friend. I guess it really takes one to know one.
As a brother, he is extremely overprotective to Killua, though his forms of affection are somewhat unconventional. Take putting a needle in his brother’s brain, for example. Though he is very calm and collected almost all the time, he does have a really scary side, which showed up when he threatened Hisoka’s life when the latter asked if it would be ok to kill his brother. With his masterful use of needles and a personality that chills people to the bone, Illumi is our Number 7.
From the outside, Neferpitou looks a lot like the conventional anime cat-girl, with huge eyes and a very feline appearance. Make no mistake, though, for this almost cute little cat of darkness is one sadistic, terrifying being. When fighting, they love playing with their opponent, much like a cat does to a mouse before cruelly ripping its head off.
This was shown in all its cruel splendor when Gon, Killua, and Kite made their way to the Chimera Ant nest in an attempt to kill the Queen before she gives birth to the King. In a series of events which drew a lot of shocked gasps from the audience, the formidable Kite was effortlessly mangled, decapitated, and reanimated for sport by the deadly Neferpitou. Though Neferpitou eventually gets killed by Gon, they have gone down in the anime’s canon as one of the strongest characters in the series.
5. Gon Freecss
Even before he became a fully-fledged Hunter, Gon was already a young boy gifted with a unique set of skills that make him a nightmare for those who cross him (couldn’t resist the wordplay there, sorry). With his trusty fishing rod and his extremely likable personality, he is one of the easiest to get along with in the series’ massive cast. However, he does have a flaw, in the sense that his temper and impulsive nature is something that makes him in a pretty volatile individual.
Gon grows stronger as the series progresses, and by the final arcs of the anime, he is already one of the most powerful characters in the series, boasting several accomplishments in terms of strength and combat ability. What makes Gon really strong, however, is the fact that his drive is so strong, even when faced with an unbeatable opponent, he does not give up. Reckless, brash, and ultimately dangerous and formidable, Gon is this list’s proud Number 5.
At this list’s Number 4 is the self-serving, self-absorbed, sadomasochistic, sociopathic Hisoka. Portrayed as a man whose desires solely lie in pleasure, regardless of how sick it could be. He has an insatiable love and desire for spilling blood while at the same time having the tendency to spare the life of people he thinks have the capacity to be strong just so he can kill them in the future. Weird? Very. Sick? Definitely.
Modeled after The Joker in the Batman franchise, Hisoka is also a true-born sociopath. His values are extremely vague, and what he considers precious today might be trash to him tomorrow. What actually makes Hisoka so scary and powerful is his absolute lack of morals. he has no problems killing anyone of any age, and his tendency to be extremely powerful, to the point where he is able to take down powerful opponents without breaking a sweat.
3. Ging Freecss
Though much of his power and accomplishments happen off-screen, Ging’s reputation far precedes him. Famous for being a Hunter who was able to accomplish a number of nigh-impossible missions alone, and his ability to disappear without a trace is something that’s considered special since even seasoned Hunters are unable to track him down. Apart from this, he seems to hold a number of special secrets, such as how to use mysterious runes which are affected by Nen.
In the few times that his strength is shown in the anime, however, there is no doubt that he is one of the strongest characters. He is extremely fast, strong, and a proficient Nen user, to the point where Netero himself stated that Ging was one of the most proficient Nen users in the world. Charismatic, mysterious, and a natural genius, Ging is this list’s Number 3.
2. Isaac Netero
Isaac Netero is first introduced as a playful, light-hearted old man. However, what lies beneath the surface of his pleasant exterior is a fighter far beyond anyone in the Hunter x Hunter universe. Training his body for years in a mountain and achieving strength beyond the limits of a well-trained human, he was heralded as the most powerful in the entire world. In fact, had it not been for his age (the man’s 110), he would have easily been the Number 1 in this list.
Despite him stating that he has severely weakened and that he’s way past his prime, Netero is nonetheless able to dominate most of the allegedly strong characters in the series. Mastering his body, mind, and his spirit, Netero is very deadly in both hand to hand and Nen combat. Though he eventually did fall to the King of the Chimera Ants, Meruem, he was nonetheless the only character who was able to do the King damage, to the point where the already overpowered King felt fear for the first time.
Displaying immense strength and brutality from the moment he was born, Meruem, the King of the Chimera Ants, is the most powerful character in the entire series. Born as the ultimate biological weapon, his strength is immense, as shown by the negligible effort it takes him to kill off a powerful character in the series. What makes him so dangerous, though, is the fact that he is extremely confident in his abilities, to the point where he never hesitates at all during combat.
Perhaps the most fearsome ability of Meruem, however, is his Aura Synthesis, which enables him to devour a Nen user, synthesizing his victim’s aura to his own. If this was not enough, he also evolves through the series, becoming more and more powerful. In fact, if it wasn’t for the poison left in his system by Netero’s suicide attack, he probably wouldn’t have died at all. Well-rounded, properly developed, even sympathetic to a point, and practically overpowered, Meruem takes this list’s Number 1 spot proudly.
So there you go, everyone! Our Top 10 Strongest Characters list for Hunter x Hunter. If there are other characters you feel should be on this list, please do state them in the comments below! In fact, what were some of your favorite battles in the Hunter x Hunter universe? We would love to know!