Last time, we discussed our preferred watch order for the first half of the Katekyo Hitman Reborn anime. Today, we’ll go over the remaining arcs, talk about how the story ended up switching genres partway through, and explain a bit more about why we love this show so much despite its pacing issues early on. Here we go!
Future Infiltration Arc
- Watch: 98-110, 113-118, 120-140
Between the last arc and this one is a small set of filler episodes called the Arcobaleno Trials arc. It’s fine for what it is, but the Daily Life-style antics hurt the Future arc’s tense momentum. Watch it if you want a break from the action, but we prefer to skip straight to the team’s infiltration of the Merone Base.
This secret mission is filled with exciting box animal fights against new enemies like Spanner’s Mosca robots and the phantom knight Genkishi. It also debuts Tsuna’s most powerful technique, a gigantic blast of flame shot from his hand called the X-Burner. It looks like all that training paid off!
Future Interlude Arc and Choice Arc
- Watch: 154-157, 160-176
- Recommended: 158-159
After confronting Shoichi —the leader of Merone Base—and discovering that he’s been on their side this whole time, the gang gets a solid lead on how to defeat Byakuran. Shoichi baits him by challenging him to Choice, a game they created together in college, and the flighty genius accepts. Tsuna and friends must take down Byakuran’s five elite guards all at once in a scaled-up version of Choice where the losers face deadly consequences!
The Choice arc is our personal favorite part of the whole anime because it’s a non-stop barrage of kickass battles with clever applications of the established flame powers and a hype train that never ends. We also get to see everyone in sleek suits like proper mafiosos, and even the minor characters get to help out! It’s pure, unadulterated shounen bliss.
Inheritance Succession Arc
- Recommended: 178-188
This short anime-only arc is classified as filler, but we recommend watching it anyway because it’s so well done (unlike the Arcobaleno Trials). Before Tsuna’s team can take down Byakuran once and for all, they travel back to the present to inherit powers from the first generation of Vongola guardians.
We always love seeing Vongola Primo’s gang, and this arc gives them plenty of time to shine. It also adds intriguing character development for Yamamoto and Chrome that builds on their past trauma, and it even brings in story elements from later in the manga to flesh out Daemon Spade. If you’ve fallen in love with Katekyo Hitman Reborn’s characters and want to know everything about them, this arc is for you.
Future Final Battle Arc
- Watch: 190-203
Everything comes together for this final moment! Tsuna’s team, the Varia, and all of the friends he made in the future converge for the deciding battle against Byakuran. We didn't skip any episodes from this arc since every one of them is important and a pure joy to watch.
We particularly love Tsuna’s showdown with Byakuran. With a little help from the ghost of Vongola Primo, our precious protagonist shows how much he’s grown as a person and as a fighter by tearing the villain down from his high horse with his own brand of heroism. He’s still the same sincere kid who just wants a normal life, but he’s accepted his responsibilities as a leader and melded his pacifistic ideals with the immense power thrust upon him by the Vongola. Unlike Byakuran, who stole power and treated people like toys, Tsuna is a true hero of the people.
How We Got Here
So how did Akira Amano go from writing a slice-of-life gag series about a baby hitman to heading up one of the best shounen shows of the 2000s? It pretty much comes down to ratings. The Daily Life chapters weren’t getting much love in Weekly Shounen Jump, so Amano gently nudged the narrative further into battle shounen territory with the Kokuyo arc. When that exploded in popularity, she knew she had a hit.
This genre shift mostly worked out well except for a few out-of-place gag elements that had to be kept in the plot for storytelling reasons—the Arcobaleno babies and their pacifiers, the 10-Year Bazooka, etc. It also introduced a huge barrier to entry for new fans who just want to get to the exciting parts, but we’ve attempted to remedy that with this watch order.
But without the Daily Life arc, Tsuna and his friends wouldn’t have been the same. They aren’t gung-ho adventurers who live to conquer evil—they’re just small-town teens who play baseball, have crushes on girls, and care about their school. It’s that down-to-earth reality at the core of even the most intense arcs that makes Katekyo Hitman Reborn so special to us.
- Total episodes in the anime: 203
- Necessary: 143 episodes
- Recommended: 22 episodes
- Skipped: 38 episodes
If you follow our guidelines, you’ll cut down your watchtime by about 30%. But please go back and watch the skipped episodes if you just can’t get enough of this amazing series! We love it to death and beyond.
What did you think of our watch order? Have you been inspired to watch Katekyo Hitman Reborn? Do you disagree with our episode choices? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!