The Two Protagonists of Hunter x Hunter

After what was seemingly eons of hiatus, we finally got new chapters of Hunter x Hunter in 2022. Needless to say, the fans were ecstatic with this good news. After all, the Succession Contest Arc is one of the densest story arcs in the series, and there were too many questions raised in this arc that the fans are dying to find the answers to. So we take every new chapter that we can get.
Speaking of the Succession Contest Arc, other than the overwhelming amount of information being presented here, there’s also another aspect of Hunter x Hunter that is highlighted in this arc. And that is the fact that Hunter x Hunter actually has two protagonists.

The Protagonist of Hunter x Hunter

Whether you’re an avid fan of Hunter x Hunter or just someone who reads or watches the series occasionally, you’d know that the main protagonist of Hunter x Hunter is Gon Freecss. There’s no question about that. Sure, there are other people who join his journey along the way, but the story starts with him, and for the most part, it also revolves around him.

We follow Gon as he ventures into the world, overcomes terrible ordeals, meets with new friends, and fights against dangerous enemies. Not only that, but the basic premise of the story is also about Gon wanting to meet his father, which is why he tries to retrace his father’s footsteps. That is basically the main objective that drives the story forward. At least that is the case for the majority of Hunter x Hunter story arcs.

The Shift In Protagonist

When this article is being written, there are officially 5 major story arcs in Hunter x Hunter, with 3 minor arcs in between. As you can expect, Gon is the main protagonist for the majority of those arcs, specifically the Hunter Exam Arc, Heavens Arena Arc, Greed Island Arc, and Chimera Ant Arc.

You can say that two of those minor arcs (13th Hunter Chairman Election Arc, and Dark Continent Expedition Arc) don't really have a main protagonist. They’re stories with an ensemble cast of characters, each with a relatively similar amount of screen time.

So what about the other two major story arcs, The Yorknew City Arc and the current Succession Contest Arc? Well, those are the arcs where Gon takes a back seat and lets another character claim the spotlight. And that character is Kurapika.

The Case of Yorknew City and Chimera Ant

If you follow the Yorknew City Arc from beginning to end, it’s clear that it is an arc that is dedicated to Kurapika. Sure, Gon and the rest of the group also have a big part in the story, but make no mistake, this is actually the arc where Gon started to share his responsibility as the main protagonist with Kurapika.

It makes sense in a way, because aside from Gon, Kurapika is the only character that has every element needed in order to be the main protagonist. He has a deep motivation behind his actions, and he also has a clear goal in mind. Not only that, he has also undergone a similar transformative journey as Gon. Needless to say, both of them have their fair share of terrible circumstances and dangerous enemies.

The main difference between Gon and Kurapika is basically the vibes. Gon is the best main character for a bright shounen story, but Kurapika thrives in a dark seinen atmosphere. And Yorknew City is without a doubt a seinen story, which is why Kurapika is the one who gets to shine in that arc.

And then the Chimera Ant arc happens, and the line between shounen and seinen becomes blurrier than ever before. Gon is still the main protagonist of this arc, but Chimera Ant is basically the last arc where he gets to be the main player. After all, this is the arc where he loses his nen ability, and is forced to sit on the bench for the next major arc.

The Future of The Series

We are currently in the middle of the Succession Contest Arc. Kurapika has once again assumed the mantle of the main protagonist for Hunter x Hunter, even more so than during the Yorknew City Arc. Kurapika has a major role in this arc, while Gon’s name is barely mentioned at all.

Will it be like this forever? Will Kurapika permanently replace Gon as the main character of Hunter x Hunter? Well, only the original author of the series, Yoshihiro Togashi, knows the answers to those questions.

However, as fans of the series, there are two things that we think will likely happen in the future. First, Gon will somehow receive his power back and reclaim his role as the main protagonist. It’s not unheard of - after all, the same thing happens to Ichigo from Bleach.

The second thing that could also likely happen is the story will continue on with Kurapika as its captain. After all, the next likely major arc after this one will possibly be about the Dark Continent itself, which seems to be another dark story that is suited best for Kurapika. Sure, they might find a cure for Gon over there and bring it back to him, but that could also possibly serve as the wholesome ending to this series. No more Hunter x Hunter after that.

Final Thoughts

Hunter x Hunter is one of the few series that manage to pull off having two main protagonists at the same time. Each one is responsible for certain types of stories. And since Gon has to take a backseat after the Chimera Ant Arc, the reigns are given to Kurapika now. Will it stay like this until the end of the series? Only time and Togashi-sensei can tell.

What do you think about the current state of Hunter x Hunter? Do you think Kurapika does a good job as a main protagonist? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Hunter-x-Hunter wallpaper-1-700x280 The Two Protagonists of Hunter x Hunter


Author: Harry

Harry is a manga addict first and freelance writer second. While he hasn’t read every manga under the sun, he has read an unhealthy amount of Shounen and Seinen manga. When he’s not writing in Honey’s Anime, you can find him in his personal blog:

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