Hunter X Hunter is a “hero’s journey” story about a boy trying to find his way in the world. It’s filled with awesome fights, a really cool and smart power system, and a very memorable cast of characters. This is one of my favourite animes of all time. There’s so many great moments and ideas in this show. I’m going to focus on one that comes up right at the end of where the current show has ended. The show is about a young and very talented boy who is set on following in his dad’s footsteps to become a “Hunter”. In this world, Hunters are gifted people who are licensed professionals. Their fortes can range from killing monsters, to archaeology, to cooking. The main character Gon was abandoned as a small child by his father who left to become a
Hunter. In leaving, he told his son to come find him one day if he was strong enough. Ging is definitely not winning any father awards, but we do know that he still thinks about his son because he sets up challenges for him to complete in his search for him. This abandonment at a young age did not make Gon upset with his father; instead it instilled a belief that being a Hunter must be that worth it if his father would leave him. So he too sets out to become a Hunter, and find his father.
Accomplishing this and going on many adventures, including making it to the top tier of a fighting league (beating many adults), defeating a race of ever evolving humanoid ants (don’t worry it makes sense in the show 😉 ), and almost dying, our hero finally gets a note from his father that he will meet him after he climbs the world tree (the tallest tree in the world, It’s a really big tree…). This is the last episode before the show takes a really long break, but it leaves us with not only some brief closure for the show, but also something to ponder in our own lives.
Sitting atop the world tree with no one else around, father and son finally begin talking and we get the first semblance of fatherly advice from Ging once he explains where he has been. He talks about his adventures looking for a lost tomb, and the people that helped him along the way, he says:
“The secret of the tomb was nothing compared to the relationships I built. What was truly important came to me before what I wanted.”
To Ging, it wasn’t the end result that changed his life, it was what happened in his pursuit of what he wanted that changed him, and in that he found what was even more important than the goal itself. Gon then asks his father what he is after now.
“Understand now, I still want the same thing I always have. Something that I can’t see in front of me. But I’m in no rush. I’m enjoying the journey. So if our paths happen to cross in the future… you should enjoy the little detours. To the fullest. Because that’s where you’ll find the things more important than what you want. “
To me, this is one of the wisest pieces of advice from this show, or any show, and it goes with my last post. You must have a goal, and go after it, but don’t be surprised if it’s not the goal that ends up making you happy. Our lives can be broken down into milestones, and achievements, and this is how many people judge whether your life was meaningful or important; however, at the end of the day, it’s the everyday detours, side adventures, and relationships we form that make our lives the most meaningful. So have a goal, take action and strive for it, but don’t miss out on what’s around you. Don’t forget about the journey.