Hunter x Hunter Arc Tier List, Ranked by HxH Fans

Heavens Arena Arc

Hunter x Hunter is a beloved shonen anime that follows a young boy named Gon as he tries to find his father through a series of supernatural adventures. That’s the basic summary, but the world he inhabits is complex, expansive, and deeply strange. The whole story is revealed through a series of arcs. Which one is the best?

While there are a lot of different opinions, one of the most popular – and disturbing – arcs is the Chimera Ant Arc, which takes just about everyone out of their comfort zones and ends in some major tragedies. But the more light-hearted arcs are good too – the Greed Island Arc is a self-contained story that’s a whole lot of fun.

This tier list was decided by over 200 Hunter x Hunter fans on Ranker.

Hunter Exam Arc – A Tier

Hunter Exam Arc

Like any good first arc in an anime, the Hunter Exam Arc introduces the main characters, their personalities, goals, and relationships. It also introduces allies like Netero and antagonists like Illumi and Hisoka. But it’s not just a series of introductions – the characters have to go through multiple action-packed trials as they try to earn the coveted Hunter’s License.

Overall, it’s an excellent arc. We could do without some of Hisoka’s antics, but when his creep factor isn’t up to eleven he can still be pretty entertaining. The whole thing does a great job of introducing the series and getting viewers to fall in love with the characters and the world.

Zoldyck Family Arc – B Tier

Zoldyck Family Arc

After the Hunter Exam, Killua is dragged back to his family, a powerful group of assassins who want him to get back to work – very much against his will. Gon, Leorio, and Kurapika head to Kukuroo Mountain in order to rescue him.

There, they not only have to deal with a bunch of traps and puzzles, they also have to get past the various Zoldyck employees. We get to learn more about Killua’s family and the abusive training methods that he and his siblings endured.

It would have been cool if there was a greater focus on the inner workings of the Zoldyck clan than on complicated coin-flipping games issued by the family staff, but it was still a fascinating arc. 

Heavens Arena Arc – B Tier

Heavens Arena Arc

During the Heaven’s Arena Arc, Gon and Killua decide to hone their strength by competing in Heaven’s Arena. As they ascend the floors by defeating opponents, they get prize money, training, and eventually a place to stay. They wind up learning Nen from a man named Wing, which ends up being quite useful in Gon’s showdown with Hisoka.

While this arc contains plenty of exciting moments, it can also drag a bit in parts. This is the arc where Nen is first explained. Nen is a complex system that does require some serious explanation, but the way it was presented felt less organic and more like a repetitive lecture.

Yorknew City Arc – S Tier

Yorknew City Arc

This arc is mostly focused on Kurapika’s efforts to track down the Phantom Troupe, the group responsible for annihilating the Kurta Clan. He makes connections with the mafia and infiltrates the Yorknew City black market where the Troupe plans to sell Scarlet Eyes. But Kurapika isn’t the only one after the Troupe – Zeno and Silva Zoldyck have also been hired to take Chrollo down.

Kurapika’s encounter with the Troupe pushes him to his mental and physical limits. He not only has to be strong enough to face off against the Troupe and clever enough to devise a plan, he also has to have the emotional wherewithal to take a life. While this isn’t the most intense arc in the series, it’s certainly the most intense up to this point.

Greed Island Arc – A Tier

Greed Island Arc

Believing that playing the Greed Island game will get them closer to finding Gon’s father Ging, Gon and Killua get hired to clear the game for a man who is trying to obtain a copy for himself. Inside the game, they start trying to collect the 100 restricted cards that they need to clear the game. This is easier said than done, especially because they have to deal with multiple enemies, including Razor and his Pirates, Genthru and his Bomber group, and more. To accomplish all of this, they start training under Biscuit Krueger, who will become their mentor for the rest of the series.

The arc is a self-contained one that you could probably watch without a whole lot of additional context. While that means that it has its own set of interesting narrative stakes, it can also sometimes feel disconnected from the main story. 

Chimera Ant Arc – S Tier

Chimera Ant Arc

The Chimera Ant Arc is probably the most disturbing arc in the anime. A colony of “Chimera Ants” – that is, ants with features of other species that they consume – strive to create a “King” of such immense power that he might be capable of ruling the world. They name this king Meruem. 

A group of Hunters must try and stop the Chimera Ants before they cause serious damage to the rest of the world. Several people pass away in the process, and Gon experiences the most profound losses he’s ever gone through in his young life. The battles are less fun than they are cutthroat and bitter, and the stakes are incredibly high. 

But while the Hunters are suffering, so is Meruem. Meruem is struggling to understand the meaning of his existence, and what it means to create bonds with others. Despite the extreme danger he poses to the heroes, it’s hard not to be touched by his developing friendship with Komugi, a young blind girl who is an expert at a game called Gungi.

Emotionally speaking, this is a rough arc, but it’s also one of the best that the series has to offer.

13th Hunter Chairman Election Arc – C Tier

13th Hunter Chairman Election Arc

This is the last arc of the 2011 anime. Since the manga is still ongoing, we hope it won’t be the last arc ever, but so far, that’s unknown.

The arc focuses on wrapping up loose ends and introducing the next storyline. Half of the arc is dedicated to Killua’s attempts to free his sister from her colorful prison so that she can heal Gon using her dangerous wish-granting powers, and Illumi launching a full-scale assault to stop them. This is pretty funny, because he stops the instant he learns that healing wishes don’t have consequences. The other half of the arc focuses on replacing Netero as the chairman of the Hunter Association. It introduces the other members – most importantly, Gon’s father Ging.

There were some cool moments, like when Leorio punched Ging in the face for being a deadbeat dad. It was also nice to see Gon finally have a moment with Ging. But overall, the arc felt like it was trying to pack too much into a small space. Maybe it wouldn’t feel that way if the next arc had also been animated, but as an “ending” it feels rushed.

Dark Continent Expedition Arc – B Tier

Dark Continent Expedition Arc

This is the first arc not to be adapted into anime form. Most of the arc is focused on preparing for the next arc. Beyond Netero – Netero’s son – announces his plans to explore the Dark Continent, the Kakin Empire announces their plans to expand there, and Kurapika makes arrangements to be on that boat because he’s pretty sure a member of the Kakin Family has his clan’s eyes.

This arc marks a departure from the adventures of Gon and Killua, and involves a lot of information being presented at a rapid clip. In the manga, this is fairly easy to digest as the reader can determine their own pace. That said, it’s hard to say how an anime adaptation would approach this material.

Succession Contest Arc – C Tier

Succession Contest Arc

The Succession Contest Arc is an extremely dense and complex arc that feels like Togashi at the height of his creative powers. Because it isn’t finished, it’s hard to say whether its multiple threads will come together in a satisfying way, but so far it’s very intriguing.

The arc begins with Beyond Netero’s journey on the Black Whale 1 to the Dark Continent. The Zodiacs are busy trying to make the expedition go smoothly, but many of the passengers have other things in mind. The Phantom Troupe is trying to track down Hisoka after he eliminated a few of their members, Kurapika is on the hunt for someone who he thinks might have his clan’s eyes, and the Kakin Empire is holding an elaborate, life-or-death competition to see who will become the King’s successor.

If your favorite thing about Hunter x Hunter is Gon and Killua, this arc might be disappointing – the two don’t really factor into the story. But if you’re looking for a change of pace or you’ve been wanting to see Hisoka and Chrollo finally fight, this is definitely an arc worth checking out.