Music Mondays: Ranking the Hunter x Hunter (2011) EDs


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Some of the best shounen themes out there. Let’s break down why they’re so great…

I’ve enjoyed my time with Hunter x Hunter’s 2011 anime adaptation. Some could argue that it’s the least polarizing shounen series out there with nearly all viewers proclaiming: “Yes. This show fucking rocks.” Same could be said with it’s ending themes. Unlike most shows, Hunter x Hunter uses the same opening theme song, but with a different cinematic for each arc. Where most people will get their kicks from is the ending themes. The EDs. I have some favorites and one not so favorite, yet each song fits perfectly with their assigned arc. The intensity, lyrics, and visuals set the viewer into anticipation or contemplation for the next episode. This series does what others may struggle with, connectivity through music. Most of the episodes flow from the show’s ending narration straight into the ending theme. It’s a practice that the Full Metal Alchemist series perfected and fits well into the Shounen Genre. Without further ado, let me show you the (main) ending themes in order from my least favorite to favorite of 2011’s Hunter x Hunter.

5. Nagareboshi Kirari by YUZU (Part 1 of Chimera Ant Arc)

So here’s my least favorite of the five ending themes. Now, there’s not anything wrong with it other than that it’s not really my thing. Out of all of the EDs, Nagareboshi Kirari is probably the most fitting with it’s arc. The visuals aren’t anything to write home about and the song itself carries the arc’s theme of being sad and shit. Maybe it’s a bit boring in comparison to the others? All I know is that this part of the Chimera Ant Arc can be a bit of a drag and in turn the ED suffers a bit from it. Though it features important character and world building, this part of the series may be the least accessible due to it’s depressive nature. YUZU is good here, but they’re great in more upbeat and hopeful songs.

4. REASON by YUZU (Greed Island Arc)

The Greed Island Arc is one of my favorite arcs in all of Hunter x Hunter. For some reason I think that’s not a very popular opinion. I really enjoy the training aspect, the video game esque world, the rules, and the combining of nen and the island’s spells. Also, Bisky. REASON fits the isolation the two main characters have to endure while training with their master. In the visuals you can see them staring out at the world they’ve brought themselves to, knowing well that they don’t have much time to waste before the villains terrorize the people playing Greed Island. It’s a very methodical and patient arc. Parts of it almost feel like a fanfiction adaptation with Hisoka being an unlikely teammate to Gon and Killua. YUZU does very well here. This song reminds me a lot of the filler arcs of shows like Naruto. Although there is a central plot to the arc, we know the focus is on building the character’s strength so the worry is washed away with this type of song.

3. Just Awake by Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter Exam Arc)

The OG. The baseline. The one people remember the most for better or for worse. I’m no stranger to Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas. They’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but they won me over when I heard the Kaiji: Haikairoku-hen opening theme. To be honest, this song isn’t anything special. It’s a hype monster. Similar to the first Chimera Ant ending theme, it’s very skippable, but I see the beauty in how it presents itself. It does not feed from a narration. It doesn’t mean much to the plot. It’s there to introduce you to the wacky crazy world of Hunter x Hunter and it does that well with swelling vocals and some silly visuals. Don’t judge Fear, and Loathing by their theme songs. They go absolutely bananas in the full versions and by listening to them you will understand why they have a much larger fanbase than some of your favorites in Japan. genre jumping maaaan.

2. Hyouriittai by YUZU (Part 2 of Chimera Arc, 13th Hunter Chairman Election Arc)

The final ending theme of Hunter x Hunter is YUZU’s best song of the three they produced for the show. A triumphant bellow for the whole series, it ends the show with an ear to the future of these characters. After all, this isn’t the end for them. There’s still the Dark Continent Arc and whatever else Yoshihiro Togashi has in store for theme after hiatus. After the pain and sorrow the Chimera Ant arc brings, it’s nice to come back to a more cheerful song as a closure to the series. YUZU almost sounds like they’re the questioning their own paths, yet ultimately, they will continue to trek onwards together as friends. Hyouriittai is very broski. You feel me bro? bro? bro…

1. HUNTING FOR YOUR DREAM by Galneryus (Heavens Arena Arc, Yorknew City Arc)

I never thought I would hear Galneryus do another theme for an anime after Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne. Unsurprisingly, I love this song to death. Power Metal in an anime is, in my own opinion, the best way to get you pumped for what’s coming next. During the Heavens Arena and Yorknew City Arcs we see a lot of challenges for our heroes. Each episode ends with the narrator planting a question in our minds. Excitement builds and then we hear the opening guitar riffs of HUNTING FOR YOUR DREAM. (all caps appropriate) I love the Yorknew City Arc for this reason alone. It is the sequential shounen arc of all shounen shows out there. The Chimera Ant Arc is just as good with it’s story, but it lacks this empowering theme from the get-go. Out of all the songs on this list I can confidently belt this one in public without embarrassment. It’s so fucking sick. I swear.

So there you have it. Thanks for reading and listening. Remember, this is a subjective list and I do love every song here; just some more than others. What’s your favorite Hunter x Hunter ending theme? Maybe something listed here? Maybe even the orchestral songs? No matter what you like, I hope you have a great Monday!

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About Kefka
Writer for NeoParadigm City. Aspiring Jpop gravure idol. Look out Shakira.

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