Thoughts on TotallyNotMark's Analysis of: Hunter x Hunter's Exam Arc

I was waiting for TotallyNotMark to Review Hunter X Hunter story since he finished reading One Piece! Now a dream came true, and we got to see a fresh analysis on HxH manga from a new fan perspective!

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Who's TotallyNotMark

TotallyNotMark is a YouTuber I've come to respect. He used to publish video content about Dragon Ball, but since last year he started expanding to other series. TotallyNotMark spent 6 months reading & reviewing One Piece manga each week.

His videos are not only fun and nostalgic for a reader like me, they are very informative too. (He's the reason I know so much about Jo-Ha-Kyu story structure.)


The Review!

This video above is TotallyNotMark's Review. He's only responsible for the script and narration in the video above. The visual part is made by his editor. TotallyNotMark decided to read the Manga and he only watches the parts of the anime that his close friends suggest to him after reaching that part in the manga.


Reviewing Hunter x Hunter Manga

I completely agree with TotallyNotMark choosing to review Manga over anime. Don't get me wrong, I think the anime of Hunter X Hunter is a better experience than Manga, and I mean both versions (1999 and 2011.) But as he said, it's better to read the story as the author intended. Anime is not more than adaptation of the original story.

The story's strengths and flaws can be found easier in Manga format than anime. Voice and Music are great for immersion but they're just another layer of noise if you want to analyze the story.

Finally, I find Gon introduction better in the Manga than both the anime versions. I watched this video that explains how. years ago. (beware from late-arcs spoilers.) As he noticed in the Third Exam Sequence, Gon is smarter in the Manga than both anime versions.

Some Thoughts About The Review:

  • There's no need to worry about Hunter x Hunter Hiatuses at this point. There's a point in the manga that's meant as an ending. Only worry after catching up.
  • Surprisingly, TotallyNotMark never talked about the reputation of the Manga's art. It's inconsistent in quality...

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  • I love the foreshadowing pieces TotallyNotMark tried to figure out from the story. Including Gon's potential and his inability to succeed alone.
  • The way TotallyNotMark reviewed some scenes is amazing and mentioned things I never noticed even in my third watch-through of the anime, (I never completely read the manga.)
  • "Getting the Hunter License" for all important characters, is a mean to an end, not the end goal itself. That's a nice thing to mention, one of the series strength is how character's goals are realistic.
  • "Pride is not a good thing." Watch 25:00 to 27:30. This part of the video is AMAZING! After hearing this I realized that Gon never notices his pride. When he's asked why he does things, he never mentions his pride. Despite that, Gon's pride is his most dangerous motivator & character flaw.

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  • It was very enjoyable to see TotallyNotMark's take on Gon & Killua's thematic connection this early. Their narrative connection is something I only noticed by the third arc in the series!
  • "Gon being a tragic protagonist." I only noticed that in retrospect after finishing most of the anime. Gon being a Failure Hero is something reinforced since the beginning of the series. Most of us don't notice it, because many of Gon failures early on, feel like success. Gon always improves in his fights.

Excited to See Where This Goes Next!

The Second Review: For the 2nd & 3rd Arcs is already published by TotallyNotMark, but since I wanted to complete this article first, I didn't watch it yet. The next Review will cover the section in which Hunter x Hunter world rules get explained. My favorite Power System in an anime: The Nen System!

What do you think?


  • The first image is taken from TotallyNotMark's Video's Thumbnail. Other images are taken from the manga.
  • This article is cross-posted here on Hive & on Read.cash.
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