Hunter x Hunter is one of those franchises that was always well written but never got the same notoriety as other big-name Shonen. This is so bizarre because it’s one of the most beloved manga series out there. To the point where its hiatus ending was something that broke the internet a week ago. It follows all the tropes but does them well. Case in point: our protagonist Gon and his elusive parentage (including Gon’s real mother).
Sure, most Shonen manga protagonists are almost always ‘legendary’ and often that translates to them coming from a long line of exceptional people. It begs to reckon that their parents must’ve been outstanding as well, even if the protagonist isn’t aware of that fact in the beginning. We see this trope play out with Naruto Uzumaki from Naruto Shippuden, whose parents happened to be Minato Namikaze, the 4th Hokage, and Kushina Uzumaki, the previous Jinchūriki.
And in a world like Hunter x Hunter, where Hunters are both the protectors and the explorers, having a parent be employed in the same profession is prestigious. They are the elite humans who can find rare treasures, hidden beasts, and the like while keeping their community safe from harm. And we have recently learned that not only Gon’s father was an exceptional Hunter, but so was his mother, Alicia Freecss.
But why does this matter? We know Gon has always been very emotionally charged. He left his home with a mere whisper that one of his parents might be alive. After hearing all his life that it couldn’t be true, he finally had a chance to learn the truth. His motivations come from his family ties. But is blood the only family you can have? Let’s discuss parentage in Hunter x Hunter.
Gon Freecss: A Child Abandoned?
It’s fascinating how the tale of Hunter x Hunter starts because Gon was lied to. He was told since his childhood that his parents had died when he was younger, so he had never known his true biological parentage. Growing up on Whale Island, it wasn’t like he wasn’t loved. Mito Freecss, his godmother, raised him with care and affection ever since he was a baby.
But when he meets Kite, a Hunter who reveals himself to be a former apprentice of Ging Freecss, and learns that not only is his father not dead, but he is also an exceptional Hunter? That tends to turn one’s life upside down. Imagine being told by a stranger that your parents weren’t dead, just absent.
That’d do a number on anyone, but especially on a kid like Gon.
Meet Alicia And Ging Freecss: Gon’s Biological Mother And Father
Ging Freecs is a complex man. When he came to Whale Island with a then 2-year-old Gon in his arms and asked Mito, his cousin, to take care of him in his stead, Mito was justifiably angry. After all, how does one just abandon their child, even if it’s for a job as highly regarded as that of a Hunter?
Ging is a lot like his son, with the same kind of curious nature and drive. However, whereas Gon is a child still discovering the world, Ging was already a grown man. And yet his flighty nature and eccentric behavior don’t get toned by age. If anything, he’s just as passionate about being a Hunter as he was when starting. Which leads him to appear uncaring of his actual son.
When asked about the mother of the child he carried, all Ging revealed was that they got separated but she, too, was a Hunter like Ging. There are also hints that Gon’s strength came from his mother, which leads people to believe she was from the Dark Continent.
Mito Freecss: A Mother In Everything But Name
At the beginning of the Greed Island arc, when Ging hands Gon a tape to watch, Gon has a chance to learn more about her. The tape was given as an excuse to show why Ging didn’t want to meet him in the first place but when Ging starts talking about Gon’s mother, he stops the video.
The reason he gives for that is he doesn’t need to know who the person who gave birth to him is. Because his real mother will always be Mito Freecss, his aunt who took care of him all these years, unconditionally. And it’s not hard to see the reason for that devotion.
Mito cares a lot about Gon, even going as far as to protect him by vilifying herself. Mito raised him when no one else was there, despite being barely an adult herself. She was angry when he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps just so he could ask why he abandoned them, but she still supported him, even if she didn’t like it.
Just because they weren’t mother and child, doesn’t mean their familial bond was a lie. Parentage matters, sure, but the question of Nature VS Nurture remains. Gon’s biological parent might’ve been Alicia, but the only mother figure he accepts is Mito.