Hunter × Hunter: Nen Chart Explained – The Meaning of the Symbols

Hunter × Hunter: Nen Chart Explained - The Meaning of the Symbols

Hunter × Hunter is one of those anime series, like Berserk, where the hiatuses are more famous than the series itself. And while Berserk is going forward, the future of Hunter × Hunter is still very unclear, which is quite a bummer because it is one of the better shonen titles we have come across. The whole series has many interesting characters and concepts, and in this article, we are going to discuss the latter. Namely, the concept of Nen is one of the essential concepts of the Hunter × Hunter series and in this article, we are going to explain the different types of Nen in the series.

The Nen chart might be a bit confusing for some fans, as it explains not just the types of Nen users but also the relationships between the types. In order to properly explain everything, we are going to tell you what Nen is and what the different types are, and also explain the relationships between them, so you’ll basically be able to understand the whole Nen chart.

Nen is the essential concept of Hunter × Hunter

In the world of Hunter × Hunter, the Nen (念) is a vital energy that arises from each person or living being and can be controlled and developed according to the nature of each user, which can be deployed and/or manipulated in various ways by an expert user; in the series, this energy is known as aura. In the Nen the set of techniques that allow the manipulation of the aura is applied. The Nen is NOT life energy. It is the energy that any living being has; there are also non-living beings that have Nen because Nen users gave it to them. In general, all living beings have this energy; but humans (or beings with the ability to “reason,” as seen later with the chimera ants) are the only ones that are able to manipulate it “at will.”

Anyone who properly trains, or is “awakened” in the Nen, has the opportunity to learn how to use this power. There are also those endowed with special abilities or talents who naturally acquire Nen, and in many cases, neither they nor those around them initially understand the true nature of this ability. In the first place, Nen is an essentially personal technique. For this reason, it is impossible for two people to use Nen in the same way, since this ability is not simply a manifestation of bodily power —as the Ki is in Dragon Ball, for example— but is the expression of all the experiences thoughts, feelings, etc. of each individual.

Nen Types Diagram

Therefore, each Nen manipulator develops a technique or set of techniques related to each other that somehow reflects his personality, goals in life, and way of perceiving reality. Although with training, one can perfect and increase the effectiveness of techniques to a certain degree, Nen is not an unlimited power that can be increased and increased with practice. While it is true that individuals with particularly strong physical and mental strength are able to develop Nen with astonishing speed and effectiveness, it typically takes several years for a Nen manipulator to develop any degree of proficiency.

In reality, the Nen becomes more powerful the more it is limited to the way of being of the one who uses it. The Nen is also NOT an attack technique; it is not even a fighting technique. The effects and uses of Nen are as wide as people and activities exist. Only a fraction of Nen Manipulators have any real skill in combat. Wielding Nen grants skills that far exceed normal human capacity, and only a very small part of the population knows and uses this technique.


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Types of Nen

The Nen are divided into six different types based on the manner in which one manifests their aura. To find out which type one belongs to, the simplest way is the Water Divination test, which consists in concentrating your Nen in a glass full of water with a leaf in the center and evaluating the changes; there is also Hisoka’s Personality Test, but that one is not as famous. Based on that, the six Nen types are:


Manipulator Diagram

If a student makes the leaf floating on the water move, it belongs to the Manipulation group, i.e., the skill that allows you to control other people or inanimate materials. Skills that belong to the Manipulation types tend to be more complex than others and generally require certain circumstances before the user can control the intended object. Manipulation is the most common category among Nen users and is often confused with Materialization since the former manipulates something real while the user of the latter generates objects thanks to the Nen.

Understanding which of these two categories the opponent belongs to can prove vital: in fact, the materializers, unlike the manipulators, can make the objects they create disappear or make them invisible through the In, so if the enemy focuses too much on them, he risks to expose himself to a fatal blow. According to Hisoka, manipulators are thoughtful and stolid.


Emitter Diagram

If a student changes the color of the water he belongs to the category of Emission. The peculiarity of this category consists in the fact that those who belong to it are able to control the unfolding of their aura while separating it from the body. Nen usually fades very quickly when separated from the body, but the strongest people in this group can separate their aura from their body for long periods of time and still possess great power to maintain it. One application of this skill is the ability to throw giant spheres of Nen.

Emission abilities are commonly confused with those of Apparation, but the two groups are fundamentally different: objects spawned by the Emission type are made of pure nen energy and require the use of Manipulation to control. Hisoka claims that Emitters are impatient and easily influenced.


Enhancer Diagram

If a student increases the amount of water, he turns out to be of the Enhancement type: he constitutes the group that uses the Nen to increase the attack and defense capabilities of his body as well as significantly speed up the healing of wounds; for this Izunavi, the Nen master of Kurapika, states that the most skilled members of this category are very difficult to face for those who are not part of the same. Furthermore, those who are part of the Enhancement have an important advantage over the other categories as this is the only type that allows those who are part of it to develop the other Nen categories not below 60%, excluding Specialization. According to Hisoka, those belonging to this group are generally pure and resolute.


Transmuter Diagram

If a student changes the taste of the water, he belongs to the Transmutation category. With it, a Nen user can change the properties of their aura to mimic something else; as in the case of the Emission, the things generated by the Transmutation are of pure Nen. Don’t confuse Transmutation with Materialization, as the former allows your Nen to mimic the properties of anything while the latter allows you to change your Nen into a certain material. Nen can also copy the properties of real things, but transformed substances are invisible to those unable to use Nen. According to Hisoka, members of this group are generally capricious and liars.


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Conjurer Diagram

If a student creates an object in water, it belongs to the Conjuration group, i.e., the skill that allows you to create a physical object of pure Nen. Once the user has mastered the conjuration of a certain object, he can materialize and dematerialize it in an instant whenever he wishes: in fact, it is thought that Conjuration is the only type of Nen that can generate things that ordinary people can see and touch. Given that the materialized objects are available even without the use of the Nen and also given its complex use, this is erroneously considered a weak category: for this reason, those belonging to the Conjuration usually impose conditions on the objects they materialize to increase their power.


Specialist Diagram

If a pupil causes any other effect during the Water Test, he belongs to the Specialization. It is possible that the effect that occurs could give some insight into how one should manage one’s ability: the only ones shown so far are those of Neferpitou, which causes the leaf to disintegrate above the surface of the water, and of Tserriednich, which causes both boiling and giving off a bad smell to the water. Specialization has nothing to do with the other five categories but, while standing on its own, it is placed between Manipulation and Conjuration in the Hatsu tile because, in rare cases, exponents of these categories can “pass ” to Specialization.


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Specialization is a unique power which cannot be taught or learned: it is generally inherited genetically or developed as a result of the particular environment in which one was born and raised. Of all the Hatsu categories, this is the only one that cannot be classified precisely: in fact, those belonging to this category possess skills that cannot be traced back to the five previous types.

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