Which power system is better, Nen (Hunter x Hunter) or Ki (Dragon Ball)? Why? [4 points Explained]

Today I’ll be answering the question “Which power system is better, Nen (Hunter x Hunter) or Ki (Dragon Ball)? Why?”.

Hunter x Hunter and DragonBall are a couple of the most iconic anime that you could find today.

One of the things that make their series so enjoyable is the use of their energy (in this case, “nen” and “Ki”).

We’re going to looks at the two and draw parallels between them.

So let’s get right into it.

Which power system is better, Nen (Hunter x Hunter) or Ki (Dragon Ball)? Why?

Nen. Ki still needs more explanations for the avid dragon ball fans. Sure, there’s other series that rival these forms of energy, but nen’s appreciation comes from it’s complex structure and creativity. One of the biggest mysteries that had me sold on Nen was the restrictions and pledges that users can make.

Ki Needs More Explanations

Dragon ball has had critiques from fans about the vagueness when talking about the energy (or for the sake of using a universal term, aura).

Luckily there’s things that can be applied from Nen to understand Ki better as well.

We know that Nen and Ki have aura in common, yes, those colorful lights that surround a character that’s going through a power up.

In Hunter x Hunter the Nen is essentially the life source of the user.

You can find the beginning of Nen training in the Hunter x Hunter series here (check it out and support the site).

If a user of Nen were to use it all up, they would be using up all of their life energy (pretty simple to understand).

There’s two known ways to unlock Nen in the world of Hunter x Hunter.

The first is by training and manually opening nodes in your body to allow the flow of this aura.

The other way is through forced pressure (we’ll say) and it opens up the nodes quicker typically.

But it comes at a price.

Forcing your body past limits before it’s ready could injure you badly or even kill you, this is similar to Ki.

We see the similarities in this example when Goku turns Kaioken.

Too much stress on the body brings negative results.

Another point that aligns the Nen and Ki understanding is that you can use both as a gauge.

In Hunter x Hunter Nen users can gauge the power of their opponent based on their aura output, same as Ki in dragon ball.

Rivaled With Devil Fruit x Chakra

The focus of this question is specifically on Nen and Ki, but I want to take the opportunity to shed the light on a couple of other forms of energy that’s impressive in other anime as well.

If you’re familiar with the devil fruit, then awesome!

You probably heard of One Piece.

In One Piece there’s a source of energy that comes from something called the devil fruits.

One area that makes the power of the devil fruits similar to Nen is the variety in which they can be used.

Unfortunately, the difference and ultimately the area where the powers of the devil fruit lacks is mainly due to plot progression.

Characters in One Piece tend to have tier splits that makes some powers virtually useless against another, but same as fights with Nen, the fighters who have devil fruit powers (when matched against an even opponent) have entertaining fights.

Now, onto Chakra.

If you’ve heard of Naruto before then you’re most likely familiar with Chakra as well.

There’s users on Reddit that are critical of Chakra as a system because it has a questionable logic behind it.

The question in the logic was it’s replenishment factor.

There’s been arguments that characters in Naruto would appear to be drained of Chakra but will appear out of the blue with enough energy to sustain a fight.

I honestly think it’s a little unfair to say that, but it was my second major anime I was introduced to so I may be a bit biased.

Also, the abilities they have characters thanks to their chakra was pretty cool, so I think it made up for whatever inconsistent claims anyone may have about it.

Complexity and Creativity

There’s four principles that must be learned in order to learn Nen.

The four principles are Ten, Ren, Zetsu, and Hatsu.

On top of that there’s more advanced techniques that are developed for combat in relation to Nen.

These techniques are called Gyo, Shu, En, In, Ken, Ko and Ryu.

The potential that you’re given with Nen falls typically under one of six categories.

These six categories are known as manipulation, emission, enhancement, conjurer, transmutation, and specialization.

Restriction x Pledge

The restriction and pledge of the Nen is another cool aspect that I think deserves some recognition.

In Hunter x Hunter we learn about conditions that can be made to use specialized abilities.

There’s still a lot that has to be learned about these restrictions that Nen users can place on themselves.

But what we can say is that users who place these conditions on themselves have an incredible power boost as compared to someone who uses the power freely.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for making it this far!

Hopefully these points about Nen and Ki helps you pick an energy source that you like.

Although Ki still has to have more explanation in the dragon ball series, there were still a few parallels to Nen in Hunter x Hunter.

Hunter x Hunter’s complex and creative thoughts put into the use of Nen make it superior (that’s the belief of this site).

The mention of the restrictions and “deal” that they make to get a massive power boost in Hunter x Hunter makes it pretty unique when compared to other anime.

What do you think?

Are you more of a Nen user or Ki user?

Leave a comment below and share with the rest of us.

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