One of the best things about Hunter x Hunter is the presence of over a 100 characters, each of them important to the narrative in one way or another.
One of the longest running manga series (since 1998), Hunter x Hunter is widely inconsistent — Togashi has been taking a lot of breaks, which is understandably frustrating for those who want to see the story finished. Nevertheless, the manga and anime remain beloved among fans, being one of the top-rated of all time.
One of the best things about Hunter x Hunter is the presence of over a 100 characters, each of them important to the narrative in one way or another (although many of them disappear after their respective arcs.) The list below has selected 12 of the series' core roles, and organized them based on their Chinese Zodiac tendencies.
12. Rat - Ging Freecss
Ging Freecss has a deep love for adventure, so much so that he foists his own son on his grandma, so he can gallivant around the world. Like most Rats, he is incredibly smart, but prefers to live in the present rather than dwell on the past.
This is problematic of course, as his emotions tend to be locked up within him (unable to tell even Gon how sorry he is.) Ging's ambition is nigh unparalleled; rising to the ranks of a Double-Star Hunter and qualifying for the next level.
11. Ox - Kurapika
Kurapika is intelligent, and knows how to direct his plans in very specific directions, like his murderous focus on the Phantom Troupe. He is very loyal, mainly to his closest friends, but besides them he doesn't really form alliances (or allegiances) with anyone else.
As an Ox, Kurapika races down the path of destiny burning with a determined passion: any obstacle thrown at him is tossed right back. This is evidenced in the fact that he actually manages to completely restrict Chrollo Lucilfer's Nen.
10. Tiger - Killua Zoldyck
Killua is strong, in accordance with the standard level expected of a protagonist's best friend. His Tiger personality imbues him with brimming energy as well as a need to resist those who want to control him (his family, to be clear.)
Killua is devoted to few people, like Gon and Alluka, and has made it clear that he will sacrifice his life if it means saving theirs. Being so young, his emotions aren't as evolved as his adult counterparts, leading him to the occasional act of reckless haste.
9. Rabbit - Komugi
Interestingly, the only being in the world that Meruem is unable to defeat, one way or another, is Komugi. She is a classic Rabbit, preferring the meditative zen that comes with playing Gungi. She is fair and unbiased, telling Meruem to cut off her head as punishment for making a wrong move (she never does.)
Komugi's instincts border on clairvoyance — her game moves resemble elaborate sonatas that offer a seamless defense against the genius of the Ant King.
8. Dragon - Hisoka Morow
The Dragon is known for two things: the hunger for power and the refusal to share it. Hisoka embodies both these traits. For instance, he basically treats Gon and Killua like lambs to the slaughter (telling them he's waiting for them to grow big and strong before fighting him.)
Hisoka is daring, or, from another perspective, foolhardy, enough to challenge Netero to a fight, but his smugness was shut down quite rapidly. He seems to be able to clear most hurdles, even those like Chrollo Lucilfer, by using his malleable Nen in strategic ways.
7. Snake - Chrollo Lucilfer
Chrollo runs the Phantom Troupe with an iron hand, to the extent that his team will die for him without a thought (in defiance of Troupe law.) He is as cryptic and restrained as the Snake, choosing the mystery of the shadows to open daylight. Chrollo doesn't give away information unnecessarily, whether about himself or his minions.
In the same vein, he trusts his own mind far more than he can get himself to trust anyone else, which is why he creates and directs all Troupe plans without asking for, or rejecting, input.
6. Horse - Gon Freecss
Gon is the most excitable character in the series, and most of his emotions border on euphoria (but when he gets angry, it gets bad real quick.) In Horse fashion, he is steadfast to a fault, and has put himself in danger a number of times to rescue people in danger, friend or not.
Gon's adult form manifests the negative characters of the Horse, especially its aggression and vengeance: ripping into and pulverizing Neferpitou as payback for Kite.
5. Goat - Leorio Paradinight
Leorio is a mild-mannered Hunter who only wants to become a Doctor. His Goat nature allows him to remain neutral in any conflict between his friends, "straight-talking" them out of fights.
Leorio is generally relaxed in nature, but has a habit of causing problems by acting without thinking. He plays a paternal role in his friend circle, which bothers him because Killua, Gon and Kurapika treat him like an old man even though he's barely an adult himself.
4. Monkey - Biscuit Krueger
If anyone is a Monkey, it's Biscuit. She loves manipulating people; not, however, out of malevolence but simply because. She is playful with Gon and Killua, demanding that they refer to her as Biscuit-chama (a sugary fusion of -sama and -chan.)
Biscuit is a highly capable hunter, proving that she is leagues above her new students when they try to fight her in the Greed Island Arc. Her moral structure is not exactly good, as she sees no wrong in killing an opponent during a fight, but considers it unethical to do so if her life is not at actual risk.
3. Rooster - Isaac Netero
Netero's ridiculous age has taught him that the most important personality trait is patience — it takes him years standing on snowy slopes and literally millions of punches/prayers to come to this conclusion. In this, he is a definitive Rooster.
Netero adores the idea of a challenge, but he is wise enough to comprehend that his ambitions might never be fulfilled (luckily, he gets to meet Meruem.) In his final battle, he displays the black arrogance of the Rooster, calling the Ant-King a worthless insect who dared to rise against the clearly superior humans.
2. Dog - Palm Siberia
Palm Siberia is a contradiction of sorts. As a human, she is both determined and explosive, scaring several hunters around her. She is often paranoid, a common Dog characteristic, and compensates by "falling in love" with any person who is even slightly kind to her (like Kov and Gon.)
When she becomes a Chimera Ant, however, she depicts the enduring loyalty of the Dog, for instance, when she oversees Meruem's death and weeps at her loss.
1. Pig - Melody
After her horrific experience with the Sonata of Darkness, Melody understands people better than anyone else. She is a Pig, showing her capacity to discern behavior at various points in time (with the sole exception of Chrollo, whose unexplainably calm heart-beat confused her.)
Melody rarely takes the initiative, but is happy to follow and lend Kurapika any support he might need. Though she wants to return to her original form, she has made peace with her appearance, considering it a partial penance for her mistake.