As I'm ending the Hunter exam arc in the 2011 version, this definitely has better traits overall. All is just conveyed better: fluid animation, errie soundtrack, great direction with intelligent uses of color. The only complaints I have read are non-complaints, which are the usual token critic in anime in general: "filler, I don't like Illumi's voice, too cartoony and doesn't cover all the manga, it's drags". Well, an adaptation is that. An adaptation that stand on its own, and this one does, so all those complaints are bollocks. So far the 2011 version only plusses are clean colors, that don't convey, "cool shots" and that certain arcs take much less time to skip thru. So anyone that tells you that 1999 isn't needed when the 2011 exists is just admitting that they can't really appreciate good anime and don't really know how form helps the substance.
Such an interesting world and story and characters and everything! Love how the magic is used before it is explained, making things happening early on make sense (eg. like Hisokas cards). I prefer the regular series, Season 1, over the OVAs (Season 2-4), it feels more developed and less rushed. More time on the characters and their relations somehow. The whole Greed Island thing feels like a filler in a way to me.
Gonna watch the 2011 version to check the differences too, but really enjoyed this version regardless!