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« Hunter X Hunter 359 – Departure

Hunter X Hunter 360 – Parasite


Seriously – look for a new barber

If we’re honest, we all knew this day was coming. Togashi’s quotes in WSJ over the past several weeks have been pretty morbid, and it never seemed likely that he’d be able to keep up an extended run of weekly chapters given his apparently horrific back pain. The only hope was that he’d been working in fits and starts during the last two-year hiatus, and has some material saved up. And who knows, maybe he did, and that’s where these ten or so chapters came from.

I didn’t want to blog this while running around like crazy, throwing something together in a few spare minutes – I thought it was better to be late and give the post the time it needed. It’s not that I think this will really be the final Hunter X Hunter chapter – I don’t. But every time a hiatus starts we at least have to consider the possibility that it will be permanent. Togashi isn’t getting any younger and his back isn’t getting any better, and he still reportedly loathes relying on assistants (though perhaps not mahou shoujo mangaka). The upside is that it’s clear Togashi clearly still wants to finish H x H – if he didn’t, he wouldn’t put himself through the agony of writing it. He shows no signs of winding down the story (or losing interest in it). But even if the spirit is willing, the flesh still seems very weak.

Togashi leaves the “Dark Continent” arc very much in a state of flux, introducing yet more new concepts into the limitless mythology of Hunter X Hunter. The bodyguard system is finally explained – and not even Queen Oito knew the rules. As the lowest-ranked queen, all of the bodyguards assigned to her were effectively spies for the higher-ranking queens – still technically protecting her and Prince Woble, but with clearly divided loyalties.

Then there’s the matter of the “Parasite-type” Nen – a new concept for H x H, and one which adds a rather frightening and unsettling element. It seems that this Nen can be imposed from the outside (the “parasite egg” ceremony) and develops quickly in the host. Seriously, this King and his weird royal hierarchy are fucked up – we don’t even know all the details yet but it’s clear that he’s one twisted bastard.

And there we leave it – for “some time”, as the note in the magazine says. I’ve tried to take the approach of appreciating every chapter we get, thinking of everything after the Election arc as gravy. Still, with Volume 33 powering past the million mark in two weeks and Hunter X Hunter still a commercial monster, it’s hard not to be saddened by the fact that Togashi seems destined never to be able to finish the series in a normal fashion. It’s not fair – but life isn’t fair. As Warren Zevon said, enjoy every sandwich – and let’s hope we get a few more to chew on before it’s all said and done.


I think there was something in those brownies

July 7, 2016 at 10:19 pm
9 comments »
  • July 8, 2016 at 12:23 amYojimbo

    You know he has problems when his record for consecutive hiatus weeks is longer than his consecutive chapter release streak. Get better soon Togashi but seriously, take a spoonful of cement and harden up.

  • July 8, 2016 at 1:57 amEamonX

    Let us pray that this hiatus will be a short one and not another year and a half.

  • July 8, 2016 at 3:26 amthePiGrepper

    Togashi-sensei is apparently a very stubborn person. For instance, if the real problem is he drawing the panel, I personally dont care one bit if he passes that job to an assistant. I dont think anyone reads Hxh because of the amazing art quality,lol. at least for the last 10 years we have been reading very crappy panels(remember the chimera ant arc for further refreshing lol). Peolple are HxH because of Togashi-sensei’s amazing storytelling skills, that’s the key, the different thing he brings to the table. the fact that he doesnt know that or wont admit it to himself, after more than 25 years of professional work is either a reflection of his stubbornness, his lack of pragmatism, or even a bit of vanity.
    So, please Togashi-sensei. stop drawing professionally if it’s killing you, quit being stubborn and start writing and recording your ideas. be practical and focus your efforts and energy on that which makes you unique.

    • July 8, 2016 at 8:37 amMonorei

      This is a problem that seems to be pervasive in manga and unique to this specific medium.

      No other profession expects great writers to also illustrate (or vice-versa, Kubo’s storylines don’t match the quality of his character designs, for example).

      Publishers need to start pairing good writers and good artists. Encourage collaboration, like literally every other form of creative media.

      • July 8, 2016 at 10:56 amEamonX

        Not really. Most well-established mangaka have assistants and many writers work with illustrators (Death Note). It comes down to Togashi’s pride and my guess is he probably enjoys drawing HxH. While there isn’t distinct parity in the panels or pages of each chapter, he does put a lot of artistic creativity in it. I’ve noticed many times certain poses or scenes resembling real-life paintings or something with a whole load of symbolism in it. There’s also the really dramatic panels where he puts an abnormal amount of detail into it.

        I used to think the whole health issues was an excuse for laziness but it seems to be very true and I just hope he does finally convince himself to hire assistants. There’s no need for him tosuffer.

  • July 8, 2016 at 12:37 pmSpacyRicochet

    “Hey, are you free?”

    That is one nasty ability :D

    • July 10, 2016 at 11:59 amMarigoldRan

      Never respond.

  • July 9, 2016 at 1:55 pmGrammar Nazi

    “I didn’t want to blog this will running around like crazy, throwing something together in a few spare minutes”

    Sorry, this phrase really confused me. What did you mean?

    • July 9, 2016 at 10:45 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      COME ON BRO!! if your REALLY a “grammar NAZI” you should have FULL WELL understood what he meant, and MADE corrections where appropriate.

      you are no NAZI!