The Hunter x Hunter manga is back—or is it?

Yoshihiro Togashi, author of the legendary manga, surprised the world when he suddenly made a Twitter account, posting nothing but paged drafts of his latest chapters and a cryptic promise:

“For now, four more chapters.”

Hunter x Hunter is a legendary shonen series, capturing the hearts and imaginations of people from all walks of life. I wholeheartedly recommend watching the 2011 anime series, the rebooted show that finishes the contentious Chimera Ant arc.

For what it’s worth, I think the whole thing’s a masterpiece. Yes, the Chimera Ant arc drags a little long, and I wish I could see more of the Phantom Troupe, but Hunter x Hunter combines a scintillating plot with some of the most distinct character designs. For a manga that started in 1998, everything holds up till this day.

And that’s why I wish nothing but the best for Yoshihiro Togashi, but I’m still not going to start reading Hunter x Hunter.

I finished and loved the anime, but still won’t read the manga

Hunter x Hunter Hunters silouhettes
Credit: Madhouse

I was a latecomer to the anime, only binging the 2011 series after it finished airing in 2014. Generally, it can be pretty exciting to jump into a manga when you are done with an anime, as you’ll get answers to all the questions that are left hanging at the end.

But you won’t get all the answers, because animes are generally greenlit while the source material is still running.

Part of the fan experience of leaving things out in the open is speculation. What’s going to happen? Who’s going to fight who? When is the inevitable time skip going to happen? All these questions help sustain memories of the story I’ve experienced. Even if I forget certain events, I don’t forget the feeling I held in my body while on the edge of my seat.

But for Hunter x Hunter, it’s a different story—literally. Speculation dies down when the gap between each chapter takes literal years.

How long does it take for a Hunter x Hunter chapter to come out?

Tree stump illustration in new Hunter x Hunter manga chapters
Credit: Yoshihiro Togashi

Let’s say somebody had jumped into the manga in 2014 after finishing the show, caught up with the Dark Continent Expedition Arc—all nine chapters of it—and then sat tight, wanting to read more chapters. They would have to wait nearly two years, until April 2016, before the next chapter would come out.

For the next eight years, just 41 chapters were released. That’s about one chapter every 10 weeks.

The last chapter, 390, was published at the end of 2018. Ever since then, for the past three-and-a-half years, no new HxH content has seen the light of day.

As a fiction aficionado, there are so many stories out there for me to consume. Yes, HxH is uniquely amazing, but if I could only eat delicious food once every 10 weeks and otherwise starve, I might just opt for cheaper and more accessible fare.

Don’t let me stop you from reading the manga—just be prepared

Hunter x Hunter Hunter Exam arc
Credit: Madhouse

It’s well known that Togashi’s battle with health issues prevents him from writing and drawing more. It’s resulted in a manga that has more breaks than chapters over the past decade.

To Hunter x Hunter’s credit, the community and its fans simply never lose hope. No matter how infrequent the updates are, everybody remains excited to partake in any little morsel of Hunter x Hunter that finds its way into the public eye.

If you want to jump into the manga, go ahead! My feelings and yours do not need to be aligned. I, however, will be waiting for a hopeful and sustained return—whether it’s more anime, or more manga, all I ask for is a bit of regularity.

Get well soon, Togashi-sensei. The world loves what you do, and await your next chapter with bated breath.

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