Anime fans know a thing or two about patience. When it comes down to it, art can only be drawn so fast, and anime fans are often left dangling off cliffhangers while animators finish up storylines. If they are lucky, fans are made privy to anime fillers, but audiences are just out of luck should a franchise’s manga be at a standstill as well.
Of course, Hunter x Hunter fans are more than familiar with the plight. Since its debut, the shonen series has been hit amongst both domestic and international readers, but to say it’s been inconsistent is a compliment. The manga has had a slew of prolonged hiatuses, and fans were about ready to tear their hair out over Hunter x Hunter’s most recent break. Back in March 2016, the manga finally resumed after nearly two years of waiting, and fans rallied behind Gon Freecs as he made his comeback.
However, that joy was short-lived. Hunter x Hunter began serialization in April 2016, but it did not stay that way for long. In July, Weekly Shonen Jump confirmed Hunter x Hunter was going on another hiatus - and the announcement failed to mention any purported return date. Today, fans are still waiting on any update for the manga’s return, but their number is dropping quickly.
When asking a question about Hunter x Hunter’s return, there can be no definite answer. The decision is up to creator Yoshihiro Togashi, but the artist has been notoriously quiet about his comeback. Fans felt hopeful that Togashi was ready to return to drawing earlier this month when he was spotted at an industry party for artists in Japan. And, most notably, Togashi also shared artwork he drew for a noted Japanese pop artist.
Rumors have been spreading that Weekly Shonen Jump is looking to extend creative control for Hunter x Hunter to other artists while Togashi is indisposed. The creator, who famously suffers from chronic lower back pain, cites his physical condition as the reasoning behind the manga’s hiatus. Fans have speculated that the creator’s wife Naoko Takeuchi may take control over Hunter x Hunter during his recovery, but the rumors seems far-fetched at best. Yes, Takeuchi may be the writer of Sailor Moon, but that does not mean her expertise will lend itself to Hunter x Hunter’s storyline.
Right now, Hunter x Hunter fans are waiting to hear about the ever-illusive chapter 361 which they’ve been coveting for months now. If history tells fans anything, it is that the story may be published in late-2017, but that reassurance is only a guess fans can make at this time. Readers are doing their best to occupy themselves with Hunter x Hunter’s rebooted anime, but the show will eventually run out of material to adapt. And, when it does, fans can only hope than Gon will be given more stories to explore by those who know him best.