Hunter x Hunter is considered by many anime fans to be one of the “must-watch” series on the market. The manga is a huge hit, having sold more than 84 million copies worldwide. The original anime would run for a few years and conclude with 62 episodes. An additional 30 episodes would be created and released as OVA’s. In 2011, another series would be created that would last for 148 episodes.
The debate over which of these series is “the best” rages in the fan community, though most will agree that all the incarnations are good on some level, and all bring something unique to the franchise. Despite their popularity though, there is one aspect all these various incarnations have that bothers fans: None of them have a proper ending. The reason for this is that Hunter x Hunter has an unusual problem in that it has been on hiatus for more than three years at this point. In fact, Hunter x Hunter has gone on hiatus so many times that it has been nicknamed (sarcastically, it must be noted) Hiatus x Hiatus by fans of the series. So while breaks for this franchise is nothing new, this latest hiatus has been going on so long that fans are starting to wonder if there is a chance that Hunter x Hunter will never be finished.
Why so Many Breaks?
Hunter x Hunter is written and drawn by Yoshihiro Togashi who is best known for also creating Yu Yu Hakusho. While Yu Yu Hakusho ran from 1990 to 1994 without too many problems, it’s been an entirely different situation when it comes to Hunter x Hunter. It was during this series that Togashi was having problems with his hip and back. He was in so much pain that for a period he was unable to sit down for more than two hours without feeling pain and at one point couldn’t sit down at all.
He did come to a compromise and started drawing while laying down on his back, yet the problem was that this method of drawing manga was slow and tedious. Because of continued medical issues, Togashi has needed to take multiple hiatuses on his manga, with his most recent one being his longest. The only reason the series has not come to an end is because he loves it and is determined to finish it for his fans.
As the years go on, some fans are worried that – like fellow slow writer George R.R. Martin – that he may die before the series gets finished. The good news is that there is a plan in place to finish the series should Togashi find himself unable to complete the work, and it involves another manga artist who you may have heard of…
Sailor Moon Saves the Day Again
Enter Naoko Takeuchi. While her manga career is wide and varied, she is most famous for being the creator, artist, and author of Pretty Guardian Soldier Sailor Moon. She also happens to be the wife of Hunter x Hunter’s very own Yoshihiro Togashi. Over the years the two have supported each other l and have even contributed anonymously to each other’s work, whether that be through art touch-ups or script patches.
Takeuchi is very supportive of her husband not only getting better but ensuring that Hunter x Hunter does not become an abandoned series. As such, she has been helping him with character designs, making notes about the series, and helping him with the scripts for the final series.
She has taken these notes and written them down, ensuring that the entire finale of Hunter x Hunter is mapped out, scripted, and even partially drawn for characters that have yet to be seen by the readers.
For all intents and purposes, the finale of Hunter x Hunter is finished and just needs to be drawn. That is a large task, so in the meantime, Takeuchi has been helping her husband get better by making sure he takes his meds and gets all the rest he needs, as she knows how important it is to him and his fans to finish the series he started so many years ago.
The Back-Up Plan
Despite everyone’s hope and wishes that Togashi will get better and be able to finish Hunter x Hunter one day, there is an understanding that he has been a sick man and may not be able to finish it himself. This is why there were two scenarios in which the planning and pre-production of the final arc were being done. The first was to make the final chapters easier to complete when Togashi was feeling better and ready to get back to work.
By having everything mapped out it would require less sitting, less labor, and he could get more done in less time. The other reason is the one we hope doesn’t come to pass: In the event that Yoshihiro Togashi is unable to finish Hunter x Hunter, these notes, scripts, and character designs are there to ensure that the series can be finished without him. In the unfortunate event that Togashi is unable to finish Hunter x Hunter, his wife and Sailor Moon legend Naoko Takeuchi will personally finish the series for him.
So, while fans are understandably getting nervous about the condition of Togashi (and hope that he gets better), they can breathe a sign of relief knowing that Hunter x Hunter will be finished as he envisioned it and that it is in Naoko Takeuchi’s capable hands.