Hunter X Hunter – 350

Hunter X Hunter - 350 -1 Hunter X Hunter - 350 -3 Hunter X Hunter - 350 -5

To call the experience of writing this post anything but surreal would be a lie.

Hunter X Hunter - 350 -2To say this has been a long time coming would be a massive understatement.  After all, there hasn’t been a new Hunter X Hunter chapter since 2014.  But even more, this is actually the first episodic (chapterific?) manga post I’ve ever done for H x H – series, movies, editorials, retrospectives – all of those I’ve written.  But never a chapter post for the manga.  But times change, and here we are.

For obvious reasons, even blogging a new Hunter X Hunter chapter is something of a leap of faith.  We don’t need to rehash all that old business but we do need to be realistic and acknowledge it, because neither I nor any of you (or, I suspect, Sasaki-san at Shounen Jump or Togashi-sensei) knows for how long it will last.  But there’s no real reason for me to hold back now.  There’s no anime to spoil and won’t be for a very long time, and whatever new material we get should be appreciated on its own merits.  Today, we have a new chapter of Hunter X Hunter and I’m going to write about it.

Hunter X Hunter - 350 -4One thing I think can be said for certain – in reading the “Dark Continent” arc, one can find no signs that Togashi is a writer who’s thinking in terms of wrapping up a story (and the art is pretty spectacular).  This arc has been bigger than big from the beginning, a seemingly massive premise full of potential sub-plots and mini-arcs.  And the new chapter is a veritable mountain of exposition – a dialogue bomb like only Togashi-sensei can deliver.  I re-read the last few chapters first just to refresh my memory on what was happening, and I’m still trying to digest all of the new one.

The headline here is certainly going to be the return of some audience favorites (no, not those two) as part of Kurapika’s plan to get close to the Fourth Prince.  We have familiar faces like Hanzo and Bassho, a semi-regular in Melody, and the rarely-seen Izunabi – who, truth be told, I had to Google to recall was Kurapika’s Nen instructor.  Best of all is Biscuit Krueger, who’s introduced somewhat puzzlingly as “requested by Killua” – I wonder if that should have been “recommended by Killua”?  In any event all of them are filling the slots of bodyguards for six of the princes who are participating in what amounts to a “last man (or boy, or girl) standing” battle to the death to be the King’s successor.

Hunter X Hunter - 350 -6One can only assume that we’re following Togashi’s original outline here, because to not even include Beyond after a break of 18 months and launch more or less into a fresh subplot is pretty audacious.  It’s audacious enough to undertake a massive arc that seems to hold no place for Gon and Killua  – I’m struggling with that, to be honest, because it’s those two and their incredibly complicated relationship that’s the apex of Hunter X Hunter’s divine brilliance for me.  In that light characters like Bisky are a nice security blanket, a link to the past – and in an arc that can use every drop of humor it can find, Bisky may be all the more welcome.  That whole bit with Kil advising Kurapika on how to win Biscuit over was hilarious and a real highlight.

There’s so much dialogue and so much of it really new in this chapter that I’d probably have a better grasp on it if I was less tired from traveling or had time for multiple readings.  As is, it all feels very preliminary – the sense is we’re in the early stages of a prolonged setup phase.  What’s going to be the true epicenter of “Dark Continent” – is it Kurapika’s quest for closure?  Is it the Dark Continent itself, and Ging’s quest to discover its secrets?  The ongoing power struggle inside the Hunter’s Association and Beyond Netero’s role in it?  And will there be space for Gon’s struggle to rediscover his Nen and his fractured brotherhood with Killua?  I believe we’re a long way from getting any answers – and with Hunter X Hunter, that’s a scary prospect.   But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to enjoy every panel that comes our way – it’s truly great to have it back.

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

15 comments

  1. Well, it’s pretty normal for “those places” to fumble HxH translations. The best we can do is wait for Viz to release the chapter (I guess they will be releasing it on WSJ this Monday) and get a clearer understanding of everything said.

    I’m really glad that HxH is back, and even more glad that you decided to blog the chapters!

  2. K

    Yeah, Viz’s translation for the previous batch of chapters before hiatus was much clearer than both scanlated version (Panda and Stream) I read.

  3. A

    “To call the experience of writing this post anything but surreal would be a lie.”

    Pretty sure that sums up my entire mood following the announcement HxH was returning, and even moreso after finishing the chapter.

    I missed Togashi’s writing, Madhouse did a great job, but Togashi can write a series like no one else. It’s astounding how he can throw me entirely for a loop, I didn’t expect to see Hanzo, or Bashou again, especially here, and yet, with the chapter published, once again I feel like he’s taking it in a direction the story would naturally go, even if I couldn’t predict it literally 24 hours ago.

    These hiatuses do accomplish one thing, he really always seems to try out new or interesting ideas whenever he comes back.

  4. I had forgotten how crazily wordy some chapters of HxH could be, I miss how the anime could show different scenes while the exposition is going on to make things more interesting. You kind of get an uncomfortable feeling too when Togashi reintroduces old characters: its almost a certainty that one of them will die.

  5. Thank you for keeping up the Hunter x Hunter blogging. Will be fun to continue following your journey with it!~

  6. Hopefully for some time…

  7. A

    The mother is very intelligent. Kirapika definitely got more than he bargained for with the infant prince.

  8. Bisky and Melody are 2 of my favorite HxH characters (after the 4 boys and Hisoka). Glad to see them included in the new arc.

    Reminder: On 4/16 Cartoon Network will be starting HxH from episode 1 on. So if you have not seen the series or want to refresh yourself then please watch.

  9. h

    I don’t know why I remembered this,but any idea,why didnt killua order nanika to take him to gon and saved himself the troubles,I don’t like her as a plot device,I know I shouldnt judge till we know all of the rules,but imo,Togashi shouldnt postpone it, so far nanika represents a plothole

  10. b

    He was being tailed and didn’t want anyone to know that he could make requests from Nanika. You know how Killua’s family is–if they found out he had a way of bypassing Nanika’s wish requirements, they’d capture him and stick a few million nen needles in his head to exploit that power. He ended up making the request in front of Illumi later because he was cornered.

  11. C

    These 11 chapters of build-up have been better than entire 250-chapter mangas. Dear God, it’s crazy to think that this is running on a magazine aimed at 14 year olds. Togashi’s writing, his complicated and nuanced build-up to this insane boat trip makes all the other serializations look like an embarrassment. But enough dick-sucking, let’s talk about Kurapika.

    Those are the eyes of a man who was just told that a baby was entered into a battle to the death. He probably sees a connection to himself and that baby’s situation, where both were lined up for slaughter because of their linage.

  12. I’m waiting for the official release so I don’t take in any misinformation from amateur translation, but I’m really happy to see you so excited! I’ll read this article on Monday

  13. T

    Its literally amazing that I dont remember anything @_@ I have a strong feeling I need to re-read several chapters to fully remember what is happening.

  14. K

    Interesting post from Togahsi for those that think he’s being lazy http://i.imgur.com/vfY83yo.png

  15. I saw that, but I honestly don’t think it’ll give the haters even a moment’s pause. They’ll say he’s making it up or that he was gaming on a handheld the whole time he was bedridden.

Leave a Comment