Hunter x Hunter has received widespread attention both in Japan as well as internationally. It has solidified its place as one of the most popular Shounen series despite the long Hiatus and discontinuation of the anime.
While the manga is still going on and the story has entered an exciting arc, it has been way too long since we have seen a new release. The “Succession Contest” arc had just barely begun, and already 21 months have passed without any update.
It has been 22 long years since the series started, and it has gathered a lot of fans along the way. However, this extremely long break has started to test their loyalty. What exactly is the reason behind this great classic going on an indefinite hiatus?
In the article below I have written everything we know about its break, the reason behind it, and what you can do to help.
1. Is Hunter x Hunter series canceled?
Hunter x Hunter, created by Yoshihiro Togashi, is one of the most popular and well-known series in the world, and despite its long breaks, it remains a classic to this day.
The first chapter was published in March 1998 in the 14th Shonen Jump issue of that year, continuing for 280 chapters, after which it was on hiatus till its re-serialization in August 2011.
The most recent hiatus began after October 2018, and since then, we have not seen even a single chapter release.
The current manga chapters have been composed into 36 tankobon volumes in Japan by Shueisha, and while there were rumors about a new installment, there is no concrete information.
This has led to fans rightfully believing that the series has been canceled and will never finish its legendary run.
Nevertheless, there is still hope left as the series has not been canceled, and is only taking a break due to the creator’s worsening health.
The Hunter x Hunter anime started airing from 2011 to 2014, and with a total of 148 episodes, it covered the manga up to chapter 339. After that, however, the anime went into a prolonged hiatus.
As a relief for the fans, Toonami began airing the English dubbed version from April 2016, which came to an end after the 6th season.
Now that the Hunter x Hunter anime has truly ended, we are left wondering whether the series is canceled or there is still hope for a 7th season?
However, based on how the cast members and show creators reacted, chances remain grim for its future.
The only hope we have is that the show has not truly been canceled, but is instead on an indefinite hiatus.
While this might not be much, it is enough to make us rewatch the anime countless times in order to refresh our memories and wait for the day it finally arrives.
But the question, “why exactly is the anime on hiatus?”, still remains and is quite often the subject of debate among fans.
2. Why is Hunter x Hunter on a hiatus?
After a successful run of 148 episodes, the anime ended in 2014 and went into an indefinite hiatus. The real reason why the anime is on hiatus is due to the utter lack of material.
After the Hunter x Hunter’s creator, Togashi Yoshihiro, had to discontinue working on the series for a while, there have been no new chapters since 2018, and the anime has almost caught up to the manga.
Now, one of the redeeming factors of Hunter x Hunter is that it isn’t packed with fillers like other major shonen series. Each and every episode builds up to something that is essential to the plot.
While the studios can certainly continue animating the series by diverging from the manga and adding in non-cannon material, it will only result in a half-baked attempt on their side at holding the fan’s attention.
Most of us instead would like to see Togashi focusing on improving his health, and slowly wrap up the manga in the way he wants best. The animation can come after that.
The last Hunter x Hunter chapter 390th was released in October 2018. Since then, there has been no news or updates about a new installment.
The current arc, called the “Succession Contest,” is still not even halfway done and has ways to go. However, the extremely long 21 month hiatus has been nerve-wracking for the fans of the series.
While most of us understand the circumstances surrounding the author, there are still quite a few who have no idea about the reason behind its break. Here I’ve written about that exactly as well as any updated news regarding the series.
Togashi Yoshihiro, the creator of Hunter x Hunter, is currently suffering from chronic back pain. Better put, its a medical condition called Lumbago that impacts the joints and muscles in the lower back.
While he had been experiencing this since the days of Yu Yu Hakusho, it has now started to become extremely severe due in no small part to his work and age of 54 years.
This is why he has not been able to follow up on his series and has to put Hunter x Hunter on hold until he gets well enough.
Quite surprisingly, or perhaps not, this condition is actually quite common among Manga creators, though not at such severe levels.
Most Mangakas suffer from extreme stress due to being overworked, exhausted, and under intense pressure to meet deadlines. These high-stress levels can take a significant toll on their physical and mental health.
Coming back to Togashi, the last report on his health dates back to mid-December 2019, so all we can do right now is hope that he is improving his health and getting some well-deserved rest, despite this ongoing pandemic.
3. Will Hunter x Hunter return? When?
The Hunter x Hunter anime concluded its run with episode 148 in 2014. The latest episode covers up to Chapter 339, while the manga itself is only at chapter 391 right now.
While most of us can’t wait for the rest to be adapted, quite frankly, with only 52 chapters ahead of the anime, there’s no chance that the studio will continue animating the series.
However, after the Succession Contest arc is completed, the Madhouse studio might pick it up so that the audience can have a proper anime season while maintaining its quality.
At this moment, the main factor is not the popularity of the series (c ‘mon, let’s be real, that will never dwindle), but the amount of source material available.
On the other hand, even if the series is animated, the chances are that many won’t like it.
While the current Succession Contest arc is extremely interesting and follows Kurapika trying to approach the last owner of his clan’s eyes, the two main characters of the series, Gon and Killua, are nowhere in sight.
After the last chapter 390 titled “Clash,” released in October 2018, there have been no new chapters, and it seems like the manga’s hiatus will continue until Togashi feels well enough.
The series has missed the past 63 issues of Weekly Shonen Jump, and the only thing that’s keeping our hopes up is Togashi’s promise and determination in finishing the series once and for all.
An interview with Togashi went live in a book released by Shonen Jump, where he said that it was about time he thought about wrapping up the series.
He assured the fans that despite the long breaks, he’s still working every day, and will definitely finish the Hunter x Hunter series.
The interview took a grim tone when Togashi said that he wasn’t sure which would end first — his manga or his life.
This isn’t even the first time Togashi has addressed the future of Hunter x Hunter.
In June, he did an interview to honor Jump’s 50th anniversary and said there are still a lot of things he wants to add to the manga.
The Hunter x Hunter creator even went as far as saying that if he is unable to continue the series due to unfortunate circumstances, his wife Naoko Takeuchi, the author of Sailor Moon, will finish it in his stead.
There is no one more than Togashi himself who wants to put a satisfying conclusion to his life’s work, and all we need to do is wait and support him.
4. What can you do to help?
While we cannot directly influence the creator and Madhouse studios, we can definitely pressure them to do something about it.
Hunter x Hunter has been on indefinite hiatus for a long time, and unfortunately, not all of us have the ability or opportunity to wait that long.
Taking Togashi’s health into account, it would be inhuman to ask him to continue the series.
However, we can still make sure that he has enough support from Jump and other illustrators’ help. We can also urge Madhouse to continue with the anime production and adapt the remaining chapters.
In order to do so, you can sign this petition made by an avid fan of the Hunter x Hunter series, that has already garnered more than 200 signs.
Other than signing petitions, the best way for us to help is to continue supporting the series and hope for Togashi to get better despite this ongoing pandemic.
5. About Hunter x Hunter
Hunter x Hunter is a Shonen anime adapted from the manga of the same name. The story follows the adventures of a young boy, Gon discovering that his father wasn’t really dead but a legendary Hunter.
Instead of feeling dejected, Gon decides to follow the footsteps of his father and become a great Hunter himself.
However, the job of a Hunter isn’t an easy one, and Gon needs to pass an exam to become an official hunter. He makes friends on this journey, and they all must help each other overcome any obstacles.