Today Hunter x Hunter makes round around multiple news curation websites contending that the manga is returning. We already busted that myth here; Hunter x Hunter manga is returning sure, but it has been making such returns every alternate two-four years. As such recently the internet took things on a toll when possibilities of the Hunter x Hunter anime returning surfaced. Today we bust this one too.

The world of Anime fandom had revered the return of Bleach ever since its vague ending in 2012. It is the way of nature that similar things attract events of similar structures. As such, upon the arrival of Bleach Thousand Year Blood Wars, eyes started to glitter around the possible return of another deeply hearted shonen series. But what exactly is impeding upon the possible return of a Hunter x Hunter anime?

The Author’s health is declining

Hunter x Hunter creator
Creator Yoshihiro Togashi, courtesy of IMDB

Author Yoshihiro Togashi has been suffering from immense health problems ranging from pain in his back and spine.

  • The author had previously shared how he has problems even passing bowels.
  • He also shared in his Twitter base how even holding a pen is hurting to him, but that when laying on the bed it seems to be easier to do so.

Togashi primarily opened his Twitter account to talk to his fans. This happened after he published numerous letters in Shueisha’s weekly shonen magazine, Shonen Jump apologizing to his audience.

Other shonen series have far outdone Hunter x Hunter in the race of publishing

Image Courtesy of @Naruto_Anime_EN via Twitter

As such the amount of hiatuses, the Hunter x Hunter manga goes on into is remarkable, to say the least. While Hunter x Hunter has only garnered 380 chapters serialized so far, despite running since 1998. In comparison, Naruto ran from 1999 to 2014 and produced over 700 chapters. One Piece since 1999 and still continuing with over 1000 chapters, Bleach ended with 686 chapters.

But despite this odd coming, the causes are not unjustified. Given Togashi’s health, the fans are seemingly very positive in their reception of the delays and hiatuses.

Is Hunter x Hunter Anime returning?

Recently an otherwise trustable Twitter leak revealed a possible PV for Hunter x Hunter anime. The internet quickly took turns going crazy over it. After the glorious announcement of Togashi returning to Hunter x Hunter 37th volume, news for the return of the anime seemed likely and plausible. Yet things aren’t as so.

Truth: Hunter x Hunter anime likely isn’t returning.

The thing with the leak is that it’s misleading. Hunter x Hunter is doing the coolest anime-brought-into-reality thing ever. Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo is hosting a Hunter x Hunter amusement park event called Hunter x Hunter: Escape from The Hunter Exam Stadium. The event will feature similar endeavors as the Hunter exam technicalities in the original story. The picture shown in the tweet above is actually a flyer of the same, where original voice actors will give voice-over for an Event PV, and not Anime PV.

Why adapting the Hunter x Hunter manga is difficult for producers

hunter x hunter manga returns but may not continue
Courtesy of Viz.com

Before answering this question, we must ask how many chapters does an Anime need to function properly? Now the answer is that it depends. All Mangas weren’t created equal.

Different Manga have different page count for one chapter

One Punch Man Manga Chapter 168 Garou
Garou Vs Saitama, courtesy of Viz.com
  • Some works such as One Punch Man ends their chapters in some 10 pages, while most shonen works produce about 15-17 pages.
  • As such sometimes adapting two One Punch Man chapters may be equivalent to adapting one chapter of Attack on Titan. The chapter numbers aren’t always the deciding factor, though they do matter in the larger picture.

How many Manga Chapters did Hunter x Hunter Anime normally adopt?

Hunter x Hunter anime returning? killua
Image Courtesy via Hunter x Hunter

When adopting a Manga source, studios usually try to hit the golden number of 2 chapters per Episode minimum. Although there have been cases where studios animated some 6 chapters in one go.

The most relevant example here is the 2011 adaptation of Hunter x Hunter itself.

  • The 2011 Anime adapted Manga chapters 147 – 148 – 149 – 150 – 151 – 152 in Episode 66  named Strategy x Scheme.
  • The episode was part of the Greed Island arc, the very arc that notably sometimes animated some 5 manga chapters in multiple episodes.
  • While initially such as the Zoldyck arc and the beginning of York Shin usually only animated one Hunter x Hunter manga chapter per episode.
Hunter x Hunter anime 1999
Killua and Leoreo in 1999 Hxh courtesy of IMDB

Madhouse animated Hunter x Hunter in 2011. It is notable that there is no universal uniform number rule for the number of manga chapters being adapted into an anime.

Hunter x Hunter rebooted in 2011 with hopes of more Manga source to adapt

Hunter x Hunter anime manga chapters adaptation comparison
A pacing chart for most shonen works. Here the number represents in average how many episode it takes for one anime to adapt a manga volume. (Volumes usually consist of ten chapters, hence 10 episodes to cover a volume means the one episode only adapts one chapter)

Now that we have an estimate of how many chapters Hunter x Hunter usually adapted, we get a gist of why its difficult to produce an anime as it is. The very reason Hunter x Hunter went for a reboot in 2011 was with the hope that the Manga picks up enough or possibly even end. Togashi’s work was already adapted into a TV Anime series in 1999.

As things stood Hunter x Hunter of 2011 is notably one of the best-adapted Anime ever of the generation. It stands in the top ten highest-rated anime in the MyAnimeList database, which is saying something. Madhouse couldn’t have done this if they had to keep on waiting for the Manga release.

A comparision of the two animations of Hunter x Hunter anime in 1999 and 2011
A comparision of the two animations of Hunter x Hunter anime in 1999 and 2011

The two ways studios deal with a continuing (less source material) Manga

Usually, when Manga is still continuing, animating studios usually take two routes.

  • The one Naruto Shippuden took every next alternate episode, was that of animating filler episodes. Filler episodes basically tell a non-source material story that is written by an unoriginal author of the franchise.
  • Toei animation, on the other hand, does not rely on fillers much when adapting One Piece manga, instead, they follow a very slow paced adaptation. One Piece anime literally adapts one chapter (hardly) per episode, which really stretches it out. But given its legacy and history, the world has come to accept it as such.

How Madhouse can adapt Hunter x Hunter anime

Netero in Hunter x Hunter anime
Netero in Hunter x Hunter, via Netflix

Hunter x Hunter Anime in 2011 already adapted up to chapter 307. Today the latest chapters to be released are chapter 390.

  • Every ten chapters of Hunter x Hunter is compiled into a volume.
  • Each volume (meaning ten chapters) comprises of 208 pages.

As such Madhouse (if they return to animate the Hunter x Hunter anime) will have about 1648 chapters to animate.

  • If that seems much remember that one chapter comprises of some 20 chapters.
  • And Hunter x Hunter takes about 5 episodes on average to animate one volume (of 10 chapters, 20 pages each).

Why it is a market risk for Madhouse to adapt Hunter x Hunter anime

Hunter x Hunter anime
Image Courtesy of Madhouse studios

Even if they take 10 episodes (Like One Piece, this means the one episode will cover one chapter as there are a total of ten chapters in one volume) to cover one volume, Madhouse will only have about 80 episodes to go on with.

After that, if Togashi continues his work flawlessly, they may have a chance with a stable anime adaptation. But given Togashi’s history, he has taken more hiatuses than he has produced chapters.

As such Madhouse animating one chapter per episode is a production house nightmare. Unlike One Piece which is a surefire way of continuing revenue given Oda hardly takes a break, a Hunter x Hunter continuation is big market risk.

Conclusion

Hunter x Hunter anime returns?
Image Courtesy of Madhouse studios

All in all, the rumor of the Hunter x Hunter anime returning is still a forlorn hope of a passing by fan. The only way we see Hunter x Hunter return to the TV screen is if it ends, or if the creators decide to write their own anime-only story – which in itself may be an insult to Togashi given his inability to write due to physical illness.

As such, it will be a sucker punch; and will not be appreciated. Nonetheless we wish Togashi the greatest of wellness in recovering as soon as he can.


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Rhytham is a Philosophy graduate who founded a state-level organization that promotes anime and Japanese culture in his home state of Assam India. The org is named Assam Senpai Society. He is also an ardent writer, poet, musician, vocalist, graphic designer, and photoshop artist. He has worked on multiple state and national level conventions. Other than anime, catch him watching western series that really have in themselves the solidity to catch his attention.