The continuation of the anime Hunter x Hunter is one of the most contested and confusing topics within the anime community. The show left Gon and his friends at the end of season six, the Election Arc, and fans have eagerly been awaiting a seventh season, with teases and potential hints dropped over recent years getting hopes up only to dash them against the wall. After almost a decade since the last episode is it time to give up on any hope of a continuation or should fans hold out just a little longer?
The ongoing story of Hunter x Hunter
The manga, written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi, was first released in 1998 and has had not one but two anime adaptions. The first adaption aired between 1999 and 2001 with a total of 62 episodes, and the second adaption, produced by Madhouse studio, ran from 2011 to 2014, with a total of 148 episodes. The renewal of the show started all the way from the beginning rather than carrying on from the OVA anime, with the aim to stay as true to the manga as possible.
The 2011 anime saw tremendous commercial success and critical acclaim. It is hailed by many as one of the greatest anime of the decade and has a huge fanbase across the globe. Over the three years it aired it had six seasons which have been made available worldwide through Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Toonami and, according to IMDB, Crunchyroll placed the anime in their Top 25 Anime of the Decade.
The manga is over 20 years old now, with Togashi slowly adding a little at a time to the story, taking a huge hiatus from 2014 to 2016 and another in 2018. Togashi revealed that he suffers from debilitating back pain that makes it difficult for him to do the drawing necessary to continue, though apparently he is determined to finish it, with Comicbook reporting on an interview he gave for Weekly Shonen Jump in 2018. Togashi said, “I need to finish writing Hunter x Hunter. It has come to the point where either the story concludes first or I die before that happens. But I do intend to finish it.”
Without more manga to work from, there isn’t much the anime studio Madhouse can do unless they do a Game of Thrones and finish it without the writer, but we all know how that went, don’t we? Though there have been additions to the manga, in the form of the finished Dark Continent Arc and the unfinished Succession Arc, there apparently isn’t enough source material to create a whole season from as the former arc only contains nine chapters, not a lot compared to previous arcs some of which have up to 133 chapters.
Hunter x Hunter predominantly revolves around Gon Freecss as he sets out to become a Hunter — individuals who possess phenomenal physical abilities, skills, and powers to take on missions in a world filled with mythical beasts, criminals, and otherworldly threats. Gon wishes to follow in his estranged father’s footsteps in order to someday meet the reclusive Ging Freecss and his first step is to gain his Hunter license by taking the brutal, sometimes fatal, Hunter Examination. Here he meets fellow examinees Killua Zoldyck, Kurapika, Leorio, and the somewhat perverted Hisoka, forming relationships that continue throughout the series.
Gon is determined to get stronger in order to become the very best Hunter there is, undertaking some crazy trials, all out of the desire to reunite with his father. Alongside his closest friend, Killua, he navigates his way through martial arts arenas, mafia fights in Yorknew City, assassin family dynamics, and the truly terrifying Chimera ants, beings from the dark continent beyond that threaten the very existence of his world.
Season six was the last season of the anime, and though it had a little rounding off in some respects, Gon finally got to meet with his father on top of the World Tree, and the whole driving force of Gon’s journey was finally at an end. Despite this, it was still very much left open to continue alongside Togashi’s manga and there are many more storylines that could be delved into. The manga has gone just a little further, but desperate anime fans have been left waiting to see if the animation will continue at all.
Hints and Teasers
There have been many points over the last 4 years or so where a piece of news will come to light to give fans some hope that the series is set to continue. There seem to always be articles speculating whether or not the show will continue, but so far there is no formal confirmation from Madhouse studio, Funimation, or Crunchyroll.
One of the most enticing teasers out there came last year from the voice actors themselves in the form of social media posts. Voice actor Megumi Han, who voices Gon Freecss, and Mariya Ise, who does the voice for the character Killua Zoldyck, both posted rather cryptic messages on their respective platforms that left many fans in a tizzy of excitement.
Megumi Han posted this image of what appears to be a microphone in a studio setting and, roughly translated, wrote,
“I met my buddy in this place. She also tweeted on Twitter. Yes, it was a recording of that work. My origin. I am hoping I can reveal all soon.”
Fans immediately jumped into the comments section begging for it to be a new season of Hunter x Hunter, with the show acting as one of her first major projects as a voice actress.
Her friend is, of course, Mariya Ise, the voice of Killua Zoldyck, Gon’s best friend in the anime. Ise posted a pixelated image to her Twitter feed, with the translated caption,
Today I’ve been recording Mufufu. Happy to meet my buddy on my way home! I’d like to tell you soon, but I can’t show you yet … I’ll put a mosaic on it! (What is it! What is it!)
(mufufu in Japanese is an expression of laughter, but similar to an evil laugh such as mwahaha)
Again, fans strongly believed the actress was referring to her Hunter x Hunter role, and believe the pixelation strongly resembles that of Killua. The posts were intriguing enough that even Funimation commented on them, sharing its own hopes for a continuation of the beloved series.
Alongside teasers such as these, there have also been some less than heartening posts that might indicate the anime will have ended back in 2014. Viz Media, the current licenser for the show, posted a picture of the “complete” series Blu-ray box which doesn’t give the impression that they expect a seventh season to come out.
However, until there is an official announcement, fans will be left to wait in limbo to hear either way. Based on the health of the author, Togashi, if a seventh season does air, it will most likely be the last for Gon and his friends. If you are looking for some shows to fill the seemingly endless wait, here are some great anime you can enjoy in the meantime.