I love it when mangakas that created beloved works go on hiatus and then resurface with 0 warning, sending the entire anime stratosphere into a frenzy. Look, there is something intensely satisfying about having something you love come back after a long time. And it’s equally disheartening when something pauses indefinitely. Case in point: the Hunter x Hunter anime that went on hiatus in 2014 and still isn’t back.
Listen, this isn’t something new. There have been plenty of anime out there that stopped abruptly and never got a proper resolution. And there are several reasons why this could happen. Maybe their stories were left incomplete by the artist, leading to no new material to be adapted. Or maybe the animation studio themselves dropped the series because it wasn’t profitable enough. Examples of anime that ended abruptly include big names like Bleach, Deadman Wonderland, Gantz, and Ruroni Kenshin, to name a few.
With Hunter x Hunter, arguably one of the biggest franchises out there, the anime ended at its 148th episode in September 2014. This left fans of the anime reeling, because how could a show this popular just go on hiatus like that? But followers of the manga already knew what was going down. After all, hiatuses aren’t a rare occurrence with mangaka Yoshihiro Togashi. The Hunter x Hunter manga has gone on hiatus a whopping 12 times since its initial first publication in 1998.
But what leads to these pauses in the first place? And how do both the animation studios and the mangaka deal with the fallout that follows? I mean obviously, enthusiasts wouldn’t be happy about their favorite story being left on a cliffhanger. But a lot of the time, the creators have a good reason for taking such a drastic measure. So, let’s discuss!
Hunter x Hunter: Creator Burnout Is Real
I feel like people really underestimate exactly how much work and effort goes into creating a manga or an anime. There isn’t just one thing you must cover.
The art must be consistent; you must plan out an entire story and make sure it’s executed in an engaging manner. And the helm of it is the mangaka, planning everything out from the very beginning to the very end. That kind of pressure must take such a huge toll, even if it’s a single one-shot story.
But Hunter x Hunter is an entire Shonen Epic, with multiple chapters spanning nearly 20+ years. There is so much material and almost all of it was the work of one singular human being. Even if you involve an animation studio, the amount of work it takes to create an anime isn’t a joke. There is such a thing as creators’ fatigue.
And animation studios can’t help when something like that happens to the manga creator.
Why Did The Hunter x Hunter Anime Go On Hiatus?
Truthfully? It’s simply because the animators at the animation studio, Studio Pierrot, ran out of content and chapters to adapt.
Which sounds absurd until you remember that the anime for this manga has more than 100+ episodes. At some point, it was going to catch up with the manga, especially with how much it goes on hiatus. Hunter x Hunter is known for its pauses in publication. The most recent one happened in 2019, which left our beloved Gon on the brink of the Succession Contest that was just starting out.
Togashi has complained multiple times about how the manga industry has been very demanding of its creators, and how their deadlines were not being met due to the burnout from the pressure. And this isn’t unique to Togashi – multiple mangakas have been extremely vocal about the dire conditions of the field. Kentaro Miura, the creator of Berserk who sadly passed away last year, had been very open with his own struggles regarding it. Because of the pressure he faced, he was said to be extremely fatigued. Due to his untimely passing, Berserk is now left an incomplete masterpiece.
Simply put, the industry is cutthroat and not kind to its contributors. So, these kinds of hiatuses are very important to a creator, helping them take a step back and heal instead of continuing a grind that could lead them to an early grave. That doesn’t mean their work isn’t important to them, but that they chose to prioritize their own health above everything. Which is always the right call to make.
Can We Expect It To Come Back?
Yes! And fans of both the anime and manga might not have to wait for very long!
The online anime community has been in an uproar because as of 24th May 2022, the creator for Hunter x Hunter has returned to the social media platform Twitter, hinting that the nearly 125-week hiatus finally coming to an end.
Are you excited for Hunter x Hunter to make a comeback? How has the anime experience been so far for you? Let me know in the comments below!