Posts Tagged ‘Togashi Yoshihiro’

Beamcast – October 18

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

[download link – 124min, 55mb]

In this week’s show:

Level E to be adapted into anime by Studio Pierrot
Saijou no Meii live action adaptation

Weekly Oricon rankings (10/4 – 10/10)

New releases

Hayate the Combat Butler (Sub.DVD 7) $39.98
Naruto Shippuden (DVD box 4) $49.98
Naruto Shippuden Special Edition (DVD box 4) $69.98

Rin-ne (vol. 5) $9.99

20th Century Boys (vol. 11) $12.99
Vagabond (vol. 33) $9.95
Vagabond – VIZBIG Edition (vol. 9) $19.99

Discussion / Weekly Poll
Last week’s results:

Which of these Fall 2010 shonen anime are you watching?
1. Bakuman (50%)
2. The World God Only Knows (25%)
3. To Aru Majutsu no Index II (15%)
4. Shinryaku! Ika Musume (10%)

This week:
Which among the Jump “Super Legends” is your favorite author?
(Akimoto Osamu, Kishimoto Masashi, Konomi Takeshi, Sorachi Hideaki, Toriyama Akira, Usuta Kyousuke)

The Great Shonen Tier List
Characters re-tiered:

Kurosaki Ichigo (Bleach)
Yoshina Ageha (Psyren)

Characters added:
Magellan (One Piece)
Hyuuga Neji (Naruto)
Black Star & Tsubaki (Soul Eater)
Sannomiya Shiho (Zettai Karen Children)
Senji “Crow” Kiyomasa (Deadman Wonderland)
Yamamoto Takeshi (Katekyo Hitman Reborn!)

Anime Discussion
Nurarihyon no Mago (ep. 15)
Shinryaku! Ika Musume (ep. 2)
To Aru Majutsu no Index II (ep. 2)
The World God Only Knows (ep. 2)
Bakuman (ep. 2)

This Week in Manga
0:41:20 – Soul Eater 79
0:46:30 – One Piece 600
0:57:27 – Naruto 513
1:03:44 – Bakuman 105
1:09:31 – Fairy Tail 205
1:13:41 – Hayate no Gotoku! 292
1:18:18 – Kekkaishi 325
1:20:45 – AR∀GO 39
1:24:11 – Toriko 114
1:27:33 – The World God Only Knows 117
1:30:36 – Defense Devil 69
1:32:29 – Mahou Sensei Negima! 304-305
1:37:32 – Psyren 139
1:40:51 – Nurarihyon no Mago 126-127
1:46:35 – Zettai Karen Children 234
1:49:30 – Kimi no Iru Machi 109
1:52:08 – SWOT 12
1:54:52 – Enigma 5
1:59:07 – Air Gear 291
2:00:41 – Bloody Monday: Season 2 – 43
2:01:18 – Gintama 326-327
2:02:27 – Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 310

Chapters of the Week

Final Flash

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Credit: AnimeNewsNetwork

Hunter x Hunter 310

[chapter link]

Well, here we are. The last chapter before yet another hiatus. Speaking of which, if you haven’t already done so, check out this latest article regarding HxH and its extensive history with hiatuses.

It would be quite an interesting twist if the masses actually began to move.

P3: Great to see Gon legitimized like this. Hopefully (whenever the hell HxH returns) Gon still has something left in him to challenge the King.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad Werefin (Welfin? the scans are inconsistent) has regained his humanity thanks to Ikarugo. It’s just that I’d much prefer to see progression in other characters… as in, most any characters other than these.

Yupi was taken out that easily? That’s ridiculous. How strong is Werefin?

Oh wow, this is a hell of a last chapter before a hiatus. The King regains his most important lost memory, Yupi is taken out, Pouf has to tell the truth, and everyone’s starting to find out about Pitou?

Final Flash: What a horrible cliffhanger to end on. See you in… months?

Hunter x Hiatus (Again)

May 26, 2010 6 comments

News in Issue #26 of Weekly Shonen Jump indicates that Togashi Yoshihiro’s Hunter x Hunter will once again be going on indefinite hiatus beginning in the following issue. This news is not surprising to any longtime fans of the series, as Togashi has frequently taken breaks for unconfirmed reasons. Rumors abound as to the reasons for so much time off, ranging from a serious medical condition to personal issues regarding the merchandising of his works to an overwhelming, life-ruling love for the Dragon Quest series of video games. These rumors are all speculation (well, except for his love of DQ), so it’s difficult to formulate an opinion of Togashi as a mangaka. Is he lazy for taking so much time off? Is he brave for drawing as much as he can while his health allows him? Is he foolish for not expecting Shueisha to capitalize on the popularity of his series, given that he previously wrote the successful YuYu Hakusho?

Regardless of the reasons for his absences, Hunter x Hunter and its fans have suffered. This most recent run of HxH began this year, in Issue 5-6 (double issue), 2010, with chapter 291. Issue 26 contains chapter 310, the last chapter before the new hiatus. In that span of 20 chapters, we’ve seen two major, conclusive fights (Netero vs. the King, Gon vs. Pitou), two minor fights (Killua vs. Palm, Ikarugo vs. Werefin), one huge plot point (Kaito), some other minor / inconclusive action (various people vs. Pouf, King vs. Melereon & Knuckle, the “game”), and whatever the hell chapter 299 was.

This run for HxH has actually been one of the better ones. 20 chapters is enough for two volumes, an improvement from Togashi’s recent tendency to release one volume’s worth at a time. Also, the amount of action and plot advancement in those 20 chapters would be considered good for most shonen series, and is laudable when compared to other HxH runs, but this Chimera Ant arc began way back at the end of chapter 185. 125 chapters in WSJ without breaks would span over two and a half years, and would clearly be considered a long arc for any series. In terms of publishing schedule, though, Hunter x Hunter isn’t just any series; chapter 185 ran in Issue 28, 2003. Seven years ago. This arc has continued for seven years, but without the satisfaction of actually progressing through plot along the way. That, combined with the fact that some of the characters who helped the series reach its peak in popularity (Kurapica, Hisoka) aren’t even in this arc, makes for a frustrated audience.

Even when the series is running, it may not provide a fully enjoyable manga-reading experience. Since he began his frequent hiatuses, Togashi’s returns have sometimes been marred by poor artwork. Here is a comparison of an earlier chapter, when he was releasing at a reasonable rate, with a chapter in the hiatus-intense years. (Click images for full size.)

Chapter 127, Page 2

Chapter 252, Page 12

Clearly, at his best, Togashi is a talented artist, and to his credit, he cleans up his work and creates proper art for volume releases. That said, sketches like this, for which he has become infamous, are unacceptable for a series in a major shonen magazine, let alone one by an established mangaka.

Most glaring, though, are the hiatuses themselves. Here are the shocking statistics:

  • From its debut (Issue 14, 1998) to present day (Issue 26, 2010), Hunter x Hunter has been absent from Weekly Shonen Jump 276 times.
  • The longest hiatus was 79 straight missed issues (2006-2007).
  • The series was absent the most in 2009, missing 46 of 48 issues that year.
  • There have been 585 issues of Weekly Shonen Jump since HxH began; Togashi has missed over 47% of them.
  • Given 48 issues of Jump in one calendar year, that’s 5.75 publishing years missed.
  • By comparison, One Piece (debut: Issue 34, 1997) has missed 33 issues to date. Naruto (debut: Issue 43, 1999) has missed 19 issues to date. Amazingly, KochiKame, which began in Issue 42, 1976, has never missed a single week!

Of course, most of these figures will be obsolete beginning in a couple weeks, as yet another hiatus begins. The future of the series remains worrisome, not in terms of publication (Shueisha is unlikely to choose now to cancel the series, over any other opportunities it has had to do so) but in terms of the story. For all these shortcomings and legitimate issues, Togashi remains a creative and engaging author who devises fascinating stories, clever powers and fighting styles, and interesting characters. His biggest failing is an inability to see his ideas through to an acceptable conclusion, as was evidenced by the end of YuYu Hakusho, and as has been unfolding before us for years now with Hunter x Hunter. Feeling appropriately frustrated, some fans have called for the series to end with the climax of this arc, but that would be a disservice both to those who have stuck with the series through all the delays and scribble-art, and to Togashi’s own unresolved plot. Other fans clamor for Togashi to hand artistic duties over to another mangaka and concentrate on the writing, which Togashi surely is unwilling to do, or it would have happened years ago.

In any case, Hunter x Hunter deserves a proper finale beyond this arc. Will Gon ever find his dad? Will Kurapica ever achieve the full extent of his revenge? Will Leorio ever… matter? This series is too good to die without suitable resolution for its most important storylines, but whether said resolution is acceptable or otherwise, it seems we’ll be waiting quite some time before we get there.

Source: Jump Intelligence Agency

Hunter x Hunter 309

[chapter link]

Pouf may have unknowingly triggered some more memories in the King.

Regarding the entire concept of Pouf trying to hide the girl: I’m expecting the King to find her, obviously, and I’m slightly worried that this storyline could be Togashi’s way out of the corner he’s in right now, with the King overwhelmingly more powerful than everyone else. If he finds the girl and decides he shouldn’t fight, or becomes weak, or anything of that nature, I’ll be disappointed.

This game is just another way to stretch for time, which is completely unwanted right now. Let’s get the King fighting someone already.

Too much internal monologue from Palm. This isn’t Death Note.

Ikarugo and Werefin end the chapter? Does Togashi hate his own main characters or something?

Final Flash: Dull, wordy, and a general waste of time.

Hunter x Hunter 306

April 22, 2010 1 comment
[chapter link]

To say that I have high hopes for this chapter would be a fairly colossal understatement.

Whoa. What happened to Gon? … What happened to Gon’s shirt?

Initial impressions on mature Gon: Not to my liking. A little too uncharacteristic of the little boy I’ve enjoyed following over hundreds of chapters. The face and overly-toned muscles are too out of place. I don’t mind the hair, though maybe I’ve grown to expect it a bit, given Togashi’s previous work.

That said, few attack catchphrases send a chill of anticipation down my spine quite like “First comes rock…” I know it’s a little cheesy, but Togashi has done a great job making it carry serious meaning.

Were I some rabid forum-trolling fanboy, that punch would elicit a long string of exclamation points and bolded text. What a moment.

Final Flash: Questionable feelings regarding Gon’s “mature” state aside, I’ve been waiting for that punch for years, and no amount of nitpicking over the way muscles are drawn or scribbled speed lines will stand in the way of my enjoyment of this chapter. My only concern now is whether Gon will be able to maintain this state and challenge the King, or whether he’ll have used up all his nen and be reduced to watching from the sidelines again as other characters take the spotlight. I seriously hope for the former.

Hunter x Hunter 305

[chapter link]

The sketch drawing of Kaito would be awesome if Togashi didn’t slack off on his art so often. In contrast to detailed art, the first page would have been fantastic.

Same with the stark two-page spread. I can’t help but feel like it’s laziness rather than an artistic statement.

“I swear on my eye”? Uh, sure.

At least Killua wants to provide the audience with some action.

P12, bottom-right panel: I literally have goosebumps. Please. This is what we’ve been waiting for.

P15, top-left: Whoa.

I have absolutely no idea what Gon is about to do. I’m overwhelmingly excited by this.

Final Flash: FINALLY.

Hunter x Hunter 304

[chapter link]

See, everyone with background-drawing deficiency? Even Togashi can draw trees, and he plays Dragon Quest 27 hours a day.

“Wink Blue” is a silly name.

We get to see Gon starting on page 7! Finally, some more face time for the best character.

Can’t wait for Pouf to be killed.

Wow. Kaito is dead. It would carry a little more impact without the other fights and without the hiatuses, but it’s still sad.

Final Flash: Your moment has arrived, Gon. Make it happen.

Hunter x Hunter 303

[chapter link]

The first page explicitly says “Killua vs. Pouf.” This better be an actual fight involving a main character.

Pouf attempting to convince Killua to quit is silly, but Killua actually responding (even negatively) is outright stupid.

Finally, she’s off his back. Real fight, begin.

Pretty sure that black guy is wearing a Bulls jersey. That’s… pretty racist.

Now Pouf is again off to destroy something else instead of fighting Killua. Disappointing.

You can’t keep teasing me with brief shots of Gon, Togashi. Pitou healing Kaito better not take more than a few weeks.

Final Flash: An absolutely minuscule taste of action in an otherwise underwhelming chapter.

Hunter x Hunter 302

Hakoware is totally going to kill CellMeryem. Solo. OHKO, even.

More creepy borderline perversion from the King’s subordinates.

You’re fooling no one, Togashi; thought bubbles are no different from narrative boxes.

The more I see her, the more I feel confident in saying Komugi is one of the ugliest characters in manga.

Final Flash: This is looking dangerously close to a fight involving one of the two main characters. I wonder how we’ll be swerved this time.

Hunter x Hunter 301

March 21, 2010 4 comments

Careful, Togashi. That first panel of the first page looks dangerously close to a completely drawn background. Don’t get ahead of yourself, now.

Cell lives! The worst non-Bleach chapter of manga in a year wasn’t for nothing.

Wait, maybe it was. Amnesia?

No, it’s actually being used as means for Pouf to try to act against the King. Not bad.

Wings? Oh no! Perfect Cell!

Meleoron is one of the best characters of this arc. Also, page 17 recalls the satisfaction and excitement of a successful use of Gon 3, for any J!US players out there.

Final Flash: Good mix of development and action, and some instances of decent art. Nice chapter.

Hunter x Hunter 300

March 12, 2010 1 comment

Gintama began five and a half years after the debut of Hunter x Hunter, yet they both reach chapter 300 in the same week. Really puts all those delays in perspective.

Characters are meeting up again. It feels like we’re going places.

Is Gon finally going to fight someone?

… or is the whole “do this or Gon will kill you” scenario repeating itself? I hope not.

Final Flash: Getting closer to long-anticipated action. Please come soon.

Hunter x Hunter 299

[chapter link]

… ok, this is a little too bizarre. The King eating his subordinates is one thing, but their reactions are creepy and unnecessarily sexual.

The unintentional comedy scale is off the charts on these two-page spreads.

That was it? The chapter’s over?

Final Flash: Complete non-chapter. Horrible.