• Viz (2005–ongoing)
• Shueisha (Weekly Shônen Jump, 1998–ongoing)
• Shônen, Action-Adventure
• 16+ (graphic violence, partial nudity, mild sexual situations)
A hard-to-describe, indulgent, strangely fascinating shônen manga. In order to find his long-lost father, Gon (a plucky young boy with a fishing pole) takes the legendarily impossible test to become a Hunter, a sort of super-skilled elite adventurer. After enduring endless tall-tale challenges (in which a pool of approximately four million applicants is winnowed down to eight people), Gon and his newfound friends join the Hunter ranks, at which point things get even weirder. On a chapter-by-chapter scale, Hunter x Hunter is an almost random collection of psych-outs, battles, puzzles, and trickery. But the
plot somehow works on a larger scale as well: a grandiose mystery incorporating such seeming clichés as fighting tournaments, martial arts disciplines, and even collectible card games. Gon’s friends Killua (a young assassin) and Kurapika (a boy seeking vengeance for the murder of his family) have roles almost as big as Gon himself, and between all their goals and subplots it seems the story could go on forever, but the series is unpredictable enough to sustain reader interest. Togashi’s imaginary world is equal parts Dr. Seuss–esque whimsy and Charles Addams/Gahan Wilson morbidity, with occasional moments of shocking violence. The sketchy art ranges from extremely realistic to extremely crude, getting cruder and cruder as the series goes on. In Japan, the series is infamous for coming out at a slow pace, due to Togashi’s poor work ethic, his desire to use few or no assistants, or both.