The ending to the Hunter x Hunter manga in case it doesn’t get finished as planned was revealed in a letter addressed by author Yoshihiro Togashi to Yumiko Seki, an ex-member of one of his favorite idol groups – Sakurazaka46. The letter was read out on the Japanese TV program Iwakura to Yoshizumi no Bangumi (The Iwakura and Yoshizumi Show) on November 21, 2023:
“Broadly speaking,” Togashi says. “I have prepared 3 possible ending patterns: A, B, and C. When imagining reader reactions as ratios of positive to negative, Pattern A would be 80% positive and 20% negative (This isn’t meant as a judgment of the ending’s quality, but rather my personal view that it’s a safe development unlikely to garner much criticism). Pattern B would be an even split between positive and negative. And for Pattern C I envision around 10% positive and 90% negative. The reason I’m keeping the overwhelmingly negative C as an option is simply because that’s my personal preference. However, ideally I’d like to come up with an ending so interesting that none of these 3 patterns are necessary. Just for your reference, I will reveal the D pattern that slipped through the cracks – so if I happen to die with the work unfinished please show some leniency and assume this was how it was meant to end.
Togashi indicates that his ratios aren’t necessarily an indicator of the ending’s quality. However, combined with his personal preference for option C despite its expected lack of support amongst fans suggests whatever ending he does go for will be pretty subversive, to say the least. Togashi doesn’t outline the expected reaction to option D. Nevertheless, that is the ending the manga will get in case of his passing. This version can be read below:
A girl sits motionless, holding a fishing rod by the lakeside.
Suddenly, the rod bends sharply, and the girl shouts. Her name is Gin.
Gin: “Got one, got one, got one!!” Holding up the catch, Gin proudly stands before a woman and declares:
“I caught one as promised! Mom!!”
She approaches the woman and continues in a small voice:
“So don’t ever tell me to become a hunter again…!”
The woman reluctantly nods. Gin leaves, carrying her catch.
Mother: “I thought if she caught a fish she might awaken to hunting, but…” Seeking agreement from her husband next to her,
Father: “She wants nothing more than to run the store her whole life and never leave the island… Let’s respect that.”
The woman is still unsatisfied.
Mother: “Well, she might change her mind partway… Honestly, why do you and Gin hate it so… Oh right, you share the same bloodline of that Granny Mito and Granny Noko…”
It seems the woman doesn’t know Noko and Mito are not related. Her husband smiles wryly. Unwilling to give up, the woman continues:
“But Grandpa Gon was a famous hunter…! Someday that girl will surely…”
Gin (from deep in the woods): “No means no!!!!”
The daughter shouts back from the depths of the forest, where she can’t even be seen, let alone hear her parents’ exchange. The father murmurs happily, “She sees right through you, huh.”
The scene changes to a store that has been open since Mito’s time.
The master of the swamp has been neatly carved up, with every part prepared.
While working, Gin has an inner monologue:
Gin: (Mom doesn’t understand… Whenever Grandpa [Gon] happily recounted his memories from his hunter days, Grandma would quietly slip away. Whatever Grandma Noko can answer comes from second-hand information… Her loneliness, having not been able to be by Grandpa’s side, all spilling out…)
She pounds the cutting board forcefully with the knife in her hand.
(I won’t do it!! Having to wait for someone’s return for months or years while my heart felt squeezed… and making someone wait for me!!)
The sound of the door opening.
A relaxed, gentle voice echoes.
A plump young boy enters, carrying plants.
Boy: “I picked wild vegetables~ Oh wow, there’s a lot~ We really caught the master! Let’s serve it to everyone on the island!”
Gin: (Forever… I just want to be with the person I want to be with forever…)
Boy: “I can picture everyone’s delighted faces~ Alright, let’s get started~!”
Gin: (Together… Forever!!) “Yeah!”
The two cook with beaming smiles.
A bird takes flight from the island.
The bird flutters across the vast sky.
Beneath the bird is a city somewhere. All kinds of people.
Somebody’s son, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s grandchild living in various places, smiling with someone.
It may even be the child or grandchild of that character.
A bird takes off into the distant sky.
From behind, the figure of someone seeing it off. The End.
Includes a scene reminiscent of Gon determinedly catching the master of the swamp in order to become a Hunter.
Togashi’s Hunter x Hunter plan D ending came in the second of two parts following last week’s edition of Iwakura to Yoshizumi no Bangumi. In the prior episode, it was revealed that the manga’s initial plans featured a timeskip. Despite no longer proceeding with the planned ending, Togashi’s contingency plans may suggest a lack of confidence in finishing his series. Nevertheless, the author is preparing for the manga’s continuation, having tweeted the words “Start Over” in October 2023 with a picture of his drawing setup. It’s widely hoped that next year will see more consistent publication after last year’s announcement that the manga will be moving from a weekly to monthly serialization.
Hunter x Hunter began serialization in March 1998 in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. The series is one of the best-selling manga of all time, with two critically acclaimed anime adaptations. The first, by Nippon Animation, spanned 62 episodes from October 1999 to March 2001. The reboot by Madhouse spanned 148 episodes from October 2011 to September 2014 to near-universal praise.
MangaPLUS offers the Hunter x Hunter in English and describes the plot as:
Gon might be a country boy, but he has high aspirations. Despite his Aunt Mito’s protests, Gon decides to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a legendary Hunter. The Hunter hopefuls begin their journey by storm-tossed ship, where Gon meets Leorio and Kurapika, the only other applicants who aren’t devastated by bouts of seasickness. Having survived the terrors of the high seas, Gon and his companions now have to prove their worth in a variety of tests in order to find the elusive Exam Hall. And once they get there, will they ever leave alive…?
Source: Iwakura to Yoshizumi no Bangumi, via What an Interesting World
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