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King of Hiatuses returns at 340

15 MAR
2012

"The author will be taking a break for a while, and will let us know when he decides to start up again."

It's still early in the day, and that just made my entire day.  Hunter x Hunter is on hiatus once again, and nobody should be surprised.  I do like how they're not making excuses or lying to us about some unconfirmed illness that might or might not even exist, and just telling us the truth straight out:

The mangaka will pick up the series when he feels like it.

That's all there is to it, and that's all that it's ever been.  I get annoyed whenever someone tries to justify the hiatus by mentioning some illness that was never confirmed.  A mangaka that popular, and nothing on this mysterious "illness" means it probably never existed.

Thus, we were lied to about that, and I don't like being lied to...so, I get annoyed when I hear people trying to justify it.

The King of Hiatuses is back.  According to Anime News Network, this was the longest "streak" he had since the first publication of HxH, with 30 chapters before this hiatus occurred.

That's laughable, especially since the quality of some of those (more like most of those) 30 chapters are name-quality (storyboard quality...perhaps even worse) that looks like a preschool kid drew it.

It wouldn't be that bad if this length-unknown hiatus occurred between arcs; a better place to have put it would have been after the chapter "silence", not after this one.  Instead, it once again is occurring during an already established arc.

Certainly, it's not as far along as the Ant arc was before that huge hiatus hit (and quite honestly, the series has deteriorated since then and included so much politics that I'm starting to dislike Hunter x Hunter), but it's still at a bad spot for a hiatus of undetermined length.

Then again, maybe it was done like that on purpose to try and hook readers into coming back to read it after an undefined length of hiatus.  Dangle a carrot in front of the noses of the fans so that they'll read it again.

It's not even like the week-long hiatuses that some mangaka go on to "gather data" or get their ideas in order.  There's no time frame on this (as usual), and it's just past the start of the arc.

A good way to think of it?  A race.  The gun goes off, the runners take off...and one runner goes about 50 meters before they stop and decide to take a break.

Some fans will still shout encouragements and pay attention again when that guy decides to start running again, while others will just leave.

I'm starting to learn towards the latter part.  The last chapter was packed chock-full of more politics, and after the Ant arc and the Election/Alluka arc, I'm sick of seeing all this focus on politics.

The Pathfinder (a D&D 3.5-like game) group I play with is doing a political campaign, and even THAT doesn't have as much politics and political talk as HxH! 

Politics doesn't belong in a shounen manga...I've said that before about HxH, and I'll say it as many times as needed.  I believe "diplomacy" is one requirement to getting to this "outside" place, a "lost continent", but that doesn't mean there has to be blocks and blocks of political text.

Honestly, HxH reads more like a light novel.  Someone can just skip the drawings more than half the time (what with the quality of them half the time, anyway).  It's just missing descriptions of the characters that are talking since it isn't a light novel, but if you add that to the script of HxH, you've got yourself a light novel and not a manga.

It did have some good amount of text in the past (pre-Ant arc), but not nearly as bad as this...not to mention that the text blocks pre-Ant arc weren't dealing with politics.  There was a lot of back and forth in Greed Island with the guys in charge or whatever, but it still wasn't painful to read.

If I wanted to read a novel or a light novel, I'd pick up a book.  I like reading, so that's no problem.  However, if I'm reading MANGA and not a NOVEL, it should FEEL like manga.

My rating of HxH has been steadily going down since the Ant arc, and honestly, I'd give everything from the Ant-arc onward two stars if I could rate individual arcs.  The entire thing with Alluka would have been a lot more interesting and exciting if it wasn't occurring at the same time as the boring election, and if there wasn't so much needless text on summaries of Alluka's abilties.

I honestly don't know if I'll pick up the series again after the hiatus is over, whenever that may be.  Ever since the Ant-arc ended, it's just been something I read only because I wanted to know about what Killua and Alluka are doing. 

It doesn't appear as if Killua will be in this new arc...nor Leorio, nor Kurapika.  The only one interested in going to the "outside" is Gon, and he's traveling with Kaito's group.  It's very strange to split the main protagonists of a series like that, and I can't say it's helping HxH's case.

Killua and Alluka are traveling together, Leorio is still making strides towards becoming a great doctor while trying to get in touch with Kurapika, and Kurapika is walking the dark path of revenge and working on collecting the eyes of his clan members.

Unless Killua and Alluka's adventures lead them to the Outside, or Leorio's doctor training, or Kurapika's search for his clan's eyes...then there's no reason for them to be going there.  Sad, but true.  This manga has been going downhill since the Ant-arc, and has been reading more and more like a light novel instead of a shounen manga.

Yea, it breaks the shounen manga norm, but not in a good way.  Unlike Fullmetal Alchemist, which broke the norm correctly and was still interesting depite the common occurance of political issues (though they tied into the main plot), HxH failed to break the shounen cliche, and it's becoming more and more obvious.

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