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Hunter X Hunter Author Explains Why He Writes Huge Walls Of Texts And Dialogues In His Panels

Togashi is unable to find the right balance between pictures and texts but at the same time thinks that he’s doing a service to the readers.

© POT (Yoshihiro Togashi) 1998-2011 © VAP・NTV・Madhouse/Shueisha

Yoshihiro Togashi, the creator of the legendary series Hunter X Hunter, is notorious for two things:

  1. The series takes too many breaks and been known as Hiatus X Hiatus
  2. His manga sometimes feels like a Light Novel

The second criticism is interesting, considering how fans love to use panels like the ones below to show how bad Togashi is at writing dialogue and constructing his panels. Some argue that it feels taxing to read, thus making it difficult to remember certain information or understand what’s going on.

Feels overwhelming, doesn’t it? Well, fear not, as Togashi finally answers the age-old question!

Why does Togashi write too many dialogues and texts in Hunter X Hunter?

The former Sakurazaka46 member, Yumiko Seki, asks Togashi, in a recent Q&A session the reason behind the increase in the amount of texts in recent volumes (especially volume 37, which has the peak of the Succession War arc).

To which Togashi replies in huge bullet points (ironically), saying that the information he has to relay to the reader is already quite extensive, given the fact that there are several personalities and circumstances to consider.

But actually, the REAL REASON why Togashi inserts huge walls of texts and dialogues in his panels is because he’s unable to find the right balance between pictures and texts. However, deep down, he thinks that he’s doing a service to the readers by giving them detailed explanations of what’s going on.

Seriously, I’m not joking. Read the entire answer and see for yourself! I swear in my mother’s life that the following is EXACTLY what he wrote as an answer to his fan’s question. The man is unhinged.

(1) The basic information that has to be explained to readers is already quite extensive, including the introduction of several new Nen abilities, the details of the Succession Contest, and the backgrounds for each Prince.

(2) In terms of narrative structure, there are several unresolved conflicts that have to be addressed during the voyage, and I knew from the start that if I also considered the individuals involved in the Succession Contest, it would become a complex challenge where the various intentions and connections of an enormous number of characters are intertwined with one another. Unfortunately, I still had the spirit of welcoming challenges, so I increased the number of characters beyond the limits of my processing capacity. Consequently, the basic information mentioned in (1) has increased even more.

(3) I wanted not only the Princes but also their personnel to be more than just background characters, so I made extensive use of monologues to act as both narrative exposition and character development. As a result, the text has become more intricate and unruly.

(4) As I mentioned in my answer to your second question, when characters interact with each other, there are several personalities and circumstances to consider. In this current arc, I’m also experimenting with characters and how they feel about their missions (whether they’re proactive, passive, or negative, whether they’re hiding secrets). In the process of looking for more interesting story developments, the number of words discarded in my mind is several or even ten times more than the word count in just one finished storyboard. This has become a routine part of my process, and as a result, I’m in a negative cycle where the number of words used in the finished storyboard feels small in comparison.

(5) As you can see from my previous answers, I’m “bugged” as an author: I’m not only unable to find the right balance, but deep down, part of me unapologetically thinks that word count is equivalent to a complimentary service. Words rule.

I’m sure the readers of the above after giving them a TLDR be like:

About Hunter X Hunter:

Hunter × Hunter is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s shōnen manga magazine “Weekly Shōnen Jump” since March 1998, although the manga has frequently gone on extended hiatuses since 2006. Its chapters have been collected in 37 tankōbon volumes as of November 2022.

It was first adapted in anime format in 62 episodes by Nippon Animation, which ran on Fuji Television from October 1999 to March 2001 but stopped until the York New City arc. A reboot by Madhouse aired from October 2011 to September 2014, totaling 148 episodes, with two animated theatrical films released in 2013. This reboot covered everything from the 1st arc to the Zodiac Election arc.

My Anime List describes the overall plot of Hunter X Hunter manga as follows:

“Secret treasure hoards, undiscovered wealth… mystical places, unexplored frontiers… ‘The mysterious unknown.’ There’s magic in such words for those captivated by its spell. They are called ‘Hunters’!”

Gon Freecss wants to become a Hunter so he can find his father, a man who abandoned him to pursue a life of adventure. But it’s not that simple: only one in one hundred thousand can pass the Hunter Exam, and that is just the first obstacle on his journey.

During the Hunter Exam, Gon befriends many other potential Hunters, such as the mysterious Killua; the revenge-driven Kurapika; and Leorio, who aims to become a doctor. There’s a world of adventure and peril awaiting, and those who embrace it with open arms can become the greatest Hunters of them all!

Source: Hunter X Hunter Fandom