Specific publication dates and methods will be announced in due course.
The popular Hunter X Hunter manga by Yoshiro Togashi has announced that it will now follow an irregular weekly release format after reaching its 400th Chapter on December 26th to prioritize the author’s health. New schedule times and updates are to be announced in future Jump issues.
Hunter X Hunter is supposed to reach its 400th chapter in Weekly Shōnen Jump issue 4-5 – in which this announcement has been published in – after nine chapters were newly serialized following a 4-year-long hiatus. The announcement was made by the Weekly Shōnen Jump editorial department after discussions with Togashi regarding his ongoing health conditions. Following these discussions, the team have decided to implement a flexible release schedule for the manga from Chapter 401 onwards. The editors also pledge to keep supporting Togashi until the completion of the manga.
Another issue that might have caused the new change is the semi-digitization of the manga creation process, which has increased the consumption of copy paper and clerical work by 5 times, according to a previous Togashi tweet on October 18th. Another tweet by Togashi on November 22nd announced the process to be a complete failure, due to the amount of time consumed outside the drawing process by the artist and his assistants.
There are two ways to create manga: a “digital” method that uses tablet devices and an “analog” method, which uses paper and ink. The two methods can also be mixed, such as drawing the storyboard by hand and then scanning the manuscript for applying screentone, inking and other finishing details. Many artists and assistants are currently using a mixed approach, such as Yusuke Murata of One Punch Man fame, but managing the requirements of both approaches can prove troublesome for others like Hunter X Hunter’s mangaka.
Hunter X Hunter has gone through years-long hiatuses before, due to Togashi’s chronic back illness. In addition to the indefinite hiatus of the manga Ruri Dragon, the popular works “One Piece,” “My Hero Academia,” and “Black Clover” were absent from this week’s Weekly Shōnen Jump due to similar health concerns.
This is the first time that editors have announced a new publication policy for a serialized manga, instead of shifting the release schedule to a bi-weekly or a monthly format, or just simply declaring a hiatus. It’s possible that this could be the beginning of a more flexible release schedule for other Mangakas in the future, as to accommodate for how gruelling the manga creation process has become.
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