Thanks to barnesandnoble.com for the above cover image.
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
The star character of the manga Hunter × Hunter, from creator Yoshihiro Togashi (YuYu Hakusho), is a young boy named Gon Freecss. Gon discovers that his father, Ging Freecss, whom he thought to be dead is actually alive and well. Gon dedicates himself to being what his father is – a great Hunter, one who devotes himself to tracking down priceless items and treasures, mystical places, magical beasts, and even other people.
Hunter × Hunter, Vol. 22 opens in the middle of the “Chimera Ant Story Arc.” Gon and his pal Killua Zoldyck are in the Republic of East Gorteau, where they’ve discovered that entire populations of towns are going missing. Killua goes off on his own to take on the mysterious Chimera insect leader behind this conspiracy, while Gon faces the battle of his life against two Chimera insect hybrids. Meanwhile, a group of assassins called the Spiders invade the colony of the Chimera Ants and their Queen to save the humans of Meteor City from being turned into chimera.
THE LOWDOWN: What a weird hybrid Hunter × Hunter is. This shounen manga (boys’ comics) is a mixture of fantasy and fight comics – the kind of eclectic blend of monsters and super humans that manga creators are adept at fashioning. I like some of the concepts here; it looks like a grab bag of strange creations – some of it resembling characters from Black Cat, Bleach, Naruto, and O-Parts Hunter. As a fan of weird characters and abnormal heroes and protagonists, I could go for more of this.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Hunter × Hunter is part of VIZ Media’s “Shonen Jump Advanced” line of manga for young male readers, but it seems too bizarre for any shounen fan not yet in high school.