I guess I should start by saying—Yoshihiro Togashi is my favorite mangaka, and Hunter X Hunter is my favorite manga. Why do I love this manga so much? It’s special! In fact, it’s unlike any other manga I’ve ever read. Manga, like other forms of entertainment, has its share of tropes and archetypes. These can cause storylines to become predictable, and that’s where Hunter x Hunter stands out—it’s totally unpredictable. There’s just no telling where the story will go, especially the current Chimera Ant arc.
In the last volume, Netero the Chairman of the Hunter’s Association fought the leader of the Chimera, The King. The battle came to an almost cosmic-level climax in which the The King nearly lost his life, but was nursed back by his loyal troops.
This volume wraps up the arc and sets up the next one. And when I say wraps up the arc, I mean it. You’ll get to see what happens to almost every single character involved. It’s one of the strangest, yet most touching volumes of Hunter x Hunter yet.
Of course, the biggest chunk of the book is about The King. A few volumes back, he got obsessed with an eternally snot-nosed Gungi (a complex strategy game) savant named Komugi. Because he could not beat her at Gungi, he became drawn to her, and through their matches and time spent together, his humanity was slowly drawn out.
Their friendship reaches its emotional crescendo in this volume. A good chunk of the book is devoted to them, and Togashi Sensei does a superb job making you feel the emotional impact of their dwindling time together. As I was saying above, one of the things that make this manga so good is you just don’t know where it’s going to go. That entire Komugi character seemed totally out of the blue, but ended up having a huge effect on the story.
Most all the major players in the Chimera Army get a little bit of the book devoted to them. Each of them deals with the deeds they’ve done in their own way, and figures out what to do next with their lives. It’s quite touching for the most part. Oddly enough, although Gon is the main character in this manga, he barely makes a cameo in this volume.
After the Chimera Ant arc wraps up, the story shifts to the power vacuum created by Chairman Netero “resigning” from the head of the Hunter’s Association. And we’re introduced to the main contenders to take over the role of Chairman, the Hunter Zodiacs. I laughed out loud when I saw the character designs! Yet, another reason why I love this mangaka so much!
While I enjoyed this volume of Hunter x Hunter, it would be hard to recommend it to someone who’s not up on the series as the bulk of the book is a wrap up. But if you are, it brings great closure to one of the wildest arcs the series has seen so far. As for where the story goes next, only one man knows that!
Hunter x Hunter volume 30 is available from VIZ.com!
by Urian Brown