Review: Hunter x Hunter Vol 16-18

Hunter x Hunter Volume 16, 17, 18
By Yoshihiro Togashi
Publisher: Viz Media
Age Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Genre: Action
Price: $7.99
Rating: ★★½☆☆

These three volumes finish up the Greed Island arc (thankfully), though in retrospect it wasn’t as bad as it could be.  Volume 16 continues “The Bomber” arc within Greed Island that was started in Volume 15.  Genthru and his team has 96 and only need 4 more to win the game.  Several teams of hunters, including Gon’s gather to come up with a way to stop Genthru.  They decide to get a card no one else has and keep it from them.  By creating a team of 15 they can activate the quest.  After gathering the requisite number (including Hisoka), they reach the challenge of a killer dodgeball game.  Volume 17 finishes the game, and starts the war between Genthru’s team and the winners of Plot of the Beach card.  There’s more training for Gon and Killua while Tsezguerra’s team buys them time to come up with a strategy to beat Genthru.  Volume 18 is the final three-on-three battle between Genthru’s team and Gon’s, and the end of the Green Island arc.

These last three volumes of the Greed Island story arc were at least entertaining, but there wasn’t a lot that felt exciting.  The highlights of volume 16 was the meeting of the hunter teams and seeing Hisoka.  Hisoka was especially humorous, as he is found bathing, in the nude.  Part of this scene is definitely NOT for younger audiences, at the very least because they probably won’t get it.  But it was good to see him working with Gon and Killua.  The end of the dodgeball match really showed this off as it was the three’s teamwork that eventually won the match.

Volume 17 dropped another hint about Ging, and gave Gon someone else to talk to about his father.  Then it became a game of tag between Tseguerra and Genthru while Gon spent all his time standing on his head.  It was just filler to get to the next volume.

The fight between Genthru’s gang and Gon’s was hyped up, but most of it was short and too easy.  Buscuit’s “true form” is revealed, and it’s not that big of a deal.  She and Killua take out their opponents quick, so the majority of pages can be devoted to Gon and Genthru’s fight.  It was good to see Gon stay in character and veer off the plan to mete out some personal justice to Genthru for all the hunters he had killed.  But, it all turns out for naught, since he’s not the hero.  Gon is.  So he not only has to win the fight, but all the Greed Island game.

Here, I have to agree with one of the creators of Greed Island, Dwun, when he says Ging is an unbelievable jerk!  Gon works out the way to find Ging by smuggling out the card that can take him to his father, but Ging gets a rule set up so that if he’s alone, he’ll go to Ging, but if he’s “so weak that he needs friends” he can go to Kite.  Togashi tries to down play it by having a character say “he’s shy”, but it sounds more jerkish to me.  Friendship isn’t something to be scoffed.  It should be cultivated and cherished.

This brings me to the best thing about this series, as seen in this story arc; Gon and Killua’s friendship. The interaction between them is the funnest part of the series. Their bickering and constant competition belies their strong friendship, and absolute trust in each other. This is a very rare thing to find, so to see it portrayed so simply, yet so completely is almost heartwarming.

Though, I do have to admit, I found this point to be a perfect jumping off point from the title. It has been continually losing my interest, and the introduction to the next arc, with the giant, man-eating bugs didn’t appeal to me at all.

Hunter x Hunter is a pretty average series.  It started out with a lot of potential, but very little of it has been realized.  That’s, of course, only when the mangaka is actually making it.  This series has been put on hiatus so many times for all sorts of reasons.  If he doesn’t want to do it, he should just say so instead of all these starts and stops.  The readers deserve better.  And so do the series.

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