”If I should happen to die, I would be happy if you could accept this as the ending.”

If you’re going to like manga/anime franchise Hunter x Hunter, you’re also going to have to like waiting. Since its debut in 1998, the series has gone on multiple, years-long hiatuses, despite the manga technically running in Weekly Shonen Jump.

Those delays are entirely understandable in light of the debilitating health issues creator Yoshihiro Togashi is dealing with. While the artist hasn’t disclosed the exact details of his condition, last year he candidly spoke of how difficult it can make even basic daily life, let alone penning a world-class comic book. Togashi has continued drawing when he can, but given the pace of his progress, it appears the 57-year-old has doubts as to whether or not he’ll be able to bring Hunter x Hunter to a conclusion within his lifetime, and so he’s decided to share the outline of his current vision for the manga’s final scene.

“I put together three rough endings [for Hunter x Hunter, A, B, and C,” said Togashi in a letter read as part of TV Asahi’s Iwakura to Yoshizumi no Bangumi program, in which celebrities write letters to their favorite creators and read their responses. Of those three, Togashi says Ending A, while not necessarily the one he thinks is the “best,” would be the safest, satisfying, by his expectation, about 80 percent of fans. For Ending B, he predicts a 50/50 split, and Ending C, which Togashi says is his favorite of the three, would only leave about 10 percent of readers happy.

Togashi goes on to say, though, that ideally his goal is to craft a more interesting ending than A, B, or C, and goes on to describe a D Ending, which is different from the previously mentioned A, B, and C. “For reference, I will reveal the D Ending, which is separate from the three others. So if I should happen to die [before Hunter x Hunter], I would be happy if you could accept this as the ending.”

So what is the D Ending?

It opens with a scene of a girl sitting perfectly still next to a lake, with a fishing rod in her hands. Suddenly the rod jerks, and the girl, named Gin, excitedly pulls in a gigantic fish. She then turns to an adult woman who’s standing near her and says “I did it, just like I said I would! I caught the Lord of the Lake! So now you can’t say ‘I want you to become a Hunter’ ever again!”

The woman defeatedly nods her head, and she and Gin start walking home, accompanied by the woman’s husband. “I was thinking that catching the Lord of the Lake might spark her passion for hunting, you know?” she says to her spouse. “Gin says she doesn’t ever want to leave the island, and to take over the shop from us. We oughta respect her wishes,” he replies.

That doesn’t exactly placate the woman. “Well, maybe her feelings will change as she gets older. Seriously, you and Gin both…but I guess that’s something you get from Grandma Noko and Great Grandma Mito. But Grandpa Gon was a really great Hunter! And I still think the day will come when our daughter is ready to leave the island,” she says, before Gin cuts her off with an emphatic “I aint going anywhere!”

Back at their home/shop, Gin sets to cleaning the massive fish. “Mom just doesn’t get it!” she thinks to herself. “Every time great grandpa gets all excited telling stories about his days as a Hunter, Great Grandma always gets up and leaves the room to go outside. And all Grandma Noko has to say is about how she got messages while he was off on his adventures, so you can totally tell she was so sad not being able to be with him then.” Chopping away at the fish in frustration, Gin silently promises that she’s not going to go through the sadness of waiting months or years for someone to come home, or make someone wait for her.

At that point, a heavyset boy comes into the shop, having returned from gathering mountain greens. “Whoa, you really caught the Lord of the Lake!” he exclaims. “Let’s share it with all the other villagers!” “Yeah!” agrees Gin, thinking to herself “There’s someone I want to be with, all the time, forever and ever.”

Togashi describes his very last planned panels with:

“A single bird takes off from the island, and rises into the clear sky. Below the bird is a village. A village with many different people, a village with someone’s sons, someone’s daughters, someone’s grandchildren, smiling at each other. They’re probably the children, or the grandchildren, of characters you know. The bird keeps flying off into the sky, and we see the back of a person watching it as it soars away.”

Again, it’s worth noting that Togashi isn’t presenting this as the absolute, ironclad ending to the story he’s been writing and drawing for the past 25 years, and the fact that he himself is calling it the D Ending suggests there’s still a chance that he’ll think up yet another. All the same, Togashi’s openness means that regardless of how things pan out, Hunter x Hunter fans will at least get some sort of closure, and of a rather touching, hopeful sort.

Source: Oricon News via Jin
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