Hunter x Hunter author Yoshihiro Togashi’s health struggles were quite evident in a recent interview that he gave on TV Asahi’s popular variety show Iwakura and Yoshizumi.
One of the topics that Togashi touched upon in the interview was about his activities on his days off. While he revealed that he didn’t really have a concept of day offs, he went on to explain that his daily activities are closely tied to the condition of his lower back.
According to Togashi, when his back is feeling good, he dedicated extended hours working at his desk until he sensed any strain. On less favorable days, he opted to work while standing, taking breaks in postures that didn’t put too much strain on it.
“…what I’m doing day-to-day changes depending on the condition of my lower back. When it’s feeling good, I’ll work at my desk for as long as I can before aggravating it; when it’s not, I’ll work standing up to the same extent and take breaks in a posture that doesn’t put too much strain on it.“
What’s more saddening was that even Togashi’s favorite Nen ability and also the Green Island Cards which he wanted to use, were dictated by the lower back problems that plagued him. This spoke volumes about the struggle he was facing in his daily life.
When asked about what his favorite Nen ability was, Togashi picked Kacho’s Nen Beast’s ability Without You (Season of Two) as his favorite one.
Kacho was the Tenth Prince of the Kakin Empire, and the older twin sister of Fugetsu.
However, the Nen ability he wanted to use the most was the younger twin sister Fugetsu’s Nen Beast’s ability Secret Door (Magical Worm), which is a teleportation ability involving a door and tunnel. This was because he could crawl to the hospital whenever his back gave out.
“As for what I would like to use, it would be the younger sister’s (the Eleventh Prince) Secret Door (Magical Worm). It would save me travel time and expenses, and if my lower back happened to go out during the trip, I could use it to crawl to a hospital.“
Even while picking his favorite Greed Island Cards, Togashi wished to have either the Angel’s Breath, a card that could cure all illness and restore a user to perfect health, or the Sleeping Girl, a card whose effect results in a girl sleeping instead of the user, so that they can work for the whole day without getting tired.
He said he would choose either of these two depending on his health.
“When my serialization and breastfeeding times overlapped, my wife would freeze the milk in advance, and I would feed the baby while she slept. Since I was still in my 30s, I was able to get through it with all-nighters and naps. The time I spent feeding the baby was so peaceful, and I enjoyed holding them so much that I could naturally tell what they were asking for by their different cries. On the other hand, I struggled with the dilemma of having a weekly serialization and the physical constraints that came along with it.
Since the arc was based on that experience, I definitely wanted to have ‘Panda Maid’ when I was in work mode at the time. Currently, I go back and forth between ‘Angel’s Breath’ and ‘Sleeping Girl’ depending on my health.“
If that wasn’t enough, then in the same interview, Togashi revealed the details of a possible ending for Hunter x Hunter manga, only because he wanted fans to be aware of how the story could have ended, in case he passed away before he could finish writing the manga.
This deeply unsettling claim suggested that Togashi was preparing for the worst case scenario in the back of his mind. The mangaka’s health issues, especially his back and hip problems are well know among the fans.
He had previously revealed that that the condition of his back and hip was so worse that he couldn’t get into position to wipe his butt and had to take a shower every time he pooped. He also urged everyone to take good care of their back and hips.
He also explained that his health issues made it impossible for him to sit on a chair, eventually affecting his work and forcing him to go on a hiatus.
Hunter × Hunter is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s shōnen manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump since March 1998, although the manga has frequently gone on extended hiatuses since 2006.
Its chapters have been collected in 37 tankobon volumes as of November 2022. Hunter x Hunter manga had returned from its long hiatus of nearly four years on Oct 24, 2022.
Hunter × Hunter was adapted into a 62-episode anime television series produced by Nippon Animation and directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi, which ran on Fuji Television from October 1999 to March 2001.
Three separate original video animations (OVAs) totaling 30 episodes were subsequently produced by Nippon Animation and released in Japan from 2002 to 2004.
A second anime television series by Madhouse aired on Nippon Television from October 2011 to September 2014, totaling 148 episodes, with two animated theatrical films released in 2013.