Story/Art: Yoshihiro Togashi
Translation/Adaptation: Lillian Olsen
What They Say
The journey to the Dark Continent begins! Chairman Netero’s son Beyond has a dream to explore the dangerous land of the Dark Continent. Many have made trips there and almost everyone has disappeared or died! But he’s not alone in his desire to explore this strange land—the Hunter Association has their own plan. And where are Gon and his friends in all this mess?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This time around, the focus is clearly on setting up the journey to the Dark Continent, and all of the things that entails. And to kick this off, we get a look at some of the twisted remains of the “survivors” who had returned from that terrifying land. It’s a pretty effective way to touch on the danger, showing just how messed up things are over there in a rather grotesque manner. And we also get a will from Netero that gets the Hunter Association in motion as well. Finally, to wrap up the opening chapter, we get Beyond shockingly turning himself in!
From there, a lot of the book actually focuses largely on the politics behind the journey, as well as the machinations of the various players involved. For the Zodiacs, this means Leorio and Kurapika get added to the group, and that there’s a traitor in their midst. Oh, and they also need to sort out the spies hidden amongst the new applicants. This leads to a solid bit of intrigue, and if nothing else, it also gives Kurapika a pretty significant role (albeit one where he’s effectively a supercharged lie detector.) The other main focus is Ging, as he forces his way into Pariston’s group. It’s a really unusual yet intriguing sequence, as Ging tries to force money onto them while also earning their trust, leading to an odd sort of back and forth.
The end of the book, meanwhile, is focused primarily on the various princes, and the struggle for succession that’ll take place on the voyage. There are definitely some interesting characters in the mix there, and the position Kurapika finds himself in is particularly intriguing. Plus there’s some stuff with each prince getting a “guardian spirit beast,” so that’ll definitely help to shake things up.
After a bit of a delay, we at last get another new volume in the series and… it’s an odd one. Of course the unusual is the bread and butter of the series, but this time around, it feels even more off course. Which is to say, nearly all action and combat is ripped out here, and the focus is entirely on all sorts of intrigue and plotting, as well as a whole lot of setup. I will say that there are a TON of intriguing tidbits that pop up all throughout the book, but sadly none of them really reach fruition here at all. With all that said, though, there are definitely some neat little moments sprinkled throughout where there’s some clever maneuvering from the players, and that’s definitely enough to keep things from feeling totally dry. But in the end, the strengths of this entry are largely in what it sets up for later, rather than the actual events that occur within, making this ultimately something of a slow read.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A-
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: March 7th, 2017