The Hunter x Hunter manga pitted two of the series’ biggest villains against one another, but the pivotal fight never had the chance to be animated.
One of the most anticipated fights in all of the Hunter x Hunter manga didn’t make it into the 2011 anime adaptation for one reason: it hadn’t been written yet. The popular series is often praised for its fight scenes, but it’s just as well known for going on extended hiatuses, putting the story on hold for months (or sometimes even years) at a time. Despite not having published a new chapter in 3 years (as of the time of this writing), Hunter x Hunter has yet to officially conclude.
The story’s creator, Yoshihiro Togashi, has been plagued by health problems that have kept him from working on the series as diligently as fans might hope. When the 2011 anime adaptation caught up to the manga timeline, it created an ending of its own, but many chapters have been released in the years since, including the long-awaited all-out fight between the chaotically villainous Hisoka and leader of the Phantom Troupe Chrollo.
In the Hunter x Hunter manga chapter 351, first released in 2016, Hisoka is battling in the competition known as Heaven’s Arena, which he had been previously shown to hold a very high rank in. Hisoka has a strong desire to fight powerful opponents, including Chrollo, so much so that Hisoka underwent a lengthy process of joining the Troupe merely to get a chance. Chrollo is appointed as a Floor Master in Heaven’s Arena, making him of equal rank to Hisoka. The pair are finally able to face off in a no-holds-barred battle to the death, as Hisoka had hoped; previously, their only chance had been after Chrollo’s nen abilities were sealed back in chapter 119, meaning he’d only be able to fight at a fraction of his normal power.
Hisoka had made himself clear as a terrifying adversary, willing to do things like cut off his own limbs as part of his battle strategies and behaving ruthlessly towards his opponents, killing more than a few. Chrollo was also shown to be quite powerful, and many characters have expressed fear or reverence towards him, even after his abilities were sealed. The fight between the two villains is one of the most brutal in Hunter x Hunter‘s history, as neither is concerned with bringing innocents into the ring if it will provide them with an advantage. Chrollo shows off a variety of abilities, many of them new and powerful, and ultimately the fight reaches its conclusion with a massive explosion, leaving many casualties – including one of the combatants.
For a fight that had been built up to for over 200 chapters, Hisoka and Chrollo’s brawl in Heaven’s Arena is one of the rare few fights that actually managed to deliver on everything that it had promised. Seeing Chrollo at full power gives a horrific glimpse at the challenge that still awaits Kurapika and his fellow protagonists, especially given how much they had struggled against Hisoka previously. It’s a shame that the Hunter x Hunter anime ended before this manga arc could be adapted, as it presents a major point for Hisoka’s character which was never really wrapped up in a satisfying way.
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