Battle to the Death (死闘, Shitō) is the 34th volume of the Hunter × Hunter manga series. It was released by Shueisha on June 26th, 2017, in Japan, and by Viz Media on March 6th, 2018, in North America.



Chibi Gon and Killua
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Chrollo vs. Hisoka: A Commentary

There were several things I wanted to do with this battle. First and foremost, the fight itself. I love stories where the enemies of the protagonists fight each other. One of the most exciting ones was when Tosamaru High School played Benkei High School in the baseball manga Dokaben. I really wanted to do that kind of thing in my manga.

I took care to let both of them show their manhood and also portray a clear, decisive outcome—while fun, a tough thing to do.

The other thing I wanted to do was have someone say "I'll win 100 percent" and then really do it. The guy who says something like that? generally loses. I referred to the attitude espoused by the swordsman Kogan Iwamoto. Shigurui is awesome!!

What I wanted to do most was to have him kill someone in the Troupe. I knew how the story was going to work out, but I hadn’t decided who Hisoka would kill at the end. Hisoka wanted to kill Machi then and there, but I vetoed it.

To lead into the voyage arc, I needed a messenger to deliver the news to the other Troupe members. He killed Kortopi and Shalnark as part of his post-mortem analysis of his performance in the fight, as well as for revenge, and I also wanted to show how serious Hisoka was through his cold and calculating judgment in reducing Chrollo’s roster of my excuse after the fact. It was my hunch that letting Machi stick around would make it more interesting later on.

This came up in my joint interview with Kishimoto, but I have a blueprint in my head when I’m writing the story, meaning I can put everything into words, and upon actually thinking things through, I often come to the conclusion that following the blueprint is indeed the interesting path. but when the distant future is still murky, who you choose to save or let go relies solely on intuition. I hope I don’t come to regret it...

Yoshihiro Togashi, Volume 34 extra (pages 206-7)


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