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Chairman Netero and the Heavens Arena in Second Hunter X Hunter Film?

Weekly Shonen Jump pulled a pleasant shocker in its 12th issue this year with an announcement regarding Hunter X Hunter 2011’s second film, earlier confirmed via a teaser at the end of the first film that was added on its opening day in theaters. The teaser, seen above, shows Hunter Association Chairman Isaac Netero standing on a dimly lit street with what appears to be the Heavens Arena far behind him.

This brings about exciting possibilities. The eccentric Chairman Netero has had so little screen time in both the 1999 and 2011 anime adaptations of Togashi Yashihiro’s manga Hunter X Hunter. To followers of the manga who’ve seen Netero in some serious action against a hellishly strong enemy, the very prospect of his participation in the second film is mouthwatering – if he ends up fighting at all. Besides this juicy possibility, we might also get to see more of Heavens Arena, the stage where Gon and Killua first learned nen from their first master Wing.

The first film was derived from an unpublished story by mangaka Togashi Yashihiro. Would it be safe to assume that he had bigger plans for Heavens Arena as well? The duo of Gon and Killua left the showdown tower after passing Wing’s secret Hunter Exam, taking care of business with Hisoka, and defeating three short-lived story arc antagonists. The higher levels of the Arena were never shown, and it was only explained that ten floor masters were above the 200th floor – each possibly as strong as Hisoka as we saw him elevated to that status after defeating Gon in their little skirmish. Beyond the floor masters was the Olympiad, where leading fighters from around the world compete for ultimate glory and the chance to live at the penthouse at the top of the Heavens Arena.

As far as the plot goes, if the second film will indeed play out in Heavens Arena, it looks like we’ll be in for a tournament storyline similar to the styles of the mangaka’s first international hit Yuyu Hakusho. Chairman Netero’s involvement need not mean the Hunter Association is involved too, but in hindsight, the Hunter Association was originally intended to train potential nen masters and keep them within a small circle of nen users that governments of the Hunter X Hunter world can call on for their services. If floor masters are indeed as capable as Hisoka, then it’s not that surprising that the Hunter Association – or even Netero personally – will have vested interests in it.

It’s nice to think we can get another chance to watch the fights in the Heavens Arena again, and this time potentially see floor masters duke it out in the Olympiad. Who among the other characters in the manga or anime would be perfect to join the fray? Will this story be placed in a timeframe before the events of Yorkshin City?

The people at Shonen Jump certainly know how to tease, don’t they?

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