Chimera Ant Arc
Hunter x Hunter is a veritable source of tonal change. From the Hunter exam to the Heaven’s Arena, from the Phantom Troupe to Greed Island, the tone of each balances on the precipice of lighthearted adventurous spirit and heavy murderous darkness. All the arcs find a balance of the two which works with the parts involved, but they generally tend to lean toward one side or the other. The Chimera Ant arc leaves very little question which extreme it falls under. Like. We’re talking kid devouring, genocide, and general “everything around us will kill us” level material here. And by all means, this is promising to turn out great.
So let’s talk what we’ve got going for us here. First and foremost, the major threat and antogonists of the arc, the Chimera Ants. Straight up, these guys are a real cool idea. A species which grows as they consume more creatures, splicing different attributes from all the species the Queen eats serves to create all sorts of different looking funky creatures. Purely from a design standpoint, they’re pretty neat. Like, super pretty neat. What I really like is that there’s this common thread of silliness to most of them visually, which really only emphasizes their ruthless nature once they get into mass murder territory. Yet for as cold as they are, the Chimera Ants create this odd sort ability to connect with them. I could compare them to the Phantom Troupe. Even as such clear forces of murder, the amount of personality given to them makes the guys very likeable despite the amount of manslaughter they casually partake in.
The Chimera Ants aren’t on that level of pure enjoyability, not on pure force of personality. Not yet anyhow. What they have going on though is how inherently interesting their concept is. How they change as they gain more human traits which allow them to deviate from an antlike hivemind. Their process of encountering stronger humans, learning about Nen, it’s intriguing to simply watch them evolve into an entirely different type of being, individually and collectively. So if I have to say something about the Chimera Ants, it’s that goddamn they’re interesting and set-up for an equally interesting arc.
So what exactly are we working with here, other than the ants as a concept, that makes this arc as promising as it is? Promises make up a large portion of it. I would say that, knowing the apparent extreme long length of the arc, the past 10 or so episodes have been largely set-up. With the introduction of Kaito and situations that endangers the boys like never before, we have the promise of pushing the boys beyond their limits and using their Nen to the fullest of their capabilities, and the promise of them being pushed to their mental boundaries. We’ve got Chairman Netero entering the fray, and we have unbelievable power within that ants, starting with the introduction of Neferpitou, whom I take an instant liking to. Promises of a strange and twisted life after death. We have a promise of a different morality on the side of the ants, and we view the philosophy of professional hunters as well. This is an arc that promises to push many things we’ve established throughout the series, and for that, I couldn’t be more excited to continue blogging the series regularly. I left my thoughts on the rest of the arc slightly bare, but I plan on tackling a lot of it during the post themselves. So let’s just hop right to it!