Unparalleled Joy x And x Unconditional Love
I was honestly hoping to feel a little better by now, in order to properly sink my teeth into the episode, but I can’t keep delaying it in spite of feeling as bad as Mereum looks in his ashen state. So let’s make this one brief.
Joy and Love are weird emotions. Not as weird as something like, say, Murder or Far (Kara no Kyoukai would suggest), but pretty damn weird if this episode is anything to go by. And when it comes to the King, the royal guard would have nothing else than to devote themselves to him and be at the height of such emotions. Which we see in their entirety. As the two find their king still alive, they do they’re everything to nurture him back to health, feeding their own essence to him. In this, the King finds a flavor beyond what he’s tasted before. In that, Pouf and Youpi find an ecstasy unlike they’ve felt before. Just as they’ll become unimaginable monsters for their king, they’ll give literally their everything to keep their king alive.
Interestingly enough, this is compared to a mother’s affection and actions to their child, in both the scope of the emotion as well as the gratitude the mother would feel. As a mother would breastfeed their child, the two royal guards have fed part of themselves to the King. . There’s more to it however, as it’s not only a show of the King being nurtured, but what appears to be that gratitude I mentioned. For their efforts, Pouf and Youpi find themselves transitioning from their unparalleled joy to the unconditional love portion of the title, finding themselves a in a confusing space, with only the three of them as well as the looming metaphorical hand of the Ant Queen. In this, Mereum divulges his name to the two royal guards and in this they finally understand the warmth of the emotion their feeling. A thank you from the mother, an understanding of what love the mother would have for the young absolute being through nursing him from death, and have reached what is the pinnacle of their species. This through unconditional love, which can only be a purposeful flipside to what was humanity’s malice before. Naturally however, it’s not quite as straightforward as being the true nature of either species, as the imagery used is of a human mother and a human infant, but it’s a pretty curious way of showing these two species in such a moment, back to back.
Of course, as much as unconditional love is spouted here, the royal guard all have their own target of their affection to the King. The love the King in slightly different ways, and it’s Pouf, with his love for his ideal King, where he is desperate to place a condition. The King’s “rebirth” (the breastfeeding and reaching the level of queen obviously being an actual comparison to his first birth) was not without snags, and he only has the vaguest of recollections of what his situation is currently. Chance time. As the King is told more, he begins to have a semblance of what has occurred and what he’s currently doing. But as it’s been long set-up, Pouf believes the King would be far better off without Komugi anywhere in his life. To be more like his ideal of the King is to not have her exist. So this is his one and only moment to get rid of Komugi, kill her before the King can reach her and thus before he can reach his memories of her. This too, though, is what Pouf would see as his unconditional love, only doing what he would see as best for the King. I mean, this is preceded by the scene where Pouf (and Youpi) apologize for feeding themselves to the King, but they assure they did it in his best interest. And naturally, as they serve the King, Pouf will continue serving in what he sees as the King’s best interest: ridding him of his only weakness.
Cause really, that’s where we’re at currently. The King, in his rebirth, has only become more unimaginably powerful, ridding whatever weakness he may have even potentially had. With this, the only conceivable way he could ever be handled would be through Komugi, and Pouf knows it. But poor butterfly man, his circumstances are only looking to get increasingly difficult. Even if he has a head start with his other self already turning back to the palace, the King’s power-up and new wings push Pouf’s time limit to the very most minimal number. If that weren’t enough, and it’s definitely not, Komugi as well as Pitou and Gon are nowhere to be seen. He gets potcleaned promptly upon his arrival (lacking any knowledge of either Knuckle’s or Melereon’s abilities), and in that moment, our heroes see that the King is indeed still alive. But they have the one chip left in their arsenal capable of deterring him, whether they know it or not. Killua could very well put things together, so it’s down the very last hands of the arc. Honestly, it’s damn curious. With the King in the state of being he is, his only downfall would be through non-violent means (presumably, at least not through straightforward violence anymore), so the question is how can Komugi truly be leveraged here? Poor Gungi player is out of her league.