Formidable Enemy x And x Clear Objective
You know, I keep mixing up whether it’s supposed to be Meruem or Mereum. For whatever reason, I keep thinking it’s the latter, despite the pronunciation. But naturally, it’s never the one you actually use regularly. Go figure. Either way, Meruem needs to stop showing off. On the flipside, I seem to have almost neglected Pouf in the pictures above in favor of Killua. So to make up for that, every pictures I use in the post proper will be of the crazy ol’ butterfly man.
As it stands, the chimera ants have always had problems dealing with what’s on the inside. The ego which comes from their human side was what caused the ants to splinter off, and it’s this ego which causes them to act according to their own will. A species first discovering the delightful reality of secrets and personal agendas; we have traitors, strange bouts of emotion, and Shaiapouf. With such elements strong within the force of the chimera ants, it’s no real wonder that it might seem their downfall may well not come from humans, at least not from an external sense. Meruem having gained the powers of both Youpi and Pouf only serve to set him even higher on his grand pedestal, and it’s unlikely anybody present can defeat him, even with Meleoron around. No, it’s the unbalanced Pouf who’s stepping well into the role of fighting against the King, for the King.
Of course, Pouf standing for that position is no real secret, but as far as Meruem is concerned, he only knows that Pouf is up to something. With great power comes slight weirdness, as the three returning from the Rose Bomb share a sense of their mentality and emotions. It’s through this where the remaining ants could potentially serve to lessen their already miniscule weaknesses further, if they would be capable of keeping no secrets, and Meruem implies / warns that this is what he wants to Pouf, through an interrogation with Youpi. Honestly, the King as he moved forth from his bloodthirsty beginnings has been a tough nut to crack, but it only shows further as we have the small amount of narration this episode point out as much. The King is not a singular force or ideal, but an individual with likely conflicting thoughts and desires. The explosion and rebirth he went through didn’t change who he was. It’s a chance for him to decide on the path where he wants to walk down, as his memory and thoughts attempt to align themselves. Shaiapouf desperately wishes to “nurture” and ensure that the King chooses the path of the absolute being and ruler. Even in his current state, he shows as much through his ever collected demeanor. He is the sum of the chimera ants and befitting the role through and through. However he has his own ego and human sides as well, one which grasps at the hazy memories of a strange girl. It’s the tiny sliver which could potentially prevent Meruem from taking the throne he’s all but ready and willing to sit in.
It’s fear of this, and in fear of this nature of the King, under which Pouf acts. As all the Ants are willing, Pouf is willing to give his all to this end, regardless of the punishment and warnings sent his way. His devotion for the King knows no bounds, and damn if his character isn’t wonderful in portraying this about himself. His constantly changing states of emotion are related to how he best wishes to serve the King, and it’s great to see him in this position guided by his own sense of devotion. And it’s wonderful to see how the major conflict of this episode plays out, guided by Pouf’s desires.
What we have largely is a battle between Killua and Pouf, in a conflict over attempting to ascertain the latter individual’s objectives and thus prevent such from happening. It’s a psychological battle if any, a style of strife Hunter x Hunter is more than familiar with, and it shows. These two, who oddly enough share the fact that their greatest strength and weakness may be their mind (although is different ways), quickly enough find themselves confronting each other after Killua is able to affirm that Pouf has no real interest in Meleoron. An interest which would have been entirely justified, and one which Pouf was counting on the remaining enemies assuming to be the case. But as the King approaches the palace at frightening speeds, Pouf has no time to fool around, and those two factors turn out to be Pouf’s loss here. Speed and time. A speed that Killua possesses, and time that Pouf does not. That, and Killua having that strong mind work as if its in the zone.
Honestly, this back and forth is all kinds of great. It’s Killua at his best, Pouf being pushed further down to his worst (which is his best), and a Komugi in distress is probably one of her best too. Once the battle shifts from Meleoron to Komugi, a hunch which Killua had to be the truth, Pouf attempts to immediately strike. Naturally, we’ve already seen earlier that Killua is near untouchable while in his Kanmaru state. Besides naturally the one he touches himself, that being the Komugi riding piggy-back. And without much delay, Pouf uses this blind girl to his advantage, appealing to her confusion and no doubt terror. This naturally causes her to act up, slowing down Killua, and giving Pouf the perfect change to strike.
Life is cruel though, and Pouf fails in his attack, and honestly only manages to seal his fate. Killua now knows that Pouf only wishes to kill Komugi, and the attack actually managed to knock Komugi unconscious (hello Killua’s head), so no more blind girl tactics allowed. And it’s Killua who then circles in on the victory, creating an absolute area of protection around Komugi, which is then the final deterrent against Pouf, as he quickly finds out. With his face. With this, Pouf has no real option to kill Komugi, and as the King arrives at the palace to regain his memories, Pouf realizes another threat awaiting him – a broken Gungi board which should be more than enough to jostle back the memories still missing. His clone darts back to the palace, leaving Killua and the helpless girl, and with only so many episodes left, we’re truly coming down to the final conflict of this arc. One involving the arguably main character of Meruem, and the other involving the arguably main character Gon. It’s the end of the road. There’s no where else to hide. Gon screen time is inevitable. We are going to finally see how the entire Neferpitou situation goes down. At long damn last.