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The theme of this arc was Chimera Ants? Don't you mean the major concept was chimera ants? The major theme as far as I was concerned was identity which by the way is a major recurrent theme in hunter x hunter itself. We see this theme being played out with the whole premise of mastering nen abilities/types through understanding one's self. In the chimera arc we see this theme mostly through the whole issue of the chimera's requests for names and the whole issue of the resilience and continuity of the soul through the experiences of different lives. I believe this chapter http://mangafox.me/manga/hunter_x_hu...BD/c337/1.html gives an excellent recollection of this theme.
Personally I loved the chimera ant arc like any other arc, but the thing that stood out for me was really how well Togashi extracted the feelings of fear and desperation. Like anybody else who loved this arc I too loved the main villains, the character development and the themes (no matter how generic). I think Togashi does a really good job of exploring certain generic themes like friendship in a way that is actually not generic at all. His interesting depiction of friendship (mostly through his usage of Gon and Killua) as something that is dangerous, risky, sacrificial and above all Fun and I believe that really captures the very spirit of this series (simply DANGEROUS FUN).
Here's the problem: the more you try to have a rigorous world, the bigger the impact when plot induced stupidity/bailout occur. Nobody is going to complain about Dragonball villians being stupid because they're supposed to be that way. Nobody's going to complain about plot induced bailout when the story's premise is about these items that can grant (almost) any wish. This is also why Alluka is not very well received, because up until this point we see no indication that plot induced bailout is common. It seems entirely plausible that Gon, even if he was cured, could just end up missing an arm from now on.
I suspect originally the Ant arc may have some kind of peaceful resolution, until Togashi realized that the Ants really aren't reconciliable with humans at all. There's a particularly problematic statement that Meryem made that makes this impossible. When he was alone in the palace, he's questioning that if he doesn't even know his name and rules a bunch of puppets, what's the point to be the king? And then he decided that since the Gods have chosen him to be the king, it's not up to him to question why he must rule. As we can see, Meryem actually does not care about ruling anybody. He's way too up there in terms of mental/physical prowess that he'd have nothing to show for ruling anybody. The only reason he wants to rule is because that's his duty. And that makes any attempt to resolve the story pointless. How do you negotiate with an alien leader who truly believes it's his duty that he must rule the world and wipe out the vast majority of your population? But if negotiation was never possible, why even waste all this time developing Ants on their viewpoint of the world?
Did you guys forget what Bisky says about strength in the context of a fight?
Anyone who says "The Ants were way too OP, there's no way they could've been beaten" is thinking about a fight in a shallow lateral sense. It's common though because other shonen like to categorize strength as a definitive number thus embedding said habits into people. Bounties in OnePiece, Kugi Punches in Toriko are some examples. Hunter x Hunter alludes to this with Knuckle's Potclean but as shown in the various battles, The smarter person has the higher chance of a favorable outcome(Not Dying, Winning etc). If they were in any other battle shonen, you'd have a hard time convincing me Knuckle surviving against Youpi. Aura capacity is a factor but it's not THE factor in determining who is the better/stronger fighter
Even Meruem was a victim to being outsmarted. Netero's wise preparation beforehand was the lynchpin of him "winning" in the grand scheme of things. Meruem already lost as soon as the two of them met
"You want to know why you lost this battle? It's cause you're an idiot" - Morel McCarnathy to Cheetu
Last edited by HybridBloodsZak; April 27, 2013 at 01:42 PM.
Togashi won't be able to explore the themes he wanted to explore if he didn't develop the Ants. The story is as much about the Ants as it is about the human characters. It would make sense to develop their psyches as well.
I'll put it plainly and simply, the Ant arc is about what is means to be human, what it means to have an identity and what it means to feel.
All of these are explored through out the arc with pretty much every single character in this arc (mostly focus characters).
Look at Gon's journey, throughout this arc he loses his identity and ultimately rejects his humanity in place of a monster, because he doesn't want to feel the pain anymore.
Killua's journey is the inverse of this, he discovers his identity and accepts his humanity and the flaws that come with it, he releases himself of his brothers hold and learns to feel again.
Meruem's journey is another great example, much like Killua he comes to discover his identity and ultimately accept his humanity and learns how to feel for others, and how to love.
A case can be made for several other characters, everyone of the main extermination crew undergo this journey.
That is the Ant arc, what it means to be human, what it means to have an identity and what it means to feel.
In the chart Biscuit made, E (the weakest guy) has no chance of beating D (the strongest guy) even if D is at his worst and E is at his strongest.
The power of the Ants are off the scale. The difference between even a Royal and humans is far beyond the difference between D and E in that chart, let alone Meryem. Pufu said that there's about a 10% chance Morel could've beaten him if there are several guys as strong as him on the side. You're not anywhere near someone's league if you need several guys as strong as you to just have a slim chance of beating someone when he's already trapped in your ideal terrain. I know later in the Election Arc they made it sound like it's easy to find guys stronger than Morel, despite the fact that his accomplishment in this battle alone may be enough to get him the Triple Star. So really, you need several Triple Star level guys to even have 10% chance of winning and that's reasonable? Especially when it seems certain Pariston and Chidol are much weaker than Morel (Pariston says both he and Chidol lacks strength. Even if he's lying about himself, it can be assumed his assessment on Chidol must be correct).
Likewise Yupi was never in danger of losing until he got infected by plot stupidity, e.g. he purposely killed every clone of Morel's even though he actually know where the real Morel was. He then spared Knuckles even though that wasn't even part of the agreement. Now, to be fair Yupi caught a break too in that Knuckles didn't just wait until he bankrupt when Yupi decided Knuckles was not a threat, though I'm pretty sure if he waited for the normal time to bankrupt it'd have taken so long that it wouldn't have mattered because Pufu would've come back and killed everyone long before Yupi went bankrupt if they didn't try to attack him again.
Of course the whole point of the Ants was that aside from Uber Gon versus Pitou, none of matchups ever had a chance of winning, but if you understand that then why even have the fight? Sure the whole point was that only defeating Meryem matters in the grand scheme of things, but what's the point of a fight that is already doomed to fail?
For the whole empathy thing, Meryem does not have empathy for humans. Even when he's negotiating with Netero it's still about the same as what a negotiation would look like between humans to sentinent cows. He only says the Ants won't kill unnecessarily, but he says humans are no longer necessary in the evolutionary chain, so the only purpose left is:
1. Serve as food for Ants.
2. The rare special humans, like Komugi or Netero, may have a place in this new world, but only very few people would qualify.
The absolute best case would be if all the excess humans gets locked up in a zoo or something and just spend whole day locked up. Since Meryem sees no value in an ordinary human, you'd expect after a while humans will only be born to be for food sort of like how chickens/cows/pigs are only raised for food, and any occasional special human gets to escape an ugly fate. After all, why would Meryem want to waste resources feeding a bunch of normal humans if he has no interest in killing humans for fun? In fact more humans are likely to survive overall if Meryem was a tyrant, because then at least he'd have to raise a lot of humans so he can kill them later.
If there are sentinent cows they'd rightfully see humans as some kind of crazy genocidal maniacs. It doesn't matter there are some vegetarians out there and that some cows get on special animal shows or whatever. From the viewpoint of cows, human must embody evil and any negotiation with them would be impossible. This is what should happen in the humans to Ants negotiation, only the roles are reversed. You can't negotiate with a race whose leader sees your race's sole purpose for existence as food, minus an occasional super special guy that'd be equivalent of an animal show star.
For me, the Chimera Ant arc is one of the best things ever happened to a Manga.
Especially the second half of this arc is so deep... nothing ever could compare with this.
It is so full of emotions, and they're so well explained in each situation.
All new characters are so well writen.
And i like the development of each Character especially Meruems.
Chimera Ant Arc is great ,I enjoyed reading it and i am really excited for many moments in the arc how they will be animated
just my two cents... the ants were strong but not so much ... after all they were defeated by less than 10 hunters...
a mini nuclear bomb
In my opinion, CA is the best part in HxH and the best thing I've ever read in manga