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Thread: Man and Beast

  1. #1
    Registered User 中級員 / Chuukyuuin / Member Popo's Avatar
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    Man and Beast

    I haven't written anything extensive or deep about this, but there is a big relationship between Hunters and animals. Not only in terms of interaction, but moreso...affinity.

    There are some obvious examples. The Shadow Beasts and the Zodiac Twelve: each one of them is aligned with an animal and base their combat ability on it.


    The next obvious example is the Chimera Ants: beasts with human natures.


    The third example is rarely discussed, yet it is the most interesting to me. Humans with beastly natures.



    We see our protagonists compared to animals time and time again. Gon specifically. He is referred to as a "tiger" in more than one instance. I believe that Morel does so at the end of Volume 22, and then there's that image during his standoff with Neferpitou. He's using Zetsu the entire time. His eyes are darkened and black. He conceals his presence before he strikes powerfully...just as a tiger hunts.


    Killua's is easy. The Zoldyck Family in general has the dual motif of the Snake and the Dragon. Killua's siblings, the children, use snake-based attacks. The Zoldyck elders rely on the Dragon. Interestingly enough, it seems that Ging too resembles a Dragon--based upon the only scene in which he's tamed a beast.

    How do the natures of these animals tie into the nature of these characters? Discuss. Theories, other examples, etc.
    Last edited by Popo; August 08, 2012 at 07:03 PM.

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member mrsticky005's Avatar
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    Re: Man and Beast

    don't forget how there's the gag of Gon being like a hound and Killua's cat faces.

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    MangaHelper 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member kindredxiuxiu's Avatar
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    Re: Man and Beast

    It's hard to say with the zodiac 12 since we haven't seen them much. With the exception of Ging and Pariston, they're pretty animorphic and resemble animals from the zodiac 12. We see glimpses of their personalities in the arc, which I'm assuming will tie into personality types associated with the zodiac. Though I may be completely wrong, as Ging is pretty much the opposite of the Boar; whereas Pariston embodies the rat's personality traits rather well.

    Regarding our protagonists:

    Gon being compared to a Tiger makes sense. Since the beginning, Gon has been shown to be a hunter, in the literal sense. He's a wild boy, born and raised around nature. He's a hunter. He likes to stalk his prey, and whatnot. He has a beast inside of him waiting to get out. A tiger is a predatory animal, it stalks its prey, and strikes.

    Killua is more obvious. As you said, the Zoldyck family is associated with snakes and dragons. Zeno has the dragon, Kalluto has the snake-like nen paper attack. Killua's nen abilities isn't much like a dragon or snake, but Killua himself is like a snake. If he sees a threat, or gets pissed off, he'll generally give a warning (ala Ramotto or Sadaso). If that threat doesn't back off, it dies. One hit kill. If that threat backs off, it's fine.

    I like how Togashi has this dichotomy between humans with beast tendencies, and beasts with human tendencies. I think it's an added bonus to his theme of "moral ambiguity". The beasts aren't very... beastly, and the humans aren't very humane. As we got to know the ant king more, he became more human to us. But in the end, it was a human invention that ended up killing him. Again, this isn't a mere black and white issue.

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    MangaHelper 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity Demonspeed's Avatar
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    Re: Man and Beast

    I also noticed that Togashi drew many animals on cover.I guess he just likes them and are a great source of inspiration when he creates Hatsu.

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member Cinnabar's Avatar
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    Re: Man and Beast

    My brain is in a frizz today, so I apologize if things sound nonsensical, half-assed, grammatically incorrect, and off-topic. So yeah, just a few warnings because I didn't think this one through as I typed. You can ignore me. But anyway, some things to ponder about regarding what themes/questions I could possibly infer from Togashi's work (mostly from the Ant arc):

    Spoiler show


    (Spoiler-ed 'cause it's a long trainwreck of thoughts.)

    Annnnd yeah. Sense, where art thou?

    I'll be leaving now before I spout more shit like this. I don't think I even subscribe to most of what I said, haha. If you find some hidden insight there, I'd be surprised. Anyway, I can't wait to see whatever Popo will come up. I always liked your HxH analyses and comparisons so... yes. I'm looking forward to that.

    Right, shutting up now.

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    MangaHelper 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member kindredxiuxiu's Avatar
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    Re: Man and Beast

    Quote Quote:
    Interesting to note in the Ant arc: The more Meruem developed as a character, the more he becomes humane. The more Gon regressed, the more he becomes beast-like. I guess you could say that, as a reader, it's just easier to relate to Meruem as the arc progressed. Thus, he becomes more 'human'. And yet Gon, who is a human being, has this weird mentality and moral compass that I cannot quite grasp as a reader. I'd talk about this in length, but this post would get too long and I'm sure some of you have already discussed this in other threads (I just made one a few months ago in mangafox actually, so I don't really want to discuss this again). But yeah, I think some of you can understand why I think Gon is so... weird, at least for a child shounen protagonist. It's like he has Blue and Orange Morality or something.

    Oh wait. He does according to TvTropes.

    But going back, I find it interesting how progression and regression of character (at least in the Ant arc) can make Meruem and Gon exhibit these tendencies. Pitou too actually, now that I think about it. It's also interesting to note that during the Ant arc, we see Meruem and the Guards as more humanlike the more we see things from their perspective. It's more about understanding, really.

    I have this feeling that this all ties to power. More powerful creatures may have the tendency to seek more power and to size others up to see if they are beneath them. It all depends on what kind of power they crave. Gon is a wild child who grew up with nature. I can see him subscribing to the thought of 'Survival of the Fittest.' He craves power and wants to be strong; this has been hinted at throughout the manga. This crave for power makes him come across as a bit beast-like. Perhaps he is, in that sense.
    Gon reminds me of a savage predator. Sure, he has his own weird moral compass of sorts, but Gon is pretty much the wild child that got unleashed into the world. He's curious, determined, and very focused. I'm not completely sure if Gon could function as a human being within the realms of society. Gon is sheltered, as a result of living on a remote island, and although he's quite sociable, he has a skewed perception of the world as it is. He's like the naive, socially awkward kid who doesn't function well in society. Deep down, I believe Gon is a good person, but until he becomes more worldly, he's better off with people like Leorio, Kurapika, and especially Killua who can save his ass whenever he does something questionable.

    And this is very strange for a shounen protagonist. There are a lot of protagonists out there who fall into that "dumb and powerful" trope, but they also have very strict definitions of what is wrong and right. What they must do for the greater good. Gon isn't dumb, he's naive, but not dumb, and he's very powerful, and he doesn't have a very strong moral compass to boot. This makes for a very dangerous situation, and brings Gon back to his "roots" of being a "beast".

    Since it's clear that the main four are doing their own things now, I'm curious to see what will happen to Gon. Did he wise up after his recovery? Will he get more in touch with his dangerous side? More importantly, how will Gon function without Leorio, Kurapika, or Killua there?

    As far as Meryem becoming more human-like as Gon became more beast-like, I agree here. And I'll also add that Killua became more human-like as well, throughout the arc. For him, it was also a series progression, but also an arc progression.

    For the ants: Meryem starts out wanting to rule his kingdom, eat humans, and make an army. Then he meets Komugi, grows fond of her, and through her gets more in touch with his human side. I'd say Pitou made the most progression out of the royal guards. I don't think Yupi really improved that much (he pretty much embodied his beastly side throughout), and Pouf is the one that appeared most human, but still remained a manipulative bastard.

    For Gon: I've mentioned this before, but at the beginning of the ant arc, he had qualms about killing. I don't think us readers saw him kill another person directly before this arc. And Kite even worried about him because he wasn't that comfortable about killing ants. Then in the fight against Hagya's squad, Gon tries to reason with his opponent to not have a fight to the death, but nevertheless, he resolves that death is inevitable and crushes his opponent to death. As a reader, this doesn't strike me as odd or anything, this is Hunter x Hunter after all, and we know the ant arc is going to be darker.

    Then Kite gets killed, and Gon develops a killing rage, and throughout the rest of the arc, becomes less human and more like a beast. It's almost uncontrollable at some points--almost unleashing it on Morau, and threatens to kill Meleoron if he betrays him.

    Then we get the icing on the cake--Komugi. Gon doesn't care, even after Killua reasoning with him, that going after Pitou now will end Komugi's life. Even after Killua explains to him that it was their side that hurt her. Gon, being the beast he is, only sees his prey (Pitou) and wants only that, disregarding everything else. Then, after he unleashes that rage on Pitou, the build-up of everything Gon has gone through the last month or so quiets down, and Killua carries him back.

    Killua's progression through the arc isn't as pronounced as Meryem and Gon's, but it's still there. It's like a teeter-totter with those two... when Gon's acting like a beast, Killua's the more human one. And when Killua's more likely to go into assassin mode, Gon's the more human one. At the beginning of the arc when Gon was having trouble killing ants, Killua went in there and did the job without second thought (and looked like he enjoyed it some of it too). Yet, unlike the beginning of the series when Killua was a sociopath, it seemed like he was taking on the killing and whatnot to protect Gon from the evils of the world (I'm also thinking back to the situation with Sadaso), and maybe the world from a raging Gon. I'm referring to the panels where they infiltrate East Goruto and Killua tells Gon to stay put while he runs around the country stirring shit up. I think once Killua sees Gon facing Pitou, something hits him causing him to be the logical one again, and less of the "cold killer" from before.

    Quote Quote:
    One thing is clear in the manga though: just about anyone can have humanlike or beastlike tendencies. Can't judge a book by its cover, as they say. Also, Kite says that a good hunter is liked by animals. Makes me wonder why.
    Probably because being a good hunter means you're more in touch with your animal side? A good hunter, in the literal sense, must be a good predator. And by being a good predator, you must be in touch with your animalistic tendencies.
    Last edited by kindredxiuxiu; August 09, 2012 at 10:46 AM.

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  13. #7
    MH Senpai MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted Uriel's Avatar
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    Re: Man and Beast

    I think that you guys are talking about Beast and Human as two extremes of the rope when the question that Togashi does is "What is actually the difference?" and the whole arc is all about this statement.

    There is no human-like action or beast-like actions...Togashi sets the train of thought that reaches to the point to redefine humanity as we understand it.
    The Sky is pouring
    The wind is blowing
    The sea looks red,
    a surging sea of flames
    looks like the entrance to hell
    'Perfect', the captain said.

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