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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Hunter X Hunter: The Chimera Ant - Review

Hunter X Hunter (manga author is Yoshihiro Togashi) is one of my favourite animes which I watched during my childhood time (although it clearly is not suitable for children, hahaha). Like Naruto, it is a still ongoing series so far ended with the Chimera Ant story arc and the 13th Hunter Association Election story arc is following. I didn't watch every single episode and left out some in the previous story arcs but this one, the Chimera Ant story arc is definitely an impressive one after the Yorknew City story arc where the story surrounds Kurapika, the only member in Kurta clan who survived brutal attack from the Phantom Troupe and wants to get back all the scarlet eyes of the died clan members. It may sound complicated for those who have not watch any of the story arcs but you are encouraged to watch starting from the first episode until the last one (anime marathon!).

The Queen Chimera Ant.
(Image taken from Next Generation Filipino website)

Spoiler Alert!

A very deep philosophy is embedded in the Chimera Ant story arc regarding humanity. It started with an injured Queen Chimera Ant being stranded on an island called Neo Green Life, a country which forbids the usage of modern technologies (despite of secret production of weapon by the government). The one characteristic of the Chimera Ants which is special and also deadly in long term is, they reproduce using the method of Phagogenesis, where the Queen will reproduce selectively by combining the genes of the animals eaten with her genes, that a more powerful offspring will be produced. This sounds like a genetic modified organism (GMO) and indeed it is. The disaster of mankind begins when the Queen first tasted human and she started to request her soldier ants to bring her humans only for her food in order for her to produce stronger soldiers and eventually the King as the ruler of the world.

The King Chimera Ant named Meruem. He looks like a character from Dragon Ball though.
(Image take from My Anime List website)

This story arc emphasizes how destructive humanity is. Yeah we have seen in the reality where there are wars, crimes, abuses etc. and certainly we do not need reminder of those kind of things which we have gotten used to as they often show up in news. So the author used another channel to deliver the message. The consequences of animals becoming more clever are being portrayed in many scientific horror movies such as the Deep Blue Sea. Thus having a human intelligence is beyond imagination. Upon obtaining human intelligences, the Chimera Ant colony grows stronger and stronger until they develop the ability to take over human on top of the food chain. Chimera Ant is a species of ants (fictional) which lives in colony just like other species of ants where they show unshaken loyalty towards the Queen or King. They live and die for the Queen (or King if there is any), carrying out any command given. Even before the interruption of human genes, a colony of Chimera Ants is able to wipe out the entire population of other species of organisms on Earth with their military-like system.

Dead original Chimera Ant soldiers.
(Image taken from Lost in America website)

Despite the human intelligence that makes them undefeatable, eventually humanity also causes the corruption of the whole colony. The ants develop human ego-ness that each of them want to have their own unique name which differentiate every individual. This ego-ness even generate thoughts of wanting to take over the throne of the Chimera Ant and be the King instead of merely being a soldier ant for the rest of their life. Selflessness fades among the ants and that is the beginning of the destruction of the colony when the loyalty towards the Queen shatters. Chimera Ant's nature is cruel that they will do anything to assist the King in concurring the world. Humans are only livestock to them, which will be slaughter as food just like what humans do to animals. So there is no empathy towards human lives. However, after the King's encounter with a blind girl named Komugi, he slowly developed a kind heart towards humans that he is willing to spare some humans' lives instead of killing everyone. This is a bad sign towards the Chimera Ant colony because that human personality should not exist in them especially the King.

The Poor Man's Rose.
(Image taken from hunterxhunter.wikia.com/)

The ending of this story arc is expected but yet unexpected. The Chimera Ant will be defeated of course, but how? The King survives the disastrous Poor Man's Rose explosion but he and his royal guards are infected by a poison without realising the explosion is actually a bioweapon which will ensure no survival of the victims. At the last moment of the King's life, he chooses to spend the time with Komugi, the only human that he cares of in the world and dies. Human is the reason of the rise of Chimera Ant, human is also the reason the fall of the colony. I found the ending beautiful, but am disgusted by the idea of bioweapon like what happened in the history.

Human, is human.

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