29 CommentsHunter X Hunter / By Shinmaru /

Hunter x Hunter 135 – I’ll Be Joining You Soon

hunter-x-hunter-meruem-komugi-together-forever

Hello, friends. Let us gather in a circle. I’ll wait while everyone gets set up. Now let us all join hands and reflect.

And by “reflect,” I mean “cry for hours and help each other gather the shredded pieces of our hearts.”

Allow me to wistfully sigh for a moment. I almost don’t know how to react to an episode that is both so heartbreaking and uplifting. We can all speak about when the ALL GO FOR TEARS light sounded off in our heads, but for me, it was when Meruem calmly explained that he knows he will die soon and simply wants to spend his remaining time with Komugi. Like, it’s not just the sadness of the scenario, but that Meruem accepts his fate without complaint and wants to make the most of what he has left. It’s Meruem knowing with absolute certainly what brought the greatest joy into that short-lived existence and doing nothing but that until the end. It’s the simple purity of grabbing onto something that moves you and hugging it right into your heart. Empathy can be hard and confusing, but making a human connection is a wonderful thing. What would we all do if we knew we were all going to die soon? Hopefully we have that one thing that gives us the greatest possible joy.

Meruem’s self-awareness also made my poor heart feel pained. Right after Meruem says that he’ll be joining the Royal Guard soon — which is already THE MOST CRUSHING THING!!! — the King mentions not being worthy of their loyalty. There’s no betrayal of emotion, but god, it must be terrible to feel that way. Meruem’s instinct all along as the leader of the Chimera Ants was domination. The Royal Guard followed Meruem for different reasons, they too were Chimera Ants at the core. They supported Meruem in that mission. Whether Meruem actually failed or not, that feeling is there. Discovering that humanity is simultaneously wonderful and a betrayal (from a certain point of view). And the worst part is, having a grasp on that humanity would allow Meruem to be all the more aware of that pain. But much like the inevitable death, Meruem accepts it rather than dwells on it. What has happened cannot change. All one can do is move forward as best they can.

hunter-x-hunter-meruem-komugi-playing

For a brief moment, I wondered if Meruem was being selfish. Meruem’s En provided all necessary knowledge. It is known that not only will Meruem die, but also that the poison is contagious. In a vacuum, one could condemn Meruem for knowingly putting Komugi in a situation that will almost certainly end her life. It is a death sentence without consent. But Komugi doesn’t see it that way. She’s a bright person, but she has also lived a rather bleak life. She was born in squalor. Her family’s well-being was predicated on Komugi being unnaturally good at a game. It’s like your family would starve if you didn’t beat anyone and everyone at Black Ops or whatever. Komugi loved the game, but I don’t know if she ever experienced the true joy of playing it before she played Meruem. (Or, if she did, it had probably been a long time.) For however scary Meruem was, eventually Meruem treated Komugi as an equal. They were partners enjoying a game. Komugi obviously played a large part in Meruem’s change, but Meruem likewise brought great joy to Komugi’s life. She could concentrate on the one thing that made her truly happy without reservation. She could feel like someone who deserved some measure of happiness rather than someone who society craps all over 24/7.

So I dunno. I could sit here and judge a selfish action, or celebrate a pair who bring out the best of each of their humanity. This empathy thing is fuckin’ hard, y’all.

(But for real, though, it was all ONIONS AND DUST in my room when “Komugi, are you there?” and the title of this post got thrown around. THE LAST REMNANTS OF MY HEART HAVE BEEN DESTROYED.)

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Believe it or not, other things happened in this episode. This part led to the first moment of heartbreak from Meruem, but Palm was equally powerful here. There’s a struggle — not wanting to believe that someone who is such a monstrous figure to humanity has changed at all, but knowing deep down that it’s true because she can sense the feeling behind Meruem’s words. It’s a moment of great irony: As a human, Palm cannot help but distrust what Meruem presents, but the Chimera Ant side of her knows that Meruem embracing that humanity is not a bullshit act. It gets to the point where the godlike figure who beheaded Ants for any perceived slight after ripping through the Queen’s womb is ready to kneel and show humility if it means those final moments can be spent with Komugi. GOD, THIS WHOLE SCENE. It tightened the show’s grip on my heart before later parts ripped it out. Even Palm can’t handle this. She has the reaction that Pouf would have like, “OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU ARE THE KING NO I CAN’T HANDLE THIS”

Then there’s the end of Netero’s story later on, which both made me angry (which is meant to happen) and was sadly fitting. He gives his life to save humanity, and he’s barely a footnote in the news. He of course didn’t fight for that sort of glory, but the whole thing is dehumanizing and makes him seem like an expendable property. Just another case of the humans being a bit less human than the monsters they set out to destroy.

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I also love the characterization that gave to this little guy, who I think I remember from waaaaaaaaaaaaay earlier in the anime. But yeah, I love the contrast between the dehumanizing staffer talk that frustrates Morel along with the subtle cues that show he truly cares about Netero (the whole “if the dudes on top find out about all this, they’ll drop a heap of shit on you” with the obvious implication that he doesn’t intend to let anyone know about all this). He’s doing this shit because he’s a cog in the machine, and certainly not because he actually WANTS to, but he doesn’t let it overwhelm his humanity. It’s a small thing that made the tears while watching Netero’s will mean a bit more. I dunno, I feel like this small scene sketched a surprisingly strong character.

ANYWAY, damn, that is a lot of words about one episode. And I don’t think I touched on nearly anything. (For example: The sad end of Pouf’s life and the implication that all those people are dead as shit, too. Yeehs.) So talk away people. Or just cry. Cry a lot.

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29 Comments

  1. Cobrah
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    It’s hard to articulate my thoughts when my heart is crying. What an absolutely amazing arc and what a great ending, Meruem made me cry way more than I wanted him to. I really hope the next arc is easier to handle than this one, I think I need a break.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 27, 2014 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know how the next arc could possibly escalate things, so a sort of breather is probably long due!

    • joker
      Posted June 28, 2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Without spoiling anything, I’ll say this. The next arc is less dramatic and kinda similar to earlier parts.

  2. Danger
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Every moment. Every. Single. Scene. It was all sublime. That epilogue at the end, especially – Meruem’s en-particles slowly dying out – the last one making its way inside, with the last one joining her hand, as he can’t physically feel it at that point; that bit wasn’t in the manga, but the show only improved on a scene which I was convinced it couldn’t improve upon – it was even more heart-wrenching. So many subtle interactions and hidden meanings, not only through gestures but speech. This episode was a layered work of art, and I shudder at the thought of anyone but Madhouse having handled this adaption.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 27, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Everyone involved can be proud of what they’ve achieved.

  3. ApplesPies
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    I’m glad you enjoyed it :) An excellent end to an amazing arc.

    Isn’t it funny that your first post about Meruem was “FUCK YOU CHIMERA ANT KING”? Its nice to see how your opinion changed from the beginning. And trust me the next arc is a lot of fun too, be ready for it!

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 27, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      That seems so long ago …

  4. C
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    A thing that could be noted is that Gon indirectly killed Meruem and Komugi. If Piotu was still alive she could have used Dr Blythe and healed them.

    • kamen rider Dragon
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 4:54 am | Permalink

      I don’t think so. We saw nothing to indicate that Pitou could heal to that extent.

      • Flippo
        Posted June 26, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        and nothing that indicates she can’t.

      • kamen rider Dragon
        Posted June 26, 2014 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

        aside from only seen healing physical injures.

  5. Kenjeran
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Man, that preview, tho, totally ruined the mood for me ):<
    I wish at least they changed the music to a more subtle one..
    Well, at least they omitted the happy-go-lucky opening.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 27, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I wish they’d gone silent for that.

  6. gedata
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    The lack of fanfare regarding Pouf’s death is ironic considering how flamboyant he was in life. That said, the events of last week pretty much slayed him anyway and thus ended his role in the story.

    I wonderchow the citizens felt about the random dead butterflydude lying around them after the hypnosis ended. Would suck if his corpse ended up spreading poison to those closest to him.

    • Adreme
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Its pretty much implied that every single person in that crowd is dead. So basically everyone who wasn’t saved ahead of time by Gon and Killua in that country is dead.

      • Gan_HOPE326
        Posted June 26, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        Aren’t they just hypnotized by Pouf’s Spiritual Message? When the effects wear off aren’t they going to be fine (well, poison aside)? I’m not sure I caught on this implication, though I guess, if there were that many witnesses, the cover-up wouldn’t last long… but on the other hand all those people probably went from “let’s go to the meeting organized by our Great Leader” to “LOOK AT THE PRETTY SCALES OF THE BUTTERFLY MAN” so it’s not like they will have realized much of the truth. They could probably be just duped into believing whatever.

        I like to think that this sort of cover up is left to a special squad of Hunters In Black that go around with a Materialized neuralyzer that can delete people’s memories.

      • Adreme
        Posted June 26, 2014 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        The poison is probably what killed them all thus the media cover up story that it was a set up mass suicide. They are implying that all those dead people were killed by the ruler and not the bomb that’s use is banned throughout the world.

        Basically they were all exposed due to Pouf and so they all died due to the poison and the leaders mass suicide plan is the cover for all that happened.

        Realistically you are right they could be duped into believing whatever but they were all exposed not only by being near Pouf but by his scales so either they were killed by the poison or killed by the outside countries that couldn’t risk exposure from this.

      • gedata
        Posted June 26, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        Oh, so they did die, must’ve missed that detail

        Well, shit

  7. Cepech
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD.

  8. Jaysus
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    I hated this arch when I first read it because of Hiatus x Hiatus, but when I re-read the entire thing after the fact it became my favorite arch. Seeing it animated only further cements it as my favorite arch.

    Suck it Toradora, this is… THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 27, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      I can only imagine how frustrating this must have been to read with so many hiatuses.

  9. Pusswookie
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Now I don’t wanna be a debbie downer here, since everyone’s still getting showered with Feels, but where does Hunter x Hunter actually go from here? How does it possibly escalate?

    • kamen rider Dragon
      Posted June 26, 2014 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      Oh just keep watching, it won’t disappoint in that regard.

  10. Gan_HOPE326
    Posted June 26, 2014 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I think the icing on top of the cake in this episode was the real Diego chilling out and writing poetry on human nature while giving zero fucks. All this squabbling over power, and the top dog actually said “fuck this shit!” 30 years ago and left a double or whatever in his place.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 27, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      He was the smart one.

  11. Posted June 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    That final scene with Meruem and Komugi was the most emotionally swaying moment in the entire series. Romeo and Juliet can suck it.

  12. Posted June 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I cried the whole episode. My heart ;_;

    • Shinmaru
      Posted June 27, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      EVERYONE’S HEART

  13. fordalels
    Posted June 28, 2014 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    AND IT GOT BETTER.
    I feel sorry for all the narutards and bleachtards who feel too lazy to start watching this masterpiece because they find it too long.

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