I was all set to have the finish to Gon’s battle as the highlight of this post, and then Kite had to upstage him by turning the forest into Silent Hill and carving the Chimera Ants like cake. If this and Kite’s boomstick are the bad rolls, then I’d hate to see what the good roll is! (That is a lie, of course. I am giddy at the thought of Kite murdering hordes of Chimera Ants with some crazy weapon. Fuck those bugs.)
Like Kite, however, I fear the days of easy Ant slaughter are coming to a close. The deadly premonition bugging Kite is not to be ignored; clearly, we already know about Rammot getting the Nen power-up, with Colt potentially following in his footsteps. (Also, things will not be well for poor Pokkle, either. I assume he will still be among the living when the Chimera Ants experiment on him. Not the greatest fate in the world.) There’s also the tiger Chimera Ant and his posse. This episode does reveal a bit more information that could cause problems, however: Namely, between the Squadron Leaders and the Queen there exists one more level in the hierarchy — the Royal Guard. We haven’t seen any of them yet, but they’re definitely coming eventually. It’s a safe bet that even a Nen-powered Rammot would be, well, an ant to them.
So, yes, the Chimera Ants are preparing many obstacles for Kite and company. The main hope, as Kite says, is that the infusion of individuality stemming from the use of humans as genetic bases has splintered the Chimera Ants. There are so many groups doing what they want whenever they want. Imagine if they were all organized and could exploit the Nen power-ups to the fullest extent? They would be a frightening, unstoppable foe. The arrogance that led that big group of Ants to challenge Gon and Killua one-on-one before Kite slaughtered them all is the thinking that is leading to their downfall at the moment. That won’t last forever, though.
One thing I am really enjoying about the Chimera Ant right now is how every little detail feeds into Kite’s worry that he, Gon and Killua should carry themselves with caution. That paranoia is definitely carrying over to me. For instance, my first thought upon seeing this scene and the scene with the government officials that proceeded that was not, “NETERO!!!!!” (though I did think that later), but instead, “Holy shit, those bugs totally have to be spies for the Chimera Ants!” There’s just way too much focus on them in every scene, though that did get me briefly wondering if that’s what we’re supposed to think, and that they’re actually innocuous bugs. After all, they’re in all likelihood quite far away from the Chimera Ant colony. That whole thought process just results in a cycle that doesn’t resolve itself. Those bugs were all around for some juicy details, however. Should the Chimera Ants suddenly figure out who else is coming after them and that their foes know details about their organizational structure, then we know who to blame.
You see how that works, though. Kite is not taking anything in stride, so I am not taking anything in stride, either. Even what seems like satisfactory words and actions from Gon — who proves that he is ready, willing and able to kill Chimera Ants even though he is not really a killer by nature — are taken with worry by Kite. Gon has an easy time killing the Chimera Ants who live without honor; however, what of those who do? Would Gon kill Colt as easily as he does the others? Maybe. Maybe not. The question of killing often seems to dog shonen protagonists, but here there’s a frankness to it that makes it all the more compelling and nervewracking.
I can’t close this post without at least paying some lip service to this. Holy crap. Killua’s precision in battle is impressive as always; I love the way he attacks the same spot again and again until it weakens just enough that he can exploit it. (It reminds me of one of the stories in the Golgo 13 anime, where Golgo snipes the same spot of bulletproof glass several times so that it weakens just enough for him to sneak a final bullet in and execute his target.) Gon’s insane strength will more often lead to more exploits that are impressive and frightening, though. I mean, he fucking crushes this Chimera Ant! Good lord! Enhancers are truly frightening Nen-users. Somewhere Uvogin’s spirit is sighing about the fact that he isn’t getting the opportunity to crush a horde of Chimera Ants.