The Chimera Ant arc is the sixth (officially fifth) story arc of the series, officially called "Chimera Ants Arc" by Viz. The arc spans from Chapters 186 to 318 of the manga. It was not animated in the first anime adaptation (from 1999) due to the manga's irregular publishing schedule. In the 2011 anime, the arc begins with Episode 76 and ends at Episode 136.
Reunion with Kite
After Gon and Killua use an "Accompany" card to meet Ging or "Nigg", so they are transported to the Kakin Empire, a country in Azian Continent. Upon approaching Nigg, they are attacked by the latter, but it turns out that they were actually saved from being attacked by Chimera Ants. The Nigg they were sent to is revealed to be Kite, Gon's savior when he was attacked by a Foxbear back on Whale Island. Kite is surprised to meet Gon there. He tells him he has been on Greed Island on Ging's request, and that Gon's use of "Accompany" instead of "Magnetic Force" caused him to meet Kite and not Ging, who wanted to make sure Gon and him would be alone if they were to meet.
They enjoy eating dinner while Kite tells stories of his life with Ging. Both Gon and Killua are left in awe by the revelation that Ging is a Double-Star Hunter who can also qualify to become a Triple-Star Hunter. Kite also tells Gon that he was finally able to find Ging. He explains his mission to do a biological survey and returns to his group. The group then discusses a Chimera Ant leg found on the Balsa Islands. The group surveys a shore to find the Ant queen, but to no avail. Killua asserts that the Ant must be over 2m long, enough to easily eat a human. Returning to Yorknew City, they inspect a map, and theorize that the Queen may be located in NGL, the neo-luddite nation. On the journey there, Kite explains the Chimera Ants' unique way of reproduction, phagogenesis, and ponders in horror the consequences of a Chimera Ant infestation in NGL. Only 5 of them manage to actually enter the country due to the harsh, anti-technological policies (Gon, Kite, Killua, Stick, and Podungo).
A Greater Threat
Meanwhile, on the Yorbian Continent in the south of the Balsa Islands an injured Chimera Ant Queen was left ashore and was trying to heal so that she could give birth to the King. The Queen feeds herself more and gives birth to some soldier Ants. She orders the soldier Ants to bring food. The crab-like soldier Ant hunts two children, and the Queen eats them. Finding the human species to be highly delicious and nutritious, she orders her soldiers to hunt more of them, as well as giving birth to the first humanoid Ant, Colt.
After hunting more humans, the Chimera Ants move to a rock formation more inland, and Chimera Ant populations grow faster than ever. This infestation catches the attention of Pokkle, a Hunter of Fantastic Beasts. With Ponzu, Balda, and Pekuba, the group enters NGL to investigate the Chimera Ants. Their group is attacked by the Ants on their journey, so they retreat to inform the Hunter Association. However, before they can do that, they are ambushed by Zazan's squad. Zazan takes Pokkle alive, but Ponzu manages to escape, only to be killed by one of Zazan's officers. Before this happened, she managed to use her bees to send a message to the nearest Hunter, which happened to be Kite, about the Chimera Ant infestation.
Kite, reading Ponzu's message, realizes that the Ant infestation was more severe than expected, ordering Podungo and Stick to return and notify the Hunter Association. He allows Gon and Killua to accompany him, though. They enter a village, and are confronted by Rammot. Kite orders Gon and Killua to fight him; to ensure that they were strong enough to handle other Ants. They use Nen, but the Ant still overwhelms them. After many clashes, Gon and Killua use their Nen abilities to defeat Rammot. Since Rammot was severely damaged, Colt comes—having watched from the shadows—to retrieve him. Heading forwards, the trio reach a D² factory, where they are attacked by Yunju's squadron. Kite, realizing the evil intent, tells Gon and Killua to kill them. Gon fights the Centipede and defeats him using Janken: Scissors, with Kite giving the fatal blow, Killua fights Mosquito and kills her, and Kite kills Yunju. Heading deeper into the Ant territory, the group is ambushed by Hagya's Squad. The squad demands one-on-one fights, to which Gon, Killua, and Kite agree to. Gon and Killua easily defeat their opponents. Frog is angered over the easy deaths of his comrades, but Kite uses Silent Waltz to kill all the Ants.
Meanwhile, in the nest, Rammot recovers from his injuries and learns to harness Nen. Peggy wishes to interrogate Pokkle, who was also able to use such abilities. Pokkle, having survived, hides in the heap of skulls. However, the newly-born Royal Guard, Neferpitou, appears and detects Pokkle. Pitou interrogates Pokkle, and learns about Nen types, creating Nen abilities to correspond with those types, and how to find Nen type. Pokkle is later turned to a human meatball for the Queen, whose appetite was growing to 250 meatballs per day as she prepared for the King's birth. Pitou leaves the nest, and attacks Gon, Kite, and Killua, managing to cut off Kite's arm. Gon is enraged, but Killua quickly knocks him out. Kite orders Killua to take Gon and flee.
30 Days Without Nen
Killua returns to the border where he informs the group of Kite's fate. Just then, 3 pro Hunters—Isaac Netero, Morel Mackernasey, and Knov—appear, deciding to take care of the Ants themselves. Netero orders Killua to leave since he was too weak to deal with the Ants. Killua is depressed after failing to help Kite, however, Gon, who woke up, asserts that Kite was alive and that they would get him back. In order to do so, Netero gave Killua two warifu pieces; their objective was to gain the other two from two assassins who were apprentices of Morel. They meet Palm, Knov's apprentice, who would help train them for one month until the battle against the two, where only one group would be able to go to NGL. To help them train, Biscuit returns. Her exercise involves using Ren for 3 hours. After the training, she would have them battle Knuckle, one of the assassins. Palm is skeptical of Gon and Killua's chances against him, but Gon promises to her that he will be victorious.
The day where Gon seriously fights Knuckle; his penultimate battle comes. Knuckle shows his prowess and easily overpowers Gon. Back at Palm's place, while Gon rests, Killua trains with Biscuit. She chides Killua for always attempting to flee, and warns him that one day he would run and leave Gon to die. So, if he lost against Shoot, he would have to leave Gon.
The day when the duo fights against the assassins finally comes. Killua and Shoot leave to the nearby forest. Knuckle begins the battle by a head-on attack, but Gon is able to handle it. He wonders why he was able to, only to find a strange creature called Potclean on his arm with a number on its forehead. It adds "interest", which Knuckle explains to be 10% per 10 seconds. Knuckle goes on to explain about AOP (actual aura power) and MOP (maximum aura power), and how Gon's aura techniques consumed aura at a greater rate than usual (1 aura per second), only to confuse the boy. Ultimately, when Gon expended aura, he decreased his AOP, but the interest increased. To add to it, Knuckle explains that in about 4 and a half minutes, his aura would be "bankrupt", and the Toritaten would be attached to him for a month and he would not be able to use aura for those days.
As for Killua and Shoot, Shoot begins with Hotel Rafflesia, where three floating hands would attack Killua. Killua uses his yo-yos to deflect them, but Shoot attacks him at melee range. Killua begins to harbor thoughts of fleeing, as his brother instructed him to should he face an opponent stronger than himself. Killua notices that the spot where Shoot punched him was gone; the left side of his face. Shoot uses the created blind spot as an advantage and overwhelms Killua. Killua realizes that he wasn't actually fighting, and attacks Shoot head-on. At the border of NGL, the two duos arrive; Knuckle and Shoot were victorious. Knuckle promises Gon that they would save Kite. Gon weeps over being too weak, as does Killua. The latter swears to protect Gon for the 30 days he could not use Nen. However, after that, he would leave Gon's side.
Meanwhile, in NGL, Netero's group attack nearby Ants. Morel uses his smoke to confuse the Ants, and then Knov uses Hide and Seek to send him into his dimension. There, Netero slaughters them. Neferpitou is shown to have killed Kite, but keeps his body because he was "fun". During the mission, Knov bets that both teams would make it; Morel bets that his disciples would win. The two other Royal Guards, Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi, born. At the same time Gon and Killua were fighting Knuckle and Shoot, the Queen begins to give birth to the King prematurely. However, the King violently rips himself out of her. As the Squadron Leaders come, the King shows absolutely no regard for her or them, even killing Peggy and Turtle and cannibalizing them. The Royal Guards meet with their new leader and leave the nest; Pitou refusing to save the Queen. As the King searches for humans to eat, Colt approaches Knov and Morel for assistance. Most of the Squadron Leaders leave the nest as per their instincts. Netero assembles a surgeon squad to attempt to heal the Queen in the nest. The dying Queen tells the group present to tell the King that his name was Meruem, the light that illuminates on all, and dies. Colt finds the unborn twin. Morel assures Colt that he and the twin could live as long as they didn't hurt other humans. As this was going on, Meruem found a castle he liked in the Republic of East Gorteau.
During the 30 days that Gon cannot use Nen, he and Killua train, and Gon goes on a date with Palm. During the date, Killua secretly stalks them and fights Rammot, who happened to be nearby. Despite being unable to fight due to fear, Killua rips open his own forehead and pulls out a needle that was implanted by Illumi to make him fear an opponent and flee. He manages to kill Rammot. Knuckle and Morel, having returned from NGL, fight Cheetu and Knuckle uses Hakoware on the Ant, but Cheetu manages to flee. The NGL group and Gon and Killua unite at a castle, where it is revealed that they managed to recover Kite. However, Kite was in a wrecked state where he was being controlled by the enemy's Nen. He did not recognize Gon and pummeled him. Gon, being unable to stand Kite's state, swears to return him back to normal.
The Ants and Spiders
Meruem and the Royal Guards storm the Royal Palace of East Gorteau and kill the leader Ming Jol-ik and most of the humans inside. They plan for a Selection Day, where the citizens would come to the palace under the belief that it was a celebration, only to be forced to awake their Nen via Initiation; 99% of the citizens would die. Gon, Killua, Knuckle, Shoot, Morel, and Knov head there, planning to work with Netero to take down the Ants. Gon gets his Nen back and proceeds to show Morel the tremendous amount of power he has when angered. The six members would be divided into 3 teams of two on the day of the palace invasion, which was in 10 days since that was when the Selection was going to happen. Gon and Killua were assigned Pitou; Knuckle and Shoot, Youpi; and Knov and Morel, Pouf; and Netero would battle Meruem. Meanwhile, the Phantom Troupe returns to their hometown, Meteor City. Feitan, Shalnark, Shizuku, Bonolenov, Phinks, and Kalluto are going to take out Zazan and her squadron. The squadron had reached Meteor City and was turning the citizens into Ants with Zazan's Queen Shot. Whoever managed to kill Zazan would become the de facto leader. It turns out to be Feitan.
Gon and Killua sneak through the East Gorteau border. They enter a small village, only to find it empty. Seeing blood and shallow graves, Killua deduces that the Selection had already begun, and were using the pretense of a celebration to make the mass disappearance of people unsurprising. Killua also explains that to select as many as 5 million people, and not have so many Nen-capable Ants, means that they can control them. Killua plans to attack the ones being controlled, while Gon remains in hiding. As Killua attempts to prevent the citizens from going to their impending doom, many don't believe him and he garners attention. He is attacked by Chimera Ants swarming the forest and Leol's Squad. While claiming victory against Ikalgo, he decides not to kill him because of his admiration for the latter's resolve to never betray his comrades. He is then caught in a dart game with the Ortho Siblings, where he is the dartboard. He nearly dies, but Ikalgo, having a change of heart, saves him. Meanwhile, Gon continues to wander in the East Gorteau's countryside. A Squadron Leader takes an interest in him, so he sends his officers and soldiers after him, only for them to be defeated. He reveals himself to Gon, and joins the boy to get revenge on the King for killing his former self's adoptive father, Peggy. Gon agrees, much to Meleoron's surprise.
Meanwhile, Meruem plays board games with champions from the Republic of East Gorteau to kill time until the Selection. Being the genius he is, he masters them in minutes and defeats the champions, and kills them. However, the final champion is the Gungi champion, a seemingly dim-witted blind girl named Komugi. Despite her seemingly-low intellect, she manages to defeat him in every game, earning his respect. During one of these games, Meruem attempts to throw her off by making her bet on something. He bets on his arm that he would win; she bets on her life. Shocked and intrigued to know why, Meruem asks her about her decision, and Komugi explains her family background and how her only skill was Gungi. In response, Meruem rips off his arm. Pitou stops using its En to repair Meruem, and Pouf activates his. During this time, Knov infiltrates the palace to set doors with his Nen ability. However, after seeing Pouf's heinous aura in a Zetsu state, he retreats after being frightened. He ends up having a mental breakdown due to the aura being so terrible, taking him out of commission.
While fighting Pitou's puppets, Morel once again comes across Cheetu. This time, the latter "tags" him and uses his Nen ability to put him in a world where he must catch Cheetu before a set timer runs out. Morel outwits Cheetu by acting distracted, only to put a smoke rope around him and tags him. Since Cheetu's restriction was that he would lose the technique should he be caught, Leol attacks Morel. He fights him in an abandoned church using Inamura, a technique the Ant stole from Morel's friend Grachan, to drown Morel. However, Morel uses pockets of air stored within the church to inhale oxygen and release carbon dioxide which poisoned and killed Leol. Killua is discharged from the hospital, and Gon tries to contact Palm, who had infiltrated the palace by acting as a prostitute. He does not succeed. Gon, Killua, Knuckle, Shoot, and Meleoron begin to strategize for the infiltration. Their plan is to make it seem as though a rebel would be merged with the crowd. When the Royal Guards focused on the crowd on the Selection Day, the group would intrude the palace and eliminate the King. However, Killua has doubts.
At the palace, Meruem goes back on his word to play in rapid succession and orders Komugi to rest. Seeing how this was the first time he did such a thing, Pouf and Youpi begin to view the girl as a threat. During the later matched, Komugi awakens her Nen, which allows her to see infinite better possibilities in the game. She requests to leave so that she can remember these moves, and Meruem allows her to. When she asks for his name, he realizes that he doesn't know. He consults the Royal Guards on the matter, they are unable to give him an answer of which he approves. As he speaks, Pouf, to his disgust, notices that the King was becoming more regretful and saw the value of creatures he deemed inferior. However, he concludes that violence is the most powerful power in the world. Pondering on his little speech, Meruem asserts that she was no longer useful since the Selection was near and she would die in the conditions. He intends on killing her and is about to do so until he sees a crow attacking her. He quickly kills the crow and begins to show signs of caring for her by not killing her and asking why she didn't call for help, something that even he himself notices.
Debriefing on the facts, Killua reveals that the En that Knov came into contact with was that of Pouf's, not Pitou's. Since it had a window in which Knov could infiltrate without being noticed, Killua theorizes that Pitou's healing ability had to be solely concentrated on, which leads him to believe that one of the Royal Guards or King was injured. Ikalgo asserts that Pitou would only do such a thing if the King was injured. Since no one that they knew could do it, Killua concludes that the King injured himself.
The citizens of East Gorteau begin their march to the palace. Morel strategizes with Knuckle, Shoot, and Meleoron in Knov's dimension. Knov arrives and announces that he would inform the group of any changes prior to the operation. As he does so, he notices that Pouf is releasing scales, which had a hypnotic effect on the citizens. Gon, Killua, and Ikalgo arrive in Knov's dimension so that all the combatants were ready. Killua is still unsure about the third party, believing that it could ruin all their plans.
Meanwhile, above the palace and past the clouds, two men, Zeno Zoldyck and Netero, jump off a dragon and begin a free fall towards the palace. Zeno uses his Dragon Head to attract the attention of Pitou, who responds by using En. Once the dragon entered the En radius, Pitou releases its En, using its Nen for an upcoming battle. However, Zeno splits the dragon into smaller dragons: Dragon Dive. Pitou leaps through the dragons, trying to find Netero, while Pouf searches for the King to protect him. However, Netero was prepared for this. He uses his Nen ability to send Pitou flying away from the palace. Pitou uses Doctor Blythe to prevent itself from leaving the 20m radius as per its restrictions, and therefore managed to stay near the palace.
As the dragons rain down, the invasion squad infiltrated the palace via the doors that Knov set by the staircase. Everyone but Ikalgo heads towards the stairs; Ikalgo goes to find Palm. There, they unexpectedly encounter Youpi sitting on the stairs. Youpi immediately goes into attack mode. As this is happening, the dragons break through the roof. When the group realized that if Knuckle and Meleoron, who were both invisible and undetectable were killed by the dragons, they could stay invisible forever, Knuckle reassures them by punching Youpi. Gon and Killua rush past him on the stairs, while Morel uses his smoke to hide and escape from him. While Youpi is locked in a direct battle with Shoot, and with Knuckle and Meleoron on the side, Knuckle saves Shoot by punching Youpi again, this time activating Hakoware. Shoot begs Knuckle to beat Youpi up for ignoring him. With Shoot nearly dead, Knuckle is forced to fend for himself.
At the same time, Netero and Zeno hit the ground in front of the palace and enter where they believe Meruem is. Inside, they find a shocking sight: Komugi is gravely wounded by the Dragon Dive. Seeing Meruem's regard for another creature's life shocks them, to the point where Meruem manages to get dangerously close to them without them even realizing it. Meruem orders Pitou to save Komugi, and asks Netero to go somewhere else with him to prevent more innocent deaths, should he wish to fight. Zeno, demoralized by hurting an innocent girl, quits the job, but makes a Nen dragon to fly Netero and Meruem to another location. On the way out, Netero sees Gon and Killua, who had come to find Pitou, and points to the direction where Pitou was healing Komugi. On the way in, Zeno tells Killua to judge what is happening inside for himself. They enter to see Pitou healing Komugi. Gon is enraged at the fact that Pitou is healing this girl but so heartlessly murdered Kite. Pitou, being unable to fight back, begs Gon to allow it to heal Komugi before doing what he wanted, going as far as to break its own arm. Killua reminds Gon that only Pitou can heal Kite, so Gon, reluctantly, gives Pitou one hour to heal Komugi's critical wounds.
Morel heads to the throne room itself where he encounters Shaiapouf. Taking advantage of Pouf's loss of composure, Morel traps Pouf with Smoky Jail. Seeing that he could not escape easily, Pouf turns himself into a chrysalis and uses his Beelzebub ability to split himself into billions of tiny Poufs that can slip through the smoke to create a clone of himself outside the smoke, but leaving his real self inside the chrysalis. Morel attacks the chrysalis, finding that it was empty, and releases Smoky Jail, which ends up releasing the real Pouf. Morel tries to attack Pouf with Deep Purple, but Pouf counters by using Beelzebub once again to split himself up. Trying to catch the clones, Morel is struck by Pouf who ambushed him with his real body from behind. Pouf takes Morel's pipe to strip him of his Nen abilities and throws it into a river. He then heads to the palace where Pitou is in an attempt to kill Gon from behind. Pitou, worried that Gon would get angered and kill Komugi, orders Pouf not to do it. Pouf leaves the situation to Pitou, but when Gon demands that Pouf stay, Pouf uses Beelzebub to send his tiny form out while a clone remained there to keep Gon satisfied. Killua also leaves.
While this was all happening, Ikalgo was in the basement of the palace, searching for Palm while he uses Flutter's body in a truck. He uses Flutter's dragonflies to scout the area, one of them encountering Bloster. After investigating a little, he finds a message from Palm written in Nen, stating that she should be presumed dead should she not return before the mission. While leaving, he encounters Bloster face-to-face, who tricks Ikalgo into revealing that he is not the real Flutter. Ikalgo manages to hide under the truck, while Bloster left, convinced that he had killed the impostor. However, when he enters the elevator, he is trapped in it since he needed a passcode to ascend. He shoots the door, but is trapped once again, this time by Ikalgo closing the shutters from the control room. Bloster just shoots the way out again, but Ikalgo comes up with a plan to use a tank to shoot sleeping gas and kill Bloster. He succeeds in sedating him, but fails to kill him. Welfin then confronts Ikalgo, using his Missile Man Nen ability to interrogate him. However, Ikalgo turns the tables on him by shooting him despite the excruciating pain caused from Missile Man. He questions Welfin on his past life as a human. Welfin admits that he remembered being named Zaiqahal, a friend of Gyro's, and being killed by Yunju's division. He reveals that he wishes to find Gyro. Ikalgo asks him about Palm, and Welfin explains that she was put in a cocoon upstairs after being found by the Royal Guards.
Knuckle continues his battle with Youpi, with Youpi holding the advantage by far. While fighting, Youpi gets frustrated due to not knowing where the King or other Royal Guards are and accidentally unleashes "Rage Blast" where his feelings of stress were released. Knuckle uses the opportunity to search for Shoot. Finding a puddle of blood, he believes that it was Youpi's doing and confronts him again. In reality, Knov had helped Shoot retreat. Youpi fakes going into the "Rage Blast" ability form to lure Knuckle closer to him. Knuckles does so and Youpi reverts to his main form and is about to kill him when he is suddenly hit by a lightning bolt. Confused by the sudden attack which he did not detect before, Youpi is paralyzed which gives Knuckle the opportunity to attack Youpi, avenging Shoot. Knuckle flees, and Killua begins his attack on Youpi with Godspeed, a Nen ability he had developed after his battle with the Ortho siblings. During this, Youpi is unable to attack Killua back due to his paralysis combined with Killua's sheer speed.
However, Killua eventually runs out of electricity and is forced to flee. Youpi pursues him but Killua escapes with Meleoron's ability, enlightening Youpi about the opponent's possible ability of invisibility or teleportation. With Killua out of commission, Youpi finds Morel, who has now been deprived of his pipe. Knuckle rushes in to protect his mentor, and Morel uses the last of his smoke to create Knuckle clones. With this, Knuckle is able to land blows on Youpi. Youpi is enraged by this, uses "Rage Blast" again, but this time begins to understand it better. He uses "Rage Incarnate", which allowed him to turn into a centaur, to take out Morel's clones, and injured Morel. Youpi praises Morel and Knuckle for being such amazing warriors, though he must eliminate them for that reason too. He strikes Morel, but Morel disappears. Seeing Morel's blood drip, Youpi realizes that the ability being used was invisibility. He prepares to attack Morel and the pinpointed location, but Knuckle stops him, begging him to fight him alone. Youpi denies the offer as it was, but then agrees to it under the condition that Knuckle releases his Nen ability. Giving into his emotions, Knuckle does so, much to Morel's and Meleoron's disapproval. Surprisingly, Youpi keeps his word and leaves with Pouf to go find the King.
Palm leaves her cocoon, sporting a somewhat different appearance due to being an experimental soldier. Having no emotions, she encounters Killua, and asks him about Gon's whereabouts and proceeds to attack him with killing intent. However, Killua does not reciprocate this intention and begins to break down while revealing the reason he hid Gon's location from Palm. This sparks the emotions in Palm and she kills a chibi Pouf who had been controlling her, alerting Pouf that soldiers should not retain their human memories. Palm and Killua reunite with Ikalgo. He asks Killua whether they would help Gon fight Pitou, but Killua agrees, but notes that they wouldn't be sufficient. They regroup with Meleoron and Knuckle, and Knuckle is insistent on helping Gon. The group returns to the palace.
Meanwhile, Meruem and Netero land at the spot that will be their battleground, a weapons-testing ground. Meruem tries to avoid fighting by reasoning with Netero. He reveals his plans to create a world where inequality is so nonexistent that the word itself is forgotten. A select few humans would be spared. However, Netero demands a fight. He uses the King's name—which the King is not aware of—to entice him to fight. Meruem agrees to the conditions, and Netero uses 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva to make a hole to the underground area where their fight begins. Meruem takes a simple strategy of experimenting with arbitrary offensives to determine Netero's attack pattern since Netero's attacks virtually did nothing to him. As the battle rages on, Netero is forced to use stronger moves against him, but ultimately they are proven to be futile since Meruem manages to dismember his right leg and left arm. Netero uses his strongest attack, Zero Hand.
While doing more damage than his previous attacks, the attack was barely effective and Meruem is still far stronger than Netero. With all of his aura drained, and barely standing, Netero is seemingly defeated. Meruem tries once again to reason with him, stating that Netero's passion had moved him such that when he rules the world, he will now allow humans to survive within a special zone. Netero refuses to accept this, and activates his last resort, a Poor Man's Rose, right after revealing the King's name—Meruem. The bomb detonates, incinerating the surrounding region, including Meruem. Pouf and Youpi see the explosion and rush toward the scene, finding a badly maimed but alive Meruem. To save his life, they feed him their bodies such that they are reduced to miniature forms with Meruem emerging more powerful than before but suffering from amnesia. Now sporting wings, he returns to the palace with Youpi and Pouf, the latter of which is determined to prevent him from remembering Komugi.
Meanwhile, Pitou's time is up healing Komugi, and Gon demands to leave, threatening to kill Komugi. Pitou is forced to obey. The group arrives and Knuckle offers to use APR on Pitou but Gon refuses. He orders them to watch Komugi as a hostage, as they head to Peijin alone to fix Kite. Killua takes Komugi while Palm uses her Wink Blue ability to see Pouf's clone coming. Knuckle punches the clone and activates A.P.R. on it, which is transferred to Pouf's main body which is with Meruem. Palm announces that Meruem is still alive.
Pouf's clone spots Killua, who is running away with Komugi. Pouf attempts to kill her but fails due to Killua's vastly superior speed and power in Godspeed. Meruem approaches the palace which Palm can sense. Being unable to take Komugi before Meruem arrives, Pouf's clones then try to clear away the Gungi board in the palace so that Meruem would have no recollection of the game, and by extension, her. With Pouf now gone, Killua takes Komugi to Palm, who with her ability, tells Killua that Gon and Pitou are in Peijin. She also explains her ability, and Pouf's clone eavesdrops on this, coming up with a plan.
Gon and Pitou reach the castle where Kite's broken body is. While heading to the room, Pitou receives a mobile phone call in its pocket, something Gon is oblivious to, saying Komugi is alright; Pouf used his abilities to imitate her voice. Believing that it is no longer in a hostage situation, Pitou tells Gon that Kite is beyond saving; Kite died in his battle with it and Pitou's Nen abilities can only prevent corpses from deteriorating. Gon begins to weep, vacillating between emotions of deep despair and anger. Palm watches this but is confused as to what is happening since she can not hear what is being said. Pouf's clone suddenly appears in front of Palm and Killua, telling them that if Komugi is not returned, Pitou will kill Gon. Killua crushes the clone, then rushes to Peijin, leaving Komugi with Palm.
Pitou calls forth Doctor Blythe. When Gon sees her, he thinks Pitou is going to heal Kite but then Doctor Blythe begins healing its broken arm, which confuses Gon but he's still hopeful Pitou will heal Kite once finished with its own arm. However, once healed, Pitou tells Gon it is going to kill him now. Gon finally comes to the realization that Pitou is not going to heal Kite and accuses Pitou of being a liar. All of his bottled up emotions are released in the form of dark aura, which transforms him into an older, taller, and more muscular version of himself. He demands to fight Pitou outside, to which Pitou complies. Pitou uses Terpsichora to its fullest extent to try to match Gon, but the strengthened Gon easily pulverizes it, and kills it. Killua arrives, shocked at the immense power Gon was harnessing. Due to its extreme loyalty to the King, Pitou's body is manipulated by Terpsichora past death and rips off Gon's arm. Gon simply uses the arm to pin Pitou and uses a giant Jajanken to destroy the body, and the surrounding forest.
Simultaneously, Meruem is in the palace. Pouf realizes that Meruem can regain memories through images and words. Youpi goes to search for Pitou. The name Neferpitou causes Meruem to remember that he asked it to do him a favor. Meruem orders Youpi to bring Pitou at once, while he goes to hunt down the intruders himself. Pouf attempts to dissuade him; not only does this fail, it arouses Meruem's suspicions. Meruem uses En to search the area for the enemies; the En leaves all those nearby in shock. He finds Knuckle and Meleoron in an instant and knocks them out before they know it. As Meruem is about to hunt down Ikalgo and Palm, Pouf challenges him to a contest in an attempt to prevent him from discovering Komugi. The contest is to see whether Pouf and Youpi could find Pitou before Meruem could find the other two intruders. Meruem may only use his En once, and if he loses, Pouf may hide the secret he has, but if he wins, Pouf must reveal it. Accepting the challenge, both parties race off.
Palm and Ikalgo meet up with Welfin and an unconscious Bloster, inside of Bizeff's place. Ikalgo orders Welfin to act as an intermediary between them and the King, and offer Komugi in exchange for Knuckle and Meleoron, to which Welfin reluctantly agrees. Ikalgo reveals that he knew Welfin's past as a human and that he was a friend of Welfin (Zaiqahal) in their human life, and reminds him that the Ants were enemies of NGL. Welfin drives out and meets Youpi, with whom he shares the bargain. Youpi agrees to tell the King but in actuality plans on telling only Pouf. Youpi returns, only to be threatened by Welfin to reveal his human memories. Before he can respond, he suddenly bleeds and dies. Meruem demands to know Pouf's secret. Palm and Ikalgo debrief on the facts, theorizing that the Royal Guards were split on protecting or killing Komugi. Palm deduces that hiding Komugi would prevent the King from finding her. Meruem and Pouf begin to bleed as Youpi did.
It is revealed that this is because of the Rose's trump card: a poison. Curious about the secret Pouf was hiding, Meruem uses En one last time and spots Welfin and immediately teleports to him. He asks Welfin if he killed Youpi, and Welfin denies this, stating that Youpi had begun to cough up blood and died. Pouf insists on killing Welfin, but Meruem continues the interrogation, stating that he could sense Welfin's hostility to him (as a result of inheriting Pouf's Spiritual Message). Pouf interrupts Meruem to reveal that Welfin knew the secret he was hiding. Meruem is enraged by this, releasing murderous aura. Welfin, seeing this aura, ages 100 years due to fear and utters the name Komugi as a reflexive action. Meruem regains all his memories about Komugi and Gungi, which leaves Pouf shattered. Pouf later dies due to the poison.
Meruem finds Palm and asks her where Komugi is. He reveals he knows his fate and admits defeat to humanity. Palm, now partly Chimera Ant, reveals the location under the condition that she can watch him. Meruem finds Komugi, and they share their final moments together playing Gungi. Komugi is adamant about staying with Meruem despite the fact that the poison will spread to her body by doing so. Meruem finally passes away in Komugi's arms, having never been able to defeat her even once, and she follows thereafter.
With the defeat of the Chimera Ants, NGL and East Gorteau are taken over by international peacekeepers. The five million citizens of the countries are declared refugees, and the wealth of East Gorteau is spread among the three remaining nations of the Mitene Union. NGL was turned into a nature reserve, the jurisdiction of the Hunter Association.
Welfin and Bloster part ways as Welfin is going to seek Gyro and believes he's headed for Meteor City. Welfin, Hina, and Bizeff head off, while Bloster and Shidore head to a village. The villagers are at first afraid of the two, but Bloster reveals he wasn't there to kill anyone. Shidore meets Haruna and reveals that she was Reina in her previous life, Haruna's daughter that was eaten by the Ant at the beginning of the infestation. Haruna is overjoyed, and Bloster stays with her in the village.
Gon is on life support at the hospital following his transformation, in an extremely gruesome state. Knov offers to have specialists come in to take care of Gon, as well as expert doctors. Killua agrees to this, but reveals that he would help Gon his own way and leaves. Morel receives a phone call from Colt, who reveals that the King's twin sister has demanded to be called Kite, which surprises Morel.
- The species of the Chimera Ants is introduced.
- It is revealed that non-humans, specifically Chimera Ants, can use Nen.
- Six professional Hunters play a consistent role in the events.
- Killua Zoldyck removes the needle implanted by his brother Illumi Zoldyck that put him under a hypnotic spell.
- The 12th Chairman of the Hunter Association, Isaac Netero, dies. His death is a major contributor to the events of the next arc.
- Kite dies and is reborn as a Chimera Ant.
- Palm is reborn as a Chimera Ant.
- Gon Freecss is left in a comatose state after "using everything" against Neferpitou.
- Gyro is introduced and is implied to play a larger role in the future.
- Ponzu and Pokkle are killed by the Chimera Ants.
- This is the longest arc in the manga to date, surpassing the Greed Island arc with 133 chapters, as well as being the longest in the 2011 anime, surpassing the Yorknew City arc with 61 episodes. Therefore, this makes the Chimera Ant arc the longest story arc in the series overall.
- Unlike previous story arcs in the series, this is the first one in which neither Gon nor any of the other three main characters have any interaction with the main antagonist (Meruem).
- It was never explained how the Hunters knew Meruem and the Royal Guards had relocated to East Gorteau. It seems likely that the Royal Guards had planned to invade the Royal Palace of East Gorteau before the King's birth and that they had told the Squadron Leaders where they were headed, allowing the Extermination Team to find out through Colt. This would also explain how Leol, Welfin, and Bloster were able to find them, and why Knuckle feared that Cheetu would become stronger by making contact with the King.
- A recurrent feature of this arc is also the repetition of events that have occurred to one character, either as a parallel or as a reversal.
- When the two first met, Kite punched Gon in the face. The latter is reminded of that moment when a manipulated Kite attacks him.
- Knov mocks Killua for his terror upon feeling a Royal Guard's aura. Later on, however, he suffers an incapacitating mental breakdown upon seeing Shaiapouf's En.
- During the Hunter Exam arc, Netero used his Ren to put Gon and Killua on edge and slip past them. The same occurred to him and Zeno when Neferpitou's activation of Doctor Blythe momentarily distracted them, allowing Meruem to walk between them more swiftly than they could react.
- Impressed with their earnestness and goodwill, Knuckle accepts to let Gon and Killua fight him as training for the twenty remaining days before the meeting in NGL, stating they will never pose a threat to him. During the palace invasion, Menthuthuyoupi, having acknowledged the Hunters' efforts, makes him a very similar proposition with the same excuse.
- During the Hunter Exam, when he tested Gon and Killua on the airship, Netero was able to fend them both off while using only his right arm and left leg. In his final battle against Meruem and prior to activating the Miniature Rose, he is left with only his right arm and left leg after Meruem's assault.
- Both Kite and Gon lost their right arm to Neferpitou. Gon openly acknowledges it, stating he is glad his final moments will be like Kite's.
- The above-mentioned repetitions could be construed as being in keeping with the themes of metempsychosis and Karma that run through the arc, which also find their physical counterpart in the Chimera Ant Queen's Phagogenesis.
Intertextuality and References
- There are many references to baseball in this arc: Cheetu, Morel Mackernasey, Knuckle Bine, and Killua Zoldyck often use figures of speech related to this sport, and the names of four characters (Knuckle Bine, Shoot McMahon, Palm Siberia, and Gyro) are derived from types of pitch.