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The Dark Continent ((あん)(こく)(たい)(りく)()()()()()(), Ankoku Tairiku) is a place that stretches beyond the Known World which is nested inside the gigantic Lake Mobius (located at the center of the Dark Continent). The ancestors of the human race apparently migrated from there to the Known World, as the deciphering of myths and the study of ancient ruins seem to testify.[1] The giant Chimera Ant Queen came from there[2] while it is speculated that the Magical Beasts also originated from the Dark Continent as well.[1]

BackgroundEdit

It is written on ancient artifacts that disasters occurred every time humanity excursed to the Dark Continent. Therefore a protocol was established by the V5 200 years ago,[note 1] also known as the Inviolability Treaty, that prohibited said action.[1] Over the past few years, there have been recorded 149 attempts of voyages to the Dark Continent. Of these only five were successful and had survivors, in the aggregate they were 28, which possessed great physical prowess and prodigious luck—one amongst them being Beyond. This indicates that the rate of survival in the Dark Continent is a mere 0.04%. Only 3 of the survivors managed to clear the post-evaluation test and return to their daily lives. The 5 successful voyages were not sanctioned by the V5 and were, therefore, unofficial.[3]

An indispensable component of a successful voyage is a Guide. The Guide is a being summoned by the Gatekeeper, a race of magical beasts, which holds the only, known, connection to the Dark Continent. Without them, it would be impossible for humans to get past the Known World's oceanic borders.[3] At the end of each one of the V5 expeditions there were brought back one of the Five Threats: the botanical weapon Brion, the gaseous life-form Ai, the twin snake Hellbell, the human feeding beast Pap, and the immortality disease Zobae.[4]

A Hellish Battle

Witnessing the wild battle, Netero exclaims: "This place is too big... It's off the charts...!"

A younger Isaac once went on an undocumented expedition to the Dark Continent and was accompanied by Linne and Zigg. Furthermore, a person tried to travel the Mobius shoreline all by himself 300 years ago, and is the alleged author of the traveler's guide Journey to the New World. It is known that two editions exist, for the East and the West respectively. However, the only edition that has been found is the East one. Ging proposes three possibilities for the West book's fate, one of those being that it's still being written to this day by none other than Don Freecss.[4]

PlotEdit

Dark Continent Expedition arcEdit

The Dark Continent was first mentioned when Ging and Gon met atop the World Tree and Ging revealed the homeland of the Chimera Ants and subsequently his need to explore it.[2] Soon after that the King of the Kakin Empire, Nasubi Hui Guo Rou, finances an expedition there, in which Beyond Netero is the leader of a group of experts who are interested in journeying into the Dark Continent.[1] On top of the glory and economical returns from the exploration and the acquisition of new resources, King Nasubi intends to have his children fight a succession war during the voyage.[5] V5 initially opposes the project and enlists the help of the Hunter Association to keep Beyond in custody. However, after the latter hands himself in, V5 includes in the group, becoming V6, in order to share the profits and permit the expedition, stipulating however that the ship will disembark everyone, except for the Hunter Association members, at an island complex named the New Continent which will be passed off as being the Dark Continent itself whereas it is merely near its border.[3]

Summary of the Five TripsEdit

Summary of the Five Trips
V6 Member Begerossé Union United States of Saherta Federation of Ochima Mimbo Republic Kukan'yu Kingdom
Direction Northeast shore of Lake Mobius. North shore of Lake Mobius. Far southeast shore of Lake Mobius. Southeast shore of Lake Mobius. South shore of Lake Mobius.
Location In a steep mountain range. In the ruins of an ancient labyrinthine city that lies 400 km in a forest. Swamps - -
Resources Unmanned Rock Unknown Herb Nitro Rice Trinity Elixir Metallion
Use An ore that generates electricity when placed under water. One small bead can generate 20,000 kW a day. Can cure all kinds of diseases. The ultimate secret of longevity. The mother solution for all sorts of liquids. An alchemy plant.
Threats Pap Brion Hellbell Ai Zobae
Returning Survivors 7 out of 1000 (0.7% survival rate) 2 11 (99% fell prey to Hellbell) 3 6 (including Beyond Netero and the Hunter afflicted by Zobae)


TriviaEdit

Chap 359 - Fake Dark Continent

The Dark Continent "represented as Africa"

  • The continent's name, Dark Continent, most likely comes from the real-life identical term or expression used before the late 19th century to describe Africa (particularly sub-Saharan Africa) due to its interior being considered mysterious and dangerous at the time.

Intertextuality and ReferencesEdit

  • Although the idea of ​​a place like this long precedes Hunter × Hunter and other mangas, the concept of the Dark Continent has some similarities with Toriko's Gourmet World and may have been inspired by it.
    • Their size dwarfs and they enclose their known world.
    • Access to these places is hampered by things like ocean currents and other factors.
    • Both are extremely dangerous places, in contrast to their relatively hospitable counterparts (the smallers "Human Worlds"), with many failed attempts of exploration which led them to be banned. Also, few humans are strong enough to survive their environments.
    • There is not much knowledge about them.
    • Much of their fauna and flora is gigantic in relation to human proportions.
    • The Five Threats are somewhat similar to the Eight Kings.
Monsters - Dark Continent reference

Boy with the Hunter × Hunter T-shirt

  • In Monsters: Dark Continent—a 2014 British science fiction monster film—a boy wearing a Hunter × Hunter T-shirt appears briefly, which could be a nod to the manga indicating inspiration or recognition of coincidences between some elements of the movie in relation to the Dark Continent (although this may be just a coincidence).

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 32, Chapter 340
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 32, Chapter 338
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 33, Chapter 342
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 33, Chapter 344
  5. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 33, Chapter 348

Notes

  1. According to the Timeline, the Inviolability Treaty protocol was established by the V5 around the year 1800.