In the age of rival warlords, Kakin was a small country that was threatened to be absorbed by its neighboring countries. Around that time, according to ancient manuscripts, the first king of Kakin conjured the Seed Urn inspired by "Worm Toxin" and had his children fight in a succession contest for the throne, which is the foundation for Kakin becoming the superpower that it is today.
The Seed Urn
The Seed Urn, a conjured pot with some facial features, is the pivotal item for the beginning of the Succession War.
The Seed Urn Ceremony
The Seed Urn Ceremony (
After receiving the egg, trying to escape the Succession War will result in the fugitive's death by countless ghostly hands that appear around the person (enforcing the ceremony's conditions).
Appearance and Behavior
Born from the deceased king's strong desire of perpetuation for his descendants, a Guardian Spirit Beast is a parasitic type Nen beast that possesses a person related to the deceased, feeding on their aura as an energy source and taking a shape and an ability which are influenced by its host's character and disposition. The more unsavory the prince's character, the more disgusting, obscene and threatening-looking their beast is. Since the Nen beast is not a direct creation of its host, it cannot be controlled at will.
All Guardian Spirit Beasts are imbued with two primary instinctual rules:
- they do not fight and kill one another;
- they do not attack another human whom a Guardian Spirit Beast is protecting.
Even without their special abilities, Guardian Spirit Beasts can protect the host against threats, including bullets and other Nen abilities, even if the host attempts to kill themselves, thus preventing their suicide. However, there is no guarantee that the protection of the host is a Nen beast's highest priority, and some can leave their presence. Nen beasts may also be aware of any Nen users that are able to see it and, if not actively attacking, it simply stares back at them, and some even intimidate them. The beasts can also react to their respective host's emotion, as Camilla's and Marayam's changed their appearance in accordance with the former's outrage and the latter's anxiety. Some of them can even avoid showing themselves or lack a form in the first place.
Each Guardian Spirit Beast is endowed with its own Nen type, which can differ from its host's. Its abilities, however, are still influenced by the host's personality and possibly also their Nen category. A Guardian Spirit Beast cannot manifest itself while the host is in a state of Zetsu, and it may find itself unable to protect its host if the latter has run out of aura.
The host cannot see their own Guardian Spirit Beast, nor are they able to see those of other hosts from the same generation even if they are a Nen user. Balsamilco surmised that there must be a limitation that prevents the ceremony participants from seeing the Nen beasts or a condition that must be fulfilled before they can do so. However, a host from a previous generation can see the Guardian Spirit Beasts of the next.
Kurapika seems to have implied that Guardian Spirit Beasts are conjured; however, unlike many Conjuration abilities, they are invisible not only to the hosts of one but also to all non-users. This makes them a low-risk ability, which should have resulted in a tremendous amount of aura being spent to infuse the 14 princes with one Guardian Spirit Beast each. He, therefore, speculated that a complex system of Vows and Limitations ensures their continued existence and that if a prince managed to pull out of the Succession War, all Guardian Spirit Beasts would disappear. Curiously, despite Kurapika's inference, many Guardian Spirit Beasts have shown the ability to phase through solid matter, a trait which seems to be associated with Emission.
Guardian Spirit Beasts
|Nasubi Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|King Nasubi's Guardian Spirit Beast is a huge creature composed of two lateral sections with five limbs in each, which are long insect arms ending in human hands. It has a head in the central part of its body that resembles a human that has an elongated shape, long hair and two enormous ears. Its mouth is upright starting from the height of the eyes to the chin leaving a long tongue out. However, the most notorious part of its body are the bumps that completely cover the rest, those that resemble women's breasts.|
|Benjamin Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Benjamin's Guardian Spirit Beast is a humanoid creature similar to a large beetle. On its head can be distinguished a phallic shape on the top, two mouths, one much bigger with enormous teeth that seem to be grinding, and another smaller at the height of the neck, that simulates a smile; two barbed ears, and two lobes that separate the top of his head and which would apparently contain insect eyes. It has beetle wings and two clawed arms, a human trunk and abdomen, and its legs are irregularly huge and quite muscular that also end in claws.|
|Camilla Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Camilla's Guardian Spirit Beast has the form of an actirian or sea anemone of great size. It could also be a kind of jellyfish. It has a cylindrical shape, in which the upper part is comprised of several tentacles with sunken tips that protrude outwards as if they were the branches of a tree. The lower part of its body extends like a great mantle and ends up forming a kind of skirt.|
|Zhang Lei Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Zhang Lei's Guardian Spirit Beast is shaped like a big dharmachakra (☸) with a dark flame covering its rim. It has inscription-like patterns on its inner part and has narrow eyes and mouth. Eight crosses spread around its body in a clockwise manner and a single cross with a circle around it on its forehead.
This Guardian Spirit Beast is a Conjurer with the compound type ability to produce a coin from its mouth every day. The owner of a coin will gain various abilities after fulfilling certain conditions.
|Tserriednich Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Tserriednich's Guardian Spirit Beast resembles a horse with feminine feature with long fair hair, a long neck with a mane that can extend several meters, big four fingered hands, big sharp pointed nipples, a tail resembling a nine tailed whip, and it wears high heel shoes. The inside of the beast's mouth reveals another face within, with a split tongue and jagged teeth.|
|Tubeppa Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Tubeppa's Guardian Spirit Beast resembles a giant toad or chameleon with spiked axle wheels for legs and has many pole-like horns on its back.|
|Tyson Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Tyson is guarded by the Squinty Eye-Ball and multiple Guardian Spirit Beasts of the same appearance. They are small-sized mono eyes creatures with a slender body and limbs, as well as a round caudal fin. The Nen creatures are all spawned from a currently unseen creature that hovers above Tyson.
It is an Emitter with a diffusive levy type ability. Through one-eyed, lizard-like Nen beasts that attach themselves to whoever listens to Tyson's teachings, it collects aura and bestows happiness in return. As the amount of happiness grows, so does the target's dedication for Tyson's doctrine. If its only taboo is broken, harsh punishment is dealt.
|Luzurus Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Luzurus' Guardian Spirit Beast looks like a big, sinister centipede with crooked, jagged teeth, big wide black eyes, small wing-like extensions, antennae on either side of its head and a pincer at the end of its tail.
It is a Conjurer that makes use of pseudo-coercive Manipulation. It has the ability to set traps by materializing whatever the target desires as bait. When the target satiates their desire, the trap is sprung and the ability activated.
|Salé-salé Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Salé-salé's Guardian Spirit Beast is shaped like a confetti ball with multiple mouths on its body, which breathe out white smoke-like aura.
The Nen beast is a Manipulator capable of controlling many targets via the periodic secretion of a white smoke-like aura that varies depending on the prince's state of mind, with a radius of 7 meters. After a certain amount of time, a small copy of the Guardian Spirit will appear above the head of whoever inhales the smoke, rendering them smitten with the Eighth Prince. For a person who was loyal to start with, 8 hours are sufficient, while an individual with no loyalty to Prince Salé-salé whatsoever will be possessed by a replica after roughly 70 hours. The replicas give off the same smoke with a 2-meter radius. According to Rihan, if left to itself, this Guardian Spirit Beast would have the power to create the strongest dictatorship in history. It was countered by the latter's Predator.
|Halkenburg Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Halkenburg's Guardian Spirit Beast resembles a giant gargoyle with one big eye, four nostrils (two on each side of its face), with a giant scowl on its face. Its body is covered in shaggy fur, while two horns are mounted just above its head. It has three claw-like fingers and toes, and what appears to be an exposed hole on its back.
It is an Enhancer that is also capable of soliciting Manipulation. After knocking them out, it imprinted a pinion on the back of Halkenburg bodyguards' left hand. Their memories of being rendered unconscious were rewritten to prevent them from panicking. The more people are imprinted with the mark, and the more of them gather around Halkenburg all with the same will, the more their aura output grows, reaching levels that surpass all Nen abilities.
|Kacho Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Kacho's Guardian Spirit Beast is named "Without You", it is a formless mutual cooperation Nen beast. The beast has no functionality until either Kacho or Fugetsu die. When either one of the sisters is dead, the Guardian Beast will assume the form of the deceased, staying by to protect the other until death.|
|Fugetsu Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Fugetsu's Guardian Spirit Beast manifests as a small, ornate door identical to the entrance of a playground, named "Magical Worm", she and Kacho used to play in as kids.
This door, which Fugetsu named "Outgoing Door", can take Fugetsu to her sister Kacho. Once she steps out, the "Return Door", which can be opened only by Kacho, appears, which can take them to any destination.
|Momoze Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Momoze's Guardian Spirit Beast is shaped like a human-size hamster-like creature. It has two eyes stacked on top of one another on its forehead, two circular ears, a heart-shaped symbol on its belly, and a rat tail.
The mouse inquires a target of its choice whether they are free or not and when the target responds yes, the Nen beast uses pseudo-coercive Manipulation on them to make them kill people in the surrounding area.
|Marayam Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Marayam's Guardian Spirit Beast resembles a Chinese dragon, with three paired horns on its head, pelvic fins on each lower side of its body, and a pointy caudal fin for a tail. Hanzo and Biscuit note that its size grows at an abnormal rate and that its appearance reflects the prince's state of mind.
It is suspected to be the creator of the barrier around Room 1013, preventing anyone outside of it from walking in, instead of teleporting them to an empty version of the prince's quarters.
|Woble Hui Guo Rou's Guardian Spirit Beast|
|Woble's Guardian Spirit Beast is currently unknown.|
- "Worm Toxin" (蠱毒, Kodoku) is a type of Japanese poisonous magic, derivative of the Chinese Gu (蠱, gǔ or ku) magic. To create it, several poisonous insects are closed together inside a jar, which is opened when only one of them remains. The surviving insect is said to have absorbed the poison of all the other insects.
- The inspiration for the Seed Urn is self-evident as the similarities do not stop at the ritual through which the members of the Kakin Empire's Royal Family obtain a Guardian Spirit Beast, but extend to the whole Succession War: the siblings are in fact forced to stay on a ship journeying to the Dark Continent while they attempt to kill each other, with the only survivor becoming the legitimate heir to the throne.
Intertextuality and References
- The Seed Urn's facial features highly resembles the facial features of the clay dolls from the late Jōmon period of Japan.
- In Togashi's manga YuYu Hakusho, an egg is given to new Spirit Detectives. After a while, a Spirit Beast will hatch from it, with its appearance, personality and powers resembling those of the one who keeps it. The whole process is very similar to the Seed Urn Ceremony through which Nasubi and his children obtained their Nen beasts.
- When asked to place his hand in the mouth of the Seed Urn, Tserriednich worried it might be bitten off: this may be a reference to "La Bocca della Verità" ("The Mouth of Truth"). Starting from the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one told a lie while his hand was in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off.
- Guardian Spirit Beasts share similarities with the following real-life concepts, myths, and/or beliefs:
- Ancient Greek religion and mythology's daemons, which originally referred to a lesser deity or guiding spirit.
- Christianity's, Islam's, and Zoroastrianism's guardian angels, an angel that is assigned to protect and guide a particular person, group, kingdom, or country.
- Islam's Qarins—unseen spirits, either a Jinn ("devil") or an angel that accompanies a person and influences its host to lead an ungodly or godly life respectively. This can be seen on the royalties of Kakin of unsavory characters that have obscene, repulsive, and sinister-looking beasts.
- Hantu Raya in Malay culture and spirituality (formerly a mix of animism, Hinduism, and Buddhism). The owner of a Hantu Raya is said to have formed a pact with a demon or inherited it from older generations as a legacy and in return for advantages and power, the owner agrees to provide for the ghost and appoints a new owner for it before dying. The creature resembles the look of its owner even after death and goes roaming.