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Meruem

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Who am I? Why am I here? A king with no name. A borrowed castle. My subjects are mindless drones. If this is the mandate of Heaven I have been given...I fear...I fear nothing...except the tedium that it will bring!!!

—Meruem

Mereum
Meruem
Kana

メルエム

Rōmaji

Meruemu

Also Known As

The King

Debuts
Manga Debut

Chapter 213

Anime Debut

Episode 91 (2011)

Portrayal
Japanese Voice

Koki Uchiyama

Profile
Gender

Male

Age

40 days

Status

Deceased

Occupation

King of the Chimera Ants

Relatives

Chimera Ant Queen (Mother)
Neferpitou (Older sibling)
Shaiapouf (Older brother)
Menthuthuyoupi (Older brother)
Kite (Younger twin sister)

Nen
Type

Specialist

Abilities

Aura synthesis
Metamorphosis
Rage Blast
Photon

Image Gallery

Meruem (メルエム, Meruemu) is the most powerful offspring of the Chimera Ant Queen, and the King of the Chimera Ants. He is the main antagonist of the Chimera Ant arc.

Appearance

Meruem appearence 2011

Meruem's design

Meruem appears to be rather humanoid for an ant. His appearance is an homage to another famous manga antagonist: Cell from Dragon Ball Z, written and drawn by Akira Toriyama (he also resembles Frieza, another antagonist from Dragon Ball Z). Meruem is fairly muscular, despite his relatively small frame as compared to his ant servants. He has two long antennae on his ears, and a large shell-like armor over his head that resembles a helmet. There are dark pigmented areas on his arms, legs, chest, and head. Meruem is always barefoot. He also possesses a powerful tail equipped with a stinger that serves as his weapon. It is worthy of note that both his hands and feet have only four fingers each.

Personality

91 - Meruem's cruel nature

Meruem shows his cruel nature right after birth

Meruem is initially seen as a cruel and violent leader. The Queen's intention to give birth to a perfect offspring is reflected in Meruem's mentality, with the Ant being haughty towards all. He speaks in an eloquent manner and has refined tastes for one of his species. He considers himself superior to all other forms of life and feels no concern for his dying mother after his birth.[1] Meruem is also merciless, killing[2] and cannibalizing any Chimera Ant he deems as disrespectful, although he still holds respect towards the strong, complimenting Neferpitou for surviving an attack that had killed many without much damage at all[3].

As the story progresses, Meruem starts to grudgingly respect Komugi, a human woman. He eventually grows to even care for her. From there on, Meruem begins to question the differences between the Ants and mankind. He battles with his identity as a half-human and half-insect, questioning the nature of violence and strength as true power.

Most of all, Meruem's defining trait is his pride. From the time of his birth to the moments of his death Meruem exhibited a strong confidence in himself and conviction in his actions. Because of his pride and confidence in his abilities he displays a code of honor as when he tried to defeat Komugi by shaking her resolve. Believing that all humans would succumb to fear or desire he challenged her with the conditions that should she win he would give her anything in his power but her failure would mean death. Contrary to his assumptions she displayed neither fear nor greed and as an apology for thinking so low of her tears off his own arm and keeps his word when komugi tells him to allow for his arm to be treated by not killing her outright and instead lets the game decide her fate.

He is quite adept and learns things at an astonishing rate, being capable of mastering any form seen of board games in just ten matches and defeat world champions with ease. 

After a brief loss of memory he seems to become much more respectful and closer to his subordinates after being fed a part of them when he was dying, as he can feel things they can feel, and tell easily if they are hiding something or not from him, but at the same time he can sense their loyalty to him, causing him to put their loyalty to the test before considering to punish them, even more so if they answer truthfully despite doing so may inquire admitting to a miscalculation.

Background

Meruem is the next to the last ant born of the Queen and is the Chimera Ant King. He is born prematurely, forcibly birthed through rupturing through her abdomen.[4] According to the sociology of Chimera Ants, upon the birth of the King, the Royal Guards will solely follow his commands[5] and he will leave the nest to find various creatures to mate with and impregnate in order to create the next Chimera Ant Queen. Soon after he was born, Meruem leaves his original nest in NGL with his Royal Guards in search of a place to start his kingdom[6]. His name means "the light that shines on everything."[7]

Plot

Chimera Ant arc

Meruem's birth

Meruem's birth

The Chimera Ant King, Meruem, is the most powerful offspring of the Chimera Ant Queen. While still within the egg of his mother, Meruem was prematurely born. Meruem was so eager to be born that he forcibly ripped himself out of his sack[8]. By doing so, he caused severe internal injuries to the Queen Ant, however, Meruem didn't care about his mother at all; his greatest concern was food.[9]

Hunter-x-hunter-no-not-peggy-460x258

Meruem showing his relentless nature by killing Peggy.

When Peggy, along with the other Chimera ant squadron leaders saw their Queen in such a state, Peggy tried to help her; Meruem decapitated him with the mere whip of his tail. Meruem then told Colt to wipe off the blood off his tail and Turtle tried to be thoughtful for the newborn Ant King, but Meruem decapitated Turtle as well.[10] Still hungry, Meruem tried to taste Peggy and Turtle, but he finds them distasteful. Afterwards, his royal guards arrived to escort and guide Meruem around[11].

Hunter X Hunter - 108 - Large 30-5-

Meruem's Royal guards at his new Palace.

Hungry for power and food, Meruem leaves the hive and NGL with his royal guards in search of a place to start his kingdom.[12] He descends on the Republic of East Gorteau[13] and takes over the country by killing its dictator, Ming Jol-ik[14], and having his Royal Guardsman Neferpitou manipulate his soldiers. Meruem then has Neferpitou use Jol-ik's corpse as a puppet to place East Gorteau under martial law. The nation's entire population is then ordered to gather simultaneously in the capital city for a national rally, in order to create a situation in which entire towns and villages could be secretly abducted for a "selection": the forcible awakening of Nen in order to create an army of super soldiers to conquer the world. The Hunters Association mobilizes an extermination team in response in order to raid the East Gorteau kingdom and assassinate Meruem, composed of the Hunters Netero, Morel, Knov, Knuckle, Shoot, Palm, Killua, and Gon; the Chimera Ants Ikalgo and Meleoron join them later on.

Meruem and Komugi playing Gungi

Meruem and Komugi playing Gungi

Nine days prior to the selection, Meruem takes an interest in various board games and gathers various champion-level players to his palace. Simply by reading the rule books, he becomes able to master any game in under ten matches, simultaneously learning from his opponents while disrupting the flow of their playing styles. After defeating the best player in each game, Meruem proceeds to kill them—as they are of no further use to him. The final game Meruem learns is Gungi, a fictional shogi-like board game invented in East Gorteau. The world champion for the game is Komugi, a seemingly dimwitted blind woman. However, as Meruem plays against her he finds himself unable to disrupt her flow; simultaneously, the challenge of playing against Meruem causes Komugi's skills to increase.

Much to the shock of the Royal Guards, Meruem even starts show respect for Komugi and concern for her well-being. In one instance he rips his left arm off as an apology to Komugi for asking her to bet her left arm on a game (to which she replies that she always bets her life instead). In another instance, after watching Komugi's Nen suddenly awaken and realizing she would grow exponentially stronger (but only in terms of Gungi), Meruem begins to understand other forms of strength. He momentarily concludes that the power of "violence" is sovereign and befitting of a ruler and that other abilities are meaningless. Yet moments after, Meruem finds Komugi being attacked by a crow and he cannot help but protect her. Being unable to understand his own emotions towards Komugi leaves Meruem in a contemplative state in which he ponders on the purpose of his existence in the world.

Meruemvs Netero

Meruem vs. Netero

During the Extermination Team's charge into the East Gorteau palace, Komugi is gravely injured by Zeno's Dragon Dive technique—initially a diversionary tactic meant to cause confusion within the palace. Meruem orders Neferpitou to save Komugi's life and then goes with Netero to a military weapons testing site. During his confrontation with Netero, Meruem develops a desire to recreate a world in which everyone would be so equal that the term "equality" would become obsolete. Meruem reveals that he has finally realized that he should use his strength to create a perfect world and save certain humans that are "worth saving," but only a special few. Recognizing that the king is caught in between his Ant instincts and emerging humanity, Netero decides to destroy him quickly but is ultimately no match for his powers and intelligence. Having admitted defeat, Netero commits suicide by detonating the Miniature Rose in his body as a last ditch effort.

Meruem absorbing youpi pouf

Meruem absorbing Menthuthuyoupi and Shaiapouf

Meruem is horribly injured by the bomb but manages to recover after his Guards Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi offer to feed him their own flesh. With this, they win Meruem's unconditional love and trust while he gains their abilities and becomes even stronger.[15] He recovers quickly but loses his memory of recent events due to the explosion and seemingly reverts to his original mentality, losing his humanity. Meruem begins to display Menthuthuyoupi's abilities, as well as Shaiapouf's ability to read emotions, to a higher degree of skill and control. Once he returns to the palace, Meruem uses his "En" to find the remaining members of the Extermination Team—promptly knocking out Knuckle and Meleoron first due to their close proximity. Fearing that the King might regain his humanity once he finds Komugi, Shaiapouf delays Meruem's search by proposing a competition on who could find the remaining intruders fastest (while secretly plotting to erase Komugi's existence).

Meruem brings Knuckle and Meleoron for interrogation

Meruem knocks out both Knuckle and Meleoron

Meruem accepts the engagement on condition that if he wins, he wants to know all of Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi's secrets. After the death of Youpi and finding a Gungi piece, Meruem decides to find them himself. Using his "En" a second time, he finds Welfin and begins to interrogate him. Meruem eventually regains his memories after learning of Komugi's name from Welfin and realizes Shaiapouf's betrayal. With that, Meruem learns to distrust his former ally and tells Welfin that he would like to meet with Gyro and maybe live as a human if was possible. He later finds Palm in the Underground Hanger and persuades her to reveal Komugi's location for him, knowing that the Roses' poison is destroying him quickly from the inside.

Meruem death

Meruem's death

Accepting his mortality despite his great power, he goes off to search for Komugi to enjoy a final game with her.[16] The two spend the remainder of their lives playing Gungi[17], with Meruem failing to win even a single match[18]. He comes to terms with the nature of his existence and they die in each other's arms. Meruem died in peace, not disturbed by foes.[19]

Abilities & Powers

Meruem is by far the most powerful Chimera Ant and is considered to be the most powerful character shown in the series. Even before his absorption of Youpi and Pouf, Meruem is already extremely durable. He easily withstands thousands of attacks launched at him by Netero, one of the most powerful human fighters in the world, without suffering a single scratch. And Netero's Zero Hand, which uses up all of his aura in an intensified blast, could barely give him cuts and bruises. His power also dramatically increased after absorbing Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi, who are two of the strongest Chimera Ants shown thus far.

Immense strength: Meruem's physical strength is inconceivable as he was able to use only one powerful strike with his tail to kill several other Chimera Ants. He was able to shatter a massive wall inside the Queen's nest with only one punch.[20] He also was able to rip off Netero's left arm and right leg easily. He can also rip off his own arm easily. He even injured all three of the Royal Guards with his tail strikes, however they weren't serious injuries (However it should be noted that he didn't use anywhere near his full strength). After absorbing Menthuthuyoupi and Shaiapouf, he could knockout Knuckle and Meleoron with a tap on the shoulder. However, there is a possibility of this being used with Nen.

Netero-x-Meruem-3

The King's speed

Immense speed and reflexes: Meruem can rip off limbs and obliterate entire bodies in less than an instant.[21] He can move at extremely fast speed when fighting Netero, despite Netero landing multiple strikes upon him. Meruem can easily rip of Netero's left arm and right leg in a flash, dodging the attacks of the 100-Guanyin Bodhisattva at the same time. After absorbing Menthuthuyoupi and Shaiapouf, he gained the ability to fly, allowing him to move at super-sonic speed in mere seconds.

MeruemAfterZero

Meruem after Netero's Zero Hand

Immense durability: Meruem is extremely durable as he was able to take thousands of incredibly-powerful super-sonic blows from Netero without suffering even a single scratch. He was also able to take on Netero's most powerful move, the Zero Hand, which launches Netero's entire aura upon his opponent and he only received cuts and bruises. He was able to survive the ultra-powerful explosion of the Old Man's Rose that was released after Netero's death and despite his body being nearly destroyed in the process, however, he was still alive after the fatal attack.[15]

Immense agility: Meruem is able to move from angle to angle deftly.

Immense pain resistance: Meruem was able to survive Netero's Zero Hand while not appearing to be any different in the least, and he ripped his arm off without hesitation.

Genius-level intellect: Meruem has extraordinary intelligence being able to learn and master nearly anything he comes across of, he also uses his intelligence for Gungi in his battle against Netero and eventually succeeds by doing so. Also, seeing as how he epitomizes the meaning of melting pot, his intelligence is far beyond the likes of even the most intellectual humans.

Enhanced perception: The time that he spent when playing gungi with Komugi have greatly bolstered his skills in perception and has gave him supernatural foresight as he can disrupt the flow of his opponents efficiently.

Excellent strategist: He can create quick and effective means to defeat Netero during his intense battle and found a way to elude through Netero's powerful defenses and was able to severely injure Netero in the process.

Proficient in hand-to-hand combat: Meruem relies almost entirely on swift single blows bare-handed, including his deadly tail. He is able to decapitate anything in an instant.

Nen

Throughout the course of the series, Meruem is given several Nen abilities to use at his disposal.

Meruem's Nen abilities
Type: Unknown Aura Synthesis
Meruem's aura synthesis Meruem's initial ability gives him strength through consumption. Meruem's aura grows every time he devours a user of Nen, with their aura synthesizing to his own.[22]
Type: Enhancement Metamorphosis
130 - King's wings After absorbing large parts of Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi, he is able to use Menthuthuyoupi's ability to transform--including gaining wings to fly. This allows him to fly at speed that Shaiapouf considered would take 15 minutes in a mere 5 minutes.
Type: Enhancement and Emission Rage Blast
IMG 1260 After absorbing large parts of Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi, he is able to use Menthuthuyoupi's ability to use "Rage" in a concentrated blast of aura.
Type: Transmutation Photon
Photons After absorbing large parts of Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi, he is able to use and evolve Shaiapouf's ability Spritual Message. This secondary ability allows him to transmute his aura into photons. Each photon maintains his aura, allowing Meruem to measure the shape, quality, emotion, and other informational content about the things the photons interact with, and as stated by Welfin and Shaiapouf, he can know everything, even lies. The precision of the information he can gather depends on the quantity of photons directed at the object of interest. Meruem deploys these photons in his En in a flash, and then is able to instantly go to anything the photons reach.


Quotes

  • (To women begging the king to spare their lives) "Ha-ha these humans are definitely foolish creatures.  Think as hard as those weak brains of yours can manage. Do you humans ever listen to the cries of mercy coming from pigs and cows you slaughter?"[23]
  • (To the Royal guards) "Because of Komugi...I've learned that there are different forms of strength... Even on my way here... I killed a child. That child may have had the talent to surpass me in something... I trampled over that seed. For no reason at all... I trampled over it."
  • (To Netero) "I was born as the King of Ants, the crowning glory of life. All of your kind evolved solely to produce me. I am the culmination of generations of their unhesitating service. You are one of many, and no king. Of course you could never win!! The ecology of the Chimera Ant is focused on the endpoint of all evolution... on me. Humanity, with its messy diversity... its individuals... never had a chance."
  • (To Netero) "I see now... Yes... I see... You had me in checkmate from the start."

Trivia

  • Meruem's name originates from the Arabic مريم, which can be romanized as either Maryam or Meryem, and is equivalent to the English name Mary.
  • Meruem shares traits with the main villains from the Dragon Ball series. Like King Piccolo, Vegeta, & Frieza, Meruem has a royal epithet ("The King") and various beings who are loyal to him. Also like the previous 3, he is not above showing cruelty and delighting in it. More specifically like Vegeta and Frieza, he isn't above killing those who are loyal to him; Meruem's body also vaguely resembles Frieza's with the purple color scheme (namely, the deltoids and shins). Meruem's appearance is also similar to Cell's (in particular his hands, tail & color scheme of green & purple). In addition, Meruem shares the same goals as Cell: initially wanting ultimate power, and then later, wishing to test their abilities & enjoy themselves (though in Meruem's case, he mainly does this through gungi with Komugi. Later, he wishes to rule the world wth varying degrees of power, something which Cell is never interested in); they also both represent the idea of perfection in strength, as they are created to be all-powerful. Finally, like Majin Buu, he is significantly changed from a merciless person to a being capable of compassion because of a person who is greatly weaker than him (in the case of Buu, these people are Bee and Mr. Satan).
  • In Viz's translation of volume 21, the Chimera Ant Queen gives his name as "Meryem." This is amended to "Meruem" in their translation of volume 28. Japanese Hunter x Hunter goods also feature this romanization of his name.
  • Meruem has not used any Nen abilities in his fight against the former strongest Nen user in the world Isaac Netero.

References

  1. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 213
  2. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 213
  3. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 214
  4. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 213
  5. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 213
  6. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 214
  7. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 215
  8. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 212
  9. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 213
  10. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 213
  11. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 213
  12. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 214
  13. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 214
  14. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 217
  15. 15.0 15.1 Hunter × Hunter - Volume 28, Chapter 299
  16. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 30, Chapter 314
  17. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 30, Chapter 317
  18. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 30, Chapter 318
  19. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 30, Chapter 318
  20. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 213
  21. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 214
  22. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 217
  23. Hunter × Hunter - Volume 21, Chapter 217

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Members Chimera Ant QueenMeruemNeferpitouShaiapoufMenthuthuyoupiKite (Chimera Ant)

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