"When? When did I start waiting for my opponent to make the first move? When, indeed? It became a routine. The loser held out his hands in gratitude for the lesson and I graciously accepted without skipping a beat. As if that was what I wanted!! That's not how it should be!! For so long, I sought the height of perfection. I dreamed of giving my heart and soul to battle an unstoppable adversary!! I'm a lucky man. I'm thankful for everything that led me to this point... that led me to you!!"
Isaac Netero (アイザック＝ネテロ, Aizakku Netero) was the 12th Chairman of the Hunter Association and the Head of the Exam Commission. In his youth, he was extolled as the most powerful Nen user in the world, and retained dreadful strength even in his old age.
Isaac Netero appeared to be a helpless old man, but was surprisingly fit and muscular for his age. He had a ponytail, a thick beard, and stretched earlobes with two piercings in both ears. Netero was commonly seen wearing a traditional man's kimono and pair of geta with one ha (tooth).
During the Chimera Ant arc, he changed his appearance for his upcoming fight with Meruem by trimming his beard, mustache, and ponytail. When in combat, Netero preferred to wear a t-shirt with the Japanese kanji character for the word "heart/mind",「心」(kokoro), printed on the front and track shorts.
Some of his physical characteristics are similar to those of buddhas and their buddharupas in the Buddhist art, like large protruding ears, exaggerated eyebrows that curve upward, half-closed eyes, thin lips and hair bun that points to the top, and even the mustache.
During his expedition in Dark Continent in his youth, he was shown to have long spiky hair.
Netero was energetic, playful to the point of being mischievous, and, at times, seemingly absent minded. Although he seemed to put on a facade of authority when called to intervene as the chairman of the Hunter Association, on all other occasions he proved himself to be so extravagant he was sometimes called insane. There were clear discrepancies between his words and his thoughts during the 287th Hunter Exam. However, he was a true martial artist, who was nothing but earnest during fights. He enjoyed challenges, and was thrilled by the prospect of a formidable enemy. This strange passion affected the way in which he governed the Hunter Association, frequently testing the physical limits of those attempting to become Hunters. Biscuit Krueger even called Netero a "twisted individual", as he often enjoyed giving Hunters he trusted impossible assignments, sometimes with deadlines of only a few months, that should take years to complete. He himself liked challenges, to the point he wanted his Vice Chairman to be someone he just could not get along with.
Netero had dedicated his life to the martial arts and prayer, intended as a form of appreciation. He displayed a great deal of pride when it came to his own abilities and had no respect for the weak. However, he was not arrogant, as he presented the possibility of Gon threatening him without saying the boy would stand no chance against him. His goal in life was to find a worthy adversary against whom he can fight with his all. His strength of mind and selflessness were beyond unwavering, and he did not hesitate to end his own life in a last attempt to kill Meruem.
Despite his tendency to act as he pleased, Netero was not amoral. He banned expeditions to the Dark Continent as a consequence of Hunters trying to imitate him and dying, and in spite of his fondness for challenges, he preferred to avoid fighting both Neferpitou and Meruem, hoping to end the conflict with the fewest casualties. Nonetheless, in certain occasions he prioritized results over sacrifices: he was willing to let as many as five million people die if that ensured the end of the Chimera Ant kingdom.
The circumstances in which Netero became a Hunter and learned Nen are unknown. His proficiency was such that it earned him the title of most powerful Nen user in the world. At some point in his life, he fought Maha Zoldyck, and was the only one until then to live to tell the tale.
Netero was trained in the martial arts and, at the age of 46, he went to train in the mountains. During his time there he showed his gratitude to the martial arts and would do a set of ten thousand punches and prayers daily. On the first day of his training, it took him over eighteen hours to complete ten thousand punches. After completion of the ritual, he would collapse from exhaustion and fall into a deep sleep, only to awaken and repeat the ten thousand punches the next day. This would become Netero's daily routine for the next two years. One day after that time had passed, he realized that although he had completed his ten thousand punches, the sun had not yet set. Two years later, at the age of fifty, Netero had become capable of doing the ritual in under an hour. As a result, he spent the extra time in prayer, a development that led him to enlightenment. Some time later, Netero descended from the mountain, returning to the dojo he had begun his training in, and demonstrated his new strength. His time on the mountain had allowed him the ability to strike faster than the speed of sound, to the astonishment and amazement of his onlookers. Among his audience was the grandmaster of the dojo, who was moved to tears by the raw power and grace brought about by Netero's training. The man broke down at Netero's feet, begging to be trained, and offering the title of Grand Master in his stead. Netero accepted, under the lighthearted condition that he would be brought some food first. The dojo thus began teaching Shingen-ryū kung fu.
After becoming a Hunter, Netero joined the Pure Paladin Squad. He took part in two expeditions to the Dark Continent, one of which was unofficial, and returned alive both times. Two friends of his, Zzigg Zoldyck and Linne Hors-d'oeuvre, joined him for the unofficial expedition. However, the experience left him unsatisfied, as he wished for a strength that would allow him to triumph against his opponents, while there was no victory in the Dark Continent, only survival. After his son Beyond, whose existence he kept secret, embarked on a similar expedition, Isaac ordered him to never venture in the Dark Continent again and convinced V5 to make it a forbidden area even for the Hunter Association to venture in.
Years later, Netero, now in his mid-sixties, sought challengers at his dojo, fighters from places far and wide, determined to defeat him. Each challenger was defeated, but all showed respect.
Eventually, he was elected 12th Chairman of the Hunter Association. At some point, he witnessed Ging Freecss' aptitude at Nen and told Biscuit he was one of the five best Nen users in the world. He also selected Pariston Hill as his Vice Chairman on the grounds that he had a very hard time getting along with him. At some point prior to his last mission, Netero recorded a DVD in which he told the Zodiacs how to proceed should someone claiming to be his son come forward, and entrusted it to Beans.
Hunter Exam arc
Netero first appears during the Second Phase of the 287th Hunter Exam when Satotz calls to tell him that Menchi has lapsed back into her old bad habits again. When Beans asks him what they should do, he replies that he has no other choice and that he will come in person. He then jumps from the airship landing on the ground with tremendous force, without receiving any injuries, making everyone wonder who he is. Netero criticizes Menchi's attitude as an examiner and orders her to have a new test, in which she must participate in. This time Menchi asks them to make boiled Spider Eagle's eggs, which hang on the spider's web between two sides of a ravine. Netero watches as the participants start to take the eggs, impressed that many of them were able to obtain the eggs and make it back up.
A Game at Midnight
As the applicants and examiners board the airship, Netero formally introduces himself as the Chairman of Hunter Exam Selection Committee, followed by Beans who announces that the airship will arrive at their destination at 8 AM. After that short briefing, everyone is allowed to do as they pleased. While Gon and Killua were talking together, he made a little trick to make them feel like they're being watched from the other side of corridor, and then comes from the opposite side. Killua who realizes this giving him a suspicious look. Netero then invites both of them to play a game with the reward is becoming a Hunter directly. They only have to take a ball from Netero. The boys has made their best effort to take the ball, but to no avail. Killua, realizing Netero's skill, says that they have no chance against him, as he does not use his right arm or left leg all this time, and refuses to play any longer. Gon, however, still continues to play until Netero finally uses his right arm, much to the latter's amusement.
After the Third Phase finished, Netero is seen inside the airship with the other examiners talking about the rookies in this year's exam. He is very impressed seeing 6 rookies of 9 applicants are able to pass the Third Phase. Satotz then asks about the Final Phase, since Buhara mentions that Netero haven't told them yet. Netero replies that he intends to have them participate in a rather peculiar fight. He then says that he wants to talk to the 9 remaining applicants first, leaving the other examiner confused.
Netero first interviews Hisoka. He asks him on why do he want to be a Hunter, who he keeps an eye on and who he wants to fight. Hisoka answers all the questions and after he is done, the interview continues until the last applicant. Netero then comes back to where the other examiners are waiting, and shows them the bracket he has made. They are very surprised to see the result and asks the Chairman if he is really serious, to which he replies that he is dead serious.
When they arrive at a hotel owned by Hunters Exam Selection Committee, Netero greets the remaining applicants and shows them the bracket he made which leads into everyone's confusion. He explains that their placement is based on their performance during the exam. After he explains the rules of the battle, they begin the exam's Final Phase. Netero and the other examiners watch in silent from the first until the very last match. When the Final Phase ends, they gathered in a room to have an orientation, until Gon suddenly comes and confronts Illumi. Upon asking Illumi where Killua is, Netero interrupts their conversation to discuss about it. He says that the committee has been discussing the topic about Killua's disqualification, which Kurapika denies by defending Killua. Leorio denies it too by saying that Killua is trying to help him. But Netero does not agree and says that it is only a mere speculation. He returns what has Kurapika and Leorio said, but none of them could deny it anymore. He then clears the situation and asks Beans to continue the orientation.
Heaven's Arena arc
Greed Island arc
Chimera Ant arc
The V5 hire Netero to exterminate the Chimera Ants with any means, implying the Hunter Association will take all the fallout. Due to Pariston's manipulation of the review board, however, he had trouble bringing even Knov and Morel Mackernasey along. The three of them meet a distraught Killua as soon as they reach the border of NGL. Noting his state of agitation, Netero asks him if he his opponent was truly that powerful, then inquires about Gon's condition. He tells Killua it is imperative they act as quickly as possible, with only a few select Hunters to prevent assimilation. Before departing, he gives Killua two halves of two shogi tiles (rook and bishop), inviting him to fight the two assassins they have left in the nearest town for the other pieces if they want to live as Hunters and join them.
When the Chimera Ant nest is in sight, Netero spots Neferpitou and wonders if the Royal Guard is stronger than him, prompting a quick exchange among the three in which the chairman downplays his own strength. When asked if he wants to fight the ant nonetheless, Netero replies that he'd rather not fight at all and only take out the Queen before she can give birth to the King, although Neferpitou's En makes it unlikely. He asks for advice on how to proceed, to which Knov responds Netero had already opted for gradually eroding the enemy's numbers with guerrilla tactics when he chose the two of them. The extermination team soon takes out at least four squadrons of Chimera Ants, and then more by resorting to the same strategy: Morel creates a curtain of smoke and Knov transports the ants to his pocket dimension where Netero takes them out one by one starting from the Squadron Leader, with the added benefit of allowing Netero to recover some of his strength. When it is almost time for Morel's disciples to join them, the Chimera Ants hole themselves up in the nest. Netero begins to suspect it will be impossible to complete the mission without sacrificing someone.
Shortly after the King's birth, Colt reaches the Hunters with a white flag, explaining the new situation to them. The four leave NGL and Netero starts making calls, sending Dr. Lee to aid the Queen. He then cuts off his ponytail and changes into his "heart" T-shirt, asking Colt to compare his aura to the King's. Colt replies Netero will not even get to him, as he will be killed by the Royal Guards first. Netero leaves matters in Morel's hands and heads off to see an old friend. He hires him to pick him up and separate the King from the Royal Guards when the time comes. Around that time, he also records a DVD in which he announces he has quit his position as Chairman and gives instructions for the next election, and has a bomb implanted in his chest, which is programmed so as to go off when his heartbeat stops.
Netero infiltrates East Gorteau on his own and then texts the other members of the extermination team, implying he knows about Gon and Killua. He orders the Hunters to split up in groups of two with each pair luring a Royal Guard away from the King. The plan will commence at midnight sharp on the night before the rally. He proceeds to meditate until then, readying Zero Hand.
On the night of the attack, Netero and Zeno are flown above the palace by Silva Zoldyck. Roughly two minutes before midnight, they jump off the dragon's back, only for Zeno to create one made out of Nen. They are detected by Neferpitou, but as soon as they come in contact with their En, Zeno activates Dragon Dive. Nonetheless, the Royal Guard manages to locate Netero and jumps towards him. They activate Terpsichora, but, in the 0.1 seconds before they can attack, they hear Netero criticize their tactic and elegantly join his hands together. They are then blasted away by Netero's 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva, with Netero stating he'd appreciate it if Neferpitou just let themselves disappear into the distance. After landing, either Zeno or Netero used En to locate the King, and start heading towards him. They remain petrified upon seeing him holding Komugi's grievously injured body, taken aback by the show of affection. When Pitou reaches them and is asked by the King to heal Komugi, Netero motions Zeno not to intervene, and accepts the latter's rebuke, as neither had anticipated Komugi would be there or was prepared for the King's actions. The King suggests they head somewhere else to fight, which, despite it being Netero's plan all along, makes the chairman feels as though the initiative has been taken from him. Zeno and he are startled by the activation of Neferpitou's Doctor Blythe, a moment's distraction during which the King leisurely crosses between them, leading to them realizing the extent of his power. Upon reaching the balcony, Netero spots Gon and points him towards Neferpitou. The King accepts to be taken away, resulting in Zeno activating his Dragon Head and the King and Netero riding it to another location.
The aura dragon dissolves upon reaching an area previously chosen by Netero: a test site for military weapons, so neither of them has to hold back. The King asks why Netero wants to fight despite knowing he'll die. Netero replies he cannot know without trying and tells the King not to judge him by his looks, to which Meruem responds that his first statement was due to the fact he was not underestimating the chairman, and knew he could assess the situation as well as him. The King offers to spare Netero, claiming he has learned there are humans who deserve living as more than livestock, but the chairman answers he is in no condition to accept those terms. The King insists on talking instead of fighting, but Netero, realizing that his target has not yet understood he has to choose between his insect and human sides, and remembering the outcome of the mission will decide the Hunter Association's fate, dismisses the invitation before he starts to second-guess himself, and strikes with First Hand. When the attack, despite being a direct hit, only causes the King to spit some blood, Netero takes note of Meruem's frightening durability. He is surprised when the King invites him to sit down and talk again, and retaliates with Third Hand. However, the King blocks the attack and discharges his anger through Ren, which, despite being only a fraction of his power, causes Netero to double the distance. He feels insulted that his determination was brushed off so casually, and is frustrated the King cannot understand he is in no position to negotiate. Suddenly remembering that the King does not know his own name, he suggests they fight and if the King can make him admit defeat, Netero will reveal it, as one of his underlings had heard it from the Queen before her death. Much to Netero's elation, the King accepts.
Pleased with the formal acceptance of his challenge, Netero takes to the air and activates Ninety-Ninth Hand. As the technique unleashes a barrage of blows on the King, Netero wonders when he started waiting for the opponent to make the first move, and when it became automatic for him to accept the gratitude of a defeated challenger. He vehemently tells himself that is not what he wanted, but that he dreamed to give his heart and soul to battle an unstoppable adversary. The ground caves and the two fighters find themselves in an underground structure, which Netero claims to be a tomb; "Yours", he adds before striking the King again. As the opponent is launched into a pillar, the chairman silently thanks him and the forces that led to their encounter.
The two begin to exchange blows, with Netero repelling the King every time he attempts to get close. When the King pauses to praise him, Netero observes none of his attacks had any effect, adding that he expected as much. The King's accolade however enrages Netero, who resumes his attack. This leads to the King relentlessly attempting to engage Netero in close quarters combat, only to be smacked away, recover, and try again. The chairman notices his opponent is enjoying himself, and admits he is, too. He realizes that the King believes a single mistake or running out of stamina will signal his defeat, but he smiles to himself, saying to himself he is ready to counter with Zero Hand.
Just when the attacks begin to give the King a dull internal ache, he manages to slip through the aura construct's arms and sever Netero's right leg. The King tells him to stop the bleeding and disclose his name, but Netero tightens his leg muscles, closing the wound. His spirit impresses the King, who however declares what happened was inevitable and that Netero will lose his left arm next. As the assault resumes, Netero realizes those are the last moments of his life. This awareness and the adrenaline combined causes him to strike thousands of times in under a minute, at which point one of Netero's attacks fall short and the King chops off his left arm. The King demands to know his name, but Netero, smirking despite the pain, asks him if he thinks he needs two arms to pray. Netero then activates Zero Hand, which causes the aura statue to appear behind the King and to restrain him in its hands before firing all of Netero's remaining aura from its mouth. However, not even that ability manages to injure the King significantly. After the latter shares his self-centered views on evolution and demands the chairman reveal his name again, Netero, whose strength and aura have been drained completely by Zero Hand, chuckles and states he is not alone. He suggests Meruem not underestimate humans, finally disclosing his name. Despite his withered state and vulnerability, Netero manages to strike fear in Meruem's heart, claiming the latter knows nothing about humanity's endless potential for evolution and malice. Netero then pierces his own heart with a finger and detonates the Rose in a last attempt to put an end to Meruem's reign of terror.
Although gruesomely maimed by the bomb, the near-death Meruem is soon revived by Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi. Unbeknownst to the ants, however, the Poor Man's Rose also contained a lethal poison. This poison eventually kills not only Meruem, but Shaiapouf, Menthuthuyoupi, and the innocent civilian Komugi, although, unlike the former three, she willingly chose to submit to the poison in exchange for playing Gungi with Meruem in his final hours.
13th Hunter Chairman Election arc
Before his death, Netero asked that the next chairman of the Hunter Association be decided by an election, with the Zodiacs overseeing and assisting with the process. To win the election and thus become the new chairman, one must receive a majority of the votes (50% or higher) with over 95% Hunter participation. After the election, Morel and Knov used the money they had waged on their past bet to buy a bottle of expensive wine and toast glasses in his office, placing a full one in front of his photo as a form of libation.
Dark Continent Expedition arc
Netero makes a couple of appearances via video recordings shown to the Zodiacs. The first being as a still image used by Emperor Nasubi Hui Guo Rou to help introduce his son Beyond Netero. This comes to a surprise as the Zodiacs believed Isaac Netero did not have any living relatives.The second being Isaac Netero explaining his few ventures to the Dark Continent and how he forbid his son to go back until his death. He informs the Zodiacs that there aren't battles that can be physically won or lost in the "new world": only a harsh losing journey against nature. He wants a group of people to lead a more successful venture than his son in the Dark Continent, but great risk will be sure to follow as he marks this task as an "A" level difficulty. Though not "ordering" the Zodiacs to be this group of people he heavily implies that he thinks they should go as it will be of much benefit to mankind.
Poor Man's Rose: At some point before the palace invasion, Netero had this bomb implanted in his body. It is immensely powerful, severely maiming Meruem and leaving him on the brink of death despite Netero's most powerful abilities barely scratching him at all. In addition, the bomb releases a deadly poison that turns its victims into poisonous agents themselves, leading to a chain reaction of casualties. The chemical was potent enough to kill two weakened Royal Guards and eventually Meruem himself. The bomb was rigged to go off when Netero's heart stopped.
Abilities & Powers
Isaac Netero had the greatest authority in the Hunter Association due to his status as the chairman. In his youth, he was revered as the most powerful Nen user in the world. Although the survival rate of the official expeditions to the Dark Continent is a mere 0.04%, Netero set foot on it twice and returned alive and with no signs of lasting injury both times. with Morel asserting that if Netero cannot defeat an opponent, then no one in the entire Hunter Association can. To this, the chairman objected that in his old age his strength was half what it used to be, putting himself on Morel and Knov's level; however, the sincerity of his statement is dubious, with Knov stating he is prone to exaggerating and that he is still much more powerful than the two of them. Netero displayed incredible strength and stamina for his age, shown when he made a 60-foot free-fall jump from the Judging Committee's blimp without a parachute and landed without incurring any harm. He is also a very powerful hand-to-hand combatant, capable of unleashing punches which far exceed the speed of sound. Furthermore, he is extremely knowledgeable in martial arts, recognizing Killua's Rhythm Echo at a glance.
Furthermore, Netero appears to be capable of hiding his true strength, as even a good judge of strength like Killua reckoned he could kill him during their ball game; however, Hisoka immediately recognized him as a worthy opponent, and one way more interesting than any applicant or examiner. He also has superhuman control over his muscles, as well as the ability to enhance his vision by forming a circle with his index finger and thumb and peeking through it, a skill with which Neferpitou, who was a few kilometers away, appeared to be only meters away from him, demonstrating his superior mastery compared to Hisoka. It is unknown if this technique is achieved with Nen, as the anime implies, or if Netero is merely improving his vision by concentrating.
Immense Strength: Netero has incredible physical strength as he free-fell for 60-feet and landed without incurring any physical harm. When he repeated the same action from a starting height of over 2,000 meters, he still suffered no injury. He was able to slaughter several squadrons of Chimera Ants single-handedly, in spite of the tough exoskeleton that many of them possess, while still warming up. He is able to leap several meters into the air from a standing position. He could easily pierce his own chest to puncture his heart with one finger despite having depleted all his aura and stamina.
Unfathomable Speed and Reflexes: Netero's speed is considered to be among the greatest of any character seen thus far in the series. He was able to run by Gon and Killua with only the latter barely catching sight of him. When Killua praised his speed, Netero stated he was merely "strolling along". During their ball game, he was able to dodge most of their attacks despite standing only on one leg as well as to tire them out quickly. When they were about to catch the ball, Netero beat them to it by covering the meters that separated them in the blink of an eye. It is, however, during the extermination of the Chimera Ants that the full extent of his speed was revealed. He managed to out-speed both Neferpitou and, even more remarkably, Meruem. This is due to Netero being able to deliver punches faster than the speed of sound: his attack against Neferpitou was known to last less than one tenth of a second. Netero's real attack speed however is much higher: by the time he completed his mountain training, he could complete his set of readying his aura, joining his hands in prayer, getting into position and throwing a punch 10,000 times in under an hour, meaning he repeated the cycle nearly 3 times every second. Meruem admitted that the only instance in which he loses to Netero in terms of speed is when the latter executes the motion to activate his 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva. In the last part of their duel, with his senses at their absolute sharpest, Netero launched well over a thousand attacks in under a minute: at the very least, this means that he could carry out his praying motion and strike, while also locating Meruem and selecting the best move to counter him with, more than 16 times per second. That he managed to react to Meruem's movements means Netero's reflexes are on par with his punching speed.
Immense Agility: Netero has an astounding sense of balance, balancing a glass on his toes and landing gracefully from a 60-foot jump while wearing a pair of geta. He was also donning them when he surprised Gon and Killua with his speed. His agility assisted him in dodging or repelling Gon and Killua's attempts to catch the ball during their game despite his using only one leg and one arm until the very end.
Immense Stamina: When Netero was younger, he was able to perform 10,000 punches while using Ren for 18 hours straight, collapsing from exhaustion right after, before re-starting the following morning. When he compressed that time to under an hour, he expended the remaining time by praying. It is unclear if, while training on the mountains, he ate anything at all. Despite being able to pass the first phase of the Hunter Exam with no effort, Gon and Killua started sweating profusely and tiring minutes after starting their ball game with Netero, while the latter was unaffected by the end. He attacked Meruem thousands of times without showing any sign of fatigue, breaking into a sweat only after his opponent severed his leg without his speed being affected. He was able to remain conscious and speak normally even after exhausting his aura, which would normally cause a human to faint instantaneously, and despite the extent of his injuries.
Enhanced Durability: Netero has a very sturdy body. Even when not using Nen, his abdominals are so hard that Gon hurt his head trying to headbutt him in the stomach, and Netero worried that the boy might break his head if he tried to do it again. It was implied that this level of durability was achieved through Netero contracting his muscles, thus without resorting to Ten. His bones are also unbelievably resilient, so much so that a kick from Killua caused the assassin to nearly break his own leg, whereas Netero took the blow without trying to block and still took no damage.
Immense Endurance: With the sole exception of an increase in perspiration, Netero did not appear to be affected by the loss of two limbs. Indeed, it is after the first mutilation occurred that he fought best. His arm being severed one minute after his leg did not prevent him from unleashing his ultimate attack or to talk to Meruem.
Muscle Control: Netero is able to prevent blood-loss from a severed leg by contracting the muscles around the wound. However, he did not do so after losing his arm, possibly because he was about to use Zero Hand, and in fact he was unable to keep the bleeding in check after using the last of his strength.
Genius-Level Intellect: Netero's seemingly nonsensical, whimsical behavior belies an astounding intellect. When preparing to exterminate the Chimera Ants, he had already prepared a way for Gon and Killua to participate before meeting them; indeed, he had already predicted the two of them and Palm Siberia would join the mission. He confirmed it later on when he sent Morel a text that included instructions for the boys, while also using the same words Morel had used to describe him a moment before. Since Palm was not mentioned, it seems he had also predicted she would not take part in the assault. Upon reaching NGL, he implied he had already considered the possibility of Nen users being "assimilated" by the enemy. If Netero has been shown to be able to perfectly anticipate other people's actions, he has, on the contrary, proven time and time again to be completely unpredictable. Zeno Zoldyck described him as having the mind of a plant. In spite of his position, he was able to hide the existence of a son even to the Zodiacs, seemingly with the sole exception of Pariston. However, it is in battle that he shows his full mental prowess: also thanks to his experience, his battle instincts are so honed that Meruem described his selection of offensive moves as "flawless", and specified that it is only through having acquired a pattern-recognition ability similar to foresight that he managed to slip through Netero's attacks.
Master Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Being the grand master of the Shingen-ryū school of kung fu, Netero is a figure of high standing in the world of martial arts. At the age of 46, he had supposedly reached its pinnacle, only for his abilities to improve unexpectedly. When he descended from the mountain, a dojo master relinquished his title upon witnessing his supersonic punch, and from that moment on, Netero defeated countless opponents, including armed ones, but never meeting an adversary he could give his all against. He demonstrated the full extent of his mastery of combat when he exchanged thousands of blows with Meruem, selecting the best possible move in a fraction of a second each time until the King identified and exploited his unconscious bias.
Netero is an extremely powerful practitioner of Nen, holding the title of most powerful Nen master in his prime. Although Morel keeps regarding him as unmatched within the Hunter Association, and Knov acknowledged he is still far more powerful than the two of them, Netero stated that there are at least four or five Nen users who are his equal in his old age or even superior to him, one of which is Ging; however, this does not necessarily mean they are also more powerful than him, and his tendency to downplay his own strength makes the assertion questionable, although Biscuit, who is well aware of Netero's understatements, seemed to believe him.
Despite being an Enhancer, Netero had excellent mastery over Emission and Manipulation, combining them in his most dangerous Hatsu ability. His strongest attack might have also included Transmutation. It is possible Netero used In when attacking Neferpitou, since, despite seeing his movement, the Chimera Ant failed to notice the aura construct. Netero also had an excellent understanding of the influence of conditions on Nen, creating Hatsu abilities that fit his own skills perfectly. He was implied to possess other abilities aside from 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva, which is regarded as his most powerful one.
Netero's polished aura impressed a seasoned Hunters like Morel, who commented that his Ren gave him the impression of being pierced by needles. Zeno listed Netero's extremely quiet aura as one of his strongets points, as it is impossible to read his next move from it. While meditating to prepare his Zero Hand ability, Netero gave off such a strong, frightening aura that Killua, despite being several miles away, could perceive the danger, although only as an omen. Before his "metamorphosis", Netero could maintain his Ren for 18 hours straight while performing his punching routine (possibly with a brief pause after each blow), which vouches for a tremendous amount of aura. Although Colt stated Netero's aura output is incomparable to that of the three Royal Guards, the chairman managed to dispose of Neferpitou in an instant and injure Meruem himself, demonstrating his superior mastery; however, despite holding his own against the King and earning his praise, Netero was eventually defeated without managing to inflict serious injuries.
Netero has also been seen to be a master of "the other Nen". His hostile "Ren" (commonly known as blood-lust) was so powerful that it made Meruem, who managed to defeat the chairman without suffering much damage himself, experience fear for the first time in his life. A much milder version was also aimed at Gon and Killua before their ball game, when he projected his blood-lust at them before dashing between them almost instantaneously. This show of "Ren" was strong enough to put them on edge for a short while, changing the atmosphere completely.
|Netero's Nen Type: Enhancement|
|Type: Emission and Manipulation||100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva (|
|Netero emits a multi-armed Nen construct behind himself which takes the form of a gigantic statue of Guanyin. To execute an attack, Netero clasps his hands together in a fluid motion, as if in prayer, after which one of the arms on the statue strike down upon his target in conjunction with Netero's own hand motion. The procedure is repeated before every attack. Due to Netero’s own immense speed, the whole process can be carried out in far less than 0.1 seconds, up to thousands of times per minute. A single palm strike from the Bodhisattva was enough to push Neferpitou a considerable distance away without the Chimera Ant fully understanding what had happened. The blows of the statue are so fast that they may appear to originate from another dimension, an impression strengthened by the fact that the blow does not come from Netero’s position. The sheer number of arms makes it so the possible combinations are so numerous Meruem regarded them as being practically infinite, and it is only by detecting Netero's unconscious bias for one move over another that he managed to best the ability. Due to this its extreme speed and power, Zeno Zoldyck considers the 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva the chairman’s most dangerous ability.|
|Type: Emission and Manipulation||First Hand (|
|After clasping his hands together, Netero performs a chopping motion, causing the Bodhisattva to strike the target with a chop. When used against Meruem, it caused the King to spit out blood and comment that he could not see the attack coming, creating a deep fissure into the ground.|
|Type: Emission and Manipulation||Third Hand (|
|After clasping his hands together, Netero performs a clapping motion, causing the Bodhisattva to attack the target with a clap, crushing them between two of its hands. However, Meruem came out of the attack unscathed, pushing the palms apart after an instant.|
|Type: Emission and Manipulation||Ninety-Ninth Hand (|
|After clasping his hands together and resting his right ankle on his left calf, Netero joins his thumbs and index fingers together, making a sign with his hands that looks like the number ninety-nine. The Bodhisattva unleashes a barrage of palm strikes with all its arms, resulting in a massively powerful attack that can dig deep into the ground. Netero does not need to "pray" in-betwen blows and instead maintains the pose that started the technique.|
|Type: Emission, Manipulation and Transmutation||Zero Hand (|
|This is Netero's last resort, meant to be used only when he cannot utilize any other of Guanyin's abilities. Netero first prays with all his heart, raising only one hand. The Bodhisattva then appears behind his enemy and tenderly clasps them within its palms. Then, it focuses every last ounce of Netero's aura in its mouth before mercilessly firing it as an enormous flare of unparalleled destructive power. This single attack injured Meruem more than the thousands of palm strikes that preceded it, although the damage was ultimately only superficial. Netero meditated for days in order to prepare this technique. After executing it, he ages rapidly as a result of his aura being completely drained.|
- (To Hunter Exam applicants) "To accept your limits is no shame. You're welcome to take the exam another time."
- (To Killua) "We placed two assassins in the nearest city!! Whether you fight them or not is up to you. However... if you want to live as Hunters, take them down and come find us."
- (To Killua) "We don't need just any help. Only the strong!!"
- (Written to Gon and Killua) "Will you fight or not?"
- (To Morel and Knov) "Not good. That one looks stronger than me."
- (To Morel and Knov) "It's been more than half a century when I was the most powerful Nen master."
- (To Morel) "It would be best if we didn't have to fight at all. Our only target is the Queen."
- (To Morel and Knov) "Keep sending 'em down. I'm getting my groove back."
- "We might not be able to complete this mission without sacrificing someone..."
- (To Colt) "I hear you use Nen. Considering you've seen the King up close... I want you to give me your honest opinion."
- "A challenger at my age? What a thrill!"
- (To the Extermination Team) "Split up in three teams of two and lure the Royal Guards away from the King. Commence at midnight sharp, the night before the rally. From: The old man with satellite ears"
- (To Neferpitou) "I anticipated several offensive and defensive patterns, but that was a bad move, little Ant."
- (To Neferpitou) "I'd appreciate it if you disappeared into the distance."
- (To Meruem) "Don't judge a book by its cover, kid."
- (To Meruem) "That's not a deal I'm in a position to accept."
- "This is quite the situation. He is wavering between ants and humans!! And he hasn't realized yet that he has to choose between them!!"
- "This doesn't really change things. I'd better get it over with before I start to second-guess myself."
- (To Meruem) "We've all got problems, kid."
- (To Meruem) "King. Don't you want to know what your name is?"
- (To a challenger) "Any time. Come on."
- (To Meruem) "This is a grave. Yours."
- "Why, you little... You think you're so far above the rest of us? Smug little insect!!"
- "Just try me. Checkmate me if you can. I'll show you... the Zero Hand."
- "This is it. The last time in my life."
- (To Meruem) "King of ants. You think I need two arms to pray?"
- "What is prayer? It's an action of the heart."
- (To Meruem) "I am not alone. Don't underestimate humans. Meruem!!"
- (To Meruem) "Meruem, king of ants. You have no idea, do you? You know nothing of the bottomless malice within the human heart!!"
- "See you in hell, if there is one."
- (To Beans) "As long as I can pick 'em myself, it'd be boring to have a yes man. I want the Hunter who's the most difficult for me to deal with. That's the kind of right-hand man I want."
- (To the Zodiacs) "I've set foot there just twice when I was young, but the strength required there was not what I sought. I needed an opponent. I sought strength as an individual, with either victory or defeat as an outcome. But in the New World, it was a harsh battle against Mother Nature, where no victor exists."
- (To the Zodiacs) "This is not an order!! Think of it as the fleeting dream of a dead man... I repeat, this is not an order!! I repeat... This is not an order!!"
- In Chapter 344, his name is written as "Aizack Neterro". The Viz's version has the character's regular name in its publication, Isaac Netero, edited over the alternate one.
- 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.
- One of Netero's most memorable quotes reads "I dreamed of giving my heart and soul to battle an unstoppable adversary". In the final moments in his battle with Meruem, he uses Zero Hand, a Hatsu ability that focuses ones entire aura (or soul) into a final attack, completely draining it, and when he died, he did so by thrusting his fingers into his heart, a turn of events that almost exactly matches the quote just given.
- It is unclear if Zero Hand actually entails Transmutation to turn Netero's aura into light, or if the description of the ability was metaphorical. Since Episode 126 of the 2011 anime adaptation appears to have opted for a literal reading, this is the version that is reported on this page.
- Although Netero's 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva is considered his most powerful technique, his natural Nen type (Enhancement) does not seem to contribute to the ability. It is possible, albeit unconfirmed, that Netero uses Enhancement to accelerate his hand motions.
- If so, from the regular Nen types that an Enhancer can use (therefore excluding Specialization Nen) Netero does not use only Conjuration/Materialization in his Hatsu ability; what could have some minimal relation (intentionally or not) with the character's Buddhist-like theme and the concept of detachment from the desire for things present in some religions including Buddhism, although not always literally or exclusively material things but greatly linked to it.
- When he was introduced, Isaac Netero displayed an incredible sense of balance by drinking with a straw from a glass on a plate he was holding up with his foot; when talking to the Zodiacs, his son, Beyond Netero, accomplished a similar feat, keeping a pen standing on its tip without touching it.
Intertextuality and References
- 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva is explicitly based off the figure of Guanyin, a Bodhisattva that is associated with compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists.
- The constant shedding of tears by the Bodhisattva statue could be something representative of the implicit contradiction between the goddess' merciful nature and the violent use of her figure. Aside from some mere illustrative depictions, the only time Guanyin appears not "crying tears of blood" is when Netero performs the Zero Hand—which does not involve a direct or explicit type of violence like the common "strikes".
- Netero's Nen ability is similar to the "Stand" power of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure manga series, in which the user conjures and controls a spiritual being as a means of combat.
- 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva could have been the source of inspiration for Chiriku's anime only technique "Welcoming Approach: Thousand Armed Murder Jutsu" from Naruto, which summons a spiritual Guanyin Bodhisattva that attacks with spirit fists. Later, in the same manga, a similar canon technique ("Sage Art Wood Release: True Several Thousand Hands") was used by Hashirama Senju.
- The Shingen-ryū kung fu style of Netero and the activation of the bomb (Miniature Rose) he was carrying in his body, which was activated piercing his own chest with two fingers, is a reminiscence of the style Hokuto Shinken practiced by the protagonist of Hokuto no Ken, Kenshiro; one of the Hokuto Shinken uses is to explode a person, like the Hokuto Kaikotsu Ken technique—a two-fingered strike which causes the victim's skeleton to explode.
- In Chapter 199, Vishvarupa is seen standing behind Netero. This may be a form of foreshadowing, as his Hatsu ability is based off another multi-armed deity.
- Netero's 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva appears briefly in Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro's Chingiri, a one-shot comedy manga.
- According to the "Hunter × Hunter Manual" section found in the Yu ☆ Yu ☆ Hakusho official character book (Shueisha Jump remix), Isaac Netero's stats are:
|Hunter Exam arc||5/5||5/5||5/5||5/5||4/5||5/5|
|Chimera Ant arc: NGL||5/5||5/5||5/5||5/5||4/5||5/5|
|Chimera Ant arc: Palace Invasion||5/5||5/5||5/5||5/5||5/5||5/5|
Translations around the World
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Arabic||إسحاق نيتيرو ('Iishaq Nytiru)|
|艾札克•尼特罗/艾札克•尼特羅 (Ài zhá kè Ní tè luó)|
or 艾萨克•尼特罗/艾薩克•尼特羅 (Ài sà kè Ní tè luó)
|French||Isaac Netero or Nétéro|
|Greek||Ισαάκ Νέτερο (Isaák Nétero)|
|Russian||Айзек Нетеро (Ayzek Netero or Ajzek Netero)|