With six words spoken on a stage most grand, he dispelled the myths holding humanity in chains, beat down the bureaucratic walls barring the entry, and stole the hearts of millions with a promise.
“I promise to take you there!”
In this era of rapidly obtained information, two fundamental truths stand above all others. Material conditions dictate everything, and Hunter x Hunter is objectively the best story that mankind has had the pleasure of reading. Currently, ToGODshi is predisposed right now composing more genius and we are currently in the middle portion of Hunter x Hunter hiatus were I go a bit nutty. So in order to sate myself let’s have a discussion about my favorite character and how much of the pot he’s stirred in such a short amount of time, Beyond Netero.
Beyond Isaac: Beyond the Limits of Individualism
“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 an unstoppable adversary!” – Isaac Netero
For this post, I’d like to do something a bit different, instead of just writing about Beyond as a person I need to talk about the material around him. As, in large part due to ToGODshi’s excellent writing, there is not much to say about Beyond as a person, but everything around Beyond is what gives him an enigmatic air. Most of all is Beyond’s, father Issac Netero. Because in many ways, and forgive the pun, Beyond Netero is looking to go beyond Netero.
Isaac himself says as much in his final message to the Zodiacs. The strength Isaac sought was that to conquer an indomitable opponent. We need only backtrack just a bit to the Chimera Ant arc, to the final battle of Isaac’s life, to see the clear dichotomy between individual and collective strengths.
Isaac wanted the type of strength to secure an outcome in terms he could accept, that of victory or defeat. Beyond, however, would prove to not be satisfied with victory on such terms. It would be foolish to call Isaac Netero’s path in life an “incorrect” one for turning down a challenge he did not want the strength for. But, knowing Isaac’s ultimate end goal, of only wanting a powerful opponent to test his mettle against nevertheless puts several things into perspective.
A question I found that has never been asked is for what purpose does the Hunter Association actually exist for. We are aware that the Hunter Association is a non-governmental organization that oversees the testing and growth of Hunters. Ultimately, issuing the Hunter License and all the benefits it comes with. However, if we view the actual function of the Association itself its purpose is rather unclear in a traditional sense.
The Hunter Association, as an entity, lacks a large amount of cohesion. It has a harsh (if not often deadly) entry exam, grants a number of international rights that often results in a free pass to do basically whatever a person wants, produces an extraordinary amount of wealthy people (60% of the worlds richest are Hunters), and its members also continue onto be major contributors in the worlds most important fields. On the other side of the coin, Hunters have little to no oversight, many of its members are weak and only learn the basics of Nen, and there is no consistent judgment calls as to what behavior is seen as going too far for a member. An example is a difference in treatment between Binolt, Hisoka and Illumi.
For those that don’t notice these dichotomies at a glance. Hisoka, as we all know, is a battle-sexual Hunter only concerned with enjoying himself through murder and has prompted no response from the Association. If anything he was begrudgingly accepted inside Association walls during the Election arc despite most of the Zodiacs being aware of and hating him. Binolt is a notable Blacklist (Bounty) Hunter and wanted criminal for killing and eating the flesh of random people. Despite him, in fact, Hunting something, thus contributing the Hunter Associations reputation in some form and not just detracted from it like Hisoka, the response to Binolt is inconsistent at best. Branded a criminal, but Hunter license not revoked by Isaac’s own Bylaw. If the Association so chose, Binolt would have been caught within weeks by either Botobai or Mizaistom and the issue dealt with. Then there is the distinguished Illumi, of the family of assassins the Zoldycks. Allowed to kill whoever whenever also under the name of the Hunter Association but only wanted when he caused a disturbance by using his Needles on random civilians during the Election. The very same thing Binolt and Hisoka have arguably been doing this whole time.
Incidentally, the extent of this lack of cohesion and contradiction is the very platform the reformist alliance, the Seiren* Group (translated by Viz as the Pure Paladins Squad), ran on during the Election arc. However, let us drop and return to this topic when we go over the Hunter Association and its current perils in more detail.
We have no way of knowing what the Association was prioritizing in the hundreds of years before Isaac became the 12th Chairman, but we do know he made a rather significant amount of changes. Most notably in the form of the Hunter Bylaws (or Commandments if you watched the anime). It is by looking at these Bylaws that we see a strange consistency arise. The Bylaws have very few hardline rules to them. Beyond the second and third Bylaws, most others come down to value judgments. Netero himself even confirmed that Illumi could not have his revoked even if he killed all the contestants during the hunter exams.
So what is the purpose of having such a grueling entrance exam and giving borderline unchecked benefits to a person that might just use it to murder more people without an end goal? Doubly so when one of the main clients for the Hunter Association is the governmental entity the V5?
If I had to put into just a handful of words, keeping Isaac’s personality into account, I would summarize the Hunter Association as we know it is an “Organization that fosters individual excellence”. The reason for that is the Hunter’s that do go on add something to the collective pool that is humanity achieves great strides in there respective fields, hence the creation and usage of the Star system. It is this core focus of the Association that explains why of all the named Hunter x Hunter characters only two are notable idiots, Cheetu and Camilla.
As any respectable Hunter would understand, too much oversight would only constrict their actions and that results are the ultimate justifier for actions. Keeping with Shonen’s general thematic trend of valuing meritocracy.
There is little arguing about whether or not the Hunter Association gets the results it sets out achieve. It does enough to be an internationally recognized and lauded organization (of course if the Association didn’t basically hold a monopoly on Nen users the story may be different). The question remains though, is the Association as it could be without shifting course to just becoming a school to raise Hunters?
Personally speaking, I think the Hunter Association does rather well for itself considering the conditions in which it must operate. Although I am far removed from critiquing the organization’s general methods. As we’ll get into, the Seiren group was not the only force from with the Association that wishes for reform of the whole. More pressing to cover is the “conditions” that determine all of the Hunter x Hunter world and undercurrent theme that belies ToGODshi’s manga.
That is to say, let’s talk about:
The State of Lake Mobius: The Struggle to Overcome Wealth Inequality
The theme of wealth inequality is by far and away the most frequent connecting thread in Hunter x Hunter. Material conditions like economic factors naturally play a role in everything down to our every action. If you’re not a fan of Determinism I expect you to disagree, but my priority here is not to convince that already don’t believe.
Wealth inequality plays a significant role in the lives of Leorio, Binolt, Gyro, everyone from Meteor City, Meruem who resolved to stamp it out, the various Mafia factions, Razor, Zepile, Monera Prudo and is currently one of the crowning talking points of the Kakin Succession Battle. All of those examples of characters and organizations that are significantly designed around the idea of wealth inequality are just stream of consciousness examples so there is likely more. However, it is safe to say that this wealth inequality is more a common connecting story thread than something you would expect of something out of Shonen Jump like the struggle to maintain ideals in a cold reality or the desire to find romantic love. (Incidentally, romantic love is a surprisingly minimal topic in Hunter x Hunter especially compared to ToGODshi’s prior 3 works, a change I rather appreciate in this long-running epic.) Which makes inequality the most common determiner of most people’s behavior within Lake Mobius. Probably the most depressing and true to life comparison we have to real life to in this series.
For you heartless few who believe that the only true cure to poverty is to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” the question may arise, “Why does this matter?” And it ultimately circles back to the existence of why a something like the Hunter Association needs to exist in the state it does at all. The true sin of wealth inequality (aside from being completely avoidable) is the amount of potential it wastes from human beings. If every human is given access to adequate education and resources, an entirely possible and easy to achieve outcome if world nations actually cared about the plight of its citizens instead of bureaucratic elections, humankind would be filled with all kinds of genius over the globe. And in-universe, this would translate to less failed excursions to the Dark Continent.
So long as Lake Mobius is defined by the crippling heel that is inequality inevitably brought about by a market based economy, their ability to progress is heavily limited. However, what if Lake Mobius decided to shift from a market-based economy to a resource based economy?
This is where the material conditions of Lake Mobius and Earth more or less split with some exceptions. Humans are innately rather greedy creatures. While wealth redistribution is a tangible option in both realities, those in power are unwilling to give up their power, the lap of luxury and privilege they sit in, to help the have nots.
What makes the challenging of the Dark Continent such an important milestone in the history of Lake Mobius is not just the extraordinary existentially challenging nature of the task. It is coupled with the risk vs reward factor such a challenge poses. A rice that contains the secret to living for over 300 years, Nitro Rice (which may or may not be a reference to the Nitro of Toriko, don’t quote me on this). A rock that outputs 20 megawatts of power a day when submerged in water. In layman’s terms that would be 3,280 homes with power for every pebble, the Unmanned Rock. A liquid capable of being a solvent for more things than even water itself, the Trinity Elixir. An unknown herb capable of healing most diseases found in the world. An almost magical herb that lead to it being called the Alchemy Plant, Metallion. To get any one of these resources in significant amounts to regularly be used/reproduced is a monumental find that would alter the course of human history. Freeing up millions of lives to go onto do even greater things.
Now despite the amount of daily ritualistic sacrifices I perform, Hunter x Hunter remains only a fictional story handed down to us from god himself. The question is, does there exist a real-life equivalent to a mythical land with unchecked resources that will immediately solve the Earth poverty issues. Strictly speaking, somewhat in the form of space exploration. The Dark Continent works amazingly well as a metaphor for humanity attempting to overreach beyond its means while billions suffer under the weight of very fixable issues.
If NASA were to lead a mission and find valuable resources on nearby planets we could begin to regularly mine, as for example they do with Helium 3 on the Moon in the Android universe. Then perhaps, the most important thing those astronauts return with would not be the resource itself. Rather it would be returning with hope for humanity.
However, for both deep space exploration and Dark Continent exploration, there are four key things required. The Permission. The Qualifications. The Means. The Contract.
The Permission is one of these four we shall set aside just for a minute here while we talk about the others. As laid out by one of the panels before the setting sail to the Dark Continent. The Hunter Association, which has fostered a significant amount of individual genius minds through its existence, functions as the Qualifications. The Kakin nation looking to make its mark on the world and determine its next king has provided Captain Beyond Netero, with the Means. Lastly, the Gatekeepers of the Dark Continent provide hold the Contract that they will act as the “Guide”.
Through some narrative interpretation, once again setting aside “The Permission” from the list, we can ask ourselves. “Does humanity have the four requirements to challenge our own Dark Continent in space exploration?” The answer to which is on undisputed no. Considering that most of what Earth has for geniuses are pampered billionaires who haven’t really contributed much to the pool while also refusing to give back, we lack both in rather significant numbers and resources both The Qualifications and The Means. Their wealth largely comes from the fact that they hand well off parents and inherited most of what they now have as money begets money and poverty begets poverty statistically speaking.
And while NASA is recently opened its doors (actually it was never closed but don’t tell the President) it is not without staunch hesitation both from its citizens and other nations. In this era where the US economy is expected to tank within one to two more years once the market accepts that the Dollar is an unstable currency and wisens up to the Federal Reserve’s routine tricks to coordinate with other nations to prop up the Dollar as a world currency. When that happens the value of the Dollar will tank sending the USA into a deep Bear Market. In short, The Means are in dire straits. There has also been rising criticism from around the world, given the USA’s policy of imperialistic regime change and wanton abuse of surveillance capitalism to violate personal freedoms, that the USA will use space exploration to strength it’s death grip on other nations with space military operations.
This is the most likely result of a nation lead by an incompetent bureaucratic oligarchy and descending into fascism which leads to friction. “The Contract” is an agreement between 2 parties, and both in this case and that of the Gatekeepers of the Dark Continent it can more or less translate to “ensuring safe passage”. If humanity is to take on great challenges as a whole they must also do so as a whole. No fighting over the spoils and no war over the remains.
At its present state, humanity is wholly unworthy. If Shonen Jump, ToGODshi and Avengers Endgame taught me anything about the human experience, it would be that at minimum, humans are a rather ungrateful lot. And, if there is one thing the Gatekeepers hate, it would be those that lack manners.
The Gatekeepers: Humanities Five Karmic Punishments
As Ging Freecs recounts the risk and reward factors of the Five voyages, he briefly points out a possible theory of why and how the Five Threats came back to the human world. That instead of the Five Threats accidentally making their way into Lake Mobius, the Gatekeeper made Humanity take them as a lesson. An interesting theory with no solid evidence backing at this time. However, having reviewed the incredibly ironic nature of the punishments I will go out on a limb and say that the Five Threats are meant specifically as punishments for the lessons humanity refuses to learn.
Brion the Botanical Weapon: Guards the ruins of North of Lake Mobius where the unknown disease curing herb resides. Given its designation as the “Botanical Weapon” and that it is in the shape of a human with an orb on its head, my speculation is that it would be a commentary on the contradiction of humans wanting to save lives when they produce both nuclear and biological weapons.
Ai the Codependency of Desire: To draw on the work of my better half there is already much representing and showing that Nanika represents the essence of Trans Essence. So I will be linking that. To narrow down Ai to a singular purpose for the sake of this section only. Ai represents human kinds inability to live as the masses of desires they are, while also wishing to gloss over the consequences and responsibilities of such a life where their desires go unchecked. And when the debt becomes too much for them to replay, it is ultimately repaid another way. That would be with blood.
I don’t find the Trinity Elixir particularly relevant to the punishment. But we’ve already had an entire arc revolving around Ai anyway. Perhaps I’m glossing over something.
Pap the Beast That Keeps Humans as Pets: I find there are different ways to interpret Pap. One way is something of a metaphor for slavery where humans keep each other as subservient beings (whether that be in the human trafficking sense or the Marxist exploitation sense is your call but both fit the bill equally). Or in a more Platonic/Epicurean/Confucian sense where humans have ultimately overcomplicated their relatively simple lives and it has brought them less pleasurable. As Yuval Harari would point out in Sapiens and Homo Deus (terrible books don’t read), the Agricultural Revolution was a trap where humans thought they would be gaining more happiness but really resulted in more problems.
Either way, the trade off dynamic of freedom for pleasure is strong in this one and I personally find both strong humor and irony in Pap. When it comes to the readings of Pap I also find that him being located within the same area of the electrical Unmanned Rock strengthen the Marxist reading more than it hurts.
Hellbell the Snake That Inflicts Its Prey with Homicidal Desire: Hellbell’s bite causes the infected to fly into a rage and kill the people around it. I see Hellbell as perhaps the most succinct word of religions most prominent usage on humans. That being providing an excuse to kill other humans. Because of the biblical story of the Garden of Eden we are trained to Associate snakes with not only deception but also Lucifer himself. It comes rather neatly to a head when you take into consideration both that Hellbell resides the longevity food Nitro Rice and Hellbell’s actual name.
Hell = Obviously in the general concept of Hell
Bell (a tool most often used to direct someone’s attention to something) = Lucifer’s name translates directly to “Lightbringer”
Zobae the Immortality Disease: While I can’t think of specific meaning to Zobae being found with Metallion, the references to Alchemy in the plant and the Immortality Disease itself more or less speak for themselves in this case.
Now I spoke in non-absolutes throughout this entire section as I cannot proclaim to know what ToGODshi regularly thinks and plans. I couldn’t even begin to call a winner to the Kakin Succession Battle in any certain terms, much less guess at what themes he has planned far in the future. These are merely best guesses.
The Permission: Beyond Battles to Best the Bureaucracy
When it comes to the misanthropic themes of Yoshihiro ToGODshi’s works one that comes up rather repeatedly is distrust of politicians and mocking of democracy by pointing out all of it’s on a minor and macro level.
As early as the Hunter Exams Arc during the Twisted Tower portion, Tonpa showed the issues that can arise on a small scale using the system of the majority opinion. Fast forwarding to Election Arc and ToGODshi shows us the ins and outs of elections with boil down to average man not caring about who leads the system and the entire thing being a behind the scenes pissing contest for the Zodiacs. Ging and Pariston both managed to completely dictate the outcome of the election by understanding that human beings are truly only skin deep when.
Pariston merely leveraged his position as Vice Chairman, and thus one of the most known and loved, and put on an affable face to gain a large portion of the votes. While Ging managed to prop up Leorio, who didn’t want to enter the running, by leveraging his own status as the most recognizable and hated person by playing the role of a bad person and letting Leorio deck him in the chin.
The Hunter Exams put forth a more common philosophical and straightforward criticism of Direct Democracy. The Hunter Election showcased the masses ability to both be apathetic to the system that will govern their lives as well as showed that they can be roped into giving their vote to anyone if a convincing enough narrative is spun or spectacle performed. The start of the Dark Continent arc puts forth what seems to be in line with the Juche criticism of Social Democracy. Being that it is absurd to wait for the bureaucratic elite, whom hold all the decision making power in the system, to suddenly have a change of heart from their corrupt instincts and actually work for the people. A politician that cares about the well being of the people instead of just reelection or lining his pocket is a true rarity.
All nations of the V5 only formed together after experiencing defeat in the Dark Continent with the knowledge that if they did maintain some internal peace and one of the threats could wander into Lake Mobius and decimate everything. So for all intensive purposes, the V5 is an organization to prevent catastrophe by way of the Dark Continent moreso than an organization dedicated to the peace and well being of its citizens. Peace itself is just a very convenient way to keep things moving smoothly.
This distinction is important when discussing how Beyond Netero obtained “The Permission” between from the V5 to continue his exploration and the way the V5 is choosing to go about the situation. The V5 choose to “accept” Kakin and rebrand as the V6 and “share” the journey when behind the scenes they had been prepared to discuss military intervention in order to stop the expedition. However, they would not in practice truly be supporting the expedition and only wish to share the glory in the event Beyond and Kakin found something. The only concern for them is the ballooning budget they face.
The V5 paid no interest in the 200,00 lives that could be lost if the voyage went sour, only hoping that Kakin knows the depth of tragedy and fall in line. The higher-ups once again only showing interest in the self and not the whole. If my analysis of the Five Threats comes to be confirmed as true that the V5 can be said to not have learned any of the lessons, as to be expected.
If Kakin wanted to explore the Dark Continent why go through the rigamarole of even dealing with all the push back the V5 would have been expected to give just for “The Permission”? In a way, they didn’t. With one sweeping move Beyond, after securing “The Means” from Kakin stole away “The Permission and “The Qualifications” by specifically bypassing the hundreds of hoops the V5 would have made them jump through would have grounded the plan instantly. By opening the journey to the public and deftly controlling media coverage the V5 was forced into a position where they’re the only option was to hire the Hunter Association, who had “captured” Beyond to supervise the journey.
Beyond bypassed the bureaucracy with the power of the people. So to is it in our modern reality. In order to obtain “The Permission” to change the course of our own history, we cannot wait for those would conservative priorities to have a change of heart. It requires like the young pure Prince Halkenburg had to learn, requires person organization and action.
Will the Hunter Association Fight?
My heart truly goes out for Cheadle Yorkshire. After being forced to deal with Paristion during the entire Hunter Election and getting the runaround from Ging she now stands in the 11th hour of the Hunter Association. We’ve delayed this discussion long enough.
The Hunter Association’s myriad of genius was an unmistakable qualification for getting to the Dark Continent that Beyond was not going to pass up on utilizing. Unfortunately for the Association, supervising Beyond may prove to be a contract not work the pay. To understand the danger the Hunter Association faces in its future it helps to break down the threats of this nature into Internal and External.
Multi-Factionalism Within The Zodiacs:
Despite the outward appearance of competency, the air of the Zodiacs portray the group is not of one mind on the direction of Hunter Association. I suppose that in retrospective, given the impetuous nature of Isaac Netero this is to be expected of the man that hired Ging Freecss, Kanzai, and Pariston Hill of all people. As is so often espoused by Shonen, whether it be in the works Yuki Tabata, Hiroyuki Takei, or Yoshihiro ToGODshi himself, the end all be all unifier of differing opinions will be strength. Netero had the strength to unify all of the Zodiacs under his name and get them to play nice. With him gone, however, the splits in their priorities are beginning to take root.
As the ever brilliant tactician Ashin’in of Medaka Box reminds us, “For an organization that doesn’t have an enemy, the only outcome will be implosion.” Which is to say, with nothing holding the various individuals that make up an organization together things go awry. This was supplanted to a degree inside the Election arc with Pariston going full unhinged. But now, the political goals of the Zodiacs play the center stage and can be divided into three sects. Left-wing reformist hawks, Liberal and Apolitical, and the current strongest faction being the Conservatives.
As this post isn’t just for me and must to my general dismay, be read by those that don’t understand the nuances of political shifts in the era that abandons nuance for social media dunks, I must remind people that the Left-Right Overton Window Dynamic is not founded in economic ideals like the various Communism-Socialism-Capitalism. Rather the line is drawn along those that see history as progress and thus change, who become the “Left” and those that don’t and wish for current dynamics to be maintained and thus conserved and become the “Right”, with those Apolitical and Liberal center thinkers generally valuing things like personal agency, peace, and “rationality” as a reactionary result of being split between two opinions, thus the “Centrists”.
The Hunter Association currently maintains stable due to Chedal holding the position of Chairman in addition to having Mizaistom, Botobai, and Ginta forming a group of equal in size to the other two. When it comes to the two exceptions Ging doesn’t fit well into political dynamics as he is forever playing 4D chess. The same goes for Pariston, however, his status as an “Extreme Left Patriot” must be explained more in detail. For now, however, we shall simply place Kurapika into the Apolitical camp as he has no true interest in the ongoings of the Hunter Association and Leorio into the “Apolitical-Leaning Conservative” camp as he is under the direct command of Cheadle.
A Two-Headed Betrayal: Saiyuu and Mizaistom
I can’t say I’m surprised that Beyond managed to implant a mole within the reformist faction of the Hunter Association. Given that the voices of the reformist hawks in the Association have yet to achieve much with Cheadle becoming Chairman and the complete crushing of the Seirin Group during the Election Arc. Is it any real surprise that a mole has arisen in the ranks?
The reveal that Saiyuu is working with Beyond is only known Mizaistom and Kurapika at this present time. While admittedly not much has indeed happened on this front there is far too much it spells out that this will be happening.
The current plan is to arrest Saiyuu upon reaching the Dark Continent. At which point the Zodiacs will reach a critical juncture. The betrayal will not only belong to Saiyuu colluding with Beyond but also to Kurapika and Mizaistom for withholding information from the others and plotting behind what should have been a group effort, even if it was for the greater good of the expedition.
It is hard to predict how a group of geniuses will react but along their political stances and general personalities we can draw some educated guesses.
Upset at the methods but welcome to the results (“This is alright” Group): Cheadle, Ginta, Botobai(potentially leaning more to angry)
Upset at having their personal information violated but ultimately accepting of the results(“You should have told everyone else and have lost my trust”)Group: Gel(?), Pluck, Saccho(?), Pyon
Generally pissed off: Kanzai, Leorio
The question is of if the Zodiac’s will be able to persist after this without debilitating consequences ultimately falls on the head of Cheadle. It is the responsibility of the Chairman to keep everyone one in line and the organization running. Everyone is aware of this most of all at this point Mizaistom whom will have to face the consequences as this was mostly his scheme.
The Strength of Cheadle Yorkshire: The Wrath of the V5
If you’ve been absorbing the information in the post so far it you’d understand that the value of the Hunter License, the ever coveted one of a kind commodities sought after by many, gets most of its value from the international permissions it grants in additions to all of the exclusive amount of work it allows you to gain access to. The Hunter License is effectively the only work resume you will ever need to anything.
For the sake of argumentation, what if the members of the international community decided to have a brain short circuit and revoke many of the exclusive rights the License grants? Perhaps even begin to turn on and slander the Hunter Association itself. Given everything we’ve seen the Hunters in the series do, and given their relative monopoly on Nen, the concept seems insane.
Yet this is the situation Cheadle Yorkshire finds herself in as the 14th Chairman of the Hunter Association.
As previously mentioned the V5 only came together under one modus operandi, no one goes to the Dark Continent. With the V5 in no condition to stop the Kakin voyage, they left its supervision to the Hunter Association, the organization that “captured” Beyond Netero. However, the V5, like any governmental organization, are as greedy as they are cowardly. Despite not contributing much to the expedition minus the reluctant hiring of the Hunter Association they wish to bask in equal amounts of glory as Kakin.
To that end, it falls on the Hunter Association’s shoulders to carry the success of the mission out on the Dark Continent while also having to ensure that Beyond Netero credits his findings to the newly formed V6 instead of form himself and Kakin. Should the Association fail the Wrath of V5 will ultimately end in the devaluing of the Hunter Association.
Even still, without a good idea of how the V5 would exact revenge, these are empty threats. The devaluing of the Hunter License is, in fact, the not worst-case scenario by itself. The only true guarantee of success is a quality product well made, and the Hunter Association has produced a great deal of quality Hunters. It is even debatable to what extent the V5 could devalue the name of the Hunter License and the Association given their world renown reputation.
I feel the true danger the V5 could pose is poaching of the talent of the Hunter Association. The V5 is indeed the best client the Association could ask for and have enjoyed a good relationship up until this point. Hunter’s need missions and much therefor find clients willing to take on them on. If the Hunter Association fails to provide on this promise it is only a matter of time before Hunters begin to defect and eventually leak the secret of Nen to individual nations and break the Hunter Associations monopoly on Nen users within a few decades. And because of the nature of the Hunter Bylaws, they would not be able to revoke a Hunter’s License and take him into custody without dramatic changes to those very Bylaws.
One has to wonder, given that the Hunter Association that had seemed a monolith under Isaac Netero is now being swung around by the selfish whims of Beyond and the V5 if Cheadle Yorkshire has made a grave error in her short time as President. That remains to be seen, this is very much a large amount of Doomsaying on all sides. However, there is at least and unfortunately, one powerful name that thinks the Hunter Association is becoming too dull for its own good.
Pariston: The Patriot with a Point (and an Army)
Pariston is a… quite a few things. However, at this juncture, incorrect may not have been one of them.
Mizaistom labeled Pariston as an “Extreme Left Patriot” in his analysis of the factions within the Association. What he means by that is while he finds Pariston a completely incomprehensible zealot, he at least understands that Pariston acts to reform the Hunter Association out of some fierce loyalty he has to the (perceived) ideology of the late 12th Chairman. And in that analysis, he is not wrong if misunderstanding the emotional component to Pariston’s actions.
Pariston’s analysis that Isaac Netero would have accepted losing the V5 as a client in order to ensure his own agency is a problematic one. One the one hand he may not have been wrong about rejecting the assistance of the V5 and chalking it up to necessary losses for the sake of completing the mission. However, Pariston has a nasty habit of arguing from his emotions and using them as justifications. Given Netero’s general stance of that he only really even wanted strength as an individual, it is hard to say if Netero ever really would have a solid stance on this issue. Ging for one thinks that Netero would have taken the alternative road and indeed gone through the same route as Cheadle as it is the most stable and manageable.
What would Netero have done? No one can say. Personally, I can’t even come to a reasonable answer to a situation like this but I lean towards Ging’s side more than Pariston’s. The reason is that it could be seen that Cheadle is just choosing to manage the risks of the mission in other areas and thus is still fulfilling Netero’s will.
Truly it is a matter of interpretation. At the end of the day, interpretations aside the ironclad truth remain. Pariston is a degenerate. He is also a degenerate with an army of 5000 Nen wielding Chimera Ants. Ging has taken the personal responsibility of keeping Pariston in check and thus far has been successful, will he remain so is another story.
Pariston sees Cheadle’s leadership style as abandoning the very spirit of Isaac Netero. So the question remains, whether be for the stable future of the Association, their own personal pride seeking to prove themselves on the Dark Continent, or to keep the very spirit of Isaac Netero alive, where will the Hunter Association place their priorities ultimately?
So to answer the initial question.
Will the Hunter Association fight?
Beyond Netero: Per Aspera Ad Astra
And finally, we return to the man himself. Beyond Netero in effect is most akin to the Yusuke Urameshi during the Three Kings arc of Yu Yu Hakusho. Placed inside of a world where the factions only hoard power instead of putting it towards a true goal, they cut through the clutter to speak directly to the hearts of men and women in a call to action. For Yusuke, it was a simple rule of law that all demons could abide, “Let the strongest one amongst all of us rule”. For Beyond Netero it was a call that would cut through the malaise and the alienation of society, “I will personally remove any obstacles in the way. Let’s all go to the New World.”
Beyond Netero is a true hero for modern times. Able to circumnavigate this complex world of politics and ambitions and able to speak to the people of the world. So often in stories, they tell you to have hope but with no basis in it. Indeed it is much easier to have hope when in a world of magic where one person can punch down a building or have faith in a man that can swing around a blade twice the size of himself. But in reality, we don’t have access to such convenient resources.
Cunning, honesty, strength, foresight, prudence, simplicity, and a willingness to break meaningless rules that exist just to get in the way are just some of the virtues we can extract from Beyond Netero’s limited time in the manga. What Beyond promised on the grand stage of Kakin is so much more than a chance for the people of Lake Mobius to escape poverty or to come home with a few stories. He offered the people hope for all humanity. That we can set aside the generations-long trend of organizations and great leaders needing opponents to hold everything together and instead we as humanity can band together and accept a challenge worthy of our collective strength.
We still have a large amount of time until Beyond as a passenger and we as readers even step foot on the Dark Continent. As fans, however, we all know the wait is worth it and ToGODshi deserves our patience after so many wonderful things to take away.
So many mysterious away and questions remain in every facet of life. There is only one proper response to them all.
Non-Terrae Plus Ultra