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Hunter x Hunter is filled with many fantastic villains such as Phantom Troupe, Hisoka, etc. However, the one which stands out amongst all is Meruem. He was the most formidable character in the series and had strong Nen abilities.
Meruem is my favorite villain from HxH. His character development is beyond amazing, and he has left a good impact on me. Without further ado, let’s get into the depths of this fascinating character. Meruem is the main antagonist of the Chimera Ant Arc. He is the king of the Chimera Ants, which is why he is mighty and has strength far greater than the previous Chimera Ants.
Bottom Line Up Front
Meruem is the King Chimera Ant. He was born in the last by the Queen after the three Royal Guards. Meruem was born with a strong and healthy body, although he came into the world earlier than expected by the Queen. The Chimera Ants have a huge appetite, and whenever the Queen eats something, her characteristics are adopted by her offspring before birth.
Chimera Ants specifically enjoy eating humans, and the Queen ate many humans with Nen abilities before giving birth to Meruem. This is why he was born with Nen abilities that surpassed even the strongest of Hunters.
Upon his birth, Meruem knew about his role as the king. Hence, instead of tending to his dying mother, he ordered the Chimera Ants to prepare him a feast. He knew they were all supposed to listen to him, and he could take away their lives instantly if they didn’t.
Meruem’s body structure was similar to humans. His body was muscular as he had biceps, triceps, and eight-pack abs. However, his height was relatively short compared to other Chimera Ants.
He had two long antennae falling from his ears to his collarbone. His head had a dark green shell similar to a helmet, with two lines of purple on the sides and dark green on the head’s middle. His face, quarter arms, upper body, and sides of legs were light green. His eyes were purple.
Meruem’s triceps were dark green, and he mostly walked barefooted. He had only four fingers and four toes. Meruem was never seen wearing any clothing or jewelry on his body. His tail was striped with light green and dark green and had a stringer on its end. Meruem’s tail was very powerful, and he often used the stringer as a weapon.
Meruem did not look like an ant nor entirely like a human. His body was inhumanly tough, almost like a hard shell covering his whole body.
A Cruel King
After his birth, Meruem began showing signs of being a cruel leader. Meruem was inconsiderate towards his mother and did not care about her being severely wounded. When a Chimera Ant tried to tend to the Queen rather than listening to Meruem, he instantly decapitated him. All Meruem cared about was himself.
Meruem did not have any sympathy or empathy for humans or even Chimera Ants. He considered himself superior to all other beings. He quickly killed humans because he considered them weak and mediocre.
Although, Meruem did have respect for strong beings. This is shown when Meruem hits Neferpitou with his tail because he feels that she tried to mock him. When Neferpitou survived the attack, Meruem complimented her for being strong.
When Meruem entered the Royal Palace of East Gorteau, he instantly killed the guard with Nen abilities and ate him. However, Meruem’s interaction with the king showed a hint of justice inside him as he was disgusted by the man’s incompetence, although that man called himself the king.
Upon the plea of the female dancers in the palace to let them live, Meruem justified his actions of killing them by saying that humans kill the animals even if they beg for their lives, and so Meruem is doing just the same.
Meruem’s personality significantly began to change when he encountered a sickly, blind girl named Komugi. Although Meruem was an Ant King, he was still half-human, and his personality characteristics were adopted by the multiple humans his mother had consumed.
Since humans have emotions such as sympathy and compassion, these emotions were inside Meruem, too, even though they were suppressed by Meruem’s emotions of pride and narcissism at first.
When Meruem starts playing a board game called Gungi with a professional player, Komugi, he realizes many new things. Meruem sees that Komugi is so weak, yet she is much better than her in Gungi; he realizes that a person may be good in something other than physical strength.
Meruem was very prideful and never thought of him as weaker than anyone else. However, when he makes a bet with Komugi and sees that she has promised to kill herself if she loses, Meruem rips off his arm as respect. Previously, Meruem wouldn’t have even listened to anyone, but Komugi was the first person he listened to for a long time.
Netero and Zeno are surprised to see Meruem holding wounded Komugi and showing so much concern for her. Seeing such compassion of Meruem toward a human is something that Zeno and Netero had never expected. When Netero starts his fight with Meruem, Meruem sits down and insists on talking rather than fighting.
Meruem knew he was capable of defeating Netero. Yet, he instead decided to discuss with Netero developing a fair world. Meruem became a King who valued justice for the world rather than using his powers to battle and makes things work the way he wanted.
Meruem’s desire to know his name shows his human side as he wants to have an identity like humans do. During his fight against Netero, Meruem commends Netero for being so strong and is surprised to see his various strong attacks.
Meruem’s admiration for Netero makes him realize that humans can be exceptional and transcend their limits with training. Meruem, who used to think of humans as mere food, changed his thinking and decided to establish a world where both humans and Ants would exist.
Empathy Towards Humans
When Meruem talks to Welfin, he shows a highly human side of his personality by claiming that what he wants to do is for the benefit of the humans. In such a short amount of time, Meruem realized the unfairness and injustice in our world.
He said to Welfin that there are leaders who fight for territories in this world while children suffer, starve, and die. Meruem despised such people because they had everything for themselves and made others suffer. He wanted to destroy the world’s system and develop a new world with justice.
Meruem used power to crush the weak in the starting days of his life. However, after his interactions with humans, Meruem believed that his powers were for protecting the weak rather than tormenting them.
Meruem used to value only power before, but after meeting Komugi, he enjoyed the most spending time with her playing Gunji. His feelings towards her became so strong that he even bowed in front of Palm, asking her to let him be with Komugi.
Meruem is born earlier than his expected time. When his mother asks him to be patient, he rips her sack and lets himself out, which causes severe injuries to his mother. Meruem demands a feast from the Squadron leader, upon which the Royal Guards offer to take him to the venue for the feast. Meruem dislikes the taste of the meat that he is given.
Neferpitou suggests that he’s referring to the rare meat. Hence, Meruem departs with the Royal Guards searching for the rare meat. On his way, he kills and devours the meat of three people, which he finds distasteful. Meruem then kills and consumes a child’s brain, which he finds to be better than the earlier meat yet says it’s not as good as the rare meat.
Neferpitou suggests that Meruem use his Gyo to detect humans with the immense aura surrounding their bodies, and those people will have good tasting meal. Meruem considers this to be disrespectful and hits her with his tail. Then later commended her for surviving his attack.
Taking Over the Royal Palace
Meruem arrives at the Republic of East Gorteau. Meruem quickly kills the guards at the palace. When Meruem kills and consumes the meat of a soldier using Nen, he is delighted to have good-tasting meat and instantly increases his aura.
Afterward, Meruem enters the throne room and encounters the King of East Gorteau, Ming Jol-ik. Agitated by his weakness, Meruem kills him right away. He then sees the palace’s inner courtyard through the balcony and claims to turn it into a meat orchard for storing humans.
Meruem decides to use Neferpitou’s ability to manipulate Ming’s corpse. East Gorteau’s citizens are ordered to gather within ten days for a three-day-long rally at the capital. This is a Selection process to awaken the Nen abilities of the people and use them as Nen Soldiers and high-quality food.
Afterward, the Unification: world conquest plan is to be implied. However, she starts the plan before the citizens are gathered, and the Royal Guards place the humans in Cocoons.
Meruem begins developing an interest in board games and masters them by reading their books. Meruem defeats multiple national champions within a few days and kills them afterward. Meruem then meets a Gungi champion, Komugi. She is a blind, sickly girl who surprisingly defeats Meruem in the game. Meruem and Komugi play continuously for days and hours, yet she remains undefeated.
No matter what move Meruem tries, he is unable to defeat her. In an attempt to disrupt her concentration, Meruem suggests making a bet that if she wins, he will give her anything, but if she loses, he will take her left arm. Meruem is surprised to hear that Komugi has vowed to kill herself if she loses. In respect, he rips off his arm.
Meruem seems uninterested in the unification process and continues to play Gungi with Komugi and improve. After one of the games, Komugi asks to leave to memorize the game’s moves. While leaving, she asks Meruem’s name to which he is surprised as he does not know his name yet.
Frustrated by his feelings and inability to defeat Komugi, he walks into her room to kill her. However, Komugi is being attacked by birds, and Meruem gets concerned about her wounds and is unable to kill her. Later on, he orders Neterpitou to look after Komugi.
Zeno’s Dragon Drive rains on the palace at midnight, before the selection. Meruem holds Komugi as the attack wounds her. When Neferpitou comes to the king, he requests her to heal Komugi. He then departs with Netero and Zeno to battle against them.
Meruem vs Netero
Meruem and Netero arrive at a testing site for military weapons. Netero is preparing to battle, but Meruem is unwilling to fight. Instead, he claims that he wants to talk things out with Netero again as he does not think of humans as only livestock.
He offers Netero that he is willing to spare him if he surrenders right now as he is very strong. However, Netero decides to start the battle and activates his attack, the 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva, and hits Meruem with the First Hand.
Meruem spits blood but remains unharmed. He sits back down instead of fighting back. Netero attacks again with Third Hand, and Meruem’s temper slightly changes, which causes Netero to increase his distance. Meruem once again sits on the ground. To encourage Meruem to fight, Netero says he will tell him his name if he makes Netero agree to his defeat.
Netero steps forward and initiates the Ninety-Ninth Hand. Meruem is attacked by a series of hand strikes that push him more to the ground, throwing both of them through the ceiling of a grave. Netero again strikes Meruem, and he crashes into a pillar.
Meruem remains unharmed from Netero’s attacks and admires him for his powerful attacks. Quickly, Meruem rushes to cut off Netero’s arm but fails to as Netero reacts before him. Meruem realizes that Netero needs to join his hand to attack, making his moves faster.
Netero strikes Meruem again, but he leaps off a pillar and decides that he must use a simple tactic until he figures out the pattern of Netero’s moves. Meruem finally feels a little pain in his body after being hit by many attacks. Although he still cuts off Netero’s left leg. Netero stops the bleeding by tightly clenching the wound. Meruem claims to severe his left arm next time.
He attacks Netero multiple times, but he prevents himself from being hit by those attacks. Until Meruem finally severs his left arm. Meruem sits down and asks for his name.
However, Netero says he does not need arms to pray and activates Zero Hand. Meruem is then clasped by the two hands of the Guanyin statue, which appeared behind him. Netero uses all of his last aura to produce a beam from his mouth and releases it.
Meruem sustains no internal injuries and walks out of the crater. He acknowledges Netero’s efforts and offers to create a special reserve for humans in the world. Netero says Meruem’s name and tells him not to underestimate humans. Netero turns the battle upside down by surprising Meruem with his next attack.
He pushes two fingers into his heart, and Meruem feels fear and realizes that the battle was over before even starting. The explosion by Poor Man’s Rose takes off before Meruem even gets a chance to escape.
Meruem survives, but he is severely injured and is barely alive. Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi retrieve him and give him their cells to consume, which gives him a full recovery. Meruem develops new powers after consuming their cells. He has wings, and he can use the Rage Blast power that he tests on a rocky formation that easily gets destroyed.
Meruem reaches the palace, and when he sees Knuckle and Meleoron, he instantly knocks them unconscious so he can interrogate them once they are up. Meruem’s memory is fuzzy, and he feels that he cannot remember something important to him. He sees a Gungi board, and his nose begins to bleed, and suddenly he is reported of Menthuthuyoupi’s death.
Meruem interrogates Welfin for Menthuthuyoupi’s death and feels that he has a hatred towards him. Meruem knew Welfin was hiding something. He says he is hungry and looks at Welin. Welfin is desperate to survive and says the word “Komugi .”Meruem is surprised as all his memories return.
Meruem finds out that Komugi is with Palm Siberia and Ikalgo in the underground warehouse. He uses his En ability of Photons and figures out that Palm is hidden in a closet. He also learns about his sickness. Meruem tells Palm that he is not battling anymore. He is about to die and wishes to spend his last moments with Komugi.
Meruem bows down to Palm to let him be with Komugi. She agrees and allows him. Meruem and Komugi set up a Gungi board in Bizeff’s bedroom.
The two begin to play the game, and Meruem tells Komugi his name. Meruem confesses to Komugi that he is poisoned, and it is his last wish to play Gungi with Komugi. He warns her that the poison is contagious, but she continues to play. Meruem becomes blind and asks to rest.
He asks to hold her hand and if she will stay by her side, to which she says that she will never leave him. As his last wish, Meruem asks her to say her name. The two are seen holding their hands even after their deaths.
Superpowers and Abilities
Meruem is only a newborn, yet he is the strongest character in Hunter x Hunter. His body is extremely tough, and his Nen is powerful and a fast learner.
His intellect, mixed with his physical abilities, makes him a formidable opponent. Each Royal Guard is so strong, but the difference between theirs and Meruem’s abilities is huge. Meruem had no previous training or battle experience, nor did he fully know about his powers, yet it took Netero’s strength and even his life to defeat Meruem.
If Meruem had trained and had more knowledge of his powers, it is possible that no one on earth could have been able to defeat him. After Meruem had absorbed the powers of Menthuthuyoupi and Shaiapouf from their bodies, it would have taken a state-level military power to defeat him, as said by Knuckle.
Meruem had unbelievable speed and reflexes. Soon after Meruem was born, he killed two Squadron Leaders with a fast attack that no one could even see him move from their eyes. He would attack and kill anyone in an instant. Even the Royal Guards could not see his fast moves.
The moment Netero and Zeno had let their guard down, Meruem walked past them before they could even move. Netero was only able to exceed the speed of Meruem when he used his ultimate move, the 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva.
By the end of their fight, Meruem and Netero were fighting at their utmost strength, and in a minute, they exchanged more than a thousand blows. Meruem had stood back up after taking more significant than 16 hits per second from Netero.
However, Netero’s fast hand motions had made it unable for Meruem to see his first attack. Thanks to the psychological phenomenon called Spirit Echoes, Meruem could dodge the attack.
On the other hand, Meruem had gained much more speed after absorbing the Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi. In an instant, he grabbed and knocked out Knuckle and Meleron, which made them think that maybe he had teleported.
He was so fast that they did not even get a second to react. Meruem gained flying ability as well, which accelerated his supersonic movement speed.
Meruem was born earlier than expected by punching a hole in the outer layer of the nest and tearing it to jump outside. He had the strength to kill two Squadron Leaders only from a hit by his tail right after his birth. Meruem did not even have to train to develop strength because he already had enough of it to beat even the strongest of opponents.
Meruem was so tough that he did not get injured even after multiple strong attacks by Netero. He quickly pulled out Netero’s right arm and left leg. Meruem used Ren to defend the two hands of Netero’s 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva, an attack that is almost impossible to defend against.
Meruem’s body is durable enough to defend him against many attacks without trying. Netero had attacked Meruem with multiple supersonic attacks, and Meruem stood against them easily. They could have crushed any average body, but Meruem’s body would remain intact even after being hit. These attacks only inflicted minor damage on him until he activated his first Ren.
Meruem took thousands of attacks from Netero, and only after that could he feel minor pain in different parts of his body. After being attacked by Netero’s Zero Hand, his strongest move, Meruem, only had some bruises and cuts on his body.
Netero had to use the Poor Man’s Rose explosion to kill Meruem. That explosion almost damaged his entire body, but Meruem could still survive the attack and come out alive.
Meruem never shows signs of being tired. He constantly played Gungi with professional players but never showed tiredness. Even when Meruem played Gungi constantly for three days with Komugi, he did not seem mentally or physically tired.
During his fight against Netero, Meruem remained calm and did not seem tired or breathless even though he was fighting such a fast and tough battle.
Meruem is freely and quickly able to move from one spot to another. This quality is shown in his fight with Netero, where even after receiving constant attacks every second, Meruem can regain his balance and move around.
Meruem was in the center of the strong explosion of the Poor Man’s Rose. The poison was so strong it could have killed many people instantly. Although Meruem had taken the power of Menthuthuyoupi and Shaiapouf, it is still remarkable that he was able to survive the attack and live for a while afterward.
Excellent Hand to Hand Combat Skills
Meruem mainly relies on his combat skills to fight against his opponents. He is mostly seen using his tail to attack opponents. His tail extends a few meters, and he uses it to quickly hit his targets or pierce through them with the tail’s stinger. If his tail hits someone, it can easily decapitate them.
Meruem has excellent analytical skills. Moreover, he is keen to learn. A few days into his arrival into the world, he already knew how to read. He read multiple books and mastered board games only by reading them. In only his first few games, he defeated three national champions of Gungi.
Gungi, a game similar to chess that requires strategy and critical thinking, Meruem became proficient in it quickly. Meruem can understand the situation and adapt accordingly in only a few seconds. Due to Meruem frequently playing Gungi with Komugi, he developed pattern-recognition skills that served as something similar to foresight.
When Meruem was fighting with Netero, he was constantly trying to see the repeated pattern of his moves that allowed him to defend himself against Netero’s moves and anticipate which of his body part he would cut next. Meruem understood the complex matters in the world very fast only because of his intellectual abilities.
Meruem is a specialist Nen user. His Nen is powerful and unique, so it cannot be classified in one of the five Nen categories, so he’s a specialist. Meruem had consumed many Nen users before being born, so he was born with a superhuman aura.
Meruem’s aura increased much more after his birth because he continued to consume the meat of Nen users. Meruem had received no instructions, yet he knew how to use Gyo. His Ren was so overpowering that it even intimidated Netero. Meruem used his Ren ability to push apart the hands of 100-Type Guanyin Bodhisattva and remain unchanged from the Third Hand. Meruem mastered this defense ability so quickly and efficiently.
When Meruem used En for the first time, it quickly covered the very wide area of palace grounds. Although his En was in a huge area, and it was his first time, Meruem could have such an accurate control over it that he could quickly tell about even the most insignificant changes in the area.
His En can relay information to him by transmuting part of his aura in photos. Meruem did not know of this ability until he used it twice. After discovering this trait, he revolved it into his Nen ability. After absorbing the powers of Menthuthuyoupi and Shaiapouf, Meruem was able to use different Nen variations of their abilities.
Every time Meruem consumes nen user, his aura grows. The aura of the Nen user synthesizes with his aura. It is not confirmed how much meat of the person is to be consumed for Meruem to synthesize his aura with them. However, seeing his previous consumption, it can be said that most of the body needs to be consumed for it. Aura Synthesis is more of Meruem’s Nen ability than a biological characteristic, as suggested by Neferpitou.
Meruem could fire large explosive blasts made of aura from his arm. One Rage Blast had enough carried enough power to inflict severe damage on a vast area.
Meruem created an ability called Spiritual message by combining his En and the power he got from Shaiapouf. Meruem transforms his aura into tiny particles like photons that he deploys using his En by releasing the photons from his body and spreading them throughout the air.
The aura remains in the photons even after they are discharged from Meruem’s body. Using this ability, Meruem can find out the quality, shape, and even the emotions of the things with which the photons interact. This ability is so accurate and specific that it can even tell when someone is lying.
The ability’s accuracy depends on the number of photons that come in contact with the person or object. A short scene shows that Meruem can teleport to the area where the required target who interacted with the photons is present.
However, it is not sure if this is a part of this ability or if Meruem is naturally able to cover the distance in such a short time.
After absorbing the powers of Menthuthuyoupi and Shaiapouf, Meruem can use the transforming abilities of Menthuthuyoupi, which allow him to have wings and fly. Meruem’s ability is more powerful and faster than Menthuthuyoupi and Shaiapouf because he can travel distances in 5 minutes, which would have taken them 15 minutes.
Surprising Facts about Meruem
As said by the Queen, Meruem’s name means “light that illuminates all.” Although the name’s origin is uncertain, Meruem may be derived from the Egyptian word “mry” which means beloved.
Since Meruem is the strongest character in HxH, his stats are very high. In categories of all his skills, Nen, Body, Mind, Skills, and Ingenuity, Meruem received a 5+/5 score. It still has not been revealed how high these scores exactly are.
Meruem’s appearance in the manga is later than his appearance in the anime. In the manga, Meruem’s figure was first shown in Chapter 197, and then he was finally fully shown in Chapter 213. However, in the anime, Meruem was first seen in episode 87, he completely debuted in episode 91.
Meruem’s voice actor for the English dub is Max Mittelman. The same English voice actor for Saitama.
Question: Who is Meruem’s Love Interest?
Answer: Meruem is in love with the World Gungi Champion, Komugi. Komugi is a sickly and blind girl with whom Meruem spends much of his time playing Gungi.
Meruem is in love with her because he is seen concerned for her multiple times and chooses to spend the last moments of his life with her. In the end, Meruem asks her to hold his hand and say his name, which is his dying wish.
Question: Why is Meruem So Strong?
Answer: Meruem’s mother had eaten many humans with Nen abilities which caused him to be born with a tremendous aura. His Nen ability, Aura Synthesis, also allowed him to develop their aura into his own by devouring them.
By doing this, Meruem’s Aura further significantly increases, making him the strongest character in Hunter x Hunter.
Question: Can Gon Beat Meruem?
Answer: Meruem’s aura is much more than Gon’s. His tough body and special Nen abilities are much stronger than Gon’s, so there is no doubt that God cannot beat Meruem.
Question: Can the Three Together Royal Guards Beat Meruem?
Answer: Meruem’s aura far succeeds each of the Royal Guards, and even if they fought against him with good teamwork, their power could not exceed him. Maybe they would give him a good fight considering they have strong Nen abilities. But even their power would not suffice to kill him.
Moreover, Meruem is extremely intelligent, and he understands his Royal Guards and their abilities very well. Hence, he could quickly develop a strategy to take all three down during a battle.
Meruem hxh Guide: Final Conclusion
Meruem’s true Nen abilities were known to him after his battle with Netero. However, if he had consumed Shaiapouf and Menthuthuyoupi earlier, he might have been able to kill Netero before he even got a chance to kill him. Meruem has one of the best character developments in anime.
If Meruem did not die, there is a chance that he even might have become a hero by changing the injustice world into a better, more just world for humans and ants. Meruem’s character is proof that power can be dangerous or the most incredible savior ever, depending on its use.