Hunter X Hunter‘s most terrifying and detailed arc is the Chimera Ant Arc. An Arc so massive, tense, and haunting that it required a whole Epilogue arc to tie everything up and let the audience go smiling. This arc introduces us to Neferpitou.
Pitou is a Chimera Ant with Cat and human genes that dominate the Hunters on the battlefield when they make their presence known.
In this HxH guide, I will outline everything that makes Neferpitou my favorite antagonist. As well as why they are a pillar point to why the Chimera Ant Arc is one of my favorite story arcs in anime. From their introduction, that changes the entire arc’s tone into something more dire to the moment Gon requires the world’s ultimate hairstyle to manage to take them out.
Neferpitou, Powerhouse of the Chimera Ant Royal Guard
Neferpitou, often called Pitou, is the first member of the Royal Guard to be born. They are also arguably the most powerful member, acting as the primary antagonist for Gon even before The King they serve. From the moment they are born, they turn the tide of the Chimera Ant invasion.
Their tactic, hunger for knowledge, and battle prowess turn the creatures from violent fiends to an army of monsters.
Pitou has an androgynous form with numerous feline features such as curled lips and paws with claws. They have chin-length white hair and a matching tail. Oddly, while they had cat ears, these were blonde rather than white. They wear a blue long-sleeved double-breasted coat with golden buttons.
Their shorts are orange with black pinstripes with matching socks, leaving their knees exposed to allow their leg muscles to expand for a substantial jump.
Pitou generally acts chipper and hyperactive in all matters. Shaiapouf mentions they often get distracted or over-enthusiastic in their pursuit of fun. Being a Chimera Ant gave them both the traits and characteristics of a cat and a human. This leads them to be the member of the Royal guard most driven by curiosity. This leads them to pursue researching Nen’s abilities and the depths of their capability before any of the other Chimera members.
Above all other matters, Neferpitou is loyal to the Chimera Ant King Meruem. They can be cordial and quite pleasant to lesser soldiers such as Colt and Rammot.
However, they can easily take on a more cruel yet chipper personality in favor of expanding the King’s knowledge or territory. Initially, Pitou showed loyalty to the Queen, including helping find a better food source for her.
Pitou is shown to be as bright as they are cunning. Moments after birth, they were seen flipping through books, searching for a human brain diagram, then quickly understanding how to use brain surgery to force these memories. They are seen reading exceptionally fast and committing things to memory instantly.
Pitou also shows the most significant perception of all the Royal Guard by Pouf’s own admission. They can pick out small details over vast distances while also offering a high mastery of the perception improving Nen principle, En.
There are few characters in the series stronger than Neferpitou. All the royal Guard members are classified as the top in genetic perfection under only King Meruem. However, of the three Royal Guard, Pitou is easily the most capable and physically intimidating.
While unable to fly like the other members of the Royal Guard, Pitou can leap significant enough bounds for it to technically classify as flight. In addition, Pitou’s legs are developed to use, as it appears, a mixture of mammal muscles and an insect’s pneumatic limbs to create a piston-powered pair of legs.
In hand-to-hand combat, Pitou is similarly a nightmare on the field. They can take a Meruem-powered blow to the face with only a bit of blood dribbling down their face proving endurance above any other character shown in the series. Pouf gets flung across rooms like a missile when hit with the same tail-slap to put this into perspective.
It takes desperation and a one-in-a-million shot to finally take them down.
Aura Type: Specialist
Neferpitou’s aura is wild and chaotic. Morel states that their En is unpredictable. It stretches out in branches like an amoeba rather than the typical spherical shape.
An entity similar in appearance to a Chimera Ant and a Nurse is formed from the end of Pitou’s Tail. It stays attached to their tail until complete. Then, using Nen, Pitou can reattach entire limbs and repair some of the most extensive damage.
Using this, Pitou was able to repair Kite’s Body to allow it to be possessed. Unfortunately, this did not bring Kite’s soul back to the body, which required the use of their Puppetry ability to control. By their own admission, they only prevented the body from decomposing.
It takes Pitou 2-3 hours to reattach the King’s arm. While using Doctor Blythe, Pitou cannot control their puppets or use En due to the amount of Nen required.
It is unknown just what the scope of Pitou’s Puppetry is. However, they are shown capable of controlling entire battalions of 50 or more at once when allowed to focus entirely on this task. This ability summons a massive entity that lingers behind the victim.
The corpse can be puppeted using its living skills and fighting capability. Pitou can also use their own Nen to further increase the abilities of a chosen fighter.
Pitou is not aware of precisely what their puppets are doing. Instead, only noticing when they are disengaged, otherwise giving them orders they will commit with the same tenacity as Pitou.
Pitou connects the marionette strings of the Puppeteer to themselves, pushing themselves past their limits. This physically enhances Pitou’s physical attributes, making Pitou capable of fighting after death through sheer will and loyalty.
Pitou was born just in time to put Rammot in his place. Moments before they slip from their egg sack, Rammot is mentally going on about grandeur dreams. Rammot assumes he will be able to raise his power through Nen to rise above the King. Then Neferpitou arrives, leaving Rammot stunned in fear, killing this dream rather quickly.
They immediately notice a hunter attempting to hide among corpses that the other ants had missed. As Rammot collects the human, Pokkle, Pitou goes to the books collected by the ants and locates a diagram on the human brain.
After some quick research, they take a pair of antennae from a lesser chimera soldier nearby and use these as surgical tools. Finally, Pitou takes Pokkle and, after removing his scale, forces Pokkle to reveal everything he knows about Nen and Hunter abilities by jabbing at the lobes of his brain.
Through this, they learn to detect what an entity’s Nen Type is. Unlike all the other Chimera Ants, we also know that Pitou was born with Nen abilities. Pitou then gathers the Ants together, having Rammot punch their Nen abilities into working order.
Then, after pondering about the plights of the ordinary, Pitou wanders off, claiming they want to test how strong they are.
They are seen on a cliff face staring down Kite like a hawk, immediately picking up on his presence and location miles away. Then, they springboard off the cliff, soaring over a relatively large valley in a matter of moments, cleanly taking off Pitou’s arm as they land.
Pitou stares down Killua and Gon but makes absolutely no attempts to chase them after Kite demands they run. Pitou is here for Kite. Sadly, we don’t get to see their epic brawl. It was indeed a sight to behold, but just give it a bit. Pitou has plenty of time to shine.
We cut back to the fight to find Pitou the victory. They casually sit with Kite’s decapitated head in their lap, musing on their own strength while pondering how to keep their new collection from rotting. Colt is seen commanding his fellow ants to create a sizeable freezing chamber in which this collection would come to be stored and studied.
Preparation for the King
Pitou is mulling over Kite’s corpse, now frozen in a block of ice in the freezing chamber to keep the body preserved. They mull over the fact they want to relive that ‘dream-like moment’ they consider their battle to be.
Netero spies Pitou sitting on the hive, staring out in the forest as they ponder the Kite situation. Netero judges Pitou to be far more robust than he is. As an ability of Netero’s fellow hunter catches their attention, Neferpitou is approached by another newly born Royal Guard by the name of Shaiapouf.
Pouf tells them they don’t recommend confronting Netero now. The brief conversation leads Pitou back to Kite, feeling more pressed to work out their nen ability.
Suddenly they have an epiphany, “All I need to do is fix him! That’s what I’m gonna make my ability.” Which immediately sparks their creation of Doctor Blythe to quasi-revive Kite. This appears not to be all that is required, as Pitou ends up upgrading to a full lab complete with a new test-tube home for Kite.
These experiments are complete as we see Kite being used to train the lesser Soldiers. Neferpitou sits calmly listening to Pouf’s violin playing while using their evolving Nen abilities to puppet Kite. The final Royal Guard member then breaks through the wall, with only curiosity and excitement being elicited from Pitou.
They inform him that his name is Menthuthuyoupi. They call him Youpi, following the tradition of the Royal Guards, all using only the last half of the names.
All Hail the King
The Royal Guard all sense he is coming. Meruem is here. While the lesser Chimera ants all scramble in awe and horror thanks to the King’s birth causing severe damage to the Queen. Then further horror as Meruem’s tail causes a loss of several Ant’s heads due to the King’s morning tummy rumbles.
Meruem is a bit of a drama-king. Finally, the Royal Guard arrive to calm the King, stating they have already prepared a meal and are dedicated to his every whim. This causes Meruem to follow without a fuss.
As one of the Ant queen’s most loyal subjects, Colt tries to convince Neferpitou to use their abilities to save her. But instead, Pitou calmly and casually tells Colt that the Royal Guard has no interest in the Ant queen. Not even considering her anything more than a ‘disgusting thing’ at this point. They then leave an outraged Colt o that they may tend to their King.
Immediately after this, Pitou tries to offer advice on how to identify ‘rares’ or Nen users. Meruem strikes Pitou across the face with his tail for offering advice he was already privy to and considered low-hanging knowledge.
Unlike every other thing that tail has made contact with, Pitou is left only with a bruise. Though shocked, Pitou quickly and calmly apologizes. Not a speck of offense or outrage is given over the attack; happy to apologize and better serve the King.
Meruem shows stoic respect and admiration for their strength, bluntly admitting he had aimed to take their head with that blow. They continue on their search for Meruem’s new territory.
They soon arrive at the Royal Palace of East Gorteau, where Pitou remarks how the King will assimilate that power into his own after eating a Nen User. As Meruem harshly judges the human King, Pitou advises that such a king has its uses in herding and manipulating the masses. As well as to give the King an endless and subservient supply of livestock.
After Meruem kills the reigning King of the region, Neferpitou offers to use the King’s corpse to control humanity. Meruem accepts this, and Neferpitou immediately goes to work performing the same trick they perfected on Kite.
The King and his royal Guar overlook their newfound territory, dubbing it the Meat Orchard. Where he plans to form a human processing plant.
The Meat Orchard
Using the puppeted corpse of the East Gorteau leader, Diego, a celebration is used to gather all of the citizens of the newly overthrown nation to the Palace without drawing suspicion. The plan, called ‘The Selection,’ tests the citizens by using Nen to strike them.
Those who survived would be collected and turned into Human-Ant Hybrids with a newly ignited ability to use nen. Thanks to how long it will take to mobilize the entire country towards the Palace, this process will take ten days to enact and begin.
As Killua begins to start disrupting the plan, Neferpitou immediately notices that someone is causing damage to their puppets. But, at the same time, they focus on controlling them from the top of the Palace. While frustrated and wanting to pick a fight with this growing problem, Pouf widely suggests that this is all an attempt to draw them out from hiding to act as a diversion. So, instead, Pitou sends Leol and his squad to try and deal with them instead.
Pitou puppets Diego to call for East Gorteau to be placed under martial law. Citizens are to stay indoors and not allow anyone but military officials into their homes. This is under the guise of preventing malcontents from stirring a rebellion. They use their military manipulation to search the resident’s houses to further the Selection. Neferpitou tells Youpi
In response to Pitou’s latest move on the chessboard, Morel surrounds the capital using smoke-based Nen summons to disrupt Neferpitou’s long-range plans. Pitou sends Cheetu and Leol to try and take him. After fielding this situation for a moment, Pitou checks in with Pouf.
Pouf starts to show his concerns over the King’s current fascination with playing games of strategy. Specifically, he continues to lose against the World Gungi champion. Meruem’s distraction worries Pouf, but it also appears to make him jealous. Pitou, however, seems unconcerned. Merely happy, the King seems enriched by this.
In a rare sign of grace, Meruem removed his own arm for the disgrace of turning his match with Komugi into a bet. Pitou is quickly summoned by a frantic Pouf, but only after Komugi demands he allow himself to be healed. They proceed to fix the King using Doctor Blythe. They got a specialty in fixing arms.
As Pitou requires a large portion of Nen and Focus, Pouf volunteers to take Pitou’s place as Palace lookout.
Up to now, Meruem has not questioned what his name was. However, Komugi asking for it leads to the royal guard being called to ask them. As none of them know what the Queen named him, Neferpitou suggests that Meruem picks a name that is pleasing to his own ear. So, he chooses King.
As the Royal Guard meet among themselves, they agree that Komugi is changing the King. Pouf and Youpi believe they should kill her should this be an issue. However, Pitou doesn’t seem concerned. Later on, after Komugi is attacked by a bird, Pitou admits to Meruem that they did not assist, thanks to it proving any threat to the King himself. Meruem updates her orders to include the protection of Komjui, which Pitou accepts without question.
Pitou’s instincts and hunches allow them to be the first notice Isaac Netero and Zeno Zoldyck arrive. Not able to sense them but confident they are there, Pitou sends their En up to examine them, and the sight excites Pitou, though they are on their guard and ready to protect their King. Finding Netero, Neferpitou tries to get the jump on him only to get immediately blasted away.
Pitou has to make use of Doctor Blythe’s anchored condition to be able to stop themselves. They can see Zoldyck’s attack raining down on the Palace as they fall. They concentrate their En on the Palace, with the only concern being the safety of the King.
Unable to fly and stuck high up in the air, Pitou is forced to watch the invasion from afar and wait to land. Pitou used the time to assess the situation and locate the King using En. Seeing Netero had discovered and was rushing for the King, Pitou curled up in the air to allow themself to run for the Palace the moment they landed.
Pitou can immediately tell something is wrong from how angry and distraught the King is. The crumbling Palace had managed to gravely injure Komuji. Much to the King’s immense displeasure.
The King gently and carefully brings the injured girl to Pitou. In a caring show of humanity in Meruem, he states he is counting on Pitou to heal her in a gentle voice.
This faith in them moves Pitou to tears, and of course, they get right to work as Meruem turns to deal with Netero and Zeno, who has respectfully waited for this matter to be dealt with. They leave Pitou to use Doctor Blythe on Komuji. As they do, Netero points Gon to his target.
That’s right, the protagonist of the series has finally arrived. Filled with rage and a blinking need for vengeance, Gon faced Pitou as they worked on Komuji. But, particularly to the surprise of Killua, Pitou doesn’t raise their guard. Furthermore, they refuse to stop working on Komuji, which makes them vulnerable to attack.
The pair are thrown off when, panicking that they won’t be able to complete the King’s order, kneels down, facing the pair with their arms down and palms up. A sign that they will bring no harm. Even enraged, Gon has sense enough to notice this is odd.
As Pitou explains, because Komugi is important, they will do anything to save her. Gon, still hurt from the loss of Kite, nearly lets his emotions force him to stop Komugi’s healing. Until Killua can talk sense into him. That is almost not enough until Pitou quickly and pointedly breaks their own arm. They don’t need it for doctor Blythe, their only current objective.
Gon has a minor breakdown over this; however, eventually, he relents once Killua reminds him that without Pitou, Kite may never be fixed. Pitou estimates it will take 3 to four hours. He gives them one hour and no more. Pitou has to spend the rest of the time with Gon watching their back like a hawk during surgery, focusing only on Komugi’s most critical injuries thanks to this deadline.
This proves helpful to Pitou’s mission. Shaiapouf during this time, has become obsessed with how Komugi is causing Meruem to change. So he gets the bright idea to try and kill Komugi while she is weak. Something Gon takes issue with but never stops watching Pitou’s back in wait to murder them.
Knuckle’s interception allows Pitou and Gon to continue waiting through to their deadline. Not without some of the most brutally delivered lines, Gon has said. To this point. Just wait until we make Gon’s deadline. Which, thanks to Pouf’s involvement, was slashed by 10 minutes. Gon further moves up the deadline as he tells Pitou that they’re done when Komugi’s wounds are repaired. With her care left in Killua’s hands, Pitou and Gon head off to Kite.
On the way to see Kite, Pitou uses their sharp hearing to listen to a call in their pocket while walking. This proves to be a trick by Pouf.
With no fear that Komugi will be in danger once Gon learns the truth, and in honor of Gon respecting their wishes to be left to heal the girl, he informs him that Kite is dead. There is no fixing that with Doctor Blythe. Gons takes a moment to process this traumatic truth.
Pitou takes this opportunity to fix their arm. Gon mistakenly believes this to be to help Kite. Pitou politely tells him they have to kill Gon for the King’s safety. This emotional whiplash breaks Gon to surprisingly transformative results. Using Nen to compress his own life, he forces himself to grow to an age where he can defeat Neferpitou.
Using all the potential he will ever have drug into this one moment, Gon promises Neferpitou that they will die.
Pitou becomes more concerned with Gon’s current power having the potential to rival the King. So they activate Terpsichora with the condition to push their body beyond every limit they have. Including death itself.This does nothing against Gon.
He kicks Pitou up to line them up like a pitcher and strikes Pitou into a tree. Then, mad beyond reason, he repeatedly smashed a dead Pitou’s head in until nothing was left.
If not for Pitou’s Terpsichora, this would be the end. Possessed by their own puppet, Pitou’s corpse rises for one final go. Killua pushes Gon away in time to save him, but at the loss of Gon’s arm.
Unphased, Gon sends Pitou flying with another punch, ensuring his lost arm doesn’t feel left out by using it to stake the undead Pitou to the ground.
Knowing this isn’t enough to end the reign of the Royal Guard’s proudest member, Gon finished the battle by using his signature move using the bleeding stump of the same arm. Powered up as he is, it takes out the area in a massive blast.
There is no one Pitou is more loyal to than the King. They will follow Meruem’s orders without fail, but not blindly. Pitou respects the King enough to want to see him succeed in his goal of world domination. As such, Pitou’s Knowledge is Meruem’s knowledge. Meruem seems to see Pitou’s advice above others, thanks to both the respect their power gave him and the consistency of their knowledge’s accuracy.
In fact, as time goes on, Meruem seems to show Pitou the most amount of leeway. For example, when Komugi is attacked, he accepts Pitou’s reason for not helping without backlash and merely updates their orders to include them.
The Royal Guard
All three members of the Royal Guard show respect for one another. They will matter-of-factly state each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Still, They will always classify the King above themselves in all matters. The Royal Guard works like a cohesive unit, planning and working together based on their strengths while taking note of each other’s weaknesses to balance each other out.
Initially, Pitou did not seem to care one way or the other about Komuji. They noticed her causing Meruem to change but didn’t seem particularly vexed by this. However, once Meruem updates their orders to include their protection, Pitou will risk their own life to protect and heal the King’s favorite gamer.
They admit to Gon that they believe Komugi made Meruem who he is today and will do anything to keep that evolution and happiness going. Pitou doesn’t know the specifics nor care. Komugi is vital to their King, so Komgui is essential to them all. No matter what Pouf monologues about. Its Pouf.
- Pitou will often replace like-sounding words or syllables with ‘nyah’ or ‘meow’ sounds. As they have cate ears in an anime, it is a requirement by the Nyan-lords.
- Netero, the 12th chairman himself, measures Pitou to be stronger than him. Colt later confirms this when Netero shows off his full power and asks Colt to compare. Colt, without hesitation, says he is likely to be killed by the Royal Guard before laying a finger on the King.
- Unlike other Chimera Ants, the Royal Guard are incapable of using telepathy. So Pitou uses cell phones to communicate with their officers.
“I’m sure that whatever your feelings are on the matter, they greatly out-weight my own. If I may make a suggestion….”
- Pitou to Meruem. ep 108, 2011 HxH.
“This girl is precious to someone I care about. More than you could possibly know. Cause of her, The King became who he is today. If she ceases to exist… The King will cease to be who he is.”
- Pitou to Gon, in reference to Komugi. Ep 116, 2011 HxH
Question: Is Neferpitou’s gender ever revealed?
Answer: Neferpitou’s gender is ambiguous. While Chimera ants only reproduce through a Queen, the Chimera ants born from mammals take on both physical traits and pronouns. While they lack reproductive organs, Neferpitou is still a unique case. Gender-neutral and androgynous characters often appear in shonen.
To put it simply, the sources on Neferpitou’s gender are muddled and mixed. As many writings on Pitou’s gender do, I will use they/their pronouns. They might be a murderer, but they deserve their preferred pronouns.
Question: Is Nefepitou a cat in Hunter x Hunter?
Answer: No, though there ARE feline genes in Neferpitou. A Chimera Ant Queen will take genes from creatures it consumes and passes them on to its future generations. Pitou, as a Royal Guard, is the cream of this crop. The Queen, in this case, made Pitou’s genetics a prominent mix of feline and human.
Question: Why do you consider the Chimera Ant Arc one of the best Arcs in Anime?
Answer: The Chimera Ant Arc feels like the complete shonen horror package to me. The Chimera Ants are uniquely terrifying creatures whose evolution from simple ants to tactical powerhouses we get to witness throughout the 61-episode arc. The horror is spiced just right. Not too much of it, not too little. This arc is one of the finest foreign species invasions in pop culture. Thanks to how well they balance the players and just how powerful antagonists like Neferpitou and Meruem prove to be.
Neferpitou hxh Guide: Conclusion
Neferpitou represents the sacrifice and sorrows the Chimera Ants bring to the world. Most distressingly, they show no guilt nor fear towards this goal. Their loyalty and love for the King are unmatched, and even with all they have taken from Gon and Killua, I can’t help but relate and feel for them.
Where their loyalty to the King and inspiring tenacity is to be noted; as an antagonist, they shine. A hero is only defined by the villain they must face. There is only one antagonist on this planet that even hopes to compare to the power of Pitou. Sadly for the state of the world, that same entity is the mighty King Meruem.
Let us hope the manga’s continued adventures in the Dark Continent don’t unveil a monster that makes us wish for their return.