Hunter x Hunter: Who is on the Black Whale?

07 Nov 2020

After finishing the amazing 2011 anime, I’ve been reading the remaining chapters of the Hunter x Hunter manga. There’s a lot of political intrigue, mind games and as always, lots of characters! I found it a bit hard to follow, so I wrote this summary to help untie things in my head.

It goes without saying that this page contains SPOILERS. I tried to recap things in the order they were introduced in the manga, so hopefully you can read through up to where you are currently at. There is no information about anything after the Black Whale departs.

The story begins with the announcement that Kakin will be making a trip to the Dark Continent, lead by Beyond. Beyond is the leader of the Dark Continent Expedition Team (ET), who he has been coordinating for many years in preparation for such a voyage. After Kakin’s political revolution, they became a new nation and so the treaties they signed with the rest of the V5 expired, including the one to not explore the Dark Continent. The Expedition Team used this to convince Kakin to take them there, in return for the acclaim Kakin would earn for the historic achievement.

With the conditions met (Beyond’s public appearance), the Zodiacs are permitted to watch a message from Isaac Netero. This explains the situation and gives the Zodiacs the task of hunting Beyond and disallowing him from freely roaming the DC.

Meanwhile, the V5 discuss limiting the catastrophic danger of exploring the DC. Because they lack the opportunity for direct action, they agree the best course of action is to have Kakin join the V5 (making it V6) and to accompany the voyage to control it. They draw up a contract to be made with the ET:

  1. Kakin must only go to an unexplored “New Continent” within the Far Ocean Boundary, not the real DC
  2. Beyond must be detained for the voyage
  3. The Hunter Association (HA) must chaperone the ET on the DC

At this point, Leorio and Kurapika are recruited as Zodiacs. Leorio is motivated by his passion to Hunt and practice as a doctor. Kurapika is entirely motivated by the presence of 4th Prince Tserrendich, who owns all the remaining Kurta scarlet eyes.

The Hunter Exam then takes place. This is highly modified by the Association to recruit additional support for the expedition. However, they are aware that the ET will try to get their agents through and into the HA to regain control of the expedition, so they rigourously vet the examinees. Passing applicants are either independent and unaffiliated with Kakin (receiving full licenses), or Kakin personnel, who are unrequired to learn Nen and receive Provisional Licenses which expire on arrival at the New Continent. Kakin and the HA are neutral to each others’ motivations, so the Provisional Hunters represent alliance between both parties for mutual benefit.

It is then revealed that some Princes are hiring bodyguards externally. Kurapika hires some ally Hunters to apply, with himself, in order to obtain information and approach Tserrendich. They deduce older Princes will have their own security, so these jobs are for younger princes. Kurapika learns from Queen Oito, his client, that the King of Kakin has declared that of his children, the sole survivor of the voyage will be the next king. With her Prince being an infant, she wishes only for them to survive and escape the fatal responsibilities of their royalty.

The Princes have other bodyguards, and the details of this is expanded on during the voyage. Basically, Princes are only allowed a certain number of security staff. Some of these are assigned by the royal family, and the others are hired privately by the Prince/Queen. Some of the private staff are Provisional Hunters, some are pro Hunters, some are private army. It is worth noting that no pro Hunters were assigned to the Royalty by the Association - they all got there either by the open call advertisements that Kurapika & co. applied by, or by their own direct contracts with Kakin.

So, that pretty much completes the list of everyone initially revealed to be on the Black Whale, along with their motivations!

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