Meanwhile, in Meteor City...
Phantom Troupe is a pretty remarkable auxiliary cast, that's for sure. Villains without a doubt, but such utterly fascinating ones - even without the presence of their most fascinating member, Chrollo (who's sadly not a part of this plot twist, apparently, and neither is Hisoka - who's presumably searching for him). Togashi introduces so many truly great characters that you wish they could all find a place in every episode but that's obviously impossible - he's basically ignored half of what looked to be the main characters for over half the series, after all. But I think he sensed an opportunity here that was simply too good to pass up. In a single turn of the pen, he can:
- Show the extent to which the Chimera Ant menace has spread
- Give us an origin story for the Spiders, bringing us at last to their legendary birthplace of Meteor City
- Give several Spiders a chance to show just how damn GAR they are
- Showcase Kalluto Zoldyck, who's been briefly teased as a character in both the "Zoldyck Family" and "Greed Island" arcs but never truly gotten a chance to show off
- Take a breather from the preposterously intense (both in terms of action and emotion) main story and show us something that's undeniably dark, but has less a sense of despair and consequence
sporting his immodest Pharaoh garb), Shalnark, Feitan, Bonolenov, Shizuku and Kalluto (who seems to have grown quite a bit) arrive to help, and find that the Chimera Ants aren't just killing their victims, but turning some into hideously mutated slaves. This is the work of Zazan, who's set up her nest in the ruins of a castle and calls herself the Queen.
Bonolenov, who haven't had much of a chance to do so before. Of him we learn that he's a Bapu warrior, from a tribe who have holes drilled in their bodies at three years old so they turn into human musical instruments, using sound as both a battle hymn and a weapon itself. He's a creepy one, is Bonolenov. We have seen Phinks and Shalnark fight before, but they reveal attacks we haven't yet seen. For Phinks it's the "Ripper Cyclotron", an Enhancer skill where he winds his arm to add strength to his punches (15 times is "more than twice" as much as needed to dispatch a Chimera Ant captain). For Shalnark it's "Autopilot" (clearly an homage to DBZ) - a last resort attack where he uses one of his own needles to control himself to perform a specific task that would normally be beyond his abilities. It's easy to see why he prefers not to use it.
keeps tabs on his fellow Spiders - Phinks has promised that whoever kills the "Queen" first will be temporary leader - and he uses confetti and his "Meandering Dance" (or Serpent's Bite) to slice and dice his opponent. He also flashes us a chilling smile as he finishes off his victim - something we see rarely from the Spiders (Hisoka is an exception though no longer - and arguably never - a member, and Shalnark just smiles all the time). Kalluto is still very much an enigma, but he's already established himself as a scary little man.