The pinnacle of existence versus the fortitude of one’s mental strength. One made by evolution over time gaining better abilities than his predecessors.
The other forging mental strength by her own over many tedious years. One is an expert in all spheres of life and the other honing their craft to perfection.
Komugi and Meruem seem poles apart as characters from each other in life. Where Meruem was born to be a king, someone born to rule, Komugi comes from a hugely different background. Born blind, Komugi dedicated her whole life to playing a single board game of Gungi.
As Meruem grows up he challenges people to every game of strategy they know so that he can win against them, and that is how they meet each other for the first time. Meruem, who is pretty sure of his victory, is humbled by Komugi.
Game after game, however may the king try, he keeps on losing. This piques the king’s interest. During a scene.
He is about to kill Komugi, but on seeing how helpless she is, he has a change of heart. Meruem begins talking about various things to Komugi as they keep on playing and keeps growing.
Change Of Heart
As Meruem keeps on losing, a very important characteristic, which is to be humble is taught to him. From deciding to end everyone, Meruem grows and experiences humility. He now values life, as each small life, however insignificant, may have something to offer. Meruem, in his defense is just a newborn child.
Though, unrivalled amongst all, he still has a lot to learn. It is like Netero said to him, “You understand nothing.” This is through his interactions with Komugi, that he learns about the value of life, human emotions and most importantly perhaps, gratitude.
Imagine a year old child. You force him to sleep, or do not play his favourite tv show, they throw a tantrum. Now imagine them with an instant kill button. Not many people are left alive. Komugi is the one who teaches the importance of defeat to Meruem.
To realise, to adapt, to grow after facing insurmountable odds, is what life is about. Continuous defeats at the hands of Komugi makes the king realise that not everything can be won so easily through power.
The Impact Of A Relationship
On seeing Komugi hurt, after Netero and Zeno attack, Meruem identifies another emotion that he has never yet experienced. A profound sadness to see someone close to him hurt. He instructs Neferpitou, to heal Komugi and that he is counting on Pitou.
Pitou on seeing the emotions that the king just demonstrated is so moved that tears are drawn from his eyes. The singular thought, even when faced with brilliant foes is not that of defeating them, unlike when King first started challenging people. It is but that of protecting people that matter to him.
Enough has been said about the impact Komugi had on Meruem. But what did Meruem give Komugi in return?
For someone who has always been treated as an absolute good for nothing, who only has one talent to show for, that being her ability to play Gungi, Komugi is treated as an equal by Meruem.
A sign of equality is something any person who has ever been downtrodden craves for. To be shown so by a king is moving for Komugi. She is so scared to talk to the King or even ask him his name.
The fact that she could not call for help when she was being attacked by a bird, just because she might be bothering people early in the morning is saddening in itself.
When the king realises this, he tells her that she is not bothering anyone and that she is important. On hearing this Komugi begins crying uncontrollably, as she claims nobody had ever been this nice to her.
Komugi is treated just how any other person would be before King, and even more so. This mere fact makes Komugi eternally thankful towards the Supreme Leader.
Both Meruem and Komugi, at that point in time needed each other. While one of them severely lacked perspective, the other lacked self-worth. They both complemented each other so well that many people grew worried over this, including the King’s very own guards.
Meruem grew from his animal urges to becoming more human. While Komugi for the first time in her life was cherished. The ending moments that they have together are perhaps some of the most beautiful moments of all the anime I have seen.
With Komugi promising Meruem that she will be with him, right till the very end, while Meruem keeps holding her hand and keeps repeating her name. The first and only friend that the King ever had.
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