Killua character analysis

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Killua Zoldyck: Character Analysis

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“People only find me interesting because they can't tell whether I'm serious or not.”

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I think at this point, one thing’s pretty obvious: I love Killua. I’ve always wanted to do a character analysis, it’s something new. And why not start with one of my favorite characters? Especially today, it would be the perfect day to post something all about Killua. Why? Well-

Happy birthday Killua!

Most HxH fans know that today(or June 15th but I couldn’t post this then) is Killua’s birthday! Anyone who knows me knows that I love Killua, so why not make a blog dedicated to him? I also plan to do this with other characters, so look forward to that!

To celebrate Killua’s birthday, I wanted to do a complete analysis & review of his character. I find his character very interesting, and he’s definitely a great character. Now, this is my first time so I don’t exactly know how to do this. I still want to try, so I hope it’s ok! So yeah, let’s begin!

Warning! Minor spoilers

Note: I’m using the Killua from both the 1999 version AND the 2011 version, 1999 version is better but I really like the animation of the 2011 version.


Table of Contents

I. About Killua

II. Personality

III. Character Design

IV. Character Development

V. His Backstory

VI. Friendship & Love

VII. Conclusion


About Killua

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Basic Information

Name: Killua Zoldyck

Anime: Hunter x Hunter

Alias: Kill

Age: 12

Birthday: July 7th

Gender: Male

Height: 5’2

Weight: 45 kg

Blood Type: A

Eye Color: Blue

Hair Color: Silver

Affiliation: Hunter Association

Occupation: Hunter

Previous Occupation: Assassin

Status: Alive

Nen Type: Transmutation

Killua Zoldyck is the second protagonist of HunterxHunter. Killua is a 12-year-old boy with silver hair and blue eyes. Killua was introduced as a cheerful and mischievous character. However, he can also be rude, violent, and bloodthirsty. Despite this, Killua is very kind and loyal to the one's he loves, and he will go as far as risking his life for them. He would do absolutely anything without hesitation for them. Killua is also very quick-witted and can analyze a situation with ease. He is extremely smart and mature despite his age. Killua is mature both mentally and emotionally because of all the events he went through. His biggest flaw is the fact that he fears anyone who seems stronger and he always underestimates himself. Eventually, he gets over these two things through the many challenges he and his best friend went through. He was born in the Zoldyck family, which is a family of assassins. Because of this, his family put him through intense training and he became a pro assassin. Out of boredom, he did the hunter exam, which is where he met his best friend, Gon. They go through many adventures together, which leads to many crazy events.



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Killua has a very strange mix of personalities. He has the mind of an adult, but the attitude of a child. To most people, Killua appears very rude and cold. To close friends, Killua can appear kind and fun. As I said in the beginning, Killua can also be violent and bloodthirsty. He can also act, well, like a 12-year-old. That’s because he is one, and he has the childish attitude most of the time, especially around his friends. However, Killua is also very mature both mentally and emotionally. Another important trait is his overwhelming loyalty toward his friends. Killua is willing to do anything for his friends, even risking his own life. Of course, the point of this blog is to analyze Killua’s character bit by bit. So, let’s start with the very beginning: his childhood. Killua has a very rough childhood because he was a member of the Zoldyck Family. For this, I totally forgive him for being rude. In our current society, what that family did to him for training would definitely be child abuse. Living in a corrupted household, it’s only natural Killua would be rude and skeptical at first glance. Even if his rudeness appears as a simple part of his character, when you think about it this trait could mean a lot to others suffering from parental abuse. Those who live in a corrupted family come out corrupted, it’s only natural. However, this rude nature of Killua soon changed after he tried out the hunter exam. Why? Killua met Gon at the hunter exam. This meeting started one of the best friendships in anime history. Gon is a very friendly, kind, and supportive type of person. Almost the opposite of Killua. Opposites in friendships usually seems bad, however in this case it was good. Both Gon and Killua became so much different because they met eachother. Meeting eachother both effected their minds and even their lives. However, we’ll save this part for later. I do want to discuss how Gon affect Killua’s personality, because there’s a major difference. Due to a horrible childhood, Killua was quite rude. After meeting Gon, Killua wasn’t rude at all. In fact, he became extremely kind and grateful. Thanks because Gon showed him what friendship really is, and that there is reason to continue living life. After Gon showed Killua this, his personality changed to somewhat that of an angel. Killua swore to do anything for his friends, and he would always stay with them, no matter what. During the Chimera ant arc, Gon fell into an insane state. He went crazy due to Pitou murdering Kite, Who Gon looked up to. This made Killua distress, and even have multiple mental breakdowns. The mental state of Killua is another thing I want to talk about. Killua’s very smart, which is good but it also means he could easily realize the bad things in life. I’ve noticed that out of all the characters of he show, Killua cried the most. He cried at least four times, and I’ll be honest, I cried with him all those times. I could really feel the emotion through Killua, which is why I think that Killua is the most human character of the show. Somehow he was even relatable. In Killua’s case, crying isn’t a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. For someone like Killua to cry, you could tell he really cares. Everything he cried in the anime was either because of Gon or Alluka. Killua obviously really cares about Gon, and is willing to trade his life for it. After the end of the Chimera ant arc, Gon’s body was completely destroyed, and he would of died if Killua didn’t risk his life to bring Alluka to save Gon. These events really show what friendship can do to a person. This isn’t just a cliche “friendship is magic” scenario. I believe HxH displayed friendship much better than most animes, it showed how and why it could change a person. Humans are funny creatures because if they way other people can effect their lives and attitude. Killua’s personality is really interesting because of this fact. His personality became nearly opposite of what it used to be. He was able to mature and learn things because of Gon.

Overall, I absolutely love Killua’s personality. One of my favorite parts of the show was the character development(which I’ll talk about later), and Killua definitely had good character development on his personality. I loved watching it form from rude to super sweet. I can’t forget, I also love Killua’s personality because they’re just main traits I look for in characters. Surprisingly, Killua could actually be seen as a realistic character, sometimes even a relatable character. I really love him for this, and in my opinion Killua’s personality is one of the best parts of this character. The personalities of the characters made the show 100% more loveable!


Character Design

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Character design is definitely one of the most important parts of a character. I mean, without a character design the character wouldn’t exist in the first place. Of course we are going to have to discuss his design too, Killua’s design is also something I love about him and I think it fits his character. Of course, he’s also adorable. Character designs usually fit with their personality and attitude as a whole. Killua appears with white-silver hair and blue eyes. He usually wears a blue sweater with a t-shirt and shorts. This attire goes along with Killua’s childish demeanor. Killua is usually underestimated because of his age, but later he shows those people what he really is. I find his character design interesting because of other character’s first impression of him. They would never think that he is an assassin, but eventually I love how he decided to go against his family and live his own life. I believe his overall design is perfect, including his personality design and his affect of the plot. Killua’s personality was designed perfectly to fit enough room for character development. I loved how he started off very rude, but ended off so caring and loyal. Killua was strong at first, and usually those characters can be boring to watch because they never improve. Despite this, Killua improved by a ton and was extremely enjoyable to watch. To me, Killua’s mental improvement was the most interesting. He seemed the most humane, which was the part of his design I loved the most. Killua had a bad mental state, but trough many events it improved. His personality design was perfect for this.

Every part of Killua’s character design is perfect to me. In my opinion, Togashi created a perfect character. Not only is his appearance adorable, but his personality design also fits him and the plot perfectly. Character design is something very important for any anime, but it’s also very difficult to pull off. However, Killua’s design was perfect.


Character Development

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Like I said before, one of my favorite parts of HunterxHunter is the character development. Both Gon and Killua got so far in this anime. Compared to what they started as, it honestly amazes me. At the beginning of the series, Killua was very rude and knew nothing about being a good friend. Meeting Gon changed him drastically. During the Hunter exam, Killua failed because of his older brother. Killua has a fear of people stronger than him, which results in him running away in many fights. In some fights, Killua doesn’t give it his all because he underestimated himself. If you think you can’t do something, you probably can’t, but if you believe you definitely can. This show told us multiple times that believing always helps. Killua never did this, he underestimated himself, he was easily scared, and he was rude. These traits summarize Killua’s bad side. These are also the traits that were eventually removes by the end of the series. In the manga, Killua still has room to improve too. As I was saying, it was Illumi’s fault Killua failed the exam. Illumi planted a needle in Killua’s mind, which was his main cause of fear. After the hunter exam, this needle was still in his head. If you’ve seen the anime, it’s obvious that Killua literally pulled the needle out of his head during one of the fights. It took a few arcs, but during the Chimera ant arc he pulled the needle out during a fight. This fight was because he was protecting Gon, which is probably why he was able to do so. This fight was a key point in Killua’s mind, because he finally freed himself from Illumi’s grasp. This removed both the fear from stronger opponents and the bad thoughts he had about himself. Another key thing that changed was his attitude. Killua was very rude, but after meeting Gon he became very caring and loyal. I believe this is the affect of friendship. From personal experiences, I know friendship can do many things. Killua’s situation made this even more obvious. Living in a family of pro-assassins, Killua has no friends. His family thought that friendships were just ‘useless distractions.’ However, Silva told Killua to never abandon his friends, which made Killua decide to spend the rest of his life with Gon. He didn’t want to become an assassin, despite being in a family of pro-assassins, because of Gon. After becoming friends with Gon, he saw light in the world. Seeing this made Killua realize how to properly treat a friend, and he risked his life many times for Gon, as Gon did the same. Killua swore to do anything to help Gon, and he put Gon’s life and happiness over his all the time. At the beginning of the series, Killua didn’t even know what having a friend meant. Also, we can’t forget the physical character development of both Killua and Gon. At the end of the series, they became so strong and achieved their goals!

Killua’s character development is really amazing! I loved how the friendship between Gon an Killua affected their development so much. Character development is one of the most important parts of a character, and Togashi definitely pulled this part of perfectly.


His Backstory

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The enjoyability of a character greatly depends on their backstory, current story, and position in the plot. Once again, Togashi pulled the plot and charter stories off perfectly. All the characters have interesting backstories, especially the ones that are later introduced in the story. It’s always very interesting to analyze a characters backstory. Let’s start at the very beginning, when Killua was born his family already expected him to become an assassin. Killua said himself that it sucks to have your life planned out for you. This is what happened to Killua, his whole family already planned his life out for him. They trained home day and night every day to become an assassin. I would say the Zoldyck Family tortures all their children just so they can become assassins. Killua went through very hard training in a very corrupted family, which is bound to mess you up in the future. I believe Killua’s childhood is the exact reason he had difficulties in his future life, but it’s also the reason he was able to appreciate things more. If Killua were to live a normal life, he wouldn’t have treated Gon the same way. At least that’s what I think, Gon had a semi-good childhood, which may be why he didn’t treat Killua at first like how Killua treated him. Most likely, Killua’s worst fear may be losing Gon. This may be because of traumatic experiences as a child. I also can’t forget to mention his affect on the plot. Obviously he plays a large role, Killua is one of the main characters. His main role of the plot was being Gon’s best friend. Both of them helped eachother a ton, which pretty much forms the plot. The theme of this anime is probably “friendship is magic.” Once again, Togashi did a splendid job displaying this theme.

I find Killua’s story very interesting, but also very heartbreaking. Even if it’s their job, I would definitely treat the way Killua was treated as child abuse. Also, having your life planned out for you is a lot worse then is sounds. I’m very happy Killua could get over it and become friends with Gon. Obviously Killua is a very important character, and I love the way he affected the plot.


Friendship & Love

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Hunter x Hunter taught me many things, and Killua played a large part in this. I’m mainly talking about friendship. Killua became not only an amazing friend but also an amazing sibling through meeting Gon. I always wanted to analyze the friendship between Gon and Killua because I’ve always believed it was the best friendship in anime history. As I said many times, Gon and Killua changed eachother very much. They each played a large role in eachother‘s lives, and I find that so sweet. At first, it appeared as them simply talking to eachother. However, after the hunter exam the friendship became much more. Killua said that the one thing he wanted was to be friends’s with Gon. After Gon heard this and the horrible things that had happened, he told Killua that they were already friends, and even hurt Illumi because if Killua. After that, they spent every day with eachother. I believe that without eachother they would’ve never gotten as far as they did today. I don’t know what would’ve happened if they didn’t meet eachother. I have a theory that they both would’ve been dead. This is a very depressing theory, however, it’s just how things work. Killua and Hon saves eachother multiple times, both mentally and physically. It’s obvious Killua has had a very difficult life, which most likely damaged his mind and the way he thinks. Having a friend is a prime source for happiness, and Killua needed that. So, if thy never met it’s likely Killua would’ve killed himself. Gon could’ve been reckless because Killua wouldn’t be there to stop him. Sure, Gon does have multiple friends, but he also is extremely close to Killua only. If he never met Killua, he wouldn’t care about someone freaking out about him dying as much. Despite having Kurapika, Leorio, and Aunt Mito, the friendship between Gon and Killua is the most important. So, there is a possibility Gon would’ve gotten in an accident and die. Overall, I believe this is how important this friendship is. It’s as important as their own lives. This friendship isn’t only important, but it’s also very meaningful, and anyone friend should try to be like them. Killua has taught me o be an even better and grateful friend, because the fact that he risked his life multiple times for Gon is really important. Killua treats Gon perfectly, as a friend. They have fun, laugh, fight, and go through everything together. However, when the time comes Killua treats Gon like his god. Killua even looks up to Gon, and because of the small things like he Killua is able to communicate with Gon even when Gon is in his most critical state. In the Chimera ant arc, Gon was very angry and even got mad at Killua because Killua couldn’t relate to his relationship with Kite. However, the two of them were still true friends, so Killua helped Gon as much as he could. I find this really amazing, and it taught me the lesson to never abandon your friends, even when they’re mad at you. Killua taught us that you should always treat your friends good, because they are a very important part of your life. When your friend is in trouble, no matter what the cause, you should help them.

Something else that spiked my attention was the relationship between Killua and Alluka. Alluka’s story is truly twisted an tragic, but despite Alluka was despised and hated by everyone, Killua swore he would save her. And that he did. Once again, Killua risked his life just for Alluka/Nanika. At first, he was only trying o save Alluka, but he realized the moral thing to do was to save both of them. Nanika seemed evil, but Killua still loved her. To Killua, Alluka and Nanika were the same person, and his sibling. The rest of the Zoldyck don’t any treat her as part of the family. Killua’s main purpose of rescuing Alluka was to save Gon, but in the end he even wanted to completely free her. Killua really is an amazing brother because he did so much for Alluka and Nanika. Manila’s powers are something that anyone would fear, but Killua doesn’t because they share a true brother-sister bond. Even if Alluka/Nanika didn’t come in until later, she still largely affected Killua and Gon, without her Gon wouldn’t be alive.

The friendship and love of Killua is my favorite part of him. The way he learns form it and the way it turns him into an amazing person really amazes me. Killua has strong morals because of the friendship he went through. People like this are the good people, even if they can sometimes be rash. There’s a difference between good people and bad people, good people can learn right from wrong and will put themselves before others. Bad people won’t learn. Killua taught me this, he also taught me how to be a good friend and sibling.



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In conclusion, I believe Killua is an excellent character with very unique traits. The character development was excellent and brilliantly portrayed. His personality was also very interested, and I loved how it changed because of his amazing friendship with Gon. Killua’s character design was perfect too, and the few flaws he had were eventually fixed. His backstory added to his character and gave him good reason for the way he acted. In my opinion, the friendship between Gon and Killua is one of the best friendships in anime history. Killua taught us lessons because we saw him go through them himself. Being a good friend, sibling, and person is what Killua showed me, and it’s what made him so loveable and enjoyable. Killua’s overall morality as a human also interest me, he cried the most in the show, but he also learned the most. Overall, Killua is an amazing character and person. It’s hard for me to find anything wrong with his character, which is why I would rate him 10/10.


And with that, my analysis is over. Make sure to wish Killua a happy birthday! Also,to add to this blog, Hunter x Hunter has been announced to go off hiatus in March!

So, I hope you enjoyed the blog! As you can tell, I love Killua, but don’t worry. I don’t have an obsession to the point of buying body pillows. I think of it more as dedication. At least now you know why I love him so much. Anyways, have a nice day!


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Suzu's Blog — Killua Zoldyck: the all-time best boy

Since (hopefully) I’ll be posting this on Killua Zoldyck’s birthday (July 7th), this feels like as good a time as any to actually talk about why the white-haired little shit of an assassin is my favorite anime character of all time. Sure, I have plenty of characters that I’m obsessed with, tons and tons that I would die for, write fanfictions about, reblog fan art of, read fanfictions about, cry over, etc. But none of them come close to matching what I feel for a select few characters, my top 10 list, which has changed slightly over the years. However, the top 5 have yet to change. As much as the last five have shuffled over recent years, with a special shoutout going to Ray from The Promised Neverland, who managed to knock Reg from Made in Abyss out of the top 10 and climb all the way to number 6, the top 5 have remained exactly the same.

And Killua Zoldyck has remained squarely at number one ever since I watched  Hunter x Hunter (2011) back at the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016. Back when I was the same age as him and lacked a lot of the same social skills and friends that Killua’s upbringing stole from him. Back when I saw a character who could deal with most any problem effortlessly and thought to myself, ‘I want to be like that.’ 

A long time ago, I wrote about Izuku Midoriya. I wrote about why I loved Izuku Midoriya after only two episodes of My Hero Academia, about how he was a character who I both related to and aspired to be like. And that is exactly how I felt about Killua at the very beginning of Hunter x Hunter. He was a character who was fun to be around, fun to watch, bounced off the other characters with so much charisma, charm, and grace that he was mesmerizing to behold. I wanted to be like him. To be able to see a person my age and simply say, ‘hey! Let’s be friends!’ 

But, as the show continued, we learned more about Killua’s life. His inability to maintain a relationship because it was simply something that wasn’t taught to him. His family’s disapproval of his kindness and compassion for other human beings. And Killua climbed down from his pedestal. He went from a bouncy, fun, terrifying little assassin child who could do no wrong to an actual,,, person. There really isn’t any other way to describe the way that Hunter x Hunter portrays its characters. Even those who are murderers, villains, literally human-eating ants, feel entirely, inarguably human. And Killua was the first to become so. And the way the show humanized him, portraying him as someone who we see as perfect, charismatic, charming, social, as someone who just wants a friend, just wants to be a normal kid and have fun adventures with someone who wants him around just resonated with me.

All of this is just in the first 26 episodes. Killua just continues getting better and better from here. His arc is about finally getting what he’s wanted all these years, a friend, fun adventures with said friend, and to, just a little bit, be normal. Okay, maybe not normal. But a little bit more normal than he was before he met Gon. And he loves every second of it. He’s just overjoyed to actually have a friend, to be going on fun adventures with his friend, even if they’re constantly in life-threatening situations and doing absolutely insane nonsense, Killua is having an absolute blast.

And then the ants come.

While the Chimera Ant Arc is not my personal favorite arc of the series (that honor going to the Yorknew City Arc), I have no words to describe the raw… emotion that most of the arc manages to invoke in those who watch it. From Meruem’s entire brilliant character arc to Gon’s all-encompassing mental breakdown, every character is given something to set them apart from the time they had before this brutal experience.

Killua learns that his brother was right.

He learns that, no matter how much you care about someone, how much time you’ve spent with them, how much you’ve been through together, how much you’ve done for them, people will still hurt you. Having friends still means that sometimes people will put themselves before you. They’ll leave, sometimes, and maybe they come back, like Gon did, but maybe they don’t. Killua learns that what his brother said about friends abandoning you is right, sometimes. He ends the show away from Kurapika, away from Leorio, and away from Gon.

But, of course, that isn’t all that he learns. 

Killua learns that sometimes people are worth it. He learns that sometimes when you love someone enough, when you care about someone enough, getting hurt for them is okay. Getting hurt for their sake can be worth it. He learns that friendships aren’t meant to be conflict-free and perfect, and he learns to handle it. He learns that you can’t give up on people, you can’t leave them behind, and that you can’t simply run away.

Killua has been taught all his life to run away when you can’t win. But Gon doesn’t do that. Ever. He stands his ground and fights. And Killua learns to do that in his very own way. When Gon needs him, when his entire family stands in the way of what Killua wants for himself, for Gon, and for his baby sister, he doesn’t run away. He doesn’t give up, even though he knows that it’s more than likely that he won’t succeed. He stands strong, he doesn’t run away, and he takes what he needs to claim his victory.

He saves Gon. Because, despite the pain that Gon has put him through recently, despite how angry he is with him, despite everything, he knows that Gon would do the same for him. 

Killua Zoldyck ends Hunter x Hunter (2011) a strong, compassionate, caring, and loving person. He sheds much of his more callous nature, though never sheds the sly humor and bouncy confidence he’s had since the beginning. He changes from a little kid who doesn’t know the first thing about having friends, to a real human being, fully grown and capable of caring for his little sister the same way he was never cared for. 

Killua Zoldyck begins Hunter x Hunter (2011) as an inexperienced young kid with the world ahead of him. He ends Hunter x Hunter (2011) as a slightly older kid who has experienced more than most adults will in their entire lives, and Killua Zoldyck grows up. He grows up into a healthy, functional human being. He puts his abusive family behind him, saves his little sister from the same situation, and he moves on with his life while keeping the things that are most important to him.

And that is a very long-winded way of saying that Killua Zoldyck is one of the most lovable and relatable characters in all of anime. And that is why he has stayed at the very top of my list of favorite anime characters for as long as he has. 

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After a brief “hiatus x hiatus” from the “What’s in a Character” series, I now return with the second anime character to be included in said series- Killua Zoldyck from Hunter x Hunter. If you read the review on the 2011 anime, watched the show in general (or the ’99 version), or read the HxH manga, it’s readily apparent that Killua certainly deserves an analysis of his own. And…he’s also my favorite character in animation, so that doesn’t hurt his case either. At any rate, he’s arguably the best developed character in a show that’s full of them.

(SPOILERS AHEAD. Major parts of Hunter x Hunter will be discussed here, so turn away if you don’t want to see them!)

For a long time, I’ve been pondering how to do justice to the incredible character and development that is and defines Killua Zoldyck from Hunter x Hunter. I really didn’t want to do just a straight chronological journey through the show, lest it turned into simply a recap summary, and I also wanted to emphasize his fundamental traits that stayed the same and yet changed over the course of the show. So, we’ll start with the most fundamental aspect of Killua over the series that in turn defines the rest of his traits and fuels his character development- his friendship with Gon.

As I wrote about in the Hunter x Hunter review, Gon and Killua share one of the best bonds of friendship in any show…largely because it has a very organic, natural way of developing in the framework of the story. To start with, there’s a natural impetus in place for such a relationship to develop in the Hunter Exam- both boys had never known anyone else their age as a friend: Gon lived on sparsely populated Whale Island, nowhere near or around other children; and Killua’s life had been the brutal upbringing of an assassin; taught and indoctrinated in the ways of the family business; there was a desire for friendship (which was shown briefly in a flashback of Canary’s in The x Zoldyck x Family), but not really a means for doing so under the vigilant eyes of his family, particularly his brother Illumi. Add in the fact that the duo are by far the youngest applicants at the Exam, and the basic framework is there to start building something special…but that alone wouldn’t be enough.

Killua’s journey is part and parcel with this friendship. He’s a level-headed, more logical and savvier-about-the-world foil to Gon’s unbridled enthusiasm and recklessness, but it’s also a symbiotic relationship. In many ways, the boys’ paths are the same and divergent simultaneously. Both share a goal to travel and get stronger. To that end, they spurn each other on to greater heights, and nowhere was this more evident than on Greed Island (as a sort of joyful, yet dangerous training ground), and far more somberly with their struggles in the Chimera Ant arc, evidenced by their struggles against Knuckle and Shoot, and later, the perfection of their hatsu, or special Nen ability. Individually though, Killua’s goal stood on finding his own path- something deviated off the track of the Zoldyck clan’s long sordid history of assassination- and while he promises to tag along in finding Gon’s dad, the elusive Ging Freeccs, the journey with his best friend really makes him evolve…and nowhere is that more evident than his courage and determination.

A major focus on Killua’s character is his spirit- which is to say, his resilience and ability to take on tasks and opponents that he could neither clearly beat or even was at a disadvantage against. While he displayed the confidence and ease in which he could dispatch an over-matched opponent in his first fight of the series (against Johannes), he was both naively arrogant and weak-willed when push came to shove in the final stage of the Exam, dismissing Pokkle but unable to stand up to Illumi. But it’s more than that- Killua reveals that all he wants is “for Gon to be my friend!” without realizing that it’s a) not something he needs to ask for and b) that Gon already considered him his best friend at that point. When Killua’s spirit melts at this point, he kills Botero in cold blood- without Gon there and an uncertain despair that overtook him, he defaulted to the only thing he’d known in his sad young life, and departed for home, certain that he had no will of his own.


The Zoldyck Family arc makes it quickly known why exactly Killua doesn’t like the place where he grew up- the inside of the house is more akin to a medieval castle decked out with a modern security system of the highest degree, complete with torture room; it’s isolated, being atop a mountain, and because of the numerous safeguards and obstacles that separate outsiders from the family, starting with the Testing Gate, it’s also easy to see why he had no friends until he met Gon, assassins’ training and duties aside.  But the arc also reveals more in depth Killua’s other massive insecurity- the weight of being the family heir, something he was not entirely interested in. What meeting Gon did was actually give Killua true hope for the first time that he’d be able to follow his own path, and not necessarily the way of the assassin as the family trade dictated. When word reached him that his friend had actually come to Kukuroo Mountain, his despair ebbed away, replaced by a desire and excitement to see him. Compounded with his surprising meeting with his father Silva (in the picture), he made a blood vow “to always protect his friends,” and was free to choose his path…with some family stipulations of course.

Unbeknownst to him, Illumi had planted a needle in his forehead prior to the events of the series by his Nen abilities. Due to his brother’s abilities as a Manipulator, it explained why Killua’s weak self-will during the Hunter Exam directly compounded the level of control Illumi’s influence had over him- looking more for self-preservation than anything else. When the needle is disposed of in his emotional battle against the Chimera Ant Rammot, Killua is able to rid himself of it, not just because he sensed it, but because he’d grown as a person. This growth was facilitated by the bond and shared experience of traveling with Gon, from their early travels to Heavens Arena, to assisting Kurapika in his quest against the Phantom Troupe (an endeavor Killua initially does not want anything to do with, but follows Gon’s lead), their training on Greed Island, where Biscuit Kreuger greatly strengthens them, and up through their disastrous trip into NGL with Kite, an event that severely affected Gon’s mental state and showcased a sort of concern from Killua towards a friend that would have been unprecedented when he first met Gon; at the time he was visibly surprised that Gon would help Leorio out in the first stage of the Hunter Exam by carrying his briefcase and refusing to leave him behind, not perhaps understanding the spirit of human resilience yet considering his own state…


Killua’s unlikely encounter with Ikalgo also demonstrated major ways in which he’d changed. As an enemy combatant, Ikalgo would have been straightaway killed if this was Hunter Exam Killua, operating under the standard practices of the family business. However, Killua’s humanity grew with his spirit. The octopus Ant was saved from certain death at the jaws of his ex-allies by the young Hunter (who could have easily killed his adversary)…and as a result of his actions, Ikalgo had a change of heart and wound up saving the subject of this article after the world’s most dangerous game of darts. Trust therefore, came with an ability to open up to potential allies, starting with Gon and continuing onwards.

When Killua unveils his ultimate hatsu technique- Godspeed, on Youpi, a Chimera Ant Royal Guard who was far stronger than himself, it is a sobering reminder of how much his spirit and skills had grown. It’s true that Killua was a prodigy- able to learn combat skills and perfect them at a far quicker rate than normal; and that his brutal upbringing gave him an advantage in other ways, but it was his journey with Gon that allowed him to find his own unique attributes…and stare down opponents that weren’t a sure-fire victory. It’s true that the removal of the needle was key, but Killua continued to grow from that point…his reasons for fighting ultimately transitioned to be very selfless by the end of the series, as he fought to protect those he cared about without question- chiefly Gon, and then Alluka.


While all the above served as an analysis of Killua’s character progression, he’s just a superbly crafted individual by fictional standards. I love how he has a playful, mischievous side that can come out just as easily as his ingrained killer instinct; that he has a friendship that is not only organic, but unfolds naturally as a key part of his development and of the storyline itself, and that despite being a prodigy in his enormously skilled (and twisted) family, he’s a flawed individual with much room to grow. At the end of the series, he’s a kinder, compassionate kid who’s unnaturally jacked for 14 years old (seriously, non-stop training will do that) and a commitment to the people he really cares about, all while carving his own adventure, shared with Gon (and then Alluka). Finally, he’s just really aesthetically pleasing from a character design standpoint. If anyone embodies what “being a Hunter” is about on this show, in terms of discovery and wonder, it might just be Killua Zoldyck.


Just skip to 0:35 for the best part…but the whole thing is comedy gold. Nee hee…

Like what you see? For the record, Killua’s my favorite anime character. Leave a comment!

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Author: anibproductions

I am the founder and writer of AniB Productions, currently a blog with a focus on animated shows from both the East and the West. Love Buffalo sports, good political discussion, and an interesting conversation wherever I go. View all posts by anibproductions


Hunter X Hunter: 10 Times Killua Was A Better Main Character Than Gon

Hunter X Hunter is one of the greatest anime in history. This can be attributed to epic battles, detailed story arcs, and a consistent brilliance that makes each episode special. But its most important ingredient is the vast array of fascinating characters. Vulnerable heroes, deplorable villains, and chaotic neutrals, Hunter X Hunterhas it all.

RELATED: Hunter X Hunter: 5 Most Powerful Enhancer Nen Abilities (& 5 That Are Average)

The protagonist of the show is Gon Freeccs, and the lovable hunter is universally liked. However, as is so often the case in anime, the main character isn't always the best character. Killua Zoldyck is Gon's best friend and the true fan favorite. His family history, calm persona, and complex motivations make him relatable and likable. There are times when fans wish Killua was the true main character.

10 Meeting The Zoldyck's: It's no wonder Killua is so gifted

When you're born into a family of world-famous assassins, it's difficult not to make you the main character. Killua is a member of the Zoldyck family, a group of assassins feared around the globe. And rightly so, as fans witness the terrifying powers of several members.

Illumi effortlessly passes the Hunter exam and kills an entire mob family. Silva is known to have killed a member of the notorious Phantom Troupe. And Zeno is a legendary figure whose abilities are praised by Netero. It's no wonder Killua is so gifted.

9 Killua vs Johness really sets the tone for how deadly Killua is

Taking place during the Hunters Exam, Killua must face-off against Johness, an infamous serial killer. Johness killed 146 people with his bare hands, leading to a fearsome reputation. Aware of who Johness is, Leorio told Killua to forfeit or else he would die. But the Zoldyck prodigy calmly walked forward, appearing unfazed.

Within seconds, Killua appeared behind Johness holding his heart. He told Johness that whilst he may be a mass murderer, he had no chance against a trained assassin. This scene really sets the tone for how deadly Killua is.

8 Creating Godspeed

Like Gon, Killua is a nen-prodigy, but their styles couldn't be more different. Whilst Gon specializes in brute strength, Killua's talent lies in diversity. Growing up, Killua was exposed to high levels of electricity as part of the Zoldyck assassin training.

Therefore, he developed a tolerance and can now incorporate electricity into his nen skillset. With this, Killua developed incredible abilities like godspeed, allowing him to move faster than his opponent can react. With this skill, the assassin overwhelmed the Chimera Ant Youpi.

7 He Was Chosen To Lead The Chimera Ant Team

Killua's talent for nen is incredibly rare. But even more unusual is the analytical mind he possesses despite his young age. Throughout the anime, Killua formulates flawless strategies to overcome any opponents. He analyses other's nen powers and works out the perfect counter in moments.

As a result, Killua is put in charge of organizing team plans despite usually being the youngest team member (alongside Gon). One only has to watch the Chimera Ant arc to understand this, as Killua was trusted to lead a team consisting of experienced and battle-hardened hunters.

6 Every Time He Demonstrated His Emotional Development

When first introduced to fans, Killua was very much the cold-blooded assassin his family raised him to be. He had no difficulty killing during the Hunters exam and openly stated he had no friends. But with Gon, Kurapika, and Leorio entering his life, Killua's very nature changed.

He began to understand friendship, knowing how good it felt to have others care for him. He became selfless and took risks, especially when Gon was in danger. And he learned the value of human life, only killing when absolutely necessary. Gon's values were set from day one, Killua's changed and developed.

5 When He Went Full Assassin

After meeting Gon and the gang, Killua begins to soften and fans started to forget just how cold-blooded the assassin could be. Fortunately, it wasn't long until viewers were reminded of the dark side of Killua. After reaching the top floor of Heavens Arena, Gon is challenged by Sadaso, who declines.

RELATED: Hunter X Hunter: 8 Fights Killua Should've Realistically Lost

Sadaso then kidnaps Zushi, releases him after he and Killua reach an agreement, and then goes against the agreement, forcing Gon to fight him. Discovering this betrayal, Killua sneaks up on the skilled nen-user and tells him that if he doesn't leave the arena immediately, he will kill him. And judging by the look on Killua's face, he meant it.

4 Whenever He Shows His Vulnerability

Gon is certain in himself and his abilities. He never wavers and is confident of his next action regardless of how dangerous the situation is. It's part of what makes him so likable, but also frustrating. Gon's personality makes him an excellent protagonist but also unrelatable.

Killua is different. He's careful and calculated but also uncertain of the best action to take in a life or death situation. Furthermore, Killua shows vulnerability and sometimes shies away from battle. This uncertainty and vulnerability is something all humans experience frequently, and it makes Killua more relatable.

3 Displaying His Assassin Skills

Even before discovering nen, Killua possessed an array of assassin skills that meant he could challenge those with superior power. One of the coolest abilities is his rhythm echo where Killua creates after images of himself by walking at a specific pace.

RELATED: 15 Anime To Watch If You Loved Hunter X Hunter

Then there's his assassin mode. In this state, Killua's speed, strength, and focus increase. He can defeat stronger opponents in an instant and even intimidate Chimera Ants. In addition, the young assassin can make his hand as sharp as a knife, effortlessly severing his opponent's limbs.

2 His Dying Thoughts Were About Gon

Gon is responsible for introducing Killua to the concept of friendship and helped him understand and build these relationships. However, once Killua understood the nature of his relationship with Gon and opened his heart to him, the young assassin became the ultimate friend.

He puts his life on the line time and time again for Gon, despite the latter's impulsive nature to charge headfirst into danger. When fighting with the Chimera Ants, Killua almost dies. But even then, his last thoughts questioned whether or not he was useful to Gon.

1 When He Asked Alluka To Save Gon

Alluka Zoldyck is the second youngest Zoldyck child and is possessed by a terrifying entity known as Nanika. In her possessed form, she is capable of anything and can grant any request. However, this comes at a price, often the lives of innocent people. Her abilities are dark, mysterious, and often deadly.

Despite this, Killua develops a trusting relationship with Alluka and Nanika. When Gon was near death from the Chimera Ant battle, Killua asked Alluka to heal him. He put his faith in the nature of his and Alluka's relationship despite the mystery and potential destruction of her ability. Because of this, Gon made a full recovery. Selfless Killua for the win.

NEXT: Hunter X Hunter: All Known Arcs, Ranked


NextThe 10 Strangest Anime Characters Ever

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CBR list writer Zac Francis has been writing professionally since the start of this sentence. His writing experience includes over ten thousand tweets, numerous university essays written between the hours of 12 and 6 am, and four years of unsuccessful job applications. He writes about anime, watches anime and reads the work of people who have watched anime. Follow him on Twitter at @zacfrancis94 and feel free to let him know how you really feel about his work. He is open to criticism. Compliments? not so much.

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Why "Hunter x Hunter's" Killua Zoldyck Is the Best Boy in Anime

Hunter x Hunter is one of the most popular anime series, especially within the shōnen genre.

Its main appeal lies in its character relationships, specifically that between the protagonist and deuteragonist, Gon Freecs and Killua Zoldyck.

The two boys first meet while taking the arduous "Hunter Exam" — a deadly test designed to determine those capable of holding the esteemed title of "Hunter." During the first phase of the exam, Gon, an optimistic kid on a mission to find his father, sticks up for Killua, an assassin prodigy, after another contestant questions his usage of a skateboard. Killua immediately becomes enamored with Gon, and after discovering they're the same age (12), the two become an inseparable pair.

Gon and Killua's relationship grows into an extraordinary friendship, but its bulk is shouldered by Killua. His self-sacrificial nature, his journey toward self-worth, and his incredible complexity makes Killua the most popular and beloved character in Hunter x Hunter, and arguably, in all of anime. His growth is extremely well-written, and he becomes a character one attaches themselves to with great empathy throughout the story.

Killua and GonShueisha

Killua's characterization is intricate, epitomizing nature vs nurture. When introduced, Killua seems to be a normal child just like Gon. But soon, his upbringing as an assassin is revealed, and he's not just any assassin–Killua is a member of the Zoldyck family, infamous for their efficiency and capabilities in the business of killing. He was raised to be the family's heir, subjected to constant training from birth in both assassination skills and torture.

But unlike his family, Killua doesn't have interest in the family business. In fact, Killua is a very naturally compassionate individual, determined to make up his own way in the world, outside of his family's plans for him. In an effort to find what it is he truly wants, Killua abandons his family and teams up with Gon after the Hunter exam to help him find his father.

Through their adventures together, Killua's true, self-sacrificing nature comes to the forefront time and time again. One of the best examples of this takes place during a high-stakes dodgeball game against a group of powerful criminals on death row—a game necessary for the boys to win in order to meet Gon's father.

The boys devise a strategy wherein Killua holds the ball and Gon hits it with spectacular strength. In the middle of the game, another teammate notices that Killua's hands have become extremely damaged from being in such close, repeated contact with Gon's power at full blast. Killua brushes it off, but a different teammate pulls Killua's hands out of his pockets to show the truth. He'd kept them there to keep Gon from noticing his injuries, knowing how essential their victory is for Gon's journey and not wanting to distract or hold back his friend. He even withdrew protective covering from his hands so that Gon's hit would be stronger.

Killua is also held dear because of his fierce devotion toward the ones he loves, which lies in such massive contrast with the environment he was raised in. Throughout the show, this devotion is primarily demonstrated in his relationship with Gon, but towards the end it is seen, perhaps in an even greater capacity, with his youngest sister, Alluka. She possesses the remarkable power of granting wishes, but they often come with devastating consequences, even more so if her requests are not granted. Because she is essentially considered too dangerous, the Zoldycks keep her locked away in their mansion, until she is rescued by Killua.

Killua ZoldyckShueisha

In the anime's final arc, Killua aims to rescue Alluka from his parents' mansion, where the Zoldycks have locked her away due to her remarkable and terrifying power to grant wishes with potentially devastating consequences.

Unlike the rest of his family, Killua doesn't shun her for her capabilities, but rather loves her as a person. After reuniting, he promises to keep her safe and swears he'd never forgive anyone who tries to hurt her, family or not. With Gon, Killua mostly kept his most protective sentiments inside, but with Alluka, his natural devotion has free reign.

Killua is able to express himself openly to Alluka, indicating just how much Killua has grown and how comfortable he's become with himself throughout the series. Furthermore, Alluka is a canonically trans character, and while the other Zoldycks regularly misgender her, Killua never does, even loudly exclaiming, "Alluka's a girl!"

Killua Zoldyck has one of the deepest character transformations in Hunter x Hunter. At the beginning, Killua is a directionless boy, following the whims of either his family or Gon without any true path of his own. By the end, he's learned his worth, no longer carrying the weight of others' expectations. He is self-aware and follows his own personal mission, as opposed to the Zoldycks' or Gon's. Killua's overall journey is heart-wrenching, relatable, and overwhelmingly satisfying. He is a character one cannot help but be proud of.

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The Morality of Gon Freecss (Hunter X Hunter)

In my years of reading manga and watching anime, I find characters who grow from the troubles of their upbringing to forge a path of their own, like Lelouch from Code Geass or Shouto Todoroki from My Hero Academy, inspiring because it leaves a lesson that despite the darkness lurking in our past, we can still create a better path of our own if we choose to do so. One character that encapsulated this lesson to me is Killua Zoldyck from the Hunter x Hunter series. His is a story of finding purpose and love without having to abandon your nature entirely. He develops exponentially throughout the series from a young assassin who lacked self-worth to a hunter that became the best friend and brother anyone could ever wish for. What makes Killua’s character so intriguing is that he tackles his inner struggles by learning from the relationships he makes and in this essay, I’ll be pointing out how the influences of his family and friends change Killua throughout the story.

First, let’s begin with Killua’s family. The Zoldycks are infamous in the Hunter world for being highly trained assassins and Killua was chosen to one day take over the family, having the most potential out of his siblings.

Killua was subjected to many tortures when he was young and as a result, he became immune to poison, developed a high tolerance to electricity, and grew in agility and strength with his fingernails being able to turn into sharp claws.

Growing up in this kind of environment, Killua becomes blase to the act of killing, even getting a bit of enjoyment out of it. We see it in chapter 14 when he grew frustrated playing catch ball with Netero and Gon in the Hunter Exam arc and his bloodlust led him to release it on unsuspecting Hunter examinees, leaving them dead on the ground as Killua walks away unapologetically.

And yet, despite the years of torture and expectations weighing down on him, Killua does not just accept his fate— he yearns for something more. When Killua joins the Hunter Exam, his reasons for participating was so he could get away from the burdens of assassin life and experience a normal childhood for once.

However, he’s only given a brief respite before his brother, Illumi, comes and reminds Killua why he can’t ever be anything else but a cold-blooded murderer.

It’s because of Illumi and his family that Killua feels shackled in a life that he doesn’t want and why Killua has such a low sense of self-worth. That’s why he’s indifferent to his family chaining him up and his brother torturing him because he feels like he doesn’t deserve any better.

This is compounded by the fact that Illumi tells Killua that he’s incapable of making friends even though that’s all Killua ever wants.

However, Killua proves him wrong when he meets Gon, a boy of the same age and with the same potential as Killua— which brings me to my second point. Gon becomes a prominent figure in Killua’s life the moment Gon decided they were friends. He’s almost the complete opposite of Killua with his innocent and honest disposition and optimistic outlook on life. Gon was like a light to Killua’s inner darkness and it’s a testament to his lack of self-worth that he didn’t even realize they were already friends until Leorio pointed it out to him in the Hunter Exam.

But what really intrigued Killua was that Gon had a purpose to which Killua did not. By following and helping Gon, Killua learns about compassion and friendship, things he normally wouldn’t experience as an assassin and because of this, he views Gon so highly.

Gon practically saves Killua through friendship and Killua, feeling indebted and still lacking confidence, tries his best to be of use that at the brink of death, Killua thinks about how he hadn’t been useful enough to Gon. But eventually, Killua learns.

Through the Chimera Ant arc, we see Killua struggle to protect his friend while simultaneously deal with his own fear of being unable to fight against opponents stronger than him. Bisky, one of their trainers, brings up the possible occurrence of Killua leaving Gon in battle one day because he gives up too easily.

However, this ideology is stemmed from the teachings of Killua’s father and brother.

Illumi had placed a needle infused with his own Manipulating Nen into Killua’s head to brainwash him from fighting against stronger foes. But when Killua manages to remove the needle, his true character shines through.

His loyalty and kindness, values which Killua always had but was smothered by Illumi, becomes more evident as he makes friends and gains more confidence in his own worth. From that point on, the dynamic shifts from Gon saving Killua to Killua saving Gon as Gon spirals into his own darkness.

We see here a divergence in Gon and Killua’s journey as they are no longer working towards the same goal. In the end of Election arc, Killua has matured while Gon is still emotionally in the same state. It’s ironic how Gon, who started his journey with a goal and was at par with Killua in Nen mastery, is now back to square one with his Nen gone. Meanwhile, Killua, who had started with no goal, flourished in not only in skill but in maturity. He finds his purpose in protecting his sister, Alluka who had also been trapped by their family.

That is why when we last see the two friends together, they separate ways because their paths were no longer running in parallel. Killua finally found the light within himself and just as Gon did to him, Killua becomes the light to his sister’s darkness. His upbringing no longer defines him but rather, he uses his skills for the good. By wanting to find normalcy in an assassin’s life, Killua chose his own path and is ultimately what changes him for the better.


Yoshihiro, Togashi. Hunter x Hunter. Weekly Shonen Jump, 1998.

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Her hips pressed into her stomach, and her knees pressed down on her breasts. Then another kiss and at the same time further plunge into a hot crevice. She screamed. But I already stopped, giving her time to come to her senses and adapt to a new state for her. I, feeling how tightly her vagina clasps my organ, how spasms run through it, gently squeezing the invading flesh.

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