What does Hisoka convey to you throughout his actions in the world of Hunter x Hunter? Does he convey to you the addiction to power and the pursuit of strength? Does he convey the whimsical side of human nature in following your primal interests? Does he convey the result of an impoverished life and how it can ultimately corrupt a person?
Ultimately, Hisoka is all of these things but also never seems to outright center or identify around a single one of them. The unpredictability and mystery surrounding him is exactly what makes him one of the most alluring characters in fiction. Throughout the blog, let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of our favorite murderous clown and determine exactly why Hisoka is one of the biggest enigmas in Hunter x Hunter.
It could be argued that his deceptive nature is his primary character trait throughout the story of Hunter x Hunter. This is the basis for his enigmatic nature and one of the things I always looked out for whenever Hisoka was on screen while reading Hunter x Hunter. There was always the sense that nothing he said can be taken seriously and that there’s a bigger scheme in motion that he concocted in the background.
It can be argued that he’s the best trickster in the entire series, given that he manipulated the entire Phantom Troupe into staying in New York City so he could fight Chrollo. Additionally, his genius-level deception can be applied in combat where he demonstrates his insane tactical ability, as seen in the cases of his fights with Gotoh and Castro.
Castro, thinking he had the clear advantage from amputating Hisoka’s arm, failed to notice the Nen hidden by Hisoka’s In. Meanwhile, with the case of Gotoh, he was able to completely neutralize his coin ability with Bungee Gum and land a fatal surprise attack. Hisoka seems to be constantly playing 40 chests with his opponents as he layers strategies and tactics so convoluted and involved we need a recap just to understand what took place.
These schemes are so well disguised that the opponent doesn’t even know what took place until it’s already happened or they were lulled into a false sense of security by the psychotic magician that they would be completely blindsided whenever the decisive blows landed on the non-combative side.
Take, for example, Hisoka’s interactions with Gon and Killua in Greed Island. In the previous arcs of the story, Hisoka had been an obstacle for them to overcome, but now he’s assisting them as an ally. In true transmuter fashion, I guess it is true that the only one who truly knows Hisoka is Hisoka himself.
Hisoka is also one of the ficklest characters in the story, claiming that it takes mere seconds for treasure to become trash. As we’ll talk about later in the blog, Hisoka is obsessed with grooming opponents to fight. His fickleness is largely associated with this, as if he finds that an opponent has met their limit, they are essentially worthless to him, and he will show zero interest. The long amount of time he’s spent obsessing over a strong opponent could be lost in an instant if Hisoka deems that their progression has stagnated.
Furthermore, Hisoka is an addict to what, you may ask? Everything and anything that interests his ambitions at the time. He has no outspoken purpose or grandiose goal that he wants to achieve. Hisoka is a hedonist in every sense of the word.
Whatever pleases him at the time is exactly what he’ll do. Whether it’s disguising himself as a Phantom Troupe member infiltrating Greed Island, taking the Hunter Exam, or even grooming opponents that will take years and years to develop, Hisoka will stop at nothing to fulfill his desires.
While researching for this blog, I found that people in the community like to associate he with the likes of other characters whose sole goal is fighting strong opponents, such as Goku from Dragon Ball, Kenpachi from Bleach, Zoro from One Piece, and so on. For these characters, it seems like their only choice is fighting and the thrill of battle.
Togashi does a fantastic job of crafting a character who subverts the battle-hungry character archetype to portray a character who is the way he is simply because he’s a slave to his own desires. Through this perspective, we’re able to obtain insight as to why Hisoka operates the way he does.
As messed up as this may sound, I feel as if he wholeheartedly understands who he is, and the fact that he knows about it makes his inescapable slavery to desire all the more enjoyable for him. In fact, in the little we know about him, he states that the reason he named his Hatsu Bungee Gum was because it was his favorite bubble gum growing up as a kid, and that he grew up with very little money.
It would be safe to assume that this life of impoverishment came with tragedy and brutality that slowly corrupted the innocent mind of a young Hisoka, turning him into the psychopath we know him to be now. The fact that Hisoka only wanted a simple piece of gum and was willing to chew it long after the flavor had gone away is very telling and indicates a subtle innocence that paints him in stark contrast to his personality as an adult.
Overall, Hisoka is a vastly entertaining and complex character. Through his deception, fickleness, slavery to addiction, and innocent past, Hisoka paints himself as an enigma who can only truly be understood by himself. As stated earlier, he knows who he is, and he will do whatever he needs to do to fulfill his desires.
Maybe we’ll never know all the mysteries he has to offer, but as the saying goes, some mysteries are better off unsolved. If you stuck around to the end of the blog, thank you so much for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts on Hisoka in the comments section below if you enjoy seeing anime character analysis content like this. Also, leave a like and comment to let me know if I can make any improvements on this format in the future, and until next time, stay curious, anime fam!
That’s me, Andreea Blaga, author of the blog anime-everything.com. I work as a content creator in the US. I am also passionate about Japanese Anime.