This is hands down the most mysterious character in Hunter x Hunter, the walking contradiction that is Chrollo Lucifer gives us such beautiful insight into the mind of a man struggling to find the meaning of himself, his true purpose in life, and the profound way that fate plays a role in our everyday lives.
Paired with his irresistibly attractive personality and cunning persona, he’s someone I’m super excited to dig into. So if you’re ready, let’s get into today’s analysis of none other than Chrollo Lucifer, the leader of the Phantom Troupe.
What’s up, anime fan base? It’s Dill back with another blog to explore the very depths of all that anime has to offer. If that sounds interesting, fun, or insightful, be sure to hit the like button if you get some value from this content. Today, I’ll be diving into Hunter x Hunter content to analyze all there is to know about the enigmatic leader of the Phantom Troupe and how his beautifully complicated character makes him the incredible antagonist that he is. There will be spoilers in this blog, going into some of the later manga chapters, so as a quick warning, please proceed with caution.
In the usual manner of Hunter x Hunter subverting expectations, the Phantom Troupe is meant to represent a merciless group of thugs who have no empathy for anyone, let alone each other. However, this is quickly dismissed when you find out that many of the members care deeply for one another. And similar to the general stereotype of a crime boss of a large syndicate, Chrollo is not the person you’d expect upon first glance.
You would expect the leader of such a powerful organization to really have it all figured out. And I think the main appeal and the motif that Togashi was really shooting for with this character is that he has no idea who he is. This existential journey that he’s on is so appealing because we, as the audience, feel that we’re right alongside Chrollo as he himself is figuring out what his true purpose in the world is, just waiting for more and more to be revealed about this character. Even his origins, which are some of the most important things about a character, are completely shrouded in mystery.
On top of this, it feels as if most things the leader of the Phantom Troupe says are confusing and vague, but upon further investigation, there’s a lot that can be extrapolated and theorized on, which is what I hope to do throughout this blog. But let’s start with Chrollo’s beginnings, or what we seem to know of them exactly.
It’s known that Chrollo originated from a place known as Meteor, a place literally trademarked with the iconic phrase “will accept anything you leave here, but never take anything away from us.” This town of delinquents has people from unknown backgrounds who start from nothing and really have nothing to their name.
The very nature of the city is the fact that society has labeled them as outcasts and not worth noting as anything special. This place, for as little as we know about it, shapes Chrollo’s life a whole lot more than we believe. Being born and raised where people are treated as if they have no value, he was most likely exposed to some terrible and traumatic events throughout his early years of life.
It was most likely through these experiences where Chrollo realized that nobody cares for them and nobody is coming to save them. This, to me, was the impetus for starting the Phantom Troupe. Given they’re all basically outcasts to society and only have each other, this fact remained the core mantra of the group. But it went beyond more than looking out for one another.
You see in parallel what the contradictory themes of cruel Lucifer. The main goal of the troop is not necessarily to look out for one another and protect each other with their lives; it’s actually quite the opposite. Corolla wanted to create something that transcended himself, even after he was potentially out of the picture.
As Chrollo mentions himself, the spider is more important than the individual, being likely exposed to all the Death around him and seeing how fleeting life can be. Chrollo decided to build a group whose core mission was to protect the group as a whole and not the individual. You may think that this would lead to group members being selfish and only caring about themselves if this was the case, but it does quite the opposite.
Every single troop member has a major amount of respect for Chrollo, and it’s obvious they really care for one another and the collective group, as the spider actually makes them closer as opposed to more distance. The main point I’m trying to get at is that Chrono Lucifer is a mess of contradictions, and the messages the group embodies are reflective of his very nature.
It is this early interaction in Chrollo’s life that would set him on the deep and profound journey of learning more about his fate and the purpose he serves in his life, which is another very central part of his character. It’s important to note that Krollo is very intertwined with the complex notions of fate and destiny due to the spiritual nature of his character.
In congruence with this, the closest deep dive we get into his mind is when he’s talking to Neon while he’s trying to steal her net abilities. It’s a really interesting relationship when you think objectively about it, given the rest of the Phantom Troupe was trying to hunt down and figure out who the chain user, AKA Karapiko, was, while Chrollo was on a date with a little girl. Okay, okay, I’m sorry, I know that sounds wrong, please don’t cancel.
I strongly subscribe to the idea that Crowley is someone with a very fatalistic approach on life and will just take things as they come, accepting them wholeheartedly. But again, contradicting his very nature, he seeks to learn more about himself and see into the fate that he believes so deeply in. This is why he seeks out and looks to steal Neon’s Lovely Ghostwriter ability. Given he admittedly knows so little about himself, he can’t shake the urge to understand where he’s going in life and what lies ahead of him behind the superficial level of just stealing things for the sake of stealing them.
Chrollo used this opportunity to make conclusions about his own destiny. In parallel with this, it’s important to talk about how Chrollo views the destiny of others as well. His arguably most famous quote where he talks about Judas from the Bible is one of the most interesting things to dissect about this character. For those of you who aren’t aware of who Judas is or his importance in the scope of Christianity, let’s do a brief outline right now.
Judas Iscariot was one of the 12 original Apostles of Jesus. He is the one who essentially betrayed Jesus and disclosed his whereabouts for only 30 pieces of silver, which when I’m looking that up, that’s only about 264.60, but that’s not the point. This character is used to demonstrate the foundation of Corolla’s belief that nobody has any real control over their actions.
Ultimately, he doesn’t believe that Judas is a traitor at all. His outlook on fate and predestination is to the extent where he believes that not even the traitor of Jesus Christ himself had no control over his actions, and his fate was carved into stone basically from the time he was born.
Chrollo is a fond believer of things being the way they are in life, and the sooner you accept them, the better. He has the outlook that instead of people playing a bigger part in the universe, it’s the universe or an external force that determines everyone’s fate. We’re all just cogs in a larger and grander machine.
Apart from the Judas example, this is also highly emphasized during Corolla’s battle with Hisoka in Heaven’s Arena. He tells Hisoka that he’s 100% certain that he’ll win, and being the calculated, intelligent, and careful person that he is, it’s hard to believe that this was a statement of arrogance. When Hisoka decides to fight Corolla despite his absolute and definitive statement, Corolla says a unique phrase: “Humans are so very interesting.”
I believe it’s fascinating that he has no idea who he is, and he’s seemingly trying to learn human nature through the actions of others. Just like how he acquires perspectives of others, he’s also really good at acquiring nen abilities. Chrollo’s nen abilities are the perfect representation of who he is as a character: a truly empty slate with a vast amount of opportunities at his disposal. In direct line with his thoughts of not knowing who he is, this projects in the form of his nen abilities, where he can assimilate anyone’s nen under specific circumstances.
Again, in direct parallel with his thoughts on predestination and the lack of control over his future, I believe this nen ability is the epitome of this and makes Corolla one of the most fearful and truly refreshing characters I have ever seen. All in all, Chrollo is a character searching for identity and a destination where his life is charting towards. It goes without saying that he is hands down one of the most impeccable characters I have had the experience of seeing in an all-around amazing antagonist.
But let me know your thoughts on Chrollo in the comments below. Thanks for reading!
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.