Hunter x Hunter: An analysis of Hisoka’s character development throughout the series

Today marks a special day for fans of “Hunter x Hunter” as it is a celebration of Hisoka Morrow’s birthday. As a tribute to this enigmatic and captivating character, we delve into an analysis of Hisoka’s character development throughout the series.

Hisoka, with his intriguing motivations and morally ambiguous nature, has left a lasting impact on the hearts of fans worldwide. Join us as we delve into the intricacies of Hisoka’s journey, unveiling the depths of his personality and the defining moments that mold his story. Happy birthday, Hisoka Morrow!

Early appearances of Hisoka in the show

Hisoka Morrow in episode 29 of Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Hisoka Morrow in episode 29 of Hunter x Hunter (2011) (Image via Madhouse Studio)
  • Hisoka is introduced as candidate Number 44 in the Hunter Exam Arc. His introduction in the series portrays him as a mysterious and ominous figure.
  • His clownish look and sly grin swiftly seize the focus of both the characters and the viewers.

During the early arcs, such as the Hunter Exam, he can be seen as a villainous character who casually murders the other candidates of the Hunter exam without involving much effort. Hisoka’s true nature gradually unfolds, revealing his insatiable thirst for battle and his unique set of abilities.

Hisoka’s motivations

Hisoka Morrow in Hunter x Hunter (2011)
Hisoka Morrow in Hunter x Hunter (2011) (Image via Madhouse Studio)

Central to Hisoka’s character is his unyielding desire to find strong opponents and engage in thrilling battles. His motivations stem from a deeply ingrained fascination with power, pushing him to seek out individuals who can challenge him both physically and intellectually.

However, his true motivations remain unclear whether he is purely evil or chaotic neutral as we can see him save unconscious Leorio during the second phase of Hunter’s exams. This relentless pursuit of excitement and fulfillment is a driving force that shapes Hisoka’s actions and decisions.

Hisoka’s Role in the Hunter Exam Arc

During the Hunter Exam arc, Hisoka’s presence looms large as he poses a significant threat to other participants. Hisoka’s interactions with various characters, such as Sartoz, Menchi, and Togari, showcase his manipulative nature and strategic thinking.

After being confronted by Togari, Hisoka effortlessly beheads him during the third phase. These encounters provide insights into Hisoka’s cunning personality and contribute to the overall tension and suspense of the arc.

Hisoka’s relationship with Gon

Hisoka fighting Gon in Heaven's Arena
Hisoka fighting Gon in Heaven’s Arena (Image via Madhouse Studio)

One of the most captivating dynamics in Hunter x Hunter is the intricate bond between Hisoka and the series’ main character, Gon Freecss. Initially, Hisoka views Gon as a potential opponent, sensing his raw potential and determination.

During the final phase of Hunter’s exams Arc, we can see Hisoka helping Gon by handing him his own number plate. This leads to a peculiar bond where Hisoka becomes both mentor and rival to Gon, offering guidance while also harboring a desire to eventually face him in battle.

Hisoka’s connection to the Phantom Troupe

Hisoka as Spider #4 in Phantom troupe in Hunter x Hunter
Hisoka as Spider #4 in Phantom troupe in Hunter x Hunter (Image via Madhouse Studio)

As the story progresses, Hisoka’s affiliation with the notorious Phantom Troupe comes to light. This connection reveals a deeper layer of Hisoka’s character, as he aligns himself with a group of dangerous criminals who share his penchant for chaos and violence.

His association with the Phantom Troupe further amplifies the intrigue surrounding Hisoka’s true motives and adds complexity to his development.

Hisoka’s character growth in Greed Island

In the Greed Island arc, Hisoka’s growth as a character becomes more apparent. He continues to seek powerful opponents, but a subtle shift occurs as he develops a vested interest in Gon’s progress and potential.

This newfound fascination leads to moments of collaboration with Gond and his friends to help them complete the game. The unexpected acts of protection and cooperation by Hisoka Morrow highlight the evolving dynamics within Hisoka’s personality.

Hisoka’s Evolution in the Election Arc

Hisoka with Illumi in Hunter x Hunter
Hisoka with Illumi in Hunter x Hunter (Image via Madhouse Studio)

During the Election arc, Hisoka’s character undergoes further evolution as he navigates the intricate political landscape. Hisoka’s actions in this arc reveal a more strategic and calculating side to his personality.

This development showcases his ability to adapt and manipulate situations to suit his own agenda, adding another layer of complexity to his overall character. Hisoka’s concerns about Gon’s health reveal a fatherly side of him that Ging lacks.

Hisoka’s interaction with other characters such as Illumi, is also highlighted during this arc. It makes us wonder, is Illumi zoldyck romantically involved with Hisoka Morrow?

Hisoka’s unconventional morality

Hisoka’s moral compass is far from conventional. While he is not a morally-upstanding person, he also doesn’t fit the mold of a typical villain. Unlike villains with grand plans for domination and power, Hisoka’s primary goal is to fight and potentially kill those he considers strong. Hisoka distinguishes people into three categories based on his perception of their strengths.

The weak and unworthy

Hisoka shows little interest in fighting individuals he deems weak. Unless provoked or forced to, he sees no value in engaging with those who lack the strength to challenge him. This is evident in his interactions with other examinees during the Hunter Exam and his temporary collaboration with Illumi when working as a hunter.

The strong and desirable

Hisoka’s fervent desire lies in encountering and battling opponents he perceives as powerful. Characters like Chrollo, the leader of the Phantom Troupe, and the Zodiacs, a group of elite hunters, fall into this category. Hisoka’s obsession with fighting these formidable adversaries drives him to pursue their attention and engage in intense battles.

The potential for strength

In a unique twist, Hisoka also takes notice of individuals with the potential to become strong in the future. Notable among them are Gon and his friends. Hisoka sees the growth potential in these characters and eagerly awaits the day when they mature and become worthy opponents. During the Greed Island arc, he even aids Gon and Killua in their challenge against Razor, showcasing a surprising willingness to support their progress.

Hisoka’s encounter with Chrollo

Hisoka Morrow wanting to fight Chrollo in chapter 35 of Hunter x Hunter Manga
Hisoka Morrow wants to fight Chrollo in chapter 351 of Hunter x Hunter Manga (Image via Viz Media)

One of the pivotal moments in Hisoka’s character development is his encounter with Chrollo Lucifer, the leader of the Phantom Troupe. However when he comes to know about Chrollo can no longer use his Nen, he gets disappointed for not being able to fight the strongest troupe leader. This is the first time we see Hisoka’s regretful look.

However, in the manga, Hisoka finally gets to fight Chrollo during the Succession Contest Arc. This intense confrontation pushes Hisoka to his limits, both physically and emotionally. The outcome of their battle leaves a lasting impact on Hisoka, propelling him to reincarnate, quite literally.

Hisoka’s Nen abilities

Throughout the series, Hisoka’s unique Nen abilities play a significant role in shaping his character and determining the outcome of his battles. Hisoka’s versatile techniques, such as Bungee Gum and Texture Surprise, exemplify his resourcefulness and creativity in combat. (Don’t let this article distract you from the fact that Hisoka’s Bungee Gum has the properties of rubber and gum). The exploration of his Nen abilities adds depth to his character and enhances the excitement surrounding his encounters.

Hisoka’s Impact on the story

  • Hisoka’s presence in “Hunter x Hunter” has a significant impact on the overall narrative. His actions and interactions with other characters often serve as catalysts for pivotal events, shaping the course of the story in unexpected ways.
  • Hisoka’s influence extends beyond his personal development, making him an integral part of the series’ intricate web of plotlines and conflicts.


In conclusion, Hisoka’s character development throughout the series of “Hunter x Hunter” is a testament to the skillful storytelling and intricacy of the narrative. From his early appearances to his encounters with fellow characters and his evolution as an individual,

Hisoka’s journey captivates the audience and adds depth to the overarching storyline. His complex motivations, relationships, and psychological depth make him an unforgettable character in the world of anime and manga.

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