|“||Those eyes. That look. That spirit... I can't wait... To break you.||„|
|~ Hisoka Morow|
|“||My greatest pleasure comes when people like you buckle to their knees and I look down upon their disbelieving faces as their plans fail. ♥||„|
|~ Hisoka Morow to Chrollo Lucilfer.|
|“||Opposites attract.♥ I'd bet we'd get along.♥ We could be great friends.♦ But be careful, as Transmuters are fickle... What used to be valuable can instantly turn to chaff.♠||„|
|~ Hisoka Morow|
Hisoka Morow, also known as Hisoka, Hisoka the Magician and Grim Reaper, is the one of the main antagonists of the anime/manga series Hunter x Hunter. He is a former associate of the Phantom Troupe and a magician/serial killer who is always in search for strong opponents, going so far as to spare those who have great potential, such as Gon Freecss and Killua Zoldyck. To Gon and Killua, he is both their enemy and ally based on the situation. He serves as the main antagonist of both the Hunter Exam arc and the Heaven's Area arc, an ally in both the Yorknew City arc and the Greed Island arc, and a major antagonist in the 13th Hunter Chairman Election arc.
In the 1999 anime, he was voiced by Hiroki Takahashi in the Japanese version, and Brendan Hunter in the English dubbed version. In the 2011 anime, he was voiced by Daisuke Namikawa in the Japanese version, and Keith Silverstein in the English dubbed version, the latter of whom also voiced Johan Liebert, Chairman Rose, Masayoshi Shido, Hawk Moth, Deep Sea King, Dr. Wily, Aaroniero Arruruerie, and Cat Mask Seller.
Hisoka's appearance is that of a joker or a jester. He is a very tall (6'2") and thin man of about 28 years. He has red hair that points upwards. He has light skin. On his face, he paints his left cheek a fuchsia star and his right cheek a green teardrop. He has golden-yellow eyes which seem to be giving out an eerie look most of the time.
His attire is usually adorned with various suit symbols on the front and back torso, and he changes outfits in each story arc.
Hisoka is portrayed as a cocky, boastful, hedonistic, and self-serving man. He has an insane bloodlust and enjoys fighting strong opponents. While he does like Gon, Killua, and many others, he has stated that for him, what is valuable one day could easily become trash the next, and he will not hesitate to kill anyone should they not meet his standards. He kills people regardless of age or sex, but only those that he deems "unworthy". In a way, he is more amoral than evil, despite his sociopathic and malevolent nature. Despite his lust to fight strong opponents, he knows his limit since he didn't try to attack Netero when he left his guard down or stating that fighting Chrollo Lucilfer is actually too much for him to handle. Hisoka is also shown to be highly manipulative, designing, crafty, and a deceitful magician.
Throughout the series, he manifested in his wearing of shoes for "women" and uses an alluring and seductive speech style typically reserved for females in Japanese. In the manga, he ends nearly every sentence with a suit symbol.
Not much is known about Hisoka's history, usually because he is simply not interested in his past and deems his present of strong opponents worthy. He kills anyone who comes in his way or is no more strong enough to beat him.
It is stated that Hisoka chewed "Bungee Gum" a lot as a child, but because his family was very poor he often chewed it until it lost every flavor. He later named his signature gum technique after the brand.
Hunter Exam arc
Hisoka is introduced as an applicant for the Hunter Exam, one of the most powerful contenders. He failed the exam last year, but only because he killed a proctor. Along the way, he encounters Gon and takes an interest in him. He becomes somewhat protective of Gon, saying that the boy is his target only.
Heavens' Arena arc
When Gon and Killua reach the 200th floor in Heaven's Arena, Hisoka stops them and offers to fight Gon if he can win a match on the 200th floor. Hisoka then fights Kastro. At first, Hisoka plays around, and it seems like Kastro has the upper hand, with one of Hisoka's arms missing. Then, he kills Kastro, and reveals himself to be a member of the Phantom Troupe. He later pays Machi, a fellow member of the Phantom Troupe, to reattach his severed arms.
Yorknew City arc
Hisoka is revealed, along with Machi, to be a member of Phantom troupe. He helps them out with stealing the bounties and expensive auctionable items at the World Auction. He is, however, seen to be cheating on the troupe members, and helping out Kurapika to carry out his killings simply for the sake of exciting pleasure.
When Kurapika finally catches Chrollo Lucilfer (Kuroro Rushirufuru), and seals off his Nen powers with his Chain Jail, Hisoka, unaware about the seal on Chrollo's powers, challenges him to a fight, and with an affinitial voice, reveals to him that he had never been a part of the Spiders, and in fact, had been cheating on them.
Chrollo gives a lukewarm reaction, smiling softly, and answering him back by informing Hisoka about his seal on powers.
Greed Island arc
Hisoka is found to be using Chrollo Lucilfer's name as an alias in the game of Greed Island. However, he admits that he had been doing this to attract the attention of troupe for purging the sealed Nen of Chrollo.
Upon being confronted by Killua and Gon, he decides to company them to a dodgeball game against Razor, who had formerly been a disciple of Gon's father, Ging, which results in Killua and Gon getting an ultra-rare card of the game. Hisoka also encounters Biscuit Krueger, the teacher of the teacher (whom she describes as a messy kid who always forgot to tuck in his shirt) of Gon and Killua, who is unsurprisingly attracted to him despite being an old woman of about 57.
Hisoka leaves the two friends shortly after, remarking that he will come to them if he needed anything, using the cards provided by the game. This leads to Killua realizing that Hisoka had not been very unaware of the game tactics, and had been obviously lying.
Hisoka meets a Nen purger shortly after and asks him to help him remove the seal on Chrollo's powers.
Chairman Election arc
Hisoka is first seen arriving at the venue to cast his vote and ask about Ging's presence. He is also seen to mentally calculate the powers of all the arriving hunters on a scale of 100. When he is notified that Ging wasn't there. He simply sits down and continues to rate the hunters following the casting ballot.
After a while, he feels a strong presence behind him, who is revealed to be Illumi Zoldyck. He then accompanies Illumi to his mission on stopping Killua from running away along with Alluka, and capturing him in the home.
He kills off the family butler of Zoldycks, Gotoh, and is seen to be very keen and interested in the mission. Even so, Illumi comments that he is just doing this for some fun, and admits that he thinks that Hisoka thinks of everybody around him as a toy to fondle and play with.
Despite the agreement with Illumi, Hisoka is lastly seen to display his fickle-mindedness as he mentally argued whether to kill Alluka or Killua to gain the hatred of the Zoldyck brothers.
Dark Continent Expedition arc
Chrollo finally accepts to fight Hisoka in a deathmatch at Heaven's Arena. As soon as the fight begins, Chrollo activates Shalnark's ability and takes control of the referee, using him to attack Hisoka while, the latter reckons, preparing to stick the second antenna in him. However, the second antenna was a feint and Chrollo kicks down Hisoka, then proceeds to stomp on him. Hisoka frees himself by hurling the referee at him. Chrollo then commands the referee to attack Hisoka again; but explodes before the two can make contact thanks to a new ability stolen by Chrollo, who is now also capable of using two abilities at the same time or one without needing to touch his book. Hisoka gets more and more excited as the fight progresses, but feels Chrollo is still holding back. The two then briefly discuss the latter's new abilities, with Hisoka rejoicing due to his opponent's power.
Chrollo combines two abilities, Order Stamp and Kortopi's Gallery Fake, to attack Hisoka with a copy of the referee. However, thanks to Chrollo's explanation, Hisoka easily deactivates Order Stamp by beheading the puppet. Chrollo finally shows the last ability he has prepared, Convert Hands. Much to Hisoka's annoyance, before the two can trade blows again, Chrollo reveals that one of his abilities belongs to someone who is already dead. Hisoka instantly realizes it is because the user's Nen has become stronger after his death, and improves his guard. When he learns that, thanks to the creator's resolve, once affixed, the marks of Sun and Moon will never disappear unless they explode, Hisoka smiles, thinking that could indeed prove problematic. Although Chrollo claims that his victory is certain, Hisoka is willing to keep fighting and attacks him. The two end up in the audience, which Chrollo manipulates with Black Voice to attack Hisoka while disguising himself with Convert Hands.
Hisoka notices the antennae have disappeared and that Chrollo has already created copies with Gallery Fake. Then, around thirty copies controlled with Order Stamp start attacking him, forcing him to use Bungee Gum to retreat, but the puppets climb on top of each other and reach him. As he retaliates, Chrollo, having stolen someone else's clothes, maneuvers behind Hisoka, who prepares to counter, but is tricked by the opponent's feint and kicked in the nape. As he falls into the crowd of puppets, Hisoka is ecstatic. Struggling not to be overwhelmed, Hisoka begins dispatching the puppets, all the while taking damage from Chrollo's hit-and-run tactic. He manages to anticipate the latter's next move, flinging a severed head at him, but Chrollo dodges and kicks Hisoka, claiming he had seen him prepare the attack. However, Hisoka manages to hit him with a second projectile attached to his foot, replying he knows while coughing up blood.
He lands one more hit with the other head, forcing Chrollo to retreat. Unable to give chase, Hisoka disables more puppets and tries to figure out Chrollo's next move basing on whether Order Stamp and Gallery Fake are deactivated. When the stamp disappears from the head of a puppet, Hisoka manages to track down Chrollo in the audience, immobilizing him with Bungee Gum. However, he notices something is off and swiftly attacks him with the head. It is revealed the one he killed was a spectator Chrollo had been controlling with Black Voice and to whom he had given his appearance with Convert Hands. However, as Gallery Fake is still active, Hisoka realizes that the copies on which Sun and Moon have been affixed will not disappear even if Chrollo is using other abilities. He moves back to the centre of the arena, guessing Chrollo will have to launch an assault with all his puppets lest they are mistaken for injured spectators by the rescue personnel. In fact, Chrollo steals the announcer's microphone and orders to "break Hisoka", causing all the puppets with the stamp to rush at Hisoka, who proceeds to destroy them using the head as a projectile and by attaching Bungee Gum to multiple puppets and using them as a hammer. Suddenly, however, the head he was gripping explodes in his hand, heavily injuring it and obliterating four of his fingers.
Hisoka understands how Chrollo managed to make the head explode and quickly decapitates another puppet. Using Bungee Gum through his legs, he starts walking on the sides of a stand, destroying more puppets from that position before running away. However, he finds multiple explosive puppets waiting for him. Although he survives the explosion, he is blasted in the air towards another stand filled with Chrollo's explosive puppets. The loss of a leg prevents him from escaping to the ceiling, but before he can project Bungee Gum from his other leg, Chrollo throws two spectators at him, causing him to fall back into the ring. As the puppets prepare to attack him, Hisoka prepares for his death and is soon engulfed in an explosion.
The next time Hisoka is seen he is, by all means, dead; presented before Kortopi, Shalnark and Machi; his face is extremely disfigured by the explosion, with one of the three wondering why he did not suffer more damage. Shalnark explains that he used a large portion of the puppets as a "meat shield" so to speak, protecting his from the bulk of the explosion, but ultimately causing him to die from suffocation. Shalnark and Kortopi leave after Machi says that she'll stay to tend to his wounds. Closing his eyes before attempting to stitch up his neck, Machi is shocked to see his aura re-emerge from his body; she mistakenly believes this to be his Nen preserving after his death before it is revealed that he used Bungee Gum to restart his heart and lungs after his demise.
Greeting her rather cheerfully after coming back to life, she confirms that he was indeed dead for some time, after which Hisoka admits that fighting someone of Chrollo's league and hundreds of Nen puppets at the same time was more than he could chew, referring to the experience as a "wake up call" as a result. He then proceeds to mend and hide his wounds, whilst simultaneously replacing his missing arm and leg using Bungee Gum and Texture Surprise. After saying that his next opponents won't have a choice in where and who they fight, he restrains Machi using Bungee Gum before she leaves, telling her that he shall kill all members of the Phantom Troupe. Struggling to get out, she shouts and swears at Hisoka, saying she'll kill him herself before Hisoka makes his exit.
The next time Hisoka is seen, Shalnark had just come off of the phone with Chrollo, discussing plans to board the Kakin Royal Family's ship and steal their valuables. While Shalnark is wondering what's taking Kortopi so long in the bathroom, Hisoka walks out instead. Shocked, Shalnark runs towards him before Hisoka throws Kortopi's severed head at him. After catching it, Shalnark cries it out of shock before Hisoka lands an extremely powerful attack to his head, killing him. Shalnark's mangled body is then seen tied to a swing with Kortopi's severed head in front of him and crows gathering around their corpses.
Powers and Abilities
Although he isn't in the same caliber as Meruem, Netero or Chrollo Lucilfer, Hisoka is undoubtedly one of the strongest characters in the series due to his versatility in his powers and high intelligence.
- Enhanced Strength: Hisoka was ranked 3rd in the Phantom Troupe for physical strength, being capable of shattering rocks and incapacitating powerful fighters with just a finger.
- Enhanced Speed: Hisoka main attribute is his tremendous speed, easily faster than opponents going at speeds faster than the eye can see. He routinely outmatches his opponents, and defeats them with extreme surgical movements.
- Extreme pain-tolerance: Hisoka pain tolerance is very high, too the point where he hardly even notices when he is injured. Time and time again, he has shrugged of attacks that have crushed his limbs and kept fighting like nothing happened. This coupled with superhuman durability, have to lead to him to engage many fighters and leave the battlefield without a hint of exhaustion.
- High Intellect: Hisoka is arguable one of the smartest characters in the series. Hisoka is quite observant and is a master strategist, being able to guess an opponent's strength merely by looking at them. He is able to predict his opponent's attacks before they even occur, enabling him to win numerous battles. Barring Chrollo, he has hardly lost a tactical battle when not playing around, even then he usually quits when he doesn't see the point of fighting or postpones the match until the other is stronger.
- Nen: Transmutation
- Bungee Gum: Hisoka can cause his aura to mimic and combine the properties of gum and rubber. The result is a very sticky gum-like mass, albeit very strong. This enables Hisoka to ensnare his opponents and attack them with a flurry of punches. Hisoka can change its shape and size at will. This ability was named after Hisoka's favorite chewing gum.
- Texture Surprise: Hisoka can alter his appearance by attaching his aura to any thin surface, such as paper. However, this trick fails easily once physical contact is made. This ability was named after Hisoka's favourite sticker brand.
- In the official databook, his name is "Hyskoa."
- Hisoka's name written in Kanji (密か) can mean "secretly."
- Hisoka's Nen abilities are named after his favorite candy and chewing gum brands.
- Hisoka's appearance as a clown, hairstyle, painted teardrops, card throwing skills, etc., may be references to another Yoshihiro Togashi character, Suzuki, from his earlier work YuYu Hakusho, when he was dressed up as a clown.
- Hisoka changes his appearances at each turn of the story arc.
- Hisoka's Hunter Exam number is 44. The number 4 has heavy implications of death in some Asian languages including Japanese and Chinese since its synonymous with the word "death" or "to die". The number 44 can mean "certainty of death".
- In Episode 54 of the 2011 edition, Hisoka wrote a message "the corpses were fake" using an emoticon (★—_—♠) of himself.
- Daisuke Namikawa also voices Ulquiorra Cifer, Rokuro Okajima and Jellal Fernandes.