"And even if rule five has an exception where it doesn't apply to Killua, I don't mind dying as long as it means the rest of my family will be safe... Killua will suffer for the rest of his life. And I will live on forever... in Killua's heart...!!"
Illumi Zoldyck (イルミ＝ゾルディック, Irumi Zorudikku) is the eldest child of Silva and Kikyo Zoldyck. During the 287th Hunter Examination, he appeared under the guise of Gittarackur (ギタラクル, Gitarakuru). Illumi currently seems to be the only person that Hisoka claims as a friend, although their relationship is unconventional.
2011 | 1999 | Manga
Illumi appears expressionless, his face like an emotionless mask. He has very long jet black hair, usually combed behind his head as well as very large, dark eyes. To disguise himself as Gittarackur, Illumi uses large round head pins to reconstruct his facial structure, and even voice, beyond recognition. The pins in his chest seem to affect the muscles in his body, as he looks more slender without them.
When he was younger, Illumi's hair only reached his shoulders. He wore long sleeves with a shirt underneath, as well as grey pants.
Illumi, for the most part, displays very little expression. In contrast to his expressionless demeanor, Illumi often speaks in a somewhat joyful and absent-minded tone. He is generally a stony, ruthless person with an extremely cold way of thinking and reflects only on his interests. Still, he holds a twisted and overprotective form of love for his younger brother, Killua; this manifests to the point that he used his Nen ability to control Killua and ensure he survives and obeys. He and his father raised Killua to believe that the only thing sustaining him was darkness, and that he could only obtain joy in causing the death of others. To ensure that Killua would live to carry on the family business, and as a means of protecting his little brother, Illumi implanted a needle in Killua's brain, forcing the latter to run from battles he wasn't sure he could win. He also has an unusual friendship with Hisoka, although it is unclear as to how it developed. Illumi once came to the aid of Hisoka by standing for him as a double in the Phantom Troupe's hideout while Hisoka attempted to find Chrollo. However, when Hisoka asked Illumi would it be okay if he killed Killua, Illumi displayed a horrifying side of himself and asked if Hisoka wanted to die then and there - he acted very similar to how Hisoka did himself after Illumi was opting whether or not to kill Gon, whom he sees as a threat due to his closeness with Killua, during the Hunter Exam, albeit on a much lesser expense.
Illumi cares for most of the Zoldyck family members. He is willing to handle Alluka's power, even if it costs him his life. He has stated, however, that family members are not allowed to kill during an inner mission (a mission where there is internal conflict), but insinuates that he would be fine with killing Alluka and does not consider Alluka a member of the family.
While Illumi seems devoid of many human emotions, he is not without a sense of desire as he greatly hankers Alluka's Wish Granting ability. Tsubone implies that Illumi's sinister ambition to control Alluka's power even caused him to stray from the path of an assassin.
Illumi is the eldest son of Silva and Kikyo, and was raised from birth in the art of assassination. He and his father trained Killua to become an assassin. At some point in the past, he learned Nen and, in order to control the development and actions of his younger brother, he inserted a needle into Killua's brain, forcing him to run away from the battles he wasn't sure he could win. Sometime prior to the 287th Hunter Exam, he established some sort of relationship with Hisoka. When Killua ran away, Illumi was sent by his mother to watch over his brother.
Hunter Exam arc
Illumi is briefly seen during the first parts of the Hunter Exam, under the name of Gittarackur and with his appearance highly distorted by his pins. He makes his first appearance when Tonpa considers offering him his laxative-laced juice. When Hisoka lags behind to play judge, Illumi helps him find his way to the second stage with a walkie-talkie and a transponder. He almost fails the second phase due to Menchi's temper. He is amongst the examinees who pass the third phase.
Before the fourth phase on Zevil Island, the examiner Lippo gives each of the 25 remaining candidates a card with a number on it; the fourth stage of the exam is conducted as a manhunt and Lippo warns the candidates that their own badges would be on the line due to every candidate being given the number of another's badge. Gittarackur phones Hisoka and offers his help, but Hisoka turns down the offer. He later finds his target, Goz, but is interrupted by Siper, who has Gittarackur as her target and attempts to kill him by sniping at him from a distance. However, she hits Goz, who is fatally injured. Gittarackur then kills Siper. Later, he goes to Hisoka and gives him the number badge belonging to Siper. He then digs a hole and sleeps in it with the two badges until the end of the fourth phase.
The final phase is an elimination tournament where the winners are removed from the tournament and the losers given more chances; winning a match results in the victor receiving his or her Hunter License. Killua is required to fight Gittarackur as his second match after feeling sorry for his first opponent and letting him win. When the match begins, Illumi reveals himself to his little brother. He mentions that his reason for taking the exam was not only to obtain a license, which he needed for an assassination mission, but also to watch over Killua because of their mother's worries about Killua going off on his own. Illumi then tells his brother that he will never make a good Hunter because he cannot break free of his training as an assassin. He says that Killua's only purpose in life is in killing others, and that he is only a puppet and wants nothing. Having severely disoriented him, he asks what it is that Killua expects from becoming a Hunter.
Killua replies that he does not want anything from the Exam, but he does want things. He wants to stop killing people, having become bored with the practice, and wants to be friends with Gon, whom he had met during the Exam. Illumi deems it impossible, since he and his father raised Killua to be a cold-blooded assassin. He also says that if Killua were to stay with Gon, he'd eventually hurt or even kill him because it's in his nature. Leorio, upset by Illumi's speech, claims that Gon already views Killua as his friend. Illumi, troubled by this, wants to murder Gon, but realizes that killing him would break the rules of the Exam. He asks Netero if he would be disqualified if he killed Gon after his match with Killua. Netero replies that his actions wouldn't be breaking any rules, since he would already be considered a licensed Hunter. Illumi tells Killua that he will kill Gon unless Killua fights him. This is a trick question, as the needle in Killua's head makes him unable to attack opponents he cannot defeat, and he surrenders. Illumi gets his Hunter License.
Gon, awoken from his sleep, hears about how Killua lost and was disqualified for killing a fellow contestant from Satotz. He then asks Illumi to apologize to Killua, but Illumi does not understand Gon's reasoning. Gon claims that Illumi is not qualified to be Killua's brother. Illumi asks if one needs qualification to be a brother. Gon, further angered, lifts Illumi up using one hand and breaks his arm. Netero, who was discussing the topic with everyone else before Gon came in, notes that they are examining the nature of Killua's act. The verdict they arrive at is that Killua was rightfully disqualified, but he is still eligible for the following year's exam.
Illumi, aware that Gon would not stop bothering him until he knows where Killua is, tells Gon that Killua went home to Kukuroo Mountain. He is later seen discussing with Hisoka on the matter. Hisoka asks Illumi if it was a good idea for him to reveal the location where Killua was. Illumi says that the location is already famous and that there is no harm in revealing it to Gon. Illumi thinks that Gon is dangerous and suggests that it would be best if he killed him, but Hisoka warns him that Gon will only die by his hands.
Yorknew City arc
During the Southernpiece Auction in Yorknew City, it is revealed that Illumi is an acquaintance of Chrollo Lucilfer. He, Maha, and Kalluto, are hired by Chrollo to assassinate the Ten Mafia Dons, who placed bounties on the Phantom Troupe's heads. After he accomplishes this mission, Hisoka hires Illumi to disguise himself as him and infiltrate the Phantom Troupe's hideout. Illumi uses Kalluto to distract the members in the hideout while switching places with Hisoka.
Chimera Ant arc
Illumi does not formally appear in this arc though Killua mentions him several times. Killua discovers a needle in his brain that Illumi had planted in order to control him and removes it during his fight against Rammot. Silva and Zeno deduce that Killua has removed the needle shortly afterward.
13th Hunter Chairman Election arc
Illumi shows up at the election for the next chairman in his Gittarackur disguise. He talks with Hisoka about what had happened during the Chimera Ant crisis, the death of chairman Netero, his younger sibling Alluka (whom he wishes to eliminate), and the current situation with Killua. In Killua's flashback, Illumi experimented with Alluka's wish granting ability using a servant named Kasuga, resulting in the death of the servant and at least 66 other people.
Illumi appears again sitting with Hisoka in an airship bar, where they discuss Alluka's ability. Illumi explains to Hisoka the magnitude of and the rules related to Alluka's power, stating that tens of thousands of people, including the Zoldycks and Hisoka, may die if Killua's wish to restore Gon goes awry. He fears that Killua will make the wish in a dangers way— having somebody else make a wish and pay the price himself. Illumi asks Hisoka to help him kill Alluka if Killua refuses to make his wish in a safe way.
While Killua is going to Gon's hospital with Alluka and his servants in a car, Illumi calls him by the phone and asks about the removal of the needle, which Killua confirms. Illumi says he will go into action. Killua then asks if he wants to kill him, to which Illumi replies that family members are forbidden to kill each other in an "inner mission," implying that he does not view Alluka as family and wants to kill Alluka. Killua immediately issues a challenge to Illumi. As soon as that happens, Illumi manipulates the drivers of a car and two trucks to drive Killua's car off the cliff. Watching from a distance, Hisoka remarks that Illumi is too extreme. Illumi replies that he has no choice because Killua is hiding some rules of Alluka's ability and asks Hisoka to eliminate the servants. Hisoka then asks if he can kill Killua, resulting in Illumi's momentary release of an intense murderous aura. Illumi wonders if this was a deliberate provocation to reveal their location to Killua, but Hisoka claims it was a joke.
Illumi arrives in an airport to meet up with Hisoka. He knows that Killua used 8 airships to escape them. Hisoka suggests on ambushing the hospital but Illumi tells him it's not a very good idea because Killua's friends are wandering there. Instead, he relies on his needlemen to do the job for him. Killua and Morel create a plan to capture the needle humans first, then targeting Illumi. Killua wants to "sell" off his big brother by asking a help to other Hunters. Illumi makes his first move, while Hisoka hunts the "misses" for him.
Hisoka and Illumi talk over the phone after killing the Hunters sent by Teradein, Bushidora and Lupe. Hisoka informs Illumi that he has found a map detailing the airships' paths and destinations. He offers to send Illumi a copy, albeit an altered one, but Illumi says that he also has a map from one of the attackers and that he already knows which airship Killua and Alluka are on. Illumi deduces that the airships will not land any time soon and sets out to aid Hisoka in finishing off the other attackers before going to where Killua and Alluka land. There he gets hold of Hishita and controls him. It is only when Killua and Alluka are already in the car that Killua discovers that Hishita is already under Illumi's control.
Illumi arrives and tells Killua to hand over Alluka. Just then, Tsubone also arrives, revealing that she is the 'peeping Tom'. She states that Milluki cooperates with Illumi by sending a video. The Zoldycks may be watching everything through the video feed from her scope. It is an order from Kikyo Zoldyck. Suddenly, Alluka requests for Tsubone's nail from her middle and ring finger, activating her wish-granting mode. Tsubone prompts Killua to make his wish; concurrently Illumi announces that Killua may sacrifice dozens of innocent people to save Gon. Illumi states that killing within the family is prohibited, and he is willing to die in order to ensure the whole family's safety. Instead of wishing for Illumi's death, Killua wishes to heal Tsubone's left hand. After this, Illumi tells him that he is assured that there is a way to heal Gon without putting Killua at risk, but the situation still has not erased his doubts as Killua hides something from him. Until Killua refuses to tell everything to him, Alluka will never be free. Later, Illumi is seen watching from afar and wondering about what would happen if he would be able to control Alluka's ability. He requests Tsubone to watch while Nanika proceeds to heal Gon.
Illumi feels a huge force, along with the other Hunters, and laughs to himself, saying that he will have and control "it." He approaches the hospital, stalking Killua and Alluka again. Upon reaching the hospital room, he analyzes the rules of Alluka's abilities. When he arrives, he assures Killua that when he [Illumi] manages how to control Alluka properly, he will guarantee minimum freedom for Alluka instead of being locked in a room all the time. Killua refuses and tells Illumi that he will be the one to protect her. Illumi becomes impatient and demands that Killua hand her over. Killua wakes up Nanika and wishes for Illumi to go home. He is immediately teleported back to the Zoldyck mansion, much to the amazement of the entire family. This event makes Illumi crave to control Killua in order to control Alluka's ability as well.
Needles: Illumi is in possession of three sets of needles which, when infused with his Nen, can be utilized in different ways. The ones he employs most commonly are round head needles that come in various sizes and have a yellow handle and a silver shaft. They enable him to change other people's appearance or his own. He can also use them to manipulate corpses to an unknown extent (in the 1999 anime, the needles used for this task were light blue). The second type of needles he has shown allow him to brainwash a target when implanted in their head. They look like golden sewing needles. Illumi also possesses a third set of needles, which he rarely resorts to. Compared to his usual set, they have a much thinner and longer shaft with a spherical, yellow handle. When stuck in the skull of a target, Illumi can turn them into a Needleman and freely control them.
Zoldyck Transmitter: The assassins of the Zoldyck family can contact each other with a special transmitter to report the fulfillment of a murder contract.
Abilities & Powers
Illumi has all the benefits granted by his status as a Hunter. Furthermore, as a member of the Zoldyck Family, he has vast wealth and capable underlings at his disposal. His family name alone is enough to scare the ones that know what it is associated to. Illumi has been trained since birth in assassination techniques. Hisoka rates Illumi's overall power 95 points, which makes him considerably stronger than some members of the Zodiacs. Thanks to his training, he possesses rare abilities such as strong resistance to poison, high tolerance to electricity, great agility and physical strength, and advanced armed and unarmed combat techniques. He was able to single-handedly wipe out a squadron of rookie and pro Hunters before any had the time to press the emergency button. He is also a very skilled impersonator. He might have superhuman control over his body, as he told Hisoka he was going to sleep for five days. Illumi also seems to be able to conceal his strength and other aspects that might give him away when disguised, since he managed to fool both Killua and the Phantom Troupe.
Enhanced Speed: While the true extent of Illumi's physical abilities is unknown, he is at least fast enough to run through a crowd and stick his needles into multiple targets without being noticed. His speed allowed him to kill a group of Hunters before any of them could ask for help.
Immense Endurance: Illumi did not flinch when Gon broke his arm; afterwards, he exhibited no visible distress from the pain.
High Intelligence: Illumi is able to formulate accurate predictions as seen concerning Alluka's power, since he was able to completely understand the method in which Killua's wishes were granted with no further consequences. He has also foreseen Killua's movements from the moment he took Alluka to heal Gon, assuring his high deductive intelligence.
Master Thrower: Illumi can throw multiple needles with high accuracy, always hitting the target with their point, despite them not appearing balanced. He can even pierce rock-hard materials with them, possible due to some sort of emitted Nen being attached to the needles themselves, however, it may be due to his sheer strength.
Illumi is a Manipulator and has an incredibly powerful, murderous aura which makes Killua fearful and wary whenever he approaches him. It is unknown how he learned Nen before becoming a professional Hunter. He could change his physical appearance, and can do either with or without the help of his needles, although the transformation lasts longer in the first case. Illumi by using his needles, could also distort other people's features and skeletal structure, seemingly causing them great pain, and manipulate the dead to some extent. When the needles imbued with Nen are thrust into the target's skull, his needles allow him to gain control over their mind, or to condition them into acting in a certain way, as he did to Killua. His aura is so powerful that, if injected into a normal person, it will cripple them for life. Illumi might have made a different use of Manipulation when he closed up a hole in the ground without apparently touching it, moving the soil with his Nen.
|Illumi's Nen Type: Manipulation|
|Type: Manipulation||Body Alteration|
|Illumi uses large, round head needles mainly to alter the shape of his own body and skin color. Removing the needles will cause him to revert to his original appearance. According to him, the transformation is quite painful. He can also change his appearance without needles, but in this case, he is able to maintain the disguise for around five hours, and his eyes remain the same. He can use this ability to infiltrate into places where his targets may reside, as shown when he fooled the Phantom Troupe into thinking he was Hisoka after switching places with him in the Phantom Troupe's hideout. This ability was also at one point used by Illumi on another person offensively, distorting the subject's face while they succumbed to the unexpected great pain of the process.|
|Type: Manipulation||Hypnotic Spell|
|By placing a needle into the target's brain, Illumi is able to hypnotize them into following his orders as long as the needle remains imbedded. The ability activates automatically every time the victim intends to do something that goes against Illumi’s orders. In Killua’s case, the activation triggered a crushing fear, which he associated with Illumi, and varying degrees of paralysis depending on the level of opposition. Though powerful, the ability is also subtle, leading the victim to think that the commands they receive are their own ideas or a result of their habits. Willpower alone is not sufficient to break free from the hypnosis; however, through resisting it, the victim suffers headaches that grow increasingly localized, making it possible to detect, locate, and remove the needle. Apparently, not even Isaac Netero, who used to be considered the best Nen user in the world, was able to detect the effect of the needle in Killua's head.|
|Type: Manipulation||Corpse Control|
|By piercing their head with multiple needles, Illumi can manipulate a number of targets to an unknown extent even if they are deceased. Being corpses, the victims have no will or reflexes of their own. With this ability, Illumi manipulated one of the Ten Dons to lead the mafia community into thinking the boss of the Phantom Troupe had been killed.|
|Type: Manipulation||Needlemen (針人間 Hariningen)|
|Illumi throws special needles imbued with his own aura into the skulls of a person in order to manipulate their actions. Whomever is pierced with Illumi's needles becomes one of his Needlemen and loses all sentience--following orders until death. Even if a Needleman survives, he will be an invalid for the rest of his life. It is unknown if Illumi can see what they see, or if he merely has good vision.|
- The Official Hunter × Hunter Character and World Databook has spelled Illumi as "Yellmi Zaoldyck".
- It was hinted that Illumi knew Chrollo Lucilfer before the Yorknew City arc started.
- Illumi may come from an Italian word ("illuminato") that means enlightened, the opposite of Illumi Zoldyck's personality. However, his name may be related to the Illuminati, who are often associated with goals of world domination. Illumi is also a Manipulator, which fits with the Illuminati's iconic (if not misleading) description.
- In the 1999 anime adaptation, there is a bonus stage right after the 3rd phase, in which the candidates are required to collect treasures in order to be provided with a room of a ship for three days. Gittarackur collects treasures with ease, and his first roommate happens to be Tonpa. When a storm approaches them, Gittarackur and Hisoka decide to help Gon's team. Hisoka saves Gon from drowning, while Gittarackur takes over the steering wheel of the ship after Kurapika bumped his head and lost consciousness. The next morning, Hisoka compliments him on his great job, to which Gittarackur only gives him a peace sign. His head is not yet shown at this point but his hair can clearly be seen.
- In Chapter 320 Illumi was shown disguised as Gittarackur for the first time since the Hunter Exam arc, where the First Election for the 13th Hunter Chairman voting took place.
- In the 1999 series, Illumi has a fight with Gon after the exam. Gon kicks him in the head by swinging on a vine. Presumably, Illumi let him do this, as Gon is nowhere near the raw speed necessary to land a blow with his own power. He praises Gon's combat potential and is about to kill him for corrupting Killua when he is stopped by Hisoka. He then gives Killua's location, saying that it doesn't matter that he knows because he still can't reach him.
- In the 2011 series, a younger Illumi appears in Killua's flashback of his childhood. It shows wrong continuity, as Illumi's hair is long in this flashback, while it should actually be short, as seen in the flashback in Episode 138. Here, he welcomes Killua home and asks how his work went. Killua knows that Illumi has been watching him, and so neglects to answer the question. Illumi stands beside Killua and tells him their mother Kikyo is waiting inside, but Killua only replies that he does not want to see her.
- (To Killua) "You can't defeat me. The answer's already there. Don't fight opponents you cannot defeat."
- (To Hisoka) "I will kill you. Right here, right now."
- (To Killua) "Killing within the family is prohibited. But if you wish "it", that's different. Now then, are you ready to do me in?"
|Members||Maha Zoldyck • Zeno Zoldyck • Silva Zoldyck • Kikyo Zoldyck • Illumi Zoldyck • Milluki Zoldyck • Killua Zoldyck • Alluka Zoldyck • Kalluto Zoldyck • Zzigg Zoldyck|
|Members||Tsubone • Canary • Amane • Zebro • Seaquant • Gotoh (former) • Mitsuba (former) • Kasuga (former) • Yasuha (former) • Hishita (former) • Hasama (former)|
|Members||Mike • Unnamed dragon|
|Active||Bonolenov • Feitan • Franklin • Kalluto Zoldyck • Kortopi • Machi • Nobunaga Hazama • Phinks • Shalnark • Shizuku|
|Former||Uvogin • Pakunoda • Hisoka • Omokage|
|Members||Hisoka • Illumi Zoldyck • Maha Zoldyck • Abengane|