Disclaimer: The article contains heavy spoilers about Hunter x Hunter manga.

The Zoldyck family is well-known in Hunter x Hunter for featuring some of the most powerful characters in the series. Each member of their family has exceptional abilities, especially Illumi with his needle technique. His presence in the series signals that something big is about to happen. 

Illumi truly captured our attention with the scene where he disguised himself as a Hunter applicant (Gittarackur) to keep an eye on Killua. It was absolutely mind-blowing. However, after that particular scene, Illumi doesn’t have much screen time except for when he tries to capture Killua and Alluka towards the end of the anime. Fans generally generate hatred towards him for his actions in the series. 

Hunter x Hunter Theory Will Make You Feel Sorry for the Worst Zoldyck
Illumi Zoldyck in Hunter x Hunter 2011 Season 1 (Credits: Madhouse)

However, many aren’t familiar with his backstory. However, one of the popular theories about Hunter x Hunter features a sad verdict about Illumi, which actually explains a lot about his character. Illumi’s background is not really explored much in the anime. And what we have seen in the anime is only his evil side.

Heartbreaking Theory of Hunter x Hunter 

Hunter x Hunter Theory Will Make You Feel Sorry for the Worst Zoldyck
Illumi Zoldyck using his manipulation abilities (Credits: Madhouse)

We do know that in Hunter x Hunter, Zoldyck’s siblings went through special training to become assassins. This training includes skills like the Rhythm Step and pain tolerance. Illumi, born as the first child, may have been the first subject of the Zoldyck family’s experiments, in which, Silva, Kikyo, and Zeno observed his training methods to determine what worked best for him. 

Also Read: “I could use it to crawl to a hospital”: Yoshihiro Togashi’s Favorite Nen Ability Hasn’t Even Been Animated Yet in Hunter x Hunter

This explains why Illumi is shown as emotionless. It’s logical that Illumi suffered mental trauma as a result of these experiments and training. Illumi’s trauma was likely hidden as love by his family. His way of showing love may appear immoral to us, but it’s likely the only way he knows how to express it given his upbringing and experiments. 

Reason Why Illumi is Considered a Disappointment in the Zoldyck Family

Hunter x Hunter Theory Will Make You Feel Sorry for the Worst Zoldyck
Illumi Zoldyck tracking down Killua (Credits: Madhouse)

In the Zoldyck family, those with white hair are classified as transmuters, while the dark-haired members are considered manipulators. So, Illumi being born with black hair becomes a disappointment to them. Silva and Zeno became disappointed with Illumi’s development after their experiments, which led them to focus more on the younger siblings, especially Killua.  

Also Read: “They will all die”: Yoshihiro Togashi May Have Already Sealed Phantom Troupe’s Grim Fate in Hunter x Hunter 14 Years Ago

We have seen this in the Zoldyck family arc, where Milluki talks to Zeno about his spoiled nature towards Killua, to which Zeno replies that Killua’s unique talent makes him the most gifted Zoldyck. 

While Killua got to choose a different path by meeting Gon, Illumi was treated like a lab rat. He was raised with a mindset that assassins don’t need friends, as they think they are unnecessary. However, Illumi’s childhood still remains unrevealed, leaving us to only think about the traumas he may have suffered.

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