When it comes to multi-faceted characters, Killua Zoldyck from Hunter X Hunter book in many ways. Coming from a family of assassins, he ran away from home at 12 to take the Hunter exam. There he meets his first friend, Gon Freecss, and his journey of self-discovery begins.
From precocious young boy to protective older brother, Killua goes through many changes in his quest to understand his true purpose. His evolution is marked by some of the most touching and devastating quotes from any character on the show, demonstrating the depth of his development and bringing him to life for viewers.
Getting to Know Killua
“I slashed my mother in the face, stabbed my brother in the side and ran away from home.”
Killua describes to Gon how he escaped his family. Sitting on an airship with a beautiful view of the city as a backdrop, Killua reveals that he is from the infamous Zoldyck family of assassins and that they want him to take over one day, a fate he desperate to avoid.
What makes this so memorable isn’t just the glee with which Killua says it or the way he talks about stalking his family like nothing would make him happier – this is the first time Killua’s story in as an assassin prodigy is evoked. It also sets him apart from the rest of his family, a recurring theme that becomes the focal point of his character.
All about technology
“Well, it wasn’t really a technique, I just tore it up.”
This quote comes after Killua takes out Johness’ heart at Trick Tower and Kurapika asks him how he did it. A straight-faced Killua replies that he just ripped it off, then demonstrates how he manipulates his claw fingers to make it easier.
The fight at Trick Tower is the first time Hunter X Hunter really shows the full extent of Killua’s abilities, making this line both fun and scary. The deadpan delivery on such a dark topic is darkly hilarious, but it also gives a sense of just how dangerous Killua is. This gives more insight into Killua’s upbringing as an assassin and sets the tone for the power he will wield in future episodes.
leave it all behind
“I’m so sick of killing people. I want to be friends with Gon.”
In a shocking twist, Killua must face his older brother, Illumi, in the final stage of the Hunter Exam. When Irumi uses Nen-powered mind control to try to get Killua to give up, suggesting he’s just a puppet for the Zoldyck family, he retaliates by clinging to one truth: he wants to be friends with Gon.
This shows how different Killua is from his family and sets him on a path to creating his own destiny. This is the first time he stands up to Irumi, one of the only people he fears. It’s also the first time he acknowledges his friendship with Gon, a relationship that quickly becomes part of his new identity and drives the majority of his actions.
lessons in humility
“Wow, I’m so humble!”
Killua draws a long line in the dirt to demonstrate the strength gap between Gon and Hisoka, much to Gon’s dismay. When Gon asks what the gap between Killua and Hisoka is, Killua draws a much shorter line and thinks to himself how humble he is to admit there is a gap.
Killua’s lack of self-awareness (and the cat face he makes while saying that line) brings viewers a much-appreciated laugh. His failure to realize how outclassed he is by Hisoka speaks to his youthful inexperience. It’s a lighthearted moment that shows just how much of a kid Killua still is, despite the horrors he’s been through.
It’s okay, he’s only 12
“There’s nothing I want to do. You got your thing, I got nothing.”
Killua and Gon relax under the stars on Whale Island after a long day of playing in the forest and being just kids. Gon tells Killua about his plans to go to Yorknew City and search for his father, which causes Killua to realize that he has no idea what he wants to do next.
Killua has been with Gon since Gon, Leorio, and Kurapika rescued him from his family. All he’s done so far has been to pursue Gon’s ambitions and for the first time it strikes Killua that he never thought about his future beyond being free from his family. Although he stays with Gon for a long time, the seed of discovering his “thing” is planted here.
The power of friendship
“Gon, you are the light itself.”
This private thought is heard after Gon wakes up from an encounter with Neferpitou. Killua is angry with himself for running away and leaving Kite behind, and an optimistic Gon reassures him that Kite is still alive. Gon’s overwhelming positivity, in contrast to Killua’s gloomy outlook, elicits this touching feeling.
Killua, beneath his bravado, is a traumatized child with a diminished sense of self-esteem. He feels like a coward, unworthy of kindness. In his mind, he does not have the capacity for that “light” that he so desperately craves, so he seeks it outwardly. This quote simultaneously shows the depth of Killua’s self-loathing and admiration for his best friend, which fills a perceived void in his soul.
Be the light he always wanted
“I guess I was the only one who thought we were already friends.”
When Killua saves the life of the chimera ant Ikalgo, the ant can’t help but return the favor. After recovering, Killua is ready to return to the fight, but not without his new friend. Ikalgo hesitates, wondering if he is worthy to come, so Killua drops this invitation for Ikalgo to follow him.
Killua has come a long way. He begins to realize that he has the capacity to do good and he is able to pay for it. Ikalgo struggles with similar self-hatred issues and Killua is able to be the light for him just like Gon was for Killua. In a full loop moment, Ikalgo’s emotional reaction to this quote mirrors how Killua feels about Gon.
It’s normal to feel sad
“I can’t help it anymore!”
As he battles with the new chimera ant Palm, Killua comes to this heartbreaking conclusion. He knows how much Gon is hurting from what happened to Kite, and that if he sees Palm as an ant, he will “totally break”. Killua realizes he is powerless to save Gon from himself.
Probably the most heartbreaking quote from Hunter X Hunter, at which point Killua feels like Gon is completely out of his reach. He said everything he could think of to curb Gon’s irrational quest for revenge and it didn’t work. As Killua breaks down and cries, his devastation at seeing his light go out and not being able to stop him is palpable.
The best big brother
“If I was the only person who really loved you in the whole world, well, would that make you sad?”
Killua and his sister Alluka are on the run from their family in a desperate attempt to save Gon. Locked away by the Zoldycks for the power that her alter ego Nanika wields, Alluka wonders if everyone would be better off without her. Killua responds with this heartbreaking question.
This represents Killua’s determination to make his sister feel validated, even if he is the only one doing it. It’s a big step in deciding where he wants his life to go and who he wants to be involved with. He even offers his sister a choice by asking if it would make her sad, giving her the autonomy neither of them received from their family.
“And now I will protect her for the rest of my life.”
In this bittersweet scene, Killua introduces Alluka and Nanika to a recently recovered Gon. He reveals that he finally understood what he wants to do with his life: protect his little sister.
This quote is poignant as Killua’s journey of self-discovery and his time with Gon come to an end. He knows who he is now, a person who wants to love and be loved while defending others from the harm he has suffered, expressed through his desire to protect his sister for the rest of her life. It’s a sad goodbye for Gon but a happy ending for Killua who is now at peace with himself.
NEXT: 10 Strongest Phantom Troupe Members In Hunter X Hunter, Ranked
Star Wars Director Reacts to Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu Comments
About the Author