Irumi (illumi) Zoldik is the oldest member of the Zoldik family. Irumi participated in the Hunter Examination under the name of "Gitarakuru" and with a different appearance. He uses singularly shaped needles as his weapon. Irumi is also a Hunter and a "friend" of Hisoka. He and his father Silva taught Kirua everything about his mastery of assassination.
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He is a tall boy, with long and smooth black hair, also with big black eyes. His facial expression remains almost always constant, serious. Among his hair, there is sometimes a strand that sticks out and stands out from his hairstyle. His outfit for the first bow is a pine green outfit (except for the shoulders) with needles stuck on his chest and shoes. Some kind of bandages are also attached to her belly, just like Hisoka. In York Shin, Irumi wears a similar outfit but this time it's more of a blue-purple color with long sleeves and jeans with holes.
Under his Gitarakuru disguise, he is completely different. He has only a blue crest on his head and looks much older. Needles stuck all over his body are visible.
Irumi has a peculiarity among the characters of Hunter × Hunter: we can never guess what he is thinking at any given moment. This is mainly due to his facial expression: his eyes that always remain wide open and his expression that never changes. Indeed, Irumi has a facial expression that remains unchanged whatever the situation, which makes it almost impossible to know what he is thinking. He is also a clever manipulator and liar who doesn't hesitate to use this talent to push his younger brother to give up during the last test of the exam. He knows how to keep his cool in all circumstances, except when it comes to his family, especially with Kirua.
Irumi cares about most of the Zoldik family. He is also willing to take on Aruka, even if it costs him his life. He has indicated, however, that Zoldik family members are not allowed to kill each other on an internal mission, but insinuates that he might kill Aruka because he does not consider her a family member.
Tsubone implies that Irumi's sinister ambition to control Aruka's power puts him off the path of an assassin.
Irumi is the eldest son of Silva Zoldik and Kikyo Zoldik, he was trained from birth in the art of assassination. He in turn trained Kirua, his younger brother, to become an assassin. Irumi was sent by his mother to watch over Kirua, who went to the Hunter exam. In order to control the development and actions of his younger brother. Before the series, Irumi inserted a needle in Kirua's brain, forcing him to flee from the fights if he knew he could not win. This needle was later extracted by Kirua himself during his fight against Ramotto.
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Arc of the hunter exam
Irumi is briefly seen during the first parts of the Hunters exam under the name of "Gitarackuru" and with his appearance strongly distorted by his pins and his incessant head movement. He makes his first appearance (as Gitarackuru) when Tompa offers him his laxative juice, and almost fails the second phase of the exam like the others due to Menchi's bad mood.
Before the fourth stage, on Zevil's island, the examiner Rippo gives each of the 25 candidates a card with a number on it. The fourth stage of the exam is conducted like a manhunt and Lippo warns the candidates that their own badges would be in the line of fire of another candidate since 3 badges (those that are not your targets) are worth 3 points. Gitarackuru calls Hisoka and offers his help, but Hisoka refuses the offer. He later discovers his target, Gozu, but is interrupted by Siper, who has Gitarackuru as her target and tries to kill him by sniping at him from a long distance. However, she hits Gozu, who is mortally wounded. Gitarackuru then kills Siper. Later, he visits Hisoka and gives him the badge belonging to Siper. He then digs a hole in the ground and sleeps in it with the two badges until the end of the fourth phase.
The final phase is a knockout tournament where the winners are removed from the tournament and the losers have more chances, winning a fight is equivalent to winning his license in some ways. Killua has to fight Gitarakuru in his second match after having given up his first match letting his opponent win. When the match starts, Irumi reveals himself to his little brother. He mentions that his reason for taking the exam was not only to get a license, which he needed for the assassination missions, but also to look after Kirua because of their mother's worry, and to prevent him from becoming a hunter. Irumi then tells his brother that he will never be a good hunter, because he can't free himself from his assassin training. He says that Kirua's only purpose in life is to kill, that he is only a puppet and wants nothing. Having been greatly confused, he asks Kirua why he wants to become a pro Hunter.
Kirua answers that he doesn't want to become a hunter, but he wants things. He wants to stop killing people, as this has become boring for him, and he wants to be friends with Gon, whom he met during the exam. Irumi judges that this is impossible, since he and his father trained Kirua as an assassin. He also says that if Kirua wanted to stay with Gon, he would end up hurting or even killing him because it is in his nature. Leolio, upset by Irumi's speech, says that Gon already considers Kirua as a friend. Irumi, disturbed by this, wants to kill Gon, but realizes that killing him would be breaking the rules of the exam. He then asks Netero if he would be disqualified if he kills Gon after his match with Kirua. Netero answers that his actions would not break any rules, because he would already be considered a hunter. Irumi tells Kirua that he will kill Gon unless Kirua beats him, which he says is impossible. This is a trick question, because the needle in Kirua's head makes him unable to attack opponents he cannot defeat, and he surrenders. Irumi then obtains his Hunter's license.
Gon, awake from his sleep, hears from Satotsu that Kirua has been disqualified after killing a candidate. He comes out of his room, then goes to the hall and asks Irumi to apologize to Kirua, but Irumi does not understand Gon's reasoning. Gon says that Irumi is not qualified to be Kirua's brother. Irumi asks if one needs qualification to be a brother. Gon, still angry, lifts Irumi using one hand and breaks his arm. Netero says that he was just discussing the matter with everyone before Gon came in, noting that they were looking into the nature of Kirua's act. The verdict is that Kirua was rightly disqualified, but that he is still eligible for the next year's exam.
Irumi, aware that Gon would not stop bothering him until he knew where Kirua was, told Gon that Kirua had returned to their home, Kukuru mountain. He is later seen discussing with Hisoka about the matter. Hisoka asks Irumi if it was a good idea to tell him where Kirua was. Irumi says that the location is already famous and that there is no harm in revealing it to Gon. Irumi thinks that Gon is dangerous and suggests that it would be better if he kills him, but Hisoka dissuades him and says that Gon is his prey.
York Shin City Arch
During the underground auction of York Shin City, it is revealed that Irumi is an acquaintance of Kuroro Lucifer. He, Maha, and Karuto, are hired by Kuroro to assassinate the Ten Gifts of the Mafia, who have given bounties on the head of the Ghost Brigade. After he completes this mission, Hisoka hires Irumi to disguise himself as him and break into the Brigade's lair.
Arc of the 13th President Hunter's Elections
Irumi is running for the next presidency as Gittarackuru. He talks with Hisoka about what happened during the Kimera Ant crisis, the death of President Netero, his younger sister Aruka (whom he wants to eliminate), and the current situation with Kirua. In a flashback, Irumi experiments on Aruka (whom he considers a thing) to count the mischief of wishes using a butler, resulting in the death of the butler and at least 66 other people. Irumi then appears with Hisoka and discusses with him about Aruka's abilities.
As Kirua, Aruka and his servants drive to the hospital where Gon is, Irumi calls him on the phone and asks him if he has removed his needle. Kirua confirms it to him and Irumi warns him that he will start to take action for his personal quest of elimination of Aruka. Kirua then asks if he wants to kill him, to which Irumi proudly answers that it is forbidden to kill a family member during an "internal mission", implying that he does not consider Aruka as a family member. Kirua immediately issues a challenge to Irumi. As soon as this happens, Irumi manipulates the driver of a car and two trucks which makes the car topple off the cliff. Watching from afar, Hisoka remarks that Irumi is too extreme. Irumi answers that he has no choice because Kirua hides some rules of Aruka's ability and asks Hisoka to eliminate the butlers. Hisoka then asks if he can kill Kirua, which causes Irumi to momentarily release a murderous and intense aura. Irumi asks if this was a deliberate provocation to reveal their location to Kirua, but Hisoka claims it was a joke.
Irumi arrives at an airport to meet Hisoka. He knows that Kirua used 8 airships to escape them. Hisoka suggests an ambush at the hospital, but Irumi tells him that's not a very good idea because Kirua's friends are there. Instead, he relies on his men-at-arms to do the job for him. Kirua and Morau create a plan to capture the needlemen first, targeting Irumi. Kirua wants to "sell" his older brother by asking for help from other hunters. Irumi makes his first move, while Hisoka eliminates the hunters for him.
Irumi arrives in the evening and tells Kirua to give him Aruka. Just then, Tsubone arrives, revealing that she is the "voyeur". She claims that Miruki is cooperating with Irumi by sending a video. The Zoldiks can be seen all through the video stream of her scope. This is an order from Kikyo, her mother. Suddenly, Aruka asks for Tsubone's nails, who fulfills her requests. Tsubone invites Kirua to make a wish, simultaneously Irumi announces that Kirua wants to sacrifice dozens of innocent people to save Gon. Irumi stipulates that killing a family member is forbidden, and that he is willing to die to ensure the safety of the whole family. Instead of wishing Irumi dead, Kirua wishes to heal Tsubone's left hand. After that, Irumi tells him that he is assured that there is a way to heal Gon without putting Kirua and the family at risk, but the situation still hasn't erased his doubts about Kirua's secret about Aruka's powers. Until Kirua refuses to tell this secret, Aruka will never be free. Later, Irumi is seen watching from afar and wondered what would happen if he was able to control Aruka's ability. He asks Tsubone to watch while Nanika proceeds to heal Gon.
Irumi feels a huge force, along with the other hunters, and laughs in a satanic way, saying that he must control "it" at all costs. He approaches the hospital, stalks Kirua and Aruka again. Arriving at the hospital room, he analyzes the rules of Aruka's ability. When he arrives, he assures Kirua that when he will control Aruka properly, he will guarantee the minimum freedom for Aruka instead of being locked in a room all the time. Kirua refuses and tells Irumi that he will be the only one to protect Aruka. Irumi becomes impatient and demands that Kirua gives him Aruka. Kirua wakes up Nanika and wants Irumi to go home. He is immediately teleported to the Zoldik mansion, to the astonishment of the whole family. This event makes Irumi even more eager to control Aruka's powers to achieve his goals.
Arc of the succession contest
At Hisoka's request, Irumi joins the Ghost Troop and boards the Black Whale, beginning her search for the magician. On the fourth day of the trip, the group gathered at a table on level 5. After stating that they had not been able to find Hisoka on this level, Chrollo invites Irumi to introduce herself. Irumi complies, explaining the nature of his relationship with the wizard and that he joined the Spiders on his commission so that he could kill him. Because of the seriousness of their "cat game", Irumi was not told where to find him. When the Cha-R family members arrive to claim their table, the troop leaves without a fight and splits up. Chrollo declares that they will meet again after one of them has taken the lead of Hisoka.
Irumi and Kalluto manage to reach level 3, higher than the other Spider members. However, they are cornered by the army in the Vista area of the ship after their emergency announcement of a dangerous stowaway. The two Zoldycks obey the soldiers, and when Corporal Mizuri pulls an ID from Illumi's pocket, the soldier identifies them as VVIPs and asks why they are there. Irumi replies that he has business there. The soldier informs them of the quasi-martial law situation and insists that he take them home. However, Irumi refuses and reiterates that he has things there. Botobai and Mizaistom interrupt the exchange, the former identifying Irumi as a hunter. Mizaistom asks Irumi if the ghost troop is on board, which the assassin confirms without ambiguity while implying that he is also a spider, to the great surprise of Kalluto. Irumi claims to be an honest person, although he adds that he can't answer more questions due to confidentiality. Mizaistom understands and offers the two Zoldycks residential units on level 3. Misunderstanding Zoldycks, Irumi requests a single cell with a shower. After being straightened out by Mizaistom, Irumi and Kalluto follow him, until he rushes off to another urgent matter and leaves them with Botobai and Ginta .
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Needles: Irumi has three sets of needles which, when infused with his Nen, can be used in a variety of ways. The ones he uses most often are round-headed needles of various sizes with a yellow handle and a silver shaft. They allow him to change the appearance of others or himself. He can also use them to manipulate corpses to an unknown extent (in the 1999 animated adaptation, the needles used for this task were light blue). The second type of needles he showed allows him to brainwash a target when implanted in his head. They look like golden sewing needles. Illumi also has a third set of needles, which he rarely uses. Compared to his usual set, they have a much thinner and longer handle with a spherical, yellow grip. When stuck in the skull of a target, Irumi can turn them into a needle person and control them freely.
Zoldyck Personal Transmitter: Assassins in the Zoldyck family can contact each other with a special transmitter to signal the execution of a murder contract.
Capabilities and powers
Irumi enjoys all the benefits of being a Hunter. In addition, as a member of the Zoldyck family, he has vast wealth and capable underlings. His family name alone is enough to frighten those who know him. Hisoka rates Illumi's overall power at 95 points, ranking him higher than some members of the Zodiacs. Due 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 annihilate a squadron of over 20 amateur fighters without any of them managing to press the emergency button. He could have superhuman control over his body, as he told Hisoka that he would sleep for five days. Irumi is also a very skilled impersonator, and he seems to be able to hide his strength and other aspects that might give him away when in disguise since he managed to fool Killua and the Ghost Brigade. This skill apparently comes with the ability to hide his true power, as none of the examiners seemed to be aware of his abilities until he revealed himself in the final phase.
Improved Speed: While the true extent of Illumi's physical abilities is unknown, he is at least fast enough to move through a crowd and drive his needles into multiple targets without being noticed. His speed allowed him to kill a group of Hunters before any of them could call for help.
Advanced endurance: Illumi was able to complete a long-distance run of more than 80 kilometers in length and run over rough terrain such as stairs and a swamp without breaking a sweat.
Immense pain tolerance: Irumi did not flinch when Gon broke his arm; afterwards, he showed no visible distress due to pain.
High Intelligence: Irumi is able to make accurate predictions about Alluka's power as he was able to fully understand the method by which Killua's wishes were granted without further consequence.
Master Thrower: Irumi can throw multiple needles at once or in rapid succession with great accuracy.
Irumi is a Manipulator and possesses an incredibly sinister Ren that can be felt at least several hundred meters away. His aura is so powerful that if injected into a normal person, it will paralyze them for life. His Nen abilities allow him to change his physical appearance, control the dead and the living with overwhelming mind and body control, and influence others with more subtle types of manipulation, a range of applications that suggests great mastery of this Nen category. He might have made a different use of manipulation when he closed a hole in the ground apparently without touching it, moving the ground with Nen. Illumi seems to have abundant reserves of aura, since, although coercive manipulation is rather taxing, he is able to control dozens of targets at once.
Illumi's Nen Type: Manipulation
Body Alteration: Hirumi uses large round-headed needles primarily to alter her own body shape and skin color. Removing the needles will return him 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 about five hours, and his eyes remain the same. He can use this ability to infiltrate places where his targets may reside, as shown when he fooled the ghost troop into thinking he was Hisoka after switching places with him in the ghost troop's hideout. This ability was also used at one point by Irumi on another person, distorting the target's face while causing incapacitating pain.
Hypnotic Spell: By placing a needle in the target's brain, Irumi is able to condition the target to follow predefined commands for as long as the needle remains depressed. In Killua's case, the activation triggered an overwhelming fear, which he associated with Irumi, which in turn caused varying degrees of paralysis depending on the severity of his infraction. The conditioning activates automatically as soon as the victim intends to take an action that violates Illumi's orders. Willpower alone is not enough to free oneself from the hypnosis; however, by dint of resisting it, the victim suffers from increasingly localized headaches that detect the presence and position of the needle. The ability is also subtle, leading the victim to believe that the commands they receive reflect their own emotions or are the result of their habits. Not even Biscuit Krueger , who trained Killua to help him overcome his fear, and Isaac Netero , who was revered as the world's greatest Nen user, were apparently able to detect the effects of the needle. It seems that this ability can also be used to suppress specific feelings until the needle is removed, as Killua attributed it to turning his back on his sister.
Corpse Control: By piercing their heads with multiple needles, Irumi can manipulate one or more deceased individuals. Victims can perform complex actions, such as talking and driving. They have no will or reflexes of their own and may be driven to take suicidal actions. Although some victims show obvious signs of control, others may simulate normal behavior to deceive onlookers, which Illumi can facilitate by positioning the needles so that they are not immediately visible. This method of producing henchmen to do Illumi's bidding was supposed to require more time than Needle People . Despite being dead, none of the victims of this ability appear to have suffered any injuries beyond the insertion of the needles, perhaps suggesting that this is how they were killed.
Needle People: Irumi sticks a special needle imbued with a large amount of aura into a person's skull and gives a command. The target of the ability loses all sentience and follows his command until they die trying or from overexertion. If a person with the needle survives, they will be paralyzed for the rest of their life. Illumi usually sticks a needle in the back of the target's head, whose ungainly movements and expression make them easy to recognize as being under the influence of the ability; however, Needle People who have had two needles stuck in their foreheads have been seen talking and driving normally.
- In the official databook, Illumi's name is also spelled as "Yellmi Zaoldyck".
- In one of the Hunter × Hunter merchandising products, the character's disguise/alias, Gittarackur, is alternatively named "Guitarakle".
- "Illumi" may come from an Italian word ("illuminato") meaning "enlightened". However, the name can be linked to the Illuminati , which is often associated with goals of world domination. Illumi is also a manipulator, which fits the iconic (if not misleading) description of the Illuminati.
- Irumi has known Hisoka a little longer than Chrollo Lucilfer.
- In chapter 320, Irumi was shown disguised as Gittarackur for the first time since the Hunter exam arc, where the first election for the 13th Hunter president vote took place.
Differences between anime and manga
- In the 1999 animated adaptation, there is a bonus stage right after the 3rd phase, in which contestants must collect treasures in order to have a room on a ship for three days. Gittarackur collects treasures easily 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 the wheel of the ship after Kurapika hits his head and loses consciousness. The next morning, Hisoka compliments him on his excellent work, to which Gittarackur only gives him a peace sign. His head is shown only briefly at this point, but his hair is clearly visible.
- In the 1999 series, Irumi argues with Gon after the exam. Gon kicks him in the head while swinging on a vine. Presumably, Irumi let him do it, as Gon is nowhere near the raw speed needed to land a blow with his own power. He praises Gon's fighting 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 if he knows it because he still can't reach him.
- In the 1999 version of the Greed Island arc, Irumi appeared in a non-speaking cameo.
- In the 2011 series, a young Irumi appears in Killua's flashback to his childhood. He shows a continuity error involving Illumi's hair, which is long in this flashback, when it should be short, as seen in the flashback in episode 138 . Here, he welcomes Kirua to his house and asks him how his work went. Killua knows that Illumi has been watching him and neglects to answer the question. Irumi stands next to Killua and tells him that their mother Kikyo is waiting inside, but Killua replies that he does not want to see her.
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