There aren’t too many manga out there that can actually keep you glued to the edge of your seat quite like Hunter X Hunter does. Being Shueisha’s eighth best-selling manga comic, Hunter X Hunter has gained fame unlike any other. In such an action-packed story, when two of its villains clash against one another, you just know you’re in for a treat.
While making jokes on the show’s infamous hiatus may be fun, though, the story knows exactly when and how to strike you emotionally. The same goes for its fights – especially those where both competitors are determined to take each other’s lives.
Such was the gruesome fight between two titan antagonists of the show, Chrollo, and Hisoka. If you haven’t caught up to the manga (which you should, as it only gets better!), Chrollo and Hisoka agree to a battle that cannot stop… until one of them is no longer alive.
While the whole fight lasted only around 10 chapters, there is a lot to be covered from it. In fact, its entire volume (number 34) is named “Battle to the Death.” Many readers may have been perplexed about what went down during the entire battle and how Chrollo managed to win.
With that in mind, in order to make things easier for you, I’ll be going over each fight segment to explain the actual events that transpired. A little clarification before I jump into my analysis, though: this fight cannot be used to state whether Hisoka or Chrollo is stronger. I’ll add more details to that as we go along and let you judge for yourself.
My Bottom Line Up Front: Both Hisoka and Chrollo are powerful main characters in the show. However, here’s why I think Chrollo was able to take Hisoka down:
- Learning Hisoka’s only weakness (to enjoy a fight to the fullest).
- Finding loopholes in his abilities.
- Setting the best venue for the fight.
Main Differences Between Chrollo vs Hisoka
Understanding both of these characters is vital before jumping into the fight. Why? Because it helps us learn their behavior during the battle and the reasons behind their actions.
- The main difference between the two would be their attitude. Hisoka is a more self-centered and chaotic person, whereas Chrollo is a calmer character who is more attached to his group.
- Chrollo founded and works with the Phantom Troupe. Whereas Hisoka, on the other hand, prefers to do things alone.
- Chrollo fights with clear motives, whereas Hisoka’s drive to fight is to simply have fun.
- Chrollo is a more technical fighter who has a variety of abilities for different situations, whereas Hisoka’s true abilities lie in his physical strength.
Chrollo’s Power and Abilities
Coming over to Chrollo’s strength, he has an entirely different arsenal than Hisoka. While his initial appearance may not have depicted much of his strength (during the Yorknew City arc), the fact that he kept up with both Silva and Zeno Zoldyck at the same time shows his extent of power.
Zeno even went so far as to state that if he and Chrollo were to square off in a one-on-one bout, Chrollo would win if he wanted to. Chrollo likes to consider the current situation in a fight and has a wide array of techniques.
He falls under the category of being a “Specialist,” a Nen class which is unlike the other five. It’s vague in skill and rarer to be seen. Here’s a quick breakdown of Chrollo’s skills:
- High-Level Intelligence. Chrollo is a master strategist who prefers to pick his battles. (This is also visible when he faces Hisoka.) He has also led the entire phantom troupe and is one of the main reasons behind its growth.
- Close Combat. Chrollo isn’t the best in the show when it comes to close combat. However, he showed remarkable resilience when he faced off against Silva and Zeno Zoldyck.
Another impressive skill Chrollo possesses is to steal the powers of others through a conjured book called “Skill Hunter,” albeit with certain conditions. Let’s take a quick look at two abilities that Chrollo has stolen in the past:
- Fun-Fun Cloth. A cloth that can change its size depending on the will of its user. Anything or anyone that gets caught in it will lower in size until it can fit one’s palm, but without causing any damage. This move belonged to Owl of the Shadow Beasts group.
- The Sun and Moon. Prints two images on Chrollo’s hand, a Sun with a plus on the left and a Moon with a minus on the right. Chrollo can stick these marks on his target. Once both (Sun and Moon) the marks meet each other, the target explodes. The Sun and Moon originally belonged to the elder of Chrollo’s hometown, Meteor City.
Overall, Chrollo has a wide range of abilities to deal with. The fact that he now has Double Face (a bookmark that allows him to use two stolen abilities simultaneously and not hold the book while using it), makes his kit more dynamic than ever. Plus, it will only keep increasing the more he fights.
Hisoka’s Power and Abilities
Upon first look, during the Hunter Exams, everyone only knew Hisoka as a brute force of physical strength. Quick-paced, tactical, and powerful, Hisoka was portrayed to have strength beyond the average characters – even Gon, the show’s protagonist.
Hisoka has, in the past, taken out more than one hunter in mere minutes. Of course, this strength results from being able to use “Nen.” His physical prowess and Nen powers consist of:
- Brute Physical Strength. Hisoka is one the strongest characters in Hunter X Hunter, placing in the third position in the phantom troupe arm-wrestling contest. We’ve also seen him behead humans (even in the fight he faces against Chrollo) with a single twist.
- Agility. If you watched the hunter exams, you’ll remember that Hisoka managed to take out several contestants in seconds using just a single card, while also dodging both Gon and Leorio in close combat.
- Bungee Gum. Hisoka is a transmuter who can stretch his aura and, at will, command them to contract back at high speed. Did I mention Bungee Gum also has adhesive properties?
- Texture Surprise. This ability enables Hisoka to mold the texture and appearance of flat paper objects. However, the disguise comes off if the object is physically touched.
Overall, Hisoka has a more physical-based arsenal that helps him dispose of average humans (and even hunters) quite easily. However, this heavy dependence on brawn allows technical and more balanced fighters like Chrollo to get the upper hand.
Yes, Hisoka can manage high-level close combat. However, he’s definitely more comfortable after learning about his opponent and their behavior.
Chrollo vs. Hisoka Explained
Now, let’s talk about the actual fight itself. I’ll break the entire fight down into three phases:
- The Explanation
I like to call the first phase “The Explanation,” since that is precisely what happens. After Chrollo and Hisoka agree to battle, Chrollo immediately takes control of the judge using Black Voice and dashes into Hisoka. Hisoka now realizes that Chrollo can stab him with the antenna, too.
Once he dodges, Chrollo tricks Hisoka with a feint kick and stomps him rapidly. Hisoka uses Bungee Gum to contract the judge and send him flying over to Chrollo, which he manages to dodge. Hisoka here uses one of his cards to take the guard out, only to realize that the guard himself is exploding.
He uses Bungee Gum to escape upwards, and this is where Chrollo introduces his two new techniques:
- The Sun and Moon
- The Double Face
This is also where Chrollo states that he has never had to gather so many abilities to fight anyone. In the next chapter, Chrollo goes over Order Stamp, an ability that allows him to control puppets and not humans.
To demonstrate, he makes a puppet copy of the dead judge by using Gallery Fake and places a stamp on the copy. He also explains that Order Stamp cannot be used for complex orders. This means that a copy reflects the true nature of its origin. If a human was used to create a copy, for instance, it would not respond if Chrollo commanded it to kill someone.
However, Chrollo – being the tactician that he is – shows that he’s already found a workaround for it. He then proceeds to order the copy to “break” Hisoka rather than kill him, which he does. Hisoka beheads the copy with a single twist, canceling Order Stamp with the copy still present, since Gallery Fake was still active.
Chrollo now introduces his last technique, Convert Hands, which makes people change appearances. If Chrollo touches anyone with his right hand, they turn into Chrollo, and if he touches anyone with his left, he transforms into them. However, the move isn’t the best illusion out there, since only the user (in this case, Chrollo) is left with two marks on their hands.
Moving forward with the explanations, Chrollo further states that – much to his surprise – the original user of one of his stolen abilities (the Sun and Moon) has already passed away. However, he can still use it.
The battle starts with Chrollo distancing himself, and he leaps into the crowd, activating Black Voice in the process. Hisoka follows him into the stands, but he gets blocked by two men under the control of Black Voice. Hisoka also figures that Chrollo has already changed forms with a spectator and is waiting for the best opportunity to make the next move.
The crowd panics and tries to exit as the fight continues, though it soon calms down. Chrollo manages to make a large group of copies (around thirty in total) using Gallery Fake, then uses Oder Stamp to command them to break Hisoka. Hisoka decides to bide time and uses Bungee Gum to get closer to the roof.
However, the copies follow him in mid-air, too. He kicks one of them and sees Chrollo behind him, who tries to land a jab with his left. Chrollo misses, but he manages to land a clean hit with his right instantly, crashing Hisoka into the stands. Hisoka gets up and fights off more copies, and once again, Chrollo lands a hit; this time with his leg.
Hisoka learns that Chrollo is keeping him busy with more copies and striking only when he can guarantee a crucial hit. Hisoka beheads another copy and tries to escape, but soon finds Chrollo above, trying to stomp again. He anticipates Chrollo’s plan and uses Bungee Gum to throw a copy’s head at Chrollo, which he evades.
Chrollo lands a stomp but gets caught in Hisoka’s trap and gets hit (quite reasonably, for the first time in the fight) with the copy’s head. Hisoka now uses Bungee Gum and a head to take out several copies at once and send it flying at Chrollo. Chrollo manages to escape into the crowd again, and Hisoka takes out all copies except one.
He keeps one alive to keep Order Stamp activated and predict Chrollo’s next move. The stamp from the last copy disappears, signaling the deactivation of the Order Stamp. Hisoka finds Chrollo amidst the crowd and repeatedly throws another severed head at him.
When he sees the crowd is fleeing, he sticks them to the floor with Bungee Gum and sends them all flying at Chrollo. When Chrollo tries to dodge, Hisoka throws the head from before into one of the spectators (who he sent flying), sticks Bungee Gum to one of Chrollo’s legs, and pushes him to the floor of the stands.
However, he learns that the person he pushed down only looks like Chrollo. Hisoka now deduces that Chrollo used Convert Hands to make a random person look like him and used Black Voice to order him.
He then sees that Chrollo left an antenna deliberately to trick him and, in reality, used Sun and Moon to create copies. These copies won’t vanish (even if beheaded) until they explode. A bruised Hisoka jumps to the middle of the arena to search for Chrollo and predicts that his next move will be a serious one.
At this point, Hisoka safely confirms that Chrollo plans on making several copies, activating Sun and Moon and Order Stamp to get the copies as close to Hisoka as possible and detonate. Chrollo causes a brawl amongst the crowd with his copies to distract Hisoka, grabs the commentator’s headset, and orders every single copy to break Hisoka via the area speakers.
An army of copies now rushes at Hisoka. He uses Bungee Gum to grab five copies and swings them rapidly in a circular motion, like a hammer. While fighting, one of the copy’s heads (which Hisoka had on his hand) explodes.
This shattered his entire left palm and fingers, which Hisoka had attached a Gum to for escaping. With no left hand to escape, Hisoka uses his leg to get to the second-level spectator stands. Chrollo now gives his copies the order to move to the second stand and self-destruct when they come to Hisoka.
Hisoka manages to escape and, in mid-air, tries to extend Bungee Gum to the ceiling. However, Chrollo prevents this by throwing several copies at Hisoka to push him down where more copies are present. Hisoka here gets covered with several copies, which all explode on him… ultimately leading to his end.
Key Factors That Affected the Fight
The main two factors which affected the fight were the battle location and Chrollo learning of Hisoka’s weakness. Chrollo knew very well that Heavens Arena would have a plethora of people, which would be optimal for his newly stolen techniques.
He also used Hisoka’s weakness against him to enjoy the battle thoroughly. The fact that Chrollo was prepared beforehand was another factor that led him to victory, since he was able to overcome the weaknesses in his abilities and work around them.
What Was the Aftermath?
If there’s one thing I can confirm, it’s the fact that the consequence is far more impactful than the fight itself. If you remember in Heaven’s Arena Arc, Killua looked at Hisoka’s past and stated that “he never loses, no matter what.”
This self-centered outlook of himself being the strongest was crushed in this fight. In the next chapter, we see Hisoka use Bungee Gum on his heart to restore himself. He then traps Machi, who is near him, and asks her to convey that he will be coming for all the spiders the very second he sees them.
In the next panel, Hisoka kills both Kortopi and Shalnark. When Chrollo is informed of the deaths of his squad members, he becomes depressed and vows to kill Hisoka on sight.
Three Alternatives to Hunter x Hunter That Are Worth Watching
In case Hunter X Hunter doesn’t do it for you, or even if you’re waiting after the hiatus (like me!), here are three alternatives you can consider after Hunter X Hunter.
Kimetsu No Yaiba
There’s hardly any chance you haven’t heard of this show yet. This show is one to look out for, whether you end up watching it for Nezuko’s innocence, Tanjiro’s fight scenes, or just Zenitsu sleeping and taking care of the rest.
While the show overall is action-packed and filled with excellent fighting scenes, it isn’t the best if you’re looking for a well-paced story, though. Still, if you’re in for tough fights that make for a spectacle, you’re going to enjoy it.
Mob Psycho 100
One of the very few anime characters no one seems to hate is Mob, and I agree with that. The little guy is kind, strong, and puts up a fantastic performance once he reaches 100%.
Mob essentially holds back his power and slowly learns about more strange unknown powers along the way, which makes it pretty similar to Hunter X Hunter. The show isn’t serious every episode, though, and can be difficult for those who do not like filler.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Although internet culture may see JoJo as a joke, there’s plenty to look for in it. In fact, just like Hunter X Hunter has certain limitations to the user of Nen, JoJo does the same with stands.
Another attribute that JoJo shares with Hunter X Hunter is the importance of strategy over brute force. All in all, the show is quite good, with some charismatic characters you won’t forget. However, it takes a little while to get to the good parts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: No, Chrollo and Hisoka have not ever battled head-on before. They fight for the first time in Heaven’s Arena. However, Hisoka has faced a puppet version or Chrollo in the Phantom Rouge movie.
Answer: I can’t make an explicit statement since both of them have a completely different fighting style and arsenal. However, this fight may have hinted that if given a chance to prepare, Chrollo can be stronger.
Answer: Trust me. I wish I knew it, too. There’s no telling on the end of the hiatus – so we can only hope it returns sooner than last time!
Answer: This is largely due to the fact that Hisoka didn’t prepare for the fight. Had he not been so careless, there was a good chance that he could have won. Alas, he didn’t – and so he lost.
Answer: It’s rare to see a leading character perish, and there’s always the question of, “But are they really dead?” However, in this case, Hisoka definitely did die in the fight with Chrollo.
My Final Thoughts
Well, there you have it. With a complete breakdown of the fight between Hisoka and Chrollo spelled out, it’s easier to understand what exactly went into Chrollo’s victory. While the both of them did quite well and definitely held their own – and despite Hisoka trying his best to get an advantage – Chrollo managed to secure the win through his intelligence.
It’s not every day you see such an epic battle, but this fight between Chrollo and Hisoka definitely delivered. Now, the only question that remains is: which spider will be on Hisoka’s hitlist next?