Hunter x Hunter: Kurapika’s powers, explained

Of all the action-oriented shounen anime, Hunter X Hunter has arguably one of the most complex power systems, if not the most complex. It’s so complicated that viewers often have a hard time not only keeping track of the abilities of tons of different characters, but also understanding what certain characters’ abilities really are.

One of the most fascinating characters with equally fascinating powers is a man named Kurapika. He is a gentle and calm man who is driven by a thirst for revenge against a group of thieves called Phantom Troupe who massacred his entire clan. Kurapika’s nen abilities and primary weapons are a set of chains on his right hand. And this is a brief explanation of his powers.


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A crash course in Nen

Before we talk about Kurapika’s ability, let’s start with a crash course in Nen. Every living being has an innate energy called Aura. Nen is the ability to harness and control this aura. There are six types of aura: enhancement, transmutation, conjuration, emission, manipulation, and specialization.

Each individual is born with only one type of aura, but they can also learn to use other types. That being said, aside from those with the Specialization type, it is impossible for other Aura types to achieve 100% mastery of other Aura types besides their innate.

Kurapika is a Conjurer. This means that his chains are something he conjures up through his Nen, allowing him full control over the size, length, and to some extent the movement of his chains. However, when he activates his scarlet eyes, he enters a state called the Emperor’s Time and changes his innate aura from conjurer to specialist. This means that Kurapika has the ability to fully master other types of aura and incorporate it into his chains to harness different types of abilities for each of the five chains.

Thumb: sacred chain

The Sacred Chain is the name of Kurapika’s Thumb Chain, and as the name suggests, it has the ability to heal wounds. This is the power that is usually exclusive to an Enhancer, but since Kurapika is training to be able to use this type of power, he can assign this ability to his chain. The shape of the chain resembles a small cross with some engravings on it.

During normal use, Holy Chain can heal bruises and other minor injuries fairly quickly. However, when Kurapika used his Scarlet Eyes, the power of the Sacred Chain received a massive boost as his Enhancement Mastery increased exponentially. During this state, the Sacred Chain can even heal multiple fractures and organ failures within seconds.

Index: Steal chain

The Steal Chain is the name of the chain in Kurapika’s index. This is one of his most unique abilities as this chain allows him to steal other people’s nen abilities. The shape of this chain resembles a small metal syringe. When Kurapika uses this chain, he stabs the target and draws their nen into the syringe and forces them into Zetsu, which is a state where the aura is totally compressed or absent from the body.

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The person who had their ability stolen cannot use their ability until Kurapika returns it. On top of that, if he uses Emperor Time, Kurapika can summon his ability called Stealth Dolphin which will analyze the stolen ability and allow him to temporarily use that ability or even lend it to someone else. One thing worth mentioning is the fact that every second Kurapika uses Emperor’s Time in this state, he loses an hour of his lifespan.

Middle finger: Chain Jail

Chain Jail is a chain with something like a small hook on the end. Chain Jail has the ability to stealthily surround the target and entrap their limbs and entire body to the point of preventing them from moving at all.

As if that weren’t enough, Chain Jail will also force the target into the Zetsu state, which will prevent them from using their nen. Therefore, the target can only break free from Chain Jail using brute force. That being said, even Uvogin, the strongest member of the Phantom Troupe, cannot loosen the chain at all.

For him to have such overwhelming power, Kurapika sets himself a rule that Chain Jail can only be used on members of the Phantom Troupe. If he breaks this rule and uses the chain on someone else, he will lose his life.

Ring finger: dowsing chain

The dowsing chain is just a chain with a small ball attached to its end. However, unlike its simple appearance, the Dowsing Chain is one of the most versatile and unique abilities in Kurapika’s arsenal. He can use it as a means to attack and defend himself like a regular motorized chain. But just like its name, this channel also has a dowsing ability.

The dowsing chain can be used to find a missing person or objects, and it can also be used to determine whether someone is lying or not, among other things. While in Emperor Time, Kurapika can use the dowsing chain ability even through video footage alone.

Little Finger: Chain of Judgment

The Chain of Judgment is shaped like a small cross with a pointed end to make it look like a small dagger. As the name suggests, the Chain of Judgment has the ability to impose an unbreakable rule on someone.

To use this chain, Kurapika will pull the chain through the target’s chest, and she will immediately envelop the heart and point her dagger at it. Kurapika can establish at least two rules for the target to follow. If the target breaks its rules, the chain will instantly crush its heart, no matter how far away it is from Kurapika. This is what makes Judgment Chain such a dangerous ability.

From these five channels alone, Kurapika has basically covered every aspect of the fight. From attack, defense, support, setting traps, interrogating targets and reconnaissance, it can do it all. It’s safe to say that Kurapika is one of the most versatile Nen users in the series.

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Helen L. Cuellar