Nanika's real appearance is unknown. When it manifests itself, it tinges Alluka's sclerae, irises and mouth pitch black, also causing the latter to appear larger.
Like Alluka, Nanika is very fond of Killua Zoldyck, whom it fondly calls by name ("Big brother" in the Viz translation). Nanika strives to earn people's praise and especially Killua's by granting wishes and usually asks him to pet it. When Killua orders it never to appear any longer, Nanika becomes hurt and cries. It later forgives Killua, after Killua promises to protect both Alluka and Nanika and to pet Nanika whenever it wished. Nanika also appears to be on good terms with Alluka, as the latter was very upset when she felt its misery.
Nanika speaks in a succinct fashion.
It is unknown when and how Nanika came to possess Alluka, but the two have shared the latter's body at least since Alluka was a young child. The Zoldyck Family is in the dark about Nanika's nature. Killua once saw Alluka turn into Nanika, and learned about the general nature of its abilities by asking it how to revert the transformation. As a toddler, Alluka once asked Mitsuba, an attendant of the Zoldyck family, to do three simple things: carrying her, going up a staircase, and raising Alluka up in the air. After Mitsuba did what she was told, Alluka's eyes and mouth suddenly turned pitch-black. Freaked out by this, Mitsuba called for help. Killua came and changed Alluka back to normal by asking Alluka to make himself go "high-high", which Alluka did. After the accident, Killua had to tell his parents about Alluka's secret because Mitsuba had already reported it to them. It turned out that when Alluka had three requests fulfilled, her eyes and mouth would turn pitch-black, and they would change back to normal only when she heard and granted a wish.
To test the ability, her mother Kikyo Zoldyck ordered Mitsuba to decline any request of her, no matter how small it was. Due to that, Mitsuba and her lover Hassam, who was not around Alluka at that time, were mysteriously crushed into minced meat simultaneously. Killua explained that this was the consequence of saying 'No' to Alluka's requests 4 times.
Some time afterwards, Yasuha, another female servant of the Zoldyck family, after granting two other wishes, gave Alluka a piggyback ride at her request, thus activating wish-granting mode. Giving in to her greed at the time, Yasuha wished that Alluka would make her a billionaire. Nanika agreed and suddenly a large amount of banknotes started to rain down from a blimp in the sky. It was later reported that a currency transport vessel had suddenly gone missing and by the time it had been found all the money had disappeared, and the captain and crew kept giving nonsensical answers.
Illumi Zoldyck became interested in Alluka's power and asked for Silva Zoldyck's permission to deal with Kasuga, the next servant to take care of Alluka, in his own way. He told her to listen to Alluka's requests in exchange for his tolerance of her romantic relationship with an outsider to the Zoldyck family. When Kasuga was with Alluka, Alluka suddenly asked her for her liver, which Kasuga, suddenly afraid, declined. She followed up with three continuous requests for her duodenum, spine and brain respectively, which were all declined as well. As a result of Kasuga's refusal to fulfill those four requests, a total of 67 people, including herself, were killed at the same time by Alluka's strange power. This occurrence revealed that her ability had a cumulative effect; the greater the previous wish was (in terms of fulfillment difficulty), the greater the consequences of refusing her next set of requests. From this, they also learned the requests became much more difficult to fulfill after Nanika granted a large wish. Following the blimp incident, Nanika's power caused the death of six couples, for a total of twelve more people: two were necessary for Kikyo to be convinced, two more to test the rules, and two when Milluki Zoldyck sacrificed tourists in exchange for cheap toys. At some point, there was also another big incident which resulted in the death of 13 people, caused again by Milluki, who asked Nanika to kill his target for him. Milluki had a tourist named Muna pay the price by telling him to just ignore Alluka's requests. More recently, Milluki used Nanika to get the latest—at the time—computer.
13th Hunter Chairman Election arc
Killua decides to resort to Nanika's powers to save Gon after he gave up his life to defeat Neferpitou. With Silva's permission, Killua enters the vault Alluka lives in, an isolation room filled with stuffed animals and other toys. After they are reunited, Alluka asks Killua to "die" for her, play shiritori, and pat her head, while the rest of the family watches through a security camera. When the last request is fulfilled, due to Nanika needing to be in direct contact with a target to restore them, Killua picks Alluka up, hiding her face from the camera to prevent his family from knowing Alluka has not turned into Nanika and that she had been the one to make the requests. Silva forbids him to carry her out of the room. Killua then awakens Nanika with an order and commands her to kill his mother if they fail to leave Kukuroo Mountain within 30 minutes, and to kiss him on the cheek if they succeed.
Killua and Alluka are escorted by Gotoh, Canary, Amane, and Tsubone. Just as they are about to depart, Nanika demands to have the latter's pinky fingernail. Smiling, Tsubone complies. Then, to keep Killua in check, she disappears, so Nanika cannot make any more requests to her or anyone else, and thus cannot grant any wishes before Tsubone fulfills two more of her demands. The butler returns the following night, after Illumi and his Needle People corner Killua and Alluka. Upon seeing her, Nanika asks for her middle and ring fingernails. Instead of using the wish to kill Illumi, however, Killua requests that Nanika heal Tsubone's fingers. It clasps the butler's hand in its own and causes her nails to grow back. Killua praises Nanika, who then falls asleep, drained by the healing.
Alluka awakens next to Killua in front of Gon's bed. He asks her to let Nanika come out so it can restore his body, secretly intending for that wish to be the last so Nanika will never replace Alluka again. He then orders it to return Gon back to normal. It asks to hold Gon's hand, whose ravaged state brings tears to Killua's eyes. When Nanika touches it, it and Gon glow with light. An obscene amount of aura is released, and Gon is healed.
Afterwards, Killua waits for Illumi at the hospital with Nanika in his lap. Illumi reveals he has figured out that the normal rules do not apply to Killua, and he intends to manipulate both of them to use Nanika's powers for the family. Killua orders Nanika to awaken and has it teleport Illumi back to the Zoldyck mansion. Nanika then asks Killua to pet it, but he tells it not to come out anymore. It declares it loves him, and repeats it several times. When he repeats his command, Nanika, in tears, obeys. It cries inside of Alluka, which causes her to lash out at Killua, yelling that if he wants to be a good brother to her, he also must do the same with Nanika. Realizing he was still influenced by Illumi, Killua calls Nanika out and apologizes to it, explaining that he was afraid of his brother and thought that if Nanika never came out again, Alluka would be free. He promises to protect it and to stay with it forever. He also tells it to stop granting other people's wishes, as he will praise it whenever it wants. When he calls it out again, Nanika, crying, forgives and hugs him.
After Killua reunites with Gon, the two of them and Alluka go to the city where a single World Tree grows so Gon can finally meet his father. Killua drags Gon and Alluka to an alley and asks Nanika to come out so Gon can meet the one who saved him.
Abilities & Powers
Nanika has the ability to attach itself to another living being and coexist within their body, taking control of them when certain conditions are met. Its physical abilities are dependent upon those of the body it inhabits. Currently, it has the strength of a normal child. Alluka shares an empathic link with Nanika, which allows her to perceive its emotions. Its most distinctive ability however is its power to grant wishes, the extent of which is speculated by the Zoldycks to be infinite. It is unknown if Nanika retained this ability after Killua told it to stop granting wishes.
It is unclear whether Nanika's wish-granting ability is related to Nen. When it healed Gon, a massive amount of aura was released which left Illumi and some of the Zodiacs deeply impressed, but it remains unconfirmed whether that aura belonged to Nanika or Gon.
|After a person fulfills three of Alluka's requests, Nanika will assume control over Alluka’s body and grant one wish. The wish does not have to come from the one who fulfilled Alluka's requests, as even an extra party can have their wish granted as long as it was declared during Nanika's appearance. According to Killua, the degree of wish that Nanika can grant is probably infinite, going from briefly levitating a person into the air to altering probability and reality to make any effect occur. Nanika is capable of effortlessly teleporting someone to another continent and is also able to lift Gon's vow and heal his mangled body.
However, the greater the wish made to Nanika is, the harder to fulfill the next three requests will become. The one that must bear the burden of the next three requests is not the one that Nanika granted the wish to; it is the next person that Alluka makes requests to. If that person declines or fails to fulfill Alluka's requests four times, at least two people will die with an increasing amount of casualties correlated to the scale of the previous wish. All deaths occur instantly and simultaneously. Firstly, the request recipient and their most loved one will die from being crushed by an invisible force, and any additional deaths are chosen based on persons who spent the most time with the request recipient, regardless of their relationship to them. Unlike the recipient, they are wrung to death instead of crushed. One example is when Kasuga, a servant of the Zoldyck family, failed to fulfill Alluka’s requests four times, the cost of the billion Jenny wish made previously by another servant, Yasuha, was transferred to her, and thus she, her lover, and 65 people that had spent the most time with her throughout her life were killed.
Originally, there were five rules about Nanika's power known by the Zoldyck family as a whole from their trial and error experiments at the expense of their butlers:
There are also rules initially known only by Killua before he was forced to disclose them or they were puzzled out by Illumi:
- (Upon granting wishes) "'Kay."
- (To Killua Zoldyck) "Brother, pet me!"
- (To Killua Zoldyck) "I love you, brother!"
- "Nanika" literally means "something" in Japanese, which is Nanika's name in the Viz translation.
- The Viz translation of the manga reverses the way Alluka and Nanika refer to Killua. In the English version of the manga, Alluka calls Killua by name while Nanika calls him "big brother". The reason for this change in translation is unknown.
- There is no conclusive evidence or explicit confirmation in the manga nor from the mangaka, Yoshihiro Togashi himself, that Nanika is one of the known creatures from the Dark Continent. This idea, however, came from the explanation about one of the Five Threats (specifically the "Ai") and the fact that one of the Zoldyck family members, Zigg Zoldyck, came with Chairman Netero when they explored the Dark Continent.
- Nonetheless, throughout the story, many hints are scattered suggesting the possibility of Nanika being an Ai:
- As revealed in Volume 33, both originated in the Dark Continent.
- Nanika's victims are either squashed or wrung to death if her requests are refused; some of the ascertained victims of the Five Threats were killed precisely in that fashion. It was also stated that, despite their manner of death being described in Journey to the New World, those bodies were all found in the known world rather than in the Dark Continent, and that the massacre is ongoing. Ging Freecss also specified that victims of Ai and Pap have been found in the known world, further restricting the possibilities.
- Nanika has a peculiar way of saying "yes" (translated as "'Kay" by Viz) in the original Japanese: she pronounces it "ai" (あい) instead of the correct "hai" (はい). When written in katakana (アイ), this is the name of one of the Five Threats, Ai, as well as its distinctive call (in hiragana again).
- Nanika has the same deep black eyes as Ai. Furthermore, in the extras, Alluka's skin, while possessed, is colored black with the same technique used to draw Ai.
- Nanika's possession of Alluka, her wish to please others and her devotion to Killua could be related to Ai's description as "co-dependence of desire".
- Nonetheless, throughout the story, many hints are scattered suggesting the possibility of Nanika being an Ai:
- Since the ability to talk is a distinctive trait of Magical Beasts, it is possible that Nanika is (or should be) counted as such, also considering its human-like intelligence.
Intertextuality and References
- Nanika's powers closely resemble those of the Genies—a.k.a. jinns, the Arabian/Islamic supernatural creatures—as they are depicted and seen in popular culture; although the recurring element of the three wishes is dealt differently in Nanika's case.
- In the first explanation of Alluka/Nanika's powers, when it is stated that "...she can do anything[...]" the illustration on the panel shows a book-like object with "Death Note" (ですのーと, Desu Nōto) written on the cover—almost certainly a reference to the supernatural notebook of Tsugumi Ohba's Death Note manga series/franchise.
- Similarly to some rules of her wish-granting power (the need for: the person for whom the requests are being made be present/visible and the knowledge of the name of such person) the "Death Note" requires the knowledge of the victim's name and face to be used.
- Still in the first explanation of her power, the book-like object is seen being extracted by a cat-like being from a pocket on its belly: this is a reference to Doraemon, the eponymous character of the famous series, who can pull out gadgets with all sorts of effect from his fourth-dimensional pocket.
- Appearance-wise, when Nanika takes full control of Alluka's body it becomes similar to an onryō (literally "vengeful spirit") ghost of the Japanese folklore.
Translations around the World