Nobunaga usually wears a classic Japanese style robe and short pants, while his belly and ankles are tied up inside by a sarashi. He has long hair that he ties into a single topknot and leaves his beard and mustache unshaven. His sword almost never leaves his side. Nobunaga's spider tattoo has yet to be revealed.
Nobunaga is typically a calm individual, but can be brash and get into conflicts with the other Troupe members. While he demonstrates good fighting speed and capacity for reason, he does not seem to be good at impromptu decision making. This is first seen when Owl traps the car the Troupe members were riding in; every occupant of the car was able to escape except for Nobunaga, in part because he was riding in the middle of the back seat but also because he did not prepare himself to leave through one of the two doors ahead of time. Furthermore, when Gon and Killua announce their intention to take him on from both sides, Nobunaga activates his En and prepares himself for an attack rather than to pursue either one of the children, allowing them to escape.
However, Nobunaga is one of the friendlier members of the Troupe. He frequently smiles at the sight of Gon and Killua, asking for them to be friends and to the point of asking Chrollo to make them Troupe members. This is especially the case for Gon since he shares the same Nen type and a similar attitude with Nobunaga's late best friend, Uvogin.
He also hates when hostages speak without permission, and will coldly warn them against it at least twice. He tells them to answer all the questions truthfully whenever they are under interrogation by any members of the Troupe. In a situation, Nobunaga warned Killua that if he spoke without permission, he would kill him. He will proceed to kill hostages swiftly and unhesitantly should they do not comply to his warning for the third time, as he does to Squala.
Nobunaga is one of the Troupe's founding members along with Chrollo Lucilfer, Feitan Portor, Franklin Bordeau, Machi Komacine, Pakunoda, and Uvogin. The group originated from Meteor City: a slum inhabited by societal outcasts. People who live there do not exist in any official records and the existence of the city itself is known to very few people.
It is stated that the people of Meteor City were once allies of the Mafia Community (because the lack of records pertaining to their existence made it difficult for enemies to obtain information) and they were called upon by the Mafia to do jobs for them. The situation later took a sour turn and it is hinted that there was a war between the two. The Phantom Troupe seems to have helped the people of the junkyard city to win the conflict. Chrollo then added more members to the Troupe to bring the total up to 13 exactly, including himself.
Yorknew City arc
After being called on by Chrollo to assemble in Yorknew City, the Spiders gather on August 31st. On his way to Yorknew City, Nobunaga wonders how long has passed since the Phantom Troupe last assembled, to which Feitan replies it has been three years and two months. He then voices his dislike for Hisoka and asks why Chrollo lets him do as he pleases. Nobunaga responds it is because he is strong and praises his Bungee Gum. Feitan commands him to apologize for implying Chrollo is afraid of Hisoka, but Nobunaga objects that is not what he said. Franklin comments he is giving Hisoka too much credit. When Nobunaga retorts anyone can talk big, the two begin a scuffle, leaving their faces covered in bruises. After they are all gathered at the hideout, Chrollo reveals they will steal all of the items in the Underground Auction.
Nobunaga heads to the site of the Underground Auction. After Franklin, Feitan, and Shizuku slaughter all the participants, they find the safe empty and escape via a hot air balloon. Suspecting the Shadow Beasts to be involved, Chrollo tells them to lure them out with a big disturbance. After the group lands in the Gordeau Desert, Nobunaga, Franklin, Feitan, Shizuku, Shalnark, and Machi watch from afar as Uvogin massacres a bunch of Mafia members. As he prepares his Big Bang Impact, Nobunaga states he is getting serious and praises the power of the attack. When Uvogin kills Porcupine with a scream, Nobunaga covers his ears in time and yells at Uvogin.
When Uvogin is captured, Nobunaga and the other four Spiders chase the culprit by car. Due to sitting in the central seat, Nobunaga is unable to jump out of the car when Owl envelops it in his Fun Fun Cloth and is shrunk. He is returned to his normal size when the other Spiders defeat the Shadow Beasts. He then disguises himself as a Mafia member and infiltrates the hotel where Uvogin is kept prisoner, freeing him. Uvogin then leaves to kill the "Chain Dude" that restrained him. Since he has not returned by the following day, Chrollo has Nobunaga and Machi roam the streets of Yorknew City to lure out the "Chain Dude" and take him to their hideout. While the two sit at a table in a square, they are spotted by a couple who informs Gon, Killua, and Leorio.
Nobunaga wonders if Uvo is really dead and claims he is not stupid and can hold his own even if outmatched. However, he trusts Machi's hunch and resolves to find and kill the "Chain Dude". They feel eyes on them, although they cannot determine where from. Machi asks him if he thinks it could be their target, to which Nobunaga responds that if it is, they will follow Chrollo's orders and do what they want with him. Machi suggests that Chrollo might want him to join the Phantom Troupe. Nobunaga retorts the unspoken rule is that they can bring him to the hideout dead or alive, and commands her to stop telling him what to think. She objects that he is the one telling her what to do. After a moment of intense tension, Nobunaga suggests they flip a coin: heads, they kill him; tails, they take him alive. After the toss, they get ready to leave.
They are aware of multiple skilled Zetsu user tailing them. They walk to the courtyard of an abandoned building and wait for their pursuers to show themselves. When nobody does, Nobunaga reflects it is probably not the "Chain Dude", as despite working for the Nostrade Family, he has fought and killed Uvogin on his own without reporting it to his superiors. He concludes he acts alone and that their pursuers are not affiliated with him. Vexed by Machi's skepticism, he asks her what she thinks. She states she has a feeling their trackers are somehow related to the "Chain Dude". He protests that hunches have nothing to do with logic. He receives a call from Phinks, who tells him where to find their hidden pursuers. Nobunaga jumps to the fourth floor of the building, where he finds Killua and Phinks. He greets the latter, asking him what he is doing. Phinks replies that Chrollo had he and Pakunoda tail Nobunaga and Machi without their knowledge so as to deceive anyone who came after them as well. Nobunaga comments it was indeed odd there were many skilled Zetsu users around and prepares to interrogate Killua.
He first asks him why he was following them, then who taught him how to shadow and to use Zetsu, and finally if he knows a Nen user who wields chains. Determining that he does not know anything, then there is nothing which they can do about that. Nobunaga ends with giving Killua only two options: to die at that moment or later; Phinks gives Killua three seconds to decide. The four Spiders drive Gon and Killua to their hideout. Hearing Gon's exclamation of surprise, Nobunaga asks him if he knows any of them. Killua cuts in and recognizes Shizuku as the girl whom Gon defeated in arm-wrestling, prompting Nobunaga to challenge him into it. He repeatedly beats him without effort, then has the others remind him of his arm-wrestling ranking in the group. He recounts the strongest was Uvogin, who was probably killed by the "Chain Dude". When Killua protests they do not know him, Nobunaga threatens to kill him if he speaks out of turn again. He reminisces that he was an Enhancer who loved fighting more than anything else, but who was also a stickler for punctuality. Stating he has known him since, before the creation of the Phantom Troupe, Nobunaga tears up and says the "Chain Dude" must have played dirty to kill him. Adding he is a recent hire of the Nostrade Family and that he harbors a grudge against the Spiders, Nobunaga enquirers if Gon has heard any rumors. Much to his irritation, Gon replies that he knows nothing, and would not help him in any case. Asking him why he does not share that emotion with the people whom he kills, Gon activates his Ren and slams Nobunaga's hand on the table.
Feitan retrains Gon telling that he's getting too cocky, and asks Gon the question again; Gon responds that he has nothing to tell them, which prompts Feitan to attempt interrogate Gon with torture but Nobunaga tells him to stop. When the two are about to quarrel, Franklin intervenes and they settle the dispute with a coin toss, which is won by Nobunaga. The other Spiders are willing to let Gon and Killua go, but Nobunaga stops them and insists Gon join the Phantom Troupe and become his partner. Gon refuses, claiming he would rather die. Nobunaga asks him if he is an Enhancer and bursts out laughing at his response. He declares he wants to nominate Gon as a Spider candidate once Chrollo returns. He locks them into a room and sits in front of the only exit.
At one point, Killua looks ready to fight and Nobunaga prepares to draw his sword, warning him. Killua desists, but a few minutes later, he tells Gon he will buy time for him to escape. Nobunaga hears him and claims he is skilled enough to understand the gap in their abilities will make it impossible. Killua retorts he will not know until he tries, causing Nobunaga to shake his head. He bursts out laughing at Gon's illogical reasoning when he stops Killua, telling the latter there is no reasoning with an Enhancer. He acknowledges Killua's determination and says he will not do anything to them if they do not try to escape, recommending they wait for Chrollo. His words jog Gon's memory, who begins a conversation about ostomy that leaves Nobunaga nonplussed. Suddenly, they activate their Ren. The swordsman warns them he will end up dead, but the two split up and break down one wall each.
Reckoning Killua is close to the stairs, he chases after Gon from the corridor. He locks the door to the next room, forgetting he can kick down walls. He hears Killua running down the stairs and follows Gon through the holes he has made, but ends up in an empty room. Then, he hears the boy's voice behind him as he incites Killua to take Nobunaga on together. Nobunaga deduces he made that last hole and hid to trick him. He kicks down the door, and, unable to feel their aura, infers they plan to ambush him. He activates his En and waits for them to make their move. Unbeknownst to him, however, the two have already left the building.
When the other Spiders return from the attack on the Cemetery Building, they all celebrate the success of their theft of the auction items; Nobunaga, however, is still upset about the boys escaping. The following morning, Chrollo announces they will leave Yorknew that same night, after taking the rest of the loot. Nobunaga protests that they have not found the "Chain Dude" yet insists on staying. When Franklin steps in, the swordsman asks Chrollo if he is ordering him to leave as the leader. Activating Skill Hunter, Chrollo tells him to answer his questions. Nobunaga is perplexed when they turn out to concern his date of birth, blood type, and name. At Chrollo's request, he writes them on a sheet of paper. Chrollo then predicts his future with Lovely Ghostwriter, explaining its mechanics. Upon reading the poem, all Nobunaga can decipher is that five Spiders will die the following week. He hands his prophecy to Shizuku. When she has her own fortune written and announces she will among those who die, Nobunaga asks her how she figured it out. Chrollo states the prophecies will not come true if they leave without a fight and reminds Nobunaga he and Uvogin volunteered to be the "shock troops" and guard the recon and cleanup teams with their lives. Asked which one of them is being selfish, Nobunaga concedes he has nothing else to say.
Chrollo writes the fortunes of the other Spiders. When Hisoka seems to insinuate that he sold out Uvogin to the "Chain Dude", Nobunaga draws his sword and asks the magician if it is true. He takes the ensuing silence as a "yes" and prepares to attack, only to be stopped by Franklin and Shalnark. The two pose their own questions to Hisoka, but his evasive answers do not sway Nobunaga. He pretends to give up, then slips between Shalnark and Franklin. Before he can unsheathe his sword again, Chrollo teleports him away from Hisoka and orders him to stay quiet. The leader then interrogates Hisoka. Nobunaga grows more and more furious until Chrollo speculates Hisoka was blackmailed into assisting the "Chain Dude" and keeping his silence. Since his fortune appears to predict his death if he leaves the hideout, the Spiders decide to stay in Yorknew City until the end of the following week.
Chrollo divides the Phantom Troupe into four trios so none of them will be alone, putting himself in a team with Nobunaga and Shalnark. Machi informs him Gon and Killua know the location of their hideout, which prompts Nobunaga to nominate them for membership. After they explain, Chrollo comments they sound like they would never become Spiders, to which Nobunaga replies he will convince them. He offers to bring them to the shelter, but, trusting Machi's hunch, Chrollo dissuades him. He then deduces the "Chain Dude" to be a survivor of the Kurta Clan and has Kortopi track down the pair of Scarlet Eyes he fabricated. Through Gallery Fake, he determines the "Chain Dude" is at the Hotel Beitacle. Nobunaga begs Chrollo to let him go deal with him. The leader agrees, but decrees he, Kortopi, and Machi's team will accompany him before setting out. Nobunaga marvels that the hotel is the same where they kept Uvogin.
Warned by Kurapika that the Spiders are headed his way, Squala grabs the fake Scarlet Eyes and flees. Kortopi senses him, and Chrollo states Nobunaga can have him after Pakunoda finds out about Uvogin. They start running, amazing passers-by with their acrobatics. Chrollo declares they are being followed. Nobunaga prepares to draw his sword, but Chrollo tells him to go on ahead with Pakunoda and Kortopi. The three reach Squala, whom they recognize as one of Neon's bodyguards on the list Shalnark gave them, and thus not the "Chain Dude". Nobunaga warns him he will kill him if he moves. Pakunoda begins interrogating him, and Nobunaga repeats his threat when she breaks Squala's arm. When she finds out about Eliza, Squala turns around and shouts at her. Nobunaga swiftly decapitates him, stating he had told him not to move twice. Nobunaga calmly accepts to have Pakunoda shoot the information she obtained into him via Memory Bomb. He thus discovers Kurapika's identity and vows not to forget his name or face until he kills him. Chrollo tells them to meet up with his group at the Hotel Beitacle.
Nobunaga is delighted to see Gon and Killua have been captured and guesses they changed their minds about joining the Phantom Troupe. Killua responds he did not know the bounties on their heads had been canceled, and Nobunaga comments they should not have tried to tail them again. He believes theirs is a fated reunion and insists on becoming friends. Their refusal only fuels his enthusiasm, causing him to tell Chrollo they are just like Uvogin. At 7 o'clock, the lights go out. Nobunaga activates his En and restrains Gon, praising their attempt. He dodges a knife, which he believes to have been thrown by the guy with the radio as he fled. Content with having Gon and Killua, Nobunaga refrains from giving chase. When their eyes adjust to the darkness, however, the Spiders notice Chrollo is missing.
Noticing a message tied to the knife, Nobunaga leaves Gon to Shizuku and reads it with a lighter. When Pakunoda is about to reveal what she found out from the kids' memories, Nobunaga stops her and hands her the message, in which Kurapika threatens to kill Chrollo if she shares her discoveries. Taking note of her inner conflict, he tells her not to say anything. He declares they should wait for the "Chain Dude" to contact them, using Gon and Killua as hostages. He then phones Phinks to update him. Feitan, Phinks, and Shalnark reach them at the lobby. Nobunaga becomes frustrated with their questions as he tries to fill them in. Kurapika phones them and Phinks answers. He lies that Gon and Killua tried to escape and they had to use force, causing Kurapika to hang up. Nobunaga and Pakunoda strike him. After she talks to Kurapika, Nobunaga is handed the phone and instructed to return to the hideout with all Spiders except Pakunoda. On Kurapika's orders, Pakunoda leaves without a word. A quarrel breaks out among the Spiders escalating to the point where Nobunaga threatens to kill Phinks if he follows Pakunoda. However, he is knocked out by Shizuku and transported to the hideout.
He awakens by the time Pakunoda returns for the second time. When she raises her gun and names six members of the Phantom Troupe, Nobunaga persuades Phinks to trust her. She opens fire, and Nobunaga accepts to be hit by her Memory Bomb. He thus learns of the exchange and looks upon Pakunoda's dead body sadly.
Greed Island arc
Nobunaga is teamed up with Machi to watch over the Exorcist. After Hisoka's dodgeball game, he heads to them in order to negotiate with Abengane. Hisoka enquires how they found him, but Nobunaga refuses to answer. When Hisoka manages to sense Kalluto's presence, Nobunaga calls him a freak. Asked by the boy if his Zetsu was imperfect, Nobunaga responds it is Hisoka who is abnormal and introduces him as the magician's replacement in the Phantom Troupe. He cautions Kalluto against Hisoka and tells the latter to succeed.
Chimera Ant arc
Succession Contest arc
Nobunaga is on the Black Whale with the rest of the Troupe, hunting for treasure and Hisoka. He, along with Feitan, Phinks, and Franklin, thrash three unruly passengers to gain seating in the cafeteria. Once the thugs submit to them, he asks them how they can get to the second floor. After learning about the facilitator, he suggests that they find the facilitator and use him to negotiate with the top. The entire Phantom Troupe gather in the dining hall, where Chrollo hears the reports about their fruitless search for Hisoka. They conclude that Hisoka is not on Tier 5, though the upper tiers are controlled by two other Mafia families. A group from the Cha-R Family then interrupts their meeting, with the leader rudely asking them to move. After a brief exchange, the Spiders comply. Chrollo orders the Troupe to bring him Hisoka's head, after which they can celebrate. Then, they split up.
Nobunaga heads to the warehouse in Tier 5 to retrieve his katana. Phinks and Feitan accompany him, both to recover their own possessions and not to give Hisoka the slightest chance. The three agree to leave Tier 5 to the Buor Family and to search for the magician on Tier 4. Once in the warehouse, they encounter four henchmen of the Cha-R Family. Nobunaga tells them they are looking for a sword and an umbrella and one of them leads the way. As he turns a corner, however, he disappears from Nobunaga's En. The path turns out to be a dead end. Suddenly, the three hear a thud behind them and find their guide with his throat slashed. Nobunaga is concerned, but Phinks and Feitan insist on finding their weapons first and leave him wondering if he really is the ones with muddled priorities.
Nobunaga retrieves his sword and the three Spiders return to the entrance, where they discover the Mafia men have gone missing. Seeing a trail of blood and reflecting back on the peculiar modus operandi of the perpetrator, Nobunaga speculates they want a fight to break out between the Phantom Troupe and the Cha-R Family. He cannot make sense of their actions and concedes that there may be multiple people involved, but he feels the culprit is like them and is convinced that the first corpse was an attempt to mess with them. He concludes it cannot be Hisoka, as they would have noticed his Bungee Gum. The three follow the blood trail to a locked door. Ken'i Wang appears behind them with four armed henchmen. They manage to convince him of their innocence. Ken'i suggests teaming up, and the Spiders accept. Nobunaga states the perpetrator will return to open the locked door, which he would like to peek through in exchange for the perpetrator's head. The Spiders are inserted in the surveillance rotation and meet Tsudonke.
On Saturday night, Vice Boss Tajao comes out of the locked door in the hideout, confirming to the Spiders that it is a secret passage to the upper tiers of the ship. After learning of the killings presumably ordered by Morena Prudo and of the rules that the families must follow, which exasperate him with their perceived nonsensicality, Nobunaga surmises that if Morena was in Tier 3 when the attacks occurred the all-out war announced by Tajao would occur. Nobunaga proclaims the Phantom Troupe uninterested, but Ken'i points out that they would be unable to rely on Mafia members in other tiers for the duration of the conflict. Nobunaga and Phinks agree that the fastest course of action would be to kill Morena, adding that the Fourth Prince might even be grateful to them for removing a troublemaker.
Katana: Nobunaga uses a katana as his preferred weapon. It is portrayed differently in each adaptation of the series. In the manga, its grip is wrapped in white bandages and sheathed in a dark scabbard. In the 1999 anime, the hilt is similar, but the scabbard is light brown. In the 2011 anime, the bandages are dark green, the scabbard black, and the blade slightly curved. In all three depictions, the katana lacks a tsuba, the grip is wrapped in the hineri maki way and the tassel is rectangular. To disguise his weapon, Nobunaga may wrap it in grayish-purple canvas, tied with a twine thread at the top. He carries it on his left hip in his obi sash. When fighting alongside Uvogin in the past and at the time of his arrival in Yorknew City, Nobunaga also carried a second katana, identical to the first.
Abilities & Powers
Due to Nobunaga being born in Meteor City, his existence is not recorded in any database, which makes obtaining information about him nearly impossible. He is very confident in his abilities, as he attacked Hisoka without hesitation. Furthermore, when Gon and Leorio were unable to grasp the extent of his and Machi's strength, Killua said that picturing two Hisoka would be of help. Nobunaga is a skilled swordsman, so much that Killua reckoned he would not be able to come close to him without getting sliced in half, and Nobunaga would still have the time to strike a second time and kill Gon before the latter could pass him. According to Franklin, Nobunaga was better at fighting one-on-one than in a team, despite admitting that Uvo would always best him in unarmed combat. He is rather observant, managing to keep every person in a crowded square under control and understand a couple had recognized Machi and him.
Preternatural Perception: Nobunaga has been shown to possess what some may refer to as a sixth sense, gathering information from his surroundings outside of his rudimentary senses. He sensed that multiple people concealed with Zetsu were tailing him and Machi and knew that they were being observed by Gon, Leorio, and Killua at a cafe they were at, though he was unable to tell their locations and number in both instances.
Enhanced Strength: Nobunaga was able to defeat Gon several times in arm-wrestling without apparent effort, losing only once, when Gon began to use aura. It is possible said loss was caused by Nobunaga's surprise at Gon's sudden increase in strength or his resemblance to Uvogin.
Enhanced Speed and Reflexes: Nobunaga is an Iai master, thus he is extremely quick. After he unleashed his deafening howl, Uvogin stated that for people like him covering his ears before the sound reached was no business at all. He was able to behead Squala in a flash while already concealing his sword. He was also able to block a sudden punch from Franklin.
Enhanced Agility: Nobunaga can run on the sides of buildings and easily jump horizontally from one to another. He can easily reach a window located on the third floor of a building with only one leap.
Keen Intellect: Although Nobunaga often lets his emotions get the best of him, he can be fairly analytical when calm, as seen when he explained Machi why he believed the Chain guy was acting alone.
Master Swordsman: Nobunaga is very skilled in the use of edge weapon. His blade of choice is a long katana, though when fighting at Uvogin's side he was seen wielding two swords.
- Iaidō Master: Nobunaga stated that anyone who entered his attack range would be instantly killed. He is skilled in the art of Iaidō, which is a set of controlled movements involving the drawing of a sword from its scabbard, the striking or cutting off an opponent, the removing of blood from the blade, and finally the placement of the sword back in the scabbard, as stated by Killua. He employs his kenjutsu both standing still (e.g. when watching over Killua and Gon) and moving (for example when he decapitated Squala).
Nobunaga is an Enhancer*. He seems to possess a powerful aura, as the clash of his hostility with Machi's dented a tin can and frightened Gon, Killua, and Leorio. Little is known about his proficiency in Nen, although, due to him being a member of the Troupe, it must be quite high. Nonetheless, he was defeated by Gon in arm-wrestling despite being an Enhancer himself and having much greater base physical strength, as proven by his previous victories. If the defeat was not caused by a psychological weakness, this should mean Nobunaga's aura output and/or his skills in his natural category were considerably lower than Gon's at the time.
Nobunaga has some skill in En, which he can cast with a range of up to 4 meters, corresponding to the reach of his blade, and indeed befitting his fighting style. His working command of the technique implies he also knows at least Ten and Ren. His Nen ability is unknown, but Shalnark stated it can be easily replaced.
Battles & Competitions
Translations around the World