"How that boy's grown. If I hadn't been prepared, he would have lost me!! He'll be a great assassin... Sakes, I'm getting sentimental in my old age."
Like all Zoldyck butlers, she wears a black formal suit. Tsubone is a relatively tall and bulky old woman. Her hair is tied up into two pigtails, and she wears a monocle on her right eye.
Tsubone is an experienced butler of the Zoldyck Family. She is extremely loyal to Silva, and will not hesitate to execute his orders. Among all servants, Tsubone is the only one that dares to call Killua "Killua-chan" and Alluka "Alluka-chama".
Although servants of the family should not harbor feelings of any sort towards their masters, she admitted she is very fond of Killua, while she can't love Illumi and Milluki as they remind her of their mother. Another instance of her attachment to the Zoldyck family is seen when Killua apologizes to Alluka and Nanika, and Tsubone is seen shedding tears.
13th Hunter Chairman Election arc
Silva Zoldyck orders Tsubone and Amane to accompany Killua alongside Gotoh and Canary, while Kikyo will monitor Killua through the butler's monocle. Tsubone warns Killua that should he break the rules, she will immediately take him home, even at the cost of knocking him out. Alluka steps in to defend her older brother, so Tsubone smiles at her and asks her if she loves her brother, recommending her to do as he says. Alluka then asks for her pinky fingernail. Tsubone fulfills the demand with every appearance of delight and tells Killua that she will conceal herself, without however losing sight of him, and proceeds to vanish from their sight. That way Alluka will not be able to make requests of anyone else, which, based on the rules Tsubone is aware of, would effectively prevent Killua from healing Gon unless she fulfills two more demands.
After Illumi destroys the car in which Killua's party is traveling, the boy escapes from the butlers with Alluka by activating Godspeed. Having anticipated a similar development, Tsubone follows him through the woods, relishing in Killua's growth and thinking that he will someday become a splendid assassin. She remarks on her inappropriate conduct, admitting to herself that she is unable to love Illumi and Milluki because they resemble their mother before reflecting on how to knock Killua out. Killua stops for a few minutes, but, sensing her presence, reactivates his ability and, as soon as he reaches a paved road, leaves her in the dust. Tsubone calls Amane and Canary, and activates her own Nen ability, Rider's High. She turns into a motorcycle that the two ride and in no time they reach Killua, who loses them by jumping back into the forest. The three butlers stop briefly and Tsubone, having figured out his next move, interrogates Amane and Canary on what he will do. Realizing Killua will try to avoid supervision by taking an airship, they precede him at the Parasta Airport, after which Tsubone goes back into hiding.
She and Amane follow Killua's blimp from the ground. Tsubone senses someone spying on her and is surprised at her inability to locate them or shake them off. She sees Killua steering the airship above the clouds and, smiling at his cleverness, turns into a glider for Amane to ride, ordering her granddaughter to shoot down any suspicious flying objects. Shortly after the blimp lands, Killua and Alluka find themselves surrounded by Illumi and his Needle People. Stepping out of the shadows, Tsubone declares it is her fault, having finally comprehended that the sensation of being watched she had was due to Milluki sending Illumi the video feed from her monocle, which, due to Kikyo's orders, she was unable to remove. Alluka asks Tsubone for two more fingernails, and the butler complies. She then tells Killua to make his wish in her stead and that she and her granddaughter will pay the price, as an apology for ruining his plan. To everyone's surprise, Killua orders Nanika to heal Tsubone's hand. He reveals that it needs to touch a target to fix it, after which it falls asleep. Tsubone's nails grow back and Killua states that Nanika has never made any cruel requests after a healing wish. Illumi and his army leave, while Tsubone goes back into hiding and Amane proceeds to drive Killua and Alluka to the hospital where Gon is.
Tsubone precedes them there and, together with Amane, watches over Killua and Alluka, waiting for the latter to wake up. When Nanika awakens, Tsubone perceives Illumi's sinister emotions, declaring his ambition contrary to the path of the assassin, and contemplating sadly that Killua was happier when he was being manipulated. When the wish is made, Tsubone is astonished by Nanika's power. Tsubone, Amane, and Killua wait for Illumi, who, as he approaches them, details his theory that Killua can issue commands to Nanika for free. Before Illumi can take control of either of them, Killua requests that Nanika teleport him back to the Zoldyck mansion. With his brother gone, Killua requests to the two butlers to talk alone to Nanika, stating he'd rather avoid asking her to send them away as well. Tsubone and Amane leave, but the elderly butler secretly returns and witnesses his apology to Nanika. As Tsubone tears up, moved, Kikyo tells her that Killua has been released from his precaution level.
Monocle: Tsubone's monocle contains a video camera whose feed can be watched by the Zoldyck Family back at the mansion.
Abilities & Powers
Tsubone is an experienced and resourceful servant of the Zoldyck Family, held in high regard by Silva. Her mere presence caused Gotoh to break into a sweat. She believes herself capable of knocking out Killua in an instant should the need arise, and he has shown to prefer avoiding a confrontation against her. Illumi himself seems to be reluctant to fight her. According to Killua, she would have been capable of instantly seeing through Gotoh's plan when he said Illumi's name out loud and distracted her granddaughter and Killua, which vouches for extreme quickness of thought and a superb control over one's emotions.
Preternatural Perception: Tsubone has extraordinary sensorial abilities, which allowed her to sense that the video feed from her monocle was being watched and used to spy on her, although she was initially unable to explain her feeling of being observed. Illumi declared himself impressed by this feat. She was even capable of perceiving his emotions as he watched it.
Immense Speed: Tsubone managed to tail Killua while he was using Speed of Lightning in a forest, although she admitted she might have been unable to do so if she had not expected it, and lost him as soon as he reached a paved road. After granting one of Alluka's requests, she left so fast that even Killua lost sight of her.
Enhanced Agility: Tsubone can leap to the top of tall trees in moments.
High Intelligence: Tsubone was able to anticipate every move of Killua's and prepare countermeasures. She also excels at improvisation, leaving Killua's side after Alluka made a request of her to keep him in check.
Master of Stealth: Tsubone's presence surprised Killua and possibly also Illumi when the former was was surrounded by Needle People, and she might have managed to go unnoticed when Killua apologized to Nanika. However, he previously managed to detect her gaze on himself.
- Master in Tailing: Tsubone was able to tail Killua from afar when he was in a car, while he ran with Godspeed, and while he flew a blimp.
Tsubone appears to be highly proficient in Conjuration, with which she can materialize extremely complex objects such as vehicles out of her body. Her Nen ability seems to be of the symbiotic type, since she requires others to feed her aura as fuel to move while in that state. Her highly developed stealth abilities suggest that she is a flawless Zetsu practitioner.
|Tsubone's Nen Abilities|
|Type: Conjuration[note 1]||Rider's High (大和撫子七変化 Perfect Girl Seven Transformations)[note 2]|
|Tsubone's Nen ability is called Rider's High. It is stated as a form of Conjuration,[note 1] and it allows her to morph into various vehicles. This vehicle form then uses the aura of her rider(s) as propellant, meaning she cannot use this ability without a rider. The higher the number of riders, the faster the vehicle can go. The name of the ability seems to imply that Tsubone can take seven different forms. Thus far, she has transformed into a motorcycle that, when ridden by two Nen users, can easily catch up to Killua while he uses Speed of Lightning, and a glider that can follow an airship above the cloud and shoot down aircraft with its missiles. Its mechanics seem to suggest that Rider's High is a symbiotic type ability.|
- (To Canary and Gotoh) "Don't worry. We will accompany you as well. Master Silva believes that you two might not be enough."
- (To Killua) "Listen, Killua dear!! I won't go as easy on you as your father and Gotoh. Any violation and you will be sent home!! No exceptions!! At the first sign of resistance I'll knock you out cold!! Is that clear?!"
- (To Killua) "I believe I'll go into hiding for now. That way, Master Alluka won't be able to demand anything from anyone else. Everything will be on me. Do you understand? Of course, I'll never be far away!!"
- (To Killua) "Now, Master Killua. Make any wish you please. Amane and I will pay the price. For goodness sake, let us make amends for ruining your plans!!"
- (About Illumi) "Sinister and mechanical, that one. A wicked ambition contrary even to the assassin's creed..."
- (About Killua) "How ironic and cruel. The boy suffered less when he was being manipulated..."
- Despite Zoldyck Family's butlers not being allowed to have lovers, Tsubone somehow has one granddaughter (Amane) and presumably at least one child.
- Alternative possibilities may include: Tsubone having had a relationship prior to becoming butler or Amane having been adopted by her.
Intertextuality and References
- The kanji name of Tsubone's Nen ability is composed of the terms "大和撫子" (yamato nadeshiko) and "七変化" (shichihenge). Its theme seems to be flowers whose names also serve as idiomatic expressions:
- The former indicates the personification of the ideal Japanese woman, in general a shy girl. "Nadeshiko" (撫子) is the Dianthus superbus.
- The latter literally means "seven transformations", but it can also refer to the Lantana or Hydrangea genera of flowering plants. More in line with the nature of the ability, "shichihenge" can also stand for a kabuki dance in which the performer quickly changes clothes seven times.
- Tsubone bears physical resemblance to Dola, a character from Castle in the Sky.
- Although omitted in the Viz translation of the Chapter 329, the original Japanese text makes clear that Tsubone materializes vehicles on her body; the term "embodying" or "materializes" (
具 現 化 , gugenka) is used to describe how Tsubone's Nen ability works, the same kanji used for Conjuration ( 具 現 化 系 , Gugenkakei).
- Tsubone's Nen ability is named as "Riders High: Perfect Girl Evolution" in the Viz translation (Chapter 329), replacing the literal "Seven Transformations" part of the title with the term "Evolution".
|Members||Maha Zoldyck • Zeno Zoldyck • Silva Zoldyck • Kikyo Zoldyck • Illumi Zoldyck • Milluki Zoldyck • Killua Zoldyck • Alluka Zoldyck • Kalluto Zoldyck • Zigg Zoldyck|
|Butlers and Other Servants|
|Active||Amane • Canary • [a] Kiriko • Seaquant • Tsubone • Zebro|
|Former||Gotoh • Hassam • Hishita • Kasuga • Mitsuba • Yasuha|
|Members||Mike • Unnamed Dragon • Unnamed Giant Dogs|