The Psychology behind the Phantom Troupe


Hey guys! My sister said, that my videos are boring,
this is why I decided to make a little Hisoka Make-over for you. This is as good as it gets. I should do something Hisoka-like .. Goon
Or maybe not, maybe just watch the video. Have fun! Just one moment, I forgot to tell you, that
this video will be focussed solely on the psychology, like what motivates the behavior
of the troupe and if it is possible psychologically, to be so human and at the same time be a killer. And it won’t be a summary of all the characters
and explaining all the characters, because there is a video on youtube already,
that does that. By a guy named Alexackrzczx
and I really like his work and I will list the link below. Lets start the analysis Popularity polls and youtube klicks show how
popular the phantom troupe is. Why is it, that the antagonists get so much
positive audience attention? Well first of all, doubtless because of Togashis
narrative Style. Every character is accurately thought out. Observing Togashis characters whilst the story
evolves, is like watching the peeling of an onion. Beneath every layer there comes another one,
and again another one. Nothing about the characters is arbitrary,
everything is precisely and geniusly planned. There is a bunch to discover about every single
character. Feitan for example does not speak proper Japanese,
but speaks Chinese at some moments, which makes him even more mysterious. The troupe as a whole – has as well a lot
to it: It has 12 members, one leader and one traitor. If you stay with this for a bit, you discover
the parallel to Jesus, his 12 apostles and his traitor Judas. Than there are their over-the-top abilities,
their extremely appealing character design and their diverse personalities. See how they enter the story: The troupe gets introduced by Kurapika, talking
about how dangerous, inhumane and unscrupulous they are. When they first appear though, we get a slightly
different perspective on them. The first one we see, besides Hisoka is Machi. She enters the plot as a medic, when she reattaches
Hisokas arm. A healer is actually the most human profession
possible. After she leaves Hisoka, she speaks about
him in a very empathic and intelligent way. We get to know the other members, when they
are on their way to the spiders-gathering. They appear very human on their pilgrimage
to York-New city. And it is not that they are loving and kind
with each-other, but the humanness lies in the way they interact. They know each others quirks, they quarrel
with each other like only family or partners do and they know what to do to de-escalate
the situation. They play cards while Uvogin fights. They act just like a normal clique, teasing
each other, supporting each other and standing up for each other. Their human side climaxes when they perform
the absolute badass killing sonata, to avenge the death of Uvo. When he disappeared they were deeply worried
and after finding out that he is dead, they deeply mourn about him. Even Kurapika, whos only goal in life is to
kill all spiders, gets into ambivalence, after killing Uvo. In their fight he finds out, that Uvo is not
just a monster but a man with an honorable moral codex. This is again one of Togashis brilliant narrating
techniques. First we hear about them being inhuman mass
murderers and terrorist and then we get to know their likable and
human characters. Gon pretty much sums up the central conflict,
that this video wants to analyze. He asks Chrollo how they can kill people,
they are not related to in any way and is aggresively disgusted, that they mourn so
strong for the death of one of their own, while taking thousands of lives on a regular
basis? The core question of this analysis will be: And if it possible – What psychological dynamics
stand behind this phenomenon. In my previous video we figured that Hisoka
is a cold psychopath. Is it the case for the rest of the troupe
as well? The answer is no. As said in the video on Hisoka, a cold psychopath
is lacking mirror Neurons and therefore has no empathy. He feels nothing for anyone and cares only
about himself. This obviously is not the case for the troupe
members, who are loyal and caring towards each other. So if they aren’t psychopaths, what is it
then? I would like to introduce 2 experiments to
u : The first one is the Milgram experiment, that
was held at the University of Yale. The experiment measured the willingness of
the participants, to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that were
conflicting with their personal conscience. Each study participant had to play the role
of a teacher, who had to punish a learner if he made mistakes, by giving him electric
shocks. The learner was an actor and didn’t receive
real shocks, and just pretended to get them. Next to the participant sat the examiner,
who constantly asked the participant to give the learner further shocks f for mistakes. With every mistake they added 15 volt. The learner was begging to stop the shocks,
and said he couldn’t bare it anymore. At the same time the examiner told the participant
to continue giving the shocks. What do you think someone would do in such
a situation? Before the Experiment was held, experts thought
that about 1-3 % of the participants would not stop giving shocks. They thought that you’d have to be pathological
or a psychopath to give electroshocks to humans. But the shocking result was that 65 % of the
participants never stopped giving shocks. The experiment was repeated several times
with different participants in different countries, and the result was always the same. This result reveals that people tend to obey
authority. Keep that result in mind for later. The second experiment I want to talk about
is the Stanford prison experiment. In this experiment the group of participants
was divided into two groups, prison-inmates and prison guards. The inmates had to stay in actual cells, with
bars instead of doors. The goal of the experiment was to research
on what the belonging to a group and a social identity can do to a person. The results were shocking. Several of the guards became progressively
more sadistic – particularly at night when they thought the cameras were off, despite
being picked out of the same pool as the prisoners. The experiment very quickly got out of hand. After only 6 days (of a planned two weeks),
the experiment was shut down, for fear that one of the prisoners would be seriously hurt. This result show, that the social role one
has, can make a person do several things, he normally would not. The last thing I want to present is the Social
Identity Theory by Tajfel and Turner. This theory says several things, which I won’t
go into right now. The only aspect that matters here, is that
if people belong to a group, the group influences their self-image. So in order to have a positive self image,
one needs the own group, to dominate, succeed and win. This dynamic gets even stronger, if the person
has no other domains that influence his self-image, like family, religion, nationality, career-group
etc. So if someone who has not much in life, joins
a group, the group plays a crucial role for his identity. Lets apply this on the troupe: They are from meteor city, which makes them
a minority. Meteor city is a waste dump, where only outlaws
live. So the troupe members have likely nothing
in life ,except their belonging to the spiders. They are finding identity and purpose through
the troupe, and therefore can’t risk to lose it. So now remember the results of the experiments
and let’s answer the question we asked in the beginning: Yes it is. The milgram experiment shows us, that people
tend to obey the commands of a higher up. The stanford prison experiment shows that
a belonging to a group, that gives social identity enables people to perform actions
they normally never would do. Looking on Nazi Germany in the second World
War – we have a similar behavioural pattern. Normal family fathers comitted dreadful atrocitys,
while not being especially psychopathic. But same as with Germany – the leader is another
matter. And this is what I will look on in my next


40 Responses

  1. The Hunter x Hunter 2011 Dickriding Association

    June 29, 2017 6:18 pm

    Nice linking alezander 👍
    PLEASE go into the chimera ant arc

  2. Pathos/Kian

    June 29, 2017 7:12 pm

    Could you maybe talk about School-Live in the future? If you haven't seen it, it's only 12 or 13 episodes.

  3. bienayme

    June 29, 2017 7:33 pm

    I would love to see you analyse Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass. Maybe you could help me understand why all the characters in this show feel so human (I mean they are just drawings but you can really get more invested in them than any live action movie)

  4. Anne Teunissen

    June 29, 2017 8:13 pm

    I like your videos and I don't really have any requests but keep up the good work 😀 can't wait for the next episode.

  5. Kamichu81

    June 29, 2017 8:17 pm

    Nice video!!! 👌🏼 Can you talk about Kenshin from Samurai X (Rurouni Kenshin), please? Thanks ~

  6. hadioread grimes

    June 29, 2017 8:20 pm

    Nice video! Now cant wait for the Chrollo one. Also, for the next vid you could make a Levi (Attack on Titan) analysis.

  7. Smutny Koteczek

    June 29, 2017 11:21 pm

    As for me you could just leave hxh series for later time just so while doing you can rewatch the series and collect thought. Video was interesting! As for nice anime show i recommend you watching boku no hero academia ! Bakugou or Kaminari, Izuku ever All Might. The show is fantastic. Like new naruto but done great!

  8. AdelaideChrome

    June 30, 2017 2:31 am

    oooh! I really like the 3 psychology experiments that you gave. Very informative and it's easier to understand why the Phantom Troupe acts that way 🙂

  9. nennemesis

    June 30, 2017 4:22 am

    I love how Togashi flipped the script on Kurapika, showcasing a side to the Phantom Troupe that contradicted his description.

  10. Cecilia Lopez

    July 8, 2017 4:25 am

    i personally can't wait to see you do a video on neon genesis evangelion! i'd love to see what a professional thinks about it since i loved it but some bits confused me. and maybe some talk specifically about Kaworu since he's my favorite 🙂

  11. Louis Duran

    July 10, 2017 2:41 am

    I really liked your videos (Just watched them all to date) Before you were asking for critical feedback, and while visuals are definitely important I think audio is more important. I'm not sure what you're doing to your audio but there is a number of things you can do to improve sound quality by changing where you record to running your audio through some sound editing things. I would recommend looking up some ways to improve your audio. Otherwise you have some excellent content. 🙂

  12. Isaias Ruiz

    July 16, 2017 4:26 pm

    how about analyze gon that his hypocrit side might make him grow up into the badguy and killiua being the one to stop him:)

  13. oyi rose

    July 16, 2017 11:12 pm

    oh my blob oh my blob
    . speaking of this, you should definitely read "Bastard" on Webtoon it's about a boy's father who's a highly respected individual in society though it is only the son who knows his aweful side as a murderer. You donr have to make a video about it, but it'll take u on a journey as u read 😏

  14. Shadow Princess

    July 26, 2017 1:16 am

    I firmly believe that EVERYONE under the right conditions could either be the best person in the world or the worst…but ultimately who you are is your decisions and once you do something expect reactions equal to your actions…
    but this logic is valid only for single individuals…when is a group we're talking about however, I found that some indivuals will try to act the way the group would like them to rather than the way they'll do by themselves…they do it for acceptation and fear for being seen as a "weak" one
    A good exemple I found out is when a group of persons meat a gay coupple, somebody will insult them and soon the others will do the same too, but if each member of the group were to be in the same situation alone chances are they'll act differently…
    I like and at the same time hate human nature, what people do and what are the reasons behind why they do it…

  15. DakGoldd

    September 5, 2017 5:23 am

    Very well done and love the perspective, though Im not a Psychology major, I do find it fascinating and great analysis on a group that be perfect candidates for this, great job and love the Hisoka makeup, you have Halloween figured out 😉

  16. Aisha Malik

    September 6, 2017 12:45 am

    Haha, I don't mean to make fun, I love that there is a psychologist (I'm assuming that you are one) out there that is an open fan of anime, especially Hunter X Hunter, and is professionally analyzing the characters, however, I doubt that joining the troupe is what made them less human, which is the understanding I got from your video. I'm betting they were already killers and thieves before joining, meaning they had no problem doing it for Chrollo, and they would have had to have been killers/thieves for them to be part of the group Chrollo was making. What I think happened, when joining the troupe, was that they became more human. Joining the group gave them at least one thing they had that was actually worth something, because, like you said, they probably didn't have anything else being from a place like Meteor City, since it's a wasteland filled with orphans. And, living the lives they most likely led, which would have been filled with poverty, sickness, loss, etc., they knew the true worth of things like treasure, money, luxurious items. They knew that that stuff only has value in a materialistic life, not a worthy life, proven by Chrollo's comment on how none of the members care enough about things like that to betray the troupe. I bet they ended up joining the troupe, because, hey, what else do they have to do and it might be fun and fill up their boring monotonous lives in Meteor City. They stayed, however, because they discovered that they found what they were missing all those years as an orphan: bonds between people. They finally had people in their lives that showed at least a little sympathy for them. And they have SOOOO much respect for Chrollo, because, not only is he very qualified to be their leader, but because he cares about each one of them, so much so that he tells them to not worry about keeping his singular life alive, if the troupe is in danger or he is in danger. They may NEVER admit it ( maybe because they don't realize it or refuse to admit it), but it's safe to say that many, if not all, the members love him (not including Kalluto, Hisoka, any new members, Omokage, and the first number 8), because he loves them (to agree with this you'd have to believe that Chrollo and the members are not evil). So, joining the troupe really showed their inhuman side more and may have also made it worse, but, more prominently, they gained a human side by being exposed to and experiencing the things in life they were missing and what was important to have to be happy and human: love and friendship. Chrollo, on the other hand, hasn't fully realized this and his case is something else altogether. Many of the members know that joining the troupe makes them happy because of the bonds, like Machi, Pakunoda, Kortopi ( no coincidence it's the group that wanted to save Chrollo when he got caught), but some of them, like Chrollo, Feitan, and Phinks (also no coincidence that this is the group that wanted to attack Kurapika when Chrollo got caught), haven't caught on to that quite as well, probably because they're true psychopaths. They need a little more of a nudge to see the truth ( something Chrollo touches on when Gon asked him why he kills people, aka, why he still doesn't know himself as much as he wants to). Anyway, that's what I think.

  17. Salaganster

    June 12, 2018 2:06 am

    I've discovered your channel just recently, and I have to say your content is very informative while being entertaining! This joins two things I'm interested in, as I enjoy anime and my girlfriend studied in Criminal Psychology. Keep up the good work, new sub! 🙂

  18. Andrew Rentuaya

    July 5, 2018 10:44 am

    A very insightful topic, into the mind of gang but in hindsight it's kinda volatile considering that people in meteor city has a very unconventional relastionship – "thin as water, thick as blood" the way i understand it is that they dont mind killing each other as long as no outsider will kill one of them. why i brought this coz there was an episode in HXH that a tramp was accused of murder since he was from meteor city the tramp has no records whatsoever that is why it was easy for the judges to coerce 31 people to witness against the tramp to cut it short 31 residents from meteor city attached bombs on themselves and detonated it with their victims , a total of 31 victims all in the name of.revenge with a note on the side "give us everything but take nothing from us"… a very twisted sense of family so to speak…

  19. Fallenangel 85

    July 14, 2018 3:30 pm

    After watching HxH again I realized something about the troupe:
    They didn't kill a single innocent person in the anime, they only killed criminals or people attacking them.
    They seem to be like robin hood. The only exception seems to be kurta massacre and we don't know what really happend back then.
    Infact it could be like in Naruto with the Uchiha. I really hope we will find out more about them.

  20. ghostirq

    September 14, 2018 12:47 pm

    Hmmm I'm not buying your your theory of why people kill. I don't think most people would just kill someone or torture them because someone in command told them to.

  21. Bex Clue

    July 9, 2019 9:30 am

    While everything you have shown and said is technically true, it doesn't apply to the Troupe at all.
    The Troupe Members don't do what they do out of fear of losing "the only thing they've got".
    They enjoy what they do (most of them anyways – while some are rather indifferent).
    They kill and murder out of either excitement or pragmatism (means to an end) – but not out of fear or peer pressure.
    They can be so caring for each other and so cruel to others because of disassociation.
    They are for themselves. To hell with the rest of the world. The rest of the world turned their home – Meteor City – into a literal garbage fire.
    They don't have/feel any obligation towards society or people.
    Those people are nothing to them.
    Like people from Meteor City are nothing to those people.


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