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What Do The Words On Zeno Zoldyk's Clothes Mean In Hunter X Hunter

The "Hunter x Hunter" manga has been in circulation since 1998 and animation for the series followed only a year after. It follows the adventures of aspiring hunter Gon Freecss as he tries to live up to his family legacy and become a renown hunter. The story is so fleshed out and massive at this point that there are dozens of noteworthy and remarkable characters for fans to keep up with — including the assassin hunters of the Zoldyk family.

Zeno is the elderly patriarch of that family. He's ranked #5 on our carefully curated list of the 15 Most Powerful Hunter x Hunter Characters, and for good reason. He is passionately dedicated to his job. He takes a tremendous amount of pride in what he does, but he also follows a strict moral code: never kill an innocent. Between this and his hunched posture, many who aren't familiar with the patriarch underestimate him — at first. But the words he wears on his garb are a warning to anyone who might erroneously assume that he isn't one of the world's most powerful assassins.

Zeno is proud of his hunting skills -- and the words are a reflection of that

According to Factvrse, the signs he wears translate to say "Never Retire" and "A kill a day." Zeno is an interesting hunter because he follows a very strict code that some of his younger progeny don't exactly agree with: He doesn't kill for pleasure, and he doesn't kill innocents. He only kills if he has a contract to do so. That makes him unique given the notorious reputation of his family, and has also cemented him a place in the hearts of fans.

There is no shortage of Reddit threads expressing their admiration for his character. In one Zeno character discussion thread full of admirers, Atzar87 explains why they love the character, saying, "he's a badass old man and his appearances tend to be highlights of the arcs in which they occur." Other fans in that thread claim that their favorite Zeno moment was his Dragon Dive attack on the palace, which unfortunately ended with him hurting an innocent bystander and causing him to hesitate in the fight. But the hesitation makes sense. His entire sense of self is fueled by his pride in his hunting skills, so much so that being careless and hurting an innocent makes him pause to question his actions. 

After all, he takes his job seriously enough to stitch those menacing words onto his garb.