Survivor: We're going to die here, aren't we?
No. Because as long as I'm here, they
are the prey... and I am the hunter!
There is a group of beings that The Hunter hunts. Maybe it's because of a traumatic event in their past,
maybe it's been passed down through the family.
Often, it's because those they hunt remind them too much of themselves, or the possibility of what The Hunter could become.
The prey of The Hunter tend to be criminals or supernatural monsters. Whether The Hunter is a good guy depends on the alignment of said prey, although almost all Hunters have to wrestle with fanaticism.
If they fail to control that fanaticism, they'll eventually discover what happens to He Who Fights Monsters
The most common kind nowadays are Vampire Hunters
, though Demon Slayers
, and Vigilante Men
who target criminals are also common. The Witch Hunter
is the least sympathetic variety. The Dragonslayer
however is almost never a subtrope of The Hunter. Some other non-supernatural varieties are the Serial Killer Killer
and the Nazi Hunter
The Hunter's motivation is usually one of the following:
Occasionally parallels Bounty Hunter
, although for The Hunter, this is always very
personal. (They don't always mind taking money for the endeavor, though. After all, equipment is expensive.)
A Hunter with no fixed home is probably also a Knight Errant
. Depending on the Hunter, may end up committing Van Helsing Hate Crimes
. Not to be confused with a zombie using the same name.
See also Mary Sue Hunter
for the sue killing
For actual animal
hunters, see Egomaniac Hunter
, who hunts for the hell of it
, Evil Poacher
(who hunts endangered animals), and Great White Hunter
(the Victorian ideal of hunter-as-Gentleman Adventurer
). Any of these tropes may overlap with this one, however.
See also Occult Detective
, whose occupation is to investigate supernatural mysteries. May be a Blue-Collar Warlock
if he uses magic.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Vampire Hunter D
- Vampire Princess Miyu
- Witch Hunter Robin
- Venus Versus Virus
- This pretty much describes the position of Spirit Detective in YuYu Hakusho.
- Except they're taking orders from a Celestial Bureaucracy to go after specific criminal elements. And Yusuke's team at least are very low on personal motivation. And they actually work only five cases in the whole run, including the Rando thing and the one where Kurama and Hiei were introduced, as quarry. They spend the bulk of their page time at a tournament.
- In fact, the only case they all actually work together is Demon City, where Kuwabara tagged along and Kurama and Hiei got sent in halfway to start working off their parole. Hiei flaked on the Chapter Black deal and didn't reappear until Sniper threw that truck at Yusuke, and the rest were just Yusuke with Kuwabara on the side in varying degrees of officiality.
- Shinobu Sensui was this by nature, though. He'd been killing demons in self-defense since he was a very small child; Koenma just gave him some structure. And then moral relativism and confrontation with human evil broke his brain and he decided to Kill All Humans...
- Several minor characters appear to be this.
- Subversion: Those Who Hunt Elves (in a T-74 main battle tank, to strip them naked....)
- Subversion: Seishirou from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle hunts a certain set of vampires... because he wants to become one.
- Claymore: half-demons hunting full-demons.
- Kamui in the .hack// series Haseo the star in the later G.U. series is also a hunter of Player Killers.
- Many of the "monsters" in Mugen Densetsu Takamagahara Dream Saga are hunting humans, in revenge for their near-extinction.
- Hellsing begins as a series about vampire hunters (with the subversion being that two of the main characters are vampires themselves), but the manga plot eventually becomes a war story whose entire opposition just happens to be made up of the undead. And/or robots.
- The Flame Haze of Shakugan no Shana hunt down the Guze no Tomogara in order to protect the balance of the world.
- While that's the stated goal many of the flame hazes seem to be in it for revenge.
- Speaking of wolves, Quent Yaiden from Wolf's Rain hunts wolves to the point of obsession. However, we feel sorry for him because of Blue, his constant companion and Empathy Pet, and the fact that his wife and child were killed by wolves.
- Later on, it is revealed that his family was actually killed by Darcia's soldiers, and the wolves had only been driven to his home because they were caught in the middle. It's an understandably tragic misunderstanding, especially considering that it has long become his only reason for living. When Blue gains the ability to use a human disguise, he does not believe her when she tries to straighten things out. Nor does he (or any of the pack) enjoy Toboe's constant attempts to make peace between parties. And if you take it the right way, this leads to Toboe's death near the end of the series.
- Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist has dedicated his life to killing every state alchemist and singlehandedly defeating the nation of Amestris, to avenge their genocide of Ishval.
- Towards the end of the 2003 anime version, the Elric brothers take it upon themselves to hunt down and destroy all the homunculi.
- The cast of Gantz are alien hunters. They don't know why, hell, they don't even know what they're hunting half the time.
- After the Eclipse from Berserk, Guts becomes the Black Swordsman, dedicating himself to hunting down the demonic Apostles of the Godhand and putting them to the sword. He also seeks revenge upon Griffith for the betrayal that led to having the Brand of Sacrifice put on his neck and the utter destruction of his last group of True Companions, not to mention his lover being driven insane.
- Kurapika from Hunter × Hunter is dedicated to hunting down the Phantom Troupe, Genei Ryodan, (also known as The Spider, each member being a leg) the villainous True Companions who are responsible for making Kurapika Last of His Kind.
- His vendetta reaps about four of the ten of them dead and their leader out of play for a considerable period. We visit them beating up a splinter group of the Big Bads of the arc-after-next just because Togashi wanted to play with them and their powers more. He has a tendency to bond with his villains.
- Kuroe Kurose from Blood Alone was one of these before the series began, and it's something he tries not to bring up, especially considering his living with a vampire.
- The Exorcists in D.Gray-Man, or anyone in the Black Order, including scientists and Finders, all joined the Order at one point or another mainly for personal reasons, usually because their relatives died from Akuma attacks, or they embody Innocence and want to put it to use. Occasionally some members of the Black Order have other goals, but the first two are most common.
- In theory, this is the central responsibility of shinigami from Bleach, freeing the tortured souls that have become Hollows so they can reenter the cycle of reincarnation and stop killing and eating people, but what with their having been at war basically since actual shinigami characters started to be introduced, we haven't really seen them do much of it.
- Shinigami of Yami No Matsuei are the government bureaucracy version of this; they manage to combine cop show tropes with The Hunter tropes, and also all those frilly shojou tropes. (And in the manga, This Is Your Premise on Drugs tropes. Matsushita's mind is strange.)
- Comic book/movie example: Blade (who also shows up in Spiderman), a half-vampire hunting down full vampires. Also had one season of his own TV show, Blade The Series.
- In The Tomb of Dracula, where Blade was first introduced, there's also Quincy Harker and his band of vampire hunters working occasionally alongside Blade.
- Don't let the quote above fool you: The Punisher relentlessly hunts after all criminals. He's an equal opportunity Vigilante Man and One-Man Army.
- Ulysses Bloodstone was the premier monster hunter in the Marvel Universe. Following his death, the mantle passed to his daughter Elsa.
- Graveyard Shift from Scare Tactics is a church sanctioned organisation of vampire hunters.
- The Hellblazer John Constantine, he hunts down normal or supernatural badguys either to protect his beloved London, or just for his personal gain. Gods are of no exception.
- Mordecai Chalk from Astro City. A cyborg monster hunter whose missing body parts were destroyed by occult creatures, Chalk makes quite an impression for a character who was only 'on screen' for a handful of panels.
- Um, The Hunter in With Strings Attached. Partially subverted in that his name is actually Jim Hunter, implying that Jeft chose to use him as a character because of his name. If he hunts anything specific (besides forest animals), we don't find out.
- When there's something strange in your neighborhood, Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters. Except that they don't fight ghosts because of a traumatic event, mission from a higher power, or because they are afraid of becoming ghosts themselves. They fight ghosts because, well, they need money. Also, For Science!!
- In fact, they're less Hunters and more Ghost Cops.
- Robert Morgan, the protagonist from The Last Man on Earth, spends his days hunting and staking the mindless, photophobic monsters known in-universe as vampires. Unwittingly, he's also been depopulating Los Angeles of people that could be reasoned with despite being infected by The Virus, since they, too, are nocturnal.
- The Boondock Saints are also Vigilante Man Hunters, combining this with a Mission from God.
- A lot of Dracula adaptations turn Abraham Van Helsing from an aged professor of Medicine into this sort of character. The Hammer Horror Dracula films are arguably the main culprit, and Van Helsing follows in the tradition.
- Blade, as in the comics, is a half-vampire who hunts full vampires.
- Hans is the titular character in The Troll Hunter.
- General W.R. Monger from Monsters vs. Aliens, who heads a secret government program to capture monsters and lock them away so that the public doesn't have to worry about them and get on to more important things, like paying taxes. He is more sympathetic than most versions, as he doesn't seek to destroy them, and eventually grants them their freedom in exchange for battling the Alien Invasion.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Holtz embodies this trope.
- Highlander: The Series features an organization called the Hunters, an evil offshoot of the Watchers, that is dedicated to hunting down and killing Immortals.
- Dean and Sam Winchester from Supernatural and a large part of their supporting cast. The series places a heavy emphasis on how much the life sucks, to the point of Deconstruction; Hunters typically make money by pool hustling and credit card fraud, often end up with criminal records, and generally end up emotionally traumatized to some degree due to the things they've seen. And if they die, there's a good chance no one will know how or dispose of their body but other Hunters.
- Pretty much the deal with the Argent family in Teen Wolf. They are part of a larger community of such people as well.
- Eric van Helsing in Young Dracula.
- The protagonist of the television series Werewolf.
- Sylar on Heroes hunts down and kills superhumans to take their abilities.
- And now Volume 4: Fugitives will have a character actually named The Hunter, a U.S. Government Black Ops leader whose job it is to hunt down Superhumans for Uncle Sam to send to Super Guantanamo.
- That's the official plan, but Danko is also perfectly happy to use lethal force in liberal amounts too.
- Dexter for killers not otherwise brought to justice.
- NCIS: Leroy Jethro Gibbs is like that. EVERY time he is tracking a criminal It's Personal. When one of his own team is endangered of course Its Really Personal
- Van Mcnulty from the Smallville episode Extinction. He hunts and kills anyone with superpowers, not caring if they are good or evil. Immediately after discovering Clark's secret and heroic career, Van attacks him with kryptonite bullets. After Clark defeats him and sends him to jail, he is murdered by two superpowered foes Clark had defeated and jailed earlier in the series.
- Technically they weren't jailed, they were thrown in the loony bin.
- The Auzora (Blue Sky) Association from Kamen Rider Kiva is this to the fangires and to a lesser extent the other monster races. How extreme it is taken varies between members though. Some are content to allow fangires to live as long as don't feed on humans whereas others will kill all fangires on site. Almost all of them warm up the half-fangire protagonist though.
- The beasthunters of the Jennifer Scales series are an entire species of this.
- Monster Hunter Imternational. The title says it all.
- Witch Hunters hunt witches. More like are the last bastion of humanity against a overpowered magical force, but the routine is still to hunt single witches.
- The Ranger character class in Dungeons & Dragons is stereotypically The Hunter. Their "favored enemy" class ability gives them bonuses to finding and killing a specific category of creature. It is possible to subvert this trope by choosing favored enemies for reasons other than those of The Hunter.
- In the original AD&D, all rangers had goblinoids and giants as their enemy, owing to the roots of the class, but with the advent of Second Edition, one could choose which kind of enemy their ranger was dedicated to taking down. One could even have a human ranger who had certain kinds of evil humans as a favored enemy, such as pirates, brigands or slavers, or in the case of Drizzt, a drow ranger who rebelled against his own evil kind. The original 3E removed restrictions on alignment, but you could not choose your own race as a favored enemy unless you were evil, which was thrown out for 3.5.
- Ravenloft has Rudolph Van Richten (an Alternate Company Equivalent of Abraham Van Helsing in concept), a herbalist turned monster hunter after his son was sold to (and turned) by a vampire, who later killed his wife in revenge. Not only does Van Richten personally go after these deadly evil creatures, but had several books published detailing the results of his research to give others the needed edge to kill the things. And on other monsters he met and had to fight in process, such as werevolves and liches.
- Depending on how the campaign is run, the Player Characters could also fill this role.
- Hunter: The Reckoning, an RPG by White Wolf where all the player characters are monster hunters who've been granted mystical powers and are driven by a new urge to protect mankind from the supernatural beings that live among us. They also have a tendency to be driven insane, and a lot of them (especially those of the Avenger creed) aren't fussy about whether the supernatural beings they hunt deserve to be slaughtered or not.
- The Witch Hunters of Warhammer go after their prey (witches, vampires, heresy, the forces of Chaos...) with little more than their weapons, their unshaking faith in Sigmar, and of course their hats. Some are accompanied by a rabble of zealous henchmen, others work alone.
- The Inquisition of Warhammer 40,000 is this (on a much larger scale. Here the Inquisitor can essentially requisition entire planets, regiments of Guardsmen and even Space Marines if he so chooses (Though he is usually polite about it), and often the dangers they hunt require that kind of firepower to destroy. The Inquisition is divided into three groups or "Ordos" specializing in either rooting out traitors and heretics (Ordo Hereticus), dealing with Chaos Daemons and incursions (Ordo Malleus), or learning about/shooting aliens (Ordo Xenos).
- The children of Little Fears are often driven to this on account of the fact that once they realize the monsters are out there, the monsters become aware of them, making it a matter of kill or be killed.
- The Hunters in Weregeek believe Tabletop RPG players are a menace to society, to be stamped out with deadly force. Fear the night...
- Both the Vatican and the Norse "Ã†sir" churches field specialist troops to hunt down and exterminate immortals in Cry Havoc
- Abner Van Slyk, professional vampire hunter of Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name. Bad news for Conrad.
- In Errant Story, the elven rangers are this, hunting down half-elves because the elves believe they all inevitably go murderously insane. It's suggested, though, that some rangers will let them go if the half-elf in question isn't a danger.
- Parodied with Tiffany Winters of Eerie Cuties and Magick Chicks. Being an expy of Buffy Summers, she is dedicated to slaying vampire main character Layla DeLaCroix, who in turn seems to be completely unaware of this fact. Aside from this, the two of them end up becoming best friends... with no small amount of Les Yay. Speaking of which, Tiffany's attempts to stake Layla usually ends up in being distracted by adoration toward her "nemesis". Also, she seems to have either addiction or fetish of vampire bites and mostly looks for excuses by now.
- Jordan in Head Trip is a Furry Slayer -in-training. Or at least wants to be.
- L.A.W.L.S. comic has Autumn, The Slayer — more specifically, Furry Slayer.
- Girl Genius has Vespiary Squad, an elite team specialized in hunting Slaver Wasps and containing (or killing revenants if anyone is already infected. From what we saw, they're very good against wasp warriors — established to be formidable even as battle constructs go — but mediocre against experienced human opponents. They have the characteristic Hunter attitude and even habitually strap skulls of Hive Warriors over they helmets.
- In RWBY, the continent named Vytal trains teenagers into becoming Hunters of the Grimm. They are not directly called Hunters, however; it's "Huntsmen" if male and "Huntress" if female.
- Nightbane, of the Whateley Universe, hunts supernatural monsters: vampires, goblins, what-have-you. She's currently trying to kill Carmilla. Only one problem: Carmilla is one of the heroes in this universe.
- First Gillecomgain and Duncan, then the Canmore family, from Gargoyles are dedicated to hunting down and exterminating the titular creatures.
- Valerie Gray from Danny Phantom who's under the delusion that all ghosts are evil—her job originally started with her getting revenge on one who ruined her perfect life.
- There's also Skulker, who generally hunts rare ghosts. During his first appearance, he made a comment roughly along wanting "to hang [Danny's] pelt at the end of [his] bed".
- Also Danny's parents, who are professional ghost hunters, and also happen to unknowingly supply him with all of his ghost hunting equipment.
- In The Venture Bros. there's Jefferson Twilight, blacula hunter, dedicated himself to the elimination of black vampires after his mother was raped by a group of them when he was 10. He breaks off their fangs to add to his necklace before he kills them. He even has a "blood eye" that allows him to detect the presence of blaculas despite not being magic in any other significant way. Keep in mind, the eye only works on blaculas- vampires of other races are not his quarry, and so he can't magically detect them.
- Jet from Avatar: The Last Airbender. He gains an intense hatred for people of the Fire Nation after his village is destroyed and his parents are killed in a raid by the Rough Rhinos, spending most of his onscreen appearances attempting to kill or expose firebenders.
- Crosses into He Who Fights Monsters when he attempts to massacre an entire Fire Nation village, men, women, children, elderly, bender or not.
- In Mary Shelley's Frankenhole, it's a drunken redneck named Joe. He's mostly a Vampire Hunter but has Fantastic Racism for most creatures.
- Gutner Van Halen from Frankenstein's Cat. Van Halen, the "Monster Man" is a monster hunter who, as he puts it, "dedicated his life and limbs to their destruction", which is saying something, as he has sustained a few scars in his career; he lost his left arm whilst capturing a Two-Headed Transylvanian Zombie and lost his nose to a Giant Blood-Sucking Leech of the Black Lagoon. How he lost his left eye and his right leg are not known.