The 287th Hunter Exam takes place at the beginning of the story.
- Gon Freecss (examinee #405)
- Leorio Paradinight (#403)
- Kurapika (#404)
- Hisoka Morow (#44)
- Pokkle (#53)
- Hanzo (#294)
- Illumi Zoldyck (#301)
- Killua Zoldyck (#99)
- Bodoro (#191)
- Ponzu (#246)
- Bourbon (#103)
- Kenmi (#362)
- Amori Brothers
- Geretta (#384)
- Agon (#281)
- Siper (#80)
- Goz (#371)
- Tonpa (#16)
- Sommy (#118)
- Shishito (#89)
- Ryu (#34)
- Cherry (#76)
- Kyu (#105)
- Todo (#255)
- Nicholas (#189)
- Anita (#111) (1999 anime adaptation only)
- Matthew (Failed the pre-exam)
Examiners for the 287th annual Hunter Exam, the year the series' main characters took the exam.
Not part of the official exam, the unnamed ship captain commands the ship that brings Gon, Leorio, and Kurapika to the mainland of Dolle Harbor for the preliminary phases of the Hunter Exam. He was also the first paid agent of the Hunter Association the three would run into while traveling to the exam site. When Gon was able to accurately predict the coming of a large storm, despite never having been at sea before, the Captain realized he was the son of Ging Freecss, who had also traveled on the captain's ship many years before.
She appeared with her followers. The old woman usually tests the mental strength of every candidate. She tests Gon, Leorio, and Kurapika and passed them. She usually tests based on her goal to tell every candidate that there is a time where you must be prepared to choose one from two persons you loved when they are held captive. The candidate may only choose one or the other, not both, and only when it is time to give the answer. Despite the answer of the test is to stay silent, the true nature of the test was for the candidate to realize that the given scenario could go from trivial abstraction to reality, and the choice one would have to make then.
A beast that can change its physical appearance. A family of Kiriko uses their shapeshifting abilities to pretend to be a human family under attack by Kiriko in their natural form, in order to test Gon, Kurapika, and Leorio. They pass, and the Kiriko reveal their true purpose - navigators who guide worthy Hunter Exam registrants to the exam site. In the following year, they also guide Killua to the exam site upon learning of his friendship with Gon.
Satotz is a seemingly mouth-less man, the appointed examiner for the first part of the Hunter Exam. He tests the examinees' stamina by leading them on a marathon of initially unknown length, later found out to be more than 80 km through an underground tunnel. Though he seems only to move his legs at a fast walking pace, the examinees are forced to run faster and faster to keep up with his speed. After they emerge from the tunnel, Satotz then leads the examinees through the Milsy Wetlands, nicknamed the "Swindler's Swamp", a swamp filled with deadly man-eating animals, before leaving them at the site of the second exam.
As a Ruins Hunter in his normal profession, he was also inspired by Ging in taking up the Hunter License. He initially simply felt a strong civic duty to carry out his role as a judge, he progressively takes a liking to Gon and wishes to help him.
One of the second stage examiners during the Hunter Exam, along with Menchi. Buhara is a Gourmet Hunter and is a hulking figure with a large potbelly and an even larger appetite. Buhara's easy-going nature contrasts with Menchi's highly selective one. Buhara was the judge in the first round of stage 2. His condition for passing the round was for the candidates to hunt down any wild pig in the Visca Forest Preserve, and bring it back to him roasted and ready to eat. The only type of wild pig in the forest turned out to be the Great Stamp, a giant horned boar twice as tall as a human. Even so, more than half of the candidates that made it to the second exam passed.
One of the two examiners for the second stage of the Hunter Exam, along with Buhara. Menchi is picky when it comes to food, but it fits her profession very well as she is one of the world's best Gourmet Hunters. Coupled with Menchi's sensitive and highly selective sense of taste and culinary skills is a physically fit body that enables her to carry out the search of unique foods and culinary experiences, many times in dangerous places. She obtained her Single Star Hunter License at the age of 21.
Menchi was one of the two judges that presided over the second stage of the Exam. Her exam topic was to prepare a piece of sushi for her to taste. If it met up to her stringent expectations, the candidate would pass. However, the test did not quite go as planned, as everyone but Hanzo was baffled as to what sushi actually was. He accidentally spills the information to the rest of the group, though this does not do much good. Each character proceeded to deliver their idea of "sushi" to Menchi, only to have it rejected. In the 2011 anime, the exam topic was changed to preparing some sort of pork dish from the dangerous Great Stamp, a species of pig living in the nearby Visca Forest. Though the trick to killing them was revealed quickly, almost all of the candidates chose to simply roast the pigs whole, resulting in poorly-cooked or boring pork. The first dish she actually tests is Kurapika's, since he has sliced his pork and added vegetables and fruit in between, but considers it just as bad-tasting as the others. Thus, none of the candidates passed at first. However, Netero later comes and convinces her to give the candidates another chance since the challenge was rather unfair (mostly due to her stubborn nature, Menchi didn't even taste most of the samples given to her due to their shapes). Thus her test was changed to simply boiling an egg, after retrieving it from the web of a Spider Eagle, which hung from the walls of a mile-deep canyon.
Lippo is the examiner of the third stage, the Trick Tower, and a prison warden. He concocts up many devious ideas, such as the hurricane storm and the number tag stages, that test the candidates in different aspects of group dynamics, both in a communal and individual front. Many candidates are forced to work together to have any chance of passing Lippo's tests.
He is a Blacklist Hunter with a repertoire with includes the capture of "Johness, the Dissector", a murderer he uses in the tower. Johness had more than a hundred kills, all of them torn to dozens of pieces with his bare hands. In order to coerce prisoners to fight Hunter Exam candidates in the Trick Tower, he offers to shorten the sentence of any inmate by one year for every hour they stall the examinees.
A prisoner used by Lippo in Trick Tower to test the examinees. He faces Gon, Killua, Leorio, Kurapika, and Tonpa. Nothing is known about Bendot. He seems to be just a normal muscled fighter. He fights the first round against Tonpa, who gives up immediately after the start signal as a way to sabotage his fellows, although Killua remarked that if Tonpa hadn't, Bendot would have tortured Tonpa without killing him in order to delay their progress in the tower.
Another prisoner used by Lippo in Trick Tower to test the examinees. Majtani is a strong-looking criminal who tries to intimidate by claiming to be part of the Phantom Troupe, but he is easily defeated by Kurapika. He has a tattoo of a spider on his back, along with hearts on his chest to show the number of victims he has killed. Kurapika proves that it is a fake; Phantom Troupe members will have their member number engraved onto the spider. He also states that they have killed too many people to keep track of the record. Majtani becomes the focus of a subsequent confrontation as both sides wager hours in order to conclude the battle in accordance with the rules.
Another prisoner used by Lippo in Trick Tower to test the examinees. Leroute is a former psychologist who reveled in the misery of her clients. She would often intentionally manipulate her clients into committing suicide. During the Trick Tower portion of the Hunter Exam, she faced Leorio's in a non-combat duel, and easily manipulated him into a series of bets that caused his team to lose fifty hours of time.
Another prisoner used by Lippo in Trick Tower to test the examinees. Johness is allegedly the greatest mass murderer of Zaban City. He killed at least 146 people, all with his bare hands, which are powerful enough to pull the flesh from bone, and even crush stones. In Trick Tower, Johness was pitted against Killua in combat, whom he expected would provide the flesh he so loved to tear apart. Instead, Johness has his heart swiftly pulled right out of his chest by Killua, who then crushes it right in front of Johness' eyes. Killua later commented that despite Johness' number of victims, he was still only an amateur killer.
The remaining 24 examinees are taken to Zevil Island. Each one of them is given a card with a number that represents the badge number of his target. Every one of the applicants must get the badge of his target while protecting his own. A target's badge equals to 3 points, and keeping one's own badge is also 3 points, while any other badge is worth a single point. To pass this stage one must get a total of 6 points by any way they can. 9 people passed this stage including 6 rookies.
|281 Agon||80, 118, 294, 404, 198 or 53||Dead||0|
|301 Gittarackur||371||301, 371||6|
|362 Kenmi||80, 281, 118, 294, 404, 198 or 53||Alive||0|
|294 Hanzo||197||294, 198, 362, 89||6|
|404 Kurapika||16||404, 16||6|
|103 Bourbon||80, 281, 118, 294, 404, 198 or 53||Dead||0|
|99 Killua||199||199, 99||6|
|191 Bodoro||34||191, 34||6|
|34 Ryu||80, 281, 118, 294, 404, 198 or 53||?||0|
|199 Umori||362 or 89||Alive||0|
|197 Amori||362 or 89||Alive||0|
|405 Gon||44||405, 44||6|
|44 Hisoka||384||384, 80, 118, 281||6|
|105 Kyu||80, 281, 118, 294, 404, 198 or 53||Alive||0|
|403 Leorio||246||403, 246||6|
|89 Shishito||80, 281, 118, 294, 404, 198 or 53||?||0|
|53 Pokkle||105||53, 105||6|
|371 Goz||80, 281, 118, 294, 404, 198 or 53||Dead||0|
It can be inferred that Hanzo took badges 362 and 89 from Umori and Amori.
Interview with Netero
|Candidate||Who interests you the most||Who would you avoid fighting|
|44 Hisoka||99 Killua and 405 Gon in second||405 first and 99 second|
|53 Pokkle||404 Kurapika||44 Hisoka|
|99 Killua||405 Gon||53 Pokkle|
|191 Bodoro||44 Hisoka||405 Gon and 99 Killua|
|301 Gittarackur||99 Killua||44 Hisoka|
|405 Gon||44 Hisoka||99 Killua, 403 Leorio, 404 Kurapika|
|294 Hanzo||44 Hisoka||44 Hisoka|
|404 Kurapika||405 Gon, 44 Hisoka|
|403 Leorio||405 Gon||405 Gon|
Isaac Netero is the Chairman of the Selection Committee for the Hunter Exam. Presiding over it, Netero has final authority over every stage of the examination. Netero is assisted by his secretary Beans, who helps organize the Hunter Exam and presents the successful candidates with their license. In his first appearance, he makes a 60-foot free-fall jump from the Judging Committee's blimp without a parachute, landing square on his feet without any sign of damage. He was said to be the strongest Nen user in the world 50-years prior to the start of the series. Some decades prior to the beginning of the series, Netero spent four years doing ten-thousand punches and praying every day in order to express gratitude to the martial arts. His time spent doing those punches and prayers led to his enlightenment, giving him the ability to punch faster than the speed of sound. Netero is the Grand Master of the Shingen-ryu style of kung fu. Netero is also revealed to be older than Zeno Zoldyck, who is said to be 67 years of age. At one point, Zeno says that when he was still a young boy, Netero was not only already old, but he is the only person alive who has fought with Maha Zoldyck. Various stated times would put Netero over the three-digit mark.
Beans (Maamen in the Nippon Animation adaptation) is Netero's secretary and helps to organize a lot of things during Hunter Exam. Highly factual and exacting in his words, he was the one who gave a presentation on the uses of the Hunter License to the successful candidates of the exam.
Wing is an assistant master of Shingen-ryu kung fu; his main pupil is Zushi. He meets Gon and Killua at the Heavens Arena and eventually teaches them Nen. Although he initially refuses to train the two (even lying to them about the purpose of Nen), he changes his mind when they advance to the 200th floor of Heavens Arena, realizing they could die or be badly injured from the "initiation" rituals of other Nen users. For the next several months he teaches them the basics of Nen, after which he announces they have passed the secret final requirement for being a Hunter. He does, however, somewhat fear their immense potential. Wing's teacher was Biscuit Krueger, who incidentally becomes Gon and Killua's second teacher.
Izunavi is Kurapika's master. He met Izunavi while looking for a job as a Blacklist Hunter. When Izunavi finds out that Kurapika is a Hunter, he suggests to teach him Nen. Later, Izunavi discovers Kurapika can become a Specialist when he activates his scarlet eyes.
- Leorio was informed that had he intervened in the match between Gon and Hanzo, Gon would be disqualified; however, when Killua attacked Bodoro in the latter's match against Leorio, it is Killua who was disqualified, possibly due to Killua having killed a fellow candidate, or because, as Netero stated, Leorio was likely to win in either case.
- Ponzu and Pokkle are the only deceased examinees of the 287th Hunter Exam who did not die during the exam.
- Pokkle is also the only graduated of the 287th Hunter Exam who has already died.