The Ultimate Choice (究極の選択, Kyūkyoku no Sentaku) is the 3rd chapter of the Hunter × Hunter manga, written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.


In Dolle Harbor, the trio looks for a way to get to Zaban City. The Captain tells Gon to head for the Lone Pine Tree on the mountain just outside of the city. Leorio thinks the best way to get to Zaban City is by riding a bus, but Gon wants to head to the tree. Kurapika decides to follow Gon, saying that he interests him. Leorio overhears a conversation that the bus to Zaban City doesn't go there at all so he runs after Gon and Kurapika.

The three pass through an abandoned city with no other people around. After a while, a group of people dressed in robes, wearing gas masks and wigs and an old lady appeared. She says if the three of them want to go to the tree, then they need to answer a question. If they fail, then they are not allowed to enter the exam. Matthew suddenly appears, stating that he will answer the question. The old lady asks the first question: "Rogues have taken your mother and your true love captive. You may only rescue one. 1. Your mother. 2. Your true love. Which do you save?" A shocked Kurapika thinks that such a question is a subjective issue, not to mention rife with unquantifiable variables. He wonders if they simply guess the answer the old lady prefers. Matthew answers 1, although he prefers to save his true love, showing that he doesn't care for his own mother's well-being, and believes that the answer is the one that the old lady favors. When asked of his reason, with smug confidence, he hypocritically states one may find another true love, but one's mother is irreplaceable. After discussing with her companions, she allows Matthew to pass.

Outraged, Leorio thinks the quiz is messed up since a correct answer for such a question does not exist, and never has. After verbally insults the applicant screeners, he says he will try to take another path. The old lady tells him it's too late because if he leaves he will be disqualified. Kurapika accepts the quiz when he figures out how to pass it and calls for Leorio before being stopped and warned by the old lady, who takes notice of it, and then proceeds to present a trickier question: "Your son and daughter have been kidnapped. You can only get one back. Which will you get back? 1. Your daughter. 2. Your son?'" The old lady starts to count up to five. Leorio tries to attack her using a piece of wood but Kurapika stops him, saying that they already passed. The right answer is silence. Nobody told the man before that he was correct, instead, they just let him pass. Leorio apologizes to the old lady, and she says she wanted to meet people like them that's why she accepted the job. Then she showed them the real way to the tree.

Before walking to the right path, Gon says that he can't figure out an answer to the question the old lady asked. Leorio and Kurapika laugh a bit and tell Gon that he can stop pondering about it, as they already passed. But Gon then asks what if they actually were to make a choice like that in the future, leaving the two speechless. Gon states that it won't be about whether which is "correct", but what's truly in one's heart when in that situation. Neither Leorio nor Kurapika can answer that. As they go off to the location they are given, the old lady, who has been listening, states in her mind that Gon now has realized the true meaning of the test—to prepare for the worst possible scenario. What may be abstract now, may later be a cruel reality that will strike without warning. They must be prepared for such crossroads in life.

Author's Note

It was not until recently that I realized again that microwaves are so convenient. As a matter of fact, I've been eating Sato's rice for my breakfast, lunch, and dinner these days.

Yoshihiro Togashi


Characters in Order of Appearance


ve Hunter Exam arc
Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38
Anime 1999: List of Episodes (1999 series)
Anime 2011: List of Episodes (2011 series)
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