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The First Phase Begins, Part 1 (第1次試験開始(1), Dai Ichi-ji Shiken Kaishi (1)) is the 5th chapter of the Hunter × Hunter manga, written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi.

Synopsis

In Zaban City, a disguised Kiriko guide leads Gon, Kurapika, and Leorio to the location of the Hunter Exam. At 2-5-10 Tsubashi Street the trio at first believes that the examination will be conducted within a large, looming tower in front of them, however, the Kiriko corrects them and points them towards a small restaurant instead. Incredulous, Leorio asks if the Kiriko expects them to believe that all the candidates for the Hunter Exam would fit in such a small building, to which the Kiriko asks Leorio if he believed the exam would have been conducted within a building so conspicuous.

Inside the restaurant, the Kiriko orders the "Steak Combo", grilled over a low flame and the restaurant staff directs them to a separate room. There, the three of them sit down and the Kiriko smiles and says the odd of them reaching that far was one in ten thousand. Wishing them good luck for the rest of the way, the Kiriko exits the room and then turns a dial, asking them to look him up next year. The room suddenly begins to descend as the three eat their meal and Leorio, with his mouth full, asks what he meant by next year wondering if the Kiriko did not believe they would pass this year. Kurapika responds by saying that on average, every three years one talented rookie passes on their first try at the exam.

Many rookies would crack under the pressure of the exam or be demoralized and have their spirit crushed by the more experienced candidates and never attempt the exam again. Puzzled at this, Gon asks why so many people try and take the exam if it is so grueling. Leorio yells at him for his ignorance as both he and Kurapika answer Gon's question, saying that it was the most lucrative and noble profession respectively. They look at each other in disdain and Leorio calls Kurapika a goody two shoes while Kurapika calls him a greedy money grabber.

Torn between his two friends, Gon listens to Leorio and Kurapika simultaneously explain that a Hunter License gives its holder carte blanche to enter most countries and almost all available public resources. It is a highly valuable item which if sold could allow one's family to not have to work for seven generations and live solely off the money made from selling it. Additionally, of the one hundred richest people in the world sixty were Hunters. Gon also learned that a Hunter's real job was to secure order in both society and nature and that Pro Hunters sought to preserve and protect precious artifacts and rare flora and fauna.

Both of them ask Gon what being a Hunter means to him and he gets nervous, stammering that it meant a career to him but none of the things they had mentioned were what he had in mind. Before he can say this, they arrive at their destination at the one hundredth basement floor. As the door opens, they see the other candidates, in their hundreds, already present. They all silently noticed the new arrivals and Kurapika stares at them, seeing that each one of them was one in ten thousand. An attendant rushes forward to give the three their number badges and suddenly, number 16 jumps down and says that their arrival makes the candidates' numbers swell to four hundred and five. Introducing himself as Tonpa, he says that he can see they are new, saying that he is something of an expert examinee, having taken the Hunter Exam thirty-five times including the current one, ever since he was ten years old.

Leorio notes that he seems proud of this fact, despite having failed thirty-four times. Gon asks Tonpa if he knows everyone who was there to take the exam, with Tonpa replying in the affirmative and saying that he knew just about everyone who was there and proceeds to point out the regulars. Number 103 is Bourbon, a snake charmer; number 76 is Cherry, a martial artist; number 255 is Todo, a wrestler; numbers 197-199 are the three Amori Brothers, who specialized in teamwork; number 384 is Geretta, a huntsman specializing in darts and clubs. Suddenly Tonpa's introduction is interrupted as a shriek echoes through the tunnel; this was from number 58 whose arms had just been cut off by another candidate.

This was number 44, who Tonpa introduced as Hisoka the magician. Saying that he had been certain Hisoka would pass last year but then the magician ended up getting disqualified for attacking an examiner he did not respect. Leorio asks why Hisoka had been allowed to retake the exam if he had attacked an examiner in the past and Tonpa responds that they got new examiners each year who decided what the tests would be and who could take them, to further illustrate his point he goes on to say that even the devil himself could pass the Hunter Exam if an examiner deemed it so. Saying that Hisoka had taken out twenty examinees last year, Tonpa advises the trio to steer clear of him as he no doubts wanted to improve on that score.

Tonpa says that there are others like Hisoka as well who would try to do the newcomers in but says that he would show them the ropes. A bunch of examinees nearby begin to silently chuckle at this, as they see that the trio have become the next in a long line of newcomers duped by the "Rookie Crusher" Tonpa. Pulling out some soda cans, Tonpa offers them to the trio saying to make a toast to friendship and luck before the exam begins. They accept the drinks, however, unbeknownst to them, the drinks were spiked with a high strength laxative that would leave them in no position to be taking the exam. As soon as Gon takes a sip, he spits it out, saying it tasted funny and that the drink had probably gone bad, much to the shock of Tonpa who becomes nervous. Thinking to himself that the laxative was nearly odorless and tasteless, he wonders what kind of tastebuds Gon has as both Kurapika and Leorio empty out their cans onto the ground.

Characters in Order of Appearance

Navigation

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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