Tonpa apologizes after giving Gon and his friends Kurapika and Leorio a spiked drink. Though Gon is unaware of Tonpa's true intentions and does not take much offense. He says it is lucky that he was the first one to drink it as his tongue was trained to detect anything that was potentially dangerous. Tonpa thinks to himself how Gon may look like he was naive but in reality, was a feral savant.
Steaming over the fact that all the newbies were difficult this year, Tonpa thinks back to his experiences with each of them. When he spoke to number 294, Hanzo, he was pleasantly surprised to find the candidate to be open to conversation and believed he would be an easy target. However, as soon as he offered him his spiked drink, Hanzo immediately refused, saying that ninjas such as himself do not accept food or drink offered by others. Seeing the look in Hanzo's eyes, Tonpa had recognized that the ninja did not trust anyone but himself and gave up on attempting to trick him.
Number 187 Nicholas on the other hand had immediately searched up Tonpa's name on meeting him and saw that Tonpa had competed in the Hunter Exam thirty-five times and even held the record for most consecutive tries. He also saw that Tonpa never passed simply because he became too focused on whittling down newcomers, earning for himself the nickname the "Rookie Crusher". Nicholas refused to engage in conversation with Tonpa after this and Tonpa found number 301 to simply be too strange and did not even bother attempting to trick him. However, he had managed to get one of the newcomers to try his drink, number 99 Killua.
Killua was the same age as Gon, however, Tonpa judged that he was a lot more clueless than Gon and had a lot to learn about the world. He spots Killua again, who sees him and rushes forward to ask for another drink, grabbing several cans and rapidly chugging them all down. Tonpa is shocked, thinking that with how many drinks Killua had drunk he should have been dying of dehydration but even the first drink has failed to take effect in all this time. Tonpa is perplexed but Killua smirks at him after finishing the drinks and says that he has built up his resistance and that no poison would affect him. Staring after the boy as he walks away, Tonpa smirks himself, seeing that with the unusual crop of newbies this year they were sure to have an interesting Hunter Exam.
Suddenly the sound of a bell ringing bursts through the area as Satotz signals the end of registration and the beginning of the exam. He leads the candidates forward and signals to a long tunnel, saying that the requirements were harsh and other candidates were not above sabotaging each other. Declaring that if they still wished to push forward and become Hunters despite this then they should follow him and Satotz begins walking forward. The other candidates begin trooping on through the tunnel after him and as he sees the candidates still with him, he says that all 404 of them may take the First Phase. Leorio notes that with the exception of the one dropout, that was all of the candidates, disappointed that others did not drop out. Satotz quickens his pace and the candidates in the front begin to run to keep up with him, he announces that he is their examiner for the First Phase of the exam and also their guide to the Second Phase.
Hanzo is shocked and asks what the First Phase is, Satotz states that it is to keep up with him. He says that he did not know where they were going nor when they would get there and they had but to keep following him. Gon, Kurapika, and Leorio begin to follow Satotz as they ponder over his instructions, Kurapika finding them quite simple while Gon finds them simply weird. Leorio says it is just an endurance test and is confident, saying he can keep up with anyone, Kurapika thinks to himself that the First Phase tests not only their physical stamina but also their mental resilience, as not knowing when they would end would be a trial of their morale as well.
Killua suddenly zips past the trio on his skateboard and Leorio yells at him, saying he is cheating and Killua is puzzled at this, asking how he was cheating. Leorio gruffly responds that it is because they were told it was an endurance test and he was swooping past on his skateboard. Gon points out that Leorio was the one calling it an endurance test and that Satotz had simply told them to follow. Leorio asks him whose side he is on but Kurapika intervenes, reminding him that they could bring whatever they wanted to the exam. Noticing Gon, Killua asks him how old he is and Gon replies that he is almost twelve years old, with Killua saying that he is as well. Killua decides to run alongside Gon and gets off his skateboard. Asking Leorio how old he is, Gon is shocked to hear that he isn't even twenty, with Leorio displeased that even Gon had thought he was older than he really was as Kurapika decides not to involve himself in the discussion with similar shock at Leorio's age.
The First Phase of the Hunter Exam continues as Satotz leads the candidates further into the tunnel, with no end in sight. They go on for three hours and Kurapika calculates that at their current pace they must have covered forty kilometers by that time, believing that some candidates would surely have dropped out by then and then wonders how much longer they could keep running. Leorio sweats profusely and believes that they must have been running for four or five hours at least, shocked that no one had dropped out by then, Gon turns slightly towards him and asks how he is doing as Leorio weakly holds up his thumb to signal he is doing alright. Leorio thinks that he had not expected such tough applicants and sees that he is seriously outclassed, thinking that an ordinary person such as him stood no chance at all.
Dropping his suitcase and faltering, Leorio comes to a halt and Gon turns back to call out to him. Killua gives him up for lost and says that Leorio has failed, calling for Gon to continue. Leorio huffs and gains a second wind, yelling out that he came to become a Hunter and he dashes forward past the pair, much to Gon's delight. Using his fishing rod, Gon yoinks Leorio's suitcase, that he had left behind in his determination and continues running. Killua is impressed at this and says he has to try the fishing rod at some point with Gon responding that he wanted to try Killua's skateboard as well. The test continues with over sixty kilometers passed with no dropouts.
Characters in Order of Appearance
|v • e||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)|