Tonpa is a short, fat man with tan skin, brown hair, a large nose, and thick eyebrows. He wears a large, blue v-neck shirt, with a white symbol resembling a lowercase "ｉ" on its right side, over a matching pair of light, blue-grey sweats. He often carries a satchel.
After attempting to pass the extremely difficult Hunter Exam several times, Tonpa began to enjoy the failures of newbies, to the point he actively began to try to crush their ambitions at the cost of never passing the exam himself. He is so fascinated by his hobby that he does not hesitate to put the candidates in potentially lethal situations. However, despite the fact that he enjoys crushing the hopes and dreams of Hunter examinees, he seemed to be slightly worried when Killua drank what he thought to be a lethal dose of laxatives. This shows that despite his faults Tonpa has some level of standards and does not want to kill fellow examinees. He puts up a friendly facade to earn the trust of rookies, and then deceive and manipulate them into failing.
Tonpa is nicknamed the "Rookie Crusher" by other candidates with more experience taking the exam. He has taken the exam 34 times but has never passed due to his goal of ruining the dreams of others. He often brags about his experience to those taking the Hunter Exam for the first time and then offers them a helping hand. Of course, this is merely subterfuge, as he takes an almost perverse pleasure in sabotaging their attempts to pass. Tonpa first took the Hunter Exam when he was ten years old. Despite the fact that he is incredibly arrogant about it, Leorio points out that failing the exam 34 times isn't exactly something to be proud of.
Hunter Exam arc
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Tonpa introduces himself to Gon, Kurapika, and Leorio as well as other rookie applicants in the underground tunnel. He acts nice in order to gain their trust, only to sabotage their chances of passing the exam. Before the exam begins, he hands out soft drinks with laxatives in them to other examinees, so the participants have to forfeit before even starting. He gives one to Gon, Kurapika, and Leorio, but Gon tastes it and thinks the drink has gone bad, to which Kurapika dumps it unceremoniously and Leorio spits it out. He also gives one to Killua, who is unaffected by the laxative due to his resistance to poisons and other things of that nature, and one to Nicholas, who looks up information about the drink using the database on his computer, and refuses on the grounds of subterfuge.
In the Third Phase of the Hunter Exam, he is teamed up with Gon, Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio. He tries to make them fail the exam by attempting to maneuver them against each other, playing especially on Leorio's failures and insecurity, and by surrendering in his battle against Bendot. However, he fails to do so and reaches the Fourth Phase hoping to make someone fail. Killua even notes that Tonpa's surrender against Bendot was more helpful than it was meant to be, as Bendot would have crushed Tonpa's throat to keep him from surrendering, and then would have prolonged the battle for all of the 72 hours they were given to complete the challenge, thus forcing the group to fail.
On Zevil Island, Tonpa maneuvers Sommy to steal Leorio's badge by claiming sickness and swapping cards with Sommy, but fails when Kurapika intercepts him and Sommy and takes both their badges and returns Leorio's badge.
Greed Island arc
Tonpa is seen in the 288th Hunter Exam site nervously holding the same spiked soft drinks he carried during the 287th Hunter Exam while trying to avoid Killua. He is sequentially knocked out by Killua after the First Phase examiner takes his leave and has his badge taken from him, thereby failing the exam.
Abilities & Powers
According to Nicholas, Tonpa's performance in the Hunter Exams is rather impressive, and he would have already passed it if that were his real objective. Combining his intuition and skills in deceit with great survival skills, Tonpa has managed to survive more than thirty Hunter Exams, which cause the death of many applicants every year. Tonpa is a master of subterfuge. He is adept at making other applicants trust him and then "crashing" them. He is aided in this personal crusade by his ability to figure out what someone is thinking and using that information to manipulate them. Despite his unfit appearance, Tonpa managed to finish the long run of the First Phase of the 287th Hunter Exam, kill a Great Stamp, and retrieve the egg of a Spider Eagle.
Anime and Manga Differences
Translations around the World