Original Airdate: October 16th, 2011
Toonami Airdate: April 30th, 2016
Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to this week’s recap of Hunter x Hunter! You better hold on tight, because this episode is going to be killer, if you know what I mean (wink wink). Anyway enough with the foreshadowing puns, let’s get on with this recap!
After passing the Kiriko’s test in the last episode, Gon, Kurapika, and Leorio finally arrive at Zaban City, the location of this year’s Hunter Exam. Gon is mostly interested in the shops and crowd in the city, but Gon doesn’t have time to take in the atmosphere because they haven’t reached the actual site of the exam yet. The trio finally arrive at the exam site, but it’s not quite what they expected. Right next to the tall building where they’d expect the Hunter exam to take place is a small dive restaurant where the exams are actually taking place at. The navigator “orders” an item that actually turns out to be a passcode to the back room, which is also an elevator that will take them to the Hunter Exams. Once the trio enters the back room, it starts to descend. While in the elevator, Leorio and Kurapika get into an argument about the ideals of a hunter, with Leorio saying that the best hunters are in it for the money, while Kurapika says that they do it for honor. They both ask Gon which hunter he will be, and before he could respond, the elevator arrives at the Hunter Exams, and the two decide to continue their argument later.
When they enter the tunnel, the trio receives their ID numbers, and they befriend Tonpa, who has taken the Hunter Exams 35 times. Tonpa tells the trio about all the regular applicants taking the exam this year, and while he’s doing that, we see one of the applicants’ arms turning into flowers. The man behind this was Hisoka, one of the show’s main antagonists. He almost passed the exam the previous year, but he was disqualified after almost killing an examiner. He only got to retake the test this year because of how the examiners change each year. After that explanation, Tonpa offers the trio some juice. Little do they know, however, that Tonpa drugged the juice with laxatives to sabotage the trio because of his infamous status as the “rookie crusher”. Luckilly, Gon is able to taste the laxatives and spits the juice out before he could drink it. After telling the group that the juice has gone bad, Kurapika and Leorio both don’t drink the juice, and Tonpa apologises for the bad juice, claiming that he had no idea it was poisoned.
After he leaves the group alone, Tonpa starts rambling about how his attempts to poison other rookies have failed, with one refusing to take drinks from stangers and the other knowing about his reputation as the rookie crusher. There was only one applicant who actually drank the juice, and that was Killua, the show’s fourth main character. He comes up to Tonpa to ask for more, and after drinking a few more juices, he tells Tonpa that he is immune to poison. After Tonpa is finished rambling, the first part of the Hunter Exams finally begins! The examiner asks if anyone wants to back out of the exams at the last minute, but no one leaves, and phase one finally begins. This phase involves all the applicants having to run through the tunnel and reach the second phase, without knowing how long they’ll have to run. And thus, the Hunter Exams are finally underway!
Much like last week, this episode isn’t really the most exciting or action-packed, but believe me when I say that after this is the point when the show finally starts picking up the pace. Most of this episode was mostly just setting up for what’s to come in the following weeks, and there’s really nothing wrong with that, considering what’s being built up to is extremely worth it. And plus, it introduces Killua, one of my personal favorites in the series, so you can’t hate the episode for that. Not really all that much to say about this other than it’s mostly establishment. I give it 6 laxative juices out of 10.