As one of the largest, most popular Shounen series worldwide, Hunter x Hunter has been discussed and analyzed a plethora of times by its dedicated fans, with the future of the manga remaining unknown, as the hiatus may even suggest that it will never be serialized again, the attention to detail has given rise to many occurrences, remarks, and events that remain ‘loose ends.’
There is no knowing as to what Hisoka said to Bodoro in their fight during the Final Phase of the Hunter Exam. A common theory among the fans is that the uttered line resembled something along the lines of: ‘If you don’t forfeit, I am going to fight the children.’ The theory suggests that, much like Hisoka knew about the connection between Kurapika and The Spider, he knew that Bodoro considered it dishonorable to fight children.
While Bodoro is a character many may have even forgotten, as his role isn’t grand in the story of Hunter x Hunter, this event piqued enough interest for the fans to start speculating. Here is what we know!
Comparing the events in the two anime series and the manga
To better understand the context, we reminded ourselves of all the scenes and frames that entail hints and clues as to what this line may be and why it would be so. Because there is no definitive answer in the source material, our guess needed to be as accurate as possible!
Firstly, to reflect on the 1999 anime, it is notable that the fights did not happen in the exact same order. Moreover, just before the interviews were announced, there was a scene in which all nine participants sat in a room and shared their concerns about what the Final Phase may entail.
Here, Bodoro shares his thoughts as the most experienced in the group and reflects on all the phases they passed thus far, focusing on what they were being tested on in each of them.
Noting that the First Phase tested their strength and endurance, then the following one tested their powers of observation, after which the focus lay on testing their mental strength, and finally on their all-around skills, Bodoro concluded that the fourth and Final Phase will complete the Hunter exam in a sense that it will have tested all necessary and required aspects when it comes to becoming a Hunter. Hence, it would test a wide range of knowledge required of all Hunters, meaning it would surely be a written exam.
With everyone engaged in the conversation in a state of panic, the six rushed out of the room to study in the library. With Bodoro remaining in the room with two other participants, one of whom was Hisoka, he mumbles to himself how he just rambles up a bunch of nonsense.
This act of merely talking to himself seems to have been enough to make Hisoka react, as he inquired, “Is that so?” immediately after Bodoro spoke his mind aloud.
This scene was never included in the manga and the 2011 anime, which seems to be following the manga in greater detail. Once the participants who passed the Third Phase were known, they were transported onward and the only in-between events were a conversation with Kurapika and the interviews that took place before the Final Phase had begun.
The rest played out in a very similar fashion, where it was slightly only the order of fights that was altered. Only following Hisoka’s path, we learn that he first fought Kurapika, which is a battle he forfeited after having whispered something in Kurapika’s ear, then went on to face Bodoro next. Here, he repeated the same pattern of whispering something into his opponent’s ear, which ultimately seemed to have ended the match.
As it turns out, Hisoka uttered a line that piqued Kurapika’s interest due to his connection to The Spider, aka the Phantom Troupe. In the 1999 anime, the fight between these two was the first one that took place in the Final Phase. During it, Kurapika displayed his unwavering resolve and kept fiercely attacking Hisoka, displaying the red eyes of the Kurta clan.
To put this scene in perspective with the additional one that included a brief interaction between Hisoka and Bodoro, the 1999 anime seems to subtly indicate why the following events played out the way they did. With the manga in mind and the 2011 anime, which stayed close to the source material, most fans argue that Kurapika’s eyes glowing mid-fight is non-canon. Consequently, the indication that Hisoka observed Bodoro and his potential philosophies also fails when compared to the source material.
Focusing solely on the source material: could the thesis be correct?
Our attention first went to the interviews that were conducted in chapter 32 of the manga, starting with Hisoka’s interview being the first in the queue. The three questions posed were why he wanted to become a hunter, which remaining participant he had the most interest in, and which one he least wanted to fight at that moment in time.
Hisoka never hid his bloodlust, and this occurrence was no exception. His desire to become a Hunter was to make it easier to get away with murder, while he shared that the person he would want to fight the most was the Chairman himself. Meanwhile, his responses to the other two questions were more or less the same – Gon and Killua.
On the other hand, the brief frame that captures Bodoro’s response shows that Hisoka caught his attention while fighting Gon, and Killua was out of the question. This key piece of information is believed to have allowed Hisoka to force Bodoro to forfeit the fight despite his greatest efforts to keep resisting his opponent’s attacks.
Knowing about the rule, which stated that anyone who kills their opponent would be disqualified, while the rest of the group would automatically pass and the test would be over, Hisoka wasn’t left with much choice when facing such a relentless, strong-willed fighter. We could consider it a well-known matter that his observation skills and cunning ensure that he is always familiar with his environment due to never knowing when some information may come in handy. Therefore, even though focused on Killua and Gon, Hisoka ensured that he always had a way out.
In chapter 35, the fight is briefly mentioned in a rundown for Gon, who was hospitalized after participating in the first round of the Final Phase. In the fourth round, Hisoka fought Bodoro, which was depicted as the most one-sided bout in which Bodoro was too stubborn to forfeit.
Thus, knowing he would be disqualified if he murdered his opponent, Hisoka may have either played a wild card and counted on an old man’s sentiments towards the younglings or had somehow gotten his hands on the information Bodoro shared during the interview.
Be it due to him speaking of it at another place at a different time, or Hisoka somehow successfully eavesdropping on the interviews to secure the fact he would always have a trump card, the outcome in which he threatens the ‘children’ to have his opponent forfeit instead of forfeiting himself or getting disqualified, seems to be the best bet in this scenario.
Following this line of reasoning, we can say that Bodoro forfeited the fight due to his sense of honor and duty, but also to save Gon and Killua from Hisoka’s bloodlust as Bodoro made it clear that he caught his attention as a fighter, which makes it unlikely that he would fail to notice Hisoka’s violent nature and intent to kill.