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In episode 9 of the 2011 version of Hnter x Hunter, Kurapika's fight is with the prisoner Majitani. They agree to a battle to the death. Once Majitani realizes he is hopelessly outmatched, he says "I surrender!" (time code 18:41) Kurapika is already in the process of punching him, and knocks him out. The surrender is never acknowledged, and there is a verbal dispute over whether Majitani is dead. The other prisoners claim that Kurapika's match must end before Leorio's can begin. Majitani's surrender is never brought up by either side.

One might argue that in a death battle, surrender is irrelevant. Yet the first match, between Tonpa and Bendot, was also a death battle. Tonpa was allowed to surrender. Presumably this was because when the examiner Lippo explained the rules, he stated, "A winner is declared when the opponent admits defeat" (episode 8, time code 14:17).

(following paragraph added next day)
Everything Majitani said and did prior to and during his match with Kurapika was meant to intimidate. Calling for a death match was part of that strategy. He knew he was not really a strong fighter, so I believe his goal was to get Kurapika to surrender.

Why did Majitani's surrender not matter?

One might claim that no one heard it, not even Kurapika. But then dramatically, what was the point in having the surrender in the first place? If it's just going to be there, unexplained and unmentioned, it will just cause some nerd to come to a q&a site and ask about it.

If a tree falls in the forest ...

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Why did Majitani's surrender not matter? I compared both anime and manga (official translation) scenes and they seem to be different. In the anime, Majitani was able to at least say that he surrenders. In the manga, he did not get the chance to do so.

Before Majitani can say anything more than 'Lay off, okay? I-', he was punched by Kurapika. enter image description here

Based on what he was able to say before being knocked out cold, I do not think that can even be considered a formal surrender nor an admittance of defeat. He was only able to say 'lay off', not say 'I give up', and while he might be on the verge of surrendering had Kurapika not punched him, he was unable to do so. Therefore, I think this means that 'his surrender', if he ever meant to, will never count.

One might claim that no one heard it, not even Kurapika. Yes, Kurapika certainly did not hear it. Later on in Chapter 18, he admitted that even though he knew the tattoo was fake, he was unable to control his emotions. From the manga:

Kurapika (to Gon and Leorio): My mind perceived that tattoo was a fake..but my emotions..I just saw red..and..to be honest..whenever I see a spider, any spider..my rationality collapses, and I turn primal!

This explains his actions, and seeing 'red' seems to be real, as seen here. Even if Kurapika knew that Majitani was going to surrender, he let his emotions get the better of him (despite this, he technically did not break the rules as Majitani, again, was not able to fully say that he surrender or give up). In addition, I also know someone personally who cannot remember what he/she did or what happened after he/she saw red when he/she was so angry at someone, similar to what Kurapika experienced.

What was the point in having the surrender in the first place? Well, nothing other than the fact that it would also work for the prisoners especially if they feel that the hunter examinees they encounter are too strong for them. In the case of Majitani and Kurapika's bout, it was not that the rule was discarded or ignored. It was that Majitani was not able to fully state his surrender, mainly because of Kurapika's actions, so that it looked like the rule was ignored, when in fact it was not. If I remember correctly, there are no rules not allowing someone to prevent his/her opponent from surrendering.

  • Heh, that was unexpected. Out of curiousity I checked chapter 13 of the 1999 version. At TC 14:53 Kurapika is holding Majitni up by his chin, and the latter manages to get out just, "Okay! I...". He did not say, "I surrender!". It seems weird that the 2011 version would show that he did. – RichF Dec 19 '18 at 12:41
  • @RichF Yeah, it sure is. I just started reading the manga last week (haven't gotten around to watching the anime yet) and after looking up differences in the 1999 and 2011 anime from the manga, I feel like the 1999 anime is more faithful compared to the new one. They probably thought some of the changes made in the 2011 anime are small and would go unnoticed, especially those that they probably thought would not affect the plot significantly. Why they would change details like these, when they could just follow what the manga depicts in the first place, is a mystery to me. – W. Are Dec 19 '18 at 13:02
  • Some people say they don't like the 1999 version because of filler. Yes, it has some non-canonical stuff, but it is all really good and adds a lot to characterization. Besides, I'd rather have extra stuff than leave out a major character for 70-odd episodes, which 2011 does. What's the opposite of filler? "Drainer"? One such non-canonical scene is one of the best, almost silent, expository scenes in anime. If you've read through phase 3 of Hunter Exam, take a look at the first 11 minutes of 1999's episode 24. Gon is still paralyzed ... – RichF Dec 19 '18 at 17:30
  • @RichF 'I'd rather have extra stuff than leave out a major character for 70-odd episodes' Agreed. I don't really mind filler in anime, and especially in this case because Gon's character and past were never explored that much in the manga, at least in the early chapters. I was also really surprised after finding out a character was left out in the early parts. For me, it's a significant change as their meeting and conservation was also part of the reason that solidified Gon's goal of becoming a hunter and finding his father. – W. Are Dec 20 '18 at 1:18
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I don't know about the anime, but in the manga, Bendot explicitly said, they would fight until one of them surrenders or dies.

In Kurapikkas fight they agreed to fight to the death. The rest is as you said. He wasn't dead, so the fight was not over. But Kurapika heard the surrender of Majitani, so he refused to kill him.

  • In the 2011 version of ep.8, Bendot only says, "I propose a death match." No option of surrender is mentioned. Ep. 13 of the 1999 version is like you report the manga says, including Bendot saying "admits defeat or one is killed" at 15:22. Prior to that he also delivers the speech Lippo gives in 2011, including a match is over when one side admits defeat. So I see your point, but I remain unconvinced that the general instruction (allowing admission of defeat) is not valid for all matches. – RichF Dec 17 '18 at 17:57

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