"I admit I get very emotional about food. And so... I've failed as an examiner."
Menchi (メンチ, Menchi) is a Single-Star Gourmet Hunter and one of the two examiners in second phase of the 287th Hunter Exam. She is said to be the finest Gourmet Hunter in the world and her contributions to culinary culture have been invaluable.
Coupled with Menchi's sensitive and highly selective sense of taste and culinary skills is a physically fit body that enables her to carry out the search of unique foods and culinary experiences, many times in dangerous places. She ties the back of her hair into 5 top knots and wears a bikini top with a mesh shirt worn over it, alongside daisy duke denim shorts. In the 1999 anime, she has a pair of chef's knives that are sheathed behind her waist.
When Menchi is introduced, her most obvious quality is her pickiness. However, this attribute fits her profession very well, as she is one of the world's best Gourmet Hunters. She also has a quick temper that goes along with her great enthusiasm for cooking. She is considered a culinary genius, earning a Single-Star Hunter License at a very young age. She does seem to have a certain respect for authority, but cannot tolerate someone who insults food or Gourmet Hunters.
Hunter Exam arc
During the second phase of the 287th Hunter Exam, both Menchi and Buhara are examiners. Menchi explains that, in order to pass the exam, the examinees would have to cook a meal that would satisfy both examiners. Buhara goes first and requests a roast pork from any kind of pig in the Visca Forest Reserve. Once the examinees head out, Menchi calls out on her partner and calls his trick mean, since there is only one kind of pig in the forest, the Great Stamp. Later, a total of 70 examinees complete Buhara's request, which ends the 1st phase of the exam. Menchi finds Buhara's challenge too easy, and subsequently announces to the examinees that her meal would be a sushi, a dish from a small country. She offers a few hints about its preparation, and declares that the exam would only end once she is full.
While the examinees are pondering over the instructions, Buhara scolds Menchi for requesting a hard dish to prepare, since the only fish needed to make a sushi is found in seas, not freshwater lakes. Menchi refutes that she wants to try a unique sushi dish made by the examinees, and claims to be more of a culinary artist than an examiner. This concerns Buhara, fearing that her bad habit will affect her judgement of the sushi dishes. The examinees begin taking turns on presenting their sushi, only to be turned down by Menchi. She keeps dropping hints, and despite Kurapika's several logical conclusions, fails alongside Leorio and Gon.
Hanzo confidently presents his sushi, as he comes from the country where sushi is native. Menchi compliments its appearance, although she fails him for its taste. Hanzo complains that anyone could make a sushi, being an easy dish, but it makes Menchi angrier. After arguing with Hanzo, she becomes hungry and the other examinees present their sushi to her, but all fail, due to her picky taste. She fails all the examinees and later contacts Beans to inform him about it.
In a fit of rage, one of the examinees, Todo destroys his kitchen set with his fist and refuses to accept his failure; he explains that he aspires to become a Blacklist Hunter, not a Gourmet Hunter. Menchi mocks him instead that he should try harder next year. Provoked, Todo charges at Menchi, but is immobilized after taking a palm thrust by Buhara. Menchi comments on Buhara's interference but Buhara claims that she would have killed him if he didn't.
Menchi starts to explain, while displaying her skills with her knives, the harsh trials and endeavors Gourmet Hunters have to endure. Suddenly, an airship from the Hunter Association flies overhead and Chairman Isaac Netero jumps down. Netero asks about the situation, and Menchi admits that she has failed as an examiner and withdraws her position as the examiner, so her results can be disregarded. However, Netero offers Menchi to redeem herself and suggests for her to come up with an easier item the examinees can prepare. Menchi asks the chairman to take everyone to Split Mountain, where she demonstrates how to retrieve a Spider Eagle egg from the web hanging between the crevices of a deep canyon, with a strong water current below. After Menchi's demonstration, she asks the examinees if they quit, but most of the examinees (aside from Todo) jump into the crevice and retrieve an Spider Eagle egg. Later, the examinees boil their eggs and Menchi shows the difference between a normal boiled egg and a boiled Spider Eagle egg.
When the all examinees taste their boiled eggs, they are overcome with joy by the delicious taste of it. Menchi tells the examinees she hopes they understand the joy of discovering something delicious, something she takes pride in doing. She also encourages Todo to take the exam next year. Afterwards, a total of 42 examinees passed Menchi's rectified 2nd phase of the exam.
Onboard the airship, Menchi enjoys dinner with Buhara and Satotz, while discussing the examinees in this year's exam. Out of the examinees they favor, Menchi favors Hanzo, while Satotz favors Killua Zoldyck. Menchi claims Killua is an obnoxious B blood type. When asked which examinee Buhara favors, he answers Hisoka. He further states he felt an ominous aura come from Hisoka. Menchi also claims that she felt it, one of the reasons she became edgy earlier.
During the end of the exam's 4th phase, Menchi with the other examiners (Buhara and Satotz), have a meal together with Chairman Netero and Beans. She asks Beans about the chairman's age, and Beans says that the chairman has been answering that he is 100 years old for the past 20 years. With the final exam still undecided, Menchi comments that it would be a tough one for the rookies. Netero, however, decides to interview the examinees, which confuses Menchi and Buhara. After Netero finishes the interviews, he shows the examiners a chart of what the final phase would be, which baffles them all.
For the final phase of the exam, all of the previous examiners act as observers. During the first round with Hanzo versus Gon, Menchi comments it is clear that neither Gon nor Hanzo would easily admit defeat, but shows concern for Gon. She later attends the debate held after the exam on whether Killua was manipulated by his brother Illumi Zoldyck. After Gon's recovery and talk with Satotz, Menchi comments that Satotz was close to revealing an important secret detail.
13th Hunter Chairman Election arc
Menchi returns to the Hunter Association headquarters to participate in the selection of the next chairman. In the First Election for the 13th Hunter Chairman, she places in 26th place along with Satotz and seven others. She places in 20th with Gel and 13 others in the second election and 20th place again with six others in the third election. Menchi and Buhara attend the final two elections held in the Hunter Association auditorium.
Abilities & Powers
Menchi has all the benefits granted by her status as a Hunter. She is an exceptional Gourmet Hunter, having earned a star at the age of 21, and very likely an excellent cook and food critic. It is said that she has never forgotten the taste of a food she has eaten. Physically, she has at least good upper body strength and is very agile, having demonstrated how to obtain a Spider Eagle's egg. Her combat abilities have not been shown, but in the 1999 anime adaptation she managed to kick an applicant multiple times without losing her composure and while speaking normally. Menchi is also an expert in handling knives, being able to wield and juggle a large amount of them while making them spin at high speeds. Additionally, she is highly perceptive, sensing Hisoka's bloodlust since the beginning of Buhara's trial while the latter failed to do so. As a Hunter, she knows how to use Nen.